Wondering if any dog owners might have insight for me. My vet has been great (we moved an hour away but he still takes my calls), but I feel like I keep coming up with questions and am feeling weird about calling the vet now that the dog is gone.
Long story short, 14yo JRT. Diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Progressed pretty quickly form stage 1 to stage 3/4, but we put him on meds and he responded GREAT. No bloating, no coughing, back to his happy self. His liver was enlarged, but we didn't know if it was a result of the heart failure or whether he had a mass growing. At 14yo we weren't going to pursue treatment. The vet said ultrasounds were very inconclusive for growths in the liver/pancreas.
We went away at the end of April and a friend looked after him for the week. The day before we picked him up she called to say that he wasn't eating and looked sick. But by the time we went to pick him up, he was fine. And then a few days later, NOSEDIVE. We took him to a local vet that ran bloodwork but was convinced it was his heart. Took him to the old vet (that I love) and saw the elevated white bloodcell count, but him on antibiotics and the dog bounced back. We were so RELIEVED. But then halfway through the antibiotics course he started to slip again. I thought maybe the pills were making him sick to his stomach, but we finished the course, and then it was jet a slow decline that turned into a fast decline. In the space of a couple weeks he went from being a finicky eater to not eating at all. From having a hard time getting started on the stairs to not being able to climb them at all. I could get him to eat a scrambled egg and bread crust, but that would be it. And then 24 hrs passed where he didn't eat at all, he threw up a couple of times, was completely skin and bones and very lethargic. I'd carry him outside and he'd walk slowly across the driveway, and then slowly back to the door, but that's as much as he'd walk.
In the end, he presented with jaundice. I freaked out and was so afraid I was letting him suffer needlessly just because I was so scared to lose him and not ready to feel the grief. But now I'm wondering if maybe i jumped the gun? I feel like once you make the decision (esp. with an old pet) the vets try to be supportive. But I need someone to be frank with me. THe old vet says it was text book liver tumor. His liver was enlarged for a long time and then, in addition to his symptoms (white poop, orange-ish pee, loss of appetite , etc) he presented jaundice. He obviously had very little quality of life...but I never even thought to ask if there was something we could have done to alleviate his symptoms. Maybe he could have had a couple more weeks.
SOrry for the long post. I'm just still really sad :(