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Lori update - Phil's Rambling Rants — LiveJournal
December 4th, 2004
07:37 pm


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Lori update
Lori went to the emergency room at the U of I Small Animal Clinic this morning.  They said she was borderline shocky, gave her IV fluids, and did preliminary blood work which showed her to be anemic.

Abdominal xrays were inconclusive; no signs of a problem with her back, a hint of possible organ problems, but only a hint.  Chest xrays were clear, abdominal ultrasound shows enlarged lymph nodes and unusual appearance in the liver and spleen.  Cancer is likely but not proven at this point.

She'll stay at the U of I on supportive care tomorrow, and the oncologist will evaluate the case and look at the "aspirate" samples (I think that means a needle biopsy).

I expect a confirmation that she has cancer, with an explanation of what kind, tomorrow (I've partially made arrangements to get in touch with the oncologist after I get back from EFRC), and now I get to look forward to the wonderful joy of choosing a course of cancer treatment for a dog.

I am very attached to this dog, but I definitely don't want to make her suffer just to put off my having to let her go.  The vet is probably going to recommend some very expensive treatment, and I am going to have a very hard time with that whichever way I go.  The part of me that will say "you threw away the best dog in the world to save a little money" will be at war with the part that will say "you spent HOW MUCH money on a DOG?"

I haven't gone to pieces yet, but please be ready to glue me back together, because I can see it coming.  If you've been through modern cancer treatment for a dog, please share what you've learned.

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(9 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:December 4th, 2004 06:06 pm (UTC)
Man, that's a tough call. I would just wat and see what the vet reccomends. Wait until you know for sure before you start weighing options.
[User Picture]
Date:December 4th, 2004 07:45 pm (UTC)
That's where I am, but I know what she looked like last night and this morning, and combined with what I heard today it's hard to find any happy thoughts.
[User Picture]
Date:December 4th, 2004 09:12 pm (UTC)

Re: Lori update

oh, damn. that is so worrisome. *hugs*. i wish i had anything useful to say.
[User Picture]
Date:December 4th, 2004 11:16 pm (UTC)
*hug* Wish I had something useful to say, but I don't. Still, I'm thinking of you and Lori.
[User Picture]
Date:December 5th, 2004 04:02 am (UTC)
Thinking of you.

[User Picture]
Date:December 5th, 2004 05:49 am (UTC)
Remember also the "You made that dog suffer longer *and* spent a lot of money" angle. You said she's lived a long, happy life, right?

It's never easy to decide. Good luck, and god bless.
[User Picture]
Date:December 5th, 2004 06:15 am (UTC)
We haven't had a dog with cancer, but our old cat Munchie developed a bone cancer at about age 14 or 15, which greatly distorted one of her shoulderblades. The vet said there really wasn't anything TO do, and she wasn't in pain from it, so we took her home and fed her more tunafish (her favorite food) than usual for most of a year until she woke up one morning too weak to even eat tuna. At which point we took her back to the vet to be put to sleep.
[User Picture]
Date:December 5th, 2004 06:16 am (UTC)
No advice, just hugs.
[User Picture]
Date:December 15th, 2004 10:33 am (UTC)
(I hope you have notify on: I'm about 1.5 weeks behind)

My parents had one of our dogs put down last Christmas Eve, after struggling with melanoma. He first presented with a sore on his foot that wouldn't heal; the melanoma didn't show on the first few biopsies. When they knew what it was, the only treatment option would have been to amputate the leg (foreleg, not hind) at the shoulder. My parents thought about it, but he was 12 1/2 (pretty old for a standard poodle) and blind from a combination of retinal degeneration and cataracts. They kept dressing the sores on his leg, gave him pain medication, and kept him until he couldn't climb the stairs to go to bed with the family (the dogs sleep on the floor, but upstairs in or outside the bedrooms) and was in increasing discomfort, and then let him go. Because there really isn't effective chemo for melanoma in dogs, we didn't have to face that decision.

Regardless of the decisions made, this always sucks. I'm sorry you're going through it it.
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