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15 year old beagle with Cushings & spleen tumor

September 25th, 2007, 12:34 PM
Hi all. This is my first post. My 15 year old female beagle has always been relatively healthy. She is deaf and her liver chemistry has been a bit whacky for a couple of years. She's on milk thistle for that and started thyroid hormone a few months ago. She was recently diagnosed with Cushings after she started peeing, panting, drinking a lot of water, and had weight loss. During the Cushings tests, the vet found a grapefruit sized tumor in her abdomen. After an ultrasound yesterday it was determined the tumor is attached to her spleen and the Cushings is pituitary-dependent. The vet does not believe these two things are related. She could have the spleen and tumor removed and then begin treatment for the Cushings. Her recovery from the surgery is likely to be long because of the complications from the Cushings. Her quality of life is not great right now, she is suffering from severe separation anxiety. She is lethargic and just seems generally depressed.

I am agonizing over what I should do for her. Do I put a 15 year old dog through major surgery only to have her battle Cushings disease in order to prolong her life? I don't know if any decision I make is in her best interests or in mine right now. I am feeling very cowardly about making either decision. Any thoughts or opinions are welcome.

September 25th, 2007, 12:48 PM
:grouphug: I'm so sorry you have to make these decisions. It's such a hard thing. :sad:

We always look at it as quantity vs. quality of life. And only you can tell what the tradeoff is. Will surgery gain your dog time beyond the recovery period? Will she have a good quality of life?

It's so tough. But in the end, if you do what you believe is best for your girl, it's the most you can do. She's been very well loved in her time with you. I think she's in good hands. You'll find the right path. :grouphug:

September 25th, 2007, 01:08 PM
i agree 1000%

if her quality of live in recovery will be poor, and short then there is no reason to put her through the surgery and treatment.

if the vet tells you she can expect a nice healthy life for a good amount of time, then you migh thave a tough decision on your hands.

but at 15 years old (im not sure what beagles usually live to) you really have to think about what her comfort would be like after surgery and if she could even withstand surgery at her age.

good luck to you and your pup tho:fingerscr

shes already had a great long life!:goodvibes:

September 25th, 2007, 06:32 PM
It's a heartbreaking crossroad to reach isn't it? And it may well be the most difficult, heart-wrenching and seemingly lonely decision we animal lovers must face. The thing to realize right now, is that the decision doesn't have to be made this moment.

Spend some quiet, soul-healing time with your dog. Listen to your head, you will hear the facts, the rights and wrongs, the risks and the benefits of both paths. Listen to your heart, you will hear your fears, your dreams and wishes, your love for your dog. And if you are very, very fortunate you may hear your dog's voice in there as well.

Only you can make this decision but as long as you do it with love in your heart, you are not alone ~ your dog, who loves you completely and unconditionally, is with you now and always will be. :grouphug:

September 25th, 2007, 08:00 PM
I never expected such heartfelt replies as these. I am grateful for the understanding. I think in my heart I have made the decision to put her down but the actual act of doing it is like a waking nightmare. I am going to devote the next few days to her, to make sure she knows how much she is loved, and so that I can say goodbye and live with it afterwards. I hope I can screw up my courage to go through with the decision. This is a very complex issue for me, I lost my husband of 27 years to cancer just 5 months ago. My other dog is a 12 year old lab and she is incredibly sensitive so I fear for her too. How will she cope losing her little beagle buddy so soon after losing her dad? My dogs are my life and the reason for me to get out of bed in the morning. It is anguish to think of losing them. I know it's also inevitable. The timing sure sucks though. Thanks for listening and sharing your thoughts with me.