My girl has a large tumor - problems with it

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

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H, my angel- in heaven.

Barked: Fri Dec 7, '12 11:23am PST 
H has just seen a vet for some health issues - coughing that has progressively gotten worse, and a tennis ball size growth on the back of her head. Her vet ruled out the coughing as just a collapsing trachea, which is common for her breed and not exactly life threatening in itself. We were more focused on hopefully being able to remove the tumor and give her a few more years of life.
Unfortunately x-rays showed that her lungs are abnormal, and that along with the trachea issues puts her at a high risk for not being able to handle the anesthesia. Vet also mentioned that it most likely will be a coughing fit that is going to take her life. She will pass out and just not wake up again. We came home with some medication to control the coughing and infection in the tumor.

However, this tumor is what concerns me the most. It is infected and smells horrible. The stench fills the whole room she is in, and it oozes and very easily starts to bleed if it gets irritated just slightly. Her neck is always messy with dried blood and puss. I'm so glad H has not tried to scratch at it, but it just keeps getting worse and worse.

Aside from being old and tired, H still has a lot of life in her. She still wags her tail, walks well and can even run around in excitement. She has an appetite. She is still a happy dog.

I just don't know what to do. There is nothing that can medically be done for her, and I don't know how to keep her comfortable. I'm so not ready to let her go yet and I don't feel she is either.
How do you make a decision to put a dog down that has an issue like this, but is otherwise doing well? cry

Edited by author Fri Dec 7, '12 11:24am PST


Semper Vorax
Barked: Fri Dec 7, '12 1:26pm PST 
Sometimes you have to be able to choose to let the dog go before the real suffering sets in. Besides, how do you know that she is not suffering right now? Lots of dogs put on happy faces right until the end.

that tumor has got to go or you really have to put her down. If it stinks, that means gangrene and blood infections are coming on pretty quickly. I mean I'm sure you can probably convince the vet to try and if she dies on the table, oh well, euthanasia was really the only other option at this point. There is no reason to let a dog go stinking and oozing. dog's don't understand why you don't want to pet them anymore, but it is in our nature to avoid those kinds of problems.

I would say chances are, "otherwise fine" is not as "fine" as you think it is. YOu're going to have to make some tough decisions, and respect the choice that you make for the good of you and the dog and your family.
H, my angel- in heaven.

Barked: Fri Dec 7, '12 3:24pm PST 
I trust my vet's opinions and she did not bring up the topic of euthanasia for her yet. She did say the tumor may be what takes her instead, but is hopeful that there is still a chance to keep her comfortable. There is obviously infection in her body. She had blood work done and she has antibiotics. Right now we are just trying to manage it.
I don't want her to die during surgery. I would rather be with her. She is already super frightened at the vet, and I don't want the last thing she experiences is her being there alone with a stranger. The vet has told me twice that she isn't confident for a successful surgery with the mass in her lungs.

She has not been away from me for more than a few days in 15 years. I know her spirit is not ready to give up yet, but her body is failing her. cry

Scooter,- PAWS

Power of the Paw- for those who- need it
Barked: Fri Dec 7, '12 3:32pm PST 
do you know if they aspirated it and found it to be benign? I just wonder if it's possible it's cancerous and it may have spread to her lungs which is why the xrays are abnormal. You mentioned trachea issues so maybe that's all related.

I have a sick kitty in renal failure and one thing I have learned is animals do a good job of hiding when they don't feel well. I really encourage you to communicate with your vet. If they didn't talk about euthanasia and you are acting normally, it's not time yet.

The last thing we want is for our animals to be in pain and when they show they are in pain, it means they are hurting quite a bit. You have had her for a really long time so letting go may be really hard, but in the end, think it's a gift you are giving her but letting her go in peace and not suffering.

I'm not sure if that helped or not...just know that many of us know what you are going through....hughughughughughughug
Scruffy (RIP)

In Loving Memory
Barked: Fri Dec 7, '12 4:05pm PST 

Miss- Pig!
Barked: Fri Dec 7, '12 4:52pm PST 
I've never had to experience euthanizing a dog yet, but from what i've read and heard of others experiences, you know when the time is right. If you don't feel it's yet then it's most likely not. I agree with what Scooter has said in regards to the tumour and communicating with your vet.

She is a sweet little girl. Sending lots of hug hug hug's your way.

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Sat Dec 8, '12 3:05pm PST 
Get a second opinion. It doesn't mean you don't trust your vet, it is simply the smart thing to do with serious medical issues. Dog's deserve to see specialists and have another pair of eyes look at their problem, just like people do.

Got food?
Barked: Sat Dec 8, '12 8:16pm PST 
I see you are in Chicago. There is a place on the northside on the southside and way up in Greyslake (which is where we went) They have board certified specialists there. We saw an oncologist that was great! I would definitely ask your vet for a referral and take H in to see what can be done.

Bianca CGC- TT HIC Thd- ♥

What big ears- you have...
Barked: Sat Dec 8, '12 9:37pm PST 
AETC (Chicago location) is where I took Bianca to the oncologist also.
H, my angel- in heaven.

Barked: Sat Dec 8, '12 11:04pm PST 
My vet said she would give me an oncologist referral if I wanted to go that route, but also pointed out there is probably not much they could do. Obviously with the tumor not able to be removed safely, the management options are limited and expensive treatment may not even give her much more time.
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