Friday, October 20, 2006

Bad news today. The swelling on Rukh's ankle, which everyone (including the vet(s)) thought was a bad sprain is not a bad sprain. Or a break. It's the result of osteo-sarcoma -- bone cancer -- in his tibia just above the hock.

They did a series of x-rays today that definitely show a mass or shadowing in the bone with a characteristic starburst shape, which makes them both about 95% sure it's bone cancer. Our vet also took a set of chest xrays, which show that it has probably metastatized into his lungs, as this kind of cancer normally does. It's very fast growing, and extremely painful.

We're seeing a veterinary oncologist on Monday (well, the Adorable Husband is, since I am travelling for work and can't reschedule on such short notice) to see what the options are, what sorts of pain management we need to deal with...basically what's what.

My internet searches have been depressing. Primary treatment is for pain, since bone cancer is not really curable and only in a few cases will go into remission. Usually, amputation of the limb is the suggested course, followed by chemo and radiation. Even with chemo, it's 4-6 months for most dogs; and that's if it hasn't yet travelled to his lungs. I feel absolutely awful that he's been in pain for obviously a long time -- he just never let us know, never showed any signs of it ; only when he had a tendon injury/sprain did he really start acting like things hurt. We've been attributing his stiffness and kind of general malaise to arthritis and old age. He's 9 this month, pretty geriatric for a giant breed. We only put him on Rymadil in the last two months.

Poor beast. I just don't know what we're going to do. I'm glad that we have the resources to do whatever we decide, and hopefully the wisdom to know when it's too much, and too long.

We really need to raise poodles, or chihuahuas or some other little yappy beasts that live until they're 27. Not these big dogs that are with us for such a short time. But we won't, I know.

Damn. Just....damn.

1 comment:

The Tiger said...

That's so SAD! Keep us posted... poor guy. And poor you!