Kiraʻs Companions: ‘There’s both good and bad news’


Photo by Kira Gomez

My senior dog Messi waits for the doctor at his vet appointment on Saturday.

By Kira Gomez, staff writer

Over the last two weeks, Messi has gone to the vet for a checkup twice. He has improved in some areas. Aside from his gain in appetite and increase in energy, he has started to use the bathroom in a regular pattern and keep his food down. His platelets have also increased to a reasonable amount to where he is just out of the red zone and can have surgery done. In regards to his thyroid, the medication has been working, and we have just been adjusting his dosage lower over the last two weeks, but there should be no problem in no time.

The not-so-good developments that have occurred are a worsening limp and the mass in his bladder.

Messi on his new bed showing the reason behind it, his leg.
Messi on his new bed showing the reason behind it, his leg. (Photo by Kira Gomez)

First, we noticed a limp since the beginning, and it has only gotten worst. The vet conducted an X-ray on his right leg, but nothing seemed wrong, so he was prescribed pain medication to help. From that appointment to the one we had this past Saturday, there was no improvement. It only seemed harder for him to get up and walk. When we mentioned this to the vet during the last appointment he examined him again and said he probably has arthritis from the look of it. Messi is an older dog, but to us, nine years old doesn’t seem that old. This means we are going to have to accommodate in the form of adjusting what is on our floors, as well as medication into the future.

Second, there was a new discovery during this last appointment after an ultrasound was performed on Messi’s bladder. It wasn’t the news we were hoping for. They have concluded that the mass is a tumor. There is an 80% chance of it being malignant (bad) and a 20% chance of it being benign (good). We can only hope for it being good, but the odds are definitely against us.

The next thing regarding the mass is that there is not only one, but a second smaller one near the entrance to the bladder. This presents a problem because unlike the other one that is in a place where they can remove the entire thing, this one is in a place where they may not be able to do the same. This is where medication comes into play. The vet mentioned that he can do the surgery as best he can, but there is no guarantee he can get everything, and it won’t come back. So, he said that we can give him medicine that is known for combatting tumors in the bladder in addition to the surgery.

I could mask my emotions of the news until he listed our options. He listed the surgery, the medication, but when he said euthanasia, I froze. I didn’t cry, but I definitely didn’t have any hint of a smile. Our decision in the end was the surgery with medication, and his appointment is booked for this Thursday.

We have been preparing for his surgery and have made our main goal to get him comfortable. This means a low enough bed that allows him to get on comfortably, rugs to help him stand up and walk more easily on our floors, and we even got new bowls, if not for Messi, then at least for us to feel like we’re doing something. Now all that’s left to do is wait and pray some more.

Messi eating his food out of his new, "Bone Appetite" bowl.
Messi eating his food out of his new, “Bone Appetite” bowl. (Photo by Kira Gomez)