Starting Hospice care…

Honestly, I didn’t even know such care existed for our beautiful pups.  I am again grateful to the tripawds website for making the suggestion and I am so glad that we decided to take advantage.

We met a new doc today.  Dr. C is a hospice vet.  She came to the house and we talked about where Sam is, where he is going and what we can do to make the adventure as easy as it can be for all of us.

She saw what we have been seeing, which has left us stunned at the pace of decline in Sam.  She couldn’t hear breath sounds hardly at all in his left lung, plueral effusion, likely.  Which means he is only really using his right lung, which thankfully sounded good, she said.  However, his heart rate is elevated and as of this morning, he insists on being upright, where yesterday he was flopping over on his side as he was sleeping.  Which means he is trying to compensate for the reduced lung function.  In all, the decline is real and not just us hovering with worry like reality show parents.  His lethargy is related to not getting enough oxygen.

But she did give us some hope that we can make it easier.  First, he is back on Tramadol.  Not as much for pain, but for anti-anxiety.  She sensed that he was also starting to guard because he can’t catch his breath, this might help mellow that stress out a bit.  We are also starting him on Prednizone – can’t spell it either.  She says the steroid could improve the fluid buildup in his lung and should help him feel generally better for some time.

But it is temporary.  Our best hope is for a couple of weeks if the Pred really works its magic.   We will give him everything we’ve got to help him feel good for as long as we’ve got.

Which starts with cooking.  As long as he keeps eating my eggs, he will get them.  Tonight, dad has a pot-roast in the slow cooker.  Samdog will get some of that and get to try carrots for the first time.  We will cross our paws that the Pred helps him bounce.

There has been a whole bunch of emotions flying around in our house today, but I want to make sure that the thought that is lasting in this blog is gratitude.  Gratitude that there are wonderful people like Dr. C who work to make it easier, that there are people like all of you taking the time to read this post – you have provided us tremendous support in our time of need…  thank you.  And lastly that 10 years ago, someone brought a basket of tiny fuzzy puppies to my front yard, said pick one, that the puppy biting the sprinker became our Sam, and that he was always up for any adventure as long as he was with me.

Author: samdog

Sam was a 10 yr old Golden. We found a mass on his right arm bone on August 17, 2012. Confirmed Sarcoma on August 22, amputation on August 23, post amp biopsy confirmed osteosarcoma. We found lung mets on November 27 and Spirit Sam earned his wings on December 2, 2012. As a retired SAR dog, we were always up for an adventure... We didn't know where we were headed, and we don't regret a single step along our path. My heart left us too soon, but left a legacy of love that we will always cherish.

4 thoughts on “Starting Hospice care…”

  1. Well, I know how you feel right now because Max also had plueral effusion. It also came on very quickly for him. One day everything was fine, the next day I noticed his chest seemed to be sticking out a bit more than usual, his breathing was slightly labored, and it took him a long time to get comfortable when he laid down. We did an ultrasound the next day and confirmed the fluid in his lung. I’m sorry that Sam has come to this point in his fight. The good thing in all of this is that Sam is with his family, and he knows how very much his family loves him. We’ll keep Sam and his family in our prayers.

  2. I’m sorry Sam is not doing well- cancer so does not play fair. I’m glad, too, that there is such a thing as a hospice vet, and that you have access to one. It sounds like you have the tasty food more than covered (potroast!), but I have also had good luck with natures variety grain free canned food. I suspect you and Sam will be in more than a few people’s prayers – mine included.

    Hopefully this is my only post- the first attempt failed, I think.

  3. Samdog, our collective heart is broken, I can’t believe you are an angel dog now. Things happened way too fast.

    We know you will never leave us, red dog, your spirit will always be here to watch over our Tripawd heroes.

    Andy, we are so very, very sorry. Please accept our condolences.

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