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Watching Sherman Decline Is Heartbreaking


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Guest Shermanator

Sherman was diagnosed osteosarcoma 2 weeks ago. DH & I are devastated, and are focusing on simply keeping him happy and comfortable for the rest of his life. Currently he is taking 100mg if tramadol in the morning, and at night. For awhile, he was back to his old self. Happy, romping, playing, my good boy. But the past several days the limp has come back. I cannot tell if he's in pain - he's a very stoic boy and rarely cries if he hurts. But, I am falling apart. The stress of knowing the inevitable is coming is torturing me. He still gets up (very slowly) for breakfast and dinner, and when his meds wear off a little, his spark comes back. He is chewing bones sporadically, but the meds make him super tired, and he is happy sleeping. Our other greyhound over the past several days has started to stay close to him. (They've never been the best of buds, so this is unusual for Patton to stay really close.)

I know he is declining. Slowly, but still declining. Watching him is tourtuing me. I am falling apart from the stress of watching him. I know once he stops doing some of his favorite activity, its time. He's not there yet. We are savoring every moment with him, but it is really, really hard.

How do/did you deal with watching your beloved greyhound with osteosarcoma? To many people, its 'just a dog, not a child' but we are childless by choice, and our boys (Sherman and Patton) are our 'children.' Sigh.

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My heart goes out to you and I am so sorry it's all happening. I have had to sit by and watch one of mine through a serious illness, wasn't Osteo though.

 

Telling someone to be strong is so much easier said then done. Reach out when you need to.

 

You both are tucked in our prayers

Claudia-noo-siggie.jpg

Missing my little Misty who took a huge piece of my heart with her on 5/2/09, and Ekko, on 6/28/12

 

 

:candle For the sick, the lost, and the homeless

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I am so sorry. 100mg Tramadol BID is a good dose, yet you still have room to play with it. Please check with your vet on their recommendation, but I know that I can give Pal 150mg BID if he needs it.

 

You can fall apart later, we'll be here for you. Vent here as often as you need to. But savor and enjoy every new memory that you make every day with Sherman. He is "in the moment" and it sounds as tho he is having some really good ones. Be in them with him, and try not to let him feel how upset you are. I know ... just do the best you can. grouphug.gifgrouphug.gif

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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Can he have rimadyl/deramaxx/metacam (one of those, not all 3) in addition to the tramadol? That might help with the pain, without zoning him out more.

 

Batman had a different type of cancer. We had more time than most people get, to come to terms with the fact that his illness would be terminal. When thing happened such as not wanting to eat, vomiting, etc., we adjusted meds and gave them a fair chance to work. When I adopted him, I promised him a comfortable life. The day he wasn't comfortable anymore and there was nothing I could do about it ... that was the day I let him go.

 

Sending hugs and gentle scritchies to you and your sweet boy.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest NeroAmber
:grouphug I'm so sorry you're going through such a horrible experience, I hope he stays happy for as long as possible... :grouphug
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Guest CDNgreys

I'm so sorry you are going through this.

I too am childless by choice and my pets are a huge part of my family.

It is heartwrenching to watch them decline. I took so many pictures and did what I could to give Arnie enjoyment for his last 2 days. We didn't get a lot of notice that it was OS. He had been at the vet's for a limp that the vet diagnosed as a back problem. 5 weeks later I noticed a very large lump/swelling on the inside of his back leg and I knew what was going on and the xrays confirmed it, OS.

 

I crammed as much fun into those days and photographed it all.

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Many of us have been there and deal with it the best we can.

When Paxx was declining I stayed with her as much as time would allow. She was uncomfortable and I made the decision when the day for the Rainbow Bridge would come.

I laid down with her and talked to her and told her there would be no more pain.

In between, I would run to my PC and get on Greytalk, it helped me tremendously. Take one day at a time and we are all with you and your hubby at this time. :f_white

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Guest Energy11

We did this with our Max. He was sent to The Bridge about three months after diagnosis. He too, had his good and bad days. Mostly good until the last month or so, when he stopped eating. Getting him to eat was a challenge. We did have to increase his pain meds, too.

 

Best to be sure Sherman is getting the right dose of pain meds to keep him relatively pain-free. You and your vet can decide what is best, and there are other things like pain patches they can give if necessary.

 

Best advice I can give is LOVE the heck out of him! Spoil him, and try to do something special with him each day!

 

Sending you all the love, hugs and prayers I can, Dee.

Edited by Energy11
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Guest Mom2Shiloh

Everyone pretty much gave all the good advice I could have offered... I'll just cry a few tears here and hold you all in my heart with tons of prayers and mega white light. Being in the moment with them is probably my second hardest thing to do; but if you can focus on celebrating his life and loving him to the fullest in these days, you will be helping him and you will be so glad you did. Sending many prayers...

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I am so sorry. Others who know much more than I have posted here in other threads to say that staying ahead of the pain in paramount. Make sure to talk to your vet about escalating pain meds and pain med combos. As far as the rest, please feel free to post here as often as your need to. So many have been down this road and will help you as best they can. Just spoil him rotten and be present in every moment to make each of Sherman's remaining moments better than the last.

 

grouphug.gifgrouphug.gifgrouphug.gifgrouphug.gifgrouphug.gif

Linda, Mom to Fuzz, Barkley, and the felines Miss Kitty, Simon and Joseph.Waiting at The Bridge: Alex, Josh, Harley, Nikki, Beemer, Anna, Frank, Rachel, my heart & soul, Suze and the best boy ever, Dalton.<p>

:candle ....for all those hounds that are sick, hurt, lost or waiting for their forever homes. SENIORS ROCK :rivethead

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Guest PhillyPups

I am so sorry you are going through this incredibly painfully heart-wrenching journey. :bighug

 

The only thing we can do is cherish the moments we are given. It amazed me when Stepper was failing how the others would 'help" him as Patton is doing with Sherman. Our hounds bond very differently than we expect them to.

 

Jay (Batmom) gave good advice medication wise. SugarBear and TigerPower both had their pain controlled with deramaxx and tramadol.

 

SugarBear's breeder gave me wonderful words of wisdom as we were traveling this journey with her. John simply said - we need to ask ourselves are we keeping them alive for us or for them - as long as they are enjoying their life it is for them, when the time comes they no longer enjoy life because of the pain, then it is for us.

 

The selfish part of me wants all my angels back. Losing one is the one thing in greyhpund adoption that never gets easier. :bighug

 

We are here for you.

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Guest kydie

ANYONE that says it is JUST a dog, has never loved or been loved by a dog!!!!!!!!

My children are grown and gone, so these are my babies now :love2

I am so sorry for your pain, nothing anyone can post here can change it, but eveyone here knows it. :bighug

Be strong, your pup needs you now, more than he ever has :candle

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It is always almost unbearably sad when we are slowly losing one of our much loved dogs to a terminal illness. The keyword there is 'almost' because there is indeed a coping mechanism. You get the medication as right as you can with the help of the vet, give them extra love and affection, and make some special time for yourself so that you can give all this extra care without showing signs of being too stressed. You have to detatch a little... like wearing a different hat for different parts of the day. The dog will benefit greatly from you having these less stressed periods. Eventually, when that awful day to let the dog go to Rainbow Bridge arrives, you will be able to do it for them out of pure love. Then you must allow the healing process that is Grieving to commence by embracing it, crying freely, and letting it come of the days and weeks in waves of diminshing intensity. You will get thru the caring and treasuing phase, and you will get thru the greiving too. I don't know how, but we all manage it somehow. Take comfort from the healing, caring thoughts of others wherever you may find them. You are not, never were, nor ever will be alone when you face something like this. Treasure the time that remains for it is always precious and meaningful.

One day Osteo and other nasty diseases will be more treatable, or can be held off until extreme old age. Even today the pain relief we can give is so much more effective than in our grandparent's day. Keep hope alive just one day at a time.

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I think we all can understand those feelings of helplessness, watching our precious Greys decline, and knowing the our time together is more and more finite. But something that I try to hold onto is this: they live in the moment, and don't see the sadness to come. As difficult as it is for us to not see that too, I think we have to try, for their sake. Don't let the monster steal your precious time away from you now because then it will have won twice. Sherman knows he is safe and loved NOW. You are there for him, keeping him safe and as free from pain as possible because you love him so much, and when it is time, and you know you can't keep him from pain any longer, you will still do what you have to do, out of love.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Sherman.

gallery_11446_3599_3864.jpg
Nancy, Mom to Evangelina, Kiva and Laila
Missing Lacey, Patsy, Buster, my heart dog Nick, Winnie, Pollyanna, Tess, my precious Lydia, Calvin Lee, and kitties Lily, Sam and Simon
My Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Catsburgandhoundtown

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Same thing here my Andy has the same thing I have --congestive heart failure , when he comes in from a very run and pee or poop he has a very hard time breathing so I put my oxygen mask on him for a while and it makes him better , he is 12 now and my best buddy.

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Guest Heehoo

First I am so sorry you're going through this. It is never easy, even knowing

the end is near, it is still not easy. Trying to be strong is not easy either. But

some how we do it. My advise since I've been there once with osteo & twice

with hermangio sarcoma is spend as much time with him as possible. Take

lots of pictures, even on his worse feeling day, take a picture.

Eat a lot of ice cream together. Watch tv on the bed.

I was "lucky" enough that I was still at home when Gogh was diagnosed with

osteo & I was home with him. But I was there to see the tumor on his leg get

bigger too.

He will let you know when its time. They will give you a look & your heart

will know. Don't keep him around because of your feelings. He will be strong

in your weakest moment. :beatheart

Edited by Heehoo
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Guest SpicyMom

I lost my heart cat this spring - only 12 yrs old and the love of my life. We nursed him through his decline (enlarged heart/liver failure) and I'll can say is, you'll cry - a lot - and that's ok. As hard as it is going to be, it will give you time to prepare mentally. In the end that will help. I lost one cat suddenly and still haven't come to terms with it 6 years later. My heart cat passed away at home with all the family around and is buried in the front garden. When he passed, we were ready (and so was he.)

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Can he have rimadyl/deramaxx/metacam (one of those, not all 3) in addition to the tramadol? That might help with the pain, without zoning him out more.

 

 

This. We are going through the exact same thing with Sutra, but, tramadol makes him a zombie. His pain is controlled with deramaxx and robaxin (muscle relaxer). He's much more "present" this way. So far he has not declined much, for which I am grateful, but, I know the day will come, and I've broken down several times when he's just had a bad morning and I've been worried that he's slipping away. He just keeps plugging away though, and usually by afternoon he is feeling better after he's had some food and had his meds start working for the day.

 

His shoulder has started to swell a little. He's having xrays on Wednesday to see where we're at. He only has a slight limp, actually to the untrained eye he walks normally. He seems to hurt if he romps at all in the yard, so, he's under strict "no running" orders.

 

I've told him that I really need him here with me, but, I'll understand when he decides it's time to go, and I'll help him. Usually that's met with a single lick on my arm, as if to say, "okay mom, but, I'm still here and not ready yet...how about a cookie?"

 

I try not to cry in front of him. That might seem a little bit weird, but, I just try to keep it private. They all tend to be upset and concerned if I cry.

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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Guest TeddysMom

My heart is breaking for you. I understand totally, I am human childless also and my dogs are my everything. All you can do is spoil Sherman, give him anything he wants and spend every minute you can with him. Your mourning process has already begun and it will be very hard on you but just remember what a good life you gave him and the one last gift you will be able to give him when he needs it the most. You and your DH will be in my prayers. Hugs to Sherman, he is loved by so many people that have never even met him.

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