My family has a tough decision to make. Our black lab mix is 11 and has cancer. He had the tumor removed but they were not able to get it all. We did chemo for a month but it got to be too much - the cost and time were ridiculous. It is a slow growing cancer and he is not in pain so we figured we would wait and see what happened. Now he has torn his ACL. Surgery will cost at least $3500. We don't know what to do. That is so much money for an 11 year old dog with cancer. But it is hard to see him hobbling around. Please pray that we make the right decision for our dog and our family.
What a sad situation all around. You will do what is best for you and your family, but if it were me, I wouldn't put an 11 yr. old dog through another surgery. He's already elderly and sick, and will then need to deal with the recovery from the surgery. And, not to sound heartless, that is too much money to spend on a senior dog with a limited amount of time left. I would make him as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. So sorry that your family is going through this. (((GeminiTwin)))
I'm sorry you have to make such a tough decision. I really miss our lab we had for 14 years. He didn't have cancer, though. I've said a prayer that you are able to make the best decision for your family and your dog.
I'm with Munchkins. My dog had to have two surgeries. The first one when she was 9 and her recovery was slow but good. The second one was at age 11ish and it took it's toll. If I would have known that it would have been that hard on her to go through that second surgery and the recovery, I would not have done it. It broke my heart to see her get through that recovery.
It is ultimately your decision, but just keep in mind the quality of life your lab will have. It's hard to remember that when it's your heart that will break.
You will make the right decision, whatever that will be.
My 8 year old dog just had ACL surgery 11 days ago. It cost about 1400.00. We opted for the less expensive surgery- there are 2 kinds-which is according to the vet is very effective. She is doing great so far.
If it were my dog, I would probably do the surgery and let her live out the remainder of her life with the slow growing cancer as long as she wasn't in pain that couldn't be taken care of with meds. I love my dog like one of my kids, so I would do whatever I could to save her.
We had to put our beloved pet, Buddy, down this morning. He also had cancer. Although we didn't do full chemo, we did a chemo protocol.
When I took him in a couple of weeks ago for a minor problem, the vet noticed he had a fractured molar. Last Monday we took him in to have the molar extracted. It was after the surgery that he declined quickly. The vet assured me this morning that it was just a coincidence, but I will ALWAYS suspect that it is related. Buddy's back legs gave out last night and he had a horrible time trying to walk anymore, so i know what you mean about it hurting to watch them hobble.
You guys are in my prayers. Cancer is a horrible, horrible thing. If I had it to do over again knowing he has other health issues, there is NO WAY I would have done the surgery.
Thank you for all your advice and prayers. I am looking into nonsurgical options right now. The cancer was a 3 cm tumor on his front leg that was removed but not with clean margins and has not started to grow back yet. I will also look into the cheaper surgery, but I am not sure that surgery is the best choice.
I am so sorry you, your dog, and your family are going through this. My dog had 2 ACL surgeries last year, when she was only one! Obviously her age was a huge factor in my choosing to do the surgeries. It is now one year since it happened and I must say it was quite a long road to recovery. I'm praying we never have go through that again.
If I were in your shoes, I'm sure my emotions would tell me to do the surgery at all costs, but logically it would be difficult to put out the money for an older dog already with cancer. What a tough decision.
Just something to think about - my vet told me (I hope I am remembering these numbers correctly) that when dogs tear one ACL, 75% of them tear the other leg and need another surgery within a year. In my case, it was 5 months later.
Before surgery we tried laser therapy... It cost about $25 per session, of which I did six over the course of three weeks. It was a smart decision to try given its low cost vs. surgery, but for her it didn't work. Maybe you could look into that first.
I am so sorry you have to deal with this. It would be heartwrenching to make a decision like that. Your pet is part of your family and you do not want them suffering. It has to be the decision which is best for your own family, but I tend to also agree with Munchkins. I would be worried that he might not do well with the anesthesia required for surgery or with his recovery if he is already sick. I am praying for your wisdom.