Monday, December 3, 2012

GRIFF and Plan # 1

ok, yes...before someone asks.
That IS a tumor on his chest too and there's one on his belly but those are just fatty tumors.
I took Griffin into the clinic today. He fasted overnight in case we had to do surgery.
They did several x-rays of his mouth and along the jaw.
Big mass tumor.
Doc said that he could debulk the tumor.
(Tumor debulking is a surgical procedure performed to remove as much of a tumor as is logistically possible.)
He would take as much as he could and then cauterize it to stop the bleeding.
I asked if it was cancerous and he said we would have to send off a piece of it the the lab to determine that.
Then he thought about maybe even removing the jaw bone. He said that way we would know we had gotten it all.
It was a busy day and the schedule was full so I had Griffin's surgery set for later in the week.

A friend text me to find out what was happening with Griff. When I sent an update to her, she text me back that while he was MY dog, I could NOT do the surgery. Especially the jaw one. She said she had done a partial tumor removal on her dog years ago and it just kept growing back and prolonged the inevitable. She said she had done it because she couldn't bear to lose her dog but in the process, her dog experienced horrible pain. She had to give pain injections every 4 hours and her dog still suffered. She really regretted it and said she wished she had never done it.

I went up front and the office manager told me she had done the same for her dog when he was only 7 and he went through agony during recovery. She said he was on morphine for a week and cried the whole time. She said she would NEVER do it again and especially never to an old dog.
As I walked back to my area, one of the techs asked me what was wrong and I told her. She had tears in her eyes as she said that she too would never put an elderly dog through that.

Doc was busy with clients so I went to talk to the other vet who has treated several of my pets and who I also trust.
He said NO, on the jaw surgery.
Then he said there were several courses of action I could take.
Plan #1 cleanse the area daily and treat with antibiotics for infection.
Plan #2 debulk the tumor so that he could eat....
I told him that he WAS eating. He had a hearty appetite.
so he said, "Then go back to Plan #1, he's 15+ years old and if he stops eating then we could try taking part of the tumor out or........whatever you decided to do at that time."
I thanked him and choose plan #1
He got me a rinse for Griff's mouth and the antibiotics.
My niece came to work for the evening shift in boarding and I gave her the update.
I was thinking she would say she wanted to do any and everything to save him.
When I told her what everyone had told me about their dogs experiences she said that if he would be in pain from the surgery, she would rather have him put down.
She said she would never want him to suffer.
(I love that kid.)
So I leashed up my gang and out we went to the van.
I slid open the door and Blue, Jimmy and Nora leaped in and before I could lean over Griffin hurled his tubby little body up.
His front paws landed on the edge of the door and I hoisted him in.
He waddled across the big dog cushion and curled into a ball.
When we got home, everyone leaped out and I had to grab him and lower him to the ground as he hurled himself out.
The others raced up the front porch steps and Griff took the four steps one at a time but did it on his own.
Tonight when I fed everyone, I put Griff into the large dog crate with a plate of canned food, his pill hidden inside.
He gobbled it down and licked the plate clean and then barked to be let out.
So life is good today.
and I guess we will just keep going, having good days until they stop.


Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

He sounds like a spunky little guy...keep feeding him his antibiotics and special dog foods he loves and hug him every day. I do not know if I could even try to put him through the jay removal...I can only imagine the recovery pain. I wish I could help you are such an inspiration to all animal lovers. I wish you peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

yoborobo said...

Please give Griff a gentle hug from me. I know that this has been such a hard decision for you, Cindi. Keeping your little guy happy for as long as possible sounds like a very good plan to me. Wishing you many more good days - xoxo

An Urban Cottage said...

I guess it's neither good nor bad news. I think your plan is a good one--one day at a time--and he'll tell you what to do.

sassypackrat said...

I think you made a good decision.

barbandemily said...

so glad you have good people to advise you. Perhaps taking heroic measures to save a beloved pet IS more about avoiding our own pain at the cost of our pet's pain. Love your little guy every day!

thecottagebythecranelaketwo said...

I was thinking about if he would be able to go through any bigger surgery at all at his age. But as long as they are happy and doesn't any pain there's no reason to do anything drastic really :-)

Have a great day!