He had some problems settling in, as did we all, but seemed to be coming along. He had claimed one of the gardens as his own and was vocal in challenging anyone who came into it - though the challenge was always only vocal. He was happy with his bed in our bedroom and his kennel in the kitchen hallway and loved sitting on the balcony. Within the first month he had to have some major dental things done and an ear infection seen to but he was getting more exercise than in Aylmer and seemed the better for it.
A few weeks ago he started having some incontinence problems and the accidents were quite frequent - much to his embarrassment as that is something he has very rarely done in the past 14 years. Then last week his old skin infection came back and he developed a series of infected cysts on the back of his head . When the Vet removed them on Thursday Laurent and I both were almost sick to our stomachs, both from what we saw and the pain it caused our poor Reese. The Vet gave us a silver solution to spray on the infection and on the lesions from the cysts and things seemed to be better.
When we got home yesterday from an excursion to the Etruscan Necropolis at Cerveteri della Banditaccia I noticed that he had licked one of the areas clean of the solution. I was a little concerned as it was clearly marked "For External Use Only" and even more so when he started behaving strangely. He was refusing to eat, pawing at his nose continually, drinking excessive amounts of water and stumbling when he walked or just refused to get up. I was concerned that I had poisoned him but we decided to wait overnight and see.
He was restless throughout the night - wandered from his bed to his kennel and back several times. This morning he was having trouble balancing on his hind legs and at that point we decided a trip to the clinic was needed. So now we sit and wait!
We've been asking ourselves a few questions in the last hour or so - some that we have asked before:
Should we have subjected him to the trauma of the move at his age, after all he is 14. If we hadn't what would we have done with him? Give him away, have him put down (I don't bloody think so!)
The problems he's having he may well have had in Ottawa; he's had one major back operation and difficultly with walking ever since. Though he looks like a puppy he's an old dog - 90-odd in human years - is all this just a result of age and perhaps an immune system compromised by the stress of the move.
If he does lose control of his back legs what are we going to do? Back surgery at his age is not really an option, they do have little wheels for daschie's, or do we judge the degree and quality of life and make a decision from there?
Honestly I think the only choice is the later and to do all we can to make sure he doesn't suffer and make the best choice for our boy.
14 Ottobre - San Callisto I Papa