My Sweet Little Gracie
by Sharon Artman
(Largo, FL - USA)
I have the sweetest dog in the world. She is a 10 year old black lab named Gracie. Three weeks ago I found blood in my bathroom on the rug and didn't really think twice about it because we have another lab who will lick his paws until he gets them raw. I was in a hurry to leave and asked my daughter to please check Rocky's paws and put the medicine on them that we got from the vet. When I came home she told me that Rocky's paws were fine and not bleeding.
The next day I noticed blood again and knew Gracie had been laying in the bathroom that morning. As I was examining her that evening I noticed a foul odor coming from her mouth. When I opened her mouth I was shocked to see a nickel-sized sore behind her upper front teeth.
I took her to the vet the next morning and he gave her an antibiotic to clear up the infection and told me she would likely have to have surgery. So after a week of antibiotics she had surgery. He removed that tumor and found another one back by her molars. It was malignant and I was told of the avenues of treatment. I cannot afford these and since she is 10 years old we decided to watch her closely and try to relieve any pain she may have.
It has been 10 days since the surgery and yesterday I noticed blood again. The surgery sites do not look any better. In fact they look like the redness has spread more on the roof of her mouth. She has been on antibiotics since the surgery and I have kept her slightly sedated for 6 days because she started bleeding one evening and we had quite a time controlling the bleeding. This was an emergency run to the vet.
I have noticed she has been panting quite a bit for the last few days and her glands on the left side of her neck are hard and swollen. I'm so confused on what to do. My husband suggests we take her to the vet and have her euthanized now and not wait until it gets bad for her. I need some help in this decision. I don't want her to suffer, but she is still eating, drinking and walking around without difficulty, but the bleeding, heavy panting and swollen necks glands tends to suggest I take my husband's advice and not prolong her suffering.
Please can someone give me some advice or at least let me know that I am not a bad person. I feel so bad that I didn't catch this before I finally did.