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View Diary: Updated: Need Advice for Dog in Trouble (56 comments)

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  •  A lot of experience with senior dogs...... (11+ / 0-)

    I know nothing about snake bites but I have a lot of experience with elderly dogs, four of whom I have nursed through old age diseases, cancer and the like.  

    Amputation:  I have small dog.  We found a dog on the street who was about 10 years old when we found him with a tumor the size of my fist on his little leg (he was a 15-pound dog).  I won't go into all of the details but we got rid of the tumor with excellent surgery by my regular vet.  We took him to an oncologist who  'guaranteed' the cancer would come back in 10 months.  It was  6 1/2 years before the cancer came back.  We amputated a portion of his foot.  He recovered beautifully.  Dog recover amazingly well from amputations.  

    At this point he was at least 17 years old.  Within a year of the amputation he had kidney and heart problems, commensurate with his age.  I nursed him for another 9 months until we couldn't let him go through any more.  It was heartbreaking but we were so glad to give Harvey a loving home for all of those years.  

    Surgery in general:  I'm sure your vet has done a complete bloodwork on your dog.  If he's healthy, he's healthy.  

    I, for one, believe in augmenting conventional care with alternative care.  I am sure that the anti-cancer supplements Harvey received had a lot to do with the cancer not returning for all those years.  I got lazy as time went on.  I often wonder if I'd continued the alternative treatment if the cancer ever would have come back.  That being said he was about 17 1/2 when we had to say good bye.  One of the greatest little dogs ever, my Harvey.  

    Unfortunately as they get older there are no perfect solutions, just the best solution you can make in a given situation.  I had to balance giving Harvey subcutaneous fluids that flushed his kidneys but added stress to his heart.  When I could no longer find that balance and he was struggling to breathe we had to make that heartbreaking decision.  I think he would have stayed and stayed just because we wanted him to.  We had to do what was best for him.

    Make your best, educated guess.  And then be gentle to yourself.  You're a loving parent.  

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