I’m so sorry, but all of this area on the x-ray… its bone cancer.
In three words my heart-was-broken.
Tyler our 8 year old Rottweiler who has been such an amazing companion, and protector of our family since 2005 began limping around last Saturday (May11). I didn’t think a lot of it, after all, he’s 8 years old, and our younger dog Sadie (a 1.5 year old JRT) was just limping the week before, which resolved with no problems.
So I waited for a few days to see if it would get better, but last night, (Thursday) he was waking up whimpering, so I knew something more serious was up. I instantly brought up WebMD and sites like it on my Nook in bed and was up until almost 1:00 a.m. trying to self diagnose my dog. I spent almost 5 years in the medical field, and have now spent over 8 years out of the medical field, so you can imagine, i’m much like a lay person now-a-days. I tell you….these sites perpetuate hypochondria I tell you, but I couldn’t help myself.
I decided first thing in the morning I would call the vet and get him in and get him seen. I had settled based on my “vast veterinary knowledge and experience” that he had somehow dislocated his shoulder, even though I’m not sure where he would have experienced that kind of trauma or rough housing. This was a “wake up one saturday and limp” kind of deal.
So I digress….
We were able to make a 4pm visit at our old veterinary clinic 20 miles away in our hometown! Tyler had gone there before when we first had gotten him, and they are an extremely friendly mom and pop kind of shop.
Jason was off working so I had to get him in the vehicle myself which was a real treat. First I propped his front legs up in the back/trunk of my SUV, and then with all my might, grabbed his rear/waist and hoisted him in! I was rather proud of myself and my efforts!
Once we arrived, the vet actually came right to the car in the rain and performed the first part of the exam right in the trunk! (Talk about customer service!). Still all the while i’m telling the vet, “So do you feel that on the medial section of his scapula and humerus?” (???) …and all the while he’s being so nice and agreeing with me, except i’m pretty sure I’m making stuff up, and he doesn’t want me to feel bad.
He agrees right away that Tyler needs x-rays. I asked him if he had any thoughts and he said he wanted to get some x-rays before he was certain.
So K and I waited in the waiting room, and we could hear Tyler crying in the background from straightening his leg, or getting it into position I can imagine. It was actually pitifully sad. K found a kids book about your dog going to heaven which I didn’t want to read to her because our dog wasn’t dying he had a dislocated shoulder! Because remember I am now a self proclaimed “home vet” thanks to WebMD or WebVet University! I read the book anyways all the while thinking it was going to cause needless angst, but it was a very very nice book about what dog heaven is like.
Well the Vet called us into the room, and showed us the x-ray. “Right here you can see healthy bone”, and I was sure he was about to point out his arthritis which I already knew about, but instead he says, “see where the bone looks all fuzzy?” (which was on both sides of the upper humerus (legitimately)), and then he looks me square in the eyes. That is all bone cancer…..
He said, I’m so sorry, but that is all bone cancer. I could feel it outside in the car, but I wanted to be certain before I said anything to you….
It comes on extremely fast, and its extremely aggressive. After talking a bit more I asked him the obvious, “How long?”. He said months.
So I said, “Like you’re saying, in less than six months?”
-and he said… “more like 2, or maybe even 1…. he’s going to continue to have pain, and his bone might even break entirely…its metastatic in nature, meaning it will spread to his lungs etc… its extremely painful, and unfortunately there is nothing we can do, i’m just so sorry…”.
and more tears
I knew the end would be near. Rotties only have a life expectancy of 8-10 years, and 12 if you’re lucky… but I didn’t think it’d be so soon. He mentioned his Rottweiler died of the same thing not too long ago…..
Right now I’m not ok, and I won’t be ok until he’s resting, and even then I’m in the midst of loosing a family member. Those that have pets really really get it, and those that don’t even agree that its hard.
I haven’t lost a pet since I was 15 years old when my families cat died, and Tyler is my first dog. My protector.
My best friend.
So we’re keeping him comfortable until that fateful day, or that day that things get too bad….. I’m going to hug him, and love him… and miss him like hell along the way. I feel already like a part of my heart died and he’s still here.
After I told Jason the unbelievably sad news that our first “child” was going to die in a month or two I called K’s godparents (because I knew they’d be home, and they’ve been through it before), and just bawled my eyes out to them. They instantly came over to hang out with us and help me get Tyler out of my SUV.
I’m hoping an Angel comes tonight. Until then, i’m going to curl up on the floor next to Tyler, while I still can…