Poor Mya

Almost two weeks ago, we had to say goodbye to our sweet, crazy puppy dog, Mya. It was a tough decision that my heart seems to be struggling with each day that passes, but my brain knows was the right one. She had been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease a month ago and was not responding to the treatment plan.

SLO (Symmetric Lupoid Onychodystrophy) affects dogs' nails. It is painful and causes their nails to to split, peel and fall off. We had brought her to the vet because she had cut one of her nails and we had noticed that she was licking her feet a lot. They decided to remove the affected nail, and had to put her under anesthesia. When they started to work on her, they realized that all of her nails were in the same or worse shape. They were splitting and were actually falling off in their hands. When I called to check in on her in the afternoon, I could tell the vet was worried. When a vet tells you she is researching to figure out how to treat your pet, you know that this was a big deal.  When my husband picked Mya up that night, the vet showed him a jar of her nails that had fallen off in her hands. I'm glad that I hadn't gone to pick her up, because I could tell that it was tough for my husband to see that. Mya also had a bad reaction to the anesthesia and had become snarly and aggressive, which is a side we have never seen in her. We knew that this was going to be a tough road for poor Mya.

We introduced a comprehensive treatment plan with the hope that we could remove some
components over time. She would need to take many pills each day - 6 antibiotics, omegas, vitamins, and probiotics.

Little C thought her new shoes were pretty cool, but kept saying, "Poor My-ee. My-ee is very sick."

He was right. Poor Mya was in rough shape. She never really grew out of her puppyness, so she was still very excitable. The problem was that every time she got excited and ran around, her nails would start to bleed. Every time she'd play outside, her nails would start to bleed. Walks became dangerous.

We were still optimistic, but were starting to wonder what type of life poor Mya would have. When she hurt her nail two weeks ago, we had to take her to the vet and have a tough discussion. SLO is pretty rare. Many dogs respond well to treatment. Some only need an Omega supplement and they're okay. Mya didn't seem to be that way. I didn't think that she was improving, but I it was still an unexpected to have to face the decision to let her go. With her quality of life was poor and it seemed like her level of pain was high. So, on August 5th, with her head in my hands, we said our final goodbye.

Mya was 7 years old.

She joined our family as a pup the year after my husband and I were married, two years after we purchased our house. I still go to the door to let her in, or look for her to come upstairs when I'm going to bed. I still try not to trip over her bowls in the kitchen and look for landmines in the backyard.

Mya made a huge impact on our lives and I miss her. Every few days, Little C asks, "Go pick up My-ee?" to which I have to say, "No buddy, remember, Mya got really sick and she's not coming home." He usually says something like, "Oh yeah, Poor My-ee was sick."  It's hard to explain to a 3 year old. Sadly, he has had quite a bit of loss in his short life, and seems to have a bit of an understanding of loss, even if death is.  I'm sure we'll have to keep working through it.

It's amazing how pets become such an intricate part of your lives. How lucky we are to have had her in our family.



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