I wrote a blog post about Ruby and it was suppose to post today…but I stopped that post as Ruby had to go to the vet yesterday and I decided right now, it was more important to tell about that visit.
In the past few months Ruby has not been herself. I have gotten lots of comments from readers asking “Where is Ruby?”. I’ve gotten comments from people saying “I miss Ruby”. To be honest, I’ve been asking all of those same questions. Ruby the dog has been living at my house but she’s not been “MY Ruby dog”.
Gradually things with her have been changing. She doesn’t jump into bed and sleep with me anymore. She’s more nervous about things than ever. She has starting having accidents…and nervous peeing when for the most part, she had completely stopped that. When she goes outside to pee she started peeing on the cement of the patio and not going onto the grass. She’s gained weight. She walks so slow and seems too tired when she walks. When I go to take pictures of her on a quilt, she’s not happy and excited about it. I hated it. I simply thought she turned five and had hit that “older” stage of dog. It was sad. I missed “MY dog”…but figured it was time I realized she had hit five and wasn’t a frisky girl anymore.
I talked with Kelli and Kalissa about it…Hubby and I talked about it often. We all kind of agreed that she wasn’t quite herself but chalked it up to old age. We thought it was kind of early for old age to gotten her but who knows….
Then about a week or so ago I noticed that she was cocking her head all the time. I asked Hubby to watch her and he agreed she was. All of the time she would lean her head to the side like this….The other thing she started doing was not knowing her personal space. I would turn to throw something in the garbage and almost trip on her. I would be cooking at the stove and she would get tangled in my feet. This NEVER happened before.
I talked to Kelli and Kalissa and they offered to help me get her to the vet. Our vet is 45 minutes away but only 15 minutes from Kelli’s house. Yesterday was her day to go.
I thought maybe she had ear infection…maybe she was having vision problems in one of her eyes. I was only guessing.
After some testing, we found out this….Ruby is VERY hypothyroid. She has to start taking Levothyroxin which is the same medicine I take for my thyroid.
But there might be more than that happening. Ruby might have problems and has hypocradrenocorticism. That means she would have high cortisol levels. No testing can be done for this until she has been on her thyroid meds for a couple weeks.
So Kelli is taking her back to the vet on November 14th. She will have a test done to check her thyroid levels. If there are okay then they are going to do a test to check her cortisol levels. To do that they give her steroids. Then she has a blood test in four hours and another 4 hours after that.
That will tell us is she has issues with cortisol. If she does that means she has hyperadrenocorticism. It comes in two forms…one pituitary dependent and the other would indicate an adrenal tumor. If she does…that’s where things start to get dicey…that’s where we have to start making decisions about quality of life. That’s when dog ownership suddenly gets a lot less fun.
I can’t thank Kelli enough for taking her and dealing with telling it all to me. She’s a good daughter.
The good news is that it could be only hypothyroidism. She could have to take a cheap pill morning and night, likely for the rest of her life. That would all be no problem. All of the “things” that I thought were symptoms of aging could be explained by hypothyroidism. The bad thing…they could be explained about the other disease too.
…so…likely one of two things could happen.
We can test and find out it was hypothyroidism…nothing else. The meds would help Ruby get back to her old self.
We can test find out it was more than hypothyroidism and we start accessing Ruby’s life. We decide what her pain levels are and when it’s appropriate to say good-bye.
So that’s where things are with Ruby. I feel terrible for not taking her in sooner….I honestly didn’t know. Hubby said, “who even knew a dog had a thyroid?”
We are all cautiously optimistic…we’ll know more on the 15th or so…I’ll let you know more when I do.