2016 Racing Schedule

Monday, May 04, 2015

My Dear Topaz

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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.







7 comments:

Helen Scotch said...

I am so sad for you right now Julie. You are the best dog mom and Topaz has given you back that love and more. Take care.

mg said...

I'm sorry to hear this. I've always enjoyed your stories about Topaz, and the love you both share is a beautiful thing.

Julie B said...

Helen, thank you so much for the kind words. I know, without a doubt, that I have given Topaz the best life I could. He has given me SO much, in return. He has beenmy best friend

Julie B said...

Thank you, mg. We do share something very special.

Anonymous said...

My gsp runny buddy is 12 this month. He still runs with me, but not every run, some mornings he prefers to sleep in by the fire. I'm sorry to hear about the tumor, but so happy Topaz will be able to go peacefully, you seem level headed about it, but it will be so hard. I had a dog die in the middle of the night of bloat a couple years ago and it was so terrible. I always thought I would be able to give all my dogs an easy goodbye, but it doesn't always work out.

I give my dogs heartworm preventative, have you always declined for Topaz? I don't do the lyme's though.
Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

Sorry Julie! I can't imagine what it's like. I feel like I know him from your blog. What a great running partner!

John K.

Julie B said...

Elizabeth, I have given heartworm meds in the past; he normally became ill from them so I declined the past 6 years or so.

Thank you John. It is the pits.