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Dr. Whitehead
Dr. Whitehead, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4055
Experience:  Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, internship trained, with 5 years of experience in high quality practice treating dogs, cats, and some exotics.
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my 14 year old miniature husky has a fairly large mass in her

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my 14 year old miniature husky has a fairly large mass in her lung. based on the xray our vet says it is indeed lung cancer and that she would have weeks, maybe months to live. There really isn't anything we can do but want for the signs. I want to let her go in a dignified manner, she's a very independent dog and likes to do things on her own. Not a lap dog by any means. Her breathing has become heavier at times, but she is still interested in food. Her potty schedule is pretty normal usually 2-3 bowel movements per day. Today was only one. Her appetite is less than it was a month ago, but she still eats fairly well. How will I know when it's time. She's laying on her side alot and has heavy breathing, but not panting. Any help would be appreciated.
Hello there. My name isXXXXX and I am very sorry to hear about Alpine. The things I recommend to look for when deciding if it is time or not is first off eating and drinking. if she stops eating and drinking all together that is an obvious sign. So that is good that she is currently still eating some even though it may be less. Which honestly is expected with this cancerous growth. Next i would think about the things she liked to do that made her. . . her. If that makes sense. If she liked to walk around the yard at certain times or play with a ball or looked for you to pet her at certain times etc. I am talking about those things that you think about her that made her happy on a day to day basis that wasn't eating or drinking. Once she stops doing more than 1/2 of those then I would be concerned that her quality of life is poor and a decision should be made before she starts to suffer. I hope that makes sense. And finally obviously if she gets to a point that she is coughing and can't stop talking or she is panting and can't catch her breath and just pants all the time and all her focus is on panting and breathing then that is another sign that it is time. At this point and time you know she has a terminal disease so anytime would not be wrong. . . .so keep that in mind. But I definitely understand making whatever the time left she has the best possible. I always say though the thing people regret the most is waiting to long. But from your post its obvious you are well aware of that and will not let that happen. I hope that helps. Please do not hesitate to ask any further questions or concerns. I would be happy to help. Please do not forget to rate my response so I receive credit for my time. Thank you!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the time and confirmation. Your way of explaining what to look for was very easy to understand. Her favorite thing to do is go on a long walk. She can't quite make it around the block now so we are probably getting real close. Will continue to watch the interest in eating. Pets...easy to love, hard to let go.

Thanks again,
You are welcome. You are very right very hard to let go. Please do not hesitate if you have any further questions or concerns.
Dr. Whitehead and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
One last question. What are your thoughts on the rimadyl rx for pain management? She seems more tired than in pain, but she is arthritic. Sorry, I meant to remind you about that part of the question.
I think at this point and time that I would definitely recommend rimadyl for pain especially if she is arthritic. It is a good medication for arthritis pain and if you can relieve any of her pain during the time she has left then it is worth. I use rimadyl a lot and it works very well.
Hi Kim,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Alpine. How is everything going?

Dr. Whitehead
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Dr. Whitehead
Thanks for checking in on Alpine. She seems to have bounced back a bit over the weekend. I know it's temporary, but she seems more comfortable now that we started the rimadyl.


Glad to hear she is feeling a little better. I hope you get some good time with her.