Magsha
This is by far the worst time of my life..

I'll start off with Meisha. My 10 year-old husky, Meisha, has been dealing with mammary tumors for a while now. 2 years ago she had a ruptured mammary gland, my on call vet came out and told me it could be benign, but If another appears, it's most likely malignant and I could choose to leave them or have them removed, in which they would probably just keep coming back. About 5 months ago another appeared, then another. I chose to leave them alone, as she has seemed healthy otherwise and given her age, I didn't want to put her through a surgery if they were just going to reappear...for the past month or so she has slowed down tremendously and being these tumors rupture occasionally, she has been living most of her life outside. We get some pretty harsh winters here in NY, so I had decided I was going to humanely euthanize her before temperatures drop - hardest decision ever. She's still here, appetite is great, and she seems relatively healthy other than the tumors. Meisha is still intact, because I had a huge paranoia that something could go wrong during surgery to have her spayed....which brings me to Maggie...

My sweet girl, Maggie...my 2 1/2 year old Mastiff/Boxer mix, my best friend...I rushed her to our primary vet early August..her belly was "swollen" and I had thought she may be suffering from bloat. My worst nightmare came true when It turned out to be a mass..they thought it was a splenic tumor and I had the decision to have them go in and try to remove it without having the option of a blood transfusion, or take her to the wonderful Cornell University of Veterinary Science. I chose the latter. Maggie had the surgery to remove the tumor, which actually turned out to be an ovarian tumor, and she had a complete hysterectomy. The results came back a week later that it was cancerous, apparently one of the most rare, aggressive-type cancers a dog can get. Why? How can this be happening to my sweet angel, my baby girl...she's so young and one of the best dogs I could ever ask for. She has the biggest personality and heart I've ever seen in an animal; I just can't understand why she has to go through this.

Maggie has been doing wonderful up until 2 weeks ago..I took her in for X-rays as she was having trouble going to the bathroom...the cancer has spread and a tumor is pressing on her colon, making it difficult for her to go. She has been on pains Meds and antibiotics since. Three days ago, she stopped eating her normal amount, now she would eat about a cup a day; today she hasn't eaten at all.

I feel sad, angry, guilty for not having them spayed sooner. I'm blaming myself constantly which I know isn't helping..I thought I was doing the right thing. I was so scared of losing them during that surgery, and now I'm losing them both anyway.

I think Maggie telling me it's time and I plan on calling the vet tomorrow, but it's so damn hard...I don't want to let her go. She has slept in my bed since the day I brought her home, idk how to cope with this. I can't imagine life without her and Meisha. They're my whole heart, and my house won't feel like a home without them in it.
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Natcho
I can totally relate to your post about spaying.  When the vet first suggested it years ago, I felt that it was just another cash grab by the vet, and money was tight.  As the year progressed, I too became worried about losing her during elective surgery, or that her personality/energy level would change.  After she turned two, I worried less about it, and it was no longer a priority.  Fast forward to 2 years ago, and her having her first mammary tumor removed at age 10, then in May of this year, her second tumor surgery.  Her lungs were clear prior to surgery, yet 4 months later, after 3 weeks of treatment for glaucoma, and ever worsening symptoms that were being blamed on the glaucoma/meds, she was diagnosed with multiple tumors in both lungs.  A part of me wants to take the blame for her passing while at the same time, at 12+ years, it can simply be attributed to age.  In hindsight,  if I could turn back time, I would have had her spayed, and most probably avoided those two surgeries, and possible premature passing.  Its unfortunate she hid her symptoms so well, and that when she did show symptoms, it was blamed on glaucoma/meds.  She was an otherwise happy and healthy girl, with no arthritis.  We had no time to prepare, other than by intuition, tho I did spend even more time with her over those final few weeks.  We scheduled her "last" vet appointment for two days after diagnosis so my daughter could be here with her as well.  She didn't appear in pain, tho was very lethargic and panting.  It was a peaceful ending.

If she can leave one legacy I hope that anyone reading this who may be unsure of the benefits of spaying realizes that it almost eliminates all risks of mammary tumors in later years, 50% of which are malignant.  It may not buy you extra years but at least you can eliminate that one extra risk.

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Timmymissu
I had my timmy neuterd and he still died of cancer we had to take that decision to let him go and it was the worst day of my life cancer is sucks yruly
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jeffreyburcham
We just recently lost our Satin Marie to Mast Cell tumors and I am still beating myself up over the would've, should've, could've questions. She first got them, a couple of them, in 2015, surgically removed them, she was fine. One of the sites re-opened because she wouldn't leave it alone and it was in a rather tight spot for her vet to suture so she had to go back three days later to have that one area re-sutured. Summer of 2016, I noticed another lump. Took her to her vet, everything was okay. He offered surgery but due to the location (left inguinal region of her hind leg, inside thigh), he would have had to remove such a large area of tissue almost to the point of amputating the left rear leg. Because of her age then, 10, I didn't see it as being a viable option for her. Within no time, like a few months, the thing grew, got infected on the outer surface, bad odor. Took her to her vet again October/November 2016 at which time her regular vet referred us to the University of Missouri Veterinarian Cancer Center in Wentzville, MO. We got her an appointment December 19, 2016 at which time we discussed the treatment options but due to the infection, we had to clear that up first.

By February 8, 2017 we began her radiation and chemo treatments. She loved the truck ride there as we live in Illinois about 50 miles or so from the clinic, so Satin Marie and myself would make that trip every day. 16 radiation treatments and several chemo, she was getting better. Took her to her vet May 4, 2017 because she was vomiting mucous and that white foamy stuff. Kept her overnight, gave her fluids via IV, potassium was low. Her vet sent her home May 5, 2017 and felt safe doing so. On May 8, 2017 she had her final chemo visit but due to her being sick still, her Oncologist said the last treatment wasn't really necessary so her not getting it was not an issue. Gave her more antibiotics, nausea meds and sent me home with 2 Iv bags of Ringers Lactate to give to her under the skin since she was still dehydrated. Said if she was drinking again, then she wouldn't need anymore. Prioritized her meds and of course told me verbally and in writing to keep an eye on her and if any signs started showing, nausea, vomiting, etc; to get her to a vet immediately. Called them May 12, 2017 to let them know Satin Marie was eating and drinking and that she was improving. 

May 22, 2017 I decided to give her the flea and heartworm medicines, the chewables, dipped them in peanut butter since she never could resist peanut butter! Two days later, May 24, 2017 she took a turn for the worse, started getting bloated, tired but was till eating and drinking. Memorial Day may 29, 2017 she had a slip on our basement steps, found here there in front of our washer/dryer on a rug. Never heard anything as I had finally went to bed at 5:00 am after watching stupid war movies. Got up at 8:30 to go to the bathroom and that's when I noticed she wasn't anywhere and then found her downstairs. Had to yell for my wife to come help me. She was already showing signs of having a harder than usual time going up steps so we would assist her. This time, because I had to get her under her belly, she gave a little grumble. I knew she was in pain.

Tuesday May 30, 2017 she pooped, finally! Not much, but it was a good sign. She had been passing some blood and one of the meds her Oncologist gave her on the 8th was to help coat any ulcerations in her Upper GI. Because that stopped, I got careless and stopped giving that pill to her, you dissolve it in a little bit of water and it looks like Mylanta, shoot it into her mouth. She of course hated that and it isn't easy trying to open a dogs mouth when she doesn't want you to. As I knew the end was getting closer, I called her regular vet for an appointment that would have taken place on Friday June 2, 2017. I wanted her looked at in case there was another option besides ending her suffering but was prepared (as any of us parents can be) for the inevitable choice. Our daughter came over to visit one final time. Took pictures of them in the yard. 

Wednesday May 31, 2017: Finally took Satin Marie for her first and final day spa visit. The Angels at that place are just that, Angels. They all stopped what they were doing and devoted over 2 hours to pampering and loving on her and then the owner only wanted $5 from me! Gave her $20, she let me walk out the rear door since my truck was closer to that and Satin would not have to walk across the hot parking lot. Helped me get her into the truck, which caused her belly more pain. Picked up my brother who was coming over anyways to help dig her grave, because I knew we coming to that point the week before. Stopped at Jack in the Box, got her a few cheeseburgers, she ate 2 and seemed content, for the most part. Took my brother home around 8:30 that night, came back, sat outside on our patio, Satin wanted to come out and just lay in her yard. We have three other dogs, all males and different breeds so I had them stay inside to spend time alone with her. Let her inside so she could rest on her bed, went back outside to try and gather my thoughts. Came in and talked to my wife and we decided I should take her to the local animal hospital that is open 24/7. I had JUST been there earlier that day with my Shepherd boy to have sutures removed from a fight he and one of my other boys had gotten into a week before, the 17th of May.

By 11:20 on the 31st of May, I was at the animal hospital with Satin Marie. They got her on oxygen because once again, her breathing was labored. Within a few minutes, the ER vet came in, sad looking. Same vet who sutured my Shepherd, so I was confident in her and was relaxed. Said she was in really bad shape. Made the decision, called my wife and at 12:08 June 1, 2017, my baby girl was no longer suffering.

The pain is hard, too much to handle to be honest. We've had to say goodbye to three other babies, two kitties and our first Baby Girl who we had for 16 years. Since Satin has left, I've been second guessing my decisions, reading articles on Mast Cell tumors, how long does a Lab live. She was 11 years and 3 months old. They have a life span of 10-12 years, so she had a nice, happy, long, good life. We know that. I do not regret ending her suffering although the pain of her no longer being here is awful, SOOOOO much more than the other three and then that makes me feel guilty like I am not honoring the others anymore. 

Should I have had her leg amputated in Summer 2016? Should I have continued the dissolving pill medicine> Would it have made a difference? I know I should have gotten her to see her vet the MOMENT I noticed her getting bad on the 24th of May. I now realize I never should have given her the flea/heartworm medicine as I now discovered that it can have a bad effect on an already weakened immune system. She was turning more and more anemic. her vet told me to consult with her Oncologist about the flea/heartworm medicine and that was on May 5th and when I took her to see the Oncologist may 8th, I forgot to ask. May 22, 2017 I just didn't think about it and gave them to her. I now will regret doing so for the rest of my life.

I hate posting this here because the creator of this thread/topic is already suffering but I have to get this out of me. You are not alone, none of us are and thank God for this place. I know I shouldn't blame myself but I can't help it and it's killing me. I've reached out to a few support groups, one of them locally in St Louis, M to try and help. They don't meet until June 17th so I'm looking forward to going but the hurt and pain is getting to be way too much and it's not just me, it's my wife and three other puppy boys who are also suffering and me being like this isn't helping any of them. I just don't know what else to do. Forgive me please.

Here is my Satin Marie at her puppy day spa. She is so beautiful!

Satin day spa.jpg 
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Magsha
You had me in tears those last couple of paragraphs...I'm so sorry for your loss. And please don't feel bad for posting on my thread...it's sad, yet comforting knowing we're not alone. It's hard...still to this day, the hardest and worst day of my life...it still hurts beyond belief 7 months later. And I very much agree on all of the should've, would've, could've questions...I feel like the guilt is the worst...what if I would've had them both spayed (a fear of mine that they were going to pass during surgery so I never had it done), or what if I would've taken them to the vet just that much sooner; could I have saved them?...or what if I had more x-rays done on Maggie that last day; maybe there WAS something else that I could've done to keep her longer..(even though she was there 3 weeks prior for X-rays and they warned me that I was going to have to make that horrible decision sooner rather than later and that the tumors were growing and she was also on antibiotics and pain meds to help her through until that time came)...what if I wasn't a good enough mother to them? What if I could've been feeding them better food, or taking them on more walks, spent more time with them, not feeding them those extra table scraps of mine and making healthier decisions for them, not taking more pictures of them on their last day with me...it's awful.
Also..I, too, fed my girls cheeseburgers on their last day...it was something I used to do on a night out..if I stopped for food on my way home, I would grab cheeseburgers for them <\3.
I doubt that the pain will ever truly go away...I miss them beyond words and I still break down more often than I'd like..what I wouldn't give for even just one more day with them. I can't even tell you that it gets easier because it hasn't for me yet..I'm sure it will; it will just take time...lots of time.

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jeffreyburcham
Magsha, I cannot thank you enough for the kind words. I know I am not alone in the guilt feelings, the should've, would've, could've thoughts. I can say by talking about it, either here or with personal friends and family, I do feel a little better but then five seconds later, crying and pain and all the stuff that goes with this level of hurt and pain. It's gotten to the point that I have now sought out a local support group and the counselor has asked if I would like a free 30 minute phone conversation to help me. I need it, I'm going crazy and taking my wife with me and it's eventually going to start affecting my other three pups, all boys.

Today, my wife went to McDonalds. Neither of us has really been eating much these past three days. Depression does that to you. She didn't eat all the fries and normally, the kids would be standing there, starving as usual because they never got fed :) French fries were her favorite. Now I cannot bring myself to feed the boys French fries because now French fries, fast food mind you, remind me of my sweet Angel Puppy, Satin Marie. I am smart enough to recognize that this behavior in me is not healthy and I need help. This place is helping me so thank you, all of you here. I am sorry I made you cry with my post and am grateful for your kindness and understanding. I know I am not alone on this, that I am not the only person to experience this. And that helps as well.

The fact I am still recovering from a knee replacement last October and have been off work this entire time has brought me peace in knowing I was able to be there the whole time. I brought her in this house 11 years ago, in May 2006. I carried her into this house on her final trip home June 1, 2017
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