February 1, 2014 was an extremely difficult day for me and my little one (a 10 year old mini-schnauzer). I had been on antibiotics for a week to help me recover from and infection, so I didn’t think it was too strange when my dog began acting fatigued. He laid around the house and just seemed tired at first. Then he stopped eating and drinking, which was more worrisome. I figured he must have contracted the infection. I did some research on the internet and learned that vets claim dogs cannot get strep, but some people claimed they could have sworn their dogs got ill when they did. I waited a few more hours to see if he would perk up, and when he got worse, I took him to the emergency vet clinic. (This was a Sunday and all the vets were closed)

To my shock and dismay, the doctor on staff told me my little boy had hemangiosarcoma, a type of cancer that was aggressive -quick to spread, and usually killed those that contracted it fairly quickly (unless they catch it early enough). The docs ran a battery of tests on my little guy, and the results were conclusive. He had growths on his spleen, liver, and throughout his mesentery. Not only that, he was bleeding internally. They told me his stage was extremely advanced, and definitely not early.

I was floored!  Oliver had shown NO signs of feeling ill before that day! He was healthy, spunky, and ready to play at a moment’s notice. HIs appetite was fantastic, and his bowels were normal.

I had a choice to make. They told me at this point, they usually suggested to put the animal down. I, however, was not ready to say goodbye (call me selfish). I asked if there was anything in the world they could do for him and they suggested giving him a blood transfusion.  His hemoglobin count before the transfusion was 19…so I thought… it.

Oliver stayed in the hospital for 4 hours and when all was said and done, his hemoglobin count was 27. Not a huge improvement, but not detrimental enough for me to give up on him.  I took him home, held him in my arms all night long, and thought of all the good times we had together.

To be continued…..

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