Let me start with a bad news at my end. My older dog Bruno (Labrador), who was less than 9 years old, is no more. I had to let him go on Jan 19th, 2018 because his ear infection was becoming septic and Vet suggested to euthanize him. It was devastating for me and my family and we are still not able to recover from that grief. This entire thing happened within a week’s time and I couldn’t save him. I’ll have to live with this guilt in my entire life. He had gone through two much more severe situations in the past and the Vets in India could help him come out of such situations each time. But this time in Canada, I am still trying to figure out what went wrong. I took him to the Vet well in time i.e. within two days his ear infection was having visible signs and after three days, I was suggested to let him go.
My dog was obese and would have survived just a couple of more years but it was definitely not the time for him to go. He had problems in his ears for about three years ago and the Vet in India suggested to clean his ears regularly through a medicated ear washer especially formulated for dogs. I had been doing this almost every week for past three years and he was fine. But last week, first time in his life, the symptoms were different. I’ll try to explain the sequence of events as it happened:
Day 1: He was having itching in his ear as usual even though I cleaned his ears just two days back. I thought that I might not have done the job properly this time.
Day 2: We saw some fluid coming out of his left ear. I too had faced such problem about three months back and it came back to normal after about 10 days. Even though the doctor gave me some antibiotics for three days, that didn’t work and it took its own time to heal. So when I saw the exactly same problem with my dog, I took that lightly.
Day 3: While I was massaging his ear to help him get the relief from itching, he yelped. Then I thought that something was serious and then the same evening I visited a Vet. After explaining the situation to the Vet, she gave an ear drop and an antibiotic tablet. She was focusing more on his weight reduction methods and other things than focusing on his ear infection.
Day 4: I instilled ear drop in his ear and tried giving him antibiotic tablet. He couldn’t eat tablet as he was experiencing pain while opening his mouth. He was only able to lick. He couldn’t eat anything for past three days.
Day 5: I took him again to the Vet and explained the situation. There was another Vet this time in that clinic. We saw some swelling near his ear that day. The Vet examined him and tried to feed some liquid food which he ate. He then suggested two ways and asked my opinion. The first – to continue the antibiotic for a few days by mixing that in his food and observe. The second – to do MRI / X-RAY to check how much portion is affected and get some blood work done. For that, we had to visit another clinic because they didn’t have such facility. I told him that let’s start with antibiotic first because he didn’t have that so far and then we can think about second option. He said okay. I gave all the medicines through food to my dog and because of pain killers, he seemed better next day.
Day 6: The doctor called in the night to check how my dog was doing. I told him that he is having food and he seemed better. He asked us to continue the medicines for next two weeks. I gave a call to my Vet in India and he told that by now some steroids should be given otherwise his brain would get affected. I thought of telling this to the Vet here next morning.
Day 7: When I reached office in the morning, I got a call from my wife and she said that my dog had severe swelling and his one eye is almost closed because of that. I called the clinic again but the doctor wasn’t there. The receptionist read the report what the Vet has written in his record and after hearing that I was completely numb. She said that if my dog’s condition doesn’t improve, I’ll have to take him to other clinic which had better facilities and he might have to be euthanized. After hearing that, immediately I took an appointment with other clinic and took my dog there. By now, he wasn’t able to even walk. The Vets of other clinic did some preliminary tests and informed me that it is better to euthanize my dog. They said that the only option left is to take him to another clinic where surgery can be done but even after that, considering his weight and age there are very less chances. They said that they could do some blood work to tell about his situation with more confidence. After my go ahead, they did the blood work and informed me that it is better to euthanize him.
I went home to bring my daughter and finally we had to say good bye to him. It’s been about four days now and we are still not able to recover from his loss. I am sure that with proper intensive and timely care by Vets here, he could have lived for at least two more years.
I miss you Bruno!!