Well our journey to figure out what’s wrong with our Princess Fiona has ended and we have a diagnosis finally. We were back at Purdue last week for an MRI and spinal tap. I really liked the attending vet this time. She was excellent! I like to ask a ton of questions and offer up ideas that I’ve read about and she was very patient and encouraged the dialog. She was very worried about putting Fiona under anesthesia for the MRI but there weren’t any other tests that we could really do. This day was even longer than last time as we were there almost 11 hours. Lucky for me, I followed my own tips for visiting a teaching hospital so I was much more prepared this time. I was also very lucky to have one of our Facebook friends come up and visit. Her work was cancelled so she was able to stay with me for several hours and made the time pass much quicker.
The vet called us in while they were still imaging her brain as they already had an answer. My sweet, beloved, precious, angel baby Fiona has a terminal brain tumor. I was able to see the images from the MRI which were very interesting although I’m sure it would be way cooler if it wasn’t your dog’s brain. The tumor is pressing in and causing her to have hydrocephalus from the spinal fluid. Her brain ventricles are enlarged with the fluid and the tumor is restricting the flow out of the ventricles. Really the only option with this would be radiation and it only slows the tumor, never cures anything. With radiation treatments, she would have to go under anesthesia every time and with her very low heart rate and low blood pressure, she is not a good candidate for anesthesia. So the only choices were to not wake her up from the MRI or treat her symptoms. As she has never appeared to be in pain, still eats, walks around, snuggles and does all her regular activities just more slowly, letting her go was not an option for us at that time. So we are treating her with steroids to decrease the inflammation and hopefully the symptoms from that and another med to decrease the production of the spinal fluid.
This has honestly been the worse thing I’ve been through with our dogs. I’m thankful that we finally have a diagnosis and that it’s not just my imagination but I certainly never imagined that it would be a brain tumor. Most likely, she has a type of tumor that is sometimes associated with Cushing’s(although she doesn’t have it). It’s a tumor sitting on the pituitary which controls many bodily functions. This type of tumor is not usually cancer but still there really is nothing that can be done for it. I have been in touch with our regular vet who also practices holistic medicine so we might be adding some supplements. I think the irony in all this is that if she had eyes, it probably would have been diagnosed much quicker although the treatment would have been the same. I always expected her to pop up with mammary cancer since she was not spayed until she was maybe five or six.
As long as she is not in pain and can still find joy and bring joy to others, she will remain here with us. Once we see her quality of life deteriorate, it will be time to help her cross the Rainbow Bridge. I honestly have no idea what I will do without her and her love in my life. She came to us when I was so sad after losing my dad and my Dachshund Cocoa Puff. We always swore that those two helped her get to us to help us through our grief. I can’t imagine why she’s being taken away at such a young age when she brings so much joy and love to everyone she meets. It all seems so unfair but nobody ever said life was fair. I’m sure we’ll find the strength to go on and continue helping the seniors and special needs but it won’t be the same without my little fluffy Fiona there by my side. I know this post is pretty rambling but I wanted to put it all out there so her friends would know exactly what is going on and my brain isn’t exactly thinking straight. Thanks for all the good thoughts, prayers and donations for our girl and thanks for opting to adopt.