We raised a litter of Papillon mix puppies last spring and early summer. There were three and one was "the runt". After 24hrs. with his mom we found him cold and blue, away from the litter. We resuscitated him and gave him glucose, fluids, etc. We put him back with mom. Another 24 hrs. and same thing. We resuscitated him AGAIN and by that I mean we stuck him with needles and gave him sub cu fluids, and he barely weighed a full pound. It hurt, we could tell, both times, because he'd whimper. We had him on antibiotics, vitamins, hi-cal paste, etc.
We realized then that he had a cleft palate. We started bottle feeding him. He was so tiny. But he ate, we had to learn how to not choke him as he ate. The antibiotics helped prevent a secondary infection from milk going in his sinus.
He never thrived...but he was still alive and with us. His eyes came open, later than the siblings but still they did. We cautiously hoped...he slept with me every night. I had to feed him then stimulate him every time he ate. He nestled in the curve of my neck and would snuggle up and sigh and go to sleep...I was his "mom"!
At four weeks, I realized what I had been noticing all along was really not right...I knew something was wrong but couldn't put my finger on it, or didn't want to...and then I realized it all, why he couldn't really walk or balance himself, why his head looked so huge...he had Hydrocephalus. I cried and cried...I read the statistics, googled and got information. Odds were not good...not with the severity of his problem.
But we have meds. We had, or could GET the right meds...lasix, and prednisone, etc. But would his quality of life ever been "great" or even "good"? And he'd been through so much already...we'd kept him alive...at 4 weeks of age, I euthanized him myself, through a haze of tears, I was surprised I could even see to do it. He went very quickly. He was very tired. He'd been having small seizures, we didn't realize, really, that's what it was, but I think in my heart I knew. It still hurts. That pain, never really goes away I don't think but it lessens over time. I'm glad for the four weeks I knew him. He was a fighter, and we were prepared to help him fight, but at the end, I think he was glad to be free of the pain. And I am glad I let him go free...
We'll be here for you.
The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.