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Struggling With Whitey


Guest bigorangedog
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Guest bigorangedog

Last week, Whitey was doing great. I mean, if you didn't know there was anything wrong with him (osteo mets in his ulna and spine), you would never know that anything was wrong with him. He was bopping around, digging in his holes, acting normal.

 

Then, literally overnight, he took a turn. He spent all day yesterday crying (and he actually cries tears, too, in addition to whining, which breaks my heart) and unable to get comfortable in his bed. His one front leg was puffy, which led me to think he might have fractured it. He seemed miserable all day, although able to get up (with some difficulty) and go out to potty. Appetite was okay though. I called my vet at home last night and she said to bring him in this morning, so we did. And after sitting with him last night, I was almost positive that we were bringing him in to put him to sleep. He just seemed so sad.

 

I asked him this morning to let me know what he wanted me to do. And he was a little better. He went outside, toured around the yard (didn't just walk out, pee, come back in), growled at the young adoptables who were fussing with him, took some treats. When I told him we were going in the car, he wagged his tail to come and jumped in on his own before I could lift him.

 

Dr Meg came out to the van so he wouldn't have to walk on the slippery clinic floors, and he could be in his comfy environment (I love Dr Meg). When he saw her, he got up, put his ears up, and waited to be let to jump out of the van.

 

She and I talked for a long time, and she didn't think it was time to let him go yet. She said if it were her own hound (and she lost a greyhound to osteo last year), she would try another pain med first before giving up. She said he's bounced back so well in the past, he may rally again. Since he's been doing so well until now, maybe it's just a bump in the road.

 

The leg isn't fractured, it's just swollen. And in fact, all 3 of his legs are kind of swollen, which she attributes to cancer cells blocking the lymph system. We're adding a pain med to his regimen (which now includes: Artemisinin, doxycycline, cyclophosphamide, alendronate, deramaxx, tramadol, gabapentin, naltrexone, and a multivitamin) and she gave me some DMSO gel to rub on his legs for the edema.

 

I don't know what to think. I am worried that we are pushing him a day too long. He's resting well now, but he sure isn't moving well. I've got the DMSO and wraps on his legs and am hoping that will get the swelling down. But it just sucks. I KNOW that we're fighting a losing battle. I know he's going to get worse and worse, and I don't want to let him get too miserable. But if he's still wants to keep on fighting, then I want to see if we can still give him some good days.

 

He still perks up when I enter the room and looks to see whether I've brought him anything. And I bet that if I got up right now and told him we were going in the car, he would struggle to his feet, wag his tail, and limp on out there. But he's got to be hurting. So I just don't know what the hell to do.

 

I guess I don't really have a point with this post. Just that it sucks. We're having family photos taken tomorrow so that we could have a whole-family photo with him in it (we've only had him 5 months). I love this small white dog.

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I'm so sorry, Jen. Whitey is experiencing physical pain but the emotional pain you're experiencing is just as wretched.

 

You're in the state of limbo that I think we've all experienced: you depend on Whitey to tell you what he wants, but you're picking up on mixed signals and don't know how to interpret it. On the one hand, you want to follow your heart, on the other hand, you have the human trait of insight to know what lies ahead for Whitey.

 

Sometimes, I've experienced such helplessness and frustration that our hounds are so stoic. They don't let us know when they start to hurt, and by the time they do let us know, we have to deal with an illness that has advanced beyond the point of cure. When facing the decision you're living right now, I've had to force myself to remember that it's possible for our pups to look at us with bright eyes and wagging tails despite the fact that they're having pain; they're very good masqueraders -- too good.

 

The other thing that our pups cannot tell us is what we know will be happening to them in the days ahead.

 

I'm always the first one to reassure my friends that, when facing their dog's end-of-life, the dog will communicate to them when they're "ready". But after losing so many of my pups in the past few years, I've come to understand that the sign we all wait for may not come as we expect. It's OK to be the one to make the decision with your intellect, even if your heart still hasn't made up its mind.

 

Whatever you decide, it will be coming from your love and devotion to Whitey. You are a wonderful, adoring mom, and whether it was for 5 months or 15 years, Whitey found a home in your heart.

 

:grouphug

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I'm sorry. :( Sometimes you just have to make the decision for them. I've looked so closely for my pets to "tell me they're ready" and it just doesn't always happen. The spirit outlasts the body sometimes.

Rugrat's Rebel (Simon) 09/03/1995-03/22/2010, Silly Savannah 05/14/1995-02/13/2009, Isabella de Moreau the Sloughi 05/15/1993-10/14/2008, Hammy the IG 06/11/04 and ChiChi the Chihuahua 2003

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Guest eaglflyt

Oh, I'm so very sorry for Whitey, you and all your family. Huge hugs to all of you. If he wants more days and you can tell, do what you can to help him through. When his pain is too much for him, help him out of it. I know those are difficult to accurately interpret. I'll be praying for each of you involved in this. I'm also praying that someone will make a breakthrough to have a cure for cancer, sooner, rather than later.

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This just sucks.

 

I'd probably give the new meds a day or two to see if they help any and then go from there.

 

When we let Mimi go, it was strictly due to old age. I don't know that she was ready. But, her body was just giving out and we were worried we'd come home and find that she'd seriously hurt herself. Sometimes with an illness they really know it's time and let you know. Other times they don't know what we know and we have to make the decision.

 

It sounds like you have a vet who's really responsive. I'd probably just ask myself each time I was wondering if he was ready if I would be OK with him being any worse than he is. If the answer is no, it's probably time.

 

He's such a special little guy. I'm glad I got to have him here a couple of days to get to know him. He couldn't have anyone better taking care of him than you guys.

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Wingnut (DC Wingnut), Voo Doo (Voo Doo von Bonz), Barb (Myokie Barb) & Romey (Nose Stradamus)
at the bridge Molly (CM Blondie) 9/8/14, Maddy (Reuniting) 10/17/13, Rocky (Ranco Popeye) 1/7/12, Mimi (Flying Ringneck) 8/13/09 and RJ (RJ What For) 5/3/05

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Guest zoolaine

I'm sorry you have to go through this :grouphug I would give the meds a few days before deciding anything, and after that I don't know what to tell you. My Sunny has cutaneous lymphoma and although in remission now, his time is very limited. I pray every night that he will pass quietly and peacefully in his sleep so I don't have to make the decision for him. :cry1

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I have a lump in my throat reading your thread. I know the feeling and it is terrible. You love Whitey so much and it's so obvious in your posts. I send prayers for peace and comfort for you. Remember Whitey lives in the present. I think at times we have to make the choice that is so heartbreaking because we love them so much. I agree with the posts saying they don't always send the sign. Sometimes the will to live is so strong. This is true in animals and humans. Don't measure the days, measure the love and that is HUGE. I think many times the answer is there, we just have to listen. Again, my prayers for you and Whitey. Love never dies.

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Pam with greys Avril, Dalton & Zeus & Diddy the dachshund & Miss Buzz the kitty

Devotion, Jingle Bells, Rocky, Hans, Harbor, Lennon, NoLa, Scooter, Naomi and Scout at the bridge

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We took Cosmo to the vet toward the end of last August and carried her in because she was unable to walk on her own anymore. It started with her remaining front leg swelling up and then shortly thereafter she couldn't get up on her own anymore. We thought we were going to be saying goodbye. Instead our vet put her on lasix for the swelling and prednisone to help her get her strength and appetite back. It was like a freaking miracle. Within a few days she was back to doing her mile and a half beach walks. And even though our vet thought we probably had only another week with her, Cosmo wound up blessing us with 44 more magical days. I don't know if your vet's considered either of these drugs but they really did work a miracle for Cosmo as I said. At the same time we'd upped Cosmo to 6 Artemisinin a day and I really think that helped slow the growth of her tumors as well.

 

My prayers and good thoughts are with you and Whitey. Good luck.

...............Chase (FTH Smooth Talker), Morgan (Cata), Reggie (Gable Caney), Rufus
(Reward RJ). Fosters check in, but they don't check out.
Forever loved -- Cosmo (System Br Mynoel), March 11, 2002 - October 8, 2009.
Miss Cosmo was a lady. And a lady always knows when to leave.

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:bighug I think if it were me, I'd give the new meds a few days, to see what they can do. I have had a cat that showed no signs of being ready to go, even when his kidneys had completely failed, and a dog that told me clearly that she was done, and ready to leave. It is just so hard :sad1
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Guest Smiley

My heart is just completely broken for you Jen. I know how painful it is to watch your fur kid in pain. And that he cries tears-that is overwhelming. I think that you are so aware of how he is doing that your heart will tell you (and Whitey too) when it's time. It's so hard. I am so sorry you and Whitey are going through this. I am holding you both close in thought and am sending you both gentle hugs.

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Jen, just sending you lots of :grouphug :grouphug ! It is so hard to do what is best for our beloved Greys. Keep on loving Whitey, he will tell you when it is time.

Tin and Michael and Lucas, Picasso, Hero, Oasis, Galina, Neizan, Enzo, Salvo and Noor the Galgos.
Remembering Bridge Angel Greyhounds: Tosca, Jamey, Master, Diego, and Ambi; plus Angel Galgos Jules, Marco and Baltasar.

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I am so sorry you are going through this. No one knows your dog as well as you do. The decision should be yours. You are his best friend and will do what is right for him. G-d bless.

I do hate cancer. It is the thief who robs us, everyday, of those we love.

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Guest jettcricket

I'm so sorry that you and your sweet Whitey are going thru this....my Cricket developed a lot of swelling with her one leg and in the end both legs developed a lot of swelling for the same reasons.

 

We opted to give her prednisone and it did help a bit and also a warm compress to try and help relieve the swelling.....damn cancer.....sending you comfort and much support. sad.gif

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I'm so sorry this is happenning. You both are in my prayers. I believe you already are doing what in my opinion is the right thing- you asked him. After all the pain, the suffering, the unknown, the tragedy etc. with so many of my wonderful animals thats what it has come down to as far as I'm concerned. I ask the animal what do they want. I believe they have a right to decide for themselves and I know they know more about what is going on with them and what will go on with them then we do in most cases. As I speak I have a kidney dog that refuses to let me give her fluids and you know what she told me? She said that she had the right to have her wishes respected and she didn't want it-that her reasons were her business and didn't matter anyway because she felt she had the right to decide; and you know what? I realize she's right. I'm sure I would feel the same way if it was me instead of her. There is a measure of dignity when allowed to make your own life decisions. Keep talking to Whitey-respecting his wishes even if you don't understand them- and acting out of love, and the best outcome for all concerned will evolve and you will have the peace of knowing you were nothing but a blessing to him in his time of need. God bless you both.

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