Hi to anyone who's reading this. This is my first post on this site - I came across this site many years ago when I first got my rescue dog. I think I had an account but a) I don't remember the username and b) I think I've since deleted the email account it was attached to. So here I am again, 6 years later.
So here's the story,
Almost two weeks ago, my 6 1/2 year old doberman Ira started limping. We didn't think much of it because every once and a while he'll limp on and off for a day or two and then get better. It didn't seem to bother him other than it made it harder for him to get up on his bed - but he still chased squirrels and jumped off our back deck like always. It was kind of a weird limp. We determined it was in his left front leg. After a week of no improvement we decided to make a vet appointment for this past Wednesday.
Since I was out of town, my sister was going to take him. The morning of, she watched him spot a squirrel in our yard from his bed by the window and when he stood he lurched sideways and nearly fell over. At this she became quite concerned and called our vet, wondering what she should do and if she should come in early, this had never happened before.
The receptionist took note of his symptoms and said she would call back. A few minutes later, our vet called with a referral to the emergency hospital to see the neurologist. Surprised, she took him there for noon.
They looked him over and determined it was /something/ but they didn't know what. Either they could treat symptomatically for a deep ear infection, meningitis .ect or do a MRI. The vet also brought up wobblers as a possibility.
Thank goodness my sister made the right call and got him the approximately two thousand dollar MRI. The results came back a surprise to all of us. An intercranial mass that is most likely a meningioma. The vet was surprised to find it in such a young dog.
He's been prescribed prednisone (steroids) to get the swelling down to reduce his symptoms.
I fell like I've been hit by a train.
Since Wednesday, things have been a whirlwind.
Nights have been pretty sleepless with how much he whines at night and needs to be let out to pee - we're working on this. I've bought some pee pads and I've got family helping me out. The vet also said we could split his dose of prednisone to twice daily instead of once since his symptoms were coming back by 9pm. He's been dribbling pee a bit on his beds/the couch but we're keeping laundry running and putting pee pads under the blankets. He said this is probably from the steroids making him want to pee.
Does anyone have any advice on teaching older dogs how to use pee pads when they've gone outside their entire lives?
I've got a referral to a canine cancer centre for looking into getting radiation treatment but that's not for a week and a half and I don't even know what there going to say - and I dread the estimate they're going to give me, but anything for him.
I guess I'm hoping for support or advice or people who are going through/have gone through the same thing? I just feel lost and anxious and sad. I've never lost a dog before and I feel like I'm losing him too fast and too soon.