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Did your dog survive Christmas?

by Sue McCabe

I’d been saying recently that our 8 year old German Shepherd seemed to spend more time sleeping, and on walks, seemed to tire easier. We put it down to his age. Over Christmas however, the reason for his lethargy became all too clear and it was nothing to do with his eight years of doggy experience. Our old man literally almost didn’t survive Christmas.

We rushed him to our emergency vets the day after Boxing Day for tests after he collapsed in the snow. 12 hours, a splenectomy and blood transfusion later, my old man was just about hanging on.

It’s amazing what some TLC and a lot of steak dinners can do for a dog recovering from an operation. My collie wants to know what part of his anatomy he needs to have removed to get the same treatment? A week and a half on and my beloved old man is doing well. He’s back on his walks, getting excited about the tiny remnants of snow still lying around and receiving lots of attention from his relieved mum and dad.

Then yesterday the biopsy results came back and it seems his recovery and our relief have been short lived. Scout has Hemangiosarcoma, a horrible cancer which his breed is prone to. We are seeing the vet tomorrow to discuss our options.

For now, we have promised him a weekend away on his own with us, plenty of beach walks and cuddles and real meat for as many nights as he’s prepared to stay with us. I would rather he went quickly, without pain, still keen to walk and run and enjoy life. Isn’t that, after all, what most pet owners want for their animals? We are in shock and so, so sad. My beloved old man may have just survived his last Christmas.