Murphy is dying. Yes, she’s 13-1/2, old for any dog, but somehow her age snuck up on me. After her early difficulties, I thought getting her to 5 was a miracle, but she’s been vigorous for years.
She’s actually pretty vigorous now. Suddenly deaf, yes. Sleeps a lot. Loves to eat and explore. Slower with arthritis. A bit rheumy-eyed.
Yes, that part. The accidental discovery of a splenic tumor. The almost certain prognosis of cancer. Which means surgery and she’ll die anyway, even if she has chemo. And even if it’s not surgery, she’ll die because the tumor will eventually rupture. Either way, she’s going to die.
Of a splenic tumor.
What causes these things? Hard to say, of course. Or is it?
Cancer is, well, I know what cancer is. I’m an intuitive, I have actually talked with cancer. Ultimately it’s symbiotic. Ultimately, cancer wants to pair with organisms, like humans and animals, and something different will come of it, but the DNA is too different right now. So cancer kills its ‘host,’ and then itself when the host dies. More on this later, honest.
But cancer is also epidemic right now.
Of all the things I thought would get Murphy, a splenic tumor never occurred to me. I wonder if her inherited platelet disorder and the tumor are related. If the spleen, which filters platelets, and Murphy’s body collaborated over the years to keep her healthy and vigorous, and the collaboration created this tumor. Which means removing it could kill her. Removing the spleen, with all the blood vessels, on an old dog with developing heart issues, including arrythmia, and a platelet disorder, well, no.
She deserves better. To be vigorous and healthy to the end. Quality over quantity.
How could I make that choice for her? Choose to refuse surgery?
Because I’d make the same choice for myself.
There are truly horrible things that come from this, as I’ll explore in later posts. But one of the most horrible is that I may have killed my dog by doing what I thought was the right thing. The thing we’re all told, that’s pushed by vets, by the shelter community, by breeders.
We don’t question it. We’re told that we should spay and neuter our animal family members early.
I always wondered about this. Sure, it’s convenient, especially for female dogs, since dealing with a dog in heat is complicated and annoying. And there’s the talk about male dogs being less aggressive. But don’t we interrupt their bodies’ natural growth process? Don’t we mess up their hormones, and all those chemical reactions that nature builds into them to keep them healthy?
We don’t spay or neuter our teenage children, so why are we doing it to our pets? Because we’re encouraged to be stupid and lazy.
Here’s why we absolutely need to re-think the spay/neuter issue.
Look at this article: The Long Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay/Neuter in Dogs, published in 2007 by Laura J Sanborn MS. I ran across it in spring 2011 while interviewing a respected breeder of golden retrievers in California. That’s the first time I heard that it is well documented that early spay/neuter can lead to all kinds of serious, debilitating, life-ending medical problems.
Like the cancer they say Murphy has.
Which would mean that all the years I cared for this beautiful dog didn’t matter, because I killed her when I spayed her as a puppy. Like we’re encouraged to do to be responsible owners.
Responsible family members.
And my other kids? Also mutilated as babies.
So I have three good reasons to go to war: Murphy, Alki, Grace the Cat. And when Murphy is gone, I’m going to war:
- war against the shelter and rescue community, which refuses to acknowledge this issue because their agenda is to be the new puppy mill: socially accepted and sanctioned by the state and ignorant but earnest animal lovers
- war against the veterinary community, for its silence on this issue
- war against the people who adopt animals, know the facts, and go along with it, because it’s easier
- war for the people who don’t know and so can’t make the right choice, whatever that is for their family: because somebody has to tell them
Do you live with animals? Did you spay/neuter early? Did you know this?
You know it now.
What will you do next time?
Join me. Let’s go to war. For life.
© 2012 Robyn M Fritz