Friday, March 13, 2009
Making a decision about our dog ‘Muffin’
Decision making is often difficult, when you really care about something or someone. As we know people have many different characteristics, me I am a person of ‘principle’ and I am also a ‘dog’ lover. Other people may be lovers of cats, birds, fish or may not even like pets, me I love dogs, I have always had one sometimes even two. When I spent 5 1/2 years travelling, apart from missing my children, I really missed having our dog ‘Trudy’. I learned a lot from Trudy and so did my children, particularly my son Scott. I consider my pets to be part of my family and am often accused of treating them (dogs) better than the children. I wonder why? The pet never answers back, and loves you unconditionally.
Now my husband says he loves dogs, but he is not a ‘dog’ person, if you can understand that, they are just an animal to him.
Now you have the picture of the couple who have to make the decision about our family pet ‘Muffin’.
Muffin is one of our family dogs she has been with us since a puppy and is now 8 1/2 years old, she is a gorgeous Maltese X. She is as fit as a fiddle, healthy, eating, playing, affectionate, bossy and looks after Monty who is a Rhodesian Ridgeback X. Muffin did have a sister Misty who unfortunately died suddenly last year, she was found dead in the back yard, ?snake bite or heart attack. You might well ask, so what is your problem?
Last June I noticed a small lump on one of Muffin’s nipples, as we had planned a long overseas trip and Muffin was well we ignored the lump and foolishly I was hoping it would go away. Also my husband was not keen on taking the dog to the vet as the outcome would mean having to spend money on the pet and that may not be worth it, or you have to make a decision about spending money. So his attitude is “leave well alone”. We have since then had several discussions about taking Muffin to the vet.
Last month I noticed that the lump has considerably grown, my feeling is that is it some type of cancerous growth. So despite my husband not wanting me to take the dog to the vet, as the dog is not sick, it just has a lump that is growing otherwise the dog is well. Like every good wife I did not listen to him and took Muffin to the vet yesterday.
There is some merit in how my husband thinks, but that’s what makes us both so different, I can’t just bury my head in the sand, so I have to accept the consequences of this and that now means we have to make some decisions:
Muffin is part of our family and an old dog –Yes she does have a big growth on her nipple line, 50% are cancerous – that means she has a 50/50 chance: she also needs a hysterectomy as well as cutting out the lump. The lump does not appear to go deeper than skin level; you can pick the lump up and move it around. The surgery is possible, but extensive for my little Muffin – however she is fit and healthy – she has a strong heart and otherwise the vet says she is in good health. Yes you might ask how much does this cost – I thought quite cheap at $800.00 – all inclusive. It will take about 5 days for Muffin to recover and 14 days for the sutures. She will need me home to care for her, and we will have to keep Monty away from her while she is recovering.
Options for Muffin:
• We leave the growth – and not know whether it is cancerous or not. It will just continue to grow and her quality of life stays the same and she will just hopefully go peacefully or
• The growth if cancerous will start to ulcerate and Muffin will begin to get unwell – she will have to be put down at this stage. (no time frames given)
• Operate – no guarantee that Muffin will survive the surgery, she may die
o She may make a full recovery and go on to live a few more years
o We just do not know her life expectancy with or without the lump
• Do we put Muffin through this surgery or just let her live out the rest of her days as she is? Currently very happy.
• I am going to take her to anther vet for a second opinion
My husband wants the status quo to remain as is, so do nothing. I am going to Singapore next week and will have to make the decision when I get back – so will give this issue some serious thought.
My main concerns are: do I do nothing and watch the growth continue to grow and it is growing rapidly.
Am I selfish for wanting Muffin to have the operation done, and is it in the best interest for Muffin to have the surgery? Will she live longer and be happy?
I really am not sure which way to go, if my husband was more of a dog person I would be guided by his choice, but he is not, therefore I do not agree with his choice.
What would you do?