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Severe Liver Problems


Guest rickik
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Guest rickik

Just left the vet and am heartbroken. My sweet 12 year old girl "Oz" won't be with me much longer. Vet did the blood work and said some of the liver indicators are off the charts - too high to measure. She is not in any pain at the moment but has a lot of fluid retention, dark stools and urine. She threw up while I was out getting her some meds (Spironolactone and Famotidine) but is resting comfortably right now. Actually she seems fine and in good spirits. Got her LOTS of treats and will cook her a chicken dinner tonight. Vet said she will likely stop eating, more vomiting etc and because of the fluid buildup may just have a heart attack in her sleep. He said she would not be in much pain though. My big concern is: How do I know when it's time to let her go? I don't want her to suffer and feel that quality of life is more important than quantity. This is so hard. Appreciate any advise.

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I'm sorry you're facing this. I don't know a lot about liver disease, buy I do know there are a few supplements that can be quite helpful for liver support. Your girl may be too far along, but it can't hurt. The two you want are milk whistle and sam-e. There is veterinary product called Denamarin that contains both. Pricey, but I would start there and if it helps, you can always switch to less expensive human versions as long as there's no difference when you do. Also, Vetri-Science makes some really nice products and has a few I believe that are for liver support. You might choose one of the herbal blends and use that as well. Hopefully others have better info for you. You could consider seeing an internal medicine specialist if you wanted a second/more qualified opinion to see if there are other treatment options.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Does the vet you do you not what to pursue further diagnostics and treatment? If not then you will need to see how she does-attitude, lethargy and I don't like to say this because I have seen very critically dogs eat but, keep an eye on her appetite. One day you will just know ;-(

 

Edited--I was going to suggest a lot of diagnostics, suggestions of medications and quite frankly hospitalization/ultrasound, seek an internist but, I thought perhaps the OP didn't want to pursue further treatment. Everyone has their own limits.

Edited by tbhounds
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Guest rickik

Sorry to say but she is too far along for any viable options. About the only thing I could do would be further diagnostic tests to determine the exact cause of the problem. Knowing the cause (cancer, tumor etc.) doesn't really do us much good, as far as the outcome goes. Her liver is so bad that total failure is eminent. And at her age I see no options. At least she (and I) have enjoyed a long and happy life together.

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My fox terrier got very swollen at the end. We knew he was having some liver issues. He had 7 pounds of fluid in him and there was blood in the fluid. He was dripping fluid from where they took the sample. My vet said he could start hemorrhaging fluid at any time. We let him go . I didn't want him to suffer any more. I could not let his last minutes be in pain and fear.

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The milk thistle phytosome (high quality) is a biggie. It can make a worthwhile improvement sometimes. I am so sorry. I know how hard this is. Just love her and talk to her and ask her what she wants. She'll tell you. In your heart you will know when-you won't want to admit it-but you'll know. :grouphug

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How sad, I'm so sorry. You could try the Milk Thistle but I suspect it will mainly benefit you in the sense that you can still try something. If the fluid build up becomes serious then it could possibly be reduced to improve quality of life by paracentesis but you wouldn't want to do this more than a couple of times.

 

I try to use this protocol when thinking about euthansia.. it is never easy to decide and 'signs' are not always forthcoming if we get too close to the coping strategy.

 

When Considering Euthanasia ask yourself these questions: (From a Dog Health book written by a vet)

 

1) Is the dog free of distress, pain or discomfort, and could the pain be controlled?
2) Can the dog walk and balance fairly well?
3) Can the dog eat and drink without vomiting?
4) Is the dog free of inoperable tumours which are painful?
5) Can the dog breathe without difficulty?
6) Can the dog urinate or defecate without difficulty or incontinence?
7) Does the dog have an owner who is able to cope physically and
mentally with any nursing that may be needed?

If effective treatment is not possible then answering 'No' to any of those questions means there is no blame in having the dog put to sleep.

Next, ask yourself if it was yourself in your dog’s situation, would you actually wish to continue living? Better a day too soon than a day of misery too late.

 

Then ask your vet if they think it is time to consider letting the dog go. If not then how long and what to watch out for in the quality of life equation.

 

(I also ask extended family members as they are in a position to see the whole picture.)

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Guest rickik

Sorry to say but she seems to be near the end. I boiled her some chicken breast and she ate a few bites then walked away from it. Appetite is almost completely gone - even for her favorite treats. What little she does eat causes her to vomit in a couple hours. She does seem to be resting comfortably though - that's the good part. Even her short walks outside are very slow and somewhat wobbly. Called the vet and scheduled to have her put to sleep tomorrow. This is so hard to do.

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This will be one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. But know in your heart you are doing right by her. We have all been thru this. We understand your pain and sorrow as you say goodbye. Be sure to tell her to let you know that she is OK after she passes. Ask her for a sign.

Hugs,

Jan, Luka and Carter

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No advice, but I am so sorry you are going through this. I recently had to put one of my dogs down and it was one of the hardest things I have done. In the end, and when you back on things in the future, you will take comfort in knowing that you made the right decision.

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Guest DarkHorse

So sorry to hear about this. We had a similar path with Araley. She stopped eating, started vomiting, and got very weak. We took her in when she couldn't walk anymore.

 

Liver disease (Araley had cancer) is terrible because it's so difficult to catch early. By the time any noticeable symptoms show up, it's usually too far along to treat.

 

Know that you've given Oz a good life and by letting her go, you're ensuring that she won't have to suffer.

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I am so sorry to read this. Unfortunately, you are right, this is going to be one of the hardest things you've ever had to do. It is the right thing for you girl, and you are doing it before she is struggling and that is an extremely kind and selfless thing to do. Know that you are not alone. Many of us have gone through kidney disease and we will be holding you in our hearts, thoughts and prayers tomorrow.

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Sending you and Oz hugs.

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The handsome boy Brady, mid-morning nap. The sun, the sun feels so, so, so good.

I can't keep my eyes open ... ... Retirement agrees ...

... and the Diva Ms India, 2001 - 10/16/2009 ....

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Guest rickik

The plan for tomorrow was changed. My little girl Oz was put to sleep a few minutes ago. She had bloody diarrhea and vomiting when I took her outside so I called the vet and although the office was already closed, he met me there. It was really more comforting to me that no one else was around. She went to the Bridge peacefully and it was actually somewhat of a relief. I know she no longer hurts and is in a good place. Over the last couple days, every time I even looked at her I started to cry. Now that it's over I feel better - somehow. Still lots of emotions and tears. God Bless you little pup. Thanks to all for your support.

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:grouphug I will add Oz to the list of Bridge Angels on Greytalk.

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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I'm so sorry for your loss.

 

Godspeed, sweetheart.

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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I'm so sorry for your loss. :(

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest sireltonsmom

I'm so sorry you had to let Oz go - you did the brave, kind process for your sweet kid. Sending hugs of comfort to you and yours - it's a tough club to belong to. I am glad you have all the good memories. Take care.

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