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A Great Dane named "Quack"

What a good boy!

A Great Dane named "Quack"

Another curve ball

August 10th, 2018 · 11 Comments · Uncategorized

Quack had been doing really well post immunotherapy, yeah I used the phrase “had been”. His front feet started swelling up and his eyes were red and goopy. Off to Cornell we went and the only thing they found was that his globulins were up a bit. Could just be the immunotherapy kicking in right? The met in his lung was way bigger again too but still not causing any health issues. We go home with pain meds and an anti- inflammatory med. These seem to help and life goes on with his front feet swelling and subsiding and his eyes getting a bit red then subsiding. Then he started having trouble with his back leg, he couldn’t easily get up and he couldn’t do the stairs or jump up on our bed. Back to Cornell we go and the diagnosis is hypertrophic osteopathy. They knock him out for x-rays and hint that we might consider not having him wake up.

We are stunned and devastated. We learn this condition is related to the lung met.  We learn it is progressive, painful and there is nothing really that can stop it for Quack.  Some dogs improve if the lung met is removed.  He’s not a candidate for surgery because his met is growing so rapidly.  Even with surgery the prognosis is poor at best, we’d get maybe 3 months more but the recovery from surgery would be hard and his quality of life would not be great.   We bring Quack home so everyone can say goodbye and he can have a little more time with his family. We have more pain meds on board.

This is how it is for us now. The family is sleeping with him in the living room. We made him a giant bed (a queen and a single) after his amputation surgery and we are using it now so he doesn’t have to do stairs and he’s near the door to go out. Last night he had steak for dinner. We hung out with him and watched the movie “Overboard”. He didn’t care about the movie but he likes having everyone there with him. Today if he’s up for it, he’s going for ice cream and to pick out a big bone at Tractor Supply. We contacted a palliative end of life care specialist to help us with him at home. Almost the worst part of this is I suspect the immunotherapy was working. He developed the one met while still on chemo but once the immunotherapy started he didn’t develop any more. Maybe he would have maybe he wouldn’t.

Oddly, there are a couple little things that are tearing me a part. His fur never quite grew back on the right side of his hind end. It’s almost there but not quite. I wanted his fur to be completely back before the end and likely that won’t happen now. Isn’t that weird that the state of his fur is important to me? Also when he was a puppy he had a completely pink nose. As he aged he started getting black spots on his nose. They would start as a dot and then get bigger. His nose is partly pink and partly black now with a couple of large spots. Well he just got a new spot on the top of his nose and I wanted to see that one get bigger too. He can’t go until that spot is done! Except he will go.  Again, it’s such a silly thing to focus on but for some reason I am. I suspect my next post if I can manage it will be that he’s gone. Great Danes are big it’s the first thing everyone notices about him but they have no idea how truly big he has been in our lives. He’s going to have some amazing days this coming week!   When it is time we’ll let him go.


11 Comments so far ↓

  • dawn3g

    Oh, Quack. I hate hearing about this curveball. I hate cancer, everything about it, what a horrible thief.

    You’re giving him the best life, and making what he has now FANTASTIC. You love your big boy, and he loves you and the family. Giving him amazing days is the best thing for everyone, given what you’ve got to work with.

    I admire your strength. I’m in tears here for you, for Quack, for your family. I don’t know how I’m going to face what you are facing now (and the time will come). I know it won’t be pretty. You may feel otherwise, but you’re facing this with strength and grace. That’s what Quack needs now. Along with all the love you’re showing him.

    Sending you all hugs. Again, so sad to hear this horrible turn of events.

  • dougo1

    So sorry to hear this. You have done the very best for your fur baby. Prayers to you and your family

  • paws120

    I’m so sorry this is happening, I’m just so sorry. Quack is a beautiful soul and you are just the best family to him.
    You are being so strong, and like Dawn said that’s so important for him right now, you are his rock.
    He’s enjoying your time and love right now and that’s what is most important.
    Please lean on us any time you need to vent, and know that you have taken the very best care of Quack. He could not be more love it more cared for.
    Big hugs and lots of love,
    Jackie and Huck ❤️

  • tlahaye

    Sad news indeed. I’m glad you have the opportunity to plan a dignified trip to the bridge for Quack, but I’m sorry he’s taking that trip.

    My thoughts are with you and Quack on this difficult journey.

  • jerry

    Ohhhh nooooo. I am heartbroken, and soooo sad for you guys. H.O. is a condition that a handful of members have dealt with through the years, and I can say for sure that you are doing the compassionate thing by not allowing it to progress too far.

    Quack is one special, unforgettable doggie. As sad as we are to know he’s getting his wings, we are forever in awe that he did so well during this journey. His story, his life, will always be treasured and remembered in the Tripawds Nation.

    If there is anything at all we can do for you during this time or after, please let us know OK? We are keeping you all in our hearts.

  • boscodog

    I’m just sobbing reading your post for the second time. The first time I couldn’t bring myself to write a post.

    Your comments about Quacks fur growing in and the spot on his nose not being done makes so much sense to me. My boy Bosco can’t walk or even sit up. The cancer has either moved to his back or he has lumbral sacral disease. It happened once before and he regained functioning pretty quickly. But this time, he has gone over two months without improvements. Luckily he doesn’t seem to be in a lot of pain so we are doing our best to make him happy.

    He had the vaccine, just one round and that was three months ago. The spots they shaved him have not grown in at all. I’m not sure why but I wish they would. There’s another spot where his fur is very thin. I wish it would grow back there too.

    All of this to say, I get it. It’s not weird at all. And your not alone. Your doing all you can for sweet Quack and I hope you find some comfort in that.

    I’m crying so hard now I can barely see to type. For whatever it’s worth, please know your in my thoughts and prayers. I’m so sorry that Quack has to go through this.

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