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Our two-year old dog, who our daughter named Marshmallow, was limping for close to a couple of weeks; since we thought she had just stepped on something or had been playing too hard with the other dogs, we weren't that worried...until it was clear she wasn't getting any better.

When I took her to the vet, he discovered through x-ray that she has cancer in her elbow. He didn't do further exams so we are not sure if it has metastasized or not (her breathing has been louder than normal for over a month, so I suspect that it already has). Initially we talked about having her leg amputated, but we couldn't afford the follow-up chemo ($5,000), so we decided that we would take care of her at home and give her all the love that we can until it is time to put her to sleep.

Thankfully she is doing really well; she was diagnosed about three weeks ago, and although she can't put any weight on that leg she gets around really well. She still gets very excited when I come home, makes a run for the kitchen when she hears a bread wrapper (she LOVES bread), and continues to play with the other dogs, although not as much as she used to.

The initial diagnosis was quite a shock, and for the first week or so my husband would cry at any discussion regarding her. I am quick to tears but I held them back because I figured someone has to be the strong one...I guess that's gonna be me.

I just wanted to share our story with this community; I am new here, and hopefully we have a long time before I will have to make the final decision for Marshmallow (I don't think my husband will be able to do it). I have lost animals before, but I was a kid then and never had to make the hard choices. This is the part of being a grown up that really sucks.
 

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I am so sorry you have to go through this. No doubt it's incredibly hard.

Don't worry about being the strong one. Allow yourself to grieve. It will be 10x harder if you don't, and it's not fair to you.

Hopefully Marshmallow can have an enjoyable time, as long as that time may be.
 

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Sorry to hear about Marshmallow.

Not to long ago, I had to put to sleep my 17 year old cat, she developed bone cancer in her front leg.

It's bad enough to lose an older animal to such things, but to me, it's harder to accept when the younger pets end up with health issues like that - I lost a fairly young dog to diabetes too.

I try to tell myself, though, that it's not the time they spend with us, but the Quality of that time they have with us while here.

Stormy
 
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