What do you do when you know your pet is terminal?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Shygal, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

    May 26, 2003
    New York
    My beagle Sam has been coughing and gaining weight, acting lethargic and depressed, so I took him to the vet. They did an xray and found that his heart is square shaped, due to a tumor/weakness of the heart wall. Fluid is building up in his lungs and body , and his blood oxygen is bad due to his heart being weaker and weaker :(

    There isnt anything they can do to operate, or fix it. He has some water pills that will help him but it wont cure anything or stop the inevitable. The vet said one day we will just....find him. He will go peacefully and not in pain , that doesnt make it any easier :( The vet also mentioned that it wont be a long time before that happens.

    What do you do? I look at him and want to cry. Do you just go on as usual? Do you do special things for him?
    They said if he loses weight it will be easier on his heart, but do I make him hungry all the time? The weight is mostly fluid anyway.

    Sigh...sorry if this is a depressing thread :(
  2. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    US of A
    It is very hard when you know there's nothing you can do.

    My cocker, Maggie, had a breast cancer. We knew she wouldn't last long, (but she did last 5 months) I made to decision to have her put to sleep on March 17, 2001. :waa: She was my good girl, and wasn't in pain, but I knew it was time. So before I took her to the vet, I gave her a pound of ham. :D It was her favorite, and dogs aren't supposed to have ham/pork products, but I thought, let her enjoy it, & she did!

    We treated her like the good girl & great friend she was until the end. Never really treating her alot different, except knowing that she wouldn't be here forever, she got more cuddles & treats. The vet said we could try operating (she also was starting to have a little heart problems), but couldn't say what the long or short term outcome would be, so in the end, I decided she had enough. She would've been 12 that year. :( We still miss her, no one can take her place!

    Tricia (who is now all drippy :( )

  3. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2002
    South Central Michigan
    So sorry to hear about your special friend. Been there before myself. If it were me I would most likely do the things that make him most happy and if it became obvious that his quality of life was so uncomfortable that he was suffering, I would call the vet and have him injected while holding him in my arms while I spoke softly to him. It is hard to do, but I never had any regrets.
  4. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

    May 9, 2002
    I am not sure why you even posted this. You do what you think you SHOULD do. Of couse! This is a purely subjective thing. No one can tell you what to do. You and your dog are different than any other person or any other dog.

    OF course we do special things for them! Duhhh. Doesn't that come naturally? You know your dog..proceed from there.

    If you just want someone to hold your hand, we can do that. Many of us have been there and done that, and it's not fun at all! I wish there were some way to make it easier for you and for your dog.

    And believe me, we all feel badly for you. Just hate losing a dog! It is our fate that we outlive them. Doesn't help that we know that going in.

    Just went through this myself(lost him on Dec 15th) and when the suffering started, I ended it.

    I suggest you do the same, but again..it's all up to you.

  5. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

    May 26, 2003
    New York
    Well duhhhh I'm kinda sorry I did now. :(
  6. Irish Pixie

    Irish Pixie Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2002
    Shygal, take whatever LQ says with a grain of salt...it's usually nasty anyway. My almost 11 year old beagle is slowly declining too. Just enjoy the time you have with him. I am with my Champy.

    Thinking of you,

  7. woodsrunner

    woodsrunner Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2003
    It's a secret
    Well I'm sure the reason she posted this wasn't because she wanted a sarcastic reply.

    Maybe just an offer of a ear to listen would have been more appropriate.

    ShyGal, Like I said in my email, you're living the days I dread. My advice, if he's not suffering treat him like any other family member. Give him all the loving he'll take. When he wants a break let him have it. Take lots of pictures.

    If you need to talk just PM or email me.
  8. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jul 20, 2004
    First, you cry. Then enjoy every day that you have him in your life and try to prepare yourself for the day that you find he's passed away. I don't know how to do that, but I keep telling myself I have to. Our kitty, Casper, has chronic kidney failure. There's no cure, no operation. There's special food, but he won't eat it. He's 14 years old and when we found out about his condition a few years ago we decided to let him live his life out as best he can. When the time comes...and it's coming soon...we will have him put to sleep. We don't want him to suffer. Right now I spend my evenings with Casper in my lap. I don't get up for hours. This is Casper's time and he loves it. I know that I will miss him terribly when he is gone. It's the only thing I can do to make Casper happy and content and I'll be darn if I'll stop doing it.

    My heart goes out to you. PM if you ever need to talk and don't want to get rude, sarcastic remarks in return.
  9. RandB

    RandB Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    southern New Jersey
    Sounds like a lot of us are going through this - the curse of animal ownership!

    We have a 13 yr. old Belgian shepherd. He has back-end weakness, two fatty tumors, a persistant cough, has funny spells once in awhile where he can get shaky and staggers, and he has "senior moments" where he kind of spaces out.
    All this said, he still enjoys his life. He eats well, goes for his walks, still tries to play with our younger dog.
    Our house is becoming a kind of doggy nursing home - we had to cover all slippery floors with carpets so he doesn't fall down, we had to put a gate across the bathroom doorway (during a T-storm he climbed into the tub to hide and was stuck there for several hours before we got home, he couldn't walk for 2 days) we have a dog ramp for him to get in and out of the van, I have several harness-type mobility devices for him when his back gets real bad, the top of my fridge is lined with his pill bottles for his supplements and medicine. We won't be able to travel anywhere until he is gone, as he can't travel anymore, and there is nobody we could leave him with who could deal with his problems.

    All this said, he is worth it. He has been a great dog for us over the years. We just take each day as it comes with him, and I think we will know when the end is here. At least I will feel like we did everything we could for him.
  10. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 21, 2004
    deep south texas
    This is going to sound cold hearted but we dig a hole walk the critter to the hole and down into it then shoot them behind the ear, as its cruel to prolong their suffering.I mean I don't like to do it but its better for the critter not to suffer.
  11. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    Shygal, take comfort in knowing his failing and his passing will be painless. Make the most out of what time he has left.

    If he likes going for walks and chasing birds, let him do that. Indulge him in his favorite activities. Let him die with his boots on instead of depriving him of a good time in his last days. It's been my experience they have a boost of energy right before their time.
  12. DAVID In Wisconsin

    DAVID In Wisconsin Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2002
    Wisconsin & Mississippi
    I do feel for you! I lost my 4 footed friend of 13 1/2 years in February. The last week, I knew then end was near so I gave her more attention and lots of spaghetti (her favorite).

    Don't worry. Not every single poster here is cold hearted and just looking to start trouble. As you can see some do have a heart.
  13. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2004
    So sorry for you Shy <<<<hugs>>>> I know how you feel, I have one thats not going to last much longer as well. I would say love him up lots, if he's not in pain, let him go when its his time. More<<<<<hugs>>>> :waa:
  14. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

    Feb 3, 2003
    Central NY
    As long as he is still with you and pain free, try to enjoy the time you have left.

    You friend is still with you. If you waste that time fretting over the inevitable, you may regret it forever.
  15. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    When I knew my 16 year old cocker spaniel had spleen cancer I went ahead and spoiled him. He loved going for rides, so I let him come along wherever I went. He got to carry around socks, which he just loved and I never allowed before. We went out to where he could swim after ducks and dig for moles.

    Then after a couple of months went by when I noticed he just didn't have much energy and was coughing, I had him put to sleep. It was horrible. He was a really great dog, smart and scrappy, a great hiking buddy (I kept his coat cut very short).

    Shygal, I really feel for you. The buggers just worm their way into your heart and then they die before we do. Give that guy a hug for me.
  16. Phantomfyre

    Phantomfyre Black Cat Farm Supporter

    Jul 1, 2004
    N. Illinois
    Hon, that's so hard. I'd spoil him rotten with love and attention. Tell him you love him often. Stop frequently to give him an extra hug or pat. In a way, you are lucky that you have some warning, so you can both prepare for it together, you know?

    I have a 6-year-old cat who has chronic kidney failure and a 28-year-old horse who's been my friend my ENTIRE life. (Mom got him when I was an infant and he was a 2-year-old.) I never know with either one of them when I might have to say goodbye. So every day, I make a point to give them (and all the critters, really) extra love. Cause you never know, ya know? And that way, when the time comes, there will be no regrets - only loving memories.

  17. second_noah

    second_noah Local Yokel

    Nov 15, 2004
    Nawth Carolinuh
    ((((((BIG HUGGS))))))

    When I knew that my Sherman wasn't going to be with me much longer, I cried a lot and cried some more. It was almost as if I grieved him while he was alive. I think that really helped too. I loved on him A LOT and he pretty much got to do all the fun things that made him happy. Then when the day finally came when I knew he was in too great of pain to allow it to continue, we got in the car and rode to the clinic and I held him while we put him down.

    I miss him so much, but I know he's in a better place.

    I know it's rough, but you'll get through it. When you're able to accept it, it's a lot easier when the time does come.
  18. pistolsmom

    pistolsmom Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2005
    Here's how we dealt with the situation...........we loved him and pampered him and kept him comfortable. And yes we fed him plenty of his favorites! And then the day came when his hips finally gave out..he went down and couldn't get up and was obviously in pain. We had him put to sleep. We felt that we would do anything for him as long as he wasn't in pain but didn't want him to suffer.
  19. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 6, 2003

    I'm so sorry for what you're going through. Enjoy what time you have, and know that you did your best by your furry friend.

  20. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    well I apply the same scale of judgement i would apply to myself if I was sick and terminal...
    when i am in constant pain, I cant comfortably take a walk to the can for a crap on my own, if I am mesing myself, or in so much discomfort i cant eat on my own, walk along side ya and not get dizzy from lack of breathing ability.....

    just leave the room and let me end it.
    since our lil friends dont have oposeable thumbs, we have to give them some help. Its what I would want for myself.
    ot being able to breathe and being weak and sick all the time isnt ok, if there is no hope of it ever getting better.

    when theyve had enough, they will tell ya, just listen real close.