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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Warning, Long long post!

Has soft tissue sarcoma. It's agressive, went from a 2 cm lump in his back knee area to a 4-5 cm lump in a weeks time. My vet could not see him til Nov 24 so I took him straight to big hospital in mtl for fine needle biopsy (at a ridiculous expense).
Next step is oncologist and ultrasound Nov 2nd. I can't actually decide if I should hope it has spread so we can let him live out the next few months and then euthenize before he experiences illness or pain, or if I should pray that he can have surgery, which will be painful, stressful and horrible for him and stressful and expensive for us.

Rufus is still the same as ever, an incredibly joyful, exuberant and very high energy boy. He can still chase his ball for hours on end, still jumps like a kangaroo at the door, still eats car seat belts....
He will be twelve in January...I never imagined losing him before he was sixteen or so.
Vet does not want me to start any supplements that might help until after he has seen the oncologist. Her reasoning made sense, it's the same principal as certain meds not going well with grapefruit. But if anybody has words of wisdom I would appreciate it.
When I wrote cancer in the search engine here it brought back memories of Marilyn fighting uterine cancer, Nanci's husband and his pancreatic cancer...and my sister fighting breast cancer. Happily she is 100 per cent cancer free and doing great!
If any of you have a better relationship with God/s than I do, please send up a prayer or light a jost stick on his behalf.
Thank you!
 

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Warning, Long long post!

Has soft tissue sarcoma. It's agressive, went from a 2 cm lump in his back knee area to a 4-5 cm lump in a weeks time. My vet could not see him til Nov 24 so I took him straight to big hospital in mtl for fine needle biopsy (at a ridiculous expense).
Next step is oncologist and ultrasound Nov 2nd. I can't actually decide if I should hope it has spread so we can let him live out the next few months and then euthenize before he experiences illness or pain, or if I should pray that he can have surgery, which will be painful, stressful and horrible for him and stressful and expensive for us.

Rufus is still the same as ever, an incredibly joyful, exuberant and very high energy boy. He can still chase his ball for hours on end, still jumps like a kangaroo at the door, still eats car seat belts....
He will be twelve in January...I never imagined losing him before he was sixteen or so.
Vet does not want me to start any supplements that might help until after he has seen the oncologist. Her reasoning made sense, it's the same principal as certain meds not going well with grapefruit. But if anybody has words of wisdom I would appreciate it.
When I wrote cancer in the search engine here it brought back memories of Marilyn fighting uterine cancer, Nanci's husband and his pancreatic cancer...and my sister fighting breast cancer. Happily she is 100 per cent cancer free and doing great!
If any of you have a better relationship with God/s than I do, please send up a prayer or light a jost stick on his behalf.
Thank you!
God love the lovely Rufus don't know what to say hope he doesn't suffer n hope your ok Fairlie 馃挄馃挄
 

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Oh no, not your lovely boy. Hoping for the very best results from the oncologist so you can have plenty of adventures still.

Sending lots of love from me, Chance and Molly who would have loved to have been his partner in crime on some of his fabulous walks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh no, not your lovely boy. Hoping for the very best results from the oncologist so you can have plenty of adventures still.

Sending lots of love from me, Chance and Molly who would have loved to have been his partner in crime on some of his fabulous walks.
Thanks so much. As I write this my sister and mum are launching his ball for him down our big lawn at the farm. If it gets lost in the weeds they are directing him , no no no, yes yes yes....then the excited barking starts when he drops it at
their feet and my sister cannot launch it fast enough for him.
He is going to leave a massive sized hole in all of our hearts. His other mummy is in Singapore with her hospitalized 96 year old mum. It's surreal to be on Skype discussing digging a "just in case" grave before the ground freezes and snow comes, but we don't want to have to cremate him. We want him beside our cats and old dog Max and there are so many roots and rocks in that part of the forest I think I'll find a nice boulder to cover him with as his grave might be too shallow.
We intend to line his grave with all his favourite balls, he has many! Sorry this is so morbid but planning for the absolute worst helps me process the whole thing easier.
That is why I have been googling prosthetic legs and dog wheelchairs, because one option might be amputation. I know it can work for a calm steady dog but I'm not sure if it makes any sense for a bonkers, athletic dog like Rufus. What a horror it would be to put him through that to have him wither away with frustration, pain and depression. Does anyone know if full on dogs can bounce back From a surgery like that?
 

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So sorry his other mummy is away at the moment too which I am sure makes it all that bit harder. I totally understand the practical planning though. I am very much the same and try to plan for all possible scenarios.

Glad to hear he is still enjoying his ball and yes dogs are awesome and can adjust amazingly well - I have a friend with a young German shepherd who lost a front leg as a tiny pup and she is the happiest girl you could imagine who loves chasing her sister and lets nothing hold her back at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So sorry his other mummy is away at the moment too which I am sure makes it all that bit harder. I totally understand the practical planning though. I am very much the same and try to plan for all possible scenarios.

Glad to hear he is still enjoying his ball and yes dogs are awesome and can adjust amazingly well - I have a friend with a young German shepherd who lost a front leg as a tiny pup and she is the happiest girl you could imagine who loves chasing her sister and lets nothing hold her back at all.
Sadly it will not come to that. This morning he has a new lump on his flank, a lump on his chest that the dr. Thought might be a lipoma that is now growing too. No way I will put him through general anesthetic for ultrasound and anything invasive. I'll keep the oncologist apt to discuss pain meds palliative care, diet, supplements, but I'm afraid his days are numbered.:cry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We've had glorious walks all these last days. It truly has been one of the best falls ever for leaves, sun and temperature. What a treat it is to amble along in the leaves letting him snort, chase his ball, chew up sticks and enjoy life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
An long update after today's long vet visit.
First up was a chest x-ray, no sign of cancer in lungs. Next was ultrasound, spleen, liver and lymph nodes all were fine (aside from a small cyst on one lymph node that vet felt was unrelated). The surgeon palpated the lump (which has not grown) and while it is mostly unattached there is a "root" which could cause issues.
So on to the biopsy and blood tests. He is fit for surgery, thank goodness, but also had one elevated liver enzyme. If he does have Cushing's it must be very preliminary stage because he has no symptoms of it.
Biopsy results will come in five days or so. If it is grade 1 they will remove the lump and prognosis is good. If it's grade 3 they'll remove the leg and he might need chemo. If it's stage 2 then they could treat conservatively and keep the leg, amputate at a later date if needed (30% chance) or treat aggressively and take the limb. Each surgery is 4000 $. Today's diagnostics were 2000.$. That will bring total cost after surgery to 7000$ for a near twelve year old dog that might or might not have early stage Cushing's.
My heart feels badly bruised. I will do anything for him, but he loathed the ordeal. Rufus is a sensitive soul, not a stoic sort at all. What I would give for a crystal ball that would show him at age seventeen enjoying life with all of this behind us.
In the meantime HOs mum is 96, trying to recover from covid, hospitalized in Singapore for coming on three months, with a gastric tube, catheter and often oxygen. She, (partner) Skypes with Rufus (and me) twice daily and needs him to be healthy and alive. Near twelve years of joy and bliss with him and now these weeks of horrible worry and stress. Life is a wild ride sometimes.
 

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Really glad to hear you have had some fabulous walks - everything firmly crossed for good results from the biopsy and your lovely lad sailing through surgery with no issues and complications.

Everything also crossed for your partners mum - so hard for everyone :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you both so much for your kind words.
Endings are never easy I guess.
Let's focus on more positive things. I'm deeply immersed, and have been for many years, in choosing dogs number five and six. I want to get two, about six months apart.
Here are my criteria...long lived, healthy, smart, normal spines, non brachycephalic , rugged, low to no shedding, natural swimmer, high pack drive, medium prey drive, and medium protective instincts, not too small (we have carnivores galore here) and not too big...I like a dog I can hold on my lap in a pinch. A regular, run of the mill mutt would be my first choice but puppies like that are very hard to come by here. As much as I want to get one from a shelter I don't want the headache of dealing with somebody elses issues. I want dogs I can trust 100%.
Getting along with children, other animals and farm animals in particular is a must. I could commit to about two to three hours a day of serious work, walking and training.
We rarely, if ever, leave our dogs, and they sleep in our beds so separation anxiety is a non issue.
A cockapoo ticks every single box. If people have other ideas I should consider please tell me. I like the looks of duck tolling retrievers and Australian cattle dogs, but I'm not sure if the later likes to swim?
Rufus is sleeping pushed up beside me in his cone. I hope people don't think I am heartless discussing his replacements. I know he wants us to be happy and I know that when our last dog Max died we nearly became unhinged with grief. Some people like to have a dog and some people need to have a dog. I am definitely in that group!
 

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Apart from low shedding Chance fits most of your requirements as a border collie cross Labrador. She is very much up for everything and has been an excellent all round active girl who is just as happy to curl up on the sofa.

I like to look at different breeds and types too, in reality I have always just ended up with whatever dog needing a home came around at the right time.

So awful to contemplate them not being here :( Molly is not doing well at the moment either and currently waiting for more tests for her too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh no!!
Rufus sends her lots of love and licks. Is it related to her pancreatitis or something else do you think? You have good insurance right, so can hopefully do all that can be done.
Yup, Chance is exactly what I'd like. Just a beautiful, stable, nice dog. We have twenty six geese so I'm not sure if the border collie part would have her herding them incessantly?
 

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Molly was really poorly a few weeks back with either IBD or pancreatitis and has not been quite right since. Blood tests were a bit unclear so we have been for an ultrasound today and her kidneys look very far from normal although vet was not quite sure from that and blood results where to go next. She is very quiet and clearly not feeling great and drinking loads which she never usually does. Her IBD and pancreatitis have eaten up most of this years insurance amount so we are rapidly running out of money but I will find whatever is needed. She is a few weeks off 13 and just want her happy again really but not sure we will get there.

By nature Chance likes herding things - but she is also very obedient and likes to follow rules so she learned very easily that if the chickens were out at the farm they were not to be chased!
 

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Molly was really poorly a few weeks back with either IBD or pancreatitis and has not been quite right since. Blood tests were a bit unclear so we have been for an ultrasound today and her kidneys look very far from normal although vet was not quite sure from that and blood results where to go next. She is very quiet and clearly not feeling great and drinking loads which she never usually does. Her IBD and pancreatitis have eaten up most of this years insurance amount so we are rapidly running out of money but I will find whatever is needed. She is a few weeks off 13 and just want her happy again really but not sure we will get there.

By nature Chance likes herding things - but she is also very obedient and likes to follow rules so she learned very easily that if the chickens were out at the farm they were not to be chased!
Awe poor wee Molly uve had a time of it with her xx hope she's ok must be a worry when they get to their senior years !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The tumour is grade one! It means he can keep the leg, that there is only a small probability of recurrence! To say I am relieved is an understatement. His surgery is Nov 16th. He goes in the morning and has to stay over night. It sickens me thinking of him waiting in a cage. Poor boy will be beside himself with stress. But at least he is not losing his leg!
 

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The tumour is grade one! It means he can keep the leg, that there is only a small probability of recurrence! To say I am relieved is an understatement. His surgery is Nov 16th. He goes in the morning and has to stay over night. It sickens me thinking of him waiting in a cage. Poor boy will be beside himself with stress. But at least he is not losing his leg!
That's great thank god X he'll be zonked with meds n won't know what's goin on bet your so relieved but ull still be worried good luck Rufus 馃挋
 
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