March 15th 2013 8:36 am
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Hi everyone. My name was Zoey and I was the beloved pet of my skin parents for over 13 years. In August 2012 I went to the rainbow bridge. I am hoping maybe sharing my story will help some others.
For a while I had been having weakness and stiffness in my joints. Sometimes I acted spacy and my skin folks thought I was getting dementia because I was after all an old dog. In fact at first they throught all my symptoms were from being old. My vet did too. And the vet said my thyroid wasn't working and my heart was bad. But all in all for a old dog I was doing good and taking my thyroid meds wasn't bad.
I could no long get up on the bed I liked to sleep on and was starting to have trouble getting comfortable sleeping anyplace. My skin folks bought me my own bed, I had always slept with them but that wasn't comfortable either. My old joints just bothered me. My vet put me on some pain meds that helped and my visits to see him increased.
One day I was out walking in the front yard with the skin folks and Teddy, my Buddy. For no reason I fell. I tried to get up but kept falling all over. Skin dad carried me to the house and we called my vet. When we got there I was better, able to walk in myself. But still not feeling good.
My vet checked my gums and stomach and found a grapefruit sized mass that had not been there 2 months ago. Later that day I got some xrays that showed a large mass on my spleen that also was on my lungs. They called it hemangiosarcoma. Cancer.
Now I was a cancer survivor already. 5 years earlier I had cancer and survived my surgery and did great. But this was different. By the time it showed up enough to detect it had spread all over. But it doesn't always do that. Most of the time it stays in the spleen and you can remove it. Sometimes it isn't even a malignant cancer.
In learning about it and reading everything they could my skin folks found out I had every symptom except the last one and seizures.
Muscle incoordination (ataxia)
Partial loss of movement (paresis)
Pale mucous membranes
Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
Abdominal (peritoneal) fluid
Palpable abdominal mass
Acute blood loss (often fatal)
They had thought all these symptoms were because of my age. The usual thing they do is operate and remove the spleen. Some dogs do great. If it hasn't spread they can lead normal lives. But mine had spread and I had a bad heart. My skin folks were heart broken.
They took me home and lavished attention on me. I got porterhouse steak. We went all the places I love to go and even though I was getting weaker and weaker and needed to lifted in and out of the van they brought me to the places I loved.
I never lost my appetite and they took full advantage of that, feeding everything and anything they could think of to keep me from losing so much weight. And although I ate and ate and ate I lost a lot of weight. 11 pounds in 3 weeks. But I did enjoy eating all my favorite foods.
I slept alot. The pain medication helped me sleep and they took me off the prednisone which made me so sick. My skin grandchildren gave me lots of loving and petting and enjoyed the attention.
The cancer had spread to my liver and I had to go bathroom at least every 2 hours. I had loose stools but am proud to say I never went in the house. Skin dad sometimes had to carry me down the steps and back up but I made it. He slept on the floor with me so he would know when I needed to go out, and to keep me company.
One day, around 4 weeks from when I found out about the cancer I was feeling really bad. My stomach hurt and I couldn't stand up. For the first time ever I made a pain noise. I looked at my family and let them know it was time for me to go and they knew it also. Lots of tears and everyone came over to see me.
So here I am at the rainbow bridge. My pain is gone and I have gained all my weight back. My joints don't hurt anymore and I have lots of friends. My skin folks other dog Kari showed me around. I miss my family but know we will see each other again in the future.
I am hoping by telling this story it might help someone. There are many dogs who can have the surgery and live a good long life. I wasn't so lucky but maybe mine got so bad so soon because I had had cancer before, who knows. But I had a great life.
See all diary entries for Zoey ( in loving memory)|