Most people are cat or dog people, but some are both, but we can certainly say that dogs really don’t have nine lives, but that doesn’t mean that they can’ cheat a few times and really have a happy long life, this story is about a dog just like that…
Madison in his last two years alive almost seemed to have nine lives as he just kept on going, having chance after chance, again and again.
His owner thinks that is was because he had excellent care and especially the end of life care, and that’s what gave him the most precious moments before the end.
Just as short as ten years ago, someone might have only had the option to euthanize him, to end his suffering, but now there is palliative care approach also, to ease his pain and give him some last chances to enjoy life.
It all started in 2015 after he was discovered to have less than a year to live, with a diagnosis of congestive heart failure.
The vet said to avoid foods with sodium in them and to give him his medicine twice a day. Also they had to make sure that he had lots of rest and a little exercise regularly too.
One day her mother gave her a book called “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.”
“I know most people read this book when they think about caring for their parents …But I really think you should read it about caring for your dog.”
Mason was 12 years old and had been with his owner all his life, moving house several times together, starting a business, and generally living life together.
It’s well known that insurance and end-of-life care can be expensive for humans and pets alike, however, one of the main reasons Mason got such excellent care was because his owner had pet insurance.
In the USA only 3% have this insurance, but Mason was one of the lucky ones, she ha insurance for him, and what an amazing thing that was!
The policy she had for Mason, paid for 90 percent of his treatments, except examinations and prescriptions.
Dr. Diane Roberts, a San Francisco Bay Area veterinarian said:
“The pet is almost the same as the child to a lot of people”
Dr. Diane Roberts is a San Francisco Bay Area veterinarian and medical director at the Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Care, this is where Mason received all his excellent treatment.
Conversations about end-of-life care, and palliative care, as well as hospice treatment, have a growing place in veterinary care, and people are more and more considering their options.
Mason really surprised everyone, twelve months after his diagnosis, his enlarged heart had returned to a relatively normal size, and his heart murmurs, though still very much there, was not now a reason for great concern.
The vet said that Mason was one of about 2% of dogs that he had seen whose condition actually reversed and improved after diagnosis.
The specific medications he was given for his heart failure, called pimobendan, Lasix, and enalapril, all really worked well, and as time passed by his dosage was able to be reduced too.
Mason, over the next approximately year and a half, carried on through heart failure, intervertebral disc disease, bladder cancer and kidney failure with amazing bravery and he survived it all.
Once time when after he had a four-day hospitalization for kidney failure, the doctors were left dumbfounded as five days later he was prancing at the park and begging for extra treats!
Mason just kept going, he really wanted to make the most of life and just kept bouncing back, until he worsened finally in the end.
Finally but very peacefully, Mason died on his own at home on a Wednesday afternoon, his end-of-life care had been excellent, he made the most of his life he ever could.
We hope you forever rest in peace you wonderful and amazing Mason!