Friday, March 22, 2019

Old Dogs and Quality of Life Decisions

Ein has had two lipomas on his right side for years. They have both grown in size, particularly the one on his right ribs. I have not wanted to remove the lipomas because of his age, his past history with slow recovery from anesthesia and the fact that they really weren't doing anything but making him look a little lumpy.

Well, the thing about age is that the number only continues to grow and so did Ein's lipomas. The rib lipoma is starting to push against Ein's elbow. I notice him walking differently and if I feel both of his front legs at a stand still, his right elbow is turned out slightly and compensating for the lipoma taking up space. The vet and I discussed removal last November at his yearly and I have been thinking seriously about it ever since. Ein already off loads onto his front more than the typical dog due to his hip dysplasia. If the lipoma continues to complicate the movement of his right front leg we could be in for some trouble.

I am terrified.

Ein returned to the vet last night and had pre op bloodwork drawn. His heart sounds great. ("especially for 14!") His teeth look okay ("especially for 14!") and she wouldn't recommend a dental cleaning if he were not already going under for the lipoma removal. I have decided to have them cleaned and checked for any needed extractions. I don't expect there to be any. He has mild tartar build up. His bloodwork came back this evening and all values look great ("especially for 14!") except some slightly elevated liver values but she said that is not uncommon given his age. Our vet feels completely confident that Ein can safely undergo anesthesia to have the lipomas removed. I am terrified. But when I imagine Ein having improved mobility for this season's hiking and swimming and beyond, it all seems worth the risk.

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