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Put to sleep or keep going?

(50 Posts)
Medievalist Tue 26-Nov-19 12:29:32

I could really do with an outside perspective on this.

12 year old Labrador (13 in January) ended up in a vet hospital on Saturday after increasingly severe and prolonged bouts of extreme panting.

Advice is that this is caused by a tumour on an adrenal gland. They've started her on medication which isn't being entirely effective, but may just need more time.

Scans have also shown she has:
a small nodule on a lung
a tumour in her tummy
mast cells in lymph nodes in one leg

She also has arthritis and spine problems (though has been walking very strongly lately).

Vet says options are:

1. 2 ops and Chemo (that's a NO from us)
2. PTS
3. Manage her symptoms with medication (hopefully the medication they started her on to combat the excessive adrenaline will kick in. She can also have something that will work on the mast cells that tumours produce. She'd need her bp checked regularly at the vets).

Vet is clearly veering towards 3rd option which would give her a few more months. I'm not sure that's in her best interests. He says the tumours could be slow growing or aggressive and will find out about the one in her stomach tomorrow.

We've had her from 8 weeks. She's never been away from us except to the vet. She's quite an anxious dog and is terrified of going to the vet. It's breaking my heart to think of her scared and away from us and wondering where we are.

Needless to say I'm in bits and just not thinking straight. So any advice would be extremely welcome.

OP’s posts: |
slipperywhensparticus Tue 26-Nov-19 12:33:34

Ahhh I would probably pts but I'm not you and in your situation I would be heartbroken I'm so sorry

DogAndCatPerson Tue 26-Nov-19 12:36:43

I agree with slippery. Heartbreakingly sad but I think it’s time to say goodbye. I’m sorry, @Medievalist. flowers

eyeoresancerre Tue 26-Nov-19 12:38:05

I think PTS too. Someone wise on here said "better a few months early than a few too late." I suppose it means whilst your dog has a nice quality of life before it gets too much for him.
Utterly heartbreaking for you all though and perhaps when you speak with the vet tomorrow you'll be in a better position to make a more informed choice. Really very sorry for you - it's a very hard things to have to think about.

eyeoresancerre Tue 26-Nov-19 12:39:45

Sorry I wrote him but you've clearly said your lovely dog is a she.

EnidPrunehat Tue 26-Nov-19 12:40:42

How heartbreaking for you. I would pts though. It sounds as if the time has come to say goodbye in the kindest way. So, so, sorry you are going through this though. I know just how awful it is to contemplate as I was in this position 12 months ago.

StudentHelp Tue 26-Nov-19 12:42:25

I’d PTS I think. She’s had a lovely life and it’s better to go before she’s in a lot of pain flowers
You’re a lovely owner

paap1975 Tue 26-Nov-19 12:44:29

Maybe bring her home for a few days to say your goodbyes, then ask the vet to pts at home. So sorry for you!

SirVixofVixHall Tue 26-Nov-19 12:46:13

I personally would not put to sleep yet. I would wait and see how my dog coped on medication, and possibly try pain relief too, if pain might be a hidden issue. She may have another six months or longer, you can give her a lovely six months of nice walks when she is up to it, fuss and companionship. Yes things are going wrong, but from what you have said I would not have my dog euthanised at this point.

Medievalist Tue 26-Nov-19 12:47:45

Thanks lovely people. That really helps. The vet was making me feel like I ought to give her a chance, which was making me wonder if I was being selfish.

I'd always imagined her end would be peaceful - on her bed looking out at the garden, with a home visit from the vet and me by her side. I didn't think she would end her days surrounded by strangers and wondering why we'd all abandoned her. I could, of course, still go and get her and have her pts at home (if our local vet could do that), but the hospital is over an hour's drive away and she doesn't like car journeys. I also have young adult dcs here and am trying to decide what is best for them too and not wanting to prolong their distress ☹️.

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Tue 26-Nov-19 12:51:11

I would plan a short time (days, maybe a week) where I would take her home with medication to make her comfortable and spoil her with her favourite things to give you time to say goodbye.

Then I would PTS thanks

basquiatfan Tue 26-Nov-19 12:51:37

I would bring her home and see how she goes over the next week or so. If she is no better then I would let her go. And I would absolutely ask the vet to come to your home to pts so that she doesn't go through the trauma of visiting the surgery.

MitchellMummy Tue 26-Nov-19 12:54:55

You're not being at all selfish if you PTS. I think it's about quality of life - if she's not enjoying life then it may be time. Agree that it's not a great idea to bring her home if you go for the PTS immediately. I'd go to the hospital and ask to spend some time with her before saying goodbye (with or without DCs). But if you decide on option 3 then I wish you the best of luck. Heartbreaking times I know sad x

EnidPrunehat Tue 26-Nov-19 12:57:16

I wouldn't say my goodbyes in the hospital though. Instead, bring her home and start the medications. Give everyone plenty of time to say goodbye and be sad about what is going to happen then, if the time really is right, ask the vet to come to your house and send her on her final, peaceful journey.

Medievalist Tue 26-Nov-19 13:29:38

She's already on loxicom for arthritis and gabapentin for her back. I couldn't bring her home unless the medication for her extreme panting works properly- she's just too distressed. She was awake for 5 hours straight overnight on Friday in a terrible state. Our local vet was horrified when he saw her in Saturday morning. Hence the emergency referral.

OP’s posts: |
Motorina Tue 26-Nov-19 14:08:59

I would pts. In fact, in a very similar situation 9 months ago I did just that.


Boristhecats Tue 26-Nov-19 16:01:40

I would put to sleep. I wouldn’t want them to be even one day in more pain than they had to be if they were never going to get better.

lazymum99 Tue 26-Nov-19 16:45:12

I was going to say bring her home for a few days and spoil etc. But your last post has made me change my mind.
Go to the vet hospital spend some peaceful time with her so
She is not too stressed and pts.
I have adult children at home and knew they wouldn’t be able to handle dealing with the dog being pts at home with them. So took her to the vet.
We brought her ashes home and buried them.
flowers it is so difficult.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Tue 26-Nov-19 16:51:06

This is a really hard call. In your shoes I think that if they could get the panting under control, if bring her home for a last few days (with pain relief) and then PTS at home.

Otherwise, go to the vet hospital, spend some time with her (with or without DC) and then be there with her when she goes. flowers

Medievalist Tue 26-Nov-19 16:53:02

I have adult children at home and knew they wouldn’t be able to handle dealing with the dog being pts at home with them.

This is it. Trying to think what's best for everyone.

OP’s posts: |
Winterdaysarehere Tue 26-Nov-19 16:54:46

My ddog had cancer in April. Surgery and all good.
Now lumps have come back and I had decided many moons ago never to medicate a dpet for any length of time.
Past ddog had hip displasia and had a bloody miserable life (thanks to dm).
We have decided to do a nice bucket list at the first signs of pain /discomfort and as a family decide when to pts.
Sorry you are in this position op.

mumsince2018 Tue 26-Nov-19 17:12:18

Hi so sorry your going through this ☹️
We had to put two dogs down in the space of two years and it never gets easy.
One dog was 14,had her for 7 years. In the end her joints would lock and she would scream out in pain and she physically couldn't hold her weight anymore.
Our second was 12 he had fallen down the stairs and fractured his leg but vet said he wouldn't make it through the operation. We only put him down 2 months ago.
I think sometimes we hold onto dogs when they're ill for our own feelings and emotions. We want them around longer and can't bare the thought of being without them. But in reality if your lovely little lady saw you in pain everyday she wouldn't want you to go on. Dogs are the most loveable animals and become more than a friend they become family. Do what's best for her and I think you know what this is. She will be so thankful for the years you gave her and also for not letting her live in pain no more. It will be hard,and will take some time adjusting but you will heal. My dogs are always with me in memories and pictures. Sending you kind thoughts and support to you right now it's such a hard and horrible situation to be in 💐

RoxiFruitcake Tue 26-Nov-19 17:23:46

So very sorry to hear of this terrible dilemma you are faced with. We were in the exact same position you have found yourself in, 6 weeks ago. Our beautiful Yorkshire Terrier had the exact same condition yours has.

We decided to keep her with us a little longer, she lasted for 2 weeks, but went downhill very suddenly, sadly she spent her last night very very distressed. That night will remain with me for the rest of my life, watching her suffer. We took her to the Vets early the following morning.

With the benefit of hindsight my advice would be, to let her go now, before she deteriorates. I think that would be, what is best for her and the kindest final thing you could do for her.

My heart goes out to you and the family it is so heart breaking. I really hope this helps with your dilemma.

Medievalist Tue 26-Nov-19 18:07:37

This is one of my worries Roxi. The vet is talking about giving her some more 'months' IF they can get her on the right combination of meds. At some point the meds won't be able to control her condition. But given how well dogs mask pain, she could be suffering for a while before we realise. And then, it amazes me the capacity of dogs to be ill when the vet is closed, which could prolong the suffering further. Saturday night is a favourite - when you have to decide whether to wait it out until Monday or go to an emergency centre. If we go down the meds route I feel we are inevitably condemning her to a further period of pain and distress at the end.

OP’s posts: |
Dreamersandwishers Tue 26-Nov-19 19:49:48

Nothing to add Medievalist, just a big hug & 💐.

Your girl is lucky she’s had a loving family who will always put her needs first, no matter how much it hurts.

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