Losing an LGD

The goats have always been protected by livestock guardian dogs commonly referred to as LGD’s.

About 2 months ago we noticed that Gus, our male dog, who is a littermate sibling to the female Sophie (both dogs are neutered) was limping on his front leg.  The joint on the leg was slightly swollen and hot to the touch.  Thinking that he may have injured it somehow, we gave him some anti-inflammatory medicine for about 2 weeks, but it seemingly wasn’t getting any better.  I made an appointment with the vet and took him in for an evaluation. The vet took some x-rays and came up with a surprising diagnosis.  It was bone cancer. 

He patiently explained to me that this is not an unusual diagnosis for an 11 year old Great Pyrenees.  Because of his advanced age and life expectancy of 11-12 years old, treating the cancer wasn’t an economical nor practical option.  The vet also advised that amputation wasn’t really a viable option because it was his belief that the cancer most likely had already spread and if he survived the surgery for amputation (which is risky because of his advanced age), the cancer would likely show up again somewhere else.  He gave us some meds for pain, told me that if the bone broke it would be excruciating and we would need to bring him in immediately to be euthanized. 

We gave Gus the pain medicine and it became clear to us over the 30 days of medicine that he was still in excruciating pain despite being on 2 different pain meds.  He would hobble outside to potty in the morning, but he spent almost all of his time laying in a bed of hay inside the barn.  We made the tough decision to not have the medicine prescriptions refilled because it wasn’t really helping him be more comfortable, and I made an appointment with the vet to have him euthanized.  Gus was such a wonderful dog, and this was such a difficult decision to make.   It’s another big loss in a string of them lately. Life can be hard and tough at times.

Great Pyrenees Gus
Great Pyrenees Gus