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.
Isis has a swollen leg. Yes, the one she broke. She puts very little weight on it, and it is warm to the touch. It appears to be under or around the steel plate they put in back in February. I will be calling the vet tomorrow morning.
I took Isis to the vet and they took someX-rays, and said it didn't look good. He made an appointment for me to see the surgeon again, the surgeon wanted to do a biopsy. They weren't sure if it was an infection from the plate or a tumour.
I drove her to the surgeon almost an hour and a half away. He said my options were to treat it as an infection, which would consist of surgery and reconstructing the bone, harsh antibiotics and many follow ups. Amputation, or euthanasia. Which, he was not suggesting.
Day 1: Isis came home just an hour after her amputation surgery. She has staples and a bandage. And she was as high as a kite. She was quite wobbly getting around and whimpered a bit. I hand fed her supper and a cookie. I put her in her crate for the night after giving her a pain killer. Around 2:30 am she started crying loudly. I let her out after giving her another cookie and letting her go to the living room to drink what seemed like a gallon of water. She seemed to settle down until I got up this morning.
Day 2: Isis started whining this morning. Then I realized she had to pee, really bad. She followed me around the house while I tried to get dressed, as I refused to go outside in the cold without my clothes on. I grabbed a towel in case I needed to help support her and snapped her leash on. I carried her down the steps and set her on the ground. And then she peed. A lot. She did great all on her own. I carried her back up the steps and let her in the house. I fed her breakfast, her anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and pain meds. And ahe drank another gallon of water. Before I left for work I put her back in her crate. I came home to her crying and I let her out for another gallon of water. Then I took her outside and she peed again. Inside for supper and more meds. Then she layed on the floor and started to cry again. Time for a poop I guess! She's now resting on the floor. Hopefully she will have a better night tonight.
Day 14: Isis seems to be getting around okay, but seems uncomfortable these last few days. Yesterday we had half of the staples removed. The vet said it could be the staples that are causing her discomfort. Next Monday we will get the rest of the staples removed. She is also picking at her inscision and making it irritated. She has to wear the cone of shame.
Day 20: We had the rest of the staples removed today. Seems like she may have started to have a reaction to the staples, so I'm glad they came out. Hopefully in a few weeks the incision will be fully healed and we can start life back to normal. For a long as we have. I also found out today the results of the biopsy test. Osteosarcoma. Which is the worse possibility. I will eventually kill her. I'm hoping by removing her leg, we'll have her another couple of years at least. But only time will tell.
Nov. 4: Today, after some time of trying, Isis has walked half way up the stairs by her self. This is a big accomplishment. We'll keep working on it. Hoping she can do the set by her self before it snows.
Nov 28: As of today, it's been almost 3 weeks since Isis has been going up the steps all by her self. We put down some roofing shingles to give her better grip. But the first time I saw her do it, it was like watching a child take their first steps! I was so proud! And everytime I see her do it, I'm proud. Every step is an accomplishment. We've also had to put down a runner in the living room and a small mat in front of her crate.
Im glad to see her almost back to her normal self.
May 8, 2017:
I love this animal. She's doing great. She's been slipping on the floors so we put down a runner from the edge of her bed to the door mat. And another in front of her crate. I also bought her rubber boots to give her more traction. She's doesn't wear them often, but sometimes it seems she falls more than other times. Today she had a bath, which is way easier for me now that there's only 3 legs and she can't stand in the tub. (Isis hates baths) and then we got her some flea treatment. She does t have as much energy as she used to, but wanted to play ball today. She takes a lot of breaks. We don't play as long because I don't want her to tire too much. But she about 9 years old now. We think. I think we'll give her a great birthday party this year.