Advice and perspectives welcome if you can help me / us decide. This is a public post so Mike may read it too.
The vet was expecting to do an aspiration of Cray's lump under light sedation. I was expecting him to do a biopsy under a general, but anyway...
He was unable to do an aspiration as the lump is so bony and so Cray would need to go back for a biopsy and chest x-ray under a general, if we want to know what we are dealing with. The x-ray would show if the lump has grown inside him (i.e. beyond what's visible externally) and if there are other growths, and a biopsy would tell us what kind of cancer it is - whether it's an aggressive type, or not, etc.
The thing is, would we take any action if we had that information to hand? The lump can't be removed easily (attached to his ribs) and we aren't going to be driving him to Cambridge for radiotherapy. Cray is 12 so he's old for a greyhound, even though he is quite fit for his age. So we would only be looking at palliatively treating issues as they arise (with pain relief or whatever may be necessary) in any case. I think Mike and I are agreed on that.
For me, I would like to know how long I've got with Cray and what to expect - e.g. if any internal organs are affected, and the speed of growth from here on.
But for Cray, is it fair to put him through a general anaesthetic and a biopsy, if it won't affect how we treat him? (We could do just the x-ray but it still requires a general.)
If I knew how long we'd got, would we do anything differently? I suppose I might wear myself out trying to walk Cray now if I knew I soon wouldn't be able to, rather than waiting until I feel well enough to walk him without making myself exhausted.
But what if he didn't survive the anaesthetic, how would I feel then?
Every time I think I've come to a decision, it doesn't then sit comfortably with me: there's still a "oh, but hang on..." niggle pulling the other way in my mind.
Obviously Mike and I have to make a decision together, but it would help if I knew what *I* thought, for a start. This is important enough that I don't want Mike just saying ok to whatever I want, too, so we have to both make decisions and hope we agree!
It's a difficult one. Can anyone help with a different perspective?