sometimes life sucks

so we got some bad news the other day about Abby Dog…
She started getting sick a few weeks ago after eating some berries that the idiotic neighbor kids threw over the fence. She was very weak, throwing up & not eating.
((besides the fact the I’d like to beat the shit out of the parents for not being responsible enough to watch their kids while they are outside, the parents are being the biggest douche bags on the planet. please… keep reproducing so you can have more children that you WON’T watch and WON’T take responsibility for their actions.))
anyways… my parents took Abby to the vet and they did some blood work and found that her white blood cell count was way elevated. Which was indicative of a raging infection. So they gave her antibiotics and fluids (because she was so dehydrated) and sent her home. They said the berries had such a toxic reaction that it caused a bad infection in her stomach which was why she was so weak and kept vomiting.
Well, since then, she really hasn’t recovered 100%. She’d have a good day, tail wagging, eating her food and begging for ours, good energy level, then the next 2 days, she’s lethargic, weak, no appetite, not even begging for our food, and throwing up. And then, she’d be a little better the next day. We figured the toxins from the berries were just working their way out of her system and she’d bounce back.
Well… cycle continues… good day, bad day, ok day, bad day, etc.
So my Mom took her back to the vet this Wednesday.
and the vet tried explaining that her lack of appetite was because she’s “11 years old, not running as much” blah, blah, blah. WRONG. My dog LOVES to eat. She LIVES to eat. (she takes after me & my mom! ha!)
But she agreed to check her blood just to make sure nothing else was going on.
When the vet came back in with the results, it wasn’t good.
Abby’s white blood cell count was still elevated, but now her red blood cell count was really low.
which meant possible cancer.
The vet wanted to go over Abby’s case with the other vet at the clinic and figure out what to do next.
Turns out a specialist was going to be in the next day to do ultrasounds and they wanted to do an ultrasound on Abby to check for tumors.
and they found a pancake size tumor on her spleen.
it’s called Hemangiosarcoma.
the following info is from Canine Cancer. (click for link)
*Hemangiosarcoma in dogs is an aggressive, malignant tumor of blood vessel cells. Hemangiosarcoma can theoretically arise from any tissue where there are blood vessels, which is essentially anywhere in the body, but usually appear in the skin, soft tissue, spleen or liver with the most common site being the spleen.  They are highly metastatic and will frequently spread to the brain, but also to the lungs, spleen, heart, kidneys, skeletal muscle and bone.
The spleen is a large abdominal organ which while not essential for life, serves an important role to the blood and lymph functions.  Splenic growths have the unfortunate tendency to break open and bleed profusely regardless of whether they are benign or malignant. While a splenectomy (removal of the spleen) ends the prospect of this type of life-threatening sudden bleed, splenic hemangiosarcoma is still a rapidly spreading malignancy.When a splenic mass is detected, it may not be possible to tell prior to splenectomy whether or not the mass is malignant or not although testing will most likely be performed to attempt to determine this.  It has been estimated that 25% of dogs with splenic Hemangiosarcoma also have a heart-based Hemangiosarcoma.

When the tumor is located in the spleen or liver, the clinical signs are usually due to rupture of the tumor and subsequent bleeding into the abdomen. This causes anemia, weakness and if the bleeding is severe, collapse. The gums may appear to be pale or white.  In relative few dogs, the diagnosis is made before the tumor ruptures.
When the  tumor is located in the heart, it can cause symptoms, such as weakness, collapse, difficulty breathing, exercise intolerance and fluid build-up in the abdomen. This is usually due to the development of fluid around the heart, called pericardial effusion. The pericardium is a thin sack that surrounds the heart and with hemangiosarcoma, the pericardium fills up with blood due to rupture of the tumor.*

According to the ultrasound, her abdomen is already full of fluid, most likely blood, which means her tumor has ruptured. Which also explains her symptoms. Weakness, shallow breathing, & her anemia (low RBC count). We could put Abby through surgery to remove the tumor, but because Hemangiosarcoma is a metastatic disease, it’s likely it’s already spread, or will spread and she would only develop more tumors. On the ultrasound they had difficulty visualizing her heart, but did not think there were any tumors. And they were unable to check her lungs without doing an x-ray. But doing the surgery wouldn’t prolong her life for very long, if she made it through the surgery.
*After a splenectomy, the median survival time is only 19-83 days. And if the spleen has ruptured before it can be removed, the prognosis is poorer.  The combination of splenectomy and chemotherapy can increase survival time but fewer than 10% of dogs survive a more than one year.*
(from Canine Cancer).
The vet gave her a steroid shot and a vitamin B shot which has seemed to help give her some more energy. She’s eating again. And has never seemed to be in pain (which is a huge blessing).
So for now, we are just going to love and snoodle her as much as we can and continue to spoil her rotten. We know when she’s ready to go, she’ll let us know and we will not let her suffer.
She’ll go to heaven, hang out with Kelsey dog and keep my Grandma & Brad company.
after a haircut a few summers ago
she likes to beveryclosetoyouatalltimes
big YAWN
camping last summer, chillin’ in the rhinHo
santa hats w/my Daddy
cutest Christmas puppy ever

11 thoughts on “sometimes life sucks

  1. Christina @ The Athletarian says:

    Oh no, Ash!! I’m so sorry to hear about your dog. She really is the cutest. I love the yawning picture 🙂 I wish I was in Utah so I could give her (and you) a great big hug! Like you said, she’ll know when she’s ready. All you can do is be there and continue being her best friend. I’m sure that will make her a happy pup and all she wants right now is to be happy 🙂 xoxo


  2. Lisa J says:

    oh man this broke my heart. I literally have tears in my eyes. It is so true that she’ll let you know when she is ready. When I was in college my dog had to be injected with fluid to help filtrate wastes out of her system (kidneys were failing) After 6 months of that, she turned to my mom as she was doing the daily fluid injection and just gave her ‘the look’… it was time. Love her as much as you can!


  3. Carrie says:

    Makes me miss the 3 family dogs we had growing up. they truly are family and its like losing s family member when it s time to go. I’m so sorry Ash, you guys are in my prayers.


  4. Jen says:

    Oh, I am so sorry to hear this! She really is such a cute dog and what a good sport to wear the Santa hat and all! I’m glad she doesn’t seem to be in pain. That is a blessing. It’s so hard losing a pet. They really are a member of the family.


  5. Rachelle Wardle says:

    I totally have tears streaming down my face as I write this. I am so so sorry. I am so close to my dog and cannot even imagine how hard this must be for you and your family.I love you and I am thinking about you. I will keep sweet Abby in my prayers.


  6. Tahsha says:

    This makes me so sad, because I’m dealing with the same exact thing with Casey. Just treating his symptoms and trying to keep him happy for as long as I can, but I don’t know how long he’ll stay until he has to go live with Brad. 😦


  7. Ann says:

    So, so, so, SO sad for you. But you I meant what I said – ya’ll gave her an AWESOME life and you were the BEST dog family ever. She’s totally up in puppy heaven, having a blast!


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