First off, thanks, again, to everyone for the good wishes, crossed body parts and cyberhugs. Tasha was not in acute renal failure last Friday. The vet who did her surgery wasn't in and was not available by phone, which is part of a long and not happy story, but the next senior vet ran a mini panel, verified that her kidneys were OK, and thought her problem was pain. Surgeon had told us to give her pain meds only when she was restless, to spare her kidneys.

Long story short, she didn't eat for two days and DH has more or less force fed her since then. She spent most of Friday and Saturday night pacing, whining and panting. I was gone most of yesterday (that nutrition seminar was great, Diddy!) but DH was home, and she's his girl, so either that made her calmer or she was improving anyway. This morning she saw the vet who did the surgery, and he thought she looked great; he offered her some canned crap for dogs with no appetite and she ate it right up, so he thinks she wasn't eating because she doesn't like the low-protein, high carb diet (she's a husky - - it's food that food eats).

I don't know that I buy that, or the pain explanation, entirely, but that's neither here nor there. This vet also suggested that we keep her off pain meds and discontinue antibiotics, as they may have been upsetting her stomach and/or suppressing her appetite. So we took a big breath and thought maybe we could be cautiously optimistic again, until the vet called in the afternoon with the path report: osteosarcoma. It's almost unheard of for a dog to survive for 20 months after osteosarcoma is found, but that's how long it's been since she saw the oncologist who thought she had osteosarcoma (and this is a dog that's had some autoimmune problems).

We're still glad we didn't amputate back then, because we wouldn't have done chemo - - she's not a dog that would tolerate it - - and she had more than a year and a half of high quality time with all 4 legs. Also, DH read some research about primary tumors secreting angiotensins which suppress metastasis and is a big believer. Now, however, we're between a rock and a hard place: high carb diets feed cancer cells. High protein diets accelerate damage in dogs with kidney disease.

But she needs to eat, and she needs to like what she eats during the time she has left, so we're going to feed her what she was on before the kidney abnormalities were found.
If we'd known there was a good chance that she had osteosarcoma, we'd have let her go rather than amputate the leg. She's had a good life, not long enough of course, but longer than some. We're going to concentrate on making her happy for what's left of it. It's just that she's always been such a presence; it's like the end of an era or something.
Mustang Sally
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in thread sighthounds & siberians (Email Removed) whittled the following words:
First off, thanks, again, to everyone for the good wishes, crossed body parts and cyberhugs. Tasha was not in acute ... It's just that she's always been such a presence; it's like the end of an era or something. Mustang Sally

OUCH, Not the news I had hoped for. I came back yesterday looking for a Tasha update, rushed through the posts, and hoped the silence was good news.
You know.. you were in a rock and a hard place when you did the surgery. You knew the risks and decided to go for it. If you didn't, you would still be wondering. You did, then had the path, and now know it's terrible news. But you have solace in knowing that you TRIED.
If you just let her go, you would have always wondered. Now you know, and you have no apologies or second guesses. You did the best you could. NOT wondering is a gift you gave yourself when you offered Tasha the best chance she had.
... We're going to concentrate on making her happy for what's left of it. It's just that she's always been such a presence; it's like the end of an era or something.

Sally I don't post much but I have been reading every day waiting to hear about Tasha, and now all I can say is how sorry I am about the diagnosis, what an amazing dog Tasha is, and how good you and your DH are to have given her such a good life and to have always done the very best you can for her. I hope all of you enjoy the hell out of her remaining time.
Sending hugs to you and Tasha...
Darla
Nova Scotia, Canada

"I'm still here, you bastards!"
Papillon
http://www.yougotta.com/DARLA/
Oh Sally I'm so sorry. Spoil her rotten in what time she has left and enjoy every moment.
Celeste
If we'd known there was a good chance that she had osteosarcoma, we'd have let her go rather than amputate ... of it. It's just that she's always been such a presence; it's like the end of an era or something.

I'm sorry it turned out this way. You really did your best for her. And though you're really caught in a dilemma about how to treat the cancer vs. the kidneys, I think I'd be inclined to let her eat whatever she likes for as long as she has, to help make her last days doggedly happy, even if it's harmful to her kidneys. She doesn't understand that, but she does understand a good meal.
FurPaw

My family values don't involve depleted uranium.
To reply, unleash the dog.
If we'd known there was a good chance that she had osteosarcoma, we'd have let her go rather than amputate ... of it. It's just that she's always been such a presence; it's like the end of an era or something.

I believe that you have made the best decisions possible all along with the information you had available. You have kept Tasha's quality of life as your primary goal. I see you doing the same now, and I think you are once again making the best decisions possible.
I'm so sorry you have to go through all this. I know you will make the most of whatever time you have left with her.

Lynne
First off, thanks, again, to everyone for the good wishes, ... like the end of an era or something. Mustang Sally

OUCH, Not the news I had hoped for. I came back yesterday looking for a Tasha update, rushed through the ... best you could. NOT wondering is a gift you gave yourself when you offered Tasha the best chance she had.

Ah, but sometimes knowledge has a high price. And it's impossible not to second guess oneself, at least for me, in a situation like this. Even before we got the path report, we were starting to think amputating was the wrong thing to do. It's done something to her mentally, and I don't know that she's going to recover from that enough to enjoy what time she has left.
Mustang Sally
... We're going to concentrate on making her happy for ... presence; it's like the end of an era or something.

Sally I don't post much but I have been reading every day waiting to hear about Tasha, and now all ... her. I hope all of you enjoy the hell out of her remaining time. Sending hugs to you and Tasha...

Thanks, Darla, I really appreciate that.
Mustang Sally
If we'd known there was a good chance that she ... presence; it's like the end of an era or something.

I'm sorry it turned out this way. You really did your best for her. And though you're really caught in ... as long as she has, to help make her last days doggedly happy, even if it's harmful to her kidneys.

Thanks. That's what we're inclined to do, too, but she just doesn't want to eat, no matter what we offer her.
Mustang Sally
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