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The Terrible Algebra Of Necessity


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Okay. I CAN do this. (deep breath)

 

First, my sincere apologies for being away so long, again. (Especially to the greyt Greytalkers who replied to my post in Introductions and Biographies (Oh my God, April of last year, I am so sorry.) Truth is, I am terrified. If there are 1000 of you here and if I offend one person, I have failed. That is not who I want to be. But I did just that, and so ended up off the internet social scene. Not until I bettered myself, a long road with so much to learn and human frailties impeding progress. No facebook, twitter, flikr, whatever, nothing. Greytalk is the only site I utilize. I r truly a olds.

 

This is due largely to health issues I will not bore you with and the feeling mentioned above. So I beg your forbearance and patience.

 

Secondly, I wish to assure you all that Joey Greyhound is, has been from day one, and continues to be, very happy to be here with us. He is spoiled rotten, including home-cooked meals, a big comfy bed, our big comfy bed, and lotsa squeeky toys, and has bonded deeply to both of us. He is a happy hound.

 

When we went to meet him lo these many years ago, at his foster-folks home, we were told Joey wasn't big on walkies. He changed his mind with our neighborhood. He has made many friends, both canine and human (no cats), there are lush green lawns to cool a belly and rest upon in Summer, there are sandy beachlets by the river where he can bury himself in cool, moist sand and snooze to the sound of seagulls. There are even many rabbits to excite interest. In other words, he lives for walkies. And roachy-naps. And belly-rubs. And butt-scritches. Oh yes, also milkbones. But mainly, walkies. And so we come to the issue at hand.

 

Several weeks ago, Sweetiesmum was talking Joey for an evening walk. I can no longer do walkies, so as I watched from the door I saw him suddenly dip his butt as he stepped off the front step. My first thought was that he had a sudden itch and needed to sit in order to scratch, but he remained standing though now greatly favoring his right hind leg, He could barely put his weight on it. Then I noticed a large lump on the inside of his ankle, I think it is called the hock. He had great difficulty that evening, barely able to walk, hesitant to go out to do his business. Didn't want supper. Forced himself to gingerly go out to the front yard to pee around midnight.

 

A complication is that we no longer have a car. I have no friends here, I'm not from this town, family is far away. He is better the next day, and a kind neighbor helps us get him to our vet. Another complication is our vet, (who cared for Sweetie since his injured tail incident until his passing,) and Joey in all the time he has been with us, moved out of state. You come to trust someone, and she had a greyhound herself. So now we deal with another vet.

 

She does a full exam. Regarding the lump on his leg, she says it is hard and therefore has been there a while. I honestly don't know how I missed it, when he walks in the rain I towel him down after including legs and paws, an event that occurred several weeks before. I thought from the way he dipped when he stepped off the step, the he had possibly injured a tendon. It wasn't so swollen when that happened, and worsened that night/the next day. Vet says it's likely cancer, they'll probably have to take the leg off.

 

So.

 

Vet prescribed carprofen and gabapentin. After a couple weeks, carprofen seems to be upsetting his stomach. We stop the carprofen and go from 2 to 3 gaba a day. Appetite returns. (Joey has always had a delicate stomach, another topic.) This past Thursday, I noted limping and an unhappy hound, so we started the carprofen. That lump is also bigger. Got more carprofen today, and he has an appointment this coming Monday thanks to our very kind neighbor. They love Joey and give lots of pets if outside when he goes by on walkies.

 

Another complication; I have been 'permanently and totally' disabled since 1994 with a progressive spinal cord injury that morphed into an incurable/untreatable SC disease. It has progressed in recent years. 'Nuff said. Since 2016, Sweetiesmum has been disabled after breaking her wrist and suffering a 'medical misadventure', losing her job, her health insurance, and a good deal of her sanity as she also has a serious sleep disorder and no doctor. I know, things are tough all over.

 

I can no longer pick this dog up, or see how I could handle him recovering from such a traumatic procedure and having only three legs. He lives for walkies. I live for him and Sweetiesmum.

 

After suddenly losing Sweetie (from happy, healthy hound to gone in less than a week, F cancer), after that horror, we tend now to the 'better a day early than a day late' feeling. We watched Bear, our Husky before Sweetie, suffer a lot until he gave us 'the Look', and he passed away in my arms. We were so taken by surprise with Sweetie, thinking he was just sick and would get better, yet he faded so fast and also passed away in my arms.

 

This dog, this hound, this Joey has been a blessing for us. I know you all feel the same about your hounds, but Joey is truly the kindest, sweetest, gentlest dog, ever. His love and joy is astounding. I can't let him suffer, we don't know if we can deal with such an event in his life, physically or financially.

 

And so, I guess I'm just looking for some other perspectives, some other views, perhaps advice. I know we don't seem like much of the greyhound community but Greytalk has always been the best place for such matters.

 

Again, my apologies. I know you all go through the same things, but he has been happy living here, and I want his life to finish on a peaceful, happy note, whether tomorrow or ten years from now. Which would be our hope. Well, thank you for putting up with this. Sorry about the length. Thank you for your patience, all.

Edited by Greystoked

"To leave the world a somewhat better place than it was when you came into it."

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Welcome back!

 

First of all, did the vet actually xray the lump, his leg or any part of him? Or do a Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)? Both those things need to be done to diagnose osteo. It could be something else - probably not, but it could.

 

You can read through the current Osteo thread for links to info and our own experiences to help better inform you about the disease itself. Many people choose palliative care - keeping them pain free as long as possible - rather than go the amp/chemo route. It's a very personal decision that is completely different for every family, and even every dog, so please don't let your vet bully you into something you don't want or need to do. It's also *extremely* expensive, even with pet insurance.

 

Given your physical limitations, IMO, it would be difficult for you to have a tripod. When a dog has three legs there are just times you must lift them up or support them. I could be totally wrong, just my opinion.

 

If you do decide to do palliative care you need to really think about a plan of what you will do in the event your dog suffers a catastrophic leg break from the cancer at home. Make a plan and talk about it.

 

With palliative care your goal is to keep him pain free and comfortable as long as you can. Most of us use a combination of an nsaid, a pain reliever like codiene sulfate, and gabapentin. If Joey can't handle his current nsaid then try the liquid version of meloxicam which is a little easier on their stomach. Make sure you only give an nsaid after a meal. You can also add in an acid reducer or stomach protectant before the meal. You can try it without the nsaid, but then you definitely need to add a pain reliever.

 

Make the time you have left with him special and when you can't control his pain it's time to let him go.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Greystoked, this is the thread that Greysmom is referring to: http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/318606-osteo-thread-part-9/?hl=osteo

 

I am so sorry you are having to deal with this.

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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I would get the diagnostics (starting with x-ray, preferably interpreted by a skilled radiologist), then look at what to do.

 

 

Honestly, in your situation I would not read through the big osteosarcoma thread here. For osteosarcoma, we let our hounds go very shortly (days) after diagnosis. They hurt beyond what medicine could help, and there was a high risk of bone breaking.

 

 

If it's something other than osteosarcoma, you might have some good, reasonable options.

 

Let us know, OK? Thinking best thoughts for you and Sweetiesmum and your beloved Joey.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I beg your forbearance, I have forgotten all the protocols and procedures for forum stuff. My apologies if I seem very stupid, events with myself and Mum have taken a serious downward turn since the beginning of 2016. Dealing with her issues as well as my own disease progression has left me a useless pile of sludge. For example, I tried investigating the supplied link about osteo, and my mind just shuts down. My favorite author, Terry Pratchett, describes a type of person I fear I have become; one who is so pathetic that people who try to help find their feelings of compassion become feelings of anger and frustration. I am very sorry about this, it sure wasn't what I had planned.

 

Thank you for your kindness, advice, and for taking the time to reply. I know many of you have gone through this, or even have to deal with it right now. I am grateful Greytalk exists and has many, many fine people, joined in their love for these amazing dogs.

 

Our current vet saw Joey a few months ago when this problem first arose (my apologies if I don't get the time frames correct, I seem to have lost the ability to process time and dates,) to check out the problem and catch up on his missed health checks. It was a kind of cursory exam, as she only palpitated his legs in the exam; no x-rays, biopsies, just a look-see and feeling around. She mentioned an issue with his cruciate (sp?) in his knee on the same leg (we have always assumed racing injuries, anyway, so not surprised.) At that point I think the vet was concerned with general health and getting Joey some pain relief, with further exams/treatments in future.

 

Joey felt better with gaba and carprofen, but the carprofen soon seemed to affect his appetite. Since he still demanded several walks a day and seemed to be getting around okay, (no noticable limping, just stiffness; and hind legs shaking when it was very cold out or he had walked a long distance,) we stopped the carprofen. Then, a few weeks ago, it seemed that lump was a bit bigger. He had a painful day favouring his hind leg, so we tried carprofen again. Lost his appetite so back to just gaba. Last Thursday eve he was favouring his leg, the lump seemed a bit bigger, Got more carprofen at a half dose (I give that in a bit of cheese, while he's in the middle of eating supper.) Can't really say it is helping.

 

So in a few hours, it's off to the vet, I assume for more serious testing and, we hope, a definite diagnosis.

 

Much too early to say what's coming. We find ourselves in a tricky situation. I have been fearing the comment that, "If you can't afford/take care of a dog, you shouldn't have one" and miserably, I have to agree. When we got Joey, I could pick him up, go on a couple of miles long woodswalks, had a car for rides and trips to the vet, a few bucks in the bank for emergencies. Not so, now. Joey is a joyous, bright, loving cuddlebug of a hound that saved us from the heartbreak of suddenly losing Sweetie Greyhound. He deserves the best, and we are crushed that we may not be able to provide the absolute best of everything for him.

 

Well, I've done it again, an entire novel where a few words would do. This is why I don't post much. We will update as soon as we find out more, but right now my heart is in my mouth both for Joey and for Mum.

 

Thank you all again.

"To leave the world a somewhat better place than it was when you came into it."

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Lots and lots of hugs.

 

 

Peoples' circumstances change. I understand that well. And I know you and Sweetiesmum have always done your utmost to care for your hounds.

 

 

Fingers crossed for your vet visit today. You're in my thoughts.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Thinking of you and Joey today.

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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Some people prefer and need a ton if information in situations like this - I'm one of those! - but my DH is like you (really, literally, he can't process a lot anymore from medical conditions), so I research and then boil things down for him.

 

In this case, you have one primary question you need the answer to: Does Joey have osteo or not? Then you go on to the next question.

 

Good luck today for both of you!

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Thank you all very much for your kind words, compassion, understanding and patience. Please excuse any speeling errors, your kind words seem to have raised quite a bit of dust in here.

 

I think the word I seek here is... numb. Yes. But this time a bit more prepared. Still, it's taken over an hour sitting in front of this keyboard to find the nerve to login and start typing.

 

The trip to the vet was eventful. Here I would like to mention our very kind neighbors, C and K, for providing transportation, helping with Joey, and being so full of love. I am really glad they moved here.

 

Today we saw a new vet, young, but confident, kind and caring. She did x-rays, and her face when finished confirmed my fears. She feels that amputating the leg isn't the best choice, as such cancer often reappears quickly elsewhere. The greatest concern is a leg fracture at this point. With no car, we couldn't get him anywhere. This vet office doesn't do house calls (though the assistant gave me a few contacts for people who will come out for worst case scenarios.)

 

I can lift him, but this (expletive deleted) disease of mine whacks my muscles so I couldn't trust my arms to not drop him, I have a few seconds of strength then one or both arms will just go numb and limp or get a bolt of lightning. That's why the stamping press ate my hand. It is killing me that I can't give 100% for the care of this magnificent, lovey hound. Mary can't do it alone, her primary hand is messed up now. Sorry for the whine.

 

At the vet, I went to meet with the vet and pay the bill while Mary and neighbor got Joey in the car. Mary came running in near tears. Joey had hurt himself trying to leap into the car, he also bit his tongue and cried out in pain, which freaked out Mary and our neighbor. She was in tears, and blamed herself, but I couldn't let her go on feeling like that. Another x-ray showed the bone intact, so they gave him an opiate med injection and directions to increase his gabapentin and helped us get him into the car. Neighbor and her wife helped us get him in the hovel, and he rests comfortably now.

 

The future leaves us with few choices. We have had a magical six years with this blessed hound, and he has brought only joy to our lives. In turn, he has seemed exquisitely happy in his time here, enjoying his retirement to the fullest. I think he enjoys being the single dog in the house, the center of attention. He is well-known in the neighborhood with many friends, canine and human alike. He loves people, and there are many happy stories I wish to share. My regret now is not having been a regular here all along. I hope you all can forgive me for that.

"To leave the world a somewhat better place than it was when you came into it."

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We've had many less coherent people posting here, so you're doing fine.

 

Many, many of us have been where you are now, sometimes more than once. It is never easy and always heartbreaking. Just know we are here for you if you have questions or concerns, or just want to vent or talk things through.

 

{{{hugs}}}

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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I'm so sorry. What a miserable sucker punch for you.

 

 

My heart goes out to you and Mary and Joey and all his friends and your kind neighbor as well. May you have some comfortable days yet to cherish your good boy.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I am so very sorry. Yes, we have been there, so we do know what you are going through. Enjoy the time you have left. One more piece of advice, if at all possible, find a vet that will come to your house, when the final time comes. It will be easier on you and your wife, emotionally as well as physically, and most important, much easier for Joey. :bighug

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Thank you again, all, for your kind words and concern. I knew most, if not all, would understand from going through it yourselves.

 

Now, I ask your patience as I am completely lost now when it comes to how to do this forum stuff. Reply to each response separately, or just a general response to all? Seems like less bandwidth/space with just one reply. If I need correcting, please let me know. Been a long time.

 

We have been going to this particular vet for some 18 years now. They have always, always been very kind and helpful, even helping us out when money was really tight with free samples of Advantix, and now with extra gaba. It was Sweetie Greyhound's poor tail injury that brought us to them initially, because one of the vets had a grey herself. That injury also brought us to Greytalk all those years ago. I know it says newbie or just whelped over there, but I have been lurking behind the lurkers lo these many years.

 

And so, all things considered, I do trust these vets. After seeing the x-ray, and having several vets concur, we know it is osteo. And he's likely to suffer a fracture as it invades/degrades the bone. And that is the issue.

 

Joey was knocked out after seeing the vet on Monday, a lot of upset and pain (he also bit his tongue as well as banging his leg trying to get back into the car,) so he slept. Didn't want food or water, which is usual when he feels poorly. He did have a bowl of broth (his favorite!) before the vet, but otherwise he just wanted to stay still in his home.

 

That's the big problem with forever homes; we really want them to last forever, but they never do. That's the thing with dogs, and when you have a dog, you understand that is part of the deal. So we love 'em and spoil 'em and rejoice with every minute we have with these magnificent hounds lighting our lives. We cry when they have to leave us, and so strong is the bond these hounds make with us lucky humans, the tears seems as bitter and hot as when we lose a human family member. Joey saved us from our grief of suddenly losing Sweetie, and we have enjoyed every second of his time with us.

 

None of us ever want to say goodbye!

 

But here is our problem, a problem many of you will recognize, and many of you have endured it yourselves.

 

Here we have a hound, a happy, bright, loving hound, who suddenly has this horrible disease. And he may fracture that leg at any time and as time goes on, the likelihood increases. If that happens, we can not transport him to a vet. If that happens while he's out on a walk, we can not carry him. I die for a second inside if he simply yelps from brushing against a sharp thorn, I imagine I would lose my mind if he was screaming in agony from a broken leg. If it were one of you, I'd be all calm, in control, doing first aid, comforting, helping, on top of the situation. Been training for that since I was 15 in Civil Air Patrol, doing search and rescue and survival training and such. Blod, guts; screaming, tears; doesn't faze me, I'll be in control, I'll take good care of you.

 

But this is my baby, and I know I will be useless. As will Mary.

 

So comes the Terrible Algebra of Necessity. I have to decide to kill this otherwise happy dog, still getting around, still enjoying his home-made broth and home cooked meals and great fluffy beds and his yellow fluffy duck. Those big brown eyes, looking to me with trust and love. He doesn't know, nor care. He is living, and happy here with us.

 

And I have to kill him, before his time, because of what is certainly in the future. I can't do it. I have to.

 

I still feel like a murderer for making the decision for Sweetie, and he was suffering and dying in our arms as we made that decision. It was horrible and haunts me to this day. Now it is time again.

 

I have seen posts from other poor souls going through the same thing right now. I know it is part of the deal. We all do, much as we hate to think about it. I can't face the troubles others are facing, and feel like a horrible person because of that. A kind word would help others so much, yet I try and fail, unable to type for the tears. So it is good that Greytalk is here, where stronger people can help those who find themselves overwhelmed and weakened with grief and indecision.

 

The consensus seems to be, and I agree, that it is better to decide a day early than a day late. And yet, with the trauma of the vet visit over, he is happy, wants his walkies, his appetite has returned, he is enjoying life. These hounds deserve the best, because they are the best. How can I know when that 'day early' is here?

 

How am I ever going to do this?

 

Thank you all again, thank you. It helps to have a shoulder to cry on with people who don't say "It's just a dog."

Edited by Greystoked

"To leave the world a somewhat better place than it was when you came into it."

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This is one of the hardest decisions of any pet parent. Two of my girls had osteo. I went the amp route both times.

 

First time on a 12 year old. Yes, that's an old girl. But she spent a whole day with Dr. Couto at OSU determining if she could handle it. He said age is but a number. She had 6 terrific pain free months until osteo showed up in her hind leg.

 

I was hit again with osteo and my 9 year old lost her front leg. She had the best 14 months. And once again osteo came back in anorher bone. But my Tanzi lived life to the fullest until that last month. I never regretted my decisions. Never.

 

Amputation is a viable course.

 

But remember, whatever choice you make is not wrong because you make it out of love.

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It is the hardest decision you will ever make, and having made it before doesn’t help make it any easier. All kinds of things factor in, and it is different for each dog and each person. It does feel like murder sometimes, but in reality, you are giving him the best gift, freedom from pain. The screaming from a broken leg is the worst sound I have ever heard. I have heard it twice, and hope I never hear it again. I hope you can enjoy the time you have left with Joey, remember, he doesn’t know anything is wrong.

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"So comes the Terrible Algebra of Necessity. I have to decide to kill this otherwise happy dog, still getting around, still enjoying his home-made broth and home cooked meals and great fluffy beds and his yellow fluffy duck. Those big brown eyes, looking to me with trust and love. He doesn't know, nor care. He is living, and happy here with us.

 

And I have to kill him, before his time, because of what is certainly in the future. I can't do it. I have to."

 

Focus on those big brown eyes. You know you don't want to see them in agony as you'll never get that vision out of your head.

Does your vet offer an in-home euthanasia service or can he recommend one?

Pick a day in the very near future to let your boy go.

 

"But remember, whatever choice you make is not wrong because you make it out of love."

 

I don't recall how old your boy is. While amputation is an option for some, it will require many more car rides to the vet for follow ups, check ups and possible complications. Can you and he emotionally and physically handle that?

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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Hi all. Sweetiesmum (and now Joeysmum too) here. I am posting under Ray's account because my own account is long gone.

Like Ray, I am sorry I haven't posted before now but I know you wonderful people will understand.

 

I am heartbroken over Joey's illness and the decision we will have to make, probably sooner than we want or can cope with. Right now I can't imagine our lives without Joey. I know it has to be done. But it is hard, so hard.

 

He is such a sweet dog. Except when the vet felt the leg tumor our boy has never growled in all the time we've been fortunate enough to have him in our lives. That one time he both growled and yelped.

 

So we know he is in a lot of pain. He never shows it, though.

 

I don't want our boy to suffer . Yes I know he is suffering now but he is still enjoying life. He loves his walkies. He loves snuggling (one of us lies behind him and gently strokes him while he is on the bed). He loves his broth and his treats. And he lives for walkies.

 

I have thought of amputation with maybe some kind of trolley to support his missing leg. But we don't know how to go about that.

 

And would he be happy?

 

We don't know.

 

We want the best for our boy.

 

 

But this is hard, so hard.

 

 

We both, Ray and I, feel like we have to kill our child.

"To leave the world a somewhat better place than it was when you came into it."

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Each dog is different, but I will say I am constantly surprised by how quickly and easily dogs adapt to being tripods. They really don't seem to notice the loss of a leg at all.

 

Our boy could do everything post-game that he did pre-amp - running and playing with our other dogs, going for car rides and visiting his friends, even doing the steep flight of stairs up to the bedroom.

 

The reason you do an amputation is to get rid of the primary source or pain. We know from human children who have a similar disease that the pain from the cancer eating away the bone is quite hideous, so amping that leg takes that source away. It does KNOT cure the cancer. Though it may seem like you're "killing a healthy dog," by the time a primary long bone tumor is discovered, the cancer cells have metabolized to all parts of the body. Sooner or later it will show up again.

 

As mentioned above, an amp does have it's challenges, particularly when you don't have transportation. There are numerous trips to the oncologist and surgeons for follow up, and to get the chemo infused (a four hour process). The first two months or so are really busy. It's also *very very* expensive. No one likes to think that cost should matter, but it does when you start talking the high 4 or low 5 digit numbers.

 

There are several studies and vaccine trials going on right now that Joey might qualify for that may get you a longer time with him post-amp and chemo. An oncologist will be able to help you navigate information on those.

 

Ultimately, this is a decision that can only be made by you. Fortunately you have a bit of time to digest and decide. Get Joey on some pain meds and spend some quality time together thinking and talking.

Edited by greysmom

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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First, hugs. Lots of hugs.

 

 

 

Second. We let our osteo dogs go very shortly after diagnosis. They were in pain that the medications couldn't eliminate. And in both cases, the disease moved quickly. In just 7-10 days, the area of bone involvement had greatly expanded. Not all osteo moves that fast, but ours did. Apart from the pain, I was not willing to risk a break. So I let them go. It was hard. It was miserable. For me. For them, it was drifting off to sleep among friends, just as the dish of ice cream was finished.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I am so very sorry you have received this horrid diagnosis

Our Nixon was diagnosed in December 2017. He was 12 years 6 months old. Amputation was not an option for him. He was already struggling with arthritis and doing stairs was getting problematic.

We put him on Gabapentin and Metacam and monitored him very closely.

 

We are in Ontario and last winter was very cold, along with snow and lots of ice. The risk of fracture from slipping on the ice grew every day. Every time he went outside I had to watch him carefully. And he hated the cold weather. It was a very stressful time.

We kept him pain free and happy for 6 weeks, then we said our goodbyes.

 

If you live in an area where the footing is good and the temps are not freezing then you may be able to have more quality time.

However...keep in mind that you are keeping him going for you. Not for him. Dogs live in the moment and do not think about dying.

 

'Better a day too early than a minute too late'

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) Nigel (Nigel), and especially little Mario, waiting at the Bridge.

 

 

SKMwinter.jpg

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You wouldn't need any permanent trolley if you amputate. Just a towel or sling the first few days.

 

 

Please go to the osteo thread and read through. You'll see lots of pictures of happy running tripods.

 

Good luck with your decision.

When our first greyhound got osteo, we decided to amputate. He was only 8 years old. We used a towel the first day, but then a friend had a sling she gave us. But after a few days, he was getting up and down in his own. Within a couple months, he was chasing and treeing squirrels. He was a happy boy again. He lived for nearly 2 more years, until the cancer metastasized into his lungs. He was strughling just to breathe. Then, we knew it was time.

 

Making the decision to amputate or not can be a very difficult one to make. I don't regret doing it once, as we were blessed with more extra time than many get. But if we ever have to make rhat decision again, I don't think I would choose amputation.

My heart hurts along with yours.

Edited by Zoomdoggie
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I just joined after lurking around for a real long time. My bride and I have been greyhound parents for nearly 20 years. We totally understand what you are going through, as we lost one of our original girls to osteo and the other to liver cancer. They make such wonderful companions providing unconditional love and joy to our lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and of course your loving companion Joey. Keep him comfortable and enjoy your time together. They are truly amazing creatures.

Be Safe Out There!

 

Jake

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