I've been delaying writing about this for a while, since it feels more real written down. But, as of a few months ago, Winry came up with a random limp, at first in her back legs. We took her to the vet and did comprehensive x-rays to, as always with greyhounds, rule out bone cancer first and foremost.
The x-ray came back clean, and Win went on Rimadyl for a few weeks and her limp went away, though she stayed on mostly bed rest (no real exercise). Unfortunately, during this time, she very suddenly came up with another limp, this time in her shoulder. She seemed in pain, despite being on the Rimadyl. Off to the vet we went again for more x-rays of that area, and oddly enough, they again came up clean. During her examination though, we found a small mass on her leg that we decided to aspirate and send to the lab, just in case.
The results came back and indicate a type of malignant cancer that manifests itself in the joints. Because the source of her pain looks to be deep within the joint in her shoulder, we aren't able to very well identify it. It is tissue based and not showing up on the x-ray, and would require surgery to thoroughly evaluate it, and even then, the vet said not much else could really be done. It's possible (and likely, since the mass we found was lower on her leg on the opposite side), that the tumors have spread to other locations, so trying to treat it is essentially not possible due to its gelatinous and spread out nature.
Because we can't identify how large existent tumors are or how aggressive they're being (or if she's had this her whole life and it just gradually takes over?), we don't even have a timeline of things. For now, basically all we can do is manage her pain. Currently, Winry is on the steroid prednisone that has actually been somewhat helpful; she still limps, but she limps faster and doesn't seem as hindered. She gets 15mg once a day in the morning, so unfortunately, mornings before her medication is roughest for her, where she struggles to get up and moving. But, afterwards, seems more or less normal, despite her limps. She loves to eat, she loves to chew bones and over all still seems pretty happy. We're doing all we can to keep her that way.
So far, it looks like we'll enjoy the holidays with her, and hopefully for a good amount of time after that. It will just be a matter of managing her pain, and of course, not letting her existence be more about suffering vs enjoyment.
We love you, Win <3