Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Day at the Vets

Well, it sucks. Lucy and Jack went to the vets this morning. Jack wasn't scheduled, but I fell asleep watching the Olympics last night, dropped the remote off my lap at some point, it cracked it open, and Jack decided to snack on one of the AAA batteries. What a bonehead! Didn't swallow it, but ate it open and I found vomit, which I assumed was his. The vet checked him out, didn't find burns or lesions in his mouth- gums and teeth okay- he was as happy as a clam to be getting checked out and prodded. Thankfully that ended well (and I didn't even get charged!).

Lucy is not so lucky. :( The vet watched the video I made of Lucy's gagging attacks, and found a large mass along the bone of her top jaw. I never noticed it, but if you look at her muzzle from the top you can see the left side is incredibly large compared to the right. She said nothing could be diagnosed without exploratory surgery, but it has a chance of being squamous cell carcinoma, in her jaw and spreading to her throat. The other issue might just be an infected bone, and the gagging attacks from a collapsing trachea.  Or, it could be larangeal paralysis which is incurable without surgery (which would be risky, given Lucy's bad reaction to anesthesia during her dental) and can cause suffocation if the dog goes into an attack and can't get out of it. The vet said she was also concerned about Lucy's condition, seeing she lost another 4 lbs since her dental 2 months ago. This means she is almost 10 lbs. below her normal weight of 61 lbs. I think she's even a lb or 2 below her racing weight now. :o(

The vet gave us antibiotics (in case, by chance, it may be an infection), tramadol for pain and more Deramaxx, an anti-inflammatory. We also got a brochure on Pet Haven, to plan end-of-life issues if that is the route we choose to go. I have no idea what to do. What the heck do I do? She galloped a few paces in the snow today, but refused to eat even peanut butter (her favorite snack). I did get her a timbit at Tim Horton's, which she ate. One minute she's looking perky on the bed and the next minute her mouth is covered in blood from her bad gums. I don't know what to do?



Hiking Hounds said...

I'm so sorry that Lucy isn't doing well. It's so hard when they get older and start having problems. I hope the medicine helps. I'll be keeping Lucy and you in my thoughts.


Sarah Regan Snavely said...

Oh, Jen. So sorry. Lost my Esther to squamous cell carcinoma many years ago. Hoping the antibiotics do the trick! Remember that these guys are remarkably resilient!


Melissa and Emmitt said...

dear jen
oh sweetie ~ i am so sorry.
i am sending you huge hugs. you are doing everything you can for miss lucy and she loves you more than anything. your heart will tell you what to do when it is time. you love and appreciate her every moment and that is all you need to do.
i am always here for you.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

I hope its just a nasty infection and the antibiotics knock it out. It will be ok. Hang in there.


jcp said...

I'm thinking of you guys. I really hope the antibiotics do the trick.

nam said...

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Until then, WOOF ON!

Katherine said...

Hey Jen, I know you're facing sorrowful choices here, with no easy options. I've followed Lucy's antics over the years of your blog and feel great connection to you and that lovely, cranky gal. Is your vet skilled at advising you? For me, the choice to let a dogfriend go is made when the struggle far outweighs the joy. How's she doing with the assorted treatments? I hope something's helping! And, on another note, how's the new job?

Jennifer said...

Thank you guys for all the kind comments! We're finally seeing some progress with Lucy... it's taken a few days for the meds to kick in. She had one small breathing attack on Sunday night (only about 30 seconds, thankfully)and has been rather listless, but has her perky times. Tonight I noticed that the mass in her upper jaw seems to be smaller, so hopefully it IS just infection and not cancer?? She is still not eating well, but has always been picky. But now, being so... emaciated... it really bothers me. :o(