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Can't stop crying and I don't know how to tell DD

(27 Posts)
Pumpernickel10 Thu 16-Jun-11 12:40:51

Been to vets today as my pooch as been poorly, we discovered a hard lump, anyway lastweek they did a biopsy and it's come back she's got cancer.
I can't stop crying, DH as come home from work to be with me but my concern is DD. Molly our dog as grown up with her they are the same age and are inseparable, I don't know what to tell her. DD is coming up to 11 so very head strong but will be so devastated.
What do you say?

DogsBestFriend Thu 16-Jun-11 12:46:40

I'm so, so sorry Pumpernickel.

In similar circumstances and when my girls were a similar age, all I could do is tell them the truth. We all helped each other to mentally prepare for what was to come though in your case I hope and pray that there is much the vet can do and you don't have to have that conversation with DD.

It hurts like hell but I think that it would probably hurt more to be unprepared or to be kept in the dark.

Sod MN etiquette - loads of hugs to you, to your daughter and of course loads of hugs to Molly.

StealthPolarBear Thu 16-Jun-11 12:48:29

Yes I agree, mum and dad had our beloved dog PTS when I was about the same age (maybe a couple of years older) and I wanted to know.

StealthPolarBear Thu 16-Jun-11 12:49:41

Obviously that was the end, but he was very ill before that and I was kept informed

Sorry I am not helping am i? Hope there is something that can be done

GypsyMoth Thu 16-Jun-11 12:51:01

i have memories of this,vivid ones. i was 14 when my dog was pts

i was very gratefull mum and dad left me to say goodbye to her,at home. as normal

its the one memory that can bring me to tears......in fact i have them in my eyes now as i remember saying goodbye!

my advice would be to leave her to do this on her own.

good luck. tell her the truth.

Pandemoniaa Thu 16-Jun-11 12:51:29

How sad for you Pumpernickel. I know how horrid it is to lose a much loved family dog. However, at 11 your daughter is old enough to cope with the difficult explanation that dogs simply don't live as long as humans and she needs to be prepared that Molly may not be around much longer. Talk about the good things you've all done and how Molly has been such a loyal companion and make it clear that is is just fine to be very upset.

Psammead Thu 16-Jun-11 12:55:48

Oh please tell her the truth!

My neighbour had two kittens when I was young and I used to play with them all the time. I adored them. One day I saw someone put them in their car and drive away with them. Turns out my neighbours couldn't look after them properly and sold them on. Everyone knew for weeks except me. I never said goodbye or had a chance to get used to it and it really hurt.

Please have faith in your daughter that she will be able to cope with the news and get her head around it.

sunshineandbooks Thu 16-Jun-11 12:55:55

Sorry to hear this. sad

At 11 I think all you can do is tell her the truth - that your dog is very poorly and won't get better. You don't want her to suffer so when the time is right you will have her put to sleep and hold her and stroke her as she passes. (I assume you are going to put her to sleep when you feel the time is right?)

DD will be upset obviously, but as long as she has you for support, she will be fine honestly. Death is a natural, inevitable part of life and children generally accept and deal with it very well after the initial shock. I wouldn't try to shield her from it, and if she wants to be there when the vet gives the injection, I'd let her be there (obviously don't make her attend if she doesn't want to though). Seeing the death makes it easier to accept IME.

Again, sorry though. It must be horrible for you to and you have my sympathy. sad

Psammead Thu 16-Jun-11 12:58:52

'I'm so sorry darling, but the vet said that Molly is sick - she has cancer. We're going to do what we can, but there is a chance she wont make it'

Something like that. And encourage her to ask qus.

KittieCat Thu 16-Jun-11 13:00:24

It isn't always as bleak as the diagnosis suggests, my cat had gi lymphoma and has been having chemotherapy at VRCC and is doing v well. Not cheap bt not astronomical either, also covered by our pet insurance. Maybe a second opinion?

Pumpernickel10 Thu 16-Jun-11 13:05:43

I will tell her the truth as that's what shes deserves.
The vets are going to cut the masses out to ease the pressure and see if it's spread. One of the lumps is under her front leg so she's starting to limp so I just want her to get some mobility back and enjoy walkies again, so the time she does have left will be pain free.

StealthPolarBear Thu 16-Jun-11 13:06:24

So sorry sad

Pumpernickel10 Thu 16-Jun-11 13:08:19

kittie I know and luckily we are insured.
How do they do chemotherapy on pets? Is it as harsh as it is on humans? as it knocked my mom about and it's something we wish we had never done and made no difference.

wannaBe Thu 16-Jun-11 13:10:12

ds was seven when we had our dog pts. She was nearly fifteen so was old, but she had a lump which we knew would ultimately become ulserated and at that point we knew it would be time.
I explained to ds that she was sick, and that sometimes, we as humans can help an animal by allowing them not to suffer and to die peacefully before they get to that point, and that when the time came, I would make that decision for Bonnie.

When the day came that the vet said we had reached that point, I said to ds that the vet had said Bonnie was very poorly and that it would be kinder to have her put to sleep before she ended up in real pain and suffering. The next morning he said goodbye to her and I took him to school.

Then I came home and took her to the vet sad

It's a harsh reality that if you have pets then unfortunately they are likely to die before you do, and children do need to learn this also.

PinotGrigiosKittens Thu 16-Jun-11 13:12:00

I'm so so so sorry Pumpy. You've made me well up.

<<hugs>>

ThisIsJustASagaNow Thu 16-Jun-11 13:12:32

sad So sorry for you all.

Pandemoniaa Thu 16-Jun-11 13:13:59

Please don't put your dog through chemotherapy. It is no nicer a treatment than the human version but your dog doesn't have the power of reasoning to set the unpleasantness of chemo against the possibility of prolonging her life.

Spuddybean Thu 16-Jun-11 13:14:16

I am so sorry. i was a similar age when my first dog died.

When i was 13 my dog who was also 13 (parents got her when i was 1) became very poorly and had to be put to sleep. It was very traumatic for all of is and afterwards we all went away for a few days to the country to mourn. We spoke about all her funny ways and gave ourselves treats.

When we returned we spoke about getting another dog and after a few months we did. She never replaced the first one (especially not for me as the 1st dog had been more like a sibling) but we loved her just as much.

Then when she became poorly 9 years later (with cancer) she continued to live a happy life for 2 more years with medication. At the end she let us know it was time to have her put to sleep - she dug a hole under the apple tree and lay in it.

I returned from uni to be with her and my parents and the vet came out to the house. It was very peaceful.

My parents kept me informed all the way through both experiences and i felt involved in the decisions. It helped me say goodbye to them and learn how to cope with loss.

Of course it hurts but that just shows how much you love them. The depth of the grief is balanced by the amount of joy they give us.

I know these seem like trite platitudes but time does heal and death is an integral part of life.

I hope your dd will grow up with happy memories of her life and accept her death. I feel that we have a responsibility to give our animals happy and fulfilled lives and if we have done that then that is the best we can do.

Good luck with everything. xx

MooMooFarm Thu 16-Jun-11 13:16:35

pumpernickel sorry for the bad news & I hope she pulls through.

Its horrible having to tell the DC something so sad, but unfortunately death is part of life, so I have always just tried to be open and honest about it - and to show them that it's perfectly normal to get upset and cry about it all in the process.

We have always done a little 'funeral' for our pets in the garden so the DCs can say goodbye properly. It always seems to help and my DC seem to 'move on' much more quickly once we've done that.

chicletteeth Thu 16-Jun-11 13:20:05

I'm so sorry pumpernickel.
The death of a family pet can break your heart.
I've had mine broken many times, but I wouldn't have been without them despite this.

Unfortunately it's all part of life so the best you can do is kindly tell your daughter what is happening, tell her it's ok to grieve and most importantly make sure that your dog doesn't suffer unnecessarily.

Once again, I've very sorry.

mistlethrush Thu 16-Jun-11 13:33:04

Pumpernickel - from what I understand, chemo for dogs is totally different from that for humans. Hopefully your vet will be able to advise - but I know of dogs having it and it extending their lives for some time without impacting upon their quality of life.

emptyshell Thu 16-Jun-11 13:33:56

She'll cope better than you imagine. I would say, if/when the time comes - let her come to the vet if she wants to (or get the vet to come to your house if they will). I can still remember to this day my mum taking my cat to the vet and coming home with an empty cat carrier and I don't think I've quite forgiven that tbh.

Someone on The Doghouse (have to go via the main forum page not the shortcuts down the bottom) might know more about canine chemo.

Pumpernickel10 Thu 16-Jun-11 13:53:39

Thanks for all the advice smile
I think I need to know more before considering chemotherapy, but I think I probably won't go there,I don't want to prolong Mollys pain. Her comfort is paramount.

kittybuttoon Thu 16-Jun-11 18:16:54

There are drugs the vet can give you to treat any symptoms, and maybe make the lump shrink - depending on the type of cancer.

If you are insured, you could ask
for a specialist referral and discuss all the options.

I have cancer, and balked at the chemo - but it is not the only option these days. I was diagnosed with secondaries in 2008, and am still going strong with no chemo!

I wouldn't opt for chemo for my beloved dog, but cancer is not the immediate death sentence for a pet (or a person!) that it used to be. My advice is give Molly everything her heart desires, and encourage your daughter to make the most of their time together.

This advice works for both people and doggies.

Pumpernickel10 Thu 16-Jun-11 19:28:44

Thanks again kitty
Well DD knows now and she's took it well. Really proud of her.
I have read up on it all, probably read too much and upset myself but I won't go down the chemo route. We have all talked about it we want Molly to have the lest stress possible. We are all being positive, she's eating as usual to that's something and she wolfed down her chicken tonight.

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