Do not resuscitate

The hardest thing about taking an elderly dog to urgent care for a possible seizure is the decisions to be made. I think that the little dog, who is all heart, would, if he were the one making the decisions for me, say, spend every penny for the least chance of keeping his mommy with him a little longer. But I, more analytical, weigh the odds of success and what I expect his quality of life would be. I turn down the X-rays, to search for possible cancer elsewhere in the body that might have spread to the brain, because if a thirteen-year-old dog with a heart murmur now has metastatic cancer that includes a brain tumor, there is no way I’m taking him through cancer treatment. In fact, if he has a brain tumor at all, I won’t treat it. I’ll keep him comfortable and happy for as long as possible. For the same reason, I mark “Do not resuscitate” instead of “CPR” or “Advanced CPR.” And say yes to the overnight observation, the IV, the blood tests that he didn’t already get from his regular vet last month, and an anti-convulsant should he have a seizure while they’re watching him.

He didn’t have another seizure. We’re not sure if what he had yesterday (a couple of minutes of being unable to stand) was a seizure; some cardiac event is also possible. The blood tests came back fine, and Drake stayed chipper overnight, and is in good spirits and walking and climbing stairs today. It’s anyone’s guess how long he’ll stay well, and how much longer we’ll have with him.



Married for half my life to someone who lives with bipolar disorder. I live in California and work with computers.

3 thoughts on “Do not resuscitate

  1. I hope he stays well.

    That is a difficult decision. We had an older dog with a similar issue. She recovered fortunately. I had some reassurance from the vet that it wouldn’t be a good idea to put her through more tests so we watched and waited.

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