My Sweet Little Gracie

My Sweet Little Gracie

by Sharon Artman
(Largo, FL - USA)


I have the sweetest dog in the world. She is a 10 year old black lab named Gracie. Three weeks ago I found blood in my bathroom on the rug and didn't really think twice about it because we have another lab who will lick his paws until he gets them raw. I was in a hurry to leave and asked my daughter to please check Rocky's paws and put the medicine on them that we got from the vet. When I came home she told me that Rocky's paws were fine and not bleeding.

The next day I noticed blood again and knew Gracie had been laying in the bathroom that morning. As I was examining her that evening I noticed a foul odor coming from her mouth. When I opened her mouth I was shocked to see a nickel-sized sore behind her upper front teeth.

I took her to the vet the next morning and he gave her an antibiotic to clear up the infection and told me she would likely have to have surgery. So after a week of antibiotics she had surgery. He removed that tumor and found another one back by her molars. It was malignant and I was told of the avenues of treatment. I cannot afford these and since she is 10 years old we decided to watch her closely and try to relieve any pain she may have.

It has been 10 days since the surgery and yesterday I noticed blood again. The surgery sites do not look any better. In fact they look like the redness has spread more on the roof of her mouth. She has been on antibiotics since the surgery and I have kept her slightly sedated for 6 days because she started bleeding one evening and we had quite a time controlling the bleeding. This was an emergency run to the vet.

I have noticed she has been panting quite a bit for the last few days and her glands on the left side of her neck are hard and swollen. I'm so confused on what to do. My husband suggests we take her to the vet and have her euthanized now and not wait until it gets bad for her. I need some help in this decision. I don't want her to suffer, but she is still eating, drinking and walking around without difficulty, but the bleeding, heavy panting and swollen necks glands tends to suggest I take my husband's advice and not prolong her suffering.

Please can someone give me some advice or at least let me know that I am not a bad person. I feel so bad that I didn't catch this before I finally did.

Thank you,
Sharon

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Jul 04, 2012
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sweet Gracie
by: Anonymous

I went through the exact same situation. I know that the bleeding can be hard to handle; putting Gracie to sleep seems to be a reasonable option. My only suggestion is don't do it on an emotional reaction as I did. As long as Gracie is eating, drinking and mobile with control of her bodily functions, she has an acceptable quality of life. Plan her euthanasia ON YOUR TERMS not on emotion.

Jul 18, 2009
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Sweet Gracie
by: Hazel

I am really sorry for your loss, Sharon, but I think you did the right thing considering the fact that Gracie would not be getting any better.

You were so brave and I am sure Gracie was grateful for your love and willingness to let go.

It's OK to grieve and feel sad but please do enjoy and celebrate life with Rocky!

Take care.

Jul 17, 2009
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Sweet Gracie
by: Anonymous

Thank you, Hazel for your kind words. I did take Gracie to the vet yesterday and did send her back to God. It was the most hardest thing I think I have ever done. The vet and I agreed that she was not getting better and there was no hope for a good quality of life for her. So the most loving thing I could do for her was to euthanize her. I do miss her today so much. I keep thinking she is going to walk through the familyroom and bark at the sliding door to go out or meet me at the door when I come in. I am fortunate to still have another lab, Rocky. He's four years old and hopefully will be around for a long time.

Thank you so much,
Sharon

Jul 17, 2009
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Gracie
by: Hazel

Hi, Sharon,

I am so sorry to hear about your Gracie. It is really a tough and personal decision whether to put her to sleep now or not. Try to make your decision rationally by asking some questions, such as:

- Is Gracie still bleeding very badly?
- Could the vet do anything to stop the bleeding?
- Does she seem to be in pain? (Sometimes panting and drooling are signs that the dog is in pain)
- Without any treatment, how long can Gracie live and enjoy a reasonable quality of life?

If you haven't already done so, please visit this page on Canine Euthanasia. I hope you will find it helpful.

Please don't blame yourself for not finding out about her cancer sooner. Sometimes cancer can appear so suddenly and spread so fast that by the time we notice something's wrong, it's already too late. And if you do decide to put Gracie to sleep, don't feel guilty. You are not bad. You are doing this out of love.

Please be strong! My thoughts are with you and Gracie.

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