Two days ago, Luna’s health seems to have started rapidly declining. Jen noticed that she was standing next to the refrigerator and gently swaying for over an hour, and when I tried to pick her up, she yelled and bit me. I couldn’t tell if it was from pain or confusion, but I was being extremely delicate given that I know how old she is.
Even after that episode abated, she seemed unable to really walk. After a few steps, she flattens herself on the ground completely, as if she’s resting or simply too weak to continue. Given this was the case, I put her in my lap for the remainder of the day, and she never wandered away when I got up to leave my office. When the work day was finally done, she hid in Jen’s office behind a stack of books for the rest of the night. Salem even settled down nearby and kept watch over her until morning.
So I called our vet, concerned that she was finally on her way out after 21 and a half years. After seeing her, the vet told me a few things I already knew. Luna is too skinny because she doesn’t eat enough. She holds her head at a tilt most of the time, but the reason could be related to fluids under her eardrums or a tumor. But the vet thought that maybe some steroids could fix both of these problems, or at least give her one last chance to come out of the nosedive. So she gave Luna a two-week bolus of steroids, some fluid under her skin which I initially mistook for a cyst, and sent her back to me.
Luna was definitely hungry when she got back. She even started eating a hardened chunk of wet food she found under the dish while I was cleaning and filling it with a fresh can. But that hasn’t endured long-term. She didn’t eat once that can was gone and replaced with another later in the day, and despite giving her two different options this morning, both trays sit unmolested. Even if she had finished both cans, that’s not enough nourishment given she’s so scrawny now.
Still, she deserved the chance. There’s no reason to jump straight to putting her to sleep unless her quality of life has degraded to the point where she’s suffering. The vet said she didn’t seem to be in pain, and she still enjoys her long rests in my lap, so I’d like to continue those until she’s ready to let go.