He had a tumor crop up on his toe last month. It ruptured this week. I took him in yesterday and then brought him back in today for a biopsy and X-rays to see if there is bony involvement and exactly what kind of cancer we are looking at. It is not connected to the bone, so that's good.
We believe it's mast cell. It would connect with his autoimmune issues. Treatment is toe amputation.
I am very conflicted on what to do. They can only grade mast cell tumors after removal. But I want to know his prognosis BEFORE I opt to cut. Grade 1 is a pretty good prognosis. 2 is guarded depending on a few things, 3 is pretty bad.
I am worried the stress of all this is going to trigger another autoimmune attack and his nose will bleed and/or his mouth/skin will flare up.
I'm worried about his hind end strength and recovering from a major surgery at 11.5 years old when he isn't the most healthy dog. The round of prednisone he had to take for his autoimmune two years ago nearly killed him and he never quite came back.
But he is a good dog. And he's pretty happy. He is eating well (although twice in the past two weeks he has refused to get up for breakfast which was/is worrisome.) He still usually chooses to be alone. But he has always been that way.
And the money is a concern. I spent almost $500 today on diagnostics. But I did them because I need to know all the info before I decide what to do. The amputation is probably another grand. If his immune system kicks back up again to attack him, the only drug that works is a very expensive chemo med, which also destroys bone marrow. So that would be another expense. I hate to make it about money, but it is a reality. I don't have a lot right now. We just had to put a lot of money into our truck to keep it running and a wallet with cash in it was lost or stolen. It just disappeared.
Anyway, I'm kind of rambling, but keep us in your thoughts and prayers. He isn't in any pain. But because the tumor ruptured we are bandaging and he's on antibiotics and Benadryl to block the histamine in the tumor. Results on the biopsy come back in 3-5 days.
How do you decide how much is too much on a dog that is old? My friend's dog died this summer after they removed a cancerous tumor in his neck. It was a terrible surgery and then a week later they did chest X-rays and he was riddled with them. I feel like that would be the worst. To take my dog who, while he has a tumor, isn't in pain or unhappy and then cut him up, hurt him, and lose him soon after. I need to be able to see the future to know if it will be worth it for him and us to go through with it.