Riley, our Family Dog, is very sick. In the past few weeks she has had an anaphylactic shock to a likely bee sting, been diagnosed with canine Cushing’s disease, had a large abscess on the side of her head drained, and–as of today–been diagnosed with lymphoma. Her lymph glands all over her body are incredibly swollen. Normally the size of peas or smaller, the vet was demonstrating to me that some are the size of golf balls. I was at the vet because Riley hadn’t eaten all weekend and I thought she might have an infection from having the abscess drained. However, the lymph glands told a different tale.
Dr. Palermo gave us two options: 1) Chemotherapy and 2) a corticosteroid. Chemotherapy is an awful lot to put a dog Riley’s age through and Jeannie, Brady, Amanda, Darren, and I all agree that the corticosteroid is the best way to go. What this will do is reduce the inflammation of the lymph nodes, giving Riley a few weeks of relatively normal existence in which we can spend some last hours with her and let everyone say their goodbyes. Once the steroid wears off and her nodes begin to swell again, Jeannie and I will schedule an appointment with Dr. Palermo and say our final goodbyes to the best dog any family anywhere could have asked for.
I’ll be monitoring her very closely for the next couple of days to make sure her appetite returns. (She hasn’t been eating because of pressure being put on her chest and throat by the swollen nodes.) We’re obviously sad about this, but we agree that it’s best she not suffer. She has had a long and happy Life and we will let her go with dignity and minimal suffering.