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I'm sad and ticked off because cancer sucks. Cancer is claiming our dog. We adopted him 1.5 years ago, he's only 6.5 yrs old. He's a golden retriever/lab retriever mix.

We had surgery done to remove a tumor back in September but the doc said it was close to the bone and he had to remove some of the hamstring, too. He said 50/50 chance it would come back since he probably did not get good margins around the tumor. It was a gory surgical site, it was very sad to see the dog so miserable when he was done with surgery but we were hopeful he'd be in the "good" 50%. Well, he recovered and was pretty happy for the last few months but it's back. There are tumors all over the area of his tail and hind leg. At first it seemed like it was just his scar hardening but now it is clear that there are hard lumps growing everywhere.

He doesn't eat his dog food but every 3 to 4 days now. He has started favoring the leg and limping regularly. He groans when he's just laying around resting. He has a tough time getting down off his chair, takes him a while. He's happy to see us, wags his tail lots but we know it's just a matter of time before we have to decide to help put him out of his misery.

How do I know WHEN?? I know my husband is waiting for me to make the decision but I feel like he's getting around okay and don't want to do this during the holidays, it will break my kids hearts either way but I don't want to completely ruin the holidays with sadness and depression so I think it's okay to wait a couple weeks.
 

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I am so sorry. You know it's time when your beloved pet is in pain and there is nothing you can do to make things better.
Big hug, I know it's hard and hurts so.
 

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It is a tough decision to make. For myself, I ask if my pet is in pain. Can he walk outside to do his business by himself? Can he eat? Is he happy to see us or able to show his affection?

I agree that you don't want to do it during the holiday, but it sounds like your pet is in pain. I understand wanting to shield your kids, too, but the earlier they learn some of life's lessons the easier it will be for them in the future.
 

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I am really sorry to hear this. It sounds to me like you already know its time, but its bad timing. I wouldn't wait a couple of weeks. Get through this weekend if you want to, for the sake of the kids, but after that its for the sake of the dog that you let him gently go. I ask myself if I would want to live with the pain if I had a choice. We, as owners, have the choice to let our pets be relieved of the pain.

Who knows, I might make a judgement call "too soon" but how much more in pain would an animal or person want to be in before they are let go from the suffering? Day to day, what joy is there in being in pain compared to a long deep sleep?

I am sorry you are going through this but try to think of the dog over the holiday if you can, the dog doesn't know what Christmas is, it just knows how it feels each moment of its day and frankly I can't imagine cancer feels too good.
 

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I'm sorry you have to go through this because I have done it many times. It's a very hard, personal decision and speaking from experience, it's easy to second guess your decision.

Look at the dogs quality of life and go from there.
 

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Thanks to everyone, this is terribly difficult. He still seems reasonably happy and fairly comfortable. And the kids know what is coming - we just had to do this 1-1/2 years ago with their first dog of 8 years (she was 11). And my daughter had to experience her first horse being euthanized about six months before that.

We're just watching him day by day and assessing as we go.
 

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I'm so sorry.

We had to let one of ours go due to cancer and it was a hard decision. It always is. We've been through it many times too, and it never gets any easier or any more clearly defined.

With our dog with cancer, I think we waited too long. She did not seem to be in pain, but after talking to humans who have had cancer, I think she must have been. Our vet said animals often don't show pain even when they're suffering. It's a survival instinct because to show weakness is to become prey.

If you can trust your vet, call and talk to him or her. Our vet is the best. He advised us, but supported our decisions whether he agreed with them or not.

I know how difficult it is to have bad timing, too. We had to have one of our Siberians put down on Mother's Day one year, due to heart failure that came on suddenly. In her case, at least the decision was easy because she was obviously in great pain and there was no other solution.

Big, giant hugs. It's so hard to lose a beloved pet and it's stressful to know the time is coming, want to stop that clock, and know there's not one damn thing you can do.
 

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It sure is hard my dog Lacey a black & tan cocker had cancer and was deaf at the age of thirteen. That was 13 yrs ago we knew it was time cause we couldn't bear to see her suffer anymore and took her to our vet to put her out of pain it was soo hard to do but we knew it was best for everyone. We sure think of her & miss her she was a great dog & companion and is dearly missed. You will two know when it's time. Hugs :)
 

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I lost my shepherd and loyal friend back in April suddenly. She started throwing up was, crabby and was wimpering. The next day her neck swoll up and she was panting. I did not know she had cancer of the lymph glands. We put her down then and there.
If a pet is in pain or isn't eating you know its time. Set a near date and show you love him by not making him suffer. I know it hard,believe me. I have several that will probably need to be said goodbye to this year. We have all our over 8 now.
Hugs and feel comfort knowing they had a better life because of you,
 

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I called the vet who did his tumor removal in September, he said just watch him and bring him in when it is time. Again, I don't know the right timing but this is inevitable, there is nothing they could do at this time except put him out of his pain since the cancer has spread all over his back end around the incision site and beyond.

Thanks all, your support and understanding is helpful.
 

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I am very sorry, Sumacaroni, to hear that both you and your pet are going through this. I agree with those who ask you to keep your dog's comfort in mind. He doesn't know it is the holidays, and if you are asking yourself if it is time, then the answer is probably closer to yes than you are admitting. Some dogs have very high tolerance for pain and will not appear to be as sick as they are. If he is eating only every 3-4 days and is in pain, even when he is laying down, I would wonder if I would want to be in that position and not be allowed relief from my suffering.

However, he is your dog and you know him best., so you will know if he still has enough quality of life, or if it is time to let him go.

If you think he is still wanting to hang on, maybe try giving him some soft foods as treats to keep his energy up? A friend of mine went through hospice with her dog, and near the end, she was still able to get him to take spoonfuls of vanilla ice cream, which he always enjoyed. Might make him feel a bit better or at least give him a bit more energy.
 

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Oh, hugs to you and your family. I agree with the other posters...if you are already asking when the time should be, it is probably closer than you want to admit. I love my pets with all my heart and I can only imagine the pain of your children. My DD cried for two years after our cat passed away. She can still get misty eyed thinking about our Morrison.
 

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I can't read your post or any of the replies, cause I don't wanna cry at work, but I wanted to say that I am so sorry you are dealing with this. Hugs to you!

Kara
 

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and there.
If a pet is in pain or isn't eating you know its time. Set a near date and show you love him by not making him suffer.
Agree..........it is NEVER easy but don't let your pet suffer.

Hugs for what you are going through........it is a terrible thing to lose a member of the family.

I asked my vet..........and the minute she said that the dog was hurting it was a done deal. No one......or nothing should have to live in pain!
 

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I am sorry but it is time and I say with tear rolling down my face I love my pets and would want to die if anything happened to them.don't let it suffer and let it go in peace...
 

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Big Hugs to you.....if your decision is going to be a little later rather than a little sooner can you not get pain meds for your dog from your vet? I have known other people who's dogs have had cancer and they were able to get something to ease their pain while they had a few days to say their goodbyes.
 

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My heart goes out to you. If you are questioning if it would be better to give your pet peace and no pain then it is time.

It sounds as if the cancer is spreading rapidly and the things that make a dogs life wonderful are diminishing.

I think it would be better to give your pet some dignity before Christmas then to wake up regretting that you waited too long. It sounds as if your children are old enough to understand the loss but also old enough to understand the responsibility of loving with kindness.

Perhaps making an ornament in honor of your pet would help them remember the love they can give for years to come. It won't be easy, it never is, but it can be a blessing.

Hugs to you.
 
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Sumacaroni, knowing when it's time is tough. I've always said, "I'd rather they go a day to soon than an hour too late" The only bits of advice I can give you is, think of your dogs quality of life and how they are acting. Put your emotions aside and Honestly ask yourself, am I keeping him here for me and my feelings or for his benefit?
If you think that he's happy and enjoying life as he was before, then consult your vet about pain management options. There are options for neuralgia pain and osteo pain. A fentanyl patch, tramadol and gabapentin are good pain control drugs for pain, and are relatively inexpensive. Lidoderm patches can help at the site however may not be an option given the tumor presence.
I wish you peace and understanding during this tough time.
 

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I'm so sorry for your situation, but, your dog is missing meals.

It's time.

Please let your dog go with peace, grace and dignity.

You will regret it if you don't.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
He is on pain meds in case anyone wants to know. And he follows us around and eats people food just fine :) But we are prepared to do what we have to do.
 
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