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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all - it's been a while...again.

Lots going on here. Jaeger's hips are pretty sore without meds (which he's on, of course), Dominic is making little progress (although Greg's suggestion of using stress to cancel stress has been by far the most effective), work is nonstop and ever-changing, and my grandmother, who lives with us, has cancer (although her chemo and radiation treatments are going very well).

The reason I'm writing, though, is Girl - my grandmother's old Aussie mix. Some of you may remember her as the dog who tries to kill Bruno every time she even smells him...

Anyway, her condition has been deteriorating pretty rapidly over the past six to eight months. She is skin and bones, barely eats but drinks a lot, pukes back up half of what she does manage to eat, and has very little energy. We took her to the vet several months ago when I realized how much weight she was losing; but, at the time, the vet said that her weight was actually quite normal (I noticed the dramatic weight loss because she had been extremely overweight and suddenly became trim without any significant changes in diet or exercise), and all of her organs felt and sounded very healthy. Her recommendation was just that we keep an eye on her, try to increase her appetite with some different foods, and bring her back in if the weight loss continued.

Obviously it has. When I say skin and bones...well, you've all seen the ASPCA newsletters with the emaciated dogs. Her coat is very dry and dull, too. We're taking her back to the vet next Tuesday.

In the meantime, any of you have ideas on what might be going on? (Connie? :lol: ) All I can think is some sort of cancer that wouldn't have an obvious manifestation. Bone cancer or something of the like? Any experiences with similar symptoms or suggestions on how to put weight on her?

Thanks, as always. Sorry I've been absent. All the dogs look WONDERFUL. A big welcome to all the newcomers over the past few months, too. :)
 

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Was there an x-ray?

I had the sad experience of finding a tumor that filled my girl's abdominal cavity, via x-ray.

She had had a complete work-up three months prior. Aggressive CA. It presented with weight loss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Connie,

I knew I could trust you to respond. Three responses, though... I feel special! :wink: :D

Yes, Jaeger gets fish oil. Although probably not enough. I knew that helped with the skin and coat...joints, too?

Girl has been eating dry dog food ever since we got her almost 12 years ago. Crap stuff, I'm sorry to say - Pedigree, Purina One - but that was waaaaay before I knew anything about canine diets and health.

Anyway, when she turned into a beached whale ( :lol: ) she went on a weight maintenance formula. Now that she's been losing all the weight, she's back on "regular" stuff. Recently, though, we've tried a number of things to get her to eat, including wetting her dry food a bit (thinking maybe her teeth were bothering her) and adding a little bit of canned food to the mix. If she does eat a reasonable amount, though, she throws it back up, like I said. Seems she only keeps very small amounts of dry food down, if she eats at all.

No x-ray has been done yet. The vet just palpated her abdomen really well - said she could feel all the organs and nothing seemed even the slightest bit unusual.

I felt her this afternoon, though, after I posted. To me, at least, her abdomen feels very solid... Not a good sign, I'm guessing?
 

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She is still on Purina-type foods?

Can I ask why?



Daily fish oil (marine Omega 3 EFAs) is a hugely beneficial anti-inflammation agent.

The pain of joint problems is triggered largely by inflammation.

I use a gram per ten pounds of dog weight, which works out to around 1.5 tsp for a 70-pound dog. I would work up to it.
 

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Lynn Cheffins said:
Did the vet do any bloodwork/urine on her? - being as she is a senior dog I would do that before anything else.
Heck, yeah. I truly hope that went without saying. If I remember right -- isn't she twelve or thirteen?
 

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Hi Alicia, I don't have anything to add, just wanted to say it's good to see you back & I'm sorry for all you are going through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks, Susan. :D I've been reading posts, just haven't had the time or energy to respond.

No tests have been done yet - blood and urine will be the first steps, though, you're right.

And yes, she's 12 or 13. We're not 100% certain because she was a stray.

If you'd like, I can post the results of taking her to the vet.
 

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Alicia Mertz said:
Thanks, Susan. :D I've been reading posts, just haven't had the time or energy to respond.

No tests have been done yet - blood and urine will be the first steps, though, you're right.

And yes, she's 12 or 13. We're not 100% certain because she was a stray.

If you'd like, I can post the results of taking her to the vet.
PMed you a breakdown of Girl's current food. :wink:

One immediate step for a girl her age (or any dog) will be the fish oil and E.

Please let us know the results of blood work, urinalysis, and abdominal palpating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
We put Girl down today. A radiograph revealed a tumor taking up about 80% of her abdomen. She looked at me last night and asked, with those big brown eyes of her, to be let go. She barely even had the strength to stand. It was her time.

Thank you for all your love and support. Nothing could have been done, whether we'd seen the tumor earlier or not.
 

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Awww, I'm so sorry, Alicia. You tried the best you could. I'm sure she appreciated the kindness.
 

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We put Girl down today. A radiograph revealed a tumor taking up about 80% of her abdomen. She looked at me last night and asked, with those big brown eyes of her, to be let go. She barely even had the strength to stand. It was her time.

Thank you for all your love and support. Nothing could have been done, whether we'd seen the tumor earlier or not.
I hope you can tell your grandmother what a blessing it is to have that gift to give to our friend... the peaceful and painless end.

I lost the dog who was closest to me that way, and the tumor was so aggressive that an annual exam on September 1 of that year was clear, and on November 10, an x-ray showed a tumor almost filling her abdominal cavity.

Editing: With something that fast, any intervention at that age would have been so draining and miserable........ what a wise decision you made, IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Maren and Connie,

Thank you for your kind words. I think my grandmother found a great deal of peace in knowing that letting Girl go was the most merciful thing she could possibly have done, as hard as it was to know that she would no longer be with us physically.

I believe this was a fairly aggressive tumor as well, Connie. When the vet palpated last fall, she felt nothing out of the ordinary - odds are nothing would have shown on an x-ray, either. And probably not for quite some time after that. This past month, though...I have watched her deteriorate day by day. It's been so obvious. The tumor must have been growing extremely rapidly. So very scary that these things can take our loved ones from us in the blink of an eye.

You have my deepest appreciation again. She will always be in our hearts.
 

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Sorry for your loss Alicia and your grandmothers....I'm glad you both had the courage and love for Girl to do what was best for her. I only hope I'll be able to do the same when it's my girls time. No matter what age a dog passes....it never seems to be long enough.
 

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Its never easy no matter how old the dog is to let them go. But at least you didn't let her be in pain. I am sorry for you loss, losing a dog is almost like losing a child. Its never easy, but at least she is a peace now.
 

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alicia--sympathy from us. i hope it's a comfort to your grandmother that Girl went w/out pain and will be waiting for her on the other side. i know it would be for me.
meanwhile, keep on keepin' on, if we can help here at the forum you know we will!
 
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