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The Dreaded Decision - Missakitti [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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The Dreaded Decision [Jun. 24th, 2015|10:37 pm]
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My oldest dog, Suji, is 15 now. He's got hip displaysia and has been on supplements and pain meds for it for about 4 years now. He started looking a little stiff in the back end a few years ago, but meds kept him acting very normal. A bit over a year ago, he really slowed down, but he still wanted to go for short walks, he still picked up a toy from time to time, he'd still come upstairs in the mornings to see if he could make breakfast happen sooner, and he loved his food and his rawhides. Two months ago, I had him groomed at a place that doesn't have kennels, they just call you to pick up as soon as they're done. I'm sure they were as gentle as they could be, and they'd understood my concerns as an owner of an old dog whose back end is painful. The day after the grooming, he started limping really bad on a front leg. The pain seemed to be coming from his elbow or shoulder. I added on an additional pain medication that was safe to use with what he was already taking and kept him even more quiet at home than he already tends to be. A week passed and it didn't seem much better. I attributed it to him tweaking something getting in or out of the car or something, and really don't blame the groomer at all, but I was getting scared. He was having trouble getting up, it was uncomfortable for him to stand to eat, and he didn't want to go outside at all. I decided I'd give it another week before considering more drastic measures. Three days later, he seemed to be feeling better. Infact, after breakfast, he started barking (his adorable, old man bark), and practically hopping on front legs in a demand to be taken for a walk. I was SO excited, and took him just a few houses down, not wanting to let him re-injure his leg now that he was feeling better.
He was still limping on the front end a little bit, but he was feeling so much better that I was no longer worried that it was anything more than arthritis. Suji was back to his normal activity for his old age.
Cut to Sunday, just a few days ago. I'd gotten back in town and was sitting on the floor to spend some time with the dogs, and Suji happily flopped into my lap. I don't know what made me do it, but I felt on his elbow joints. The one he's been limping on was swollen, with what feels like lumps above and below, firm and not movable. I started crying almost instantly, because it sure feels like bone cancer. I had my friend come over to feel to see if she'd tell me I was being paranoid, but she nodded silent agreement. It's no better today, so I scheduled an appt with Dr. H to take chest and elbow rads to confirm my fears. It won't change anything, really. He's 15, and not a candidate for surgery. I'm not going to have my buddy spend his last year in recovery. He's also already on the max dose of pain meds, so it really is just so I Know.
I hate that I'm going out of town for 2 week on Monday. My friend takes great care of the critters, and she knows what to do if anything Happens, but I'd prefer to be with him. If it is bone cancer, it can get worse so quickly, and it's so painful. Ugh. I hate this. I've only had to make The Decision once before with my cat. At that time, it was Dr. H that came to my apartment.
We'll see what xrays say tomorrow.