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Sad, sad news

(18 Posts)
doglover Tue 13-Nov-12 20:29:53

As you can guess from my MN name, I love my animals! One of our beloved labs has just been diagnosed with cancer. She's fourteen years old and in pretty good health apart from the recent diagnosis. She eats well most days - she is a lab after all!! - and enjoys her daily walks. She has become very 'anxious' though and trembles frequently when stroked. We've made the (very difficult) decision not to have the cancerous lump removed because it would involve very invasive surgery which I don't want to put the 'old girl' through. Will we 'know ' when her time has come? I don't want her to suffer at all and feel anxious that, as a stoic dog, she may not be revealing how she's feeling. Any advive would be very welcome. TIA.

spudballoo Tue 13-Nov-12 20:44:22

Oh dear, this is so hard. I haven't been through this with a dog, but with a cat. I think your vet will be able to advise because, although animals are stoic, they aren't able to hide physical symptoms and perhaps the vet can help you there? I would think, though, that it's better to let an animal go earlier rather than later to save any undue suffering. And also so that your last memories of them aren't of them suffering and in pain? I'm sorry, that's a horrid thing to consider but it is one of our greatest kindnesses ... to be able to spare our pets too much pain. 14 is a good age for a lab, what a special girl she must be. x

doglover Tue 13-Nov-12 21:15:30

Oh, thank you so much, SB. You're quite right, it is really hard. We love her desperately and certainly would never want her to suffer. I suppose it's the not-knowing that makes it so hard. I really appreciate your comments - it helps just to talk about it. x

MNP Tue 13-Nov-12 23:09:32

It became very clear one evening that our beloved rescue cat had reached the end and we took him in early the next morning. X

missingmyfriend Wed 14-Nov-12 09:40:22

((((Big Hug))) I'm so sorry. Your post has really touched me and I just wanted to say that although it's so very hard, you will find it in your heart to do the right thing and you will know when it's time.
I recently lost my furry boy, who although a very old man, (16) he still loved life. A week or so before, he had a few symptoms. I just knew he wasn't himself. I took him to the vets and the vet told me that his tumour had grown significantly and had started to press into his colon. Of course I wanted to know if he was suffering and the lovely vet just said "he will let you know when it's time". Although I'm absolutely devastated, my boy collapsed and died just one week later. His heart just slowed down and the vet helped him to go peacefully. He was such a good boy and I know this was the best way. I had spent so many hours during the past few months having cuddles, extra walks, extra treats, spoiling him and talking to him about how he was the best and when its time he should let go - makes me sound like a crazy - but I appreciated every moment and I have all those memories now.
Talking is good. Talk to your vet, talk to your family and you will make the right decision.
14 is a good age and your special girl has lived a very good long happy life. Take care xx

LtEveDallas Wed 14-Nov-12 10:02:24


We have just lost RottDog, through bone cancer. She started limping at the end of Aug, was diagnosed at the start of Sep and we said goodbye on 3 Nov. She was only 5.

The vets told us that she wouldn't last until Xmas. We tried a new/experimental drug on her, but they could tell us within 2 weeks that there was no point. Originally the Vet wanted us to amputate (was a back leg), but we decided against it. The trauma wasn't worth it, when she would only get between 6-12 months out of it.

We had a weekend at the start of Oct when we thought it was the end. Booked her in for the Monday, and planned to give her a great weekend beforehand. On the Friday we took her swimming and she brightened right up smile - was almost her old self. We also changed her drugs (took her off Tramadol).

She gave us another 4 fantastic weeks, but her last week it was very obvious that it was time to go. She became growly, sleepy and disorientated. We let her have a last run on the beach, and a final swim, then took her.

Tips: I don't know what drugs your dog is on, but we found the combination of Fentanyl and Tramadol was too much for RottDog. She was kept on Fentanyl, but was given paracetamol on prescription, and a dog version of brufen (would have to check up the name if you want it - began with an A).

We bought her a Thundershirt [[ WEBSITE]] It made an AMAZING difference to her. She even went four-legged again wearing it! Plus it kept her drugs patch on more securely. I cannot recommend it enough. My friend bought one for her dog and put it on him during fireworks - for the first year ever he didn't hav eto be sedated!)


(I've just re-read, I'm sorry if my post sounds cold - It's still a little raw here sad, but am happy to answer any questions)

LtEveDallas Wed 14-Nov-12 10:03:43

Shit, here is that link again THUNDERSHIRTS

wewereherefirst Wed 14-Nov-12 10:11:36

Our beloved ridgeback died last September, he was arthritic and one day couldn't stand. He looked at me and I knew he had had enough and it was his time. It still makes me sob thinking about it. I think you will know when it is 'time', when they can't go on any more. You have my sympathies. Take care xx

iseenodust Wed 14-Nov-12 10:26:31

Very difficult and touches a nerve as our lab is 12 and starting to show signs of age. So long as there is a tail still wagging and some quality of life. Friends recently lost their dog and it had become clear he no longer had a pain free moment. The vet came out to their house which they appreciated.

JustFabulous Wed 14-Nov-12 12:10:35

I could have written your OP but my pet is a cat, is 18 but has cancer as well as other problems. She is also stoic and hid the fact she had a stroke. In my numerous threads the advice has always been "you will know" so trust that you will. I hope he isn't suffering too much and you have lots of time left together.

SelfRighteousPrissyPants Wed 14-Nov-12 12:33:25

I think the 'you'll know' thing is right. My dog just seemed to give up at the end.

I hope you have lots more good times together xxx

Ephiny Wed 14-Nov-12 13:06:57

I think you do know when it's time, though it's sometimes difficult to see it at the time, especially if they're deteriorating slowly. We lost OldDog a couple of weeks ago. We knew for weeks it was almost the end, but we kept saying 'just a few more days', 'maybe it's not quite time yet'.

Looking back now, though, I can see what a bad way he was in and tbh I wonder if we should have done it sooner. He couldn't get in and out the back door without falling, had lost lots of weight, couldn't stand up to eat his dinner or to do his toileting properly, had become very quiet and subdued and started being nippy if you tried to help him (which was out of character, he was a gentle old dog), he was on the strongest medication but it was starting to give him bad side-effects. We couldn't let him go on like that.

So difficult to know though, when it's your dog. We took ours to the vet about the medication side-effects (knowing deep-down that he probably wouldn't be coming home), and when she started talking about 'we need to consider what's fair to him', we knew.

Ephiny Wed 14-Nov-12 13:16:08

Im sorry to hear about RottDog LtEve. We have rotties too (well, we have one now, I keep forgetting...) and bone cancer is one of my biggest fears. Such a cruel and unfair thing, especially when it's a healthy young dog sad

doglover Wed 14-Nov-12 13:27:02

Thank you all SO MUCH. I've had a little weep reading your lovely comments: it's comforting to know that others out there are willing to share their experiences. Pets can be an enormously important part of family life and, for people like all of us, their welfare is paramout. We will continue to give our darling girl all the love in the world. x

LtEveDallas Wed 14-Nov-12 13:58:46

Thank you Ephiny, appreciated smile

midastouch Thu 15-Nov-12 15:56:54

Im so sorry to hear about your lab. I think in your heart you will know when its time to say bye, although it is such a hard decision to make its the last act of kindness you'll show your beloved dog. At least she will be in a far better place and free from pain

doglover Fri 16-Nov-12 18:39:20

I really appreciate your support. x

tabulahrasa Fri 16-Nov-12 20:32:30

With my last dog - he just went flat, you could see that he just wasn't enjoying life anymore. Not subtle enough that you'd miss it, but not any major suffering if that makes sense.

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