View Full Version : Think it's time to let him go...

17th April 2007, 05:35 PM

You might remember that I posted a couple of weeks ago about Charlie's tumour (which had spread from testicle to abdomen). Well, he's been getting a worse, and we took him to the vet yeserday. The vet reckons he's in pain and we should let him go. Probably will do it this week. It's horrible having to make this decision though... He still looks pretty happy, and he wags his tail when he sees us. And he's still eating and drinking fine.

The tumour has caused one of his back legs to swell quite badly, and he also has had diarrhoea on and off for a couple of weeks. He is having some trouble getting about.

It's just so hard. I don't want him to suffer, but he still looks happy lots of the time. And he has seemingly been a bit better the last couple of days. The vet said they could possibly do further tests and try to treat him, but I don't want to put him through anything like that.

I guess we'll probably take the vet's advice, but it's hard when you doubt their opinion. And it doesn't help that we always see a different vet, so I'd never met this vet before.

Guess this is an impossible question, but how do we know when it's time?? I remember reading an article on here about it, but I can't seem to find it.

Pepsi x

Cathy T
17th April 2007, 06:05 PM
I'm so sorry to hear your sad news. I wish I could offer more but all I have is my sympathy. I know this is a hard decision...have had to make it a couple of times.

17th April 2007, 06:13 PM
It's horrible having to make this decision though... He still looks pretty happy, and he wags his tail when he sees us. And he's still eating and drinking fine. Pepsi x

I have experienced that exact feeling and therefore know how hard this is for you - guilt consuming. It takes a while to come to terms, but know your doing the right thing. There is a post in Karlin's database on when to know the right time and I really respect the information there. I read it mths after our lab was put down and really wished I'd seen it much sooner. Once I read it, I finally let the the guilt go and now talk about her most days with great happy thoughts. They live on with you through you, or so I feel.

17th April 2007, 06:14 PM
I'm so sorry you have to make this decision. We were in the same position last summer with Cassie and it is very difficult.

I would recommend going back to see the vet that you like and trust the most if at all possible. At least then your mind will be at rest.

You obviously love Charlie loads and I know you will make the right decision for him :flwr:

17th April 2007, 06:22 PM
The piece is here:


If he is generally doing OK I'd ask if he can take painkillers that would make him more comfortable for when he is in discomfort. If it isn't all the time, then I'd be inclined to give him a little more time. I'd also talk with a vet you do know who also knows Charlie. When I had to make this decision for Maisie, my little feline HIV+ cat, I asked two of my favourite women vets, who both love cats, what they would do. They felt it was better to let her slip away peacefully while she was very ill but not suffering terribly, rather than put her through another bout of the serious illnesses FHIV cats get (like humans). She was very thin and had been on a drip. It was a hard decision but I think was the right one. It helped to have advice from people who had helped save her when I first found her after a car accident, knew her health history, and knew my own mindset as well.

There is no absolutely right moment but as the article notes, it becomes a matter of weighing up many things.

Barbara Nixon
17th April 2007, 06:42 PM
I was lucky not to have to make the decision with Izzy, but I did have to with my last dog, Benji. He had a large tumour on his face, which the vet assured me was causing no pain, but that he would tell me when it was time.

The aweful day came, when the tumour would very soon lift his eyelids, causing his eyes to become uncomfortable. Benji was still bright eyed and eating his food, but I didn't want to leave it too late, so we had a lovely morning in the woods, where he was allowed to chew a small branch up, followed by a huge chicken dinner and then we went to the vets.

I may be odd, but I came out of the surgery, gave Monty a hug, had a good cry and then....had a surge of happiness. I'd been able to let my lovely gentle boy go before he could have pain and that was really something.

My only guilt was that I couldn't bear to be there at the very end, but I had him heavily sedated, so he didn't know that I'd left.

I'll be thinking of you both.

17th April 2007, 06:56 PM
Oh sweet Pepsi, I am sobbing at work reading/writing this.

My german shepherd Maggie was 13 when we had to let her go due to hip dysplasia, and we knew it was time because the things that she lived for, she was no longer capable of doing. She deteriorated so quickly, that it was really shocking to see her physical state change so much within a month. Her "job" was to check each room to make sure we were all safe before she went to sleep. She would always greet us at the door to welcome us home and check out any knew visitors.

As she faded, she would yelp in pain as she stood up to do her duties, then eventually couldn't even get up any longer. She was so depressed that she couldn't "work" anymore, that was when we knew it was time.

Charlie will tell you when it is time, and if he is still happy most of the time, then he probably isn't ready to go yet. I agree with Karlin and ask the vet for something to make him more comfortable and you will know when he is ready.
Hugs and prayers to you both during this difficult time.

17th April 2007, 06:59 PM
maybe you could get a second opinion on how comfortable he is, especially if you have doubts about the vet and you don't know them very well.

I'm a great fan of the second opinion, if nothing else you will feel peace of mind if they both think the same and you go ahead.

17th April 2007, 07:40 PM
Sounds like he does have some quality of life if he still eating and seems happy enough.

He'll let you know when it's time - when he stops eating and is miserable.

It's not an easy decision, but if you're really questioning it, it probably isn't the time just yet, because you'll instinctively know.

Give him lots of love and TLC xx

17th April 2007, 08:44 PM
I feel so sorry that you are having to make this decision. ((((hug)))) I've gone through it just once with our dog Maggie. All I can say is that when the time is right you will know it, and you won't question it. As unbelievably hard it was to drive to the vet and walk in that room and hold Maggie until the very end, it was the right decision, she was very old, and her body was shutting down on its own. It was a gut wrenching decision, but the right one. You'll know when the time has come...just listen to your heart.

17th April 2007, 08:50 PM

*HUGZ* to you and your family during this difficult time. As others have said, you will know when the time is right.

Please accept my deepest condolences and sympathy.. :paw:

Joanne M
17th April 2007, 09:23 PM
God bless you and your family at this very sad and difficult time. Whatever decision you make will be the best decision, you more than anyone else know and love Charlie. Whether you need to let him go tomorrow, three months from now or three years, he's had the best possible life with you and has been blessed. I hope knowing that, in some small way, will ease your sorrow.

Rj Mac
17th April 2007, 09:38 PM
i am so sorry to hear that you have to make this hard decision to put charlie to sleep, its something that every pet owner dreads :( :(

give him lots of love and tlc until the time comes

we will all be thinking of you

17th April 2007, 09:48 PM
So sorry to hear you and your family are having to go through this. Take care :hug: :hug: :hug:

17th April 2007, 09:59 PM
Thanks guys. Your support and advice is really appreciated. It is hard. We've just been out for a couple of hours and he seems more perky, which just makes the decision harder! I re-read my post, and I think I made him out to be healthier than he probably is... He's been refusing walks lately, has a sore bum from diarrohea (it looks pretty raw), and although he's eating, he has started to refuse some food (which is unlike him!). He also sometimes just stands around staring into space, seemingly not knowing what to do with himself.

It's hard as he's having his best day in some time (maybe due to new meds from vet yesterday). My OH was eating some chocolate and he was going a bit mad for it, and he was really happy when we came back in.

I'm just not sure if I will know when it's time - I can be pretty indecisive. It's also my b'day (30!). Not the best one ever :(

Pepsi (aka Paula) x

17th April 2007, 10:02 PM
How old is Charlie?

17th April 2007, 10:05 PM
Hi Holly - he's 14 and a half. Pretty good age. He also has quite severe MVD.

17th April 2007, 10:09 PM
Wow! What a long life he has had. Good luck with your decision. I can't imagine how difficult it must be. Keep us updated.

18th April 2007, 02:15 AM

I sent you a private message. I hope you have a chance to read it. It's pretty long and references some writing I did after both Toby and Gizmo died. It may be helpful for you as you try to decide what to do.


18th April 2007, 03:28 AM
Pepsi, I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this with Charley. I know how you feel as I've done that tough walk myself a couple of times.

Personally, I think you will know when the time is right. You have already made the decision & accepted the fact that you will have to help Charley on, so it is not as though you are in denial or anything. If you can, be with him when the time comes. I know some people feel that they just can't bear the pain of that & they don't want to break down, but I can tell you that as sad as it is, it can be comforting & reassuring to see how peaceful their passing is. Then as the years go by, you never have that pang of guilt about not being there. You will look back & smile remembering that you were there right to the end.

19th April 2007, 09:37 AM
Hi. We've decided to let him go :(

It has been a tough decision, but he has so many things wrong with him and the vet was pretty adamant that he was in pain. The swelling in his leg has not gone down, and that's apparently being caused by his tumour blocking the blood flow. He also has a very sore bum and has had loose stools for about 3 weeks - again probably due to the tumour. Last week was pretty bad - he would just stand staring into space, probably because he couldn't get comfy. It's been tricky because this week he has seemed better. Last week he wouldn't go for walks, but this week he been enjoying a little stroll. But... we've decided the facts are there - he has a tumour in his abdomen that the vet is convinced is causing him a lot of pain, he has a swelled leg which must also be uncomfortable, and he has a very sore bum which is not getting better. Also, the tumour is not going to get any smaller by itself, and he is too old and poorly to think about treating it.

He's just such a little sweetie. Will be so odd without him. The vet is going to come round here to do it. Up to now, I have been adamant that I don't want to be here (my partner will be). But now I'm starting to think maybe I should be here with him when he goes. I don't want to regret not being there for him.

Sorry, long post. Very sad,
Paula x

19th April 2007, 10:00 AM
:( :hug:'s to you Paula. I am so so sorry that the time has come. I dont think that you can ever really prepare yourself for that feeling.

You're all in my thoughts. Take care :hug:

19th April 2007, 10:10 AM
:hug: My thoughts are with you :hug:

19th April 2007, 10:24 AM
Pepsi, really sorry to hear that but at least he had a good long life with people that truly care for him!

19th April 2007, 10:47 AM
I'm sorry to hear that Pepsi. Sounds like you are doing the best thing for Charlie. If you can bring yourself to stay with him I don't think you will regret it. It's a very peaceful way for Charlie to go.

I'll be thinking of you.


19th April 2007, 10:48 AM
I am so sorry for your pain.

19th April 2007, 11:39 AM
I cant imagine ever having to make that decision.
Its something that really played on mind before getting Marlon and something I just cant come to terms with.

Think of all the joy he gave you over the years.
My thoughts are with you and your beautiful Cav.

19th April 2007, 12:12 PM
:hug: I'm so sorry as I know this is a very painful time for you. My heart breaks for you. :hug:

19th April 2007, 12:21 PM
So sorry that Charlies's time has come - you are doing the right thing for him - my thoughts are with you at this sad time.

19th April 2007, 01:32 PM
Paula, I'm so sorry about Charlie. I'll be thinking of you both today.

Barbara Nixon
19th April 2007, 01:39 PM
I'm so sorry, Paula, but it is the right decision. Letting them go is a special thing we can do for our pets, which is not allowed for fellow humans.

Don't feel guilty about being there. I'm the same. A way round this is deep sedation and say your goodbyes as he falls asleep; then leave the room. (i've done this in the past).

19th April 2007, 01:43 PM
oh (((( Paula ))))

this is so heartbreaking for you. Remember that we all know what you're going through and will be thinking of you today and in the coming days.

You're very brave. Take care.


19th April 2007, 01:44 PM
:( Oh Pepsi, I am so sorry that you have to make this decision, but it really is the right one. You have explored every option, and given Charlie the absolute best 14 years that a cavalier could have. Don't be scared about being there, it is very peaceful and it like they are falling into a sweet dream. He'll be waiting for you at the rainbow bridge. Good luck sweetie.

19th April 2007, 01:55 PM
oh I am so sorry *HUGZ*

Please accept my deepest sympathy and condolances at this tough time. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.. :hug::hug::hug::hug::hug::hug:

Molly's mom
19th April 2007, 04:15 PM
What a peaceful way for Charlie to go, in his own home with the people who love him most. My thoughts and prayers are with you today and the days to come.

Cathy T
19th April 2007, 04:30 PM
So sorry you are having to deal with this. Hugs and warm thoughts coming your way.

19th April 2007, 04:36 PM
So sorry to hear this Paula, but you're doing the right thing for Charlie.

It's good that he's in his home, surrounded by those who love him.

We're thinking of you.:flwr: :flwr: :flwr:

19th April 2007, 06:08 PM
I am so sorry you are going through this. My heart goes out to you, it is never easy. I will be thinking of you and Charlie.:hug:

Gracie's Mommy
19th April 2007, 06:52 PM
Pepsi...so sorry to hear that your having to make this difficult decision. Wishing you peace and comfort in your many memories with Charlie! :hug:

19th April 2007, 07:34 PM
.All I can say is that when the time is right you will know it, and you won't question it.

That's so true.
I'm so sorry to hear that you have to make that hard decision. HUgs and Kisses.

19th April 2007, 08:32 PM
I'm so sorry to hear about Charlie. My thoughts will be with you day. I wish charlie and peaceful and safe arrival to the Bridge. My Lab mix Sadie will be waiting there with open arms... Ooh, tearing up at work, have to stop writing. :(

19th April 2007, 10:36 PM
My thoughts are with you. You have clearly really discussed this and I think have found the way you need to take. Perhaps the vet has now come and gone, but if not, I just wanted to say that I feared being there the first time I ever decided to stay with a loved pet, and actually, I was very glad I did stay -- it brought a sense of completion and gentle letting go, and I got to sit alone and have time. As a result I know I would always want to be there. They slip away peacefully. And I think being there brings an extra sense of peace and calm to the person letting them go. :flwr:

20th April 2007, 05:29 AM
This is truly the hardest part of letting these little guys into our hearts...letting them go. I have had to go through this several times before and it is never easy. But you know you have made the right decision. I have always stayed with my pets until the end. But that is the right thing for me. You know what is best for you. My deepest condolences. You have many wonderful memories of Charlie. Peace.

Mabel's Mom
20th April 2007, 02:26 PM
Oh, sweet little Pepsi. I completely understand what you are going through. Mabel struggled only when she fell asleep (stopped breathing, then seizured due to brain tumor), the rest of the time she was fine...my sweet little girl and best friend. I think they would keep on hanging in there for us no matter what. It is soooo hard to let go, you feel like you are letting them down. But really, you are doing this because you love them so much and don't want them to hurt any more. I would find the vet you are most comfortable with and get thier opinion. If you decide to put to sleep...take lots of pictures of your sweet little friend. You'll be glad you did. My prayers are with you.