Adapting to Hemangiosarcoma

all five august 2019

After three bleeds in our first month of Madeline being diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma, we are beginning to adapt to having a member of our pack with a terminal diagnosis. After her initial diagnoses we believe the two other bleeds were from her jumping up onto our bed. (How do you tell a dying dog she can’t sleep with you? We will happily help her up if she would allow us.)

At first Madeline’s canine siblings (Maddie is first dog is second row to the left in this photo taken yesterday.) were sniffing her a lot, laying beside her and in general being respectful. They have mostly stopped these behaviors except during a bleed and are back to their normal selves.

Madeline has self managed by waiting until the other four go out the door first, choosing not to eat high carb foods when offered and resting more.

The times she has bleeds we’ve adapted our schedule so one of us is with her. I cannot imagine how it must be for dog families where humans must go to work. I now feel it is okay to leave the house for three hours although I often wonder if I will come home to find her having crossed the bridge on her own.  But at least I am no longer obsessing about how she will die.

I talked to Dr. Forrest and he said she will start to have more frequent bleeds that take her longer to recover from and we will decide to euthanize or she will have a massive bleed and we won’t have much control. He said as long as the cancer stays in her spleen it is not painful as there are few pain receptors in the spleen. The liver is a different story.

The crisis phase is over. Daily life routine equals love.

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