Mr. Max, Mr. Max, Mr. Max

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Mr. Max, Mr. Max, Mr. Max

We have had a pretty tough go of it in the Ann’s Entitled Life household the last few weeks. Max, our not quite four and a half year old Coton de Tuléar, has had a trying month.

A week after we returned from Florida, Max started to stare out into space. That is a sign he is in pain. He has had pain issues in the past having to do with a bad back since he was about a year old. Our vet took x-rays and showed us some vertebrae troubles, gave us Rimadyl for his pain with advice to keep him inactive for several weeks after a flare-up. Of course this happened this last time on a Saturday, so we called immediately on Monday the 11th to get him in, just to be certain all it was was his back-pain.

Now Max had stopped eating on Sunday the 10th, and also decided he wasn’t going to drink anymore too. He’s never been food driven, and eats as little as possible to survive. He does have a few things he likes – basically anything pork related, and he likes whipped cream. After the vet visit on Monday, where he received a shot, and he was given subcutaneous fluids to keep him hydrated, he still would not eat or drink.

On Tuesday he seemed to be in even more pain, so we brought him back in. And then again on Wednesday. On Thursday we brought him to a pain management specialist for dogs, and they thought he was critical for surgery. He was referred to the surgeon who could schedule him for Tuesday the 19th for back surgery. On Friday, Max was given an acupuncture treatment as well as his third subcutaneous fluids and some new meds.

That entire week Max never ate. All his water came in through either the subcutaneous fluids or the water we squirted in his mouth with a syringe. To say it is a horrible experience to watch your dog in pain (regardless of how many shots or oral pain meds), not eat, not drink and basically not move, is an understatement.

We had been advised to give him the meat baby foods to try and get him to eat, we tried to entice him with dabs of whipped cream (sometimes when he starts to eat, instinct kicks in and he continues to eat even if he was fussy before that), and nothing was working. Finally Sunday night Hubby at wits-end decided to give him diced ham… and Max ate!

He ate again on Monday, and we went back to the pain management vet. They did another round of acupuncture and also remarked on how much improvement Max had made over the weekend. His tail was still not up, but at least now it wasn’t dragging the ground. His surgery the next day was called off as no longer being critical. We did make an appointment with the pet surgeon to see if Max should have surgery, or if these episodes of great pain were something Max were going to have to live with. We were very concerned as they have become closer together over the years, and we do not believe in having the dog in pain to “tough it out”.

We went back to the vet again on Tuesday, and they decided to discontinue the acupuncture until the pet surgeon had determined the best course of treatment.

So, from Wednesday the 20th to Friday the 29th we observed Mr. Max get stronger, happier, and apparently more pain free. Our biggest fear was that he was just getting used to the pain, so we couldn’t wait to see the pet surgeon. And, keeping Max quiet and contained has been a real treat – Max thinks he’s allllllll better and is wondering why we won’t play with him, why he has to be in a small pen, and why walks are a thing of the past.

On Friday the 29th we finally saw the pet surgeon. From what he saw in the X-rays, Max does not have disc troubles, he has arthritis! But, he wanted better positioned X-rays, so ordered them to again be under anesthetic so he could be sure of this diagnosis. The last ones were from a few weeks back, and Max was not exactly still.

As long as they were going to put him out, I wanted his teeth cleaned too. No sense knocking the poor little guy out more often than necessary. The vet is scheduled for the 12th, and then the X-rays will go back to the surgeon to read them from there. At that point we will see what options are open to Max. More acupuncture was suggested.

For now Mr. Max seems to be a happy pooch. He’s back to eating three meals a day, has gained back one pound of the two pounds he lost the week he did not eat (for a 13 pound dog a 2 pound weight loss is huge!), and thinks his life should be back to his normal regime. Hopefully soon.

Ann's Entitled Life Ann's Entitled Life Ann's Entitled Life Ann's Entitled Life Ann's Entitled Life Ann's Entitled Life


  1. Way to go Max! Get better soon. Your Mommy and Daddy need you. I miss my dog, but now we have a kitten who I believe is a dog in disguise.

  2. MichelleK says

    Oh Ann – I am so happy to read this… Poor poor Max and poor Hubby!!! And Poor Ann for having to deal with it all!! Maybe all that wine will help… if not, go for that yummy looking Kahlua!!!

    • LOL Wine always helps. Hey I should stitch that on something! But I’d have to learn to do needlepoint first. Hmmm I can see this never getting stitched on anything after all.


  3. Hi Ann and Hubby, My heart went out to you both reading about Mr. Max. Am so glad to hear he’s doing so much better. I know that heart wrenching feeling when you are wondering what to do and to stop the pain. We have, believe it or not, a PekePom mix who will be 19, yes 19 yrs old in Aug. He has slowed down, has a cloudy eye and has to be carried up and down stairs however, the plumbing works fine, the appetite is great and he still wants to play. Just saying, know how much Mr. Max means to your family and hope you have many more years with him.

    • WOW 19 years old!? That is fabulous Candace. While I know if will be awful for you when your PekePom is no longer here, how wonderful that you have had such a long time with him.


  4. Amanda C. says

    I was very uneasy reading this at first but I am so happy to hear that he is feeling better. I hope that they can figure everything out and that he is 100% soon! It’s always so rough when a loved one is in pain.

  5. Poor Max! I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. I can sympathize with the agony of trying to find the correct diagnosis and treatment for the furry member of the family. My dog is an 11 year old Lab/Beagle mix that I rescued 4 years ago from certain death and the local pound because she was “unadopatble” Last summer she tore her ACL. She is considered too old for surgery so we are trying other treatments. It has taken several months to find the right combination of exercise, pain meds (Novox) and glucosamine. She is almost back to normal and even able to make it up the steep steps to the bedroom each night.

    It sounds like Max is getting the best treatment out there. He couldn’t ask for better owners/parents.

    • Awww Amy. I am glad your pooch is doing better. My last dog had both his knees replaced.. the first one he was 9 the second one he was just over 10. I wonder if 10 is the cut-off?


  6. Hi Ann! I feel so terrible to see any animal in pain, especially when it is a true member of the family. As I was reading this I could feel the dread building hoping that the outcome was not going to be bad. Poor little dawgs always seems to think they are big dawgs too and I think that makes it worse (at least that has how it was been at our house.) Last year we went through some troubles with our mini dachunds where they got into something that made them very ill. We never figured out what it was but the vet said he really couldn’t do anything so go home and ride it out. To make a long story short, I googled sick dawgs and found that Gatorade of all things is attractive to them and to give it to them diluted. So we bought some orange powder and within two days they were hydrated and getting back to normal. Isn’t it amazing what our animals end up eating? Personally I’m with your dawg. I’d take whipped cream over Gatorade any day of the week. I hope your dawg remains well and happy. Dawgs are such wonderful friends. Go Max!

    • We ended up giving him Pedialyte, but I am sure he’d have preferred Gatorade. Thank you so much for the tip, Sue. I am glad your doggies recovered.


  7. Poor little Max, I hope he is well for a long time now!

  8. Stephanie K says

    I’m so happy to read that Max is feeling better! I’ve been praying for him since you posted on Google+ a few weeks ago. Thanks for the update!

  9. I can think of nothing worse than watching your little doggie in pain… I have a little doggie and it would be heartbreaking and there is nothing I wouldn’t do to make her feel better, so I can completely relate… I am glad he is feeling better and hope that they can figure out how to permanently make him healthy as can be… Animals are the best, period…. You guys are good doggie parents….

    • Thank you Emily. I agree, it is terrible when the doggie is in pain That is when I wish he could talk and just tell me where it hurts.


  10. Don’t know if you have already looked into it or no, but diet change and supplements can help an arthritic dog. Hill’s, Waltham, Purina and Iams each have food for dogs with arthritic pain. They are generally grain free and most contain glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and omega-3 fatty acids, which may relieve arthritis symptoms. There are various theories, including one that wants you to feed raw meat and fruits/veg.

    • Thanks Donna but dog food is never going to work for Max. As it is, he barely condescends to eat people food most days, and only eats Pet Fresh when he is starving. I won’t feed a raw diet to him because I would gag – Hubby has long wanted to give it a go!


  11. Hi Ann,
    Glad to hear Max is doing better. Arthritis sucks! But they can give him meds to manage that and as long as he eats he will hang in there. I wish I could say my dog is doing better but he has taken a turn for the worse and not to get into it but the gastro problems we have been battling for over a year are now escalating and my diabetic cat has also taken a turn for the worse. I feel like I have a roll of paper towels in one hand and a mop in the other right now. We have meds to make the cat comfortable, but my dog’s stomach is so bad he cant tolerate pain meds and now we cant get the colitus under control. So sad to watch them at the end.

    • OMG Debb, how horrible. I hope something can be done to make your pooch more comfortable too. 🙁


  12. Aww, I love pets. And hate it when they suffer. We were dealing with a sick kitty this whole past month, and it was so rough.

    Yours sounds worse though, so sorry. Poor little Max. I hate when animals suffer 🙁

    Glad he is doing better!

  13. Awww.. Im so glad to hear that Max is doing better.. Its such a terrible thing.. Is there any kind of wheat or other gluten in his diet? Just curious.. It causes me massive amounts of pain so my thoughts always go there..
    Anyways.. Glad hes feeling better.. hope he continues to feel good!

    • No Kim, no wheat, gluten, corn, etc. That is the primary cause of the “tears” in white dogs, so we never gave it to him and he has never had the “tears”.


  14. Here’s to Max feeling good for a long, long time!!

  15. Ann – I hope Max feels back to 100% soon and that the vets can give a proper treatment for him. 🙂

  16. I am so glad Max is beter, I know how worrisome it’s been for you.

  17. Tamona Valentine says

    Max is gorgeous! OMG I am so happy to finally be able to meet the real ruler of the house. I honestly think he is the only one that can take on Ms. Entitled! Poor Mr. Entitled doesn’t have a chance lol!

  18. sandy weinstein says

    try going to a homeopathic vet, do not use rimadyl, there have studies abt problems with this drug for dogs….feed a diet high in meats….blue ridge raw, acupuncture is good and also the heat therapy used by homeopathic vets….try glucco flex found at kv vet…no junk food, like the whipped cream. try putting low sodium chicken broth in his food…no grain, no wheat glutton, dont let the vet put him on lots of medications and steroids, will do more harm than good in the long run…take control of his weight, better to be a little thin that even an ounce overweight, since its the back…no jumping, you can also get the children’s formula for dehydration-try to stay sugar free. dont feed hills, etc like the person said. the vets get kickbacks for prescription diets. my vet will not recommend any processed dog food, even though she sells it…you can feed him canned salmon, sardines in water….several of the raw diets come in freeze dried, like stella and chewy, very good. also some of the top raw diets come already cut up so all you have to do is take it out of the freezer and put it it in their bowls…instead of cutting up the chubs….raw tripe is very good for dogs…especially dogs that wont eat…

    • Thanks Sandy. Max is underweight, not overweight. His diet is people food for the most part, and Pet Fresh when he condescends to eat pet food. It is difficult to explain, but when I say this dog is not food driven, I am not kidding. He just doesn’t like to eat. Makes it very difficult to medicate him, or train him. While a raw diet may very well be the way to go, I couldn’t do it. Blech.


      • Ann, if there is a butcher near you in one of the chain stores, they usually will cut up meat for you however small you want it. “Mr. Entitled” could probably do it too. I can relate to you … I couldn’t do it either.

  19. Hi Ann,

    I’ve seen a guy who takes his dog into the lake to help with his arthritis. Does Max like water? Maybe a neighbor’s pool?

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