Tormented over Decision to Put my Dog Down

Tormented over Decision to Put my Dog Down

I am tormented and need to know if anyone can help ease our pain. Yesterday, our dog went for her annual checkup and received her usual shots. The vet said she is doing good for her age, but needs to lose weight.

Then about 8 hours later when we again arrived home, our dog did not greet us as she always did. Found her lying down and not coming to us when we called for her. So, we checked her over and then we did get her to drink a lot and come up a flight of stairs and she seemed a little better.

But, we decided to call the vet anyway to have her checked out and they said to bring her in as we expected maybe an allergic reaction to the shots earlier in the day. The vet told us our dog was in shock and he put her on a steroid iv immediately.

Then vet took xrays and said her liver was very enlarged. Her red blood count very low and when they spun her blood it was yellow in the bottom. Vet said she had liver cancer and she would be dead in hours and not make it til morning.

Until this night, she had absolutely no symptoms. Vet said if we took her home, she would either have heart failure or would bleed into her abdomen until she died and she would suffer. Vet insisted that she would not make it until morning. He recommended that we put her to sleep.

We cried and cried, but followed the doctor's advice and put her down. Now, a day later and clearer mind, we are second guessing and wish we would have just come home with her. We have another dog that is also dying of cancer for the past 7 months, but we enjoy her company every day and think we should have brought her home and let her die at god's hands. We felt pressured into putting her to sleep and I believe we were just in shock about the cancer and could not think clearly. Now we are devastated and so very tormented that we put our beloved dog to an early death.

What could have made the vet believe that our dog only had hours to live?

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Nov 14, 2017
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Re: Osteosarcoma
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry you are having to make this decision. Our Maggie Mae seemed to get so sick so suddenly, I felt blindsided. Had I known she was so ill, I would have made a bucket list and spoiled her rotten before making the tough decision we made.

The vet told us treatment to prolong her life for an extra month or two would be mostly for us, not her because of the lessened quality of life. I have no answer for you. I had to help Maggie Mae the best I knew, which was not to let her suffer. I wish I could go back and just spoil her rotten before having to make that decision.

Much love to you in this hard time.

Nov 14, 2017
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Help please!!! Osteosarcoma
by: Anonymous

My 14 1/2 yr old silky terrier has Osteosarcoma and a mammary cancer. I removed it in August. Now it’s back. The spot it’s in makes it rare and aggressive. She’s 14 1/2.

If I operate it might prolong her life an extra 3 months. I’ll have to do surgery again to remove the lump. And then chemo, five doses, 3 weeks apart. This would only be to prolong her life an extra maybe 3 months.

She’s strong. She’s a fighter. I don’t know what to do. I’m willing to take out a loan to pay for surgery and chemo but I don’t know if it’s the right thing. Should I just let her enjoy her quality of life? Or should we operate and do chemo only to prolong it maybe 3 months??? Help! What would you do? I’m praying. I’m crying. I’m broken. I don’t know what to do.

Nov 14, 2017
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Donlt Wait Until It's Too Late
by: Joe

I am sorry for your loss and for your feeling of guilt that I also have about my dog that was my whole life. Hailey was a border collie Jack Russell mix (border jack).

Hailey died on November 2, 2017 on the operating table six days before she was to turn 12. I adopted her at 12 weeks old from rescue after her recovery from parvo.

Right up to about two weeks before her death, Hailey was full of energy, eating well and going on walks and hikes.

Then when she would not eat her food and was noticeably slower with occasional vomiting, I took her to the vet on 10/19. A small blood test showed she was anemic at 20%.

One thing led to another and we progressed to full blood work and then an x-ray. The vet advised me that it could be any one or more of a number of things including cancer. I refused to believe she might have cancer and held off on the ultrasound as my bill was already around $500 and the ultrasound would be another $500.

I brought her back on 10/23, 10/25, and 10/27 and her red blood cell count gradually went up to 30%. She would not eat her kibble but ate chicken, liver, ground beef, and scrambled eggs and also liquid iron supplement.

The vomiting stopped but then when she vomited a lot on 10/25, she got a cerenia shot that day and it quelled all vomiting for six days. From 10/23 to 10/30, she did not poop, but I was old on the phone by other vets not to be alarmed by that until about 10 days. Then when she vomited again on 11/1 and could barely walk and was in noticeable pain, I brought her in for an ultrasound that showed a large tumor in her abdomen so I brought her straight to emergency.

Hailey's tumor involved her upper intestine with two large perforations of the jejunum. The tumor "was non-resectable encompassing the mesenteric blood supply." She also had excessive peritonitis on the abdominal cavity walls and also attached to her stomach, kidneys, liver, and bladder. The tumor only involved the lower intestine and the mesenteric blood supply but it was the size of a softball yet had remained hidden.

The surgeon called me and I chose euthanasia over waking her up to die. I do not feel guilty about that immediate decision. What I do feel guilty about is that I failed to assume the worst two weeks earlier and did not put down another $500 for the ultrasound and/or for not immediately bringing her to emergency for complete work-up to possible surgery.

I chose for them to treat her symptoms rather than immediately doing everything possible to get to the root cause - and for this I might have lost my dog.

The only worse scenario I can envision is that it was already too late two weeks earlier. But I have no way of knowing that. Now I don't know if my limited response made the difference in her living or dying. I cannot forgive myself. The guilt is overwhelming for not going all in, especially when the vet advised me several times that it could be cancer and that she could rapidly decline at any time.

Nov 09, 2017
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Kaiser the German Shepherd
by: Sad mummy

Hello to everyone. I also found this site searching for answers.

I laid to rest my beautiful German Shepherd and loyal companion Kaiser. He was 1 month away from his 11 birthday. I had him from 8 weeks old.

He was the most gentle, playful, loving dog. 50kg! But a gentle giant to all animals and kids included. Well maybe not cats. He loved chasing cats.

I noticed something wrong about 3 months ago. He had a swollen tummy and wasn’t quite right. The vet thought it was a growth of some sort so he went under and they found a 10cm mass on his spleen. Benign! Yay. Got through that well even at his age.

Then 2 months later after a walk, I noticed blood from his right nostril. He had a tooth abscess but tests came back and found a malignant tumor of the nasal passages. Too difficult for surgery and I didn’t want to put him through chemo. So we started meds and completely changed to cancer fighting diet.

But just 2 weeks later he suddenly struggled to breathe. I was up with him all night but he couldn’t breathe through his nose and couldn’t get any sleep. He was making strange noises when eating and was so tired.

I made the heart breaking decision to let him pass. So unfair. If it wasn’t for the tumor he was still in great shape.

The vet reminded me dogs are very stoic and hide their pain very well till the end. So even when we notice something wrong, they have already been feeling it beforehand. I am devastated but I’m so glad he is at peace and not struggling any more. I can’t stop crying. My heart is broken. He was my rock.

My heart goes out to all the wonderful furry kid owners. We are a special breed!!🐾🐾

Nov 08, 2017
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Our Tiki
by: Bad Wolf

Our precious border collie Tiki is going to be 14 on the 11th, if he makes it to then....

About 3 years ago I noticed the whites of his eyes had turned bright red and he had a bit of a runny nose, my natural reaction was to freak out and take him to the vet. The doctor said it was most likely allergies and to start giving him Benadryl. Then the sneezing fits started happening, then almost constant reverse sneezing fits. I knew the Benadryl wasn't helping and in the back of our minds we thought there may be something more insidious than just mere allergies.

We made another appointment to have him checked out, the morning of Tiki had his first seizure. We ran him to the vet and they did blood tests and an exam. They said he had a bit of a heart murmur and a large fatty tumor over his heart but nothing to worry about, and that the seizure may have been a small stroke and not actually a seizure at all, that we could take him home and just keep an eye on him.

For the next year or so he was fine, minus the sneezing fits. Fast forward to this past October, I heard Tiki heaving another sneezing fit but this time our other dog Pudge was whining and pawing at my legs. I turn around from washing dishes and there's Tiki completely covered in blood, blood on the walls, a pool of it on the floor and its pouring out of his nose. I immediately called my husband and he left work to rush Tiki to the vet.

Turns out he has inoperable nasal cancer. The tumor has been growing so quickly these last two weeks that he is now struggling to breathe, he can barely eat, has had one more seizure and another bloody nose. We finally made the decision to euthanize our poor guy next Tuesday.

This has been such an extremely heartbreaking journey. His decline has happened so quickly, just two months ago we were having Frisbee marathons and as of today he can barely make it down the stairs to relieve himself outside. He's been my husband's dog for 13 wonderful years and welcomed me into his pack just 4 years ago. It breaks my heart to have to say goodbye to him so soon, but it's even more painful to see how he is suffering. I find solace in knowing that he had a good life and to know that, although it hurts my heart like hell, I can help him pass peacefully.

To all of the previous commenters, thank you so much for sharing your stories. I've had such a hard time processing all of this and knowing I'm not alone in second guessing what I know is the right and humane thing to do has helped me far beyond what I was expecting.

My heart goes out to all of you💙

Nov 07, 2017
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Mitzie
by: Liza

We adopted our beloved Mitzie 12 years ago. She is the smartest and cutest Alaskan Husky ever.

On Oct 4, she was acting confused and lethargic, so I took her to the emergency vet. He diagnosed her with arthritis (I had never seen her have any problem with her legs) and said tests showed that all her systems were strong and healthy. Her heart and lungs are strong etc. Her white blood count was high. And he attributed that to stress. Wait-what?

I took him as the authority and figured he must know what he was doing, so I brought her home and gave her the gabapentin as prescribed but gradually stopped because I hadn’t really seen a reason for her to take it.

A week ago I found her standing on the landing of our stairway again looking confused. After 2 hours of Mitzie staggering around, my husband and I drove through a hurricane to the emergency vet. This time we got a sweet young female vet who said her stomach seemed tender so she did a rough ultrasound and said there was a mass. They kept her overnight and the next day told us she has "innumerable lesions" all through her digestive tract.

The vet said if they did surgery or chemo, it would rupture the walls of the intestines and kill her. They said they would put her down that day or we could take her home and spoil her. We chose to take her home.

It is now 9 days later. Although she is not eating well, she still loves to go on walks and barks when people go by. I have been crying every day since the day she was diagnosed. I can’t breathe, thinking about life without her. We also have a Siberian Husky who is her age and will not be around much longer either. Double the pain!

Hugs to each of you. This is such a wonderful site; I have felt so comforted to know that I’m not alone. I have so many "what if’s". What if I had challenged the vet in October? Would it have made a difference? Am I causing her pain by not putting her down yet? Sometimes I feel like I have lost my sanity.

Thank you all for sharing your stories. We love our dogs and do the best we can. And their love is so pure and sweet!!

For now, Mitzie is asleep on the couch and I am relishing every moment being with her. Best of luck to each of you on your journey!!

Oct 16, 2017
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horrific cancer
by: Dawn

I am so sorry for your pain - I know it too well, and the guilt also. Our 11 year old Basset Hound (and the center of our family life) died very suddenly from what they suspect was Hemangiosarcoma. We never got to the point of firm diagnosis. Guilt really is pointless because there were NO signs beforehand, but I can't help it.

Biscuit ate like crazy right up until the end. She begged for a walk on Saturday, rolled around vigorously on the grass twice, and ran up and down a steep hill to drink water from a stream while hiking - just like usual. Sunday it rained, so she didn't want to go out for long, but she still ran around begging for treats, acting like a puppy.

Sunday evening she jumps up from her sleep and starts gagging, walks over and collapses in front of me. We ran her to the E.R. vet, and while there she recovered quickly. They couldn't find anything other than a painful abdomen. Blood work totally normal, vital signs normal, pink gums, she was active again, etc. They sent her home and we planned to see her vet the next day.

The next day (Monday) she was fine when we woke up. Didn't want her dog food, but gobbled up chicken and rice and seemed fine, walking around as usual and going outside to go potty.

When we came home from work she could barely stand, and within a few hours (after x-rays and an ultrasound at the vet) we learn that there is an inoperable tumor on her liver. No other obvious metastasis, however the fluid filled nature of the tumor made it consistent with hemangiosarcoma. Blood work was still completely normal other than a very slight increase in liver enzymes, and looked basically the same as it did 3 months earlier at her wellness check.

She stayed overnight at the hospital and on Tuesday morning she ate for the vets, walked around on her own, and could pee normally. They sent her home with us until we could do a CT scan on Wed and decide whether or not we should do surgery. We didn't make it that long. She went downhill so fast that night that we had to put her down. She wouldn't have made it to the scan.

We went from a happy dog, running and rolling on Saturday with NO change in eating or energy levels, to collapsed and a liver cancer diagnosis by Monday, a rebound on Tuesday, and dead on Wed.

The guilt is overwhelming - why didn't I stay home with her on Monday even though she seemed OK? Why did we let her suffer? Why didn't we see the signs? They must have been there. But the reality is that they weren't. The vet wouldn't have caught it without doing monthly ultrasounds, her bloodwork was normal right up until the end, and she never let on that there was a problem. The symptoms that websites tell you to look for? Never there until she was actually dying in those last few hours.

Even knowing this, the guilt is almost unbearable. Why didn't we spend more quality time with her those last few days? Life was busy that week. If only we had had a few weeks notice then we could have made sure that her last days were even more full of love. I feel very envious to those who had a few months after an emergency surgery and medication. At least she would have had a few glorious weeks/months before the end.

Oct 13, 2017
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My Roxanne-Love survived a splenectomy
by: Marie in NC

I just want to tell everyone I'm so sorry for your losses. I know we all wish our pups were with us forever. We don't have a crystal ball and we're only human so please remember that you loved your pup and the choice you made was made out of LOVE.

My Roxy, our 12 yr young labrador retriever, wasn't herself. She had an episode where she could hardly walk and she seemed confused. We were all freaking out!

Called the vet and my son and I took her in and hubby met us there. Our vet thought she may have had a stroke or maybe a senior moment. While during the exam she was back to herself - playful and wanting to give everyone kisses.

Couple of months later I told hubby something is wrong. When she was standing her tummy looked thin, but when she would lie down her tummy looked weird. I took her in to the vet, they saw me the same day. They took x-rays and saw a mass on her spleen. Vet recommended a vet specialist hospital that has an oncologist department.

We took her in the next morning, Friday. They did an ultrasound and found two masses. The tears start rolling down my face. They explained the odds, went over options and prices.

We opted for the splenectomy surgery. They took her back asap after we all hugged and kissed her and she and I had a talk and prayer together. She pulled through surgery very well. She wouldn't eat for them, but she did for us. We took one of her beds from home for her to have there with her.
We brought Roxy home and I stayed with her constantly. She has two brothers and one sister that watched her recover.

We got the call from the hospital in a few days and her results were benign!!! I was freaking out with tears of joy!! This all took place last month.

On our last trip to the hospital I met a sweet lady that was there with her family because their pup has lymphoma. Before I left I hugged her. As I was leaving I was again crying and thinking how many people there will not be as lucky as we were.

I treasure everyday with my Roxy.

Hugs to all animal lovers. I feel we're a special breed.

Oct 12, 2017
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My GSD passed away
by: Susan

My lovely boy Ben was diagnosed with a tumour on his spleen 5 weeks ago. He was 8 years old and we let him have the operation.

He did very well, but I had read much on the internet about this awful operation and poor life expectancy.

Ben was happy, eating well. We kept exercise down to short lead only walks. We had a holiday booked, reluctant to go because Ben was recovering, but the vet said it was ok. We have an excellent kennels we use, and they were prepared for Ben and his convalescense.

We went away.

Got back last night.

Kennels called early this morning, our wonderful lovely boy passed away in his sleep last night.

Devastated, I should never have left him... now he's gone.
Kennels are devastated too, they've looked after Ben every year.

Should I have let him have the operation, or should I have let him go while I was there with him?

Heartbroken...

Oct 08, 2017
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"The Boy" Api
by: Laurie

Api is a 12.5 yr old part Eskimo spitz. He is the child we couldn't have (long story). I've known for months something was not right and my gut feeling was whatever it was, it was not good.

Last weekend we discovered blood in his urine. Took him to vet and he was treated for UTI.

However two days later he's got tremors and can't seem to get comfortable. Took him back, same office different vet. First thing he noticed were his white gums. To keep this short, we did X-rays and blood work. Api has a mass about as big as half of him on his spleen. Red blood cells down to 10 (already at dangerous level). We brought him home for the weekend.

My husband doesn't want to put him down, I do. The sad eyes, the moaning.

It's the rallies that hurt. Suddenly he's moving ok, pissed at the cat but in the end he's still not well. My husband is constantly making cases to wait and I'm making cases on why he should go now. It's painful enough.

Please dog parents get on the same page, support each other and most of all put the animal first. Today will be another exhausting day for me, trying to make a case to someone who is just missing his dog, his friend. I get it. My pain is real too and worsened by having to fight for what I know is the right thing.

Oct 05, 2017
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Thank you for sharing your stories
by: In loving memory of Cookie 💜

A sincere thank you to everyone who has shared their stories in this forum.

This morning, we had to make the difficult decision to put my 8 year old Yorkie to sleep. I wouldn't have been able to make the decision without reading your experiences. I can't explain how much these stories helped me, helped my baby Cookie.

I knew this day was coming but I was waiting for the "right time" to finally do it. My little Cookie had been battling cancer for about 10 months. She had several surgeries during her little life.

We were the third family to take her in so I don't know much of life before she came into our lives. We had tried two different types of chemo but the tumor on her belly continued to spread/grow. She would lick the area where the tumor was. The skin was so tight from the growth the skin began to rip and bleed. We would cover the site with gauze and she wore baby onesies to prevent her from getting to the area. She also wore diapers as she would have accidents every so often.

She couldn't really walk anymore; she would only take a few steps then stop and lay down to rest. We carried her around most of the time.

I know Cookie was in pain, I could see it in her eyes. The Dr said he could prescribe more pain meds but they probably wouldn't work. It was time for me to stop trying to wait for the "right time" and help her rid of the pain.

This morning, I had to finally make the most difficult decision I've ever had to make. Cookie peacefully passed as the Dr gave her the injection. I laid my head on the table with hers and watched her eyes change from pain to peace. She looked so relaxed and comfortable.

We miss her so much.

I wouldn't have been able to make this decision without reading your stories. Thank you again for sharing and helping people like me through the decision process. I cannot express how much the stories helped.

Thank you for coming into our lives, we love you Cookie.

Sep 28, 2017
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Ol' Blu
by: Charles

Our Blue Heeler has started to have seizures - Took him to the vet today for blood work. There are a few causes for this but since he is 7 and just started to have them out of nowhere none of them are very positive. Likely this is either kidney disease or a brain tumor; other than the seizures he seems okay.

I would like to add here though after reading through most of those posting here - There seems to be an overwhelming amount of guilt from dog owners "Did I do enough?" or "I felt like I let him down". Most if not all of us do above and beyond in helping out our 4 legged friends.. When they get cancer there is really little we can do - I have gone the surgery route in the past and regretted the pain and had to have the poor thing put down only days later.

I will hope for the best with ol' Blu but when the time comes I will be ready to let him go.

Sep 28, 2017
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The Right Thing
by: Anonymous

I'm sorry for your loss. We as pet owners all go through this and it is never easy. The fact that the blood work came back as it did presented your dog's health to be in a very grave situation. I agree with the vet's advice that the dog would suffer and should be euthanized sooner than later. Bringing your pet home to die would have only added to everyone's stress: both dogs and yours.

Consider that your dog would have been in the equivalent of a human ICU; were you properly prepared to handle any medical emergency through the night, only to make a return trip to the vet for additional treatment?

My friend, you did the most unselfish thing for your beloved pet...you let them go to Rainbow Bridge! Best of luck with your other dog. I have a dog with lung cancer and I'm already weighing my decision about when is the right time to help him pass. Until then, I'm giving him the best life I know how. Your baby thankfully didn't suffer!

Sep 27, 2017
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My sweet boy Dakota
by: Anonymous

I'm so sorry for everyone going through this. I came across this page while searching for answers, and the comments make me feel like I'm not alone. I am completely devastated and my heart is broken.

We had to make the impossible decision to put our sweet boy Dakota to sleep this past Saturday. He was 11 years and 1 month.

We took him to the vet in January because he wasn't eating like normal. We thought he had an infection is his tooth. The vet checked and said his teeth were fine and that he was probably just getting picky in his old age. This is my biggest regret in all of this...the fact that we put the tooth idea in the vet's mind and didn't want further testing. I feel like maybe we could've saved him if we'd caught it then.

His appetite continued to wane, and then on March 5th, he collapsed in shock. We rushed him to the emergency vet where we discovered he had a bleeding tumor in his spleen. She recommended we euthanize him then, but we refused. She put a pressure bandage on, and the bleeding stopped.
We scheduled surgery with our regular vet to remove his spleen.

Dakota did AMAZING after his surgery. Even though he was 10, he was acting like a puppy again. We had to constantly keep an eye on him to make sure he wasn't doing anything too crazy that would open up his wound. The results of the tumor weren't good - spindle cell carcinoma, which is an intermediate-growing cancer. The vet said he had never seen that type of tumor in the spleen, so he had been optimistic when he initially removed it.

For a couple of months, we had our boy back. Running, jumping, playing, and EATING. Turns out old age had nothing to do with any of it.

Sadly, he started walking away from his regular dog food again at the end of May. I took him back, and the vet said he had a staph infection on his belly and that maybe that was messing with his appetite. We did antibiotics, but he continued to decline. First, he would only eat canned food or table scraps...then only table scraps.

In the beginning of July, he tried to jump into the back of my SUV...something he's done hundreds of times...and he fell back out. He couldn't do it. We then noticed a hard lump on his belly. He started only eating meat. I took him back to the vet, and I was told the cancer had likely returned in his liver. She suggested euthanasia, but I just couldn't. We were sent home with pain meds, nausea meds, steroids, and an appetite stimulant. He responded to the meds at first and had some good days. He often wandered out into the yard and basked in the sunshine. But after a couple of weeks, he stopped eating again. He would only eat a bite of something here and there, and when he did, he vomited.

He was noticeably more present with us. He followed us from room to room, never wanting to be alone. I don't know if he needed the comfort or if he was trying to say goodbye.
The last week, he didn't eat at all. He was completely evacuated at this point. He had no strength left. He was wobbly when he walked and often needed help to stand up. On Friday, he drank a bunch of water and promptly threw it up. He also seemed to have trouble breathing. He began bouts of whimpering and rapid breathing... he's never whimpered in his life. That's when I scheduled the euthanasia.

On Saturday morning, we said our goodbyes. My husband took him for one last car ride (his favorite) and then to his appointment. He asked the vet if there's anything else we could do. The vet examined him and said this now huge tumor was in his liver. He believed it had likely spread to his lungs, causing the difficulty breathing. He said he thought it was time for us to let him go...so we did. He had a very quick and peaceful death in his daddy's lap.

I know in my mind that we waited until the last minute to say goodbye. I know that if we hadn't intervened, he was going to die very soon anyway, but it most likely would've been a much less peaceful death being that he was already crying and struggling to breathe. Maybe we let him stay longer than we should have.

I don't know. I feel so sad and so guilty. I feel like we did all we could to save him, but it still doesn't feel like enough. God never made a more beautiful or perfect dog, and I miss him so very much. I look for him constantly, only to be devastated all over again. We are to receive his ashes tomorrow....exactly 6 months after he had his surgery - a surgery we hoped and prayed would give us years more with our love.

Sep 26, 2017
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My sweet Border Collie Rhett
by: Anonymous

I feel your pain :( Deciding to euthanize our dogs is one of the most difficult decisions to make. Typically, guilt comes with the decision. If it's not the "did I do the right thing", it would be something else like "why didn't I spend more time with him last week" or "should I have done more testing/spent more money and not given up so soon." I think we will never stop questioning what if as it's human nature.

I just had to put my wonderful Border Collie to sleep last week. After 2 full days of crying and still waking up in the middle of the night, upset...I still feel guilt. I keep questioning what I could have done differently to get another outcome. It happened so fast (the vet thinks it was liver cancer or from his 8 year bout with Valley Fever). We don't know for sure and never will.

SO to all of those people out here who are feeling this same way, please give yourself/ourselves a break. Life isn't fair and we don't have control. Try to remember the happy times and keep reliving those in your head. We need to forgive ourselves and honor our dogs by remembering the good times. Good luck and I hope you find some peace through this difficult time.

Sep 26, 2017
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Maggie Mae
by: Elizabeth

We had to make the painful decision to help our little Maggie Mae pass yesterday. I cannot believe how hard this is.

She was having some difficulty walking for the past few months, mostly getting upstairs was hardest for her, so we carried her. This past Sunday she had a hard time breathing and wasn't eating. Sunday night she had three seizures. We made an appointment at the vet early the next morning and was told she had an enlarged heart.

My husband and I agreed way before to help Maggie Mae when the time came, before she was in too much pain. The vet was so compassionate and with her help Maggie Mae went in peace.

I have not stopped crying for the past two days. My husband and I loved this little dog. She was more than a dog to us. She was my best girlfriend. I am glad we helped Maggie, but she will be so missed. I feel your pain.

Sep 19, 2017
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Jake
by: Tina

While I sit here on my couch with my baby boy Jake searching the Internet for a miracle I came upon this site.

Jake is a 10 year old mix breed. Jake and his sister and brother go to the vets regularly we stay on top of their shots and teeth cleaning. I put Jake on a diet because he was overweight. He was eating and drinking normal and acting like himself.

Middle of August he had his shots and about a week later had his teeth cleaned. My husband and I noticed Jake wasn't eating or acting quite himself.

I called the vet Sunday and made an appointment to drop him off in the morning. That afternoon the vet calls and says Jake has an infection somewhere; his white blood cells where elevated and his liver enzyme was a little elevated that they were putting him on an antibiotic. Tuesday and Wednesday Jake was acting a little better, but Thursday and Friday he was back to not eating much and looked tired.

Called the vet again and dropped him off Saturday morning. About 2 hours later they asked to draw more blood and found his blood cell count and enzyme in his liver had pretty much doubled.

I had 2 choices - 1st put him on a stronger antibiotic and check him again in 48 hours or have an x-ray done. Of course please do the x-ray. The x-ray showed Jake's liver is so enlarged it is pushing against his intestines, and his lungs were cloudy and were filled with fluid. There is no treatment she said and when asked how long he had she said it could be days or a week.

My husband and I are both taking off tomorrow. We have to make a decision. Jake isn't eating and he barely drinks. He
does get up and wants to walk. He doesn't act like he's in pain but his eyes are so sad and confused looking like he's wondering what is going on and why I am crying and not making him feel better.

I know deep down he doesn't blame me and that he loves me unconditionally. I so don't want to let him go but know I need to for him.

There is no miracle cure for his cancer and there is no miracle to take away my breaking heart. So for my Jake I'll let him go out of my unconditional love for him.

My prayers to all of y'all who have and are now living with this heartache. By reading all of your stories it has helped me to realize that we are not alone.

Sep 15, 2017
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Torture over Splenic Mass
by: Anonymous

Very vulnerable and devastated at this moment...lost my sweet chocolate lab 3 days ago. He was 10 and a half.

It started when he tried getting up and started wobbling while he was trying to walk like he was 'drunk.' No more than 30 seconds later did I put him in the car and take him to emergency. They had told me there was an 8cm mass on his spleen. Took X-rays and as far as they can see it wasn't anywhere else yet. They told me that didn't necessarily mean they wouldn't find any in surgery. If they did, they wouldn't have woken him up from surgery and would have let him pass.

Deciding whether to put him through surgery to remove his spleen, the vet said all she could do was give me the odds. 75% malignant. 25% benign. 2/3 odds malignant.

I didn't put *Baron* through the surgery. I let him go and I can't help but feel like I made the wrong decision. I feel like I gave up on him and I would have done anything for him. He was my everything. I just couldn't bear thinking of him going through this surgery (previous ones have been really hard on him) and have it come out it was most likely cancer and therefore I would have put him through so much at the end of his life for the same result.

On the other hand.. what if.

Looking for some stories to see if anyone else has felt the pain and regret of surgery or not surgery. I can't find peace and I can't fully grieve for him. I'm lost and miss him so very much.

Sep 15, 2017
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Understanding the struggle
by: Molly

I've spent the majority of my night reading through these comments from my phone. I'm not quite sure what I was hoping to find by searching through the web. Perhaps something that might miraculously save my beloved. But each one of these comments has both warmed and shaken my heart. I cry not only for my own baby, but for everyone else's here.

I'm currently struggling with the news I received today. My Jack Russell terrier of 9 years (though his official name is Courage I often called him Pupply) had been coughing and heaving occasionally for several months. The vet we always took him to was convinced it was mere allergies, and I often wondered if I had only pressed a little further and demanded the vet to x-ray him that we might have found the growing tumor in his chest earlier. Would there have been something I could have done? Months passed and within the past week he had been coughing and heaving more severely. He became more lethargic and lost weight. Took him to the vet and had him x-rayed.

Turns out there was a massive tumor in his chest. We took him to another more experienced vet to expand our options. Though he regained his liveliness a bit, there was no mistaking it. The vet told me and my father that he only has about 3 months left to live at best. That surgery would be very risky given the tumor being attached to the lung or heart. And even then he wouldn't be likely to survive for longer than 2 or 3 more months with recovery stressing his body and such. It's a decision that has been tearing me up inside.

I've already decided it's selfish of me to prolong his death. He's currently taking medication to ease with any future discomfort and delay the tumor, but I'm not going to send him into surgery that if he survives will lower the quality of his life till his death. The vet mentioned the tumor rupturing was rare. But somehow I'm not so convinced after reading these comments. I don't know how soon is too soon to let my baby go. I've had him as a pup since I was 8 and have grown up with him. It brings me an unwanted plethora of pain. I don't want to end his life too soon and deprive him of having a few more weeks of living happily. He still wags his tail and eats properly. The moment I suspect him being in pain I have to let him go. I refuse to let my baby suffer.

The vet also informed me I could go to a cancer specialist to identify the specific type of cancer he has. But I see no point in it. It's not even about the massive amount of money it would cost. If I knew it could save his life and not degrade his quality of living for several years to come I would pay up in a heart beat. But it's not like that... He's been a wonderful dog to me and I have to give him the respect he deserves when it's time. I wonder if he knows. I try to smile when I'm around him. I want him to feel like everything is just fine. So he doesn't have to worry. I love him with all my heart. I keep beating myself over "what if I had known sooner?" And these what ifs only kill you. It doesn't matter. Because what's done is done. All we can really do is make sure our loved ones have their remaining days as comfortable as possible and shower them with even more love than we already have. I've lost one Jack in the past when a horse stepped on his leg and shattered a part of his spinal cord. He was put down a few weeks after.

Nobody is alone. And after reading your comments I feel more at ease knowing others have felt the same way I am now. I hope in the future surgery becomes less life threatening or a cure for cancers is found. You don't think your furry friend will be that "1 out of 5" and when it happens it's heartbreaking. My wishes are out to all of our furry friends in that they are in a better place free of pain. And that we might one day get to reunite someway somehow.

Sep 13, 2017
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Heart broken
by: Anonymous

Last week, my mom had to put her beloved dog of 11 years to sleep. Although it was her dog, it was just as well as mine also. Coco was a pure brown cocker spaniel, he was the most loving, loyal, friendly dog one could ever have, he was my mom's faithful companion.

Anyhow she noticed him sneezing with blood coming out his nose a few weeks ago. She took him to his vet which they did test and found nothing, but informed her to take him to a specialist vet.

After a few days of worrying him, she took him and his overnight bag to the vet, only to be called later that afternoon explaining that he had numerous tumors in his nasal cavity and would not live a good quality of life for the next few weeks.

This was such a shock since he has been his lively friendly self, not showing any signs of sickness. My mom had them put him down to sleep.

I can honestly say as a 54 year old man, I cried when this happened. He will be missed so much and I know my mom is devastated not to see his smiling face following her around all day, this pain is truly torture.

Aug 25, 2017
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Ogie the Bulldog
by: Anonymous

We had to put down our precious Ogie Oglethorpe, our English Bulldog, on 8/11/16 due to osteosarcoma in his rear leg. He was 9 1/2 years old and we took the best care of Ogie: regular checkups, senior panel, best food, daily exercise with his doggie friends, and the MOST love and adoration that anyone could shower on a pet.

However, the osteosarcoma was not detected until he broke his leg while walking in the backyard and the tumor showed up on the X-Ray. After a second opinion that it was advanced and that no one would fix his leg, we took him home for his last 4 days before he was granted his angel wings. And Oh what an angel he was!

We are still heartbroken and truly feel this pain and longing for our Ogie will never go away. My heart goes out to all of the loving pet owners who have lost their pets.

Aug 23, 2017
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You did the best you could...
by: Anonymous

Please don't feel bad. You did the very best that you could under the circumstances.

Allow yourself some time to grieve & then later think about your decision. If you still feel regret then you may have learnt an important lesson regarding your other furkid's cancer.

It happened so quickly that you really didn't have time to think. I'm sure the vet had the best intentions & only wished to make sure your dog didn't suffer.

I've been in a similar situation & chose to delay euthanasia by 4 days only to watch my darling fur child fade away & instinctively try to find a quiet place to die.

I send you love, light & my serious condolences. Stay strong now because your other fur child needs you.

Guilt will get you nowhere. Rejoice in the life you had together & know that your decision was based on a need to not have your fur child suffer.

In the UK there is a pet bereavement hotline. If you have access to one too please call them.

Take care.

Aug 21, 2017
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Tormented over decision to euthanize my greyhound
by: Anonymous

Diagnosed with a possible brain tumor in March after sudden onset of seizures, my Greyhound was fine until I came home Monday to find her pacing and panting standing in a corner with her head up, seemly blind.

I rush her to the local vet who said whatever is wrong with her brain is progressing. This is not the clinic that treated her in the beginning. That was a great ER center in Ga. I ask if we could sedate her and try and calm her down, she said she could but I would be facing the same thing in the morning.

She thought my dog was suffering and possibly in pain. Based on what she said, I decided to euthanize my beloved Khloe.

I feel like I should have waited. The "what ifs" and "maybe I should haves" are killing me. I can't quite recall why I didn't. Maybe because Khloe was in such a panicked state I don't know. I feel like the vet should have offered some other options. I wish I hadn't moved to such a small town. I think it cost my baby her life. I can barely function.

Aug 14, 2017
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Don't beat yourself up!
by: Anonymous

We've had two dogs (both goldens) that we faced the inevitable with. Painful? Nothing in the world is more painful than saying goodbye to a member of the family, and when it is you that makes this decision, of course you feel tortured--and full of guilt. But you did the right thing.

If your dog had liver cancer, the symptoms he or she was experiencing cannot be known, nor can we know how much pain and discomfort she was feeling. While we might have enjoyed another week or two, those two weeks, that which may have been fleeting for us, may have been slow torture for your beloved pal.

When your dog is not eating, lethargic and up in years, then the merciful thing to do is let your dog cross over the Rainbow Bridge, to run freely and happily again, free of pain. God bless you - and please - know in your hearts that your decision was not knee-jerk - it was in your heart of hearts, knowing that the time had come to be kind to your beloved friend.

Peace and comfort to you in the coming days.

Aug 07, 2017
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Dying with dignity
by: Manny's mom

We just found out our 10 year old Wheaton has terminal lung tumors. They are all over his chest cavity & have metastasized. The tumors are advanced & aggressive.

He has had rapid weight loss & vomiting for a few weeks. We thought it was just an intestinal issue. We were totally blind-sighted, to say the least.

Manny is my best friend & shadow and I can't imagine my life without him. With that being said I WILL NOT let him suffer for my own selfish purposes. I would NEVER let a family member suffer, why would I let my baby suffer.
Believe me I fully understand how everyone feels about letting go, but I am a firm believer in doing what is best for the animal and dying with dignity & in the arms of their favorite people is much more comforting than letting them silently suffer.

Our pups have loved us unconditionally; we need to repay them for that love & say goodbye the most humane way as possible.

Jul 17, 2017
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Anal gland cancer
by: Anonymous

I recently lost my precious girl at the age of 6.5 years old.

She was scooting on her bum, and brought her to our vet. She recommended we see a specialist.

The specialist examined her and found a lump and suggested surgery, which we agreed to, to try and save our baby. We then were informed the devastating news that our girl had Anal gland cancer and had spread to her lymph nodes and they were not able to remove the whole tumour.

Our vet then suggested chemo pills which we tried but did not seem to help. After reading about this type of cancer and hearing what the outcome of Anal gland cancer is, we realized that the end result is devastating.

The vets told us, this is a very invasive cancer and spreads quickly.

I am also beating myself up, thinking if I only brought her in sooner. It is hard because the average age of this cancer is usually 10.5 years or older. One never knows when this disease will attack our fur babies.

I miss my sweet angel and not a day goes by that I don't think if her.

RIP my sweet angel

Jul 06, 2017
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I'm just relating
by: SLM

It has been the worst few months for me. We had the sudden choice to put our girl down on 4/24/17. She was FINE that morning. I had her physical and blood work done in mid-December 2016. She had very slightly elevated kidney levels but vet said to work with it with her diet first.

That is what we did.

I did notice that she liked her sleep but she loved going for her walks, she greeted me at the door, she loved her food etc. Nothing unusual in her behavior. She was 14 and the most loving pittie you could ask for. She was the ultimate role model for this breed!

Anyhow, I got a phone call from my husband that she couldn't walk. She could not turn around in her crate (she wasn't locked in but she'd go in there and sleep). It's like she was stuck. He said she was staggering all over the place. We got her to the vet. Her gums were white! Tested for Lymes, negative. X-rays...no internal bleeding but her chest cavity was full of cancer!

How, when, why?!?! I don't understand how cancer could take her with no warning in 4 months. I'm lost. I'm devastated. I cry every day and question myself over and over. Why did I do it without bringing her home? One more night with her. Vet assured us that she was not going to have quality of life and couldn't guarantee that she'd make it through the night. I always knew if she had cancer at this late stage of life, I would not put her through chemo or surgery - too hard of a recover and I wanted her to have quality at that point. I didn't want her suffering a horrible death. But I just can't wrap my head around it. How could she be fine in the morning (up and down the stairs, jumped in and out of the car, went to the bathroom etc) and then gone at 5:30 in the evening?

I'm so sorry for each and every one of your losses and suffering. This is devastating for me so I know how you all feel. What is done is done but how do I stop questioning myself? I can't seem to move on. I mean, I go to work, I do things with the family....I'm okay most of the time but I still have horrible days and breakdowns. No one understands....

Jun 12, 2017
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Splenic Mass
by: Melissa

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to say all of this!

Edward, my 12 year old, 60 pound pitt mix, who is the love of my life, and the best dog I've ever had, has been super sick. In December we did x-rays for what I thought was abd bloating. Then last week the same symptoms. Only this time an obvious mass that wasn't there 6 months ago on his spleen!

My worst fear is coming home and finding him dead all alone on the floor!! He deserves better than that, but how do I put him down??! He's so smart, and I feel like he'll know what is going on and I can't explain to him why. But the option is to wait for the splenic mass to rupture and he dies a painful death.

My vet has advised to do an invasive surgery to take out the mass. I don't want to put him through that either. But what if it's not cancerous, and I remove the mass and he's fine??

I feel like this is the cruelest thing that can happen to my dog (and me). Is the right thing to do in having him euthanized? Sooner than later? Or wait until he's more sick? I do know that I am going to pay for someone to come to my home and do it with the other dogs there, so they can mourn the loss with me. Hardest thing I've ever had to do!

May 19, 2017
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Hemangiosarcoma
by: Tasha

I'm making the hardest decision to put my 10 yr old rott Zane down.

Ultrasound confirmed last week that he has a very large mass on spleen. He had an episode of not eating or drinking for days. Took him to the vet and his blood work was very low. That's when we got the ultrasound and the specialist told me his episode was from a bleed. She assured me that he will bleed again.

Even though he's back to his normal self eating and drinking it's killing me inside. I don't want to come home and find him gone all alone. How soon is too soon? I've been so torn on when to put him down.

May 14, 2017
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Our furry kids
by: Anonymous

We had three of our dogs put to sleep last year. It was the worst year for me and my husband as we had to make the hard decision for each of them.

Our Great Dane Jasmine had gotten Wobblers Disease and could no longer walk anymore. Her quality of life was no longer there, she was 6 years old.

Our little dog Junior had prostate cancer and we knew it was time to let him go, he was 17 years old.

And our other little dog Sassy had heart disease and during the night she could not sit still so that morning we took her in and they said her heart was not going to make it another day. Sassy was 15 years old and crossed over the rainbow bridge with the other two.

Our dogs are so much a part of our family and it is so hard to let go but we knew in our hearts that we could not let them suffer. I cry still for them and for the past pets we had also. I know they are now pain free and healthy and waiting for us in heaven. It is so amazing the love and happiness they bring to our lives. I am at peace with our decisions for each of them and can only hope that others can find the peace in knowing that we all have to make that final decision to let go so they do not suffer.

My life is so much more enriched having had them in our lives. We now are dealing with our other Great Dane who is the sister to Jasmine that she is not doing so good either right now. It breaks my heart and I know it is coming for her also but can't take losing her so soon either. I know God had put them here for us to learn from them the unconditional love and loyalty that they bring to our lives but it hurts so bad to loss them...

May you all find peace and remember all the memories we will always have of them. Celebrate their lives as that is what I am doing...

May 12, 2017
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Our Best Friend Fred
by: Tony

I have discovered this site while seeking comfort, after the passing of my family's best friend Fred, our wonderful Golden Retriever. I am writing this, not as Fred's Dad, but as his "uncle," as he was my brother's dog.

Fred passed away on Friday May 5, 2017 at 7:45am in the loving arms of his Dad and Mom, after they made the painful decision to put Fred to sleep. Fred was 14 years, one month, and 23 days old.

As his uncle, Fred and I became best friends when we met in 2003, and he was like a brother to me. He was my family's first pet, and he was treated like royalty. Everyone that knew him loved him, and he loved them! About the only things Fred did not like were crows and angry energy.

He was beautiful and strong all of his life, and an excellent swimmer. He developed topical basal cell carcinoma at age eight, and other smaller cancerous growths, all of which were successfully removed. Early last summer he began to lose his hearing, and of late he could only detect my high pitched whistle, although he remained very alert. My brother and I took him to the park last November to throw the ball, but I was saddened to see he could no longer run after it, while only walking to retrieve his beloved tennis ball.

On Feb. 17 this year, after an evening walk, Fred collapsed. He had white gums, and could not stand up. Emergency Vet said Fred had tumor on his liver, and may not last until morning. So my brother called me to come see Fred, and say my goodbyes. I was shocked. I went to Fred's side and poured my heart out to him, which was something I was fond of doing, as I spoke to him whenever we were together.

He survived, and was given an herbal supplement to help him clot his blood. His tumor was bleeding, and University vets found it to be 11 cm via ultrasound. They gave Fred three months to live, and said surgery, if he actually survived it, would afford him only one more month, and all of it spent in terrible recovery. He had a Renaissance, doing quite well, until the evening of May 4, when he became lethargic and occasionally yelped. By morning he collapsed again, and could not get up. A call to the vet confirmed the worst, and my brother made the toughest decision in his life. I raced over to Fred, and gave him all of my love, cuddles, and sweet words. My Dad, brother, and sister in law cuddled Fred, and my brother carried him to the car for the trip to the vet to be put to sleep.

The staff was expecting Fred when he arrived, and his technician of 10 years was in tears. Fred's Dad and Mom cradled him as the shot was given, and he passed away in peace. His Dad and Mom brought him to the cremation society immediately afterward, and Fred was back home in his beautiful urn with a clay cast of his paw by 11:30 AM.

I have been crying since, but also remember more than 14 years of joy and laughs with this wise and fun friend. I pray that we will be comforted in our grief, as it is more than we can bear. Words fail to describe how I feel. I cannot understand how early detection of these cancers cannot be commonplace in the clinical setting; I have to believe it could save the lives of more dogs. I love my brother for being the magnificent dog Dad that he was, and know that he did not want to see his Fred suffer. I'm happy that Fred lived the long beautiful life that he did, and I know he knew how much he was loved.

I have read all of the stories here, and I thank you for reading Fred's. You are all wonderful people, and I as a dog "uncle" appreciate you, and share in your sorrow. Please keep Fred's family in your thoughts and prayers. I don't feel as lonely knowing that others are here sharing. Fred's breed exemplifies a kind and peaceful life, and a devotion to one's family (he was happiest when we were all together in the same room), and I shall honor his memory with my promise to him to take care of the family I love. Peace to you all.

May 07, 2017
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Our Little Pug
by: Anonymous

I am writing a comment here in a effort to help others who are going through the same, you are not alone. I've scrolled through and read all the comments below and they somehow gave me a sense of calm for a few moments.

Two days ago we had to unexpectedly put our little pug to sleep. She was 13.5 years old and the most beautiful generous and loving dog. A few weeks ago our other pug (12yrs) was diagnosed with a inoperable large malignant oral tumour and was given 2-4 weeks to live comfortably before we would have to make the decision to let him go. We started a bucket list for him and had been spoiling both our little ones.

Sadly, our other little pug's health rapidly declined over the last 5 days. If we look back we start to piece together the story and realise that she was starting to show symptoms like vomiting about a month ago, but she was happy and her puppy-like self. About 2 weeks ago she was off her food and I had to keep coming up with different meals that she might be interested in, and most of the time she would only eat if hand fed. Our vet and I put it down to her knowing that her companion was sick and feeling depressed.

Being an older pug her health was declining, she had arthritic issues and nerve damage that cause her back legs to give way from time to time (we managed this with acupuncture and arthritis injections), eye problems and developing symptoms of dementia. She still loved to walk even if it took us 20 minutes just to get down the road. Then about 5 or so days ago she wouldn't eat at all...this was completely out of character for her...food and walks were her favourite things. I made her a special meal that she would normally be salivating and jumping for. She refused it, seemed out of it and I just knew she was unwell.

The vet did some tests and blood work showed some kind of inflammation, after an x-ray they confirmed disc disease in her spine. We didn't want to put her through a tough and stressful operation and recovery, she might not even be strong enough to go through it. The vet advised to manage with painkillers and not allow her to walk for a week, just go out for toilet breaks. This is the typical conservative approach for this condition and maybe she was just having a flare up. That night she was restless and got up, just stood in front of me and panted heavily. Something I had never seen before. We took her to the ER Vet where she stayed the night for monitoring. Her heart rate increased rapidly on a couple of occasions throughout the night and her abdomen was very sore to touch. She would tremble and recoil, another behaviour that we had never witnessed from her. They advised we should get an ultrasound as all the pieces of the story just didn't fit yet and there could be something else going on.

An ultrasound confirmed two cancerous masses near her intestines, she would have been in a lot of pain. Our poor little girl was suffering. Again the surgery and treatment would have been too traumatic for her and along with her other health issues we are not sure she would have survived. She had already been through a lot over the years and we had to choose what was in her best interest, not ours.

We had her on pain killers but the vet advised that we may have to make a tough decision soon, to give her lots of cuddles and love and enjoy every day with her. The following evening she rapidly declined. She trembled with pain and couldn't get comfortable. It was heartbreaking to see her like this. She felt vacant and not present. She would only accept cooked chicken hand fed to her and wouldn't take her pain medication. She went to the ER Vet again to receive an injection for pain that should have lasted 8 hours. About 3.5 hours later she started panting heavily, trembling and would let out cries from time to time. By now I had been crying for the last 8 hours knowing that she couldn't go on like this. Her eyes looked pleading. I tried to get her up to drink but she could hardly stand on her own. We brought her to her local vet and through teary eyes the vet told us it was her time. She said that her little heart was pumping so fast and hard to keep her body working that she would likely go into cardiac arrest and pass away over the next couple of days, and that it would be a horrible death.

I held her little body as they gave her the injection and she passed peacefully. It was so hard and I've been crying and crying and crying. I flick between thoughts of we waited too long to we should have given it more time and did it too soon. I've had a lot of guilt over the decision and my mind keeps making up "what if" scenarios. What if it was something else and we didn't find it and she could have been treated. What if we missed something? Did we give up on her? Did we do enough? I keep replaying that last night and morning over and over in my head. It hurts so much and I get triggered by little things. I saw her ear drops yesterday and it felt like a punch in the stomach, just another reminder she was gone. I go through periods of sobbing and then completely numb.

My husband reminds me that she would have suffered a horrible end had we not put her to sleep. While I logically understand this it doesn't seem to ease the pain. I'm sure in time, when time has created some distance from the event, I might see things a bit clearer. I haven't been able to sit still. The sad thing is that we will still have to make this decision with our other pug soon and that thought breaks my heart. It's overwhelming and I completely relate to what everybody has shared here. Even when you know deep down that it was the best thing to let go, it's still so hard.

There are so many reminders of her, I can't sit at my computer desk because she would always sit at my feet when I was there. No words can really convey what we are going through or how much she meant to us, how special she was. If you are going through this at the moment, I feel for you, it's going to be tough. This is hard but you are not alone as you can see from these comments.

May 04, 2017
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Losing my beautiful Scottish Terrier cross
by: Anonymous

Today I had to make the sad decision to have my lovely scottie Oscar put down. He was running around yesterday, only today to find out the tumor in his bladder had trebled in size after only 2 weeks. Last night I heard him whining in his sleep with pain. I knew I would have to make a very sad decision.

The vet was very helpful.

I know I gave my dog the very best for the 9 years and 7 months he lived. I took him for 2 walk a day either to the local park or the seaside.

We had fantastic times together. We were both very happy. I did not want him to suffer. I do miss him so very much.

Apr 20, 2017
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My Alfie
by: Lynda

My little man Alfie has an inoperable tumour on his bladder.
He is only 9 years old, he will be 10 on May 2nd. Fingers crossed he makes his birthday. It was diagnosed in January and the vet has said he has months left.

As time has gone on he is in more pain each day, even though he is on pain killers. He will bark out but we talk to him, stoke him etc and he calms down. Every now and then he will be back to the normal mischievous little man I love with all my heart.

I can honestly say this is the hardest decision I will ever have to make. Am I cutting his life short, would he have been able to go on longer, am I making him suffer needlessly? I wake up thinking about him and go to sleep thinking about him.
I know we are the only ones who can make the decision but I wish with all my heart I didn't have to.

Mar 06, 2017
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Marco
by: Tony

Our Marco, an English Springer, is 13 years old and we have had him as a pup and at the start of this year he started having diarrhoea and being sick. They put him on antibiotics and an anti-sickness but it did not clear up. They then did a blood test which was fine and a scan which also showed no problems. Still no improvement so did a poo sample test which also came back clear. He is due to have an x-ray on Thursday but his poo was a maroon colour and so he was back at vets today. The consensus now seems to be cancer and today this diagnosis is moving this way as now his lymph nodes are swollen so the vet took some samples and will give us results in the morning.

I have said over the last few days that if it is cancer we will have him put to sleep and I can say this is so hard as he looks fine, acts fine and is eating etc as normal but, as one vet pointed out, dogs do not show they are ill until it gets bad.

I cannot stop crying as I know in the morning I no doubt will have to take him in to be put to rest and it's heart breaking as we have had him so long and he has been a wonderful pet who has grown up with my son who is 19.

It's so hard but I know taking this action now before he really starts to show how ill he really is, is the right thing to do.

Feb 23, 2017
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My westie
by: Lucy

Yesterday my mum made the decision to have our west highland white terrier put to sleep.

He had been with us for 17 years. He had become deaf and blind, suffered from skin irritation and spent most of his days sleeping, he also had moments where he would stop and start breathing during sleep.

I'm so overwhelmed with guilt. I feel my mum rushed into it, as far as we know he wasn't terminally ill, just suffering from old age. I feel that he would've been better off living his final days/weeks/months around people who loved him. I wished that I had said something to her, got her to reconsider. Now I feel like I've failed him, 17 years of life gone within a few seconds and within a few days he's going to be a pile of ash in an urn.

I keep wishing for some kind of sign, for him to tell me he's ok, that he's happy and that the right choice was made for him.

Feb 15, 2017
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Our Beloved Beau; Our Beloved Boss
by: Kathy

17 years ago on January 1, 2000, we drove from Ocala to Melbourne, FL to pick up an 8-week-old boxer puppy. He was so cute cuddled between us on the front seat of the truck on the way home. It was cold, so we stopped at a flea market and bought him a little red sweater.

Every night when we took him outside for 5 minutes to wee-wee, he would wear his little red sweater. We even slept on the floor with him in front of the fireplace for a night or two.

He was the most wonderful dog we had in all of our 53-year marriage.

At 10 1/2 years of age, we realized he was totally deaf, blind, and crippled with arthritis. We love our vet and he loved Beau. It was the saddest day of our life when we had him put to sleep, but it would have been selfish to continue the low quality of life.

We didn't even try to get another dog. But then, about six months later, a Boxer breeder heard of our loss and called and asked if we would be willing to accept an older dog - a 2 year old boxer coming off the show circuit.

We went to look at him and fell in love immediately. He jumped in the back seat of our truck as if to say, "I'm ready to go." We have enjoyed him for 7 1/2 years.

But tonight as I write this, I can hear him breathing heavily in his bed. He is very ill with spinal arthritis, cystitis, and swollen testicles. He cries out when he moves. He has lost 15 lbs. We go back to the vet tomorrow. I suspect the vet will say it is time to release him. No more suffering. His large brown liquid eyes beg for relief. I will gladly trade my grief for his relief.

Feb 12, 2017
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Suki's neck tumour
by: Susan

Our beautiful Suki aged 10 and a half could not tell us that she had a terrible problem growing in her spine - in her neck.

For months she would be lame first on one leg and then with rest and with meds she would get better. Then another leg would become lame, again with meds and rest she was back to normal.

On Jan 1st, she was playing in the garden with her brothers and sisters, eating normally, then the next day when walking her head was down and when I touched her she yelped. Went straight to the vets who thought it was a disc and we were booked in for an MRI scan. The scan showed a tumour that was in the spinal column and pressing on the spinal cord- an operation was not possible, just pain relief and steroids.

For two days the steroids gave Suki a bit of her normal life but the evening of that second night it was obvious she was in pain but settled with the strong pain meds. The next morning the vet came to the house and we had to say goodbye to our little treasure.

From diagnosis to loss was just three days - we feel shell shocked and cannot believe we lost her so quickly. What made it worse was the fact that the place in the neck where the tumour was is so rare - the vet has only seen two in his 20 years.

Here we are three weeks later and we are still heartbroken that Suki was snatched from us so quickly - but what else could we do - these nerve sheath tumours are so painful -makes no difference that they are slow growing and benign no one was looking for something so awful. I feel I should have done more sooner, but she looked so well, was eating well, getting in the car and going up and down stairs - even squeaking her favourite toy.

I am so glad I found this site it has been been such a help.

Susan

Jan 29, 2017
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Ruptured spleen or liver on my pomeranian
by: Sadie's mom

My heart goes out to any of you that are still struggling with this in your dogs. I just lost my baby girl Wednesday night and it killed us. We had absolutely no idea she had a mass on her spleen or liver until we got to the ER.

The past 6 months, whenever she would have an episode, I thought it was low blood sugar. My pom was 13 years old, almost 14 and had been battling with a yeast infection, she had a stage 3 heart murmur and a leg injury that seemed to heal and then hurt again after time... but still no idea about the mass that was bleeding until it ruptured.

She was happy, perky and walking fine on Wednesday and ate all her dinner and I looked over and she went completely lethargic, limp and looked like a seizure without the shaking. I thought it was low blood sugar and tried honey, etc. But her gums remained white and her blood sugar was normal.

We were told at the ER that her spleen or liver had ruptured and she was basically bleeding out. She died while they were trying to run diagnostic tests... it was the worst night of my life. I was a basket case and in shock. I have cried and cried until I can't see and thought about this many times over and over and now that I look back at her symptoms, she must have been having small bleeds from time to time on her weak days - and I just thought she wasn't feeling well.

I just want you guys to know that you are doing the best you can, surgery most likely will not save your baby and you have no idea how long your dog will last like this. I'm just glad I was at home and not at work or somewhere. Spend as much time as you can with your baby and then let them go. This disease is fatal and no matter how bad we want it not to be, there is nothing we can do about it.

I miss my Sadie Lou so very much. God bless you all.

Jan 26, 2017
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Spleen Cancer
by: Anonymous

I want to thank all of you for the stories and comments. We have an appt tomorrow to put our little one to sleep. He has 2 cancerous tumors, and has suffered through a few episodes of bleeding and then days later bouncing back. It is tormenting to decide to give up. We love him dearly. So many tears over the past week as we got the diagnosis at the vet during one of the bleeding episodes. We cannot bear to see him suffer.

I am thankful he has recovered somewhat and is enjoying his walk, meals, and time being close to us. Though I know we could prolong his life somewhat with drugs, we are heartbroken at the prospect that the tumor could burst at any time. The disease is fatal within a few months.

Heartbreak! We don't want him to suffer a traumatic fatal episode with the possibility of being alone and frightened. After so much vacillation back and forth, we would prefer that he go peacefully in our presence.

Jan 24, 2017
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Mass on Spleen
by: Toby's Mommy (Wendy)

To all of you second guessing your decisions, I have second guessed mine as well.

My baby too was diagnosed with a mass on his spleen. I am now 2 weeks and one day past from the horrible day we decided to let Toby go. I have mourned for him like no other (humans included).

I keep replaying the whole thing in my mind, wondering if I should have/could have done something differently. Everyone I know says I did the right thing. I am slowly beginning to believe this.

Please don't doubt yourselves. You are here because you loved your baby and made the best decision for them. Like the one person posted below... we ended the pain for our pet and now our pain begins.

I can say though, that I am starting to heal. You will too. This does not mean we will ever forget our beloved babies or ever stop loving them. It just means that some of the wonderful memories are starting to replace the horrid hurt in my heart. I am actually looking at other babies on line now and thinking that one day, I will in fact, love another one. Now is not the time though. I am not ready. We have done for our babies what they could not do for themselves. Try and take some solace in knowing that. We will never know the pain they felt as dogs are wonderful at hiding it.

Love to all of you.

Jan 24, 2017
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The day after
by: Ryan

I'm sorry for everyone's losses. The fact that we are all in here, sharing our story's and pain, exhibits how much they mean or meant to us.

I just put my hound mix to sleep last night about 11:00 pm. It is now the next morning and I'm not sure how I will make it through the work day.

It happened so fast. I was about to go to bed when I noticed her rapid, short breathing and odd look on her face. I thought she was about to have a seizure. 10 minutes later she laid in her little side and her breaths got more shallow. Something was terribly wrong.

I rushed her to the 24 hour vet and they did some tests. There was fluid around the heart and possibly around the lungs. There is a bit of guilt I am dealing with since the vet offered to keep her all night and monitor her, and give her fluids but the prognosis was grim.

I do believe I made the right choice but I can't help thinking about the chance she would have had if she stayed. At what point, if you knew how much extra time she would've had, would you decide for treatment or put her to sleep? A week? A month? There probably is not an unselfish answer. Who knows what she was going through and the pain she was masking. They are so strong and stoic that sometimes you have no idea that they are even suffering. I held her at the end and was right there with her.

It is now 6:00am and I'm a mess. I miss my little girl. It's winter time and I hope the ground is soft enough so that I may bury her. I hope she knew how much I loved her. I hope that somehow in whatever way the universe works, that I may see her face again, excitedly greeting me, as she's always done. I miss you Phoebe. I can't believe this happened, you were only 6. It was too fast. Your pain is gone and now mine begins.

Jan 16, 2017
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To Paula
by: Wendy

Paula,

I am so very, very sorry to hear about your baby. That pain is still so real to me as we just had to let our baby, Toby, go one week ago today.

My heart is with you both.

Love from Toby's Mommy,
Wendy

Jan 15, 2017
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Mast Cell carcinoma
by: Paula

My pit was diagnosed with mast cell carcinoma a year ago. We removed tumors, expectancy of life was 90 days. It has been over a year. The cancer has come back with a vengence. Unoperable, spleen, liver, ascities.

Today she started shivering all the time. The time is in the next day or two, maybe sooner. My heart is breaking as she is all that pits are supposed to be, "nanny" dogs. God bless you. Dogs are man's best friends and I do believe that there is a very special place in heaven for dogs.....with people.

Jan 06, 2017
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Spleen Hemangiosarcoma
by: Wendy

My very beloved and almost 13 year old little dog Toby (maltese/pom) mix has just been diagnosed with Spleen hemangiosarcoma (mass on his spleen). He collapsed while I was walking him last Wednesday. His gums were very pale and I know this is bad.

We took an emergency trip to his regular vet and then onto the specialist vet that night. He stayed at the Specialist Vet ER overnight. After x-rays and ultrasound his diagnosis was determined.

Toby is almost 13, has other health issues as well and is already fragile. They said the mass is most likely cancer as well.

They suggested surgery, then Chemo treatments and we might get another 6-9 months possibly less. His regular vet did say that it is possible he would not survive the surgery and if he did he would probably have a tough recovery. For all those reasons we decided not to have the surgery and bring him home to spend as much time as possible together.

He really perked up after a day or so of being home until last night (about 1 weeks time). The Chinese Herbal Supplement Yunnan Baiyao really worked in helping control the internal bleeding.

Last night he had another episode of internal bleeding. He did recover from that but I am a basket case and torn as to what to do. I have not cried this much my entire life. He did not seem to be in pain during the episode but he was disorientated. I do not want him to suffer. That is what is most important but when he is in his good state and acting normal, eating/drinking, playing with his toys, etc. I cannot fathom putting him down.

The vet tells me that he will have another episode but for me to know that he probably won't make it through. I just want him to pass peacefully. This is killing me. I question our decision about not having the surgery as well.

I have asked the opinion of those close to us and they all say we are doing the right thing but you still wonder in the back of your mind. I am a mess.

This site has helped though to know others feel the same way. I don't know how I am going to get along without my precious baby. He is just like a child to us. He is part of our family. I treasure every moment we have with him now.

Nov 29, 2016
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Amaya
by: Jorge

My 14 year old Border collie lab mix has rapidly developed a very enlarged gland on her left side. The Vet believes it to be multi-centric lymphoma. At her age even taking a sample for lab tests is risky. The vet wants to give her a very short period of time to see if it grows larger than remove and begin treatment.

I think I would rather allow her to enjoy her last months as pain free as possible rather than put her through any surgery - the anesthesia might kill her anyway. Are we thinking the right way or should we aggressively treat the lymphoma? She has led an absolutely awesome life and we want to keep her comfortable and active as long as possible.

Nov 21, 2016
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Comments made me feel better
by: Lorrie

My beloved Pepper... a heeler mix, that was a stray.. wandered into our yard almost 7 years ago, and never left. Once I realized she was pregnant, we decided to keep her. She was the sweetest dog ever.

She was always very skittish, and a VERY picky eater... so her refusing meals every once in a while never really alarmed me, but about 3 weeks ago, she did two days in a row, which really worried me. I kept a close eye on her, and after a few days, noticed she was drinking a lot, and was a little dehydrated. I took her to the emergency and they said she wasn't really dehydrated, and looked fine, so I thought I was panicking and refused the $800 they wanted for tests and went home.

But, within 2 days, I realized my feelings were right, and she was indeed dehydrated. took her to my regular vet and they confirmed she was a little dehydrated, ran tests and her blood platelets were low, so were her white cells, and her kidneys were failing. I spent over $700 for a list of tests to rule everything out. They said she had a bladder infection, gave her fluids, antibiotics and sent her home. Right away she started feeling better, was eating and running and playing. We went back after a week and they ran more blood work, (another $300) her platelets were the same. Dr. said lets do another week on the antibiotics. The very next day she quit eating and was sulking around. I called them back and they said the antibiotics causes nausea, so I spent another $30 for one pill !

That night she still wasn't eating and when I sat with her, she seemed like she couldn't get comfortable. The next morning she flat out wouldn't eat anything.. not even small pieces of chicken. and she seemed dehydrated again. She was also shivering and wouldn't stand up.

We rushed her to emergency yesterday (Sunday) and the doctor took one look at the last 2 blood tests and said she really thought that will all the other negative tests, the only thing left was lymphoma or leukemia. As much as I wanted to spend even more money, do whatever, she told me the most we would extend her life would be a few months, and it would be a very hard treatment on her. I had already told myself I wouldn't put her through more, so we made the decision to put her down. It was so sad. And I have doubts, what if? but these comments have all made me feel better. I do know that deep down it was the right choice. She would have just suffered. Even if she wasn't in pain.. she did not feel well.

I'm so broken hearted.

Oct 13, 2016
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This site brought me peace.
by: Jade

I also had to put my dog down today. She was a 16 year old pitbull. Best dog anyone could ask for.

Her quality of Life started to decline. She had osteosarcoma in her back left leg. We noticed the lump on her leg last thanksgiving and brought her to the vet, who did some tests and that's what we were told. Vet told us we should think about doing something that week. I was like no I am not ready. Well I got an extra year out of her. But again are we ever ready. It was the hardest thing I ever did. I love her so much.

Oct 08, 2016
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My beautiful Wheatley
by: Anonymous

My 13 year old retriever has cancer in her front leg. I have her on pain meds and her limp comes and goes.

I know it's a matter of time before I will have to make the dreaded decision. I promised myself 13 years ago I would never let my pet suffer again like my last one. I kept her too long because I was selfish and didn't want to make the decision. Now I have to make the decision again. I think if it were me and there was nothing they could do, I would pray for the end of my life and refuse treatment. My wonderful pet can't make that decision so I have to make it for her.

I love her so much as I cry writing this post but I love her more than myself. So when the time comes which I think will be in 3 days, I will make the most unselfish thing I ever made in my life and let Wheatley go.

Sep 23, 2016
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Our fur babies
by: Patty

Dear Friend,

Please do not beat yourself up. You did the right thing. As pet parents, there is a silent oath we take, promising that we will care for our fur babies and to know when it is time to let our furry angels cross over. Extending their lives for a few more months, while taking medications and feeling down, is no life for them.

Last year I had to put my beloved 18 yr old Lily to sleep and I tormented myself over not catching her illness sooner. She had an enlarged heart and her lungs were fluid filled. I spent hundreds of dollars on her monthly meds and I regret putting her through that, I extended her life 4 more months. I was being selfish and just knew it was time.

I am now in that decision making again with my Roxy, who is 16 yrs old and I am seeing the same signs as my Lily, coughing, problems walking and is having frequent urination accidents. I have been crying since 4 a.m. this morning, knowing that I have to make the most painful decision again.

Please be strong and know that you were and are the best pet parent. Sending hugs your way :)

Sep 20, 2016
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Waiting is so painful
by: Kathie

My husband just found out hours ago our 12 year old yellow lab Abby has a football size tumor resting on her liver, spleen and intestines. Surgery is out of the question at her age. He said we can take her home and wait for her to bleed out or put her to sleep.

We are so shocked but don't want her to suffer or for us to wake up in the morning finding her dead either.

Her breathing is labored and I do have pain meds for her if needed. We don't want to put her to sleep but if it is inevitable is it fair to her to wait for her to bleed out?? Watching her every second and it's so so sad waiting for her to pass What would you do??

Sep 15, 2016
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Grief
by: Anonymous

Our beautiful Labrador retriever Katie developed her 3rd oral tumour. This one was so nasty there was nothing that could be done, just let her enjoy the rest of her life.

On 16th August 2016 she looked at my husband and she was asking to go. We hoped that she would go into a sleep, but the vet said she wouldn't and you would know when it is time. The vet came to our home and put her to rest, she went very peacefully. Katie was deteriorating her legs were going, she wanted to drink water but would walk away, all her food was liquidised to make it easier for her to swallow and get some fluids, and we had to help her to bed. She would be restless at night and sometimes appeared disorientated.

We know it was the right thing to do, but my heart is so broken, I have a cry every day it isn't getting any easier, if anything it is worse. People say it will get easier. Thank goodness for this site. It is comforting to know other people feel the same grief when it is time to say goodbye.

Sep 05, 2016
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My Most Loyal Friend
by: Wendie

I literally just went through this which is why I stumbled upon this site.

I just put my 14 year old sheltie down two days ago and am absolutely devastated as he was sooo close to me and I loved him sooo much! He kind of fell the other day on one of our walks and it was weird because he looked crooked and could not get up. I carried him home. That night he had a terrible time. He collapsed a couple of times, his heart was racing and his breathing was laboured.

So the following morning I took him to the vet. She said his gums were white, he had a heart murmur and fluid in his lungs. X-rays revealed lung cancer and she said outside of pain meds, there was nothing she could do. She said if it was her dog, she would let him go.

That night I put him out at 4 am, he did not come to the door to be let back in like he usually does. We were all out with flashlights trying to find him in the backyard. We found him under the deck where he never goes. I persuaded him to come out with a milkbone and I was so happy that I got him out from under there. He slept until 10:00 the next day. I had made an appt with the vet, but figured I would just get the pain meds. Well, he collapsed twice in one hour. When I picked him up, he was limp and under a pile of vomit.

My husband carried him to the car, and we knew that we had to let him go. It was quick, it was peaceful and it was one of the most heart-breaking moments I have ever had in my life.

I miss him so much. I keep questioning whether I made the right decision, but I think I did. I did it for him, not for me.

He was the most loyal friend I have ever had. Rest in peace, Jasper.

Sep 03, 2016
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Devastated over the loss of Ogie
by: Anonymous

Our beloved 9.5 yr old English Bulldog "Ogie" broke his rear leg on August 6, 2016, and was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in that leg that had started to metastasize in his chest. No one would fix his cancerous leg, he would never walk again, and he was in pain that would only get worse.

We brought him home for a few days of pampering and we never left "Ogie the bulldog" for a minute. For the love of Ogie, on August 11,2016, we made the awful but heartfelt decision to let the most beautiful brindle bulldog who we loved more than life itself, go to Rainbow Bridge.

Like the other posts, we are second guessing this decision daily. We would do anything to have our Ogie back and our heart breaks a little more each day. He stole our hearts and we will love him forever.

Aug 21, 2016
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Our golden will be crossing the rainbow bridge tomorrow
by: Anonymous

Our beloved 9 year old golden retriever was diagnosed with the dreadful osteosarcoma over two years ago.

It's located on his lower right front leg. The first time he had
surgery the lab results came back clean. However, the Vet said he was pretty sure it would return. He was correct, it returned about 7 months later. He removed the second one, and then a third one, but this time he said it was a fatty tumor and he could not remove it.

He sent us home with pain meds and basically said that's all that could be done. We opted not to have his leg removed because it was his front leg and he was closing in on 9 years old. We also got two more opinions and basically it was chemo...which I've not heard great things about and amputation.

So we opted to give him pain meds along with steroids and he's been doing okay. However, over the past two weeks we can tell that the pain is becoming more intense. There's a cluster of tumors that are behind the huge one on his legs. They are bleeding, and he is constantly licking them, so we called the vet and told him it was time to let him go.

Anyway, today was our last day to spend with this, smart, handsome and extremely tough little guy, so we celebrated by visiting neighbors and friends, eating ice cream, and tonight we are all camping out and sleeping on the kitchen floor with him. (that's his favorite place.)

We're so sad, but we love him too much to allow his leg to fracture, we have to let him go. I'll miss him as long as I live!

Thanks for allowing me to share our story. It's been very helpful to read how others are coping and dealing with this dreadful decision.

Aug 19, 2016
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Don't feel guilty.....
by: Doggie Momma

If your animal child is not feeling well, and you have noticed, by your experience is not its usual self, it is probably quietly suffering, although your heart is breaking from the thought of ending its life, it may be the most noble and humane thing to do for your pet. And with all the love they give, ending its suffering is your way of truly loving it as well.

Jul 12, 2016
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Jake
by: Anonymous

Jake was our four-year-old Lab mix. He was full of energy one week and then the next week he started slowing down and became fussy with his food. He then stopped running to the door to greet me, threw up and wet the bed.

I took him to the vet the next day where they did a blood test and discovered abnormal liver enzyme levels. Testing revealed that he didn't have Addison's Disease and the vet didn't think it would be cancer in such a young dog; therefore, he was treated for a severe liver infection prior to having an ultrasound.

After 5 days there was no improvement and further tests revealed liver cancer.

The vet did say that chemo may have extended his life, but it would have to be determined that the cancer hadn't spread anywhere else. We were quite sure that it had as he lost his vision and would only drink if the bowl was level with his mouth / head and we had to hand feed him.

I'm sure we did the right thing in putting him down and I'm sure you did the right thing too. In fact, I was a bit shocked that he didn't die at home while we were waiting for the diagnosis.

I miss him dearly and I can't help but wonder if I missed some sign, but like you, he was fine and then he wasn't - and we took him to the vet right away.

Maybe your vet didn't approach the subject the right way? Our vet explained that chemo could possibly have extended his life, but it wasn't a cure. When we made our decision to end his suffering, she agreed that it was the right thing to do. So she allowed us to make the decision, but supported it whole-heartedly.

Hope you're doing okay.

Jun 25, 2016
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My little Boy Boy
by: Michelle

It breaks my heart to read how tormented each and everyone feels about putting down their beloved dogs. I am also in such a position.

My little Boy Boy, a Jack Russell terrier had a lump removed in Nov 2014. Then in Nov 2015, I found another lump and the vet said my option was to remove or just simply wait out time as it is definitely cancer. I had it removed just last month as another two lumps appeared on his body. I thought that all was found until the next lump appears but it was not so.

Boy Boy started coughing out blood, took him back to the vet, took an x-ray and found out the cancer has spread to his lung. Just Wednesday he coughed out a lot of blood. Thought of putting him to sleep but next day he perked up. Now I am trying out Chinese medicine and hope to have a little more time with him.

May 19, 2016
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Guilt
by: Anonymous

I believe you made the right decision, Dear. Even though you felt pressured into it - and based on that alone should shop around for another vet.

At any rate, we brought our beloved girl to the vet in March for a routine visit, where she was diagnosed with advanced mammary cancer. We were shocked and devastated, but we found she did very well on her pain meds and enjoyed a good quality of life for the next 7 weeks. We finally "knew" we had to put her down on May 6. We too beat ourselves up about not putting her through the surgery, chemo and radiation that would have bought her another 6 - 8 months at best.

I believe your vet was wrong to pressure you into putting your baby down, but he/she was most probably correct with the diagnosis. In the end, putting her down before she suffered any further was the most gracious, humane thing you could have done for your dog. And she is thanking you for it. xo

May 19, 2016
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Bone Cancer
by: Anonymous

Thank you for this site. As I type this, I sit on the floor next to my beloved Scout. A white border collie. She is just 8 years old and she was diagnosed 3 weeks ago with bone cancer. Neck, shoulder and front leg.

We have chosen to make her comfortable with meds until we see her struggle then we will make the decision. It has helped us say good bye. It doesn't make it any easier but for our children it helps them get used to the idea that this is coming. They have had a very difficult time with it.

We spoil her rotten and spend a lot of time with her. Some days she sleeps most of the day. Some days she seems a little upbeat. She still eats well, walks slower but manages to balance herself. Right now she is asleep and her breathing seems quite labored. I have been watching her the past hour and gave her a Valium to help her sleep. I pray she goes in her sleep.

Apr 18, 2016
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I'm a 62 year old man that can't stop balling over my lab Max!
by: Anonymous

A year ago Max had cancer in 1 lung lope and the vet told me that they could remove it being a lab has 5 lung lobes.

He recovered fully and now the cancer has returned and after the last go round and 15K, I have taken him to a cancer specialist in Monterey who is charging me just for meds and last visit she told me that his condition had improved somewhat with the cancer meds and the steroid.

Today he is just laying down instead of being somewhat active and he has lost so much weight from not eating that it brings me to tears every time I try to feed him and I'm the saddest I have ever been my entire life and have tried everything under the sun to make him feel better.

I've only had him for 3 years and Max has never left my side until now where he will hide somewhere and it's killing me! I have never loved so much and God please help him please!

Mar 21, 2016
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Sorry for your torment
by: Cathy

I'm so sorry that you are tormented. I know exactly how you feel, which is why I am waiting on my own little dog to give me the sign. I've had so many people tell me to go ahead and put her down, she has been battling mast cell tumor cancer for many months. Her tumor was removed but has now come back with a vengeance and has spread.

There have been days when I thought for sure it was the day to bring her in. I even brought her in but she perked up and I couldn't do it. That was 2 weeks ago. She goes through dull days, then she eats something and perks up, gets outside, barks at the dog next door, snuggles up in the lap and then the next day will be a bad day.

I think when the good days stop altogether and she gives me the look then that will be the time but until then I have to just follow my heart and not what people tell me.

Hugs to you and sorry for your loss.

Mar 15, 2016
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Three year old Rotty
by: Roxy

As I write this I am getting ready to head to the vet to put my three year old rotty (roxy) down. Four weeks ago she got sick. Yesterday the internal medicine doctor told me she has Lymphoma - three tumors in her stomach, I can see one on her neck and stomach. They gave her steroids so I could bring her home to say good bye with the kids. Four weeks, 3K and I'm still trying to fix it. I know I have to let go and not let her go a slow and painful way but this is killing me.

Thank you all for the courage to do what I have too. I wouldn't want to slowly suffocate to death and that is want I'm doing to her.

Feb 25, 2016
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Thoughts with you all
by: Anonymous

I sit here reading all your stories and I overwhelmed by you all

We have just taken our 12 yr old Jr. dog to the vets after he has lost drastically a lot of weight and drinking lots of water.

Vet been seen and bloods taken, seems he has a massive tumour of his liver. Because of his age we don't want to put him through surgery but have taken the option to have him on medication and keep him at home with our other 3 dogs to live his life.

When we will get to make a decision I don't know but hopefully he will pass away in his sleep surrounded by his friends.

Feb 22, 2016
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In response to Border collie
by: Anonymous

Hi, I totally sympathize with your feelings.

I went through the same thing with my dog. She is gone now only because her tumor took over her breathing and I had to let her go because in my case it would have been selfish - it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do and the most painful. But I think I made the right decision - in my heart I knew it was right for her as she could barely breathe and lost mobility in her front leg.

She was such a trooper to the end - that is what was so hard because if it wasn't for the football size tumor under her arm, she seemed so fine. It could not be removed because it had already spread to her lungs and so when she could not sleep through the night because of her tumor pressing on her lungs, I knew I had already been selfish by allowing it to get that far. I just never had been faced with such a decision and I was weak with grief and the thought of never seeing her again.

After she was put to sleep, I cried every day for about 3 weeks and then became so depressed - I have never been that low in my life and never experienced depression before and it was scary. My son said it was time to get another puppy and I never thought I could so soon, but it saved me and now we have our hands full with a new puppy who literally saved me from a very dark place.

It is hard to come to terms with the fact that these loyal canine friends only have a short lifespan and we have to accept this and keep going.

Good luck to you and you will know when the time is right.

Feb 22, 2016
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15 Year Old Border Collie With Cancerous Tumor
by: Anonymous

I sit here reading all of your stories both sad and inspiring.

Our border collie today was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor. He doesn't want to eat his normal food, but he will eat steak and turkey bacon. He isn't in any obvious pain and I want to keep him with us a while longer. I don't see anything wrong in trying to make his last weeks or months comfortable and not making the immediate decision to put him to sleep. Am I wrong or selfish?

Feb 22, 2016
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Support for your decision
by: Anonymous

Please do not second guess yourself. You did absolutely the correct thing. I had a 10-year old cairn terrier that was diagnosed with liver cancer after a rather odd tremor episode (actually a seizure). We literally had only 48 hours from the time of diagnosis before we made the decision to put her to sleep. She only had 1% of her liver function left after having it ravaged by cancer. We literally had no idea--it can be a very sneaky cancer.

I now have a dog with terminal melanoma that has survived almost 14 months with treatments at our local university with a veterinary teaching hospital and home care, but we also see the end will soon for him as well. Each cancer is so different, that the prognosis can differ so widely. Even in humans, some cancers seem to progress with phenomenal speed and others seem to allow their victims to last indefinitely.

My heart breaks for you. Please do not beat yourself up by second guessing your choices. You sound like a very responsible and caring pet owner that wanted to spare your dog a very painful end. It is hard to reconcile our mental inclination to never quit until the very final end, but a dog cannot tell you their actual quality of life. I hope your wonderful memories comfort you.

Feb 13, 2016
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Jesse
by: Maggie

I'm really grateful to have found this site and to all the people that have taken the time to post, painful as that might be.

We had to put our six year old rescue, Jesse, down very suddenly and I have been very tortured over it ever since. Reading these stories have made me realize I'm not alone.

Jesse was the most gorgeous pound puppy ever. He was a bearded collie cross and looked like a dog right out of the movies. You couldn't go anywhere without people having to meet him and take his picture. Unfortunately for Jesse, he was plagued with health issues. He had chronic skin issues, three toe surgeries resulting in a partial toe amputation, pancreatitis... the list goes on. We spent thousands of dollars on him testing him for allergies, tried the most expensive raw food diet, every health supplement going but the skin issues persisted. Every time it would flare up he would be put on antibiotics, which are very hard on the organs. Jesse always bounced back from everything, he was a fighter.

We eventually took him to a doggie chiropractor because there is a theory that a healthy spine and regular adjustments could help the skin. He loved it. Jesse got tons of exercise, he needed it.

Everything was going well, when one morning he woke me up at three a.m. and I knew he was sick, I know my boy. I called the vet and she said bring him in right at eight. He kept standing in a corner and trying to hide which I guess is what they do. I took him in, they ran tests, couldn't find anything and said he needed to have an ultrasound and to take him to the emergency animal hospital, which we did.

All the tests came back that he was full of liver cancer and that one of tumours had burst. He was in a tremendous amount of pain and this vet who we had never met in our life said she didn't think he'd survive surgery and we should think about letting him go.

We discussed it and with heavy hearts decided to let him go. I got her to give him something for his pain and we went into a quiet room and laid with him on a dog bed on the floor and told him how much we loved him and what a good boy he was and sent him peacefully to the Rainbow Bridge where he runs free.

As soon as I got home, I regretted my decision. I think if it was my own vet who I trusted maybe I would have felt better, but after many and I mean many conversations with him and reading all of the experiences here, I know we did the right thing.

I miss my boy terribly, but I know his suffering was brief. Thank you.

Feb 04, 2016
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Reply to Sorry for your pet's pain
by: Anonymous

Hi,

They suspect that Maggie's sodium levels were so high due to dehydration. She was hiding her not eating and drinking from us for awhile. Her siblings helped cover her tracks by eating her food for her.

Maggie is still with us, and the steroids are helping a tiny bit. She seems more interested in her food lately, but it still takes her hours to eat what used to take her minutes. She also will drink a very small amount on her own (about 1/2 cup a day), but will drink from a dixie cup.

I still feel her fear of sounds is what is holding her back from eating and drinking. When she starts to eat or drink more vigorously, she will scare herself away.

Who knows. This whole situation has been very difficult. I wish she could just speak to me!

Feb 04, 2016
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My 7 yr old saint bernard
by: Anonymous

Tuesday he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his back leg. The vet said he would maybe make it 3 months. My husband has had him since he was 4 weeks old. My heart is breaking; I have loved and cared for Marley for 6 years and he doesn't seem to be in much pain but he is not himself (He is taking strong pain meds.)

My husband refuses to let him go. How can I help my husband see that his quality of life is rapidly declining? I know what we must do but he doesn't want to see it.

Any advice will help. Marley is his best friend and he is one of our kids.

Feb 02, 2016
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Sorry for your pet's pain
by: Anonymous

Hi Sandra,

I am not a vet but just one of the people who look into this post every so often.

I lost a pet recently to a large cancerous tumor so I can sympathize with the agony of what you are going through. I was just curious, did the vet say what caused your dog's sodium level to be elevated? I am asking because I am just trying to take every precaution for my own pet too. We have a well and it is treated with salt pellets - she will not drink the water from it and so I give her bottled. I am wondering if she senses the salt and if that could possibly cause the rise in sodium level. If you have a well I would check that just to be sure. When my other dog got sick she also retreated to a quiet space she also ran off and a kind stranger returned her. I think it is their way of dealing with pain.

Good luck.

Feb 02, 2016
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Refusing to eat or drink on own
by: Sandra

Hello all,

I have had a rough January with my almost 13 year old basset, Maggie. On New Year's Eve, we noticed a distinct difference in her demeanor. She no longer wanted to be around the family. (In her defense, with twin toddler boys it does get rather noisy around our house.) She also refused to eat or drink on her own and had lost 5 lbs in just a couple weeks. The initial tests showed that Maggie's sodium level was close to toxicity. She did two days of IV fluid treatments to bring down the levels to normal. The vet thought this could be caused by dental disease and prescribed antibiotics and pain relievers to help. There was no change.

After many trips to our family vet, Maggie was referred to an internist at the vet hospital. After the exam, that vet had the thought that Maggie was most likely suffering from a brain tumor. So, we went to the neurologist for an exam. The neurologist did not agree. After that, we decided to complete a dental cleaning with some tooth extractions hoping that her dental disease was the cause of her altered states.

After that visit, it was decided to go ahead with the dental surgery. X-rays were completed prior to surgery and what appeared to be rocks were found in her stomach. All were relieved. However, the vet was unhappy after surgery. The size of the rocks were not what she had suspected via x-ray and most likely would've passed through Maggie with no problem.

One week post-op, Maggie began throwing up bile. I thought it was the end. We treated her with anti-nausea meds, and her vomiting ceased and has not returned.

Two weeks post-op and Maggie will still not eat or drink independently. She will almost always eat from my hand and drink from a dixie cup. I have tried many different bowls, plates, food, chicken stock in the water, etc., but nothing seems to help. She will have random (maybe one day per week) where she will eat after being left alone with her food for hours, but it is very rare. We started steroids to see if that would increase her thirst and hunger, but it has not had the effects we wished.

I am at a crossroads. I know if I don't feed and water her multiple times a day that she will die from dehydration and starvation. But, am I doing her a service by continuing it? She doesn't want to be with the family, except me, but she seems happy to see me (tail wagging and cuddling). I just am so lost on what to do. Many tears have been shed this last month. I have thought multiple times that I was losing her. I don't want to keep her if she's ready, but I just don't know.

Has anyone been in this situation or have advice?

Thank you,
Sandra

Jan 03, 2016
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In response to advice
by: Anonymous

I totally sympathize with your pet's illness and what you are going through.

We lost our beloved 13 yo cocker to an out of control fast growing tumor. It went from a small egg size to almost the size of a football in 2 months - and it was under her arm. Her vet advised, at the early stage, against surgery and chemo since she said the diagnostics already showed that it was cancerous and had spread to her lungs and other organs. The vet said the best thing we could do was to keep her comfortable as long as possible. It was sad having to see that thing take over but she would not give into it and remained happy to her last breath.

My pet inspired me with how she stayed positive to the end. Our pet didn't even get to the point of losing control over her bowels or bladder - I am guessing because it was behind her front arm. What made me decide it was time to put her to sleep was the fact that she could no longer breathe easily and it was impairing her sleep. The tumor was that big it was pressing on her lungs and heart. It killed me to watch her how she struggled to breathe and keep up and she never complained and ate and pooped normally even went out in her last days and would just sit in the sunshine.

I loved her so much but I knew I had to let her go into that sunshine and be at peace. She was barely able to walk and lost mobility in her front leg from the tumor damaging the nerve but displayed such independence and strength and kept smiling and it broke my heart into a million pieces. It was the most difficult grief I ever endured because she was 100% my dog - always with me always there through thick and thin.

I grieved so hard I nearly died of it and then my son brought home another puppy and that saved me. I now know that my old pet that I had to put to sleep would not want to see me this unhappy - I cherished the memories we had together with her and so now I have a new one to teach and care for and have another buddy for 13 or more years. It is difficult to let go and so not fair they have a short lifespan.

I am guessing your dog is losing bowel functions perhaps because the tumor is pressing on a nerve in that area that controls it. It is a difficult decision to make but you want them to go with dignity and that is something you will know when it's time. Best of luck.

Jan 03, 2016
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Second Opinion
by: Anonymous

Please seek a second opinion. Then you will have more information & perhaps more treatment options.

Jan 02, 2016
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Advice
by: Anonymous

Looking for advice on my Boston Terrier who is 10 years old. He has a very large (grapefruit sized) tumor on his back leg that is causing him difficulty in walking. We've had him tested and checked. The surgery has been quoted over $2000 and they can't guarantee it won't grow back rapidly.

Now he has started having accidents in the house if we don't make sure he goes out every 2 hours. He used to go to the door and let us know when he needed out about every 5 hours or so, now he doesn't tell anyone. Just squats and goes. He sleeps pretty much all day long. However every now and then he will get in a playful mood like his old self and ready to have fun. He also has a fine appetite.

Is it time to put him down? I don't particularly plan to spend so much with no guarantee that he will be dead in 6 months from a reoccurrence. Help...

Nov 12, 2015
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My poor dog Diesel my sweet pitbull
by: Anonymous

I too am tormented about putting my dog down on 11/9/15. Just the day before he was full of energy and was eating normal. The next day he was not able to urinate, and I took him in to find out why. The vet took x-rays and found that his spleen was very enlarged and so was his bladder. They said that normally means that they have cancer of the spleen. I didn't have enough time to make a good decision. I felt like they were pushing for euthanasia as he would die a painful death soon!!

So we made the decision to put him out of his misery and said our goodbyes. Now as I reflect back, there was no blood work etc. I feel like taking him in was a death sentence that he didn't deserve. Like you this has been tormenting me everyday. I cry everyday for him!!!

Oct 26, 2015
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My poor dog Sandy
by: Anonymous

I am not one to mix words and I do not find myself to be very emotional rather inward most of the time.

I sit here at work thinking about my chug Sandy. This animal was a rescue we got about 3 years and has done nothing but make my life better. The poor animal started having back leg problems about a month ago and I took her to the vets and they did an x ray of her back. The results were a compression in the spine and was told overall her problem is neurological.

My wife and I have done the steroids etc. and they are not working for her. My wife and I were told to go to a neurologist (we are into this for $1100 as of this writing). I may sound callous in stating a money figure but the vet said it may cost between 4-6 grand for surgery and there are no guarantees.

My family has made the decision as much as I do not want to put her to sleep (crying as I write this). I have never been so upset in my life - this animal was with me 24 hours a day but it is time god is calling her home.

I can live with the fact I did all that was humanly possible and that we had three great years together and that is how I want to remember her.

Sep 18, 2015
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Empathy for all
by: Anonymous

Well, it has been over 3 weeks and my beloved dog Ginger is gone. I wrote here on about August 6, 2015 asking for any advice on how I could save her.

Poor Ginger never got better and I had to make the most difficult decision of my life. She was suffering and in the last couple days was even having trouble breathing. I feel guilty for even letting her go that long but I couldn't let her go. Her vet assured us we were making the right decision.

She passed on August 26... It was so quick, we stayed with her and my kids and I just cried as we said our goodbyes. My son carried her out in a blanket and we buried her in the yard by candlelight. My neighbor dug the grave with his backhoe and we put her into the ground where once was the herb garden. The cut roots of the Lemon Balm, Thyme and Mint filled the warm August evening and the flames flickered as we sadly laid her to rest.

It took 3 weeks for me to get the knots out of my stomach over the loss of my best friend. I said I would never be able to go through this again and that I would get no more pets. After many hours and days of reflection I found that I needed to have that love again. Yes it was painful putting our dog to sleep but it was even more painful not having a pet around to love again.

We decided on another Cocker Spaniel. The new puppy was born around the same time we laid our Ginger to rest. I think this is a gift and I will cherish this new puppy just as we did Ginger.

Loss is heartbreaking but life is filled with love and we have to continue to live in that love as long as we are here. I hope the best for all of you suffering from the loss of your pets. But there are more out there that need your love.

RIP Ginger we will always love you and see you again one day.

Aug 19, 2015
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Torment over decision
by: Hal Adams

I am writing this as I am unable to sleep due to my making an appointment with my vet tomorrow to put our English Bull Terrier to sleep, and asking myself should I do it or succumb to drugs to keep him alive for another indefinite period.

Three weeks ago, after a 2kg weight loss he was mis-diagnosed with pancreatic trouble. After a further 3kg weight loss last week he was correctly diagnosed with cancer in the liver spreading outwards. Annoyingly in all this time he was in pain as the first vet was trying to cure the perhaps already damaged pancreas.

The second vet said that with drugs he could keep the dog going 'for a while' but we had to understand that the cancer was terminal. He then gave the dog a shot that 'would make him comfortable for five days to allow us to discuss the matter'.

Now, here is our dilemma - a day after this shot, the dog has taken on an apparent new lease of life! Eating and generally more alert! Now what do I do? Will I be kind to the dog to give him a shot every five days to mask the symptoms? How long will it take for nature to do her worst?

However I cannot stop remembering the pain he must have been in for over two weeks following the mis-diagnosis. This really eats at me. So not wishing to see any pain return, and as the cancer is terminal, we have decided to euthanize him tomorrow and remember him going out as a happy dog, albeit an induced happiness. I will not sleep though trying to fight the emotional side of me that wants to put off the inevitable.

My point is that you have seen your dog suffer some pain. This would only get worse, and because of this you should not be tormented. It is visualizing the pain Milo was in the past few days that convinces me that an early exit is in the long run the most peaceful for him.

Aug 06, 2015
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Empathy
by: Anonymous

I too am going through a similar situation. My 13-year-old American cocker spaniel has had 2 surgeries in the past 3 years to have mammary cancer removed. Her last surgery was in Feb 2015, and she came back strong and clean.

Then one day in June she woke up with a limp. I checked under her left arm and found a lump the size of an egg. Immediately I brought her in to the vet who took an aspirate and said it was cancer. She advised that it had spread to her lungs and she showed me the x-ray where it was. She said that chemo would be very expensive considering my financial situation and she placed my dog on pain meds to keep her comfortable.

My dog is such a fighter that I am inspired by her.

Her lump has grown to the size of a small football and is now extending down near her elbow now and feels like it is ready to burst.

It's true I am spent financially after the 2 surgeries and I am doing everything in my power to help her otherwise. I cook anti-cancer foods for her, I am treating her holistically as well with herbal remedies and immune boosting therapy.

I can see that she so wants to play and frolic and run but the weight of this mass is slowing her down and must be so painfully difficult. She never complains except is restless at night which hurts me to see (she sleeps on my bed in the crook of my knees) - when she hurts I hurt.

I am afraid to take her to the vet at this point because I am afraid she will be put down - but she is still so full of life to me.

I don't know what to do if that tumor bursts - can anyone advise? Please anything is helpful and appreciated.

Aug 05, 2015
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Tormented over Decision
by: Louise

I am also going through this. I have a 13 year old pit boxer mix who 4 months ago was diagnosed with cancer of the lymph nodes.

For the past 3 days she has had the runs and does not want to eat. Blood is also in her stool as runny as it is. Doc put her on antibiotic to try to stop the runs but fears cancer may have spread to her intestines.

Not sure about making the decision because she seems to have all her faculties and when she feels good she still wants to chase stuff outside. She is much more low key and very restless at night. I fear she is not ready to be put down but I don't want her to suffer if she is bleeding inside. I am so very scared that I will make the wrong decision.

Apr 07, 2015
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Tormented over Decision to put my dog down - my feelings exactly
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry for your loss and the torment you are now going through. I know how you feel - we had our beautiful dog Sal put to sleep 5 and a half weeks ago - and the last few days I have tormented myself over our decision.

She was 15 and a half and was being treated for underactive thyroid, heart disease, and spondylosis.

She'd been ok, but all of a sudden stopped eating. She was due to have a dental but on the day I made for that appointment we actually ended up having her put to sleep. It all happened within the space of five days and I am still reeling from shock. I took her to the vets on the Wednesday morning and on the Thursday morning and he tried her with antibiotics and steroids to try to get her eating again. He didn't run any tests. He said from the start that he didn't think it would end well: she was elderly and she had a lot of things wrong with her. On the Friday morning, as she still had not started eating, we had her put to sleep on the vet's advice.

I regret not just taking her to the emergency vet one evening that week, and seeing if they could sort her out. They had saved the life of her sister just over a year ago when she almost died from an immune condition. I feel guilty that we tried to save Suzy but just let Sal go.

She was an amazing, intelligent, beautiful, feisty, little (jack Russell cross) dog who was completely present mentally right to the very end, and would stare at us intently with glittering brown eyes, still attempt a tail wag and try and climb one of the garden steps to drink rainwater out of a big empty plant pot in the garden. The world seems all strange and out of shape without her. I feel heartbroken and still full of tears yet to shed.

I'm sorry for all your losses, but thank you for sharing. It's awful to feel alone in your grief, and feel like you are being pathetic by being so upset.

For the last person who posted 'tormented over decision...' - read back through these posts to an account by someone who had been advised that their dog might live for another year (contrary to the advice of another vet), had taken their dog home, only for their beloved pet to die 5 days later at home and for them to then wish they had taken the advice of the first vet.

It's a very difficult time when time seems to slow and stretch, decisions seem to have to be taken in the wink of an eye and you find yourself bereaved and in shock and wondering how it all happened.

Best wishes to you all XX

Mar 12, 2015
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Today is her birthday-but she is gone.
by: Echo's mum

I feel the same. On the 23rd Dec 2014 I noticed my Echo had a tight stomach. I rang my vet, who had no openings, and would be closing for 4 days. As a favour they told me to bring her up and they would have a look.

I got to the vet at about 10 am, the vet nurse checked her stomach and said we should let the vet check. He thought she may have bladder stones, we x-rayed, but as she is a huge malamute, nothing could be seen. The vet sedated her for an exploratory.

Five minutes after I got home the phone rang - ruptured spleenic tumour - her abdomen was full of blood and she may not survive surgery. I told him to do whatever it takes to save her. 30 min later another call, she was full of tumours. I arrived at the vet to say goodbye to my love, who was not yet 7.

Every day I question my decision - did they lie due to their holiday? Did they decide that having a post-op dog would interrupt their Christmas plans? Should I have told them to try harder, remove her spleen, and I would take her home and see how she did.

Echo was always a sook when in any pain - she was not in pain that day. The only time she cried was when they sedated her (needle hurt). Every day I regret agreeing to end her life, we may have had years left, at least I could have spoilt her for her remaining time.

Now all I have is her urn, a paw print, a lock of her hair, and memories of an amazing girl who loved EVERYONE, and sadness, so much sadness.

Echo would have turned 7 today 13th March 2015.

Feb 22, 2015
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I feel your pain
by: Anonymous

The same thing happened to us. We just had to put our doggy to sleep. Four months ago the vet said they found an anal gland tumor but without tests they couldn't tell if it was cancerous.

I came home one day to find him bleeding all over, very thirsty and couldn't go to the bathroom. He seemed very bloated too. Took him to the vet and she said she couldn't stop the bleeding but maybe try some meds.

We knew what it was and had to make a decision rather fast. We didn't want him to suffer. I cried for weeks - did we do the right thing? Would he have got better on meds? I don't think so. The disease is usually fatal. He was 13 years old. I miss him dearly.

It's hard to think you have that power to end a life but you ended the suffering. Think of all the happy times you had and know he's in dog heaven.

Feb 06, 2015
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You did the right thing
by: Anonymous

I am going through the same situation with my 13 year old springer. Dogs do not live as long as humans, it really hurts.

Feb 05, 2015
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Tormented over Decision to Put my Dog Down
by: David

Today we lost our 2 year old cavalier King Charles who had severe seizures for over a year. Medication kept failing and through the sheer amount of seizures in the last 2 months her back legs failed and she was screeching in pain and could not move properly. This started yesterday and vet gave a steroid injection which only helped a little. This morning the screeching of pain was awful and so hard to see. After trying to curb her seizures for so long seeing her in pain broke me, I had to leave to work with wife having to call the vet again who after trying everything he could said it would get worse and every further seizure would cause yet more pain and damage.

The worst thing we have ever done is take the agonizing decision to put her down so she could be no longer in such awful pain. It has devastated me to see this just over 2 year old taken from me so soon.

I ask myself could I honestly be selfish in allowing her to continue in such pain with no quality of life just so I could see her and hold her or would I be an awful human being to do that to her.

I can't tell you how painful it is not having her around, I feel like dying so I cannot hurt like this.

I'm so sorry to hear of others who have also lost their beloved family members (because that's what my dogs are to me). I can only hope that the loss and emptiness heals over time.

Jan 30, 2015
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Today is the Day
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry for your loss, and I am going thru the same thing just this moment. I just called the vet to schedule The Appointment.

My Golden Retriever, age 8.5 years, started passing bloody stools at the end of the December. Treated him for Giardia, then other parasites, but he kept bleeding. On Sunday, he passed a huge bloody stool and was so weak, I rushed him to the vet, just not understanding what was happening, I was following all the instructions.

After one blood transfusion, ultrasound, X-rays, tissue aspirations, IV fluids, 3 nights in the hospital, and I learned he has malignant liver cancer.

Yesterday, he stopped eating and today he stopped drinking. Keeping him longer would be wrong, but it is breaking my heart. I know, no matter what, I will feel terrible guilt, guilt that I didn't let him go sooner, guilt that I didn't keep him longer. We will always second-guess ourselves because we love them so much. I wish you well. I hope someone will pray for me, because I am going to need it.

Jan 20, 2015
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Dealing with loss after our lab saw vet 1 day prior
by: Michelle

First, I am so sorry for what you've gone through. It's never an easy decision to put your sweet baby down but you made the right decision out of the immense love you have for baby. Your chose to break your own hearts to make sure there was no suffering for your sweetie. Please try and hold on to that and know that your dog knows how much love you had for them. They know why you made the decision and they love you for all you did before and now.

We took our healthy 8 yr old black lab to vet just this past Saturday. He got his booster of Pro 6 and Bordetella. 24 hrs later he dies from what seemed like a heart attack.

I've done research on anaphylaxis shock. The vet gave him the two shots close together, one on his shoulder, the other on his back/neck area. He had never received that combo. It's always been nose spray and shot. Furthermore, I found an overwhelming amount on the internet about the dangers of Pro 6 heartworm, to the point that there is a mandatory consent form the vet must have you read and sign prior to administering. I've never seen this form or was I ever told of its existence, let alone the dangers. It was taken off the market years ago. Another pharma company purchased it and 'reformulated' it and it's supposedly safe. There have been too many reactions with this 'new & improved' version. Whatever.

Please beware and don't use this vaccine.

Jan 18, 2015
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Hard decision
by: Anonymous

Dear Dwight,

It's difficult to know what to do. I know your agony. I guess the best thing to do is look at Murphy's quality of life - if you feel he's not in pain & he still finds joy in his day, then... Like I said it's tough to know. I do think you will know when the time comes.

Don't torment yourself. You love your boy and that's what he already knows.

I wish you, your wife and Murphy the best.

Jan 17, 2015
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Westie 12 years old named Murphy B
by: Dwight Suggs

My buddy Murphy is 12 years old. About 3-4 months ago he started struggling to urinate. It got worse such that he would fall over from cocking his leg so long. I joked that he was like men ( myself included) take forever and frequent and sounds like his prostate. After the vet claimed need for surgery even though X-rays didn't show kidney stone we proceeded. Not the problem, then blood in urine and they loaded him up with antibiotics. No good. So then ultrasound showed a tumor in the prostate which had spread to bladder and lymph nodes.

He is not eating (very small amount of chicken etc, maybe 2 spoonfuls in a week) but he drinks water and urinates. He is wearing a diaper and can't control his bladder. He doesn't appear to be in pain, just sleeps all the time. I did notice he was obsessing over licking/cleaning his right paw but that's not really unusual but seems excessive.

Murphy is so loved by my wife Beth and I that we can't bear to lose him but I feel the end is very near as he lies here asleep, I wonder whether I am just keeping him alive for us and being selfish. I'm aware he is dying but he still cuts his eyes over and responds when I rub him and ears perk a little when I ask if he wants to go for a ride.

Should I go on tomorrow and put him down or ride it out and let him pass here at home (that's what I want), but am I wrong to do that? I don't think I can bear to do it if he isn't hurting.

What to do, I love the boy so much.

Jan 14, 2015
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From the heart
by: Anonymous

So sorry to hear of the awful times ahead of you.

When My little sweetheart had to be put to sleep, it wasn't an easy decision but it really was the only one I could make for him.

He had been blind for the last seven years of his life but was a very confident little guy as long as I was with him. I was his white stick and he was my shadow. The thought of putting him through the fear of being with strangers while going through the pain of surgery really for my sake to see if he could last a little longer was something I couldn't do to him.

I was unbelievably calm during the process. I knew if I panicked or got upset he would sense it and also be afraid. I still feel as if it wasn't really me. But holding him and giving him a kiss goodnight as I had done his whole life meant a lot to me and I hope to him. It was the first time I had had a dog put to sleep and it was so quick and especially peaceful. That was all I could have hoped for. Still very painful to lose such a precious friend but I know I did what was best.

My heart goes out to you and I wish you all the best.

Jan 14, 2015
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Thanks for this Post - Westie Lover
by: Anonymous

My poor Angel is 14 yrs old. Around Thanksgiving I noticed her belly was really tight, but she just had a check up and her weight and everything seemed good, so I just thought her new dog food was bloating her & maybe we were too generous w/ the Thanksgiving leftovers... so I immediately switched to good dog food, limited her treats and she acted like a normal, healthy, energetic dog... til about Xmas-New Years I noticed her belly was still tight and then noticed a large knot in it and a week ago noticed she was really struggling to go to the bathroom & her stools were pencil thin.

I took her to the vet because I knew something wasn't right. They tested her stools - those tested fine, & took an x-ray which showed a liver tumour or some type of tumour that was squeezing off her intestines & vet said he needed to research but he didn't like what he saw.

Two days later fearing the worst I finally got out of him she only has weeks, but he preferred I took her for an ultrasound before he predicted anything. We are scheduled in a day and will continue this post on the outcome, as we don't have to make a decision yet, but knowing this is coming has been heart-aching and very painful this past week, so my heart goes out to all of you.

PS: I keep running thru my mind the choices I know I'm going to have to face & I even know of a case where the dog had surgery & lived another 3yrs. But I'm questioning right now, is it worth it in her case? Her teeth are falling out and/or deteriorating which she already needs surgery on, she's partially deaf with chronic ear infections, old age skin issues, most of her issues started happening at age 12 but she's such a strong & vibrant dog, you'd never know it.

I am *so* very thankful for all of your posts because after reading them & knowing what's she's been thru & will have to continue to go thru sounds much more peaceful to put her down.

Love my Baby!!! xoxo

Dec 19, 2014
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We know exactly how you feel
by: Anonymous

On Dec. 18/14 afternoon we had to make the painful decision to end our beloved Bella's pain. Bella was 11 yrs old and on Wed. afternoon after having her xrays in the morning she became worse. Bella had a hard time breathing. Her lungs were full of fluid and her liver was enlarged. We only found out Thursday. Wednesday night she had no sleep because she could not put her head down. If she did she would not breath. We took her to the vet again on Thursday morning and saw the xrays and that is when we found out what she had. Again, we don't think she would have lived another day but we could not bear to see her suffer. Those eyes looking at you as though they were saying "Help Me". That afternoon we were by her side when she fell asleep and went to Heaven to rest. We miss her so much. She was our first pet, dog and part of our family.

Dec 17, 2014
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Max
by: Chryss

Candace, Thank you so much for your comment. I am really sorry you had to go through such an awful time when you lost Chase. It sounds as if you loved him so much and could only do what you thought was best. Please don't torture yourself over it. I think we all try to make the best decisions but we just don't really know how things will go and you were giving him what you thought was his best option. The most important thing is that he was with you when he passed and he knew his whole life how much you loved him. I am sure that everyone who has come to this page understands exactly how you feel and we all wish you some peace of mind and strength to get through what is truly a dreadful time.

Dec 16, 2014
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My dog Chase
by: Candace

I definitely feel your pain. I recently lost my 8 year old dog Chase. His symptoms started on 11/17/14 with a cough and vomiting/diarrhea. I took him to the vet; she examined him and prescribed him antibiotics and a special diet, but said that he seemed like a "perfectly healthy dog".

Over the next week the vomiting stopped but his health did not improve. He became lethargic and would not eat, he was still coughing and his breathing was labored. I took him back to the vet on 11/24/14, the vet did some X-rays and diagnosed him with lung cancer. She recommended that I take him home and "spoil him rotten" for a few days, and then bring him back in to get put down.

The next day I decided to take him to another vet for a second opinion, a vet that we had seen before and trusted. He ran more x-rays and gave the same diagnosis, but said that he'd seen dogs in worse condition than Chase and they lived up to a year after diagnosis. He gave me pills to open up his lungs and make him breathe better, another to give him his appetite back, another for pain, and sent us home.

That Saturday 11/29/14, only 5 days after diagnosis, Chase passed away at home. He came downstairs around 9:30 am and went out back into the yard like he always does. I checked on him a few times and he was laying outside the door watching the squirrels in the trees, which was one of his favorite pastimes. He stayed out for about 30 min, and when I opened the door to let him in he made it about 5 steps and collapsed on the kitchen floor. He started hemorrhaging blood from his mouth. We called the vet and he said that his tumors probably burst and there was nothing we could do. I sat with him and talked to him and did my best to calm him, and after about 15-20 min he was gone.

That was one of the most heartbreaking experiences of my life. I feel so guilty that he suffered in the end, and my biggest regret is not listening to the first vet and having him put down. At least then his final moments would have been peaceful. I hope that reading this puts your mind at ease. I think it's natural to second guess your decision to have your pet and best friend put down, but believe me when I say that it's much better than the alternative.

Dec 11, 2014
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Max
by: Chryss

Almost 2 years now since we lost our sweet little Max to a tumour. My heart goes out to all of you who come to this page.

I used to think I would lose my mind after I had to have Max put to sleep. The grief is so intense and only those who have loved their own animals as much as we have understand how bad it can be. I know I did the right thing for Max but that made it no easier. You will always miss them but in time you will come to relish the happy memories and see past their last few days and think of the better times. They give us unconditional love and teach us so much while we have them. Those who don't understand how we feel are only to be pitied as they will never know the bond that we have all shared with our beloved animals.

Two years after losing Max we all still miss him so much but life is going on and we are coping better now. We talk about the happy times although never without tears.

I wish you all the strength to get through what are truly awful decisions. Do your best for them as they would always give you their very best.

Dec 11, 2014
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Spleen tumor
by: Anonymous

My 12 1/2 year old mixed breed, 120 lb. dog is bleeding from a spleen tumor that was diagnosed 6 months ago. Last night, he couldn't make it up the one step in the sunken living room. The vet says to put him back on Metacam for a day or so and see if he doesn't get some strength back in his legs. The end is near but he's still happy and still eating. I have read it's better to put him down a week too early than a day too late. Heart wrenching decision. I wish they could tell us how they feel.

Dec 05, 2014
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My dear Patches
by: Anonymous

Please know that I think you made the correct choice. My dear border collie, Patches died today. She was not feeling well, no appetite, having trouble standing. I took her to the vet, she had a fever. The vet ran some blood work, did an x-ray. She called and said she had a massive liver tumor. What? I could not believe it, she was just playing the day before. My vet suggested putting her to sleep too. Surgery, chemo, radiation was not an option with this cancer. I was in shock.

Went back to vet for a consult, decided to try a shot of antibiotic hoping to clear up a bile infection and buy some time with her. It was 4:00 pm when my husband carried Patches into our house and laid her on her bed. I sat next to her waiting and praying the med would help. She started convulsing and died at 7:30 pm.

The vet had asked me when I was leaving her office, "are you prepared emotionally if she dies at home tonight?" So you see, they really do know I think what will happen. I just want you to know that my girl died so quickly. It was unbelievable. If I had known it was that fatal I would have had her put to sleep at the vets. I really thought I had some time with her and I didn't. This cancer is horrid.

Please, you did the right thing, believe me.

Nov 20, 2014
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My Jack
by: John

I have a conference with my vet in just two hours from now. He suspects spleen cancer. My Jack is 15 years old. I have some hard choices. But unless something new comes out of the conference I am thinking of just bringing him home and spoiling him for the duration of his life.

John

Oct 27, 2014
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Teddy McDog
by: Julie

Hello Everyone:

Great site I just found.

Teddy just turned 14 on October 14th (His Golden Birthday). The past few weeks he has not been feeling so good. Took him to the vet, all blood work etc was AOK. A week after that he did not want to eat much and slept most of the day. Last Friday, he was not looking good and would not eat but a small dog cookie. Took him back to the vet and Teddy had a tumor on his spleen and was bleeding to death.

My husband and I knew it was time for my little man. I still can't slept eat, I am a wreak. I miss my best friend so much...

Oct 19, 2014
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Bitty
by: Joyce

My Bitty was a healthy, happy 5 year old Chihuahua. One morning I came down to feed the dogs and saw that Bitty has 2 "lumps" on either side of her neck under the jaw line. My heart dropped as I knew what I was looking at: Lymphoma.

I took her to my vet of 15 years and she confirmed the diagnosis. We started her on chemotherapy but within a week the disease progressed so quickly that she was blind. She still was eating and drinking but did sleep a lot.

About 3 weeks after her diagnosis she didn't eat but found her way to the back door and signaled to go outside. It was a beautiful day and she just sat in the sun, enjoying the breeze; then she turned her head in my direction and appeared to "look" at me. I knew she was telling me it was time. I called my vet who came to the house. I held her and talked to her while the vet prepared and gave her her shot. She gave a sigh and crossed the rainbow bridge. Every one was crying including my vet. I now have a small box with her remains in my room; I know I did the right thing for Bitty...she was ready.

Sep 11, 2014
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Zara
by: Paul

We knew our 11 year old Doberman had a liver tumour for the last 6 months from an abnormal blood test and then the following scan. She had lost weight and muscle steadily during the last few months but remained very happy.

Last weekend it appeared that she had put some weight back on so we were really happy, and she was her normal self.

However over the period of 12 hours or so her stomach appeared swollen, she wouldn't eat, and her gums had a tinge of yellow to them. We took her straight to the vet whom we have used for 20 years and trust completely. We were told her tumour had ruptured and the swelling was from internal bleeding, and that there was nothing that could be done. This came as such a terrible shock because she didn't seem in pain, and was still acting normal.

We were given the option to take her home but we agreed this would be selfish and only in our interest. It broke our heart but we made a decision in Zara's interest to have her put to sleep. Zara fell asleep in no pain and with us stroking her there and then.

If we had taken her home she would have died probably that night, and in pain from either internal bleeding or heart attack.

It's 4 days on now and we are all still crying, including my 6-year-old daughter who has lost her best friend. Yes, we have questioned if we had done the right thing. However at the end of the day there's only one thing that should matter in your decision, and that is, that if you can save your dog from pain and distress by letting them drift away to sleep, you damn well do it.

Reading the stories has been a great help, I hope mine is for someone too.

Sep 05, 2014
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Tinky
by: Kaen

My dog Tinky, a 10 yr. old peek-a-poo, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma of her spine from lumbar to sacral. She is eating and drinking good so far. She is on steroids and pain meds. She has so much trouble walking to go to urinate or defecate. Her day is spent just laying around and only getting up to go to the bathroom. She even eats and drinks laying down. I know the time is nearing to put her down. I'm selfishly hanging on. This was all diagnosed 10 days ago, as before that she was treated for arthritis of her hips and hind legs, but took a quick downward spiral.

The comments on this post have helped provide clarity to a very hard decision. I love her too much to see her suffer and with that I will have to be selfless and do what is in her best interest.

Aug 28, 2014
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Annie
by: Dianna

Annie came to my door in a thunder storm in 1999. I called her Annie as she reminded me of the dog from the musical Annie. She went through a rescue group and the vet that examined her said he had never seen such horrible surgery that had been done on her right rear leg. He did not know if the broken leg had been from an accident or abuse. Her left ear laid down - but the right stood up - also having to do with what had happened to her. She was about 1 - 2 years old when she came into my life and was with me until August 4, 2014.

Her hind leg became shorter over the years and it became more difficult as in the last few months for her to walk without dropping her backside. Then she didn't want to eat on her own anymore. I cooked everything - chicken, ground sirloin, steak, etc. ground it up and mixed with rx foods but she wasn't interested so I got syringes and cut the ends off and would put the food in those and feed her several times during the day. If she could have smiled she would have.

Then on Monday, August 4, 2014 she looked at me with those huge brown eyes and said I can't do this anymore. I filled up and knew our journey was coming to an end. I drove her to the vets and she was gone at 11:00 a.m.

I have rescued dogs for 42 years and when one dog's journey ended I always had another to come home to. Now I have none. But my grieving for Annie has got to take the time needed and someday another rescue will come into my life and fill the void that my previous 13 dogs have filled in my heart.

Aug 15, 2014
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Missing little Monty - West Highland Terrier
by: Maria

Today out of the blue my little Monty, aged 11, had a ruptured tumour we knew nothing about.

He was running along the beach yesterday and now today he is not here. We had a scan done as we thought it might be rat poison and were shocked to find out it was a burst tumour. His breathing was terrible and we did not hesitate to have him put to sleep, we were lucky to say goodbye.

This is our third dog but doesn't make it any easier, out little dog George is missing him as much as we are and we are hoping that George who is 9 doesn't develop a sad syndrome as he was quite poorly when we adopted him and Monty became his best pal. We are giving the little chap as much love as we can despite our tears of grief.

I thank everyone on this page for their stories - they do help - as I realise these burst tumours seem to be very common and there was nothing we could have done about it.

We will always treasure our beloved memories of Monty and continue to love little George. My heart goes out to anyone going through this traumatic experience.

Jul 27, 2014
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Intestinal cancer
by: Faye

This page has been of some comfort to me as it has been 10 days since I had to let my four legged best friend go to sleep forever.

It has been a devastating shock as she had not shown any different behaviours, just a bit looser stools. I fed her chicken and rice and it improved so I thought she had eaten something. But then it happened again so I took her to the vets and they prescribed antibiotics and suggested we consider pancreatitis.

Later that day she was sick and the next day she stopped eating so on Monday night I took her back and the vet gave her an anti-nausea injection and again mentioned pancreatitis.

The next day she showed obvious signs of pain so I rushed her back at night. This time the vet could feel something in her stomach and scheduled her for a scan the next day. They phoned that evening to say that they were worried at what they could see and had scheduled her for surgery the next day. We rushed up there to see her and the vet said she didn't think she had brought us in to say goodbye, but if it was something they could do nothing about, they would want a decision from us, so to think about it.

This was the last time we saw our beautiful girl. When they opened her up two thirds of her bowel were cancerous and a tumour had ruptured in her intestines!

How could this be, up until the first vet visit she had woofed down every dinner and we had walked around our usual walks no problem. She was a 10 year old miniature schnauzer, but was like a gazelle and could always be seen looking out our bedroom window. The surgeon said that he couldn't resect enough good tissue to make a working bowel, even if he tried she probably wouldn't survive post operatively... So he didn't wake her up.

I am tortured that a) I wasn't with her when she went, b) how could I have not seen that she was terminally ill, and c) I need more answers to help me understand.

The house is so quiet and I miss my little shadow, could I have done more for her. She was beautiful and funny and she made me smile and I was never alone when she was here. Now even though I have my family the house seems empty and I feel guilty that I let her down by not recognising something was wrong. I know that this diagnosis meant that she had reached the point were anything more would be painful, but I still want to turn the clock back and hear her funny bark and feel her pushing me off the sofa every evening.

I am trying to think of her at rainbow bridge, but sometimes I am just too upset.

Jul 11, 2014
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Quality of Life, (your dog's not yours)
by: Anonymous

Your dog is like family, but two things dog owners should remember. Dogs will endure pain without showing how they are suffering. Also, your dog is not here to make you happy. Think about their quality of life and suffering in silent pain. It's hard to let them go, but if it is their time (not yours), help them by letting them go. It gets easier.

Jul 07, 2014
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Help for Yipper
by: Rosies mum

Hi, however hard a job it may seem you have to do, think about Yipper and help her to have a peaceful passing. It was very hard when I did the same job last year for Rosie but in time you will realise you made the correct decision although it does not feel that way for months. It does get easier in time. Thinking of you today.

Jul 07, 2014
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Tormented over putting my dog down
by: Betsy

I have an appointment to put my dog down this evening. It's killing me, anything anyone can suggest to make this easier would be appreciated. Yipper is 15yrs old and dying from old age. It's so hard to do.

Jul 05, 2014
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Grieving for my little dog
by: Anonymous

Just had to put my lovely little dog to sleep today. Don't know how I'm going to cope. I miss her so much. She was the loveliest little dog and I'm devastated. I feel guilty that maybe the vet missed the signs of cancer early on and angry because she was so young. All around the house are her toys and blankets and bowls and each time I see them my heart breaks.

Jul 02, 2014
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My sweet Abby
by: Anonymous

My 9 year old Springer Spaniel was diagnosed two days ago with cancer of the spleen and liver. I took her in because her stomach was swollen and she was not acting like her lively and active self. I am devastated and though she is now on a steroid and pain meds, I do not want her to suffer. This morning she will not drink and has not relieved herself and stays by me. I think it is time though it breaks my heart. Another day will not help her and probably me either. I am struggling.

Jun 04, 2013
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Decision to Put My Dog Down
by: Linda

Firstly my heart breaks for you. I went through the very same thing Sunday past and we had to make the decision and we chose to let her go as she was in pain and wouldn't have lasted the night. Don't second guess yourself you did the right thing for your fur baby and it hurts like heck. If you need to talk about it more please let me know.
Thoughts and prayers are with you.

Linda

May 09, 2013
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Rosie's response
by: Anonymous

Hi, read your story and really feel for you. My dog Rosie as mentioned below, also had liver cancer and the vet told us too that if we would have left her, she would have passed away due to internal bleeding caused by the tumour bursting, but we decided to go for an operation to remove the tumour although the vets weren't too keen.

Thankfully she did pull through the op, but we were told the same would happen again, and we would know when it was time and if we did not put her to sleep she would go through a horrible and painful death.

So to me it seems you did the right thing although it doesn't feel like it at the time, as it didn't for us when the time did come.

The vets examined Rosie and told us they could tell by her gums and eyes that she had started to bleed internally, and although it broke my heart we did what was best. They also said some types of cancer are not as bad as this one, which is maybe what your other dog has which is why they are still here.

Yesterday would have been Rosie's 11th birthday, and it was a sad day for us all, but we know she was with us, and probably thankful to us for doing what we did, as I'm sure your dog is too.
We have been crying for nearly two weeks, so cry away and hopefully you can say the same to someone else soon.

Hope this is of comfort to you. xx

May 02, 2013
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In memory of Rosie and Jack
by: Angie

Just know how you both feel. It's been a week now since Holly passed and we just miss her so so much. Like Rosie, Holly never ever messed in the house and right up to the end she limped outside and tried to make it easy for us. She too was a rescue and loved being near us and was always trying to please us. We loved her so much.

Jack sounds as if he was such a loyal friend and such fun.

We all did the right thing as they are now at peace and it's just us suffering. The vets sent us a lovely verse called Rainbow Bridge I will send it if you feel it will help.

(Editor's Note: You can find "the Rainbow Bridge" and "A View from the Rainbow Bridge" here.)

May 02, 2013
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R.I.P. Rosie
by: Anonymous

Hi,

I had to have my dog put to sleep on 26th April 2013 and I truly understand what you are going through. She was only 10, but never acted this age.

It was the hardest decision I have had to make, but I know now after reading these comments I did the right thing.

She was diagnosed with a liver tumour on 18th Feb, and they operated on 20th Feb, but could not guarantee that she would wake up or that she wouldn't bleed to death during the op. She came through the op, but unfortunately the cancer had spread, and they didn't know how long she would have and the vets told us to spoil her rotten.

She was lively and enjoyed going for walks, and they also put her on steroids to increase her appetite which it did but she was getting thinner and the lump was expanding.

She used to wake me in the night to go outside to the toilet and never once messed inside during this time, but I knew that morning when I let her out that she had had enough. She lay down outside and wouldn't eat, and although she want for a short walk, she really struggled.

I made the decision and we managed to go together as a family and were all with her to say goodbye. The vets said the bleeding had started and she would have only 24-36 hours and the suffering would be horrendous, and I didn't want this and putting her to sleep would be the kindest thing.
We were all heartbroken, and I know you don't get over it but in time it does get easier.

I have her ashes next to me all the time as this seems to help, but we will never forget her, and I'm hoping she will be waiting for me when I get to Heaven's gate.

She was a rescue dog and I know she was grateful to us for the life we gave her, and I'm hoping she will be waiting for me when I get to Heaven's gate.

Apr 30, 2013
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FJB's Jack
by: Sharon

It's so difficult right now for you, I know. I'm so sorry for your loss. Just take time to grieve and talk to people who knew and loved Jack. It isn't easy to deal with and will take some time to come to terms with his passing. Some day you'll realize that you gave him a loving home and made him happy. You'll remember that you were able to be with him in one of his favorite spots when it was time to say goodbye. You tried everything you could to help him with his illness, and that cancer often is a hard foe to beat. Please try to pay even more attention to the dogs you still have, as they must be feeling Jack's loss, too.

Apr 29, 2013
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Jack is Gone
by: FJB

I'm so sad to report that my beloved Boxer Jack had to be put to sleep tonight. He was diagnosed last January with Lymphoma and fought for 4 months to live as long as he could. He was losing weight but otherwise fine until this evening. When I got home tonight he was laying in the yard and couldn't move and struggled to lift his head.

I called the vet and she came over immediately and helped him pass quietly while I was holding him at his favorite spot in our yard. The vet thinks he had a tumor burst and caused massive internal bleeding.

He was a great dog and I'm devastated. I knew this day was coming soon but you are never really ready for it. Jack was a friend and loving pet. He sired over 130 puppies and was loved by all the kids in the neighborhood. He kept the other two females in line and made me laugh even today. He was given two weeks to live four months ago.

Never give up on your dog, they will show such resilience if you give them the chance. I have no doubt I will see him again someday and we will play again when we are both on the other side.

I love you Jack! Rest in Peace.

Apr 26, 2013
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Angie's Westie
by: Angie

Thank you for your kind words but you are absolutely right. Holly had 14 happy years with us and was loved. We even took her on the ferry to the Isle of Wight last summer! She was ready to go and seemed strangely relaxed just before she went. I also believe there is more to come after this life and like to think she is now with my lovely sister who she loved. It's we who are suffering as we miss her so much but I know she is now at peace.

Apr 26, 2013
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Angie's Westie
by: Sharon

You have my sincere sympathy, having to let your little friend go. She is grateful to you, though, for having the courage to release her from her life that was no longer enjoyable. It makes it harder when you recently lost a loved one, though, and it seems that everyone is leaving you. But remember that with life comes death, and there are no guarantees how long we all have on the Earth. Your dog had a good many years and was loved, and you just have to keep that knowledge in your heart. I believe that there is more to come after this life, and that includes our animal companions. We will see them again.

Apr 25, 2013
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Heartbroken
by: Angie

I can relate to how you feel about having your dog put to sleep. This morning we had our 14 year old Westie put to sleep and I just can't stop crying. My husband is also devastated. She was 14 and so much part of the family. She had been unwell for a while with what they thought was Cushing's. She also had arthritis in her leg and several tumours. We knew she wasn't going to get better but we were clutching at straws anyway.

She gradually stopped eating and today wouldn't take her tablets. We took her to the vet who said she was in the latter stages of her life. I wanted to scream that I was taking her home for those last few days but that would have been for our benefit not hers. She cuddled into my husband's shoulder and was gone before all the injection was in her. I am pleased she is now not in pain but just feel distraught. My sister passed away the end of December and I just feel that everyone I love is being taken away.

Thank you for reading this.

Apr 15, 2013
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Vixen
by: Netty

I am really sorry for your loss. You did the right thing. Letting go is not easy. My Bentley was put to sleep on 18.03.13. I knew it was the right time. Talking to Sharon helped me. I am lucky to still have his brother Scooby with me who will be 11 in June.

Apr 08, 2013
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Vixen
by: Sharon

Should you have waited longer? No! Vixen was not going to get better and was getting worse and worse. Your dog was suffering, and you decided to put an end to the suffering, showing your love and devotion to Vixen. If you can stop questioning your decision, knowing that it was the best thing you could ever do for your beloved pet, maybe you can finally be at peace. Vixen's look of fear was about the illness and asking you to help the pain to stop. You did. Good luck to you.

Apr 08, 2013
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Pain and second-guessing
by: JT

I let go of my dearest Vixen more than 15 months ago, and the pain never ends. The second-guessing never ends as well. Maybe time has made me forget the struggle it had been to get her well when she started breathing rapidly because of fluid in her lungs. She had been previously diagnosed with a heart problem, and her liver showed signs of damage. With medication, she seemed to be getting better, till one day she began trembling. Her breasts began to swell. X-rays later revealed she had growths in her lungs, ribs and liver; her diaphragm was pushing out, and she had ascites. Her hind legs were practically gone, so she had difficulty urinating and defecating.

I made the decision to let her go. Should I have given her more time and waited till she had wasted away? I felt she was in pain because her face always changed every time I carried her; she looked afraid. I tell myself I did the right thing, but I'm never really sure. Fifteen months later, I still cry. I wish I could go back 13 years and live them all over again with my baby. Or join her, wherever she is now.

Mar 29, 2013
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Netty
by: Sharon

Aw, my heart goes out to you. We buried Zoey at a pet cemetery, just as we have with many of our other animals, and it is a tearful place. People coming in to get their urns to take home, others to bury their dear ones. But it gives comfort to either have the urn or the grave. It will get a bit easier as time goes by. I wrote a lot of things down to remember all of Zoey's antics and sweet times, and there is a framed photo of her in our entrance way, so we can see her as we enter and leave the house.

To anyone reading this, we animal lovers all understand the pain of losing our companions. Take time to grieve your loss, don't hide your tears from your family. It helps to talk about it.

Mar 27, 2013
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Our bentley
by: Netty

Picked Our Bentley's ashes up yesterday - floods of tears again including the nurse at the vets. Such sad times in our lives; I only hope its gets easier.

My heart goes out to anyone who has to make the decision to have their beloved put put to sleep. I agree with you Sharon regarding getting another dog - you will know when the time is right and he/she will choose you.

Mar 26, 2013
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Netty
by: Sharon

It has been harder now to think about another dog due to Zoey's younger age and sudden illness, after being so very active. Such a complete shock. Our other dogs were older and slowing way down for some time, and I could accept their deaths a bit easier. But I still think of Zoey all the time and dream about her, and haven't yet wanted to get another dog.

I will, in time.

Maybe before long, if I see a dog that just "speaks" to me with her eyes to adopt her. There are so many homeless animals, and I'd like to invite one to live in a loving home. We have two cats, but a house without a dog is not complete, for me, at least.

Mar 25, 2013
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Our Bentley
by: Netty

Sharon,

Thank you for your support. I am sure Zoey is now back to her usual self in dog heaven along with Bentley.

Only pet owners can understand the grief we are going through. I will be bringing Bentley's ashes home Tuesday and will scatter some in the woods where they both liked to run, then bury remainder in he rockery. I know it's early days for you but will you be getting another pet? Scooby has been given love to the highest degree - never leaves my side except when he goes to bed and sleeps under the covers.

Mar 24, 2013
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Netty, Re Bentley
by: Sharon

Please accept my sincere sympathy for your loss. It is one of the saddest things to go through, and I'm still not healed from losing Zoey, after 3 months. You did the right thing, and you showed your love to Bentley by letting him go. Now he's free from an illness with no cure. Just make sure that Scooby Doo gets even more attention since other family pets often miss their pal and might feel sad. Time will help.

Mar 22, 2013
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Our Bentley
by: Netty

Sharon thank you very much for your advice. I write with a heavy heart. I had to take Bentley to the vets on Monday 18th March and put him to sleep. On the journey there I sat in the back of the car holding him so tight I did not want to let go. His brother Scooby Doo was with us in the back and my son Jake and partner.

We went in and was taken to a nurses room. The vet agreed it was the right decision as she could see the difference within a week. My son put Bentley on the table and I asked him to sit and hold out his paw. It was done with dignity and a calmness beyond belief. It was only when he drifted off that we all began to sob. Like you said you know when the time is right.

I must add it was a strange day - Scooby would not leave him alone and they laid on the sofa with their arms around each other and Scooby kept licking Bentley's legs.

He was a very gentle dog and my son and I miss him. Also the other day before I went to work I called our Scooby and he came downstairs but stopped halfway down to look through the bannister as Bentley always did.

Mar 18, 2013
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Bentley
by: Sharon

First let me say how sorry I am for the devastating news you received. My dog Zoey was 7 and seemed in perfect health until she started to breathe heavier than usual and I quickly took her to the vet, only to learn she had advanced lung cancer. Shocking and horrible, as it was for you to learn of incurable cancer. Zoey was euthanized in one week when she could no longer lie down to sleep due to her bad lungs.

You will know when it's time. Bentley will look at you in a certain way, a sadness. Maybe he won't eat, won't act "the same" anymore. Zoey put her paw on me as if begging for relief. Be sure to ask your vet because he or she might not say anything until you bring it up.

Mar 17, 2013
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Our Bentley
by: Anonymous

Bentley is a 10 year old whippet. I knew he was unwell and he collapsed one Sunday. Took him to the vets and they took blood samples - nothing showed up. A week later he developed a lump under right hand side of the ribs. Vets took x-ray - he has cancer and nothing they can do.

I fell apart and brought him home. Bentley is swollen in the middle and looks pregnant. He is still eating and going out to the toilet. At present his back legs have swollen. The vets advised he will tell me when. This has all happened within 3 weeks without any prior illness... HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN?

Mar 13, 2013
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I'm sorry
by: Anonymous

I'm so sorry for your Jack AND I apologize to all the dog lovers here whose dogs have cancer.

I didn't realize that this site was dealing with dogs having cancer! Not making excuses here, but I'm so depressed about my Jake that I didn't realize this is about Cancer - so once again please forgive me.

However heart failure is also a deadly illness for dogs and us as well.

I hope your Jack can be helped and will give you some happiness in the rest of his life.

Sincerely,

Bonnie

Mar 13, 2013
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Sorry
by: FJB

I am sorry for your loss. I can only imagine at this point how devastated I will be when I have to put my Jack to sleep. You are very brave being able to hold him while he passed. At least he knew how much you loved him.

As for my update, right after I posted last time, Jack's lymph nodes in his neck and hind legs grew very large. I cried for two days when I realised he was going soon. At that point I became desperate to find any solution to help him, aside from chemo. I just can't afford it. I was very lucky to find info on a therapy that the vets won't tell you. It really works. My vet has my Jack on prednisone and that only helps clear the calcium from his liver and bladder but does nothing for the cancer or lymph tumors.
The info said to get triple Omega3 pills and shiitake mushroom extract. I never heard of the mushroom extract and didn't know where to get it. I went to The GNC store in the mall and they had Mushroom complex extract with three different extracts in it including shiitake. I also got the Omega3. It cost $15 each for a month's supply.

Over the last week or so, Jack's lymph tumors decreased from the size of golf balls to the size of jelly beans. He is eating and drinking and bouncing again. This is not a cure but indications are that it can extend his life six months without complications or pain. I'll be happy to take some more time with my Jack. I hope this helps some of you out there that are dealing with the same kind of lymphoma cancer my Jack has.

Mar 13, 2013
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My Baby Jake
by: Bonnie

It's been just 4 days now that I let my baby Miniature Schnauzer go. He would have been 11 years old this April 3rd.

I've had many dogs in my lifetime and loved everyone of them. But my Jake was like a human child to me. So loving, so sweet, so intelligent. This I know in time will not hurt so much, but I'm alone and have no one to cry to other than one daughter and don't want to continuously bring her down.

First, I was told that he had bladder stones and opted for surgery for him. Surgery was fine and I then had to give him WD medical food with water, green pills and special meds to clear his urine. This would be for the rest of his life. I opted to take him off of the heart meds because he became so lethargic and I wanted him to have a quality life. Well almost 1 exact year later (this last Friday) he started to cough after being groomed. He just wasn't himself - not even wanting to eat. He finally got up to eat and started coughing and then went into a seizure. I grabbed him in my arms and rushed him to Emergency Hospital. I was there for a long, long time trying to make the right decision. I was showed his X-ray from a year ago compared to present which showed he had a very enlarged heart and that his lungs were filling up with liquid. The vet asked me "do you want to keep him alive with 5 different medications and needing to see a cardiologist every other month - or are you thinking about his quality of life?"

I held my special baby in my arms and rocked him - sang to him - and then the doctor came in with the shot for euthanasia! Oh dear Lord it's killing me to even write this. My baby dying in my arms.

My own doctor prescribed a form of valium to help me get through this hellish nightmare.

Please pray for my baby Jake - I'm hoping that he is at the Rainbow now waiting for me.

Mar 05, 2013
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For FJB re Jack
by: Sharon

I can't tell you when the time is right to let Jack go, but dogs usually tell you themselves. They have a different look in their eyes, a sadness usually. They stop doing their normal routines, and then, of course, if they have trouble eating, that is a sure sign for an animal with a terminal disease. And, yes, you can ask your vet, "If Jack were your dog, what would you do?" Because they've seen this disease a lot, unfortunately, they can have a good idea of when the time has come. Remember that it is better to do it a few days early than a few days too late, causing the dog suffering.

Seven is young, and I'm so sorry for you.

Mar 04, 2013
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Thank you!
by: Lisa

Thank you to everyone for their kind words when I lost Xena on Friday. The decision was heartbreaking and although I am starting to accept, I am still struggling.

For those of you who are trying to make that horrible decision let me tell you about my other dog.

I got a pure bred male Rottweiler when he was 10 weeks old. I had just lost twin boys and this little bear cub became my world.

He is now almost 15 years old. He was diagnosed with cancer, had his toe and tumor removed and given only about 10 months to live.

That was almost three years ago!

I had gotten the cancer in time although it had spread to his lymphatic system. I did research on dog food and I switched him to Blue Buffalo Wilderness. Cancer feeds on carbs.

Within a few weeks, he started to improve. I did not put him on chemo or radiation.

He is still going strong although some days are better than others; he still has a lot of life left in him.

Xena, on the other hand, had a very fast growing and aggressive tumor that had invaded her entire right leg and her leg would have had to been amputated.

So, these are two different stories about two different dogs and their outcomes.

I wish you peace in making any difficult decision about your loved one.

Mar 04, 2013
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Max
by: Chryss

For Jack's sake and yours I hope your vet will tell you when the time is right. All I can say to help is that although I am still devastated at the loss of Max, I am so very grateful that the way things happened I never had to see him suffer. Things had changed over the last 6 months very slowly and nothing indicated the severity of what was actually going on inside of him.
I think the clinginess was the main difference and his lethargy. But then his appetite went and I think I knew then that something was very wrong.

I wish you all the strength in the world to cope with this and I hope your vet helps you with your decision.

Mar 04, 2013
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Jack
by: FJB

My boxer Jack is 7 yrs old and has Lymphoma. I have two other female boxers but he has always been the show off. He was diagnosed a month ago and put on prednisone. It has helped him recover and feel better but the lymph nodes in his neck have tripled in size. The two behind his rear knees have actually shrunk. He still jumps and plays with everyone but his tummy is so tight now. The vet said he had a tumor growing in his chest when he was diagnosed. I have been really struggling with the decision to put him down. He has gotten very clingy to me and follows me everywhere. He can't hold his bladder more than 3 hours.

What do I do? When do I put him down? He doesn't seem to be in pain but he isn't well either. I have cried for days over this.

Mar 02, 2013
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Don't Second Guess
by: Sharon

It's been 2 months since we had our Zoey euthanized, and I still cry off and on and can't bear to think of getting another dog. I replay the vet telling me that our 7 yr. old ball-playing dog had advanced lung cancer and the oncologist giving a grim prognosis. It all happened in one week, and the only thing that helps is truly knowing we made the right decision to let her go.

All of you who also made that decision did the right thing, too. You did not "kill" your dog, you allowed your dog to die peacefully before they suffered with the disease. You saved them from pain and fear!

I wish all of you comfort and great memories.

Mar 02, 2013
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Max
by: Anonymous

I had the same feelings of guilt that you have feeling as if I had killed him.

Max has been gone for 6 weeks and that niggle is still there but I have to pull myself up and realize that if I had chosen to keep him alive the pain he would have gone through would have been unbearable. I may have been able to keep him for a few weeks more but at what cost to him?
Knowing that they will never suffer is the biggest comfort.

I know I did the right thing for him but that doesn't help me at the moment. Hopefully the fact that we let them go peacefully before things became unbearable will eventually comfort us.

Mar 02, 2013
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We let her go yesterday...
by: Anonymous

Well, we let Xena go yesterday and I cannot stop crying. I feel like I killed her!

I had the vet examine her beforehand and she said the tumor was so large that it had wrapped around her leg and they would have had to amputate her entire leg!

It grew that quickly and had even gotten bigger and changed that much in just a few days.

She said that type of tumor was very nasty and aggressive and at that size and the growth rate, it was more than likely in other parts of her body. The prognosis was not good and she said that putting her to sleep was the best thing to do.

I still see her eating dog treats in the office and being little Xena then she was on the floor.

I am so sad and sick over this whole thing. I cannot stop crying.

Thank you all for listening and being there for one another.

Mar 02, 2013
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Max
by: Chryss

I had to make this decision in January for my dog Max. He was 13 years old and had been off his food for a few days and seemed to be getting very lethargic. We took him to the vet in the morning and she thought that he may have a tummy bug and gave him an injection and meds but told us that if he should deteriorate not to hesitate but to bring him back.

Max collapsed that evening and we rushed him to the emergency surgery. The vet said she wasn't happy with the feeling of his stomach and did ultrasounds which revealed a large abdominal mass. She told us that this could have been growing for years and only now was causing symptoms. She told us it was time to say goodbye.
I have always been the type of person who questions everything but not this time. She showed me the scans they had done to allow me to see the gravity of the situation. To be honest I think the look in her eyes was enough.

I held Max in my arms and he licked my face while she administered the drug that sent him off to a peaceful sleep.

I don't know how I kept calm and held myself together... I just knew that if I got agitated then so would he. Max had been blind since he was 7 and we were very in tune with each other. He was my shadow and I was his white stick.
I can honestly say that in my whole life (and I am 55) that I have never been through such a bad time as this.

The emotions are so intense and unbearable. I feel as though I am in a constant haze and feel weak and pretty useless.

My heart goes out to all of you who are going through this too.

You are a unique blend of people and have given the animals in your care the very best of yourselves and received the same from them.
Max will always be with me and all the things I learned from him have made me stronger.

I wish you all comfort.

Mar 01, 2013
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So sorry!
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry that you have had to make that painful decision. Sometimes you just don't know what to do and you do what makes the most sense at the time. It's difficult because our beloved pets can't tell us what hurts or how they feel. Please don't be too hard on yourself. We do the best we can and hope that it is enough. Please remind yourself every day how much you loved your baby & the joy you gave one another. Take solace in your Rottweiler and know that your grief will lessen each day. Find another puppy to fill the void & that will make things easier too! I wish you peace!

Mar 01, 2013
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Struggling with my decision
by: Lisa

Hi,

About 12 years ago I rescued a little Pit Bull mix who was covered in cigarette burns, cuts and ticks. I took her in and gave her a good home and lot of love.

The vet said she was about 3 or 4 months old. I named her Xena and she gives the best hugs!

A few weeks ago, I found a pea size lump on her right ankle that within a couple of weeks time, ballooned into a black, oozing and bloody mass the size of a grapefruit.

The vet said it was a mast cell tumor and by the size and growth rate, it is most likely invading other parts of her body.

She could have surgery that may buy her a few more months but the aftercare for her would be grueling, not to mention expensive and painful.

My other dog, a pure bred male Rottweiler (an adoption) whom I've had since he was 10 weeks old, is now almost 15 years old and I have been dealing with his cancer for the past 2 and 1/2 years so I know how horrible this is.

His tumor (not a mass cell tumor) was very small when it was removed and it was caught in time. It was also not fast growing like this one.

In the last two days, her tumor has grown a great deal and has now changed shapes and is splitting open as the vet feared it would.

We have made the decision to put her to sleep today at 3:15.

She is still eating and drinking and I feel like I am killing her.

I have never had to face this decision before and my heart is breaking.

I want to do what is best for her before it gets worse.

If I had the tumor removed, I have been told by three vets that it will return and she will have to be put down at that time.

Any thoughts?

Thank you for your time and my heart goes out to all of you who have had a loss.

Feb 26, 2013
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It gets better, don't be tormented
by: Daniel

We just had to put down our 12 y/o Akita/Bernese mountain dog mix and it was the hardest thing to do, especially to see my wife in absolute grief. She had adopted Butch about 2 years before we met and they were inseparable. We got 2 more dogs a couple of years ago, but Butch was still her #1. I was very bonded with him as well. We both loved him to death (no pun intended). I've had 5 dogs total in my life and it never gets any easier when you have to do it.

We were initially angry that the Vet did not detect splenic cancer at his appointment 1 month ago until we did some research of our own and found out that splenic cancer is silent (need an ultrasound to find it), very aggressive, and tends to spread rapidly. Often times by the time the dog starts showing symptoms, the condition is advanced, which was certainly the case with Butch.

When you lose a companion, grief just goes with it. We're angry and sad that we've just lost a loved one and want someone to blame. A disease or condition with dogs can go from bad to worse with stunning rapidity. Take comfort that your dog had a much less painful death than it might have suffered otherwise. You did the kindest thing you could.

Feb 08, 2013
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Home Euthanasia
by: Sharon

No, we never even thought about doing that, which would be so much better. With Zoey, we were the only clients there yet at an early hour and it was quiet and private. But at other times, we had our animals there at busy times and no exit except the front door. I don't know of vets around here who would come to a home. Perhaps smaller towns will accommodate that.

Another reason besides privacy would be that other animals in the home would be able to see what happened and not feel confused and perhaps stressed by the absence of a companion.

Feb 08, 2013
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Dog euthanization
by: Anonymous

Has anyone chosen home euthanization for their dogs?

Jan 29, 2013
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I had to put my dog to sleep yesterday
by: cynthia

Hi, I totally feel your pain. We had to put our dog to sleep yesterday and I am so hurt and wish we would have brought him home with us.

It happened all of a sudden. He was fine 3 weeks ago and just last week he started to walk slower and slower and didn't greet us when we would come home. He wasn't sleeping well either.

We took him to the vet and she said he had a mass and his liver was failing...just that quick. We have had him for 8 years since he was a puppy.

I am so hurt and I too am asking myself did we do the right thing. The vet said it would cost us thousands of dollars if we wanted to try and save him and it wasn't a guarantee.

Heart is so heavy... This was our first dog - a black lab and he was the best.

Jan 29, 2013
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Don't Be Tormented
by: Sharon

Putting your dog "to sleep" is usually the kindest thing you can do when there is a terminal illness that is far along. Your dog might perk up at times, and you can be lulled into thinking things are really o.k., but if you wait too long, then it becomes an emergency, often at night, and your canine friend could suffer pain and fear. By euthanizing when you know in your heart it is really time to let go, your dog can go to eternal rest in peace.

Our 7 yr. old Zoey was euthanized the day after Christmas, after only learning one week earlier that she had advanced lung cancer. No symptoms at all until a few days before when she breathed differently. She never even coughed once. Played ball, ran outside to stare at a stray cat on the block wall, ate just fine, barked when the mailman came, no weight loss. We were all devastated by the news, and my husband and son are starting to deal with the loss, but I'm crying every day. Zoey was a big part of our lives, so very much loved. But when she couldn't lie down to sleep on Christmas Day and that night, we knew it was time.

Jan 27, 2013
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Bereft
by: Anonymous

I am so glad I found this site as I'm struggling daily with the fact that I had to put my brave, loyal and loving dog Frankie to sleep on 29 Dec. 2012.

He was lethargic, suddenly started drinking a lot, was sad and refusing to eat or exercise which he loved to do. The diagnosis was a shock and 2 days after it was confirmed, I made the most painful decision to put him to sleep as he seemed to be deteriorating rapidly before my eyes.

I try to remember all the good times and his fit, happy and healthy years (he was 11 yrs 9mths when he died) but I feel terribly sad that I didn't know that he was ill and wish that there was more I could have done. I feel it is culpable negligence not to have known that he was ill. I pray that he will forgive me for not realising and hope that we will meet again.

For those faced with this heart-wrenching decision and to those who have made the decision, may god bless you all for being such brave caring and loving pet owners.

Marjie

Jan 24, 2013
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The worst best thing
by: Anonymous

We just had to put our precious youngest dog to sleep December 27, 2012 from liver cancer. I miss him every day and was second guessing my decision to put him to sleep when I came upon this site. It helped me to remember that although it was only 10 days from diagnosis to death he suffered enough. My vet said it best as we both cried. It's the worst best thing you can do for your ailing furry baby. I will cherish our ten years together.

Jan 17, 2013
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Lepto vaccine/ death sentence for my dog
by: Anonymous

I don't know if this is the same at all but I just want this to go out to whomever. My dog is 3, and was healthy as ever! The most loving and playful dog you can imagine. She went to the vets for her normal checkup and vaccines. The very next day she became very ill. Could not stop throwing up and very lethargic. That was in June of 2012.

It is now January of 2013. She has been into the vets numerous times for blood work and X-rays and all kinds of tests. The dog we love is virtually gone. After thousands of dollars and hour drives to the specialist, ultrasounds and too many blood tests to count, she is diagnosed with Leptospirosis. You tell me! The very day after she got THAT vaccine. Just got more bloodwork results back today and her liver enzymes are ALL even elevated more than before, even after the treatment. Vet pretty much told me this is probably it. Although, she plays and still has energy. The kicker... someone else's dog got the exact same thing after the vaccine! DO NOT GET THE LEPTOVAX!! I don't care what anyone says... This is probably going to kill my dog and we are so brokenhearted.

Dec 12, 2012
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So sorry, thanks
by: Cheryl

I am so sorry for your loss and pain. I am reading this with tears as my beloved Dakota just received this diagnosis. I now have a couple of questions to ask before I make that final decision thanks to your post. Blessings!

Oct 14, 2012
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Vaccination Connection
by: Anonymous

Hello,

I am very sorry to all of those dealing with these horrible diseases.

We love our pups so, so much. We just put our pup to rest 3 days ago from t-cell lymphoma. He fought so brave over 9 months. He was only 8 years old. He was our precious, sweetie and my life is forever changed without him.

Our other pup is 8 years old too and diagnosed 6 months ago with liver cancer. It is a HUGE tumor. He was put in a study for chemo and is actually doing very well right now. Who knows how long that will last so we are taking in every precious moment right now.

It has been a hard learning for us, but have made a decision that before they get vaccinations they will have titers done to see the levels in their blood. Our pup with lymphoma contracted it shortly after his routine vaccinations and our other dog the same thing. We are also not sure about Rimadyl affecting his liver.

After talking to numerous vets, many are not educated about this aspect of vaccines and do not realize that these vaccines stay with them for many, many years. Finally a vet told us this and it all clicked. Vets bring in money for vaccinations as well as the drug companies that produce the vaccines. I have to wonder about the quality of the vaccines as well because our pets don't have all the regulations that oversee human drugs. It is scary and hard lessons to learn but please do your research and find a vet that does titers of the blood before you vaccinate.

Good luck and prayers to all of those fighting these horrible diseases and who will be forever changed losing their loved ones.

Oct 11, 2012
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My springer spaniel
by: Janice

Don't ever think that you did not do the right thing. My female springer was diagnosed with liver cancer and it spread to her lungs. In 2 weeks she lost 9 pounds and gained 7. Her abdomen was sticking out on both sides. She had the shape of a pear. She had a hard time breathing and she stopped eating dog food. I would cook her eggs and she would eat it but not like the normal eating. She stopped taking her treats which then I knew how sick she really was. We decided to put her down on October 9, 2012. This is the worst I have gone through since my sister died this past April. I did not want to see her suffer. They cannot tell you if they are in pain. You did the right thing.

Oct 07, 2012
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So hard to say goodbye
by: Aniko in Tasmania

Tears have been shed by the bucketful reading these comments from those of us who have to make THAT decision.

Teejay is the guide dog puppy I raised to the age of 18 months when he successfully trained to guide the visually impaired. However he had to be withdrawn due to lamness, was diagnosed with a torn cruciate ligament which then developed into osteosarcoma & needed his back leg amputated. He came back to his puppy home & to me to enjoy what time he had left.

We are now faced with the onset of liver cancer & the decision to euthanize. Being uncomfortable, lethargic, & some of the symptoms described BUT with days when all seems to be o.k., I know the time is close to making that necessary decision we all find so difficult.

Teejay has shared 3 wonderful months with me & I am so privileged to have him in my life. Saying goodbye will be difficult - he is only just 3 years old.

Reading your comments will help me through this & the tears shed will be shared by us all.

Jul 29, 2012
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Mast Cell Tumors
by: Anonymous

Our Miniature Schnauzer Sammy had a mast cell tumor removed in April and by May there were five more. The cancer has now gone to his liver and the tumors are getting very big and spreading. Our vet has given us every medication possible to help with the nausea and constant itching, but we too are soon going to have to make the decision to let our poor Sammy rest in peace.

Jul 29, 2012
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Gone but not forgotten
by: Penny's Mum

After Penny died we got a rescue dog who is a wonderful little dog and has become part of our family. We realised how empty our lives were without a canine companion. We also made a beautiful photo book of our Penny. We still miss her very much but it has helped us cope without her and she will never be forgotten.

Jul 29, 2012
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Sympathies.....
by: Michelle

I also lost my beautiful dog Maxie (shepherd/husky x) to liver cancer. It all happened so quickly. Here today gone tomorrow. 3 days from initial symptoms to having to make the dreaded decision of putting him to sleep. Losing a beloved pet so unexpectedly is nothing short of emotionally devastating. I felt like my heart would break. Having to put things into perspective for sanity's sake, I tell myself I gave him a good life and he is now at peace.

Let us remember our beautiful pets and the wonderful times we shared with them, the lessons we can learn from them and the laughter they brought us. I am so glad I kept a photo album of Max's life.

Thank you all for sharing your stories. I can sympathize with all of your losses. We can't be sure, but I hope we all get to see our pets again and all the animals that endured suffering by the hand of man, disease etc. 🐦

Jul 11, 2012
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Nelson
by: Amy

I am so sorry about Nelson. I think that with our beloved pets, it's more difficult because they can't tell us what is bothering them or that they are horribly miserable and don't want to carry on! Personally, I think you did what was best for Nelson and although you are tormented by his loss now, it will get a little easier over time.

My husband and I went out the same day we lost CiCi and got two Jack Russells from the pound! It was providence to find them and healing for us as well. To find Lucy and Linus was the diversion we needed at the time and helped to ease our pain. I thought I didn't want any more pets. I thought I couldn't stand the pain of losing another dog, but I discovered that it was too quiet and lonely without any four-legged friends to greet and love me unconditionally, so here we are! There is a beautiful poem called "The Rainbow Bridge" - read and know you will see Nelson again at the foot of the Rainbow Bridge!

Jul 11, 2012
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Perhaps it was for the best
by: Jacqueline

I have heard that vaccinations can cause illness/death in animals much the same as they can to humans.

However, my knowledge in this aspect of things is very limited. I can tell you, however, my experience with Nelson, my much loved Miniature Schnauzer of 11 years who I had euthanized about 4 weeks ago. He too seemed as healthy as could be until about 6 weeks ago when he started vomiting up his food, was lethargic and very unhappy. I had him at the local vet who couldn't seem to help him so they suggested I send him to a specialist clinic for further testing.

He spent nearly 2 weeks with the specialists who tried everything to make him better. In the end, because he couldn't hold any food down and was completely miserable, I decided, with more agony that you could possibly imagine, that I should put him out of his misery. That was the hardest decision of my life but nothing was working to make him better and all the vets were scratching their heads to try and understand what was wrong with him.

Jul 01, 2012
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Curious
by: Amy

I am curious about the vaccine cancer connection.

Our CiCi had not been vaccinated for 2 years when she became ill so that cannot be the only reason our beloved pets get liver and other kinds of cancers. She also had only a rabies vaccine, never any other vaccines!

I know that our grief and loss makes us want to find a reason for our sorrow and anger. I do my homework before I treat my pets, just like I did with my children. I am not convinced that vaccines are any more dangerous to give than your pet coming down with a disease. Some vaccine prevented diseases can take your pet's life as well. To vaccinate or not is a personal choice based on research and personal conviction about what your research yields. Know ALL the facts and weigh the pros and cons before making any decisions about your pet's health care.

Jun 27, 2012
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Vaccine Damaged
by: Anonymous

Your dog has been vaccine damaged. This is not a coincidence. I would find another vet, never use this vet again. And next time you have an animal education before you vaccinate.

Jun 21, 2012
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Pakalana
by: Anonymous

It is such a difficult decision to have to make... I am currently facing making the same difficult choice for my 6 year old Min Pin/Papillon, Pakalana.

In April she became lethargic, bloated, wouldn't eat/drink and had a high fever. I took her to the vet, who thought her infection was being caused by Pyometra, so we had her spayed 3 days later. There was no Pyometra found. She's gone through periods of no appetite, dehydration, anemia & hypoglycemia. I have had to syringe feed her and have administered electrolytes too. Then, when I changed her vet, she got much better. She's been on 3 different antibiotics & steroids since the surgery. They will work for about a week or two, then she becomes lethargic again. Her abdomen is swollen, her breathing is labored, but her appetite is phenomenal.

I took her back to the vet today, along with a bloody stool sample, and doc said he thinks she may have liver cancer and if she doesn't respond to this last round of antibiotics, I need to let her go.

I am praying for a miracle, but I am also feeling guilty for being so selfish and not wanting to let her go. She is more than my dog, she's my pal, my confidante, my baby... It's so hard to see her in pain, that I have been asking God to let me bear her illness, let me bear her pain & suffering for her. I know the next few days are going to be hard, but I will pray for strength and courage.

May 23, 2012
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Zoe
by: Melissa

My heart breaks for you because I know the agony and grief that you are feeling.

We just lost our dog Zoe 5 days ago to liver cancer under similiar circumstances. We had no idea she was ill until we brought her into emergency care over the weekend because she stopped eating (beagles never stop eating). The diagnosis hit us like a brick and for days I second guessed our decision to let her go, even though the vet told us it was highly unlikely they could successfully remove the mass and even if they could she would have a very difficult 3-6 months if we were lucky.

After reading more about liver cancer and speaking with the emergency room liason I realize I made the most loving decision for her - I didn't let her suffer - that I couldn't have lived with.

She was our baby, only 6 years old, and I would have done anything for her. She died in my arms as I kissed her and told her what a great dog she was and that I loved her... and I always will. You made the best decision because you made it out of the love you have for your dog - do not torment yourself - you are a good dog parent!

Apr 21, 2012
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A hole in my heart
by: AnonymousAmy

I thought I might be losing my mind, the tears just won't stop! It was so fast and so unexpected, one day a healthy CiCi, the next total devastation. Finding this website gives me some comfort. Thank you all for opening your hearts to help others heal!

Apr 21, 2012
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You made the right decision
by: Anonymous

Our Jack Russell, CiCi, went from a healthy dog to a gravely ill dog with liver cancer in the span of 3 days. We agonized over not waking her from surgery and decided she should not suffer. We decided to let her rest and let our vet leave her sleeping.

It has been 4 days since this happened and I have cried an ocean of tears. I wondered if we had made the right decision. As hard as this is, I know it was the best thing for CiCi. I am a medical professional and could not watch her slowly, painfully slip into death.

You did the right thing. Trust in the knowledge that your vet has years of experience and knew what lay ahead for your beloved dog. Your vet didn't want your dog to suffer and offered the most humane choice.

Don't be too hard on yourself, your dog is no longer suffering.

Apr 14, 2012
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Rip Penny
by: Penny's mum

Tracey

This comment is for you. Penny went to doggie heaven on the 12th April not long after I posted here. It was the right thing to do. Corny as it may sound, she did look at peace. Her eyes were beautiful and there was no more pain.

The house seems empty without her and I will find it hard to wake without her for a long time. We are the ones left to suffer but at least we have our precious memories.

Be strong - I feel your pain as do all animal lovers. x

Apr 14, 2012
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My 4-Legged Daughter
by: Tracy Megee

I'm now 52 years old and have never been without a dog in my life, and as I sit here tonight knowing that I have to put my dog down in the morning is incredibly difficult.

Sammy Jo was perfectly fine up until a few weeks ago. She started drinking tons of water and my kids said she looked like a stuffed turkey as her stomach had gotten so distended. I took her to the vet and they did an xray and ultrasound and bloodwork and determined she had liver cancer. Her stomoch was filling with blood and she had already started bleeding out.

I hate having to make this decision, but know it is the best decision for my 4-legged child and after reading so many comment on this website I know I am making the right decision and the tears are part of the healing.

Apr 11, 2012
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Feel your pain
by: Anonymous

I know exactly how you feel. My dog Penny, a 14 year old west highland x Lhasa, had her cancerous spleen removed last October. This week we found out the cancer spread to her liver. She has a bloated tummy but seemed quite happy till today. Now she is disoriented and lethargic but still eating.

It is such a hard decision to know what to do. The vet said I will know when the time has come. The fact is she's my baby and it's so hard to say goodbye. I have had to put to sleep our German shepherd and Burmese cat in the past. It's never easy but we do it to spare them further suffering.

They may not be with us in the flesh but are forever in our hearts. Our animal babies are never forgotten. Don't feel your decision will be a wrong one. We do what is best for them always.

Mar 31, 2012
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It's a Hard Decision
by: Harley's mom

We had to make the decision 24 hours ago. Our lab was 10 years old had just had his check up a week ago and was told he had a clean bill of health. He showed no symptoms of liver cancer.

In less than a week this disease took over his body. We took him to the vet because he was not eating and the vet called less than 2 hours later with the diagnosis. I always told myself I would never allow my pets to suffer. Looking at his eyes before we put him down, I could see he was letting me know he was tired. He had no more energy; he was not the dog we knew. His eyes told me we were doing what was right and setting him free. It is very hard to do, but we knew it was the right thing. He is now free to run and play like he did before and will never be in pain again.

Mar 18, 2012
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Your Tat Terrier Buddy
by: Anonymous

I am back reading the comments again, been doing this since we lost out Jack Russell now a little over 2 months. She had the same exact symptoms as your Buddy, so I know how you are feeling. It's so hard, it is getting better now, but I will always miss her.

We have decided on another dog, since she was all we had, it's just too boring here and lonesome without the love of a dog. We actually pick her up next weekend. She will be 8 weeks old so I am hoping to fill the emptyness we have in our home with a new furry friend.

Our dog will always be in our hearts and I am working on a beautiful flower bed outside where we have her buried. So you all take care and keep reading these stories - they really do help.

God Bless.

Mar 18, 2012
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I understand
by: Anonymous

Buddy, our Rat Terrier was taken to the vet yesterday. He was very bloated and was having trouble breathing. He has been having trouble holding his bladder through the night and sometimes while he is just standing there. He has been drinking up a storm and urinating all the time.

We had blood work done on him yesterday. 150 is normal, his was 2100. However he is not vomiting or does he have diarrhea. We thought we were going to have to put him down. The vet recommended medication and that is what we did.
Buddy was my parents' dog. He sat in front of my Mother while she was passing and would not leave her side.

He was laying next to my father when he died and stayed next to him in bed for a day and a half after he died until I went and found him dead in bed. So there is a special link to him and my parents. He is a wonderful dog and I am praying that the medication helps, but I will be prepared to do the right thing for him when the time comes.
I tell all of my dogs (3) that when the time comes I will do the right thing for them.
My Dad always told me that you have to do what is best for the animal and not what makes us feel the best.

It is a horrible thing and I have had to do it three times now. But the memories are always there and the Love will live forever!

Mar 13, 2012
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Just lost our sweetie Wheatie
by: Stacy

Just yesterday, we suddenly lost our 8 year old Wheaton Terrior Dakota. No symptoms, then she had a seizure and she couldn't move. We rushed her to the vet and her gums were pale. She was in critical condition.

We found out she had a tumor on her spleen that burst and was bleeding internally. Surgery was the only option to save her. But during the ultrasound, they saw other suspicious lesions which most certainly meant this tumor was cancerous and it had spread.

Dakota had no symptoms yesterday morning. she was herself. Now, we were making the decision to put her to sleep. They had her stabilized, so when we all said goodbye, we got kisses and her tail was wagging. It was so hard to leave her, but she was bleeding to death with no hope of being cured.

I miss her so much. This happened so fast. So please know many of us have had to deal with a sudden loss. It has helped me to read the stories here to know we are not alone. May God comfort you.

Mar 07, 2012
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Another heart breaking
by: Anonymous

My little Jack Russell had the same fate this morning. he was going on ten years old, my heart is breaking. If that wasn't enough, I lost my husband 6 weeks ago also. I will make it through and after some time has passed I will add another angel to my life as I can't go on without the love and wiggle from the love of a dog. But before that can happen, my tears have to stop flowing, and my heart has to accept another puppy.

Feb 01, 2012
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Dear My Heart is so Broken
by: Anonymous

I read your story and I am dealing with the same exact thing, we lost our Jack Russell 3 and a half weeks ago, same symptoms, nothing to let us know she was sick until it was too late. My story has been posted so if you want to go back and read it my name is Marge you should be able to find it.

I still cry every day, but it is getting better, family just was here and I showed them a large blanket I had made with my beloved Caylie on it. They loved it and we all had more tears. She was family, I'll miss her forever, but knowing we didn't let her suffer is better for me to believe now than it was the day she died.

I too thought maybe I should have just brought her home, maybe we could have had more time together, but that would have been more for us and not her. Her liver was 50 percent larger than normal and the excessive drinking was abnormal, and peeing all over, and she didn't want to do that, she tried to go out but we didn't know.

It's heartbreaking to read all the stories but it does help hearing that we were not alone. Now I am being told by many to get another dog. Well, I did look but NO it's not going to happen right now. I am just not ready, and I can't replace her. She was everything to me and I miss her too much. Sure dogs out there are are cute but I'm so worried now that maybe I would have to go through this again and I just can't.

You did the right thing, if you would have left your dog suffer and die at home he would have been in a lot of pain, so now the pain is gone and our little friends are together in doggy heaven happy and playing together.

Take care and it will get a little better each day, just try to stay busy with something.

Jan 08, 2012
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My heart is so broken
by: Anonymous

We lost our dog now 4 days ago, only knew about the cancer for 2 days till we ended her pain.

I read these stories and my heart breaks to all of you. I know how you feel, wondering if we made the right decision and second guessing ourselves. It's such a life changing thing that happens so fast. Monday she is fine, maybe just tired or drinking a lot, and not wanting to eat, so you take her to get checked that evening, then by Wed night she's gone. I keep telling myself I am so glad she didn't show signs earlier or maybe we wouldn't have had the time we did together. It's a terminal cancer (liver) and so I am grateful she was very happy and playful pretty much to the end. I didn't want her to suffer and when we were told it's liver cancer, also in her spleen, and the symptoms she got just in 2 days, it was so terrible.

We did what we felt best for her, we couldn't bring her home to suffer just so we had her for us, so if you think back and remember why you did it, then hold on to that. We all made that choice because of the love we had and will always have for our little friend.

I miss ours so much, and I really don't know how long it will be until the pain stops. All I can say is stay busy, or get on these sites and read others' stories, then you will know we are not alone.

Dec 06, 2011
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Tormented over decision to put my dog down
by: Davidson

Hi,

So sorry for the way you feel. The decision is never easy.

My Sonny bled into the abdomen and although the vet stopped the bleeding the tumour was inopperable and as his pressure went up he felt it would start again. Knowing that he could bleed to death at anytime and that the ruptured cancerous tumour would have released cancerous cells, prognosis would be poor. I decided to call it and the vet was of the same thinking.

I do have a good vet and was able to get an honest opinion and didn't feel pressured.

I think if you can talk to the vet it helps. Try not to beat yourself up about it. The main thing is the dog was loved and I think it's better to let a dog go a day too soon than a day too late.

I do hope you can find some peace and start to heal.

Nov 13, 2011
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I'm very sorry
by: Jennifer

I am sorry to hear that you feel tormented over the decision of laying your dog to rest. My dog has currently been diagnosed with heart and lung cancer just from an xray. He's been with us 2 weeks since his diagnosis. He's lost weight, he's vomiting, and he's very lethargic. Everytime he doesn't eat, or lays around, I break down thinking "This is it, I'll have to have him laid to rest." But then he might rebound the next day, and seem better, then it's 'No need for the vet, he's ok.' It is torture to decide when and when not to.

I was praying that he might pass in his sleep, so I won't be saddled with the heart wrenching burden of when to do this horrible thing. I don't like the responsibility of having to play God with my dog's life.

He's not himself anymore. He's sick. I think that we may have to do this. I am so sorry for you to have to go through this. I am so sorry that we have to go through this. I guess that all I can say is if your baby loses interest in all things, seems distant and lays around, then it may be time. Their sickness has consumed them, and it may be selfish of us to try to keep them here for our comfort and peace of mind.

Anyways, this is something I don't want to do, So God please let him go peaceful in his sleep. I really guess maybe I shouldn't give advice, I feel the torment just like you do. I hope that God will guide us to do the right thing, so please let me know what's going on with you. This week coming up will be difficult for me and my family, I am so scared. I don't want to do this either.

Oct 23, 2011
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Our Bozey Boy
by: Minnnie Z

I understand your feelings and fears. Our beloved Bozo was diagnosed with lymphoma a few days ago. It was such a shock as I took him in to the vet because he was drinking lots of water and had several accidents in the house. I thought that I was most likely over reacting or he had a bladder infection. Of course, it has been a nightmare since then. He was transferred to an emergency and specialists center. He is in stage four. He received and continues to get treatment. However, even with this, he will most likely only live about a month. I look into his beautiful dark eyes and struggle to accept this as reality. He follows me everywhere. Losing a pet is a pain beyond words... Praying for all struggling with this.

Jul 31, 2011
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Love our Dogs
by: Deb

I feel your pain. I agree with you, you were not thinking straight. I almost did the same thing. Our lovely Bo is also dying of cancer. She has last stage lymphoma. I was told a month ago that she should be put down by the vet.

I was so upset, I went home and told my husband. I cried my eyes out... Bo is only 4 years old.

Well we made the decision to keep her home to die. She is on steroids which help her some. She still eats and drinks. She is very weak and sleeps a lot in our bedroom with the air conditioner on. She can't play or do anything; just wants to be with me 24/7. We love her dearly.

She goes outside to go to the bathroom, and back to bed. I was told this type of cancer is not painful. I pray not. I would never want her to suffer. She has been bleeding out of her nose on occasion. It has spread to her sinus. It's hard to lose our pets.

I feel for you and don't beat yourself up. God is taking care of your dog now. In a peaceful Heaven.

Take care.

Feb 16, 2011
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Decision to put my dog down
by: Karen Baker

It is so easy to second guess. Please keep focused on your intention and that was to keep your dog from suffering. Take care. I hope your hearts hurt less as time goes by.

Feb 16, 2011
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Sorry for Your Loss
by: Spreti V

I went through something similar with one of my dals last year. That dog meant the world to me, got me through the death of my first husband and kept me going. He got sick suddenly and heard the same words "he's dying and won't make it home, we had to make that decision." I agonized over it but deep down I knew something was truly wrong with him. I now embrace all the good things he was to me and I to him. I hold on to that dearly. I hope you can do that too. I'm sorry for your loss.

Feb 16, 2011
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Tormented over Decision
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry for your loss, I totally understand and feel for you. We lost our beloved Holly almost 2 weeks ago. But like you it was so sudden, basically overnight. We were shocked, devastated, it was all in a matter of a few hours.

We were advised by the vet to put her to sleep, as she would not survive the night. But it was so fast - I wish we could have fed her a steak on her last night, and talked for hours and cuddled all night and told her how much we loved her. I know we did that every day anyways, but I guess you always want more. But many people have told me over the last few weeks that it was best for her, she only felt awful for a little while, oh she knew something was up by the look on her face and she was not happy, and I wanted to rescue her, but could not. So I feel your pain and I am so sorry we have to go through this, but it's because we love them so much and they loved us, and that's what make you a great pet owner and Mom/Dad. And in time we will feel a little better.

We did all we could. My Holly is playing with her brother Pika somewhere fun.

I Hope this helps you a little.

Take care
Leslie

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