Dogs With Kidney Disease – Dealing With Your Feelings
Living with dogs with kidney disease is a bit of a roller coaster of emotion. Whether you are at the beginning of this journey, somewhere in the middle or through to the other end, the following words may help explain those bizarre, seemingly irrational feelings.
I believe the grieving process begins when you first get that queasy feeling that something is not quite right with your canine friend. You may blame his excessive thirst on the heat or the recent exercise. It’s then easy to deny the excessive urination because ‘hasn’t he just been drinking a lot of water due to the heat?’ How about the loss of his appetite? Probably a tummy bug. You could blame the vomiting or diarrhea on the disgusting old chip wrapper, he ate in the park, the one you wrestled with him, unsuccessfully, to remove. Except that this time, that is not what happened, is it? Ordinarily he would have wolfed it down before you got the chance to stop him, today, he just stepped over it. Slowly the thought that this may be kidney failure is forcing your denial of the situation, to slowly trickle away.
When the veterinary surgeon confirms his suspicion that kidney disease in dogs produce all these symptoms and you are no longer able to deny it, you may feel angry. ‘Why?’ ‘What did I do wrong?’ You may be right to feel angry, there is much research around, that points to major manufacturers of dried dog food. It may be that your dog is aging and this is part of that process, you may feel angry that it is before his time. You may feel angry at the breeder who sold you the puppy, maybe the cause is genetic. Knowing the causative factors for dogs with kidney disease, may give you a target for your anger, but the situation remains the same.
Now comes the time when you try to make it better. Try to reverse the process. Your veterinary surgeon will guide you though all the practical steps available to alleviate the problems associated with kidney failure in dogs. At this point, emotionally, you may make a bargain to make him better. ‘If I follow the vet’s instructions exactly, Rufus will be well.’ You may promise to go to church every Sunday, to never scold the dog again, or you may donate a large sum of money to a charity that researches kidney disease in dogs. You may not even realise at the time that bargaining is what you are doing. These are all good, but there are other options if you act quickly.
It’s hard to remain positive, as you watch your faithful friend slowly deteriorate, despite your efforts. You can summon up a cheery smile and a happy voice when talking to your dog, but inside you may feel very low indeed. The hardest bridge to cross is accepting the reality of dogs with kidney disease and the fact that unwittingly you may have had a hand in causing the problem. Some people achieve this acceptance before their companion dies, and are able to make some choices about the final stages. There are options when it comes to making life easier and prolonging your dog’s life after kidney disease strikes.