Dear Evan, a small shih tzu, was another “stray” who came to us very thin and with labwork suggesting either kidney disease or GI disease. What we got was a dog with so many problems…. He could barely walk straight – extremely wobbly in the back end with a big hump in his back, and xray showed complete collapse of some disc spaces. Ultrasound found nasty things in his GI tract and his liver was particularly upset. And of course he had shih tzu dry eye, cataracts, and terribly bad teeth. We managed to treat all of that for more than a year, did an extensive dental and had his liver disease well controlled; he became strong enough to gallop in the pasture (amazing!).
After a year of watching with wide eyes he decided that I was his person and it was good to snuggle in my lap in the evenings, with some shaking at first. He wore his “Northwest Green” chalk with pride. Then his kidneys started to go south. We switched prescription diets and he perked up. Then his back became much worse, the ataxia increased and xrays showed serious collapse in most of the disc spaces up through his neck. Even with many drugs we couldn’t make him comfortable – it was time.
He is so missed.