Tuesday, December 18, 2012

12/18/2012 - Cletus' Liver is Failing

12/18/12 - On Saturday night I began to pack to leave Sunday morning for a short trip to Arizona and I noticed Cletus acting a little strange. He was standing very straight, staring into space. He looked sad. I chalked it up to him seeing my luggage and knowing that I was going somewhere which I rarely do. I am usually right next to Cletus. I may leave for a few hours but I haven't left overnight for a while.

The next morning, I woke up and let the dogs out. I filled their water bowl and gave Cletus his medicine. Cletus, as big as he is, still needs to look up to reach for his pills, wrapped in turkey, but today was different, Cletus didn't look up. His eyes went up but his head did not tilt upward. After I gave Cletus his treats, he went over to his food container and stood very straight, staring at it. I called his name, "Cletus... Cletus... Cletus..." He did not turn. "I am not feeding you right now". No response. "Cletus... Cletus..." Finally, he turned, ever so slowly towards me. He then slipped on the floor and fell to his stomach. I helped him up and back into the bedroom thinking that he was tired as it was early in the morning but also thinking that he has not fallen in such a long time.

I flew to Phoenix (an all day trip) and by the time I landed received a phone call from home that Cletus has continued to stare, stand straight without turning his neck, and fall throughout the day. I asked that Cletus be given a medication that would calm him as he may be stressed but it would also make him sleepy. The pill was given and Cletus fell asleep shortly after.

After 5 hours asleep in the same spot, my partner at home tried to help Cletus up for Cletus to go outside and Cletus yelped out in pain. This he has never done before. Getting up on his own, Cletus has trouble but does not yelp. Now, when anyone tries to help him, Cletus would yelp.

Monday morning Cletus was brought to the vet hospital for testing. I went to my interview in Phoenix. I called home several times to check on Cletus and was told that the vet and the University are speaking and waiting for results.

When I arrived at the airport in Phoenix on Monday afternoon for my return trip, I called the vet hospital to check on Cletus and I felt something odd about the phone call. Where I usually get thorough answers, I was not getting any answers. I called home and my partner answered who should have been at work. I was told Cletus was home and resting and we will talk about him when I get home. I said we will talk about it now.

In the airport in Phoenix, thousands of miles and 10 flying hours from home, I was told that Cletus' liver has begun to fail. He is holding a lot of fluid in his abdomen and his body is going to begin to shut down. My best friend is dying.

It was a very long, very horrible trip home but I am glad that I knew what I was coming home to. I broke down in tears several times on the way but kept going. All I wanted was to see Cletus... to hold Cletus.

I got home a little after midnight. I walked through the door and Magnum came running, tail wagging. I kissed him and hugged him. I waited for Cletus... I did not want to turn on the light for fear of waking up my partner. All I had was a little light coming into the hallway from the kitchen. Cletus, where are you?

After what seemed like eternity, Cletus peaked his head out of the bedroom and slowly walked over to me. His tail was wagging. I hugged him and kissed him and fell with him to the floor and cried. I tried not to but I could not help it. He looked so thin... so worn... so tired.

I kissed Cletus' face and he licked mine. We stayed on the floor with his head in my lap. On my left, Magnum laid down and let me rub his belly.

The nightmare that night (last night) was intense. It started with me and my partner driving with a real estate agent looking for a house to rent. The real estate agent and I got out to check out a house but my partner did not want to. The house was old but solid. Walking in to the house, we entered the kitchen which had old appliances. Walking through the kitchen we entered the dining room and there was paper peeling off the walls. On the other side of the house was another kitchen but this kitchen had newer appliances. The real estate agent told me that the owners used this kitchen and not the other one. Why would a house have 2 kitchens? We kept walking through rooms. The rooms wrapped back around to the old kitchen but there was a door which lead downstairs to a basement. I said to the real estate agent that I took the door off the hinges and she replied that "Yes, you did". A woman, dressed all in grey, with long black hair, and black pupils started walking up the stairs and passed by the real estate agent. I looked down between my legs and Cletus was laying there. He began to have a seizure which I tried to stop by holding him tight between my ankles. The woman in grey stepped over Cletus and behind my back. I turned to look at her and she at me. She reached out to me. I reached out to her and then realized that she was dead, a ghost. I woke up screaming, screaming, screaming, and then began to cry uncontrollably.

Downstairs was death. The door on the other side of the kitchen to the outside was life. Cletus was on the brink of the stairs, on the brink of death. I have to try to get him over to the light.

We decided to bring Cletus to acupuncture this morning for one last stitch effort to do something, anything. We got home about one hour ago and it is now up to Cletus who will either start getting better within the next 24 hours, pass tonight on his own, or start getting worse. If he starts getting worse, we have made arrangements to say goodbye tomorrow at home so Magnum and Sam can say goodbye and then we would donate Cletus to UF so the students there could learn from Cletus.

In the 2 hours since Cletus' acupuncture treatment, he has lifted his head, turned his body, and ran around the house, and has not fallen once, a 500% improvement over yesterday. I don't know what this means. I am trying not to raise my hope. One thing I know is that he is much, much stronger than I am. I am trying not to cry in front of him but I am possibly losing my best friend.

Part of me wants him to get better but then what? What is next? Is this selfish? Is he in pain? Is he only getting better to please me?

Part of me wants him to finally find peace, a peace that will last forever but I honestly don't think I can handle it. I have never been as close to anyone or anything as I am to Cletus.

Right now it is a waiting game...

Love to all,

Doug and Cletus


Jana Rade said...

Hi Dough, so sorry about that (((hugs))) Is it know what is behind the liver failure? Is it the meds? Or something else? That is important to know. What did the vet say?

There are supplements helpful to the liver, such as MilkThistle etc.

Did you try an animal communicator? That might be a way of finding out what Cletus wants.

Douglas Silber said...


Yes, it is the medications causing the liver failure. The doctors could give some medication for the liver but it would only prolong the inevitable 1 or 2 days and during that time Cletus woud still be in immense discomfort.

Over the past 1/2 hour he has started to show signs that he is giving in so I am just sitting here with him, petting him, telling him it is ok for him to go. He fought a strong fight, it is time for him to rest. I do not believe he will make it through the night so I am trying to make him as comfortable as possible.