Sadly, Milo passed away on the 20th of August 2015, aged 16. In addition to his blindness, he had lost much of his hearing and he could no longer walk. Over the last 6 months of his life, Milo had had the occasional tummy upset due to his aging digestive system being a bit super-sensitive, but they only lasted a day or so and then he recovered and was bright, alert and happy again. However, his tummy upsets became more frequent and then on the 18th of August he had a bad attack which wouldn’t clear up and on the 20th of August I made the agonizing decision to have him put to sleep.
Milo has been such a huge part of my life, and of my family. I miss him more than I could ever have imagined. I have decided to continue with this website in tribute to my wonderful, blind, diabetic pup who will never, ever be forgotten and can never be replaced.
Milo became part of my family on the 3rd of April 2009 when he was 10 years old. He had been handed in to the SSPCA rehoming centre by his previous owners, who had adopted him from the very same rehoming centre seven years earlier.
Right from the start, Milo was over-eager to please, almost as though he was worried that we would reject him too. I’ve have had a number of rescue dogs in the past, but Milo was the most eager of them all. I thought he would never completely settle and would always believe that this home was temporary too. It took nearly two years for him to really settle, but here we are four and a half years later and he is completely relaxed and at home with us.
Milo was fully sighted and apparently healthy when I first adopted him, with the exception that he seemed to drink a bit more than usual. He was a happy, playful little dog who loved everyone (he was a real “people person”) and all seemed well.
After about 9 months, his excessive drinking started to get noticeably worse and he started losing weight. It was then that he was diagnosed with diabetes. He now has to have insulin injections twice a day and I have to watch what he eats and how much exercise he has.
The diabetes led to cataracts forming on both his eyes and within 4 weeks of the initial diagnosis, he had lost most of his eyesight. I had been warned that he could develop cataracts, but it happened so quickly it was a shock. I went through all the usual emotions that pet owners do when their pet suddenly goes blind. I did a lot of searching on the internet and came across one or two websites with words of encouragement that helped calm my concerns. After a while I began to adjust to the reality of Milo’s blindness, particularly as he seemed to be coping with it so well.
However, Milo’s problems didn’t stop with the cataracts. Within the following few months Milo developed glaucoma and one of his eyes became so swollen and sore it had to be removed.
Thankfully, the other eye has stabilised and with the help of eye drops twice a day, we have been able to avoid having that one removed too. It sometimes becomes a bit sore and bloodshot, and has a lot of discharge so it has to be bathed regularly, but it doesn’t seem to bother him that much so I don’t want to put him through the trauma of another operation to remove it, particularly as he is now 14 and may not take the anaesthetic very well.
As if he didn’t have enough problems in his life, in November 2012 Milo suddenly had a fit (an epileptic type seizure) for no apparent reason. It was followed by another fit a couple of hours later, and then another and another. He even had a fit in the vet’s waiting room. These fits only lasted a few minutes each, but they were pretty frightening to watch.
The vet said it’s unusual for an elderly dog to develop epilepsy and she felt it may be something more sinister, such as a growth on his brain. She told me that if it was a growth, he would get very sick fairly quickly and probably wouldn’t live more than a few more weeks to a month or so. She prescribed medication to calm the fits and we did the only thing we could do – we waited. Milo had one more fit when we got him home that night, but amazingly he hasn’t had one since then. That’s eleven months to date without any more fits, and no sign of any other problems associated with brain tumours. He really is a little fighter!!
Milo has his ups and downs, hardly surprising given his various medical conditions. His medication regime is quite a drama: –
- an insulin injection twice a day
- pills for his epileptic seizures twice a day
- pills to increase the flow of oxygen to his brain twice a day
- pills for his arthritis three times a day
- eye drops for his glaucoma twice a day
- eye drops for soreness and discharge in his eye twice a day
- eye drops for dry eye as often as needed throughout the day
On top of everything else Milo is an old fella now and he is starting to feel his age. He often gets a dicky tummy, which is simply age-related digestive sensitivity, so I feed him home cooked meals made from chicken or fish and rice. He has arthritic joints and can no longer manage the steps into and out of the house, so I built him a ramp to help him out. He has slowed right down when he’s out walking and he also sleeps a lot more now….
- But when he’s awake the whole neighbourhood knows it!!
What little eyesight he had retained has now gone and Milo is, to all intents and purposes, totally blind. Despite all his problems and the pulling around he’s subjected to every day with the various treatments he receives, Milo never seems to get frustrated or annoyed and he has never become aggressive. He patiently endures everything he’s put through.
Milo maybe an old, blind dog but he’s a happy little chap and he still enjoys life….who can ask for more…..