8 years this beautiful soul has been our girl. Thursday we received the news that her time with us is coming to an end soon. She has very aggressive bone cancer. Her spirits are high, she's still mobile and eating well, but we know all of that will change soon. Until then we are doing doggie hospice care at home, feeding her anything her little heart desires (that is safe for her obviously...she's been on a restricted diet from a minor urinary issue), planning a trip to the mountains and trying to get in as many snuggles as we possibly can. We're pretty broken but we know that she has had a great life.
In May, our precious Mia was outside playing. It had been raining lightly and we have tile floors in the house. We have a rug runner in the kitchen by the door the dogs go in and out of to help mitigate any potential falls. Regardless, the girls came running in faster than normal and Mia fell and flew across the floor. She got up quickly and seemingly was just fine. The impact to her left shoulder.
About a week later she began limping on that side. We took her to the vet and the vet examined her and felt that everything was in place, ligaments were fine and bones felt good. We settled on a diagnosis of a shoulder strain and were sent home with some anti-inflammatories to help her heal.
Except on and off throughout the summer, she would limp and then she wouldn't. She was still running and jumping and very playful. In fact, aside from the husband and I limiting her now, she is still very much the same happy, playful, excitable girl we have always known.
Over Labor Day we went up to the mountains and the dogs had a blast wandering around and just taking in a nice little getaway. When we came home, the limp was back and worse than it had been before. In addition, we had noticed there was a bit of a lump on the joint. At this point the husband and I were pretty sure she had a broken bone.
After this past week, we learned we were way off. Instead of a broken bone, our sweet 8 year old girl has osteosarcoma (bone cancer). The prognosis is not good. The treatment options are limited and after reading some peer-reviewed research, even with treatment, her time is very limited.
So instead of forcing her to spend her days getting used to 3 legs, or dealing with a lot of medication and a low quality of life, we have decided to start doggy hospice. Essentially, our version of this is to allow her to live her life and take in some special enjoyable things, while managing her pain.
She has been on a very restricted diet for about 7 years. After being spayed she had some incontinence issues and so we had put her on a restricted diet to curb this. It helped, but that meant no treats. Not anymore. This girl has enjoyed table scraps, beef bones, and many many treats in the past few days. We are still being cognizant of amounts of food as we know that gaining weight could cause issues on her bones. We realize that at any point her bones could break and instead of treating those as normal, we would have to allow the vet to help her cross that rainbow bridge.
We have some special outings and playdates planned for her as well. We have friends who have lent us pet stairs to allow her to get up and down from our bed and furniture as she loves to be a little snuggle bug. We are just trying to make her time with us as special as possible, while realizing that our time is very limited and at any moment we could lose her.
I am struggling with this. I logically know that treating her is not fair to her. I have read the research, I know this is terminal. However, the mama in me is just so upset. I am crying all the time. I broke down in the pet store knowing that we are essentially buying her final toys and snacks. I am overprotective of her. At 80 lbs, I am just about carrying her around to keep her off her front feet. The good foot that is cancer free has started to show a lot of strain, so I bought a cast to help her. I just am not handling this well. I feel like I could save her.
We appreciate the outpouring of love and support. 2016 has just not been our year...shoot these last 7 years have not been our year. Too much loss and sadness. Thank you all for your love!