Ginger has been doing amazingly well since we got home from the vet on Monday. I can't believe how tough she is! She's been eating really well, going out to relieve herself, and even showing interest in short walks to sniff around the neighborhood. She even felt well enough last night to snatch a treat away from George and then to grin at us afterwards! Except for the fact that she's still slightly swollen in the middle, is moving very slowly, and sleeps a lot, she seems like her regular self. In two days she's figured out that we'll give her anything she wants to eat right now and she's turned into a stone-cold beggar at mealtime! She never did that before in her life, but things have changed and she's taking advantage of it while she can. I'm so proud of her! She's a tough girl!
I called the vet this morning and told him how well she's doing. I also asked him if there would be any harm in treating her for heart failure, which is the one treatable possible diagnosis we're dealing with here. (It's either heart failure or cancer, and more likely a heart problem since she had over a liter of fluid drained from around her heart and abdomen on Sunday). He said there would be no harm whatsoever in putting her on heart medication and seeing how things go. She was so ill when we took her up there on Monday that the option to try a treatment didn't occur to any of us. It was only after we brought her home and saw how hard she's fighting to rally and go on with life that we came up with the idea. Dr. Causey said he thought it was a great idea, and that even if it doesn't help, it won't hurt. He says we may even get lucky. Make no mistake, we love Ginger far too much to let her suffer. Once she's in pain, or can't enjoy anything anymore, we won't keep her alive just for the sake of keeping her alive. Her quality of life is the most important thing. As long as she's enjoying her food, her brief walks, and her family time with us, we'll care for her to the best of our ability. If nothing else, maybe the new medicines will improve the quality of what days she has left, even if there aren't very many of them.
I spent two days crying pretty much nonstop and just feeling.....despair. I feel better now. Having a path forward and a plan helps some. Getting a couple of decent nights' sleep definitely took the raw edge off my emotions (the vet told me on Monday "you look exhausted" and he was right) and I feel a little stronger and better able to cope with the situation. Poor George has been confused and anxious and woebegone, and Marco has been screaming for attention which is nerve-shattering. I realized I'm not doing any of us any good (least of all Ginger) by going around weeping and acting like the end of the world is here. Now is the time (I tell myself) to buck up and try to make the days as normal and pleasant as possible. If my good dog can be so brave and strong, then so can I.
Ginger yesterday after going outside to pee. She knew she was about to get a treat when she got back inside. :)