Princess Mighty Dog Has Malignant Melanoma on her Paw
by Sharon McDowell
(Middle River, MD)
Princess Mighty Dog Christmas photo 2010
Our beautiful little black shihtzu, Princess Mighty Dog, was diagnosed with maligant melanoma 1 year ago. It appeared suddenly and we immediately took her to the vet. They removed part of her foot and surrounding areas.
Once she returned home, being minus part of her foot did not seem to bother her. We had a prognosis of 1-2 months because it was in her lymph nodes and she had active metastasis. We made it 7 months before the tumor reappeared less than 1" from it's original site. We again ran to the vet and the vet said she would not make it another month, that this tumor seemed way more aggressive.
We waited for a change in her appetite, energy etc. Nothing happened except the tumor continued to grow. At one point it began to ooze, so we started wrapping it. She does lick it but only in the evening. She still runs, jumps, eats etc. The tumor is now almost the size of her little leg and smells, oozes etc. We give her frequent baths and continue to keep the area clean and wrapped. So far, no infection.
We know the end is drawing near, but how do you put down an animal who otherwise seems like her healthy self? She runs, jumps, plays and still enjoys life. It does take 2 of us now to wrap her leg, one to hold her and the other to wrap. She is 12 years old and we have had her since she was 6 weeks old. Her weight is stable at 11 lbs.
Her shihtzu girlfriend, Muffin, knows something isn't right, but will be her friend to the end.
This week, she has started to become more occupied with the site of the now VERY large tumor which we continue to wrap daily. She does appear to be sleeping a little more than usual, but from what we can tell, she isn't in any pain. We are thinking that maybe the tumor is pressing on the nerves or when she had surgery, maybe a nerve was nipped. We had an apppointment at one time with the doggie oncologist who worked on the vaccine, but when we found out how expensive it was, we knew we would not be able to afford it, because at the time, our special needs granddaughter was in the hospital.
We certainly don't want her to be in any pain. We are just waiting for the right time to say goodbye. Her appetite is still good, she still goes to the potty regularly and wags her tail for biscuits. I don't think she is ready to let go. I hope the end will be painless for her, because we know for us, it will be heart wrenching. My poor father who is 77 has been coming over several times a day for the entire time we have had her. They sit on the big porch swing together snd she enjoys sleeping there with him too. He is devastated by this too.
I know it is too late for a miracle. We can only treasure the time which we have left. When I lost my mom 5 years ago, Princess Mighty Dog got me through it. She never left my side, and unlike the people around us, didn't ask any questions, she just loved me.
I have a sign in my office which says, "One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you're feeling blue is that he doesn't try to find out why". Never a truer word has been sppoken.
I just hope that Mighty knows how important she has been to us and has felt the love and gratefulness we feel for her. I hope that one day, we will meet at the Rainbow Bridge.
We love you Princess Mighty Dog.
Love Mommy XOXO