Argus has been his normal self, which has been a blessing to us. For all intents and purposes, he doesn’t know he’s sick. We have been doing our best to live in the moment with him and not think too much about the reality of it all. He still gets excited every time one of us puts shoes on or grabs car keys. He still barks incessantly at the mail person, begging for (and receiving) treats. He still eats his food and begs for ice cream every time the freezer opens.
A few things are different as of the past couple of days. His eyes always have dried “sleep” in them in the mornings, but now they are much more goopy — and they are leaking this goop all day long. It doesn’t appear to be discolored (like an infection), but it’s definitely out of the ordinary.
The other change just happened. I came into our bedroom and found him napping, which is not unusual. What did alarm me was that his upper body shivers/quivers with every breath. We know the cancer has spread to his lungs and our vet mentioned a symptom of end-of-life will be labored breathing.
I have a call into the vet to ask about this and see if it’s time to start the heavy duty pain meds. In the meantime, I took a video and am asking for anyone’s opinion on what this might be. Perhaps a fever, as one friend suggested?
The one thing I do know: I’m not ready.
UPDATE March 24: We talked with our vet last night and he was concerned that Argus’ systems are busy trying to fight more cancer and are unable to fight things like small infections (his goopy eyes). The shivering could be a fever he’s unable to fight, or his response to pain. We picked up a prescription for Prednisone (steroids) last night to help with pain and he has responded well. No more shivering, the eye goop is less today, and he still has a good appetite. Thanks to everyone for your kind thoughts and words!