Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A tough decision

I have long feared that one day, I would have to make The Decision. 

Recently, it became that time.

Our little Westie, Daisy,  has been through a lot in her 13 1/2 years.  ACL surgery several years back (she bounced back so fast it scared me until the vet said she was fine!), last year, a uterine infection, right after Christmas time.  This meant an emergency surgery.  After doing some reading while Daisy was at the vet's, I discovered that this could have been avoided if we had had her spayed.  It wasn't a matter of money:  at first, we thought we might let her have one litter, then as time progressed, she was fine, and when she was heat, it wasn't like a cat being in heat, so we just never bothered.

Late this summer, I took her in with a urinary tract infection.  I noticed before taking her in that she had lumps in one of her mammary glands and mentioned this to the vet.  He told me "lumps in the mammary glands are not good"  which I had kind of figured, but he was going to take care of the infection, we could discuss the other later. 

About a month later, I noticed Daisy again showed signs of discomfort that she had shown with her UTI, minus the tail clamped so tightly its tip probably touched her abdomen.  I took her in, the vet felt a lump in her bladder.  An x-ray and an ultra-sound later determined it was not stones, but a large mass.  Not good news.  Without cutting her open and doing a biopsy, we couldn't know 100% for sure that it was cancer, but it was a very good chance this was.  My husband and I had discussed this: at Daisy's age, why put her through this just to be 100% sure?   When at her age, another surgery to remove it (if possible) might not be the right thing to do?  We would try to manage her pain, watch her, and when we thought it was time, we would make the call.

 The pain med/anti-inflammatory dose that she is getting no longer seems to be helping for long.  She whimpers, whines and groans while she strains...even right in front of us in the eliminate.  She groans and barks outside while trying.
We are cleaning up puddles of urine and  trails of blood drops daily.

It is time.

But it is still hard, there is a part of me that wonders if it is too soon,  that if, aside from her sleeping a lot and in between the bouts of pain, there is still some quality of life.  Then I hear her groaning and watch her squirm or try to squat and part of me knows it is time.