I started my original discussion about insulinoma in dogs and the original diagnosis of my 9 year old rescue Boxer, Oscar. Then another about the just over 2 month progress report of his health after insulinoma surgery. This is the final article on the topic of dog insulinoma results for Oscar.
The overall insulinoma related progress with Oscar up to nearly 5 months after the tumor has been removed is good for the most part. He put on some weight and the side effects of prednisone were the biggest negatives. I started being more careful about measuring his food, and supplemented some green beans with his evening meal. His spirits remained good. His blood sugar never came up past 55, but that’s the risk of this invasive surgery. He still enjoyed walks and company and had a really good quality of life even with the medication side effects. Also not having the energy he used to have as a result of that and lower blood sugar. As I watched his diet, he took off a couple pounds and his blood sugar was stable at 55, which is a tiny improvement. I still made sure he got 3 small meals a day to help him regulate.
Sadly, an unrelated issue occurred. He developed some snorting when breathing and swelling around his neck. Which was a ruptured or blocked salivary duct. This was making it harder to breathe and eventually, even eat and drink water. This had nothing to do with the previous condition or his medication according to the vet. This would require major throat surgery which neither the vet or I felt comfortable doing, considering his condition and medication. The vet was afraid the surgery would be unsuccessful and at worst, make him suffer. Just under a week after that visit, I knew the quality of life was dwindling, and it was getting more uncomfortable for him. If I let it go any longer, it would quickly turn the corner from discomfort to suffering. Sadly, we had to say goodbye to my best friend.
But, if you’re on the fence about insulimona surgery, I’d count Oscar’s surgery as a success. I had 5 months extra with my buddy and he enjoyed life. Just required a little extra maintenance for me, but I worked through that. If this throat problem didn’t happen, he’d probably have been fine for a while longer. I am still very glad I did that surgery, and as much as I am sad to lose him, I know I made the right call. Our job is to take care of pets for their life span, and be selfless enough to end suffering when it happens. Godspeed Oscar, you’re always going to have a home here.