Bye Bye for now, Gerald

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Four days ago, while I was at work, my mother texted me that our dog, Gerald, was having difficulty defecating. She said our dog cried each time he tried to expel his stool. When I arrived from the office, we immediately went to Marikina Veterinary Hospital for a check-up. Based on the initial physical inspection of his vet, Doc Van, he has Perineal Hernia.

He was prescribed laxative, anti-inflammatory drugs and a soft diet for the next three days. After that, he will be assessed if he can undergo a Hernia Repair, a surgical operation for the correction of a hernia (a bulging of internal organs or tissues through the wall that contains it). 

The vet did not advise immediate confinement so we went home after the check-up. Later that night, our dog started crying and vomiting. He was restless. We called the vet and we were advised to take him again to the hospital for confinement. After getting his blood works and X-ray, we found out he also had Acute Kidney Failure (Stage 3). Our dog was 11 years old and he did not show signs that he was sick (or maybe we were just too busy to notice?). 

The vet could not administer pain killers for his hernia because it could aggravate his kidney injury. The course of treatment focused on fluid therapy and electrolyte replacement for his kidneys. The vet said, if he recovers from the kidney injury, he might have a chance to get operated for his hernia.

The past three days was so hard for our dog, Gerald, and our family. He did not show any improvement and he was in severe pain. It was truly heart breaking. For the past three days, we visited him regularly and talked to him so he could feel safe. We told him to get better so he could come home. We told him we miss him so much and we love him. 

I asked his vet last Friday if he has a chance to survive. He told me to give Gerald until June 11 to fight. The vet provided us updates every night. His condition worsened. He doesn’t want to eat. He can’t poop or urinate on his own. His BUN and Creatine have gone up since the last time he had his blood checked. He was in so much pain. 

Today, at around 5 in the morning, the vet texted us. He said they repeated his blood works and x-ray. His infection increased and uremia worsened. He also developed another hernia around his urinary bladder. The vet gave us two options: surgical intervention (very high risk of fatality) or euthanasia. I never thought we will ever come to this moment as pet owners. At 10 this morning, we decided to let him go and say goodbye to our family member, Gerald. 

I let him out of his cage and hugged him. He was barking, as if he was saying “I could still fight! I want to fight so I could go home with you!” The vet left the room so we could have some time to say goodbye before he administer the shot that would stop his heart. When he came back, Gerald tried to kiss the vet. He was probably saying good bye or trying to say “Doc Van I could still fight!” I saw how hard it was for his vet. 

As I sat on the floor rubbing his head, my thoughts traveled back in time to when he was a puppy. 11 or 12 years ago, he was a cute, little dog. Gerald loved my parents and they loved him but it’s almost as if he knew I was his “leader.” I am an only child and for me, he was like my little brother. He became my shadow. I kept rubbing his head and I was afraid he couldn’t hear me so I leaned over and spoke directly in his ear. “Gerald,” I said. “Tama na. Magpahinga ka na. Tama na ang sakit. Mahal na mahal ka namin.” He took a few quick breaths and died in my arms. Of course I cried like a baby and as I write this I’m still crying.

Our dog wants to fight and come home with us, but his systems are failing. We don't want to see him suffer any longer. Rest in peace, Gerald. You were loved and you will be missed by all, but especially by me.

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