09 September 2010

good night, little man.

Our pug, Nigel (the first one out the door and doing all the wiggling here) is being put down tomorrow. He has been plagued with chronic ear infections for longer than I care to remember. Earlier this year, the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine ran tests and recommended surgery to completely remove one ear canal. The blockage was already substantial, and damage was starting in his other ear. A pattern started to form that each time things were looking bright and he was off meds a little while, symptoms would reappear. Nigel already has diabetes, is blind and has hyperthyroidism. We couldn't make an argument for allowing him to lose his hearing as well. Our personal vet agreed. He said there were additional complications to this surgery that could add to Nigel's list of health issues. So, we filled our medicine cabinet and crossed our fingers.

This strategy lasted us approximately seven months.

The infection that started in his ear then traveled to his jaw. He started showing difficulty while eating the middle of last week. Meds were not helping this time, and considering he loves eating, it was never too hard to get him to take them. Now he couldn't take solids and refused to eat anything I pureed with the bitter taste of pills. From there, it didn't take long to see the deterioration. His equilibrium was also failing, although he still knew the layout of our house and yard. As you can see in this video, he now needs direction to get out the door. His little head tilts to the left so he circles in that direction in the yard. We've kidded that he could be a Nascar driver, except that he takes a pit stop every 20 seconds. He's fairly content on the leash and trusting of whoever's on the other end to take him where he needs to go. Although, he's been putting on the breaks more and more there too. Stopping, turning left. The pain killers causing his butt to hang low to the ground when he pees...

This clip was shot Monday, September 6th. We were still on the fence about putting him down, but changes occurred day by day. Now, when his pain medicine wears off, he whimpers, and turns down food as simple as chicken broth. He'll take 2-3 laps, turn away crying, then loses the location of the bowl. The bad times now outnumber the good. There's no turning back for him, and we see no point in allowing the pain to become intolerable.

We'd hate for him to leave us having lost his wiggle completely.


texwisgirl said...

Thanks for sharing him with us all these years. Rest in peace, sweet Nigel...

bon bon said...


Ms. Mamma said...

Bon Bon- I feel like such an idiot for not knowing about Nigel until last night when I found your Facebook page. Your puppy photos brought back memories of my own little black bird. I still cry when I think about him. I had his name tattooed on my arm.

Last December I had to make the decision to put The Chidler down. Ugh. To be there holding him when it happened. I'm sure you know the feeling. You were the best mama Nige could have had. He knew that and I know that. Your photos convey so much. I can only wish to have an twitch of your talent. xo Heidi

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this blog is my "live" photo album of sorts. occasionally, i'll throw in some art i've done or some work of my husband's as he's an artist as well. we have a nice yard in a quiet neighborhood with two pugs and a cat, all black. which most of my photos will attest too. ;) i'd love to hear from you, but happy for you to just browse. hope you find something to make you smile. b.