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Waiting game for dog

September 2nd, 2015 at 02:23 pm

So the dog injured the ligament in his knee of his back leg. Prognosis? Surgery is the only way to fix it. However it's not advised because it's a rough surgery for a dog his age. One option is a lesser surgery with fishing line however again his age and condition suggest he could die on the table.

Second we are waiting for the results of his biopsy and histopathology of his skin tag. It's likely that he has lymphoma. If that is the case, because of his age and condition surgery is extremely risky. We should find out the results either Friday or next week.

Right now we are in limbo. We are pretty sure that we won't do surgery. And we won't do chemotherapy but we will do some treatment. What this means who knows. Is cost an issue? Yes and no. The surgery could be $2k-3500. Chemotherapy probably around there. But more important is the quality of his life, ie recovering from surgery and spending 6-8 weeks crated might not be ideal. Also we are unsure we would want to risk surgery and him on the table. So there are many factors at play.

Yesterday alone cost us $600 for the services rendered. I find myself struggling more with the idea that we're out of options than worrying about the financials. I can see how people easily run up pet bills. I've never tallied our chemotherapy and end of life bills on our last bichon. I know it was over $7k at that time. We did get almost 8 more months with 6 of them good with him. And we were prepared when he passed instead of his initial collapse.

This time I'm not sure.

5 Responses to “Waiting game for dog”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    It's not always about the money. If you have it and choose to spend it on your dog that is just fine. I say go with your gut for what is right for your dog, you and your family.

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:


  3. VS_ozgirl Says:

    So sorry to hear this Frown

  4. PatientSaver Says:

    My feeling is that a lot of pet owners are guilted into taking extreme measures to keep a pet going for x number of months.

    I've had cats all my life and after diagnosis of various terminal ailments, have chosen not to put the cat through more diagnostic procedures and worse just to get a little more time. In a way, I think it's selfish. If it's the animal's time to go, why put it through discomfort because you, the owner, cannot face reality? I know that sounds harsh, but...

    In the past, when the vet gave me a bad prognosis and treatment options, I would say gee, I don't know, that's a lot of money or, I don't think I want to put the cat through that...or something like that and the vet would just say nothing and look at me. Because of course the vet's going to make a lot of money by encouraging you to throw all you've got toward treating the illness, even if in the end you will lose the animal anyway. So instead of helping you come to terms with reality, they gamely do the chemo, surgery or whatever other invasive procedures they can come up with.

    For the record, I also discovered somewhat recently when I brought Waldo to the vet for something else that he had an injury to his back leg that was probably caused by him jumping and landing on it wrong when he's got arthritis in his back legs. They also told me the only way to correct it was surgery, which I decided I wouldn't do to a 14-year-old cat. I asked them if he was in any discomfort because of it (you certainly couldn't tell from his behavior, except when he sits he does sit with that back leg sticking out to the side a little) and the vet said it was probably something similar to an achy feeling, but nothing too extreme.

    All I can do is try to keep him from jumping on and off things so he doesn't make it worse.

  5. PatientSaver Says:

    Maybe animals should have living will directives that, like those drawn up for people, say that no extreme or invasive procedures should be used to extend life. Most people I know would not want that, so why do we do it to our animals? Forced feeding is especially repugnant to me.

    I do wish you the very best with your dog and hope that whatever decision you come to you will find peace with.

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