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Crittercall
15th February 2007, 04:19 PM
Okay, I've kept up a pretty good front here for over a week and now I'm ready to come clean.

Wallis is not doing well at all.

I took her to a different vet. I knew she had the anal gland tumor - and has had it for some time, it just started growing more in November - and also a tumor on her side. The new vet said that the anal gland tumor must be removed immediately as 90% of those are malignant. She is also in the first stages of renal failure. She is anemic. She has a Grade 3 heart murmur (which my original vet has never mentioned or never heard, not sure which). A fine needle aspirate of the tumor on her side shows that it is "not benign" and also needs to be removed immediately and that they will have to remove a layer of muscle with it to insure that they get all the cancerous tissue.

The anal gland surgery is dependant now on the results of an EKG and an ultrasound, which we are waiting to do until we do blood work to see if the Clavamox she is on helps her kidneys. She has a slightly enlarged heart and a mild interstitial pulmonary problem. She has arthritis in one shoulder and spondylosis. She'll be finished with her antibiotics next week, at which time we will be able to do another CBC and UA, then take her to a surgeon who specializes in soft tissue surgery for the ultrasound. There is a possibility that her abdomen may be filled with tumors, making the anal gland surgery un-necessary if it has already metastisized.

I am so angry with myself. I feel as though I've let not only Wallis down, but also Bubba and myself. I had a bad feeling about the first vet and should have done a lot more homework on the anal gland problem. I've beat myself up for days over this to the point of no sleep and if I do sleep I have nightmares. The small part of my brain that is logical knows that none of this is my fault, but the larger part that deals with emotion is screaming at me.

Needless to say, she is not a good candidate for surgery right now anyway. The vet has said that the best anesthetic she could get would be at UF, but he thinks that the level of competency at the local specialist is very high and that she will be fine there. And of course emotional me reads more into that than there really is, I hope.

I have needed to put this on the board, not for sympathy, but so that I could let my friends here know what's going on. If I get a bit sharper with my wit than normal I'm coming from a sad place in my heart, not a hateful place in my head. I am devastated to say the least.

But I have to look at the positives. Right now Wallis has a good quality of life. She sleeps a bit more than she did as a younger dog, but that is to be expected. When she goes out she still loves to chase lizards and will run, albeit at a slower pace, when she sees me standing in the open door. She is getting even more babying than she has in the past and she doesn't seem to mind that at all.

Bear with me. I'll keep you updated as things progress. Even if the surgery is not a possibility she will stay with us until quality life is not hers. I am going to start walking her when I get the go-ahead to help with her weight problem, which should help with the breathing.

Now to get over the anger at the first vet. I think that my best bet on that is to write him a letter and vent all my anger on him, then put the letter away. I don't have to send it just because I write it. I've also become friends with the Cav rescue person here and she absolutely insists that if I go out of town again the dogs should be staying at her house. She's such a wonderful person and very understanding.

Thanks for listening.

Cathy T
15th February 2007, 04:23 PM
Oh I am so sorry you are going through all of this. I know you will know what to do and will keep Wallis as comfortable as you can for as long as her quality of life is good. I have no words advice...just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you and wishing you well.

moniechris
15th February 2007, 04:28 PM
I am so glad you found the courage to post, as I know writing it was a struggle for you. I am proud of you girl!!!! :flwr: :flwr: :flwr:

If Judi is unavailable to pet sit, I always am!!! You have a line of people waiting to support you (and most you have never met face to face) ;)

matties mum
15th February 2007, 04:35 PM
Just keeps us informed I will say a little pray for you both and keep checking how things are going on :xfngr: :flwr: Aileen and the gang (Jazzie --Barney---Sam)

Natalie
15th February 2007, 04:51 PM
I am so sorry your going through this were all thinking about you and Wallis. It's clear how much you love your furbaby and she's so lucky to have such a caring and loving mommy take care of her.

merlinsmum
15th February 2007, 05:12 PM
Thinking of you and Wallis, you sure love her and she you :flwr:

Kodee
15th February 2007, 05:15 PM
I know about the guilt trip, but you know, you cant beat yourself up about it. After our lab passed, I read all sorts of things which pointed to a lifetime of food allergies that our vet told me was a grass allergy :roll: I felt so stupid for making her suffer 15 yrs for believing it. There were a few other things I found while researching for a new puppy that I wasnt aware of that could have made a difference too. I know your illnesses are more serious, but the point is, you love your dog and you thought you were doing allright by her - you are human. Your dog, appreciates and knows the love, that is what matters. Hope it all works out.

PamH
15th February 2007, 05:37 PM
I am so so sorry. I can only begin to imagine how you feel.
I put myself in your place and I sympathize with you so much.
Hugs.
Pam

duncans_ma
15th February 2007, 05:37 PM
We are thinking of you and you know you can always find a friend here.

George19
15th February 2007, 05:38 PM
I'm sorry to hear your news and how bad you are feeling. Please don't feel guilty, it's so easy to say but it's such an unfair thing to do to yourself. It's natural to feel like guilty and it's so easy to criticise ourselves in hindsight but we know we love and care for our dogs and that's what is important.
I hope you find some peace, you need to be fair to yourself and remember all the times you've done what is best for Wallis and put her first despite how busy or tired you were. Write the letter to the vet, send it or don't, do whatever makes you feel that bit better. Most of all, enjoy Wallis and try to remain happy that she is with you. Please remember to take care of yourself.

Lindsay
15th February 2007, 05:41 PM
Oh Donna, I had no idea that Wallis was not doing well! :( :( :(

Please do not blame yourself. You cannot be held responsible for bad medical advice. You were doing what you thought was best. Remember hindsight is always 20/20. We all know you would never compromise the health and/or happiness of any of your babies! :flwr:

Please know we are thinking of you and sending postive vibes to you and Wallis! :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug:

How old is Wallis?

JaneB
15th February 2007, 05:58 PM
Donna, I'm just heart-sick for you and your sweet Wallis. You did the best you could given the information you received. It's always so difficult when you find that it was not the right info. There was absolutely nothing more you could have done. I think the letter idea is a good one, it always feels better to get something off your chest. You're doing the right thing, just love her and make her comfortable. Hang in there, we are all here for you!

JaneB

*Pauline*
15th February 2007, 06:10 PM
Dear Donna, I'm so sorry you and your family are going through this. I really don't know what to sa...it's heart breaking. I think your letter to the vet is a good idea, maybe put it away and don't post it or maybe you would be educating him, I don't know. I'd put it away for now and vocus all of your attention on Wallis and enjoy her. Give her a kiss from Auntie Pauline :hug:

KimNIndy
15th February 2007, 06:22 PM
i'm so sorry to hear about wallis' illness and we will all be thinking about you and your family. :hug:

thank you for telling us about it---it must have been very hard to put into writing. i hope it helps having shared with us.

please do write the letter---i have done this before and it really is a good help because it helps to clarify and express everything that you are feeling...if you feel the need to send it remember that several drafts are better for both ends!!! just don't hold in the anger because it will only result in making you feel worse----trust me i know

i think we all feel a bit guilty when anything happens to our dogs (i think it's their eyes that do it) but there is absolutely no reason to. you love wallis to bits and are a wonderful mommy to her.

please keep us updated and lots of hugs to you both!

:flwr: kim

Scouty girl
15th February 2007, 06:57 PM
Donna,

You have to realize that you would never jeopardize wallis' health. You were doing what the rest of us would have done, listening to the professional.

I'm sure you will do whatever it takes to help your special girl and make her comfortable. We will all be thinking of you. Be strong. :flwr:

Karlin
16th February 2007, 12:27 AM
I'm so sorry to hear you are tackling these health challenges with Wallis :(. You really cannot blame yourself -- it can be very hard to know that things should have been done; hindsight is indeed 20/20. It is easy to blame ourselves for not asking for things to be checked but often there was no reason why we would have at the time, especially not if the vet wasn't overly concerned. It is a shame the situation with the tumours didn't trigger more action from your previous vet to give you the detail you now have from your new vet, but this is hardly your fault. Also keep in mind the majority of vets do not pick up heart murmurs or grade them correctly when they do -- an awful lot miss them entirely.

It sounds like you and Wallis are in very good hands now and Wallis will get the best treatment she can. We will all be here thinking positive thoughts for you and Wallis. :flwr:

Crittercall
16th February 2007, 12:33 AM
I can't thank you guys enough for all the encouragement and support. It makes me feel better just having shared something that is so much on my mind with everyone here; I feel so close to you guys even though I don't know your faces. I guess that's the spirit of the Cavalier running through all of us.

Right now I need to concentrate more on the fact that Wallis looks okay and is acting fine, although inside I feel like we are walking the Green Mile.

Thanks again. I'm overwhelmed and almost speechless.

CavyGirl
16th February 2007, 01:25 AM
thank you for sharing during this heart wrenching time... I completely understand your anger with your first vet. I had a puppy that wasn't doing very well just days after getting her so I brought her to the vet and they kept her over night for observation. They sent her home the next day and said she was fine -- she died that night from parvo in emergency care. I wrote the vet a letter, as well as the pet store I got her from (I know...but I didn't know how bad this was at the time) and I vented every emotion I had in 4 pages. In the end I did feel better because it forced me into all the grieving emotions (it took me a day to write it!). After editing out the profanities, I sent it hoping that it might prevent obvious oversight or neglect from happening again to other puppies in the vets care, and from the pet store selling sick puppies. I don't know if it did or not, but I definitely got reaction from both.

I felt so guilty too, as all the symptoms indicated there was something wrong. But when you identify the concerns, we trust our vets to go through the process of eliminating the possible problems. You can't hold yourself accountable as you trusted your vet, a professional trained to treat and understand the health symptoms and concerns of our little ones -- if they find nothing wrong, how can you be expected to?

Enjoy this time with Wallis. We're thinking of you...

Cheryl V
16th February 2007, 01:32 AM
Donna,

Ditto to what everyone said about hindsight. Just enjoy Wallis and give her all the love she needs. Don't blame yourself. We're all behind you. Please keep us posted and let us know how she is doing.

selina
16th February 2007, 11:02 AM
I am so sorry to read that Wallis is so ill. Cancer is sucha hard thing to deal with. And your right you need to vent at the vet that miss diagnosed her, but I would be sending that letter so that they know what has happened and how badly you and Wallis have been treated. I did this when a vet killed one of my dogs and I got a phone call and an apology from them. It wasnt much but I certainly felt better after when I made them realise there mistake. :flwr: :flwr: :flwr:

Claire L
16th February 2007, 11:32 AM
Thinking of you Donna and Wallis and sending lots of positive thoughts and healing :hug:

:hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :lotsaluv:

Maxxs_Mummy
16th February 2007, 11:53 AM
Thinking of you, Wallis and all the family. Just giove her all the love and care and attention that you usually do. Enjoy the time you have left together & don't blame yourself. You have and are doing your very best for her. Just remember that :hug: :hug: :hug:

I know it's not easy but try and think that the Vet's are only human too. I had to do this when my Dad's doctor misdiagnosed him, saying he had a bad back when he really had cancerous tumours that destroyed his kidneys and liver and killed him.

Donna, write the letter and then burn it or put it away. It's really not worth sending it and upsetting yourself even more.

Big :hug:'s to you and Wallis from Maxx and Charlie too :hug: xxxxx

Caraline
16th February 2007, 12:01 PM
Oh boy, my heart really goes out to you and Wallis. We women are our own worst enemies with this guilt stuff we put ourselves through. But knowing it doesn't seem to stop us from doing it. Strength & blessings to you and Wallis.

Cathy Moon
16th February 2007, 12:21 PM
Donna, so sorry this is happening to you, your DH, and Wallis. She knows she is loved, and that's what's most important. Cherish every moment. You'll be in my thoughts. :hug: :flwr:

Sue.k
16th February 2007, 12:38 PM
Donna, I am sooooo sorry to hear about what you are going through, dont beat yourself up about it, just love and cherish every minute with Wallis, take care, my thoughts are with you

Denise G.
16th February 2007, 05:48 PM
Donna--Just wanted to let you know that you and Wallis are in my thoughts and prayers. It's sometimes SO hard to know how to help our furkids. All we can do is our best. Don't worry, Wallis knows she's very loved and that you've done your best to give her a good life.

Hugs from me, Mia and Wrigley!! :flwr:

Forest
17th February 2007, 09:33 AM
Donna, I am so sorry to hear your sad news about your darling Wallis. I will keep you both in my prayers. Please don't be hard on yourself though, as you couldn't have done any more. You weren't to know that the first vet wasn't thorough. You have only ever done what you think is the best for her. Take care
Julie and the girls :flwr:

Lindsay
17th February 2007, 01:38 PM
Donna, how is Wallis doing? Has she gone to the specialist yet?

:flwr:

Crittercall
17th February 2007, 04:21 PM
She's doing great, except she thinks that her throat has been cut because we have cut back on her amount of food to try to get some weight off of her. And she does love to eat!

We will re-check blood and urine mid-week and go to the specialist when we get those results - probably Friday or early the next week.

Thanks for asking, Lindsay. I'll keep you guys updated.