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Old 06-11-2007, 07:32 PM   #15
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milo and lucy our bassets, extend their best wishes as well. We lost a wolfhound to bone cancer 4 years ago and now have pet insurance with a cancer rider. Our wee girl has blown out both of her ACLs in the past 6 months to the tune of $10000 and the insurance has covered over half of the cost so we are quite happy! They are the best and we do the best we can to take care of them. They are so stoic!
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:39 AM   #16
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Thanks for the well wishes!

Yes, the price of vet care can be outrageous when you get into these exotic problems. Alki's surgery and radiation treatment is going to cost a LOT. We said yes to it without hesitation, our main concerns being what are the odds of success because I don't want to put her through this if the odds are very slim and she'll end up spending her last days recovering from surgerys and treatments. But the specialist assures us her potential for recovering and living out a normal life is very good.

However after we were driving home we were like WOW, that IS a lot of money. But I couldn't see looking at her and saying 'nope, that's just too much'. Dave agrees, the only regret he would have would be if we didn't try everything reasonable that could help her. So it's not like we have the money, but that's what credit cards are for. Hopefully we won't still be paying for it after she's gone!

This would be a good time to find another cheap Bambi to flip

Also, I'm not too happy with our original vet. I don't mean to blame her for being the bearer of bad news, but I have yet to find a vet I really feel like I trust. We had a great vet years ago when Alki was a puppy, but we moved to another town. The current vet did fine in the diagnosing, and seemed to be taking all the right steps, but when she found out it was cancer she said it was inoperable, and pretty much laid out a future where the tumor would close off Alki's ability to pee, and then she would have to be put to sleep. I'm sure she has clients who would stop there and not be willing or able to afford taking the treatment further, so she has to be sensitive to that - but after two years she should know how important Alki is to us. We've never hesitated to pay for anything she needed done. We asked her to consult with the oncologist, and that's who said there were other things we could look into if the medicine didn't work, which gave us a little hope. Still, I had a pretty miserable month thinking this medicine was our best chance, and I was pretty devastated when the second ultrasound showed the medicine hadn't worked.

But now we have this surgery and treatment to hang our hopes on. Alki has 7 more days of romping at the park before her surgery. We'll have to spend a little extra time at it so she can enjoy every day before this all begins. I guess it's a blessing that dogs don't understand more. I wouldn't want her to worry about it. I'll do that for her
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:43 AM   #17
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This has been a good read Stephanie. Having reasonable prospects makes these decisions 'no brainers' when it comes to our furry family members. Larger dogs age faster, so little Alki could have a lot of good times left. Our 13 year old Airedale has been our most expensive pooch to date and a joy the whole time. Her interest in long walks has not changed but we have adapted to the very slow pace in continuing to share these with her. Best wishes to you all!
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:16 AM   #18
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We put our kitten of 20 years through some difficult surgery in February 2006. It was really hard on her, and us, and at her age she was very susceptible to infections and sure enough, we had a round with them as well. By April she was back to being as close to normal as she got. By September she was having the same problems and we decided to let nature run it's course. I had a heart to heart with the vet who was very positive about doing the surgery (another $3,000 on top of the $3,000 we'd already spent) and although we did not want this to be a dollars and cents decision, we wanted to make sure it was truly adding benefit to Cricket and something more than just a few months of health. When I asked the question "would you put your almost 21 year old cat through this surgery and the subsequent at home intravenous feedings and needles and pills four times a day" she said likely not. So, with heavy hearts, we let nature run it's course and in mid-November she passed with minimal pain and a long and happy life.

We wouldn't hesitate to spend whatever the costs are again no matter what that meant as these are our children. They give us their complete love and trust, and our part of the bargain is the provide them with a quality life to the best of our abilities, and as much of that love back as we can.

We miss her still a lot as does our other cat, Smoky Bear, but having him has been very helpful.

So, in our view and only knowing what we've read here, you are doing the right thing without question. You do need to trust your vet and feel comfortable with the fact that they are not in this just for the money, but also are able to see the whole situation. Our vet negotiated reduced rates from the surgeon who did the actual work and the anesthetist - required due to the age of our cat. She also reduced her rates significantly and even still by the time it was all done we hit $3,000, or 1/3 more than originally estimated. Still, money well spent, we did have a wonderful last summer together, and we would do it again in a heartbeat.

Good luck with you little pup. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

Barry and Donna
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:21 AM   #19
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Barry & Donna -- I'm sorry to hear of your loss but it sounds like you did the best you could for your pet. Now that modern medicine can work wonders (for a price), pet owners have additional challenges to consider when making these types of decisions about their pet. I too would spend what ever it takes to save my pets but I also weigh that against the future quality of life the pet will experience. This is always a weighty but personal decision for each pet owner.
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:10 PM   #20
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I too am sorry to hear about your cat.

Today we dropped Alki off for her surgery. We spent about 45 minutes with the surgeon and she explained everything they were going to do. She said Alki is in excellent condition for her age, but that the cancer may have spread further than the ultrasounds and xrays told them. She said that she would be removing the bladder tumor, and then radiation should hopfully stop anything that was missed. She seemed very competent and confident that this had great potential for being successful, though she warned us there may be some ups and downs along the way.

So she will be having surgery in a few hours. They will call us before and after, and keep her there for at least a day until they feel she is ready to come home.

It's very hard to do this to her because she appears to be perfectly healthy, but we know she has this cancer inside. So we feel we are doing the right thing, and we hope it all works out so she can get back to doing the things she loves - barking and going for walks, as soon as possible.

Think good thoughts.
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Old 06-19-2007, 07:54 PM   #21
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I hope all went well with Alki's surgery. Our thoughts are with you!
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:00 PM   #22
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We just got a call from the vet. She did very well and is recovering tonight. Unfortunately they found the tumor had spread more than the ultrasound indicated, and it was in patches all over the bladder, as opposed to just being one main tumor. They did remove one part of it, and 'de-bulked' where she could. The surgeon said that hopefully this would allow the radiation treatment to reach the remaining cancerous cells and kill them. So the news is not great, but she is recovering and hopefully will be home tomorrow evening. I guess we'll just deal with the rest of it as it comes.
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:58 PM   #23
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She certainly got the lucky draw when she got you guys for buddies. Treasure the moments, they are priceless. She, and you guys, are in our prayers tonight.

Barry
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:09 PM   #24
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I got the lucky draw when I got her.

When we decided what kind of puppy we wanted, I went and met the breeder, and she had us over to her house to meet Mom and the litter of pups. We decided Mom was delightful, and we'd love to have one of her pups, and put money down. Then the breeder sent us pictures every week until they were ready to come home.

So she had us meet her in Seattle at a dog show at a fairgrounds over there, so she could introduce us to the two girls she had left. She told us to take them outside on the lawn and play with them one at a time and see who's personality fit us best.

We took the first little adorable eskimo girl puppy out on the lawn and sat about five foot apart and I would hold her and my husband would go 'here puppy puppy' and clap his hands and the girl woudl scamper over to him. Then I did the same and she toddled back. She was adorable! The breeder was so happy we liked her, she said she thought this one was perfect for us!

Then we took little girl number two out. We sat on the grass and my husband called her and I let her go and ZING she went racing off to the right! He jumped up and chased after her and brought her back. We tried it again. ZOOM - off she goes to the left! We dashed after her. We picked her up and looked at her, all wild eyes, tounge hanging out, complete defiance on her little face. Went back in to the breeder and said:

We'll take this one!

Are you sure?

Oh yes, this is the one!

And she was indeed a challenge, but that spunk and spark has made her our best friend, a constant part of our lives, always in the middle of everything. She never has learned to come when I call, but I still love her to pieces. She's not like any other dog I've ever had, or maybe ever will have. It's been a great 12 years. We really were the lucky ones.

Keep her in your thoughts, I'm sure her battle isn't over yet.
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Old 06-20-2007, 07:30 AM   #25
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Steph, I'm with ya on this one, having going through a similar event with (at the time) my 14-15 year old (got her from the local shelter, so not exactly sure on age) Shepard mix Penny. Many at the Midwest Rally met Penny over the past 5 years. This year we didn't take her because she no longer travels well.

Without getting a novel written, she had a tumor in her intestine. I opted to have it removed and the tumor was later found to be cancerous. Flash forward two years, to today, Penny is 16-17 and for a Shepard, mix or not, I've been told it's a long time. I opted not to go the chemo route, only based on her age at the time. She is starting to shut down slowly and naturally, just given her age, and the time is still coming, but each day since the surgery, I consider a gift. Some folks thought I was nuts to spend what I did on the surgery for a dog her age, but you can't put a price tag on the two years I've had with her that I wouldn't have had.

I can still recall the whole surgery feelings and where you must be right about now post surgery. When Penny got back home she was totally out of it (understandably) and I spent the first two-three nights on the floor sleeping next to her.

The best part was seeing her start to bounce back. After being on pins an needles for about a week, it was the most welcome sign one could have hoped for.

Best of luck with your pooch. We're pulling for ya!
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Old 06-20-2007, 07:41 AM   #26
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Wow hope you all hang in there!! Feel supported!
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:14 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
We just got a call from the vet. She did very well and is recovering tonight. Unfortunately they found the tumor had spread more than the ultrasound indicated, and it was in patches all over the bladder, as opposed to just being one main tumor. They did remove one part of it, and 'de-bulked' where she could. The surgeon said that hopefully this would allow the radiation treatment to reach the remaining cancerous cells and kill them. So the news is not great, but she is recovering and hopefully will be home tomorrow evening. I guess we'll just deal with the rest of it as it comes.

Jeez, sorry about this news. Well, she's a fighter, maybe she can win this battle.

Savor every moment.
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:12 AM   #28
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Steph,

I am thinking about you guys and Alki. Good thoughts and prayers are going your way. I know it's tuff on all 3 of you, but had it been me, I would have made the same decisions. Keep us posted and know we all care.

Marie
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