I had a long conversation with my wonderful (seriously, WONDERFUL) vet who answered all of my difficult and incoherent questions. I brought some critical care and blueberries and we watched her eat. The vet palpated Lucy's abdomen, and showed me the approximate size of the tumour. She explained the processes that are likely going on inside her little body and she helped me to work through my fears and hopes.
I decided that I wasn't sure enough of the extent of Lucy's pain or fear, given that she is still eating so well and enjoying cuddles.
I'm expecting her to go downhill fairly quickly as her lungs fatigue from increased work they have to put out. Probably she has days to go. I'm going to stay home this weekend to be with her and keep and eye on her. When the breathing problem gets worse, it will be time.
As of now, I'm happy and enjoying time with my girl.
Thank you all for the support and understanding you have offered. It is truly appreciated.
Lucy was going strong for a good month after I last posted here. She continued to eat on her own and to enjoy cuddles and to greet me at the side of the cage, so we kept going. I went on my trip, and she was still there when I came back (for that, I will be eternally grateful). A little while after I got back, she started to slow down a bit and became a bit wobbly on her hind legs. On her final day, she had seemed to spend a particularly long time hunched in the corner. I came over, and she greeted me and we had a good cuddle. I put her home. That afternoon she got some extra pain meds, by evening she had begun to go downhill.
It was clear that she was on her way. We rushed her in to the ER. To our immense joy and surprise our regular exotics vet come out to greet us (they do not work in the ER): she had been in the department working on something else and came out when she heard we were here. She did the euthanasia in the most kind, understanding and dignified way possible. I stayed for the whole thing - though i was warned that it may be upsetting - and it really was beautiful. Lucy passed, peacefully, in her sleep being covered with kisses and surrounded by people she knew.
Lucy did so much for me, and we went through so much together (a couple of boyfriends, 3 different apartments, a Masters degree and even a move across the atlantic!). She was so full of life and she carried on a good two years longer than she was 'supposed to'. In her hey day she would keep 10 other pigs in line. I miss her so much. What a special and important soul.
Give your pigs an extra special hug tonight. Every moment with them is so important.
- You can quote me
I am so glad to hear that her last journey here went so smoothly. How wonderful that your vet was there.
Hugs and understanding to you, ph08fhf. And honor to Lucy. A special, precious and important soul, truly.
Her masses were benign. Total shock - they were huge and growing fast, so everything indicated that they were malignant. But they weren't.
Lucy had severe kidney changes consistent with an earlier version of Barbara's changes (http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=72236&highlight=).
We had thought that the breathing problems she was having were associated with metastasis of the tumor to the lungs. It appears that the breathing problems were in fact associated with her kidney changes and an increase of protein loss. It looks like the kidney problems caused her death. Who knew!?
This result brings me great comfort - kindney failure is, by all accounts, much less painful than cancer. And I'm so glad that we didn;t try to operate or euthanise
This, of course, makes me extra worried about the rest of my girls (given that pneumonia likely was what killed Mary (http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=73333) and was definitely what killed Ruby (http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=73249&highlight=)). I have two girls going in on monday morning, and two move going in mid september.
- You can quote me
It's very wise to have your others checked, but don't be too worried about pneumonia. With care as good as yours receive, pneumonia would be something that would develop rather than being caught, and it would develop secondarily to something like heart weakness, which you would also note symptoms of and treat.