I have a really old dog, about fourteen or so, covered in tumors. I got her when I was four. I'm 18 now.
She's gotten progressively worse lately. As in, within the past month or so, new tumors have popped up on her throat. She's having trouble eating. I know it's stress that made her worse - my mom was in the yard with her and our Papillon when two unleashed unsupervised German Shepherds came into our yard and disemboweled our Papillon. Our old dog got to her first and chased both of them all the way home, followed by my mom. I went outside to see what was going on and when I opened the door the Papillon came inside. I freaked, forgot every bit of dog first aid I know, and (fortunately; I should not have freaked out like that, I knew better than to freak out like that) decided to try human first aid.
I took her to the vet with my mom's boyfriend while my mom waited on animal control. We were expecting to need to put her down. She came out of shock on the way there, crying in pain, but did not bite me. Once there, the vet rushed us in and took her directly into surgery before we filled out forms - despite being told flat out we were broke. The vet managed to save her because she had nothing torn inside - our old dog had gotten to her fast enough to stop them from doing more damage.
The guy got his dogs back the next day. We're still paying off the vet bills.
Our old dog got worse really fast, but she got her energy back once we got the Papillon back home.
Then the dogs came into our yard about 24 days after the attack. They had been loose since then, days after the attack then a day before this incident his girlfriend posted on Facebook that one of them was lost and friendly, confirmed that the dog in the picture taken a few days after the attack was the lost dog. The dog was promptly found under a pile of clothes 'trying to keep cool' after we called bull larky. It should be noted that she claimed it jumped out of the open window of a moving car. It was 5AM, pitch black, and my mom was taking the dogs out. (We went right to animal control as soon as they opened and filed another complaint. Apparently, until they attack a human and do serious damage, animal control can't do much more than fine him each time the dogs get loose. Despite our dog being the third animal they have attacked unprovoked and the guy lying about where he lived.)
Our old dog started choking on nothing the same day. She's gotten even worse.
We can't afford to take her to the vet. Especially not while still paying off the vet bills for the attack, even after the vet was willing to give us a discount. (They are the only vet that doesn't charge $1500 just to look at a dog, much less treat it. These people also treat and adopt out strays. Despite not being rescues.)
My mom says even if we could afford to treat her, it would probably kill her.
We feed both dogs wet food twice a day and leave dry food out. (I know, I know. It's not good for them. They need dry food twice daily. Wet food is bad for them. I know. I've read the research. Mom doesn't want them fighting over the wet food, and our old dog has trouble eating solids.It was originally just her teeth(because someone threw away the doggy toothbrush and the doggy toothpaste when we moved and never got new ones.) but now she is having trouble swallowing. We think it hurts.) On bad days my mom blends the wet food with water for her. They always have a bowl full of water. My mom's boyfriend sneaks her people food whenever he can, and sometimes I give her peanut butter or sandwich meat or cheese. I usually only give her people food as a reward for extra good behavior, because her health comes first, but she's at the point anything solid is good.
Is there anything we could be doing differently to ease her pain and make her comfortable?
We were expecting to have longer before she got this bad. Things don't always work out the way we want, though.
I don't want to make her live longer - I'm not asking you to tell me how to make her live longer - because that would be selfish of me. When you own a pet you have to do what's best by it, even if it isn't what's best for you. Even if it hurts you. When you adopt a pet that's what you sign up for, a lifetime of friendship in exchange for caring. If you get hurt because you care, well, you signed up for it. That doesn't make it any easier to let go, though.