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cancer in an old dog with other health issues

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Replies to: cancer in an old dog with other health issues

  • Delicate ArchDelicate Arch 199 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
    As someone who has had multiple dogs, my sympathies. It is hard to be the decision maker.

    However, for anyone interested in this thread, I read a wonderful book this week that is relevant called Lily and the Octopus. Double thumbs up on the book from me (although any book about a person loving a dog will have a sad part since, well, their lives are shorter). It is short, not at all sappy and a really good read.
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  • SalveMaterSalveMater 407 replies18 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 425 Member
    Our 14 year old Aussie just got a cancer diagnosis. Bone tumor in leg. Vet wants to amputate but first needs to send her to oncologist for expensive testing. If it's localized, then amputation followed by chemo. If it's spread, then we'd have to discuss narrower options. We are devastated and my head's still spinning with end of life decisions for her.

    Ultimately, we decided that she would not understand an amputation, especially at this age, when her back legs are wobbly at best. We will make her comfortable and let nature take its course. She's been an amazing friend to us all, this will be agonizing for the kids away at school. Hugs OP and to all others going through this. All dogs go to heaven.
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18273 replies320 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 18,593 Senior Member
    @SalveMater: Significant hugs to you. Saying goodbye to a pet -- much less a dog, much less an Aussie! -- is very hard to do.

    We just brought home our third Aussie yesterday -- an eight-week old blue merle. She is the fluffiest, most darling creature I've ever seen, and my two older Aussies (9 and 13 years old) aren't sure yet what to do with her. We got her because my 13-year-old has slowed down considerably and I'm hoping having the pup will ease our pain when the time comes for her to go to doggie heaven.
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  • SalveMaterSalveMater 407 replies18 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 425 Member
    edited July 2016
    @VeryHappy thanks for the hug and bless your heart for adopting again but I can't see going through this ever again. I'm barely keeping it together at work but when I got to my car, it was waterworks:( Aussies are the best, and I have three dogs. My poor pug's losing his sight and hindlegs. It's like caring for elderly parents - which I've done times three by now..sniff sniff
    edited July 2016
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18273 replies320 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 18,593 Senior Member
    @SalveMater : You're allowed your waterworks. Some things are very sad.
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  • anothermom2anothermom2 1705 replies48 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,753 Senior Member
    Sorry that your dog got cancer. We had an 11 year old lab who had a large growth on her side that bothered her when it became large. We decided to have it removed since she otherwise was it good health. It was a type of localized cancer. Radiation was offered and we declined. I thought the dog would suffer from that. She had a number of good years after that, and it improved her quality of life and did not recur. She lived to 16, but the last couple of months were not good, she couldn't walk, and had no bowel control. She still loved to eat. She had what we called "doggieheimers" in that her mind was not the same as it had been. We had hoped she would pass on her own, but it was not happening. We actually left her at the vet to board when we went on vacation, and he suggested putting her down and that we had waited too long since she was suffering. I felt awful both at putting her down and that she had been suffering too much.

    I personally would not amputate a toe on an animal in the condition that you describe. I would think she would suffer, and the dog is old and sick anyway. If you do not do surgery, she may have some time before she gets ill from spreading cancer.

    I love animals and hate to lose one, but I do think that in certain instances the treatment is worse than the disease. I think that is true for some human illnesses too, but that is a story for another day.

    Best to you OP, and to others here who obviously love animals.
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  • ConsolationConsolation 22846 replies184 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 23,030 Senior Member
    @cgpm59 , we've treated dogs for cancer to the tune of thousands of dollars when it seemed that if the treatment were successful they could have more years of good life--goldens, aged 8 and 9--but with a dog like yours, the age and the others problems, I would opt for palliative care only. It seems to me that amputation would only make whatever time the dog has left miserable. Hugs to you. It's so hard.
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