Jan. 2019: Around Christmas I started noticing that Isis (my dog) had been drinking a lot more water than usual. I noticed her backbone sticking out more. But I wasn't sure if it was because she's getting older (almost 11) and the fact she's missing a hind leg? I wasn't sure. I also noticed the barn cat had tape worm. So I grabbed him a dewormer, then I picked up one for Isis, too. This did not help with her thirst or her backbone.
Jan 22: To the vet. We had a blood test done, wondering if maybe she had diabetes. Teeth are good, heart is good, kidneys are good. It's her liver. That's not good. We tried 10 days of antibiotics, incase it was an infection of her liver. During those days, she decided she didn't want to finish eating her meals (she loves her food), has a hard time getting her back leg under her, belly started to swell, can't do the steps anymore. Still drinks a lot, poop looks good, doesn't urinate excessively. We bought a high quality canned food to mix into her dry food, which seems to help.
Christmas Eve vs Jan 22 at the vet. She looks fairly normal, except looking back at Christmas pictures, we realized how bony she looks here.
Feb 5: Back to the vet. Belly is huge. I had to put down more mats so she can get around. The vet wants to do X-rays. X-rays show an enlarged liver and possibly her spleen. And a whole belly filled with fluid. Can't see anything else. They took a sample from her belly. The fluid is not clear, but blood-tinged and full of cells. They made a slide and am now waiting to hear what the cells are. They're thinking cancer. She mentioned trying diuretics to help with the fluid and supplements to help her liver, but instead of just guessing and giving her a bunch of stuff she doesn't need, we're waiting for the results. I know she's uncomfortable, so here's hoping we have answers soon.
At the vet on Feb. 5, hoping for answers, but none were given.
Feb. 8: So I called the vet myself after not hearing anything. The vet had said they hadn't seen any cancer cells in the slide. But there is blood and pus in her belly. She said I could try antibiotics again, if I thought they had helped (they did not). She said they only two things she can think of that would be wrong would be cancer or a tear in a bowel somewhere, but neither of those things are adding up. So we can try an ultrasound, and exploratory surgery, a liver biopsy, or take another sample of stomach fluid and have it sent to the lab for testing. I stopped on my way home from work and got some diuretics to see if we can't get some of the fluid off her belly and make her feel more comfortable. So far, it doesn't seem to be working.
Feb 16. Took her back to the vet, as I had decided to do another fluid sample, as the only other option I was considering was the ultrasound and I would have had to take time off work to drive to the city and it would have cost $400. Monday is a holiday, so they won't be able to send the sample off until Tuesday, hoping to have an answer by Thursday.
Feb. 23: Results are back. Still no answers. The lab says either a tumor (still no sign of cancer cells), or a walled off abscess. They suggest a CT scan, but there isn't anyone around who has one. An ultrasound probably wouldn't give us any more answers. I can tell she is now very dehydrated, drinking excessively, not really interested in food. She's very uncomfortable and can't get around due to carrying the extra weight with less muscles on a single back leg. Her leg is also swollen. She's breaking my heart. We could do an exploratory and try to fix what's wrong or make her comfortable. She said I could try antibiotics again, anti-inflammatories, and steroids. I've got the weekend to think it over.
We’ve made out decisions. I will call the vet tomorrow and have her euthanized. Friday will be the day. My heart is broken and I don’t know how I’m going to get through the next few weeks.