(Cross-posted on Scott’s personal blog, “What Color is Tuesday?”)
It’s pretty sad, but most likely our little beagle has a cancerous tumor on her belly. While we won’t know for sure unless we send off a biopsy to a pathology lab, the vet said it is most likely a squamous cell carcinoma or a hemangiosarcoma. In both cases, the best treatment is surgical removal of the tumor. Since she also has pretty severe tooth decay, the vet recommends that we put Lucy completely under anesthesia, give her IV fluids and do both her teeth cleaning and tumor removal. Another option would be to just locally anesthetize the area and remove the tumor.
I hate having to make the call on a pet. After all, she’s a member of the family but she is just an animal. I’ve always said that owners that spends thousands of dollars on treatments like chemotherapy or radiation are a little bit loony, but it’s harder to say that when your own pet is nearing the end. We know that Lucy has lived a long life and she’s right at the average lifespan for her breed. And yet, she’s still eating, drinking, playing and being … well, … being Lucy.
So, what do you say? How far do you go for the family pet? Can you put a price tag on the companionship from your puppies? $75, $350, or thousands of $$$?