Sunday, April 5, 2009

Penny Lives!

Around St. Patrick's I noticed that my dog's foot that she had held up since she had torn her acl last summer (we had decided against knee surgery because of her age) had started to swell. That Friday I made her an appointment with the vet. The next day when we took her into the vet. Her foot had began to bleed because it had become so swollen. 
The vet originally thought that it was a spider bite that had caused the necrosis and death of the skin on her foot from where the infection started. He put her on antibiotics and took a culture of the infection. However a week later the swelling had gotten higher and her fur had turned green.

It turned out that the green was caused by a the pseudomonas bacteria that was growing. Penny was having a rough time because she hated staying in the laundry room. (because her foot was bleeding she could not be out on the carpet) We took her back into the vet and he did an x-ray and it turns out that she has osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and that it had completely eaten away her heel bone. He drew blood to see if the cancer had spread. The vet had said that if the cancer had spread that we would have to euthanize her, but if it hadn't spread the only other option was to amputate the leg to catch the localized cancer and the infection that was not healing. 
I apologize for the graphic picture, but this shows the extent of how bad the infection had become.

We didn't get the results of the blood test for four days. I was such a mess all weekend. We were up skiing, and I kept bursting into tears and would have to sit down in the middle of a run. It was so embarrassing. 
It turned out that her blood work came back clear, but that the surgery would be hard on her since she was an older dog. My mom asked the vet for his opinion and he seemed to be pushing for putting her to sleep as was my dad and Preston. However that night she was able to go on a walk and was eating well and seemed to be in good spirits that I couldn't bear to take her in for in her appointment the next day to be put to sleep. 

Monday was a rough day for me, I had a final that I walked into nearly in tears, and I got pulled over on the way to my mom's. Luckily I got out of the ticket because after telling him that I was on my way to decide as a family if we were going to put my dog down ( I was bawling the whole time) he just let me go ;-) 
Well I talked my dad into the surgery. The next morning they were able to fit her in for the surgery. She was able to come home that night, and seemed to be doing well, but was still on a cocktail of drugs. She has been in great spirits and the wound seems to be healing very well. 
She seems to be doing great without her leg

Here is  a close-up look at her stitches

Unfortunately, we received a call from the vet, and after he had sent off a sample of the infected foot to a lab for a biopsy, the results came back that there is a 90% chance that the cancer has already spread. But at least for now she is doing great, and we are hoping to keep her around as long as possible.


Kayla said...

I'm glad to hear she is doing well! We just put my kitty down two weeks ago & it's the hardest thing ever. I hope Penny's cancer doesn't spread.

Heather said...

I am so sorry about this. I know how close you can grow to a family pet. I hope everything goes well from here on out. Good luck!