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Rotti Raven

rottweiler amputee

Rotti Raven

Roller Coaster Ride, this cancer…

December 18th, 2009 · 8 Comments · Uncategorized

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I haven’t updated the blog due to the daily changes in my own emotions. I have spent $2500 in the last two weeks since Raven’s sudden trip to the ER. He was on death’s door there, but rallied with treatment within a few days. He has good days and tired days, but really is never in any pain. We finally got a clear picture of what is going on. He has a massive, necrotic, infected tumor with multiple nodules throughout his entire liver, also involving the spleen. Half the vets think he has at least 2 lung mets, my vet and his oncologist feel they are just age related calcium spots, but they are the least of our worries.

At first, I was considering a spleenectomy. Then we discovered it is in the liver. We still felt we could remove the mass there too, as long as there is 20% healthy liver, it regenerates, and he would be fine. But then we found in a more extensive ultrasound that the liver is full of nodules. That’s when I lost it, the radiologist said to take him to Taco Bell, spoil him, he didn’t have long and there was nothing I could do.

But after some research and Raven’s great attitude and lack of some symptoms of liver failure (he has a great attitude, no jaundice, excellent appetite, no vomitting), I spoke to the oncologist about the new ultrasound report. She still feels that he’s a great candidate for removal. Yes, we can leave the best parts of the liver and they aren’t perfect, but there’s a good chance this is benign. Removal would get rid of what he’s sick from the necrosis, large mass, infection. And then we could biopsy it to see just what we are dealing with and possibly consider chemo.

There’s a huge part of me that is struggling with “how far to I go” and I’m trying to let Raven tell me that. My vet is a friend and he is honest in when I need to not bother, and I’m waiting to speak with him about the oncologist’s recommendation today.

The irony is: This is likely nothing to do with the bone cancer! We still feel that we beat that, being chondrosarcoma (slower mets and less aggressive and caught early). It rarely mets to the liver. And primary liver cancer is also very rare. But benign liver tumors are actually rather common in older dogs because it filters out all the toxins (and who the heck knows WHAT is in dog food any more…). This info is why I am considering surgery. Other than being a bit lethargic due to all the pills he’s on (12 pills a day for various things to keep the dying tissue in check), he perks right up when I show him a treat or ask him to go do farm chores. 🙂

This morning he even did his “thundering hooves warrior run” bellering his Booming Bark to the fenceline in the pasture when a neighbor’s son that is in and out of jail (somehow Raven knows) was near our property. I have to say, I haven’t seen him run with such determination, like a war horse, on his three legs since his amputation. When I called him back, his head popped up and looked to me and he ran back with joy. He really doesn’t show how sick he is inside at all.

My biggest fear is him dying on the table. But if I don’t do it, this mass will kill him very soon. *sigh*

I am so thankful for every moment with my sweet boy. Seeing his head bouncing in the window when I walk up to the front door at night sends me to places I cannot describe. 🙂


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8 Comments so far ↓

  • admin

    Raven is a true hero. Bless you for all that you are doing for him. Thanks for the update, and best wishes.

  • admin

    PS: Jerry also wrote about his own roller coaster cancer ride in September, 2008.

  • Emilysmom

    I don’t even have the words to say about what is going on with Raven. What a awful rollar coaster ride you have been on. I am so so sorry that the news is not what we hoped for. Then when you get different opinions from professionals it would be hard to make a decision as to what to do. I think you are right to look at Raven to help you make the decision. I will continue to pray.
    Debra & Angel Emily

  • Chris

    I really know what you mean about “how far to I go” but like you I will look to Barney for signs. He is so up and down at the moment.
    I have only just pulled myself together today, gave myself a bit of a telling off!
    Let just take the joy when we can and worry about the rest tomorrow.
    God bless all our dogs.
    Thinking of you and Raven.
    Chris & Barney

  • zoesmom

    I have been thinking about Raven and you and am so sorry you are facing such difficult and complex decisions. I think you are right – you know Raven better than anyone and he will tell you what he wants to do. Still as we all know it is so hard. Will continue to think about you and hope for Raven.

  • cemil

    Raven, the mighty dog of valor. My prayers continue that you’ll get through this.


  • Peyton's Path

    Our hearts go out to you! You have been faced with so many challenges and you seem to be so strong! We are thinking of you and hoping for the best. What ever you decide will be the right decision because you made it! Keep enjoying him every minute you can!!!!

  • Emilysmom

    How is Raven doing?
    Debra & Angel Emily

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