I'm really reaching the point of despair over my older poodle mix and am hoping someone in the forum might be able to give me a bit of hope. I took in a stray older poodle mix about a year ago. My brother rounded the corner onto his street and saw some kids swinging something in a pillowcase. He slowed down to check it out and they threw the pillowcase infront of his car. Thankfully he stopped in time as it contained a small poodle mix who was, miraculously, not injured. Since he wasn't able to take it in, I did, and he is the sweetest baby in the world. I know he's older - how old, the vet is not sure. She suspects between 8 and 10 years. He's very fiesty and has not has any physical problems other than a bit of arthritis in his hind legs which does not affect his regular activity.
In April we moved to a new apartment surrounded by many trees and when he started sporadic coughing/"snickering" and occasionally spitting up clear mucus I expected that, like everyone else in my family, he suffered from seasonal allergies. However, by the end of May this coughing/snickering increased, as did the spitting up of mucus and he began to lose a little weight. We took him to the vet and was told it probably WAS allergies and to give him Benadryl as needed, and to put him on puppy food to help him gain weight. He was only 6lbs then. He slowly began to lose more and more weight and we kept taking him to the vet but no clear diagnosis was ever given. He continued to lose weight despite me increasing his meals and even giving him extra treats, and he gradually began to spit up more and more clear mucus. He doesn't do it regularly, but it is usually daily -- after going outside in the morning or early afternoon and sometimes light congestion in the middle of the night. He's still very active and chases out greyhound mix constantly but can't seem to stop hacking up the mucus. We took him to the vet yesterday and was told that he probably has congestive heart failure and is basically dying! He's now 5lbs and skin and bones. The vet didn't even recommend drugs or anything like that as she felt his serious decline in weight is so pronounced. He has a very healthy appetite, wags his tail and is energetic and runs with our other dog (although now I try to curtail that so he doesn't get so excited). There are no other symptoms like lethargy or seizures or depression or anything like that. To top it off, the vet says his lungs sound clear! If he has a strong appetite (though he is losing weight) and his lungs are clear, could it possibly be something else? How can a dog be so close to death -- as we've been told -- and still eat so much and be so active? We've basically been told that he's getting close to the end, but that as long as he's happy like he is, we shouldn't stress about when to make the decision to let him go. I've been beside myself with worry and can't stop crying! Other than the symptoms I've described he doesn't seem ill, and although I'd never want him to get to the suffering stage just because I don't want to see him go, I just feel like I'm sitting here waiting for him to get to that point. The vet said to check his weight every 4 to 5 days and if he loses another pound then we should consider letting him go but I'm absolutely sick over this! I'm trying to "beat the clock", so to speak, and help him put on the weight but with next-to-no real diagnosis and such generic symptoms I'm just at my wit's end. Has anyone else ever experienced this sort of sickness in their dog, or maybe someone has a recommendation or suggestion I haven't considered. Any, and I mean ANY, advice or suggestions would be so greatly appreciated. This little guy's been in my life such a short time, but he's like my shadow -- follows me everywhere and has so much love to give that I am finding this whole situation excruciatingly difficult. Thank you in advance for your compassion and help!