for yet another long absence. In addition to working more than full time at my day job (due to an unexpected and immediate vacancy in a programme with a very vulnerable caseload) I have had home situations brewing. You didn’t think I was running Flannelberry as my only job did you? Oh no… my day job pays for Flannelberry. All that’s happened is that I have less time for fibre. Sorry to burst the bubble – I know most of us fantasize about the day when we’ll have fibre as our career. It hasn’t happened for me yet but, in spite of the extra work, I’m really enjoying running the shop, meeting new people and learning tonnes!
A few weeks ago, I thought my beloved (although difficult to keep home and very anxious) Great Pyr had strained her leg slipping on the ice that was coating everything. So, we watched her but it wasn’t getting better and wasn’t getting better. We thought it was, from time to time but then it would be obvious it wasn’t. I kept thinking that if it was a serious strain it would take time to heal, all the while knowing it wasn’t. I knew though, that a diagnosis of osteosarcoma (what I was worried about) vs. a strain would have roughly the same treatment but with a different end result so I didn’t rush to take her in.
As time went on and there was really no sign of improvement, I was too worried about her so finally I called the vet. We waited a week to get in to see our vet – at that point I knew there was no way it was just a strain and I was willing to wait for the vet who knew us – and Paks – rather than someone who didn’t. I guess I really knew at that point that we wouldn’t be hearing anything but bad news.
I spent the better part of three hours at the vet last week. Exam and xrays that confirmed my fear – she did indeed have osteosarcoma. The tumour had so thoroughly destroyed the bone that I didn’t need any help reading the film. What I didn’t expect was the pneumothorax that had lifted the heart. Although we didn’t see any signs of mets in her lungs, they were obviously in her plural cavity as something was letting air in.
So, I brought her home. The clinic loaded her up with morphine as well as two fentanyl patches for when that wore off. I knew she had three, maybe four days. The fentanyl would only last three. We decided not to wait until she was off the morphine. She was snowed and at that time, I realized how much pain she’d been living with so we decided to say good bye to her that night.
In hindsight, I thought the course of events would be the same for osteo and a sprain. That was a mistake. I would never again leave a dog I thought had osteo. I didn’t realize, until we’d sedated her for the X Ray, how much pain she’d been living with. Not realizing that gave me time but next time, I would move much more quickly to prevent suffering. Of course a dog with less pain tolerance would have told me she was in pain but… lesson learned.
Her is the BWD – gorgeous and in good coat (she was looking rough and wintery when she went to the vet!).
Now poor Winchester is on double duty chasing away the coyotes and cougars who have already figured we’re down a BWD (that’s Big White Dog).
Morning is starting here. More later.