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Sad Dog Parents

SN and I were watching TV two nights ago when we heard a strange sound coming from the living room. It was Biscuit. She was on her side, yelping nonstop with her eyes wide open, foaming at the mouth. The foam had soaked all the way through her bed. Panicked, we tried to revive her, but she was like a zombie, just stuck on her side and barking, staring at nothing.


Chihuahua

It seemed like this went on forever, but I think it was probably about 3 minutes. When Biscuit finally came to, she tried to stand but kept falling over. She didn't seem to know where she was or even who we were. She was growling at us. 

Finally, we got her calmed down and resting, but she would occasionally let out a yowl, eyes closed. We couldn't tell if she was having a nightmare or was in pain. 

Health problems in older dogs

Later, it was like her mind was gone - she could walk, but only in circles around the perimeter of the room. She was not responding to anything we said or did. She still seemed not to know us. 

I was eventually able to get Biscuit to drink a little water and eat a little peanut butter, which I'd spiked with a prescription painkiller for dogs. I assumed she was sore after her seizure. She was not doing well. 

It seemed so unfair. Everyone thought Biscuit was going to die over the winter. She became depressed after Pica passed away and she refused to eat. We made special food to entice her. We sat with her and fed her from our hands, one kibble at a time, watching her slowly waste away. Her quality of life was still good, except that she wouldn't eat. 

Yorkie

Then she got better - hooray! Then she got injured by Olive and Bernadette. They didn't mean to hurt her, but they were running around, playing in the backyard, and Biscuit walked right into their path. She only weighs 4 pounds. Olive and Bernadette have accidentally knocked me to the ground while playing. Biscuit was clobbered. We thought that was going to be it for her, but she hopped along on 3 legs for the next several weeks, tail wagging the entire time, and finally returned to 4. 

Despite her health troubles, she never seemed to be in pain and always wanted to be with us. Olive rescued Biscuit (and myself) from her post-Pica depression. She was part of the pack again! I think Biscuit sees the big dogs and assumes she must be big like them. Even after her injury, we're constantly having to whisk her out of harm's way. She wants to be with the other dogs and doesn't understand that it's dangerous for her. 

Biscuit close up

After her seizure, we gave Biscuit extra cuddles and kisses. She was lethargic. Her breathing was labored. We both said teary goodbyes to her, though she didn't seem to be able to hear any of our words. I tucked her into bed with the sweatshirt I'd been wearing, telling myself she would be comforted by my scent but knowing she was not even there. 

16 is pretty old for a dog, even a chihuahua/yorkie. SN and I were not even married when we adopted her as a friend for Pica. We were living in a rental house and attending college. She is our little Biscochita and when she is being playful she is our Frisky Bisky. 

Dogs smiling

Looking back, she had been a bit strange that day. We are both currently working from home and our calls were interrupted several times by Biscuit barking outside my office door. She also pawed at our bedroom door. She never does these things. 

It was late. Exhausted and full of worry, we both fully expected that Biscuit would be gone when we woke in the morning. Well, good luck sleeping with that on your mind. SN got up at 3 am. He peeked in on her and could not tell if she was breathing or not. His assumption, sadly, was that she was not. He placed his hand on her fur. 

My dog had a seizure

She was startled awake and seemed to be annoyed that he had disturbed her rest in the middle of the night. Amazingly, this story gets even better. 

By 7 am, the real Biscuit was back. She ate her breakfast and pranced throughout the house as if nothing had happened. I have no idea if she knows anything happened. She doesn't even seem to be sore. It has now been almost 48 hours and she seems perfectly fine. 

As much as we would like to believe this was a one-time thing, we are not that naive. The most common cause of seizures in senior dogs is a brain tumor. Other signs are reduced vision and reduced coordination, which have both been concerns for Biscuit for some time. She is comfortable and happy though. Actually, she's especially happy now because how can you deny her the table scrap she's begging for when you know she is sick? You can't. 

Brain tumor in senior dogs

We're giving Biscuit extra love and are cherishing whatever time she has left, whether it is a day or a year. She has been on my lap while I've been writing this. I'd prefer not to let her out of my sight. If her time does come, I want her to be comforted by having her mom and dad by her side.

Funny dog photos

Hiking with dogs

Dogs will break your heart. After Pica, I couldn't possibly handle losing another dog and now we've adopted two more. We're just setting ourselves up for unavoidable devastation. As Biscuit got older, we've discussed that it's for the best to let her go if her health deteriorated and she was no longer enjoying a high quality of life. Now we can see exactly that on the horizon. It's too soon.