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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

One More Norbert Update

Norbert saw another vet yesterday at 5, the main vet who owns are practice  He spoke to me at length on the phone and then spent along time looking at Norbert and talking to me and my husband.  The news wasn't great but considering what we know it was terrible, and it was what we expected.  Like the first vet, he is sure (99% he said) that Norbert has nasal cancer.    He says these cancers are aggressive and spread all through the sinuses.  Since Norbert's nose is not distorted he thinks the tumor is high back and likely has gotten very large which is why we know suddenly see snorting and bleeding.  He thinks the marked snorting increase probably means its aggressive.  The vet explained the nose is a very difficult area to treat in a dog.  Surgery would not remove Norbert's tumor and at a teaching or large hospital they could offer radiation but it would not be a cure and there would be side effects.    Like me and my husband and the first vet he felt that doing the diagnostics: ct scan, MRI, and biopsy under anesthesia where not a good idea since we wont be doing radiation.

We had come to the vet so quickly because I noticed labored breathing in Norbert last night and what I thought was open mouth breathing and that had me very worried.  The vet said Norbert looked well oxygenated though and was just congested.  He feels he sounds worse at night because the discharge is dripping down his throat.    We have decided to start Norbert on steroids in an effort to shrink the tumor and make him more comfortable, this probably wont extend life quantity but it can improve quality.  The vet is unsure if it will work as we don't know what kind of tumor we are dealing with but he thinks we should try.  We are also trying a Chinese herb for bleeding recommended by the acupuncturist vet. The vet Norbert saw Friday felt that Norbert could have months, this vet feels it is more weeks we are looking at.   That is very depressing and I'm heart  broken but considering how he looked last night a few good weeks is better then nothing.

I have been feeling guilty for not seeing signs sooner but the vet assured me that this is because there were no signs.  He reminded us that at 12 and a half Norbert has already outlived his life expectancy for a dog his size.  That made me feel better.  We talked about signs that would let us know when the time was coming.  I explained to the vet that my biggest fear is that I will come home from work and find Norbert has collapsed.   The vet said this was a possibility and explained that the worst case scenario is that Norbert will suddenly bleed out, which while not uncomfortable for the dog is of course horrific for the owner.   This really scares me because I don't drive, years of living in Manhattan, and Norbert is 90 lbs and I can't necessarily get him to the vet without my husband's help.  The vet agreed that this would be a bad end.   We established a plan to watch Norbert very closely when we see things taking a big turn for the worse we will put an end to  his suffering.  As the vet said this situation does not have a good end, so we have to make the best end we can.

We are heart broken but we are greatful for our blogville friends who understand what we are going through in a way that people in the "real" world do not.  We hope we have weeks or months with him but if we do not we will move forward and enjoy him and spoil him for as long as we have him.  Sadly, my chew plan didn't pan out as Norbert rejected his second days chew, but he is enjoying a diet of grilled chicken.    He doesn't walk to far any more, do to the arthritis, but he loves car rides and he loves to cuddle.  I'm going to start regular blogging tomorrow with my usual mix of dog and vintage posts because Norbert will enjoy sitting with me on the couch while I write.  I apologize if I can't visit your sites as often as I used too.





20 comments:

  1. Kate: We thought a lot about our Sweet Norbert last night, and what a grand life he has had. I remember when I first started to blog it struck me how health conscious and how well read you are ..all for the benefit of your fur legged kids. You always have interesting articles and information that made me rethink some of the ways I cared for our pugs. That being said though is still nothing compared to the amount of love you have for all of them. Norbert knows this and because he was given the privilege of having a dogs heart and not a human heart, he will look at your time together in a much different way. Gussie told me the other day after his visit with Santa, that Santa told him, after Gussie wondered why dogs couldn't live to be 100, that as "long as the humans heart was beating their beloved one would live on also." All our hugs, and understanding to you today......deb and pugs

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  2. Oh my goodness. We are having Benny flashbacks. We are here with you. You guys are doing all you can. Sending lots of hugs your way
    Lily & Edward

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  3. I know this is so difficult, but enjoy the time you have with him - and spoil him greatly! Hold on to the best memories you have....... and lean on me anytime you need to. Hugs!

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  4. SO sorry.
    Sending more hugs.
    Gail and Bertie.

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  5. You are doing exactly the right thing for Norbert. In the last 2 weeks of Bridge's life she developed liver cancer along with everything else and I was just not going to put her through any more suffering. Lots of cuddles from his mum and dad, favourite food and treats are what will make him happy. So very sorry Kate.
    Lynne x

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  6. As long as he's enjoying being with you and wagging his tail, he has quality of life. As we said, just enjoy him and give him some lovin' and spoiling...

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  7. I'm so sorry. Are there neighbors you can include in your plan? Someone you can call as a plan B if you need a little help?

    Monty and Harlow

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  8. Our hearts hurt for you and your lovely family. I have read that if most of us knew that the day we spent with our beloved furbaby was the last that we would make it the best by giving the best hugs & kisses, treats, back scratches, ear rubs and whatever makes our furbaby feel like a king! I cannot even begin to imagine what you are going through day by day. Cherish each moment and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you, Norbert, and family!
    Redberry Cottage

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  9. Kate, you have done the very best for Norbert and all your kids. We know you will make his days the best you can, by loving him and cherishing what time he has remaining with you.
    big hugs
    Linda & the kids

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  10. My heart hurts so bad to read this. I'm so sorry Norbert's condition is getting worse so quickly. Please don't feel guilty about not seeing sign sooner. As vet said, I think there were no signs. If there were, you'd notice because you watch your babies very carefully and would catch any small signs. I agree, a few good weeks is much better than nothing. I hope you get to spend as much time as possible with him and enjoy every moment together. It is really hard to keep your heart up in such difficult time...but I'm sure Norbert is happier when he gets positive energy from you. Please know my thoughts are with you.

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  11. Sweet Kate, with all my heart, I am truly sorry that you and Norbert are going through this agonizing situation. Please know that my heart, thought, prayers and understanding are truly with you and that I'm here 24/7 if ever need a fellow animal loving pet mom to talk to about anything at all in the whole wide world.

    Giant hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

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  12. We are hurting with you.. You have done everything you could,,, and are still doing,,
    We are keeping you close in out heart,,, Please know so many care, and are sorry this has happened. You have given Norbert the best life ever.
    love
    tweedles

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  13. I'm sorry that I've never met you in the past but I just saw you on the POTP blog. I am so sorry that you and Norbert are going through this. I've been through cancer with several Labs in my lifetime so it hit close to home to read your story. I am thinking of you, sending POTP from our pack to yours.

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  14. Sending you love and support. My heart hurts so much for you right now. Hope the steroids help him breath a bit better and you have tons of cuddle time together. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Marty's Mom

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  15. Sending lots of hugs your way and POTP for Norbert!
    Hugs,
    Dory's Mama Beth

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  16. Just being with him is a huge comfort. We are sending hugs and all kinds of POTP. Blessings to Norbert...and to you. Jeanne, Chloe and LadyBug

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  17. I'm so sorry. With the holidays we've been away from Blogville. Lots of prayers for comfort and peace as all of you move towards the end with Norbert. He has been one well loved companion and we pray for strength and courage for all of you as you face this.

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  18. Sending you lots of love and hugs at this sad time xxx

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  19. Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of your, your husband and Norbert. Saying goodby to a life well loved is always hard. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers.Terri

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  20. Sending you all the peace and comfort. He knows he is loved.

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