First, a picture of Trinket only a mother would take and love. (that's his butt and back legs flipped over, if you don't recongnize it)
This is the better end.
Trinket had mast cell tumor when he was about three years old. The vet removed a few bumps in surgery, with one of them being first degree (lowest) cancer. Dr. Larson was very confident that she got it all. In the past ten years, Trinket has grown quite a few bumps and lumps, on the skin or in the muscles. Dr. Larson always looked at them in his annual check up and told us every time that they are either fat deposit or cysts.
In the last few months, we started hearing some wheezing sound in Trinket's breath, and he seems to cough and gag more than he did before. I suspect there is blockage in his airways, or lungs. We are hesitating to have him evaluated:
1. Trinket and his littermates were neutered/spayed at a few weeks old so the rescue group could adopt them out. Five puppies went into the surgery, only three woke up. We've always tried to keep him from having to go under.
2. Trinket is perfectly happy with himself. He's playful, loves to eat, sleep, snuggle, go for his nightly walks. His quality of life can't be better than what it is today.
3. Trinket is a very private character, a two-people dog, well, maybe two and half, he can tolerate his human brother after living together for nine years. He never got along with Dr. Larson, despite her life saving skills. A regular check up requires days of recovery. Having her poke around or stick a tube in his throat would be everyone's nightmare.
4. I'm happy to see my first born content with his life at thirteen years old. Extensive diagnoses and treatments may lengthen his time with us, but it would be the life as a patient.
Dog people, what would you do?