Friday, March 30, 2012

Kobe Update

As I reported last week, my dog Kobe has cancer. Today, the oncologist took some more ultrasounds and concluded that her tumor is inoperable.

The main possibility that remains is radiation therapy; while there can be painful side effects, it has a chance of shrinking the tumor and giving her more time, though it is unlikely to be much longer than 12 months.

I guess the big question we have to wrestle with now is if 6-9 months of additional life is worth the pain and cost (~$6,000) of treatment. I'm not sure what to do.

What would you do?

Kobe at the park this past weekend

5 comments:

Jackie D said...

I would focus on what I could (sort of) control:

Kobe's pain
The quality of the time Kobe has left

I would seek not to put her into painful treatment, and maximize the quality of her remaining time with the family.

But she's not my dog. What I can tell you is that I wish my father had not extended our second and third dogs' lives the way that he did - the girls were in a great deal of discomfort, and it was just heartbreaking when they could no longer climb stairs, would fall when attempting to do things, etc. All because my dad wanted more time with them. It struck me as selfish and, on some level, inhumane. (I should add that this was a mother and daughter pair of dogs. My father was very attached to the mother, who passed in 2001. Her daughter passed about a year ago. He still can't even talk about the momma dog without becoming emotional, and I think he held on way too long to her daughter because she was the last connection. But I think it was unintentionally cruel.)

Paul Russell said...

Not sure what I'd do. Just wanted to say that I'm sorry that you're having to make this decision and knowing how close I am with my dog, I can't imagine how difficult your choice is.

Thiet said...

I would pay $6,000, no question. Thanks for asking.

ranndino said...

Agree with the first comment. I don't believe in artificially extending the life of anyone, be that a relative or a pet. Time to come to terms with reality. If this somehow sounds cruel let me say that I wouldn't want anyone to extend my life because they wanted to spend more time with me at the expense of causing me a lot of pain either. Just make your dog's remaining time as pleasant as you can. That's all I would do.

Anonymous said...

Use the money -- but for alternative therapies that will at least not cause this beauty to suffer in the last stage of her life.

I believe radiation therapy deteriorates quality of life in other ways, especially with animals. I am not qualified to give medical advice.

I would spend the money on making sure she gets natural, 100% organic dog food, omegas, that she's on vitamins, pain-killing and anti-inflammation medications, etc. I'm sure there is a whole cadre of alternative health vets in the Bay Area. I would use the $6,000 -- and more -- doing that.