Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Level headed thoughts.

Well, since my last post this morning I'm able to be a little less "emotional" and more level headed when weighing my options for how to take the best possible care of Terra.

More than money or anything else, my decisions need to be based on Quality of Life. In some cases, being a dog has many more perks than not because when you are down and ill, it's legal to actually put you to sleep instead of keeping you alive and suffering.

So my dilemma starts with actually finding out just what is wrong with Terra. The vet thinks she has a tumor on the spleen which for Terra at age 12yr could cause a problem simply due to age alone as a dog of her age simply might not be able to wake from the surgery.

So here's the low-down. Terra took to being weak and weary this past Friday. Since then she has snapped back and gone back to sick, but nothing quiet as sickly as Friday or as normal as usual.

So today we got an X-ray which clearly shows something in the abdomen, but actual size is still to be determined.

My options are:
~ more X-rays of the chest to see if there is more to be found still farther up in the body at about $170.00, but will still deliver little info to size and complexity.

~ A sonogram which will give more details of the mass(es) of size and location, but will cost $250-500

~ Exploratory surgery which will be the best to see what is going on, but will obviously be the most invasive & costly starting around $500.00.

With the surgery, if something is wrong they can do one of 3 things immediately, close her up, remove the tumor(s), or if it's really bad simply not wake her.

Anything less than starting with surgery will end up with surgery, putting her down based on a hunch, or simply letting her live out her natural life.

The problem in lies there, if the vet is correct and she does have a mass on the spleen, it seems that there is a 50/50 chance of recovery, a 50/50 chance of the mass being cancer, and a additional life span of 0- 15mo with the mean being 3-4mo. in which most dogs end up dying from another cancer since the spleen is no longer in place to help filter out all nasties.

If I let her just be, she will bleed to death, slowly!

And if I pick the time for her to go, well I simply have to live wondering if I made the correct decision.

Unfortunately unlike other illnesses, there doesn't seem to be a a black and white time for debate or threshold that maybe once she passes, it's best to let her just go.

My decisions will either find me acting on natures behalf prematurely or once the process of suffering begins.

So how do you put a happy dog down?