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I posted on the DK Facebook page a few weeks ago about Rosco going in for surgery for his giant lipoma.  3-ish years ago he started growing a lipoma on his chest that grew to the size of a baseball by 2016.  It was only cosmetic, not in the way so we chose to watch and wait.  Fast forward to this year and it was HUGE.  Hair couldn't even grow to cover it anymore.  And our vet wouldn't tell me what to do--I like to have a clear direction for big decisions.  So I decided to leave it be.

Well...it was just so huge!  But I really wrestled with this decision.  He was (is) 12.  In my opinion, wasn't likely to have more than a year.  He has laryngeal paralysis, his back legs are getting weaker and he often stumbles.  Is it right to put him through surgery?

But at the same time I felt a strong sense of shame.  Am I being a cheapskate?  Shouldn't I do everything to make his life comfy?  Wouldn't my fellow DK'ers do it all?   I was really torn.

So I took him in for a second opinion.  This other vet seemed to think he was in great shape for his age, which surprised me, but it made me think perhaps I had been a little catastrophizing his condition.  

Okay, then, this vet thinks he can handle it and he's a healthy guy...let's do it.  

So we are 3ish weeks out of surgery and his surgical scars are nicely healed (took off the other two smaller lipomas too).  But after surgery, his seizures came back...and got WORSE, both during the seizure and in the aftermath.  

Now Rosco's always been the poster child for opportunistic eater.  As he's gotten older he also has no shame about it.  He'll climb up on a chair to steal what you didn't immediately put away with you 2 feet away. Just a week out of surgery I caught him trying to finish someone's breakfast.  He was struggling to climb up and down stairs but was willing to work for food.

As of this week, though he is starting to leave kibble in his bowl.

Yesterday we started him on seizure meds and by dinner I couldn't even get him to finish his kibble with a fried egg mixed in <-- NOT Rosco at all.  So if anyone has brilliant ideas for stimulating an appetite...hit me with them!

He continues to randomly fall (could be seizure meds, but also what was starting to happen anyway).  He goes between restlessness and wandering the yard aimlessly to being zonked out.  He had a surprising moment of almost a play bow with Boca, but then realized he can't actually do more.

As I told a few of you privately, I feel like I am NOT cut out for coping with a senior dog.  I feel so helpless and unsure and of course second guessing the whole decision for surgery.  But there's no right answer.  

Thanks for reading my rambling.

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Thank you for the food suggestion.  

Oh my...I am NOT looking forward to this time in my girls lives.  I know the decision needs to be made, I know I will love my girls with all my heart till their dying day.  I also know I love them so much I will do the right thing when the time comes, even tho saying good-bye is the worst thing awaiting me.  Thoughts and heartfelt positive feelings sent your way. 

From A 6 year old a dog's purpose:

 'People are born so that they can learn how to live a good Life - - like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?'   'Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."

I love that excerpt. It makes me tear up every time, but it’s so true. 

We just went through a similar situation with Barney.  Should we have surgery for a 12 year old with a heart murmur?  We made our decision with the information we had.  It worked out for us, but our doubts were the same as yours.  It's hard to know which way you should lean in those decisions.  I believe you made the best decision you could out of love for Rosco.

Maybe now is the time for a senior pass.  Maybe a french fry could fall out of the sky once in a while.  Little things like that that make Rosco feel like the special boy he is.  Try safe human foods, baby food, etc....  As someone else mentioned, don't make him feel bad about it and let him choose to eat or not.  But let him choose anything he wants.  This is what I would do.  That's just how I feel and you should do what you feel is right.  As you mentioned, there is no right answer.  Just do whatever you do with love.

What Karen said is perfect.

I'm sorry Rosco is having a tough time.  I agree with the baby food idea. Halas is picky about treats, but he always gobbles up the baby food when they give it to him at the vet's office.

Well I just bought him some hot dogs, some random "fresh" chicken roll for dogs, and some kind of canned dog food beef stew.  So far the chicken roll was rejected.  Rosco has NEVER been picky...if it is edible and not an herb, he would eat it. So I honestly don't think there is a food he'll eat right now because he seems confused by food.  Hopefully this will pass and his appetite will return.

I hope so too. I think it will. 

BEEF BABY FOOD FOR THE WIN!!!
It seems he is only willing to lick food so anything requiring chewing is pointless.  Now if only I could find a gallon dispenser of it ... lol.  

Liverwurst can be licked; try the cheap kind like Oscar Mayer's Braunschweiger. maybe you can mush it around with some warm water to make it more of a baby food consistency. 
I'm so glad he ate something! 

Could the Lar Par be causing him to have trouble eating? 

Thanks for that recommendation.  I'll look for it.  I don't think the lar par would affect his eating, only breathing.  I guess I could buy some beef and cook and pulverize it?  

See below. I think Honest Kitchen's Love formula might be perfect for him. 

I mean that's how I made my daughter's baby food when she was little when she first started eating solids.  Meats went in the blender.  If he'll eat that you could try to add some carrots or sweet potato for extra vitamins/minerals.

Worth a try!

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