Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I don't know what else to say after my review yesterday.

I just had a few more chest x-rays done, and there's no improvement. The vet says that with antibiotics, there's supposed to be a significant improvement in about 10 days. I've lost weight again as well, and now I'm 21.8kg. The vet painted quite a bleak picture. He said that if there's no improvement, I might just weaken and go in a few months. He also said it might still be cancer,but not necessarily lymphoma, maybe some other kind but there's no way to test without a tissue sample.

He gave some options, which is not really much of an option if you ask me.

Option 1: Least invasive
Change antibiotics, see if another kind works. And give anti fungal medication as well. Usually antibiotics will take about a week and anti fungal about 2 weeks to see effects. So if no improvement by then, it's not working.

Option 2: Not so invasive
More tests, blood culture, nasal discharge, treachea wash... but most of these has been done, and we may or may not see anything again.

Option 3: Invasive
Scope. Put a scope deeper into the lungs and see if they can take any samples from the linings. It's similar to the treachea wash I did last week, just in another area deeper, and with a scope. I think he calls it bronchoscope. They will drown a portion of my lungs and extract the fluid for tests, but it's risky because during the procedure, that part of the lungs will not be working to give me air, and they cannot pump air into me.

Option 4: Extremely invasive
Open chest surgery. The most risky as well, with my condition now, he said it's a 50-50 chance I may not survive. They will take a tissue sample for tests. He explained that the area surrounding the lungs is empty, but if you open up the chest, we're introducing air into the area, and although there's a pipe pumping out the air, there's still a possibility that air will leak from somewhere, fill up the void and compress the lungs.

For now my M opted for option 1. The humans seem to think I'm improving, but extremely slowly, but the chest xray doesn't show that at all. My appetite is still on and off, so my M left me in Scuba's house today so that Aunty S can try to feed me small meals throughout the day.

After all these tests done, and no one knows what's wrong with me! The vet said I'm a complicated case. I don't want to be complicated, I want to be simple!

Can someone just tell me what's wrong with me?

(M: I'm really in a dilemma. On one hand I want to know what's wrong, but on the other hand to do so it would mean open chest surgery, which I am not keen to put him through. Friends have suggested not to do the surgery. Just do whatever is least invasive, give him quality of life and see how long he can continue. The vet says if this continues, he'll weaken and be gone in a few months. Just as I thought there's hope of a full recovery, depressing news such as this have to come.

I've thought things will improve if only he'll start eating properly, but his appetite is on and off, and he's now very picky about food. Sometimes he takes chicken, then when I cook it the next few days he doesn't like it anymore. Sometimes he likes beef, but he goes off to after a few meals. Sometimes I try both, or fish, but he still doesn't want to eat it. I've tried stewing, frying, making soup with herbs, meatloafs, topping his food with cheese, I never know what he wants that day. Cooking for him now is really a challenge.

I really hope all these will be over soon.)


Charlie said...

I'm so sorry for what you're going through! I think less invasive makes sense for now, too. Especially if the more/most invasive ones wouldn't reveal a treatable condition but just affirm an untreatable one. Hang in there!
- Charlie's mom

xristen said...

i can understand how ur mom is feelin, herbie, pls be strong and speedy recovery! i hope you win e battle!

Anonymous said...

Do not give up...keep fighting.
Trust your mom..I know in her heart she will make the right decision!!!
Reiki, love and prayers

Anonymous said...

Poorn Herbie...least invasive option seems better for you at the moment yah ?

I hope the vet has given you some Vit B, as it may be able to help you to find your appetite.

I know your M likes home cooked food for you but may be she would like to add a little Pet Addiction Organic wet food into your usual meal, just to whet your appetite a little.

We will continue to pray for you.

hungheykwun said...

have u tried another vet? i know least invasive right now sounds really good, just wait & hope, but if the worst case happens, M is going to beat herself up wondering what if i had done something else rather than wait. 2 weeks is a long time.

Snowball said...

I think its a bad idea to have chest operation at this moment and the idea of pumping liquid into your lungs is not good too. What if not all the liquid is removed from the lung? Won't that make your condition worse?

I hope you get well soon. I will keep my paws crossed and pray for you.


Lacy said...

woofies herbie!!! dang it sweet boy i was hopin for better news..keep fighting and eating..and take ur meds like a good boy...we luv u herbie and dont wanna lose u...

b safe,

Cooper Tonks said...

Just letting you know I am thinking of you.


Vel's Mom said...

herbie M, u might wanna consider a holistic approach. but there're currently no holistic vets here. & no, Dr Ly is not one. frm my understandins, more n more anti-biotics will weaken the body more actually & affect its natural defence system. u can see more of the books i'm readin bout holistic health in my blog.

mayb u'd like to seek the advice of an overseas holistic vet. i dunno.. i hope Herbie recovers... ;(

Huskee Boy said...

Hi Herbie,
Pawsonally I agree with your M's choice and I believe she knows you well enough to determine what's the most ideal option for you.. Please keep your fighting spirit up cos I believe with that, half the battle is won!!
Me, mama, my balding papa and The Maid are thinking of you and sending pawsitive vibes..!!

Sunshade said...

Oh nooooo.... SIGH....

Herbie, there are Hi-Cal supplements out there for dogs who are sick and aren't eating much to take while they are recovering. They provide extra calories and some essential nutrients. Maybe you can get your M to get some on hand and give you that for now, even if you have eaten??

Also, I'm just wondering maybe you can contact a certified radiologist from either the US or Can, and have them read your x-rays to see if they can see anything else that might be wrong. We sent my x-rays out to radiologists when I had my knee surgeries just because family vets aren't experts at reading those. Maybe you can also work with a vet via the phone this way and that way you can maybe get a diagnosis....

Can they check for cancer again??

I dunno..... I really just want you better....

Mum agrees with your M that quality is better than quantity. Surgery at this point has no quarantee and you would be in pain from the surgery.

Love nibbles,
Miss Sunshade

Anonymous said...

what about a second opinion?

Girl Girl Hamster said...

Poor Herbie, option 4 is really a scary option. I think your M is making a wise choice. I hope you'll get better soon

~ Girl girl

Yuting said...

Hey Herbie,

Get well soon! And chomp down all your food, alright?! *pats*


Maggie & Mitch said...

We think your mom chose the best option for now. Our paws are crossed that you get better, Herbie!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Anonymous said...

Hi Herbie..why not give Dr Ling at Namly a try? she might not work miracles but at least she tries the best she can..

Katherine and Pippa, said...

Hi Herbie

Sorry to hear you are still having a hard time. If I was you I think I would be going for an option that means I could stay at home with my family and have good quality of life.

Hoping you start to feel better. Your mom will be worn out with the cooking.


FleasGang said...

Tough decisions for you and your mom Herbie. But whatever your mom decides to do, I'm sure it will be in your best interest. Hang in there buddy.

The FleasGang

Anonymous said...

I discovered your Blog while researching diet and health information for my Golden Girl. Ali was 13 years old and suffered from the similar symptoms as Herbie. My husband and I wanted to ensure we did everything we could so our girl could regain her health (vet visits, including specialists, tests, biopsies, ultra-sounds, x-rays etc. we spent thousands but money didn’t matter as we felt we owed our girl the best care. Six weeks of test and we saw Ali was not getting better. Her breathing was laboured and her appetite diminished to the point that we had to hand feed and even at that she was refusing the food we prepared.

We struggled to keep her with us but after seeing a change in her where she removed herself from the pack (we had her brother and littermate and another younger golden) we started to face the reality that our girl was suffering. We had medicated her but we did not know for sure if she felt pain as golden's have high pain tolerance. Her enjoyment of life was gone and after a difficult weekend and many tears we knew we were not giving her the quality life she deserved.

Cancer is a cruel disease and some cannot be diagnosed without invasive surgery. We were given that option one week prior to losing Ali and I am so glad we opted not to have surgery, as I believe she would not have survived. Her last week we showered her with attention and I stayed home with her 24/7. Ali failed over the weekend so much that Sunday night my husband and I both knew we had to say good-bye to our precious girl. Sunday night we would not let her hide and we slept or more to the truth laid on the floor with her holding, patting and talking to her until morning. Ali is waiting at the Bridge, pain free and happy. We were so sad but my heart told me that we gave her the best life and care and no regrets.

Take care of your Herbie and show him love.

yl said...

Do vets think in shades of grey?? Or do they deliver a sadder interpretation of the test results so that in the case where the dog gets better, they can go,"See!! See my magical healing powers?!?!"

Amber-Mae said...

I'll let your hoomans decide. Ofcourse my mommy's decision would be surgery but now that you said it'll be a 50-50 chance of survival, I think it's too risky. I hope option 1 will help...

Love licks,
Solid Gold Dancer

Anonymous said...

please try dr ling of namly animal clinic, she's the only one i ever trust my animals with! good luck herbie and everyone's praying for you!

Anonymous said...

*hugs for both herbie and herbie's mum*

Shannon said...

I'm so sorry for what you and M are going through Herbie. I hesitate to give advice because I know neither of you. I continue to send storng healing vibes and holding out for a good outcome. M just trust in yourself. You know what is best for Herbies health and your state of mind.
Best of luck, stay strong and keep fighting.

The Brat Pack said...

We're so sorry for what you are all going through. I wish I had some grand advice, but the best I can say is follow your instincts.

Personally I would agree with your choice if I were in your shoes. Hang in there and remember we're all here for you.

Maryann & the Brats