Story told by Vesper Akers.
I lost my precious boy to this horrible disease. He was a 11 year old Rottweiler who meant the world to me. I would like to share my story as your web site helped me. I read others posts and helped me know what to expect. He only made it 4 short weeks from the time of his splenectomy.
He had been only periodically eating for a week. I thought he had a tooth problem that I couldn't see. I took him to the vets on January 18th. They said his spleen felt swollen and had me come back the following day for x-rays. On January 19th they did the ultrasound and told me that his spleen was enlarged and that they thought his liver had tumors. They scheduled an emergency splenectomy for the following day.
On Januaruy 20th his spleen was removed. The surgeon told me that his liver was loaded with tumors that there were so many and so small that he couldn't remove them. The surgeon called in some favors and got the biopsy results back quickly. On January 22, I got the news, histiocytic sarcoma. Average survival rate 3 weeks without chemo, 6 months best case with chemo, and only 50% of dogs respond to chemo.
On January 30th he saw the oncologist. I left with a heavy heart. I decided to try the chemo, 3 CCNU pills along with predisone. The first 2 days were horrible, he barely ate and I thought I was going to have to say goodbye. He wouldn't eat any kibble or his favorite biscuits. My vet recommended a holistic vet. I was up for anything!
On February 3rd he met the holistic vet and received acupuncture for the first time. He was prescribed a bunch of Chinese herbs and was given a grain free diet. I was told to stay away from chicken which surprised me. My Justice seemed to have turned into a vegetarian. He was loving baby carrots and the holistic vet told me that they were full of sugar and to try grain free can food.
Justice started eating, never very much though. I had to literally spoon feed him to get him to eat, but his attitude improved. He used to be 115 lbs and he whittled down to 100. He was excited to go for short walks and car rides. He actually improved so much that I thought we may beat this. He had acupuncture once a week up to February 8th. He stopped eating again on February 9th. He wouldn't eat canned food at all. I tried the old goto food, deli meats and he would turn his nose. I tried chicken, turkey, even his beloved carrots, all nothing. On February 15th I noticed he wasn't himself. He seemed tired. He was scheduled for more chemo in 5 days. On February 16th I knew something was wrong. It was a beautiful snowy day out. Justice always loved the snow and we hadn't had much snow for the year yet. I asked him to go for a ride to the park, he hung his head and walked to the door. Not his typical excited, running me over to get to the door move. Once we got to the park I wanted to take his picture in front of a snow covered tree. Within 3 minutes of being outside he was shaking uncontrollably. He wouldn't look at me, his eyes looked dull and flat.
I immediately took him home. He was still shaking. I put a blanket on him and rubbed him. Nothing was helping. He wouldn't look in my eyes or respond to anything. I called the oncologist, they said take him to my vet for an exam. The oncologist was 3 hours away. I took him to my vet and he perked up when we first got there, an adrenline rush, the vet said. While we were there, he got worse. The vet told me that his eyes worried her. He looked so far away and still was shaking. She said he probably couldn't control the pain anymore and that she could give him medicine to help the pain but she didn't think he would last more then a day or two. I knew he was suffering. I put his head in my lap and stroked his face as the vet gave him a tranquilizer and then the lethal dose. He died almost instantly, he just let go.
I know I did the right thing. He was a fighter and just couldn't fight cancer anymore. He was my best friend. Everyone that met him, loved him. He was kind and gentle. Smart and affectionate. I will love him and miss him forever. Your post about the tranquilizer helped me. I didnt know that was an option. I asked my vet to do that for Justice so he would go peacefully and she did. Im so grateful for that. Thank you for your web site.