I sure hope that it's not bladder cancer
Senior years are so difficult. Nearly a year before Max died, I knew something was terribly wrong. I even told a vet that I thought he was dying, and I knew that she thought I was a crazy owner (she was a vet new to us). It turned out that he was very ill, though we never found an exact diagnosis, just things that were wrong here and there, but no exact issue. I had bloodwork run, abdominal ultrasound then xrays, then a heart echocardiogram, and then a few more tests. I fought very hard to save him, I'm not sure I've ever fought harder for anything in my life. They even let me bring him to work every day because he couldn't be left alone. A combination of 3 antibiotics, and a bunch of supplements (including IV vitamin C infusions) kept him here for quite awhile.
It was a bit similar for Indy, who left about a year earlier than him. Just that I knew that she was very ill, but we couldn't find a cause, and I could just support her, until everything fell apart.
That's all really depressing to write, and I'm sure to read too
I guess my point is, that we look for what we can find, but we might not find out what is wrong, even if we know something is wrong. And we can't be too hard on ourselves, because, even with humans, it's hard to know something is not right, and it's so much harder for dogs. Even if our gut instinct knows, sometimes the rest of us still can't get it figured out.
There is a saying that an ER vet told me once, that no dog should die without the benefits of trying steroids. Personally, I believe that that drug should be changed to antibiotics. I am having a heck of a time with my new-ish girl here - she's been here almost 2 years now and has a file at the vet's thicker than my other two dogs. And in spite of everything we've tried, it's still the antibiotics that work the best at managing weird conditions.
Please keep us posted, I know how very hard and frustrating this is!