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Thread: Think it's time to let him go...

  1. #1
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    Default Think it's time to let him go...

    Hiya,

    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

  2. #2
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    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.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepsi View Post
    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.

  4. #4
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    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
    Casshon

    Molly (Blenheim) & Bella (Tri)
    Honey, Cassie & Tiki (Cavalier Angels)

  5. #5
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    The piece is here:

    http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=8819

    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.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  6. #6
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    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.
    Barbara, Monty, Joly and Teddy.

  7. #7
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    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.
    I love my Wesley, Cody, Zoey & Stewie

  8. #8
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    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.

  9. #9
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    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

  10. #10
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    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.
    Lynn
    Momma to Molly (blen) Maxwell (tri) Nora (blen) and 2 kitties

    Ohhh yeah...and 2 human (20 & 21 yr old) "children"

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