I had an appointment for Topaz at the veterinarian on Tuesday for his yearly exam. He was scheduled for a blood test for his Deramaxx refill which he takes for his arthritis and his rabies vaccination.
As I drove to his appointment I was thinking how nice it was to be going to the vet without a fear in my heart regarding Lyme disease or his arthritis. He’s been doing very well.
We arrived and the tech asked Topaz to stand on the scale. 45 pounds, the same weight for 13 years, even though his running is now walking and only a few miles a day. He is wider through the rib cage than in his younger and leaner life but still weighs the same. I had to chuckle. Age will do that to dogs and women alike .
We sat in the vet’s office and waited. The tech came in and took the general info. Heartworm test and preventative? No thanks. Lymes vaccination? No thanks, he has been vaccinated in the past and ended up with Lymes anyway. Lymes test? Nope. I’ve been applying preventative and he’s good, thanks. Deramaxx refill? Yes. Stool sample? No. Rabies? Yes. Bordetella? No. Leptospirosis? No.
Really, we don’t need all of these things. He isn’t in a kennel, isn’t going to get kennel cough. He isn’t going to have a fight with a wild animal no Leptospirosis. His poop doesn’t show worms.
After the tech gave him his rabies shot the vet arrived. He checked his eyes. Cataracts are still there, growing. Yes, his sight has diminished somewhat in the last year. Lungs sounded good, but breathing a bit labored. Yes, his breathing does seem more labored. When lying down he breathes quite heavily and snores more loudly more often. His lump near the back of the front leg has grown quite a bit, highly probable that it is still a fatty deposit. Could aspirate it? No thanks. It’s good. The lump above the front leg is growing, although not too much. Aspirate? No thanks.
Vet continues his exam. He palpates his abdomen. He is there too long. I think about his growing width in the rib cage. He weighs the same. This is not a fatty deposit. I can tell by the look on his face.
He stands. He tells me that Topaz has a very large tumor upon his spleen, the size of a cantaloupe. It could be cancerous. It might not be. Either way it is not good. He could perform surgery. Remove the tumor. If it is cancerous he would undergo chemotherapy. No no no. He will not go through chemotherapy. At his age, almost 14, he could have difficulty recovering from any surgery.
He didn’t take a blood test for the Deramaxx. He told me not to order more than a month at a time. He refilled the prescription.
Topaz is comfortable. He is not in pain. He walks with me, is eating, drinking and relieving himself. He is his happy, older self. I never would have guessed the outcome of our appointment.
The tumor will outgrow its current location and Topaz will show symptoms. I won’t allow him be in pain. I’ll give to him his last gift from me. Relief. Love.
I love this dog so very much. You all know that. Even though we understand that when we bring animals into our life they are not going to last forever, it doesn’t make it any easier when we lose them. It hurts. It is horrible.
Topaz and I gave one another the best life we could. I know that God's grace will allow me to endure.