Sarge never ceases to AMAZE

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Any of you following this thread know that 9 days ago, Sarge collapsed and became unresponsive.  Over the night, his dad and I laid with him, not expecting him to survive the night.  He was pulse-less and barely breathing, but not in pain.

He made it through the night so I took him to the vet.  The vet determined he had a massive abdominal bleed and ordered an ultrasound, but it could not be done till the next morning.  Sarge pulled through another night so Wednesday, a week ago, we went in for the U/S.  He was still too weak to even stand.  The U/S confirmed that he had a bleed from a tumor on his spleen and also had lesions on his intestinal area and prostate.  Lymph nodes involved as well.  :o(

On the way out, Dr. Heintz handed us a box of chinese herbal medication (yunnan baiyao) and said it may help with the bleeding but that Sarge may be too far gone.  What would it hurt?  We took Sarge home to keep him comfortable.  Mind you, Sarge is a big boy; 100lbs of love and joy.  Tim and I slept with him and worked our schedules so that we were always by his side.  He was never alone. We syringe fed him chicken broth and water and carried him out with a sling to potty.  I was taking the capsules and mixing with the broth to administer.

Saturday he acutely stood up on his own but was still very weak.  We continued to give the herbal med, 2 pills 2 times daily.  Today Sarge is hopping out to potty on his own and eating and drinking out of his dish, no longer having to be hand fed.  He even begged for his evening walk tonight, so we took a very short stroll.

There are not words to express our shock in his miraculous turn around!   Thank you for your prayers and ++++ thoughts.  We understand his cancer is terminal, but for today, Sarge is a nub wagging happy pup!!!   Love every moment with our precious boy!!!


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Sarge update

Tripawds is a user-supported community. Thank you for your support!

We went to have his ultrasound yesterday to evaluate where the abdominal bleeding was coming from.  In typical Sarge style, he was excited to greet the veterinary staff and had his excitation nub wiggle going in full force.  The tech that has done his chemo for the last 3 years had not been in clinic the day before yesterday and joined Sarge on the floor for cuddle time.  It seems we are not alone in our admiration for this amazing boy.  She told me that he was their poster child for osteosarcoma treatment.  He never had to be sedated for xrays, chemo or other diagnostic studies.  Sarge is a “perfect patient”!

Unfortunately, it was confirmed that he has a lesion on his spleen and he appears to have moderate involvement of the prostate and multiple lymph nodes; all indicative of cancer.

This information just reassured us that surgical exploration would be futile and put Sarge through unnecessary pain and stress.

Sarge is under 24 hour watch and we are not leaving him alone.  He is unable to get to his food or water, but we are bringing him his dishes and he is still eating and drinking with vigor.  We are also carrying him out to potty, which he is still doing like a champ!!!  100lbs of dog is NO joke, glad my hubby is strong, could not do it on my own!

I hope I am doing the right thing by allowing him to chose when it is his time to hop onto the rainbow bridge.  He is not in pain and is comfortably spoiled in this time.  If he stops eating and drinking and his comfort level is in question, we will move on to other options.

Your love and support here on the forum has been instrumental in our 3 year success.  I knew so little about canine amputation and osteosarcoma before this journey started and without this amazing site, we would have felt utterly lost. We love you and send our deepest appreciation and heartfelt gratitude to each and everyone of you that have been there for us during this time.

We pray that Sarge can continue to be a ray of hope and inspiration, even after his passing, to all current and future tripawds facing all the daunting. yet inspiring, life events that this journey brings.

 

It’s so hard to say goodbye.

Sarge has slowed down in the last few months, but has faced each day like a warrior.  The night before last he was clearly distressed and we actually thought we might lose him.  He became unresponsive very quickly, his gums were white as paper and he had no strength.  We laid with him for hours thinking he was passing.  We stayed with him all night long and he actually pulled through. Still unable to stand we took him to his amazing vet first thing in the am.  Based on his symptoms I suspected he was bleeding somewhere.

The examination revealed my suspicions were unfortunately correct, he had a massive amount of blood in his abdomen.  At that point we had to make decisions.  Option 1 was to get an ultrasound that might show where the blood was originating, but the place that could do the ultrasound would not be able to do it until the next day.  Option 2: take him to surgery now, but he was so weak the vet said even with a blood transfusion he had a high chance of not making it through the procedure, option 3 was immediate euthanasia and option 4, we take our hero home on hospice to be with his family.  Dr. Heintz assured me that Sarge was not in pain, but was very lethargic.  His lungs actually sounded good, so he would not struggle to breath.   We could give him gabapentin (pain) and valium (anxiety) as needed.

As many of you, being a tripawd parent means that we have dealt with decision making struggles many times before.  Amputate, or not, chemo or no chemo, what diet is best, what pain meds, what have I done, did I make the WRONG choice for them, etc….  this is not a new world for us.  In the back of our heads we all at some point have thought, if they could just tell us what they want us to do!!! We also know our babies have a desire to fight and we want to give them a fighting chance.

All day yesterday and into the evening, Sarge was to weak to lift his head, much less stand.  I syringe fed him broth and water, as he was too weak to drink from his dish.  He woke up panting about every 4 hours, so I would crush his meds and give in a syringe with his favorite chicken broth.  At 6 am he started panting but was wide eyed and head raised high!  He started to stand and we had been carrying him out to potty but this time he managed to hop out 80% on his own!  He also ate a normal breakfast, right from the dish!

I know all too often, even with human patients, they will rally before passing, but I am blown away with his vigor and valiant strength in this moment.  He even musters the strength to wiggle that precious nub of his, the all too familiar boxer Elvis pelvic wiggle.

We will continue our vigil by his side and I will update as things progress.   We would have never dreamed Sarge would still be with us 3 years post osteosarcoma diagnosis, and although I am beyond thankful for every moment we have had him, no matter the time it’s NEVER long enough with our furbabies.