Sweet Maud

For those of you who follow this blog, you may remember our dog, Maud.  Maud is our 10-year-old blue tick hound and beloved family member.  I haven’t written a formal update post on her health and progress in a while as there hasn’t been much to report.  Since Maud’s initial onset of an autoimmune disorder affecting her platelets and red blood cells last July and her very critical health status (she almost didn’t make it), she has been taking heavy doses of steroids and fighting infections for the last eight months–infections that are due to a suppressed immune system secondary to taking prednisone.  Maud has the sweetest nature and the gentlest soul.  She has made friends with everyone at the veterinarian’s hospital, especially since she’s there every other week for blood work and a checkup.  During this time, she has had some difficult days as well as many good days.  We always know a good day as indicated by Maud’s howling frequency: lots of loud howling equals a very good day; however, even when she’s not feeling well, she always manages a tail wag or two.  She’s such a little trooper!

Over the last seven months, Maud has steadily improved.  The high doses of steroids stopped Maud’s immune system from attacking her platelets and red blood cells, and we intermittently administered antibiotics to fight whatever new infection that came along.  Several months ago, our veterinarian instructed us to begin tapering Maud off her high doses of steroids.  At first, Maud seemed fine.  But, then she wasn’t.  Whenever we got to a particularly low dose of steroids, Maud behaved differently.  She seemed confused, disoriented, and blind.  So, feeling extremely worried, we took Maud back to our vet.

Our vet suggested that we increase Maud’s prednisone.  We’ve done this several times, and she appears better.  Then, when we try to decrease it again, she regresses.  It’s extremely difficult seeing her like this, especially since she’s come so far.  We wondered if Maud’s adrenal glands had atrophied because of the high doses of steroids, thus causing a lack of cortisol; however, our vet thinks there may be some other underlying issue–maybe something neurological.   So, right now, we’re just waiting to see how she behaves on her current dose of steroids.  If she maintains, our vet will most likely test her to see if the adrenal glands are still working.  If she declines, demonstrating unusual behaviors as she did earlier: walking in circles, standing in a corner, appearing blind, then our vet’s diagnosis of an underlying issue may be our reality.

Unfortunately, we haven’t heard Maud’s lovely howling as often lately.  Maud’s illness has been heartbreaking, but we are grateful to have had her these past eight months.  We have definitely experienced a lot of stress and anxiety regarding Maud’s well being.  It’s always upsetting when someone you love isn’t well.  And, I have to say, Farmguy and I feel somewhat defeated as we’ve worked so very hard to save Maud’s life.  In times like this, all you can do is your best, and no matter how hard you’ve tried, sometimes acceptance is all that’s left.  I know that we’ve done all we can do, and we may be running out of time with our dear Maud.  But, my heart is still full of hope, and my ears are eagerly awaiting one of her joyful howls.

83 Comments »

  1. It is just devastating to watch someone you know struggle with health. To live with Maud must be mountains of bittersweet. I know that whatever time y’all have left will be as magical as all these years have been. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Maud! I do hope you will be howling well soon. I send you and your husband so much warmth and strength to cope with this battle. It is inordinately hard dealing with a sick animal. You have my empathy and my toastiest hugs. And I hope you will be smiling very soon

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  3. Ten years just doesn’t seem to be enough time, but numerous precious moments wrapped up in this beloved dog, Maud. ❤
    Hope she howls joyously soon. Sometimes my parents took dogs to vets in their declining years which, at the time, we didn't understand they were euthanized. I would understand if you get to this point, for Maud and your family's sake, Tonya.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thinking about your sweet Maud. Hope she is better, but you have certainly done all you can.

    On Wednesday, March 30, 2016, fourth generation farmgirl wrote:

    > Fourth Generation Farmgirl posted: ” For those of you who follow this > blog, you may remember our dog, Maud. Maud is our 10-year-old blue tick > hound and beloved family member. I haven’t written a formal update post on > her health and progress in a while as there hasn’t been much to repor” >

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry to hear she isn’t doing well. However, no matter the outcome, you should rest easy in knowing that you’ve fought alongside her every step of the way and put her first. Sometimes, that’s the best we can do.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for this post, shortly after I started my own blog our big Himalayan cat, Walter became very sick- your descriptions are close to our experience…a high dose of antibiotics and a steroid shot were given by our vet, he is being checked monthly and is having somewhat of a rebound …still as you said, we know our days with him are most likely growing shorter…I share your sadness for Maud. Pets add so much to our lives! I know I am richer for having known big Walter! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your lovely comment and sharing your story of Walter. He sounds like a beautiful cat and a wonderful companion. I agree that pets add so much to our lives. There are lessons in both their coming and going. I’m glad Walter is currently stable, and I hope his health continues to improve. Thinking of you both! 💛

      Like

  7. Sending good wishes for both of you and for Maud. ……even when the dreaded moment does arrive (hopefully years from now) Maud will know she couldn’t have had a better road than the one you’ve both paved for her with love, kindness, and warmth.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so sorry to hear Maud’s struggling, Tonya. We had a dachshund with Cushings who developed neorological symptoms in her old age — it’s very hard to watch indeed. Prayers for all of you, & especially for sweet Maud. I’m sure she feels surrounded by your love.

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  9. Oh, this must be such a hard time for you all at the moment. I know how much you love all of your animals, as it shines through on every post. Dear Maud, I am sorry she is so unstable at the moment. whatever time she does have left with you, I know you will treasure. I am sending you all my heartfelt good wishes and hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Tonya, I’m so sorry to hear Maud isn’t herself. I know how hard it is when are pets are unwell. Maud is a lucky dog to have a champion like you in her corner fighting for her.

    Sending thoughts and prayers y’alls way
    💛

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Maud looks very sweet! I perfectly understand your struggle – we have a dog at home who is sick for more than a year, and sometimes it is really painful to watch her. Best of luck, Tonya – hope Maud can get better.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Saddening reading this. I imagine high dosage of steroids won’t do much good, but then she has not been behaving well without them.

    Hope she recovers and you all get to enjoy with her again (and she too).

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I wish Maud a speedy recovery and that her years left will be filled with good health and love. I suffer from autoimmune disorder too and I can talk whereas Maud cannot. So I feel her pain. Garfield hugs to Maud and have a lovely weekend ahead😊

    Liked by 1 person

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