Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bad news from the vet...

Our older dog, Chance, has been getting thinner and thinner, and frailer than usual... We got her when she was 9 or 10, and that was 4 years ago, so she's always been frail and sickly. She was on meds at the shelter where we picked her up, then shortly after we got her, a broken tooth caused serious infection that spread to her bloodstream. About a year later, she dug out from under the fence and came back 2 days later with a broken leg. Another year later, a snakebite caused her sinuses and nose to swell like a balloon and bleed for weeks. In all, we've spent over $6000 on vet bills... And we just can't anymore.

Took Chancie in today because of the weight loss, and because a tumor appeared fairly suddenly on one of her toes. It's been growing at an alarming rate, and splits open and oozes. Sometimes she can bear weight on that leg, sometimes not. She also sneezes and coughs constantly, and her nose oozes.

The verdict was pretty certain, though due to our financial constraints we could not let them do any tests. The tumor is very likely to be cancerous, judging on the size, and how fast it showed up. She has other lumps on her body, which are probably also cancer. She had a heart murmer, and her heart-rate was very high (160). That, coupled with the coughing, points to heartworm. She's been on Heartguard, but apparently they can still sometimes get it, or she might have had it when we got her and it was just not noticed somehow. Also, she has the beginnings of cataracts in both eyes and an umbilical hernia that was not there before.

Ideally, the vet would like to amputate the toe with the growth. This would not stop the cancer, and other growths would still come up, but it would give her a little more time. However, the cost to do it is prohibitive, as well as her heart issues. It would not be safe to put her under for the surgery, without the heart rate slowing down a lot.

Chance is old... I don't want (and can't afford) to do surgery on her that will only give her a couple months, maybe 6 at best. IF she even survives the anesthesia.

I talked to a friend who is a vet tech.. And she never sugarcoats things. In her words "your dog's days are numbered."

So three months, 6 if we're lucky. Poor Chance.

I got her a huge bone, some special dog food, and some canned food to help her gain some weight. She loves it all. She loves taking her meds in balls of cheese, then falling asleep on the couch full of yummy things. Echo looks upset that she doesn't get special nummies.

Poor Chancie Pants... She's my special girl.


LolaJ said...

Coming from another vet tech, I agree with your friend. I've seen quite a few dogs go through amputations/chemo and it's almost more heartbreaking when the cancer resurfaces 3 months later when the dog has just started looking brighter. Spoil her rotten, she looks like she's a sweet old girl, I think you're both lucky to have each other.

all-canadian said...

I've already told you on the message board, but I think you're doing the right thing in this situation.

Sorry you have to experience this :(