We are faced with having to make some decisions about Gemma Joy. I have blogged about her before. She has cancer that has metastasized to her lungs and brain. Since the cancer has entered her brain it has materialized as some aggressive behaviour and biting at the air. Initially she only bit the air in the evenings. It seemed like it happened when she was tired. Now she is biting at the air for the better part of the day. The air biting is actually a seizure. The other issue with cancer is dogs and ultimately quality of life.

Right now we are faced with the prospect that Gemma is seizing all day. We have no idea if she is confused by the seizing. She seems to be aware of what is going on around her. She seems happy to see people and she eats most of the time. She really enjoys her cuddles and spending time with us. The other serious issue is that she and Zoe cannot be together. Zoe really ramps her up when she barks and Gemma has figured out how to climb the gate in the living room which is a big risk as she will go after Zoe. She is also not safe with Sawyer which is another concern. The problem with the aggression is the isolation that results for Gemma. It is very difficult to manage this situation.

Our plan is to get in touch with the vet. I will call tomorrow and let them know about the increasing air biting. We want to understand how this is impacting her quality of life. We also need to know if she is in pain. She is on metacam for pain right now. The answers we get will dictate our next steps.

It is an incredibly hard decision to make. We do not want to keep her alive if she is in pain and has no quality of life. Conversely, we do not want to euthanize her if she is still enjoying life. Hopefully our vet will help us to navigate this difficult situation.


2 thoughts on “How to Decide

  1. Hello Chris and Deb…

    So sorry to hear of Gemma….

    Last Dec our dear Maxine (lab/border collie /shepherd cross)passed away, at age approximately l6yrs, in our arms…literally. We had been in touch with our wonderful vet all along for the past months (with several age related symptoms)who informed us of what to look for if and when Maxine was ready for assistance in her passing. The main one being if she looked uncomfortable with pain. When the time came everything happened so fast and within several hours we knew to call the Vet. In the meantime we sat by her stroking her, keeping her warm with warm blankets and holding and talking to her for comfort…she was still enjoying her food right up to the last minute…and I was sponging her mouth with water…we turned on the Christmas lights for Maxine to see…and she left her tired little body…..she knew she was loved…Mya our TG dog came and licked her face and ran her nose along Maxine’s body, turned and curled up in her bed under the kitchen table…..time is a comfort and memories are now what we are holding close…take care you two, and thanks for letting me share….thinking of you, hugs, Jude

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