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Letting Henry go tomorrow--question


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This is the most difficult decision I've ever had to make about a dog. Henry's been a bit run down the last few weeks (it's hot and he developed hook worm despite a preventative regime) and while he needed to lose some weight so he was on a bit of a diet, he's lost a good bit; I was planning on bringing him in after his first complete round of hookworm treatment if he didn't perk up.

This morning he was fussy and had a very distended abdomen. Took him in, and based on the xrays and ultrasound, he has a very large mass taking up most of the abdominal cavity and a large fluid area. The vet says he is fairly sure he has a Hemangiosarcoma but there's no way to be 100% certain without exploratory surgery, and it is clearly a very large mass, no matter what is causing it. He strongly advised letting him go today or tomorrow before he gets dramatically worse. The x-rays from 6 months ago were clean.

We're going to let him go tomorrow. The hospice vet's office said what we're describing is consistent with a Hemangiosarcoma and that yes, they can worsen dramatically so this is probably the best option.

Our only alternative is to try to get him a consult with an oncologist to see if they can confirm without surgery. We couldn't get that done, so we'd have to take a dog who's in pain getting into and out of the car to them, which is over an hour each way, and he's terrified of vet's offices and they won't let us go in due to Covid-19.

Has anyone had to make a choice where you didn't have a confirmed diagnosis? It kills me to let him go when he's basically happy although clearly uncomfortable, but I don't want him to suffer either by letting things get bad.

Eta: advice, information, and suggestions welcome, no criticisms please. Henry is beloved member of our family and we're just trying to do the right thing for him. Chemo would not be an option that would be good for him, in our circumstances.

Edited by PatricksMom

Beth and Petey (8 September 2018- ). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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So sorry to see this. 

We didn't have a 100% diagnosis on all of Rocket's issues, but saw enough to know we needed to let him go before he injured himself further or was in more pain.  We had tried all of the basic things including pain control and some Adequan injections that initially bought him more quality time than he would have had.  Those didn't work any longer , and we weren't going to let him be in pain.  Our vet was in agreement with our decision even though we never put an "official name" to his various conditions. I have not second guessed our decision. No more pain was the priority. 

Give Henry some ear rubs from us. 

 

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Always missing my boy Hi Noon Rocket. The home of Petunia, MW Neptunia and Kate, Miss Kate.

Don't believe everything you read on the internet. - Abraham Lincoln

 

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I am so sorry you are facing this. I don’t think it really matters whether the mass is caused by hemangiosarcoma or something else, he clearly can not continue like he is. I did have a probable hemangiosarcoma diagnosis for Fletcher through an ultrasound and let him go the next day. I also had a cat with an unidentifiable abdominal tumor that I let go when she stopped eating. The only possible treatment would be surgery to remove the mass, and I can tell you, having done that for another of my dogs, I would not recommend that.

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My Silver had a lump on her side. Her vet and I discussed removing it, and we did pre-op lab work. Her liver numbers were way out of line, and the vet recommended an ultrasound. I left her with the vet while I went grocery shopping. The vet called while I was in the grocery store. The ultrasound revealed a growth on her heart that had not been on x-rays a month earlier. The ultrasound expert thought she might have a couple of days before the growth ruptured.

I walked out of the store without the groceries and stopped at McDonald's to get cheeseburgers on the way to the vet's. Silver and I shared the burgers in the exam room. (She spat out the pickles.) Then I told her goodbye and her vet let her go as I held her and talked to her. That was the first--and last--day she needed help getting into my car.

Nothing would have been made better by biopsies or surgery or detailed knowledge about what was going on. We've called it hemangiosarcoma. Whatever it was, it wasn't fixable. A few days later I brought home an 8-year-old brood bitch to keep Q company. I called the poor girl "Silver" for the first week and cried on Q because I missed Silver. (The new girl wasn't interested in cuddling...like Silver.) Silver was absolutely the best dog I've ever had, and I still miss her, but I've never doubted that we did the right thing.

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Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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So sorry you are going through this.   The vast majority of our dogs have lived very long and happy lives and the decision has been made difficult when there is nothing  'really wrong'  with them.

Last summer Ruby was starting to show her age, but was certainly not down and out.   One morning she had massive diarrhea and would not eat.  She was so lethargic.   The next morning the diarrhea was full of blood and she refused to eat.   I took her in to our wonderful Vet right away where they offered to keep her there all day and run tests, but my decision was firm and I sent her across the bridge.   So whatever was wrong, was not diagnosed,  but at 12 years, 4 months I was not going to put her through a bunch of tests.  

I am a very firm believer in  'better a day too early than a minute too late'  ......

:bighug

 

 

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Nancy...Mom to Nigel (Nigel) , Sid (Peteles Tiger) and Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos)Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie) and especially Ruby (Watch Me Dash) waiting at the Bridge.

 

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Summers are always hard on ill dogs. Your doing the most loving thing. It's all about quality of life. Please remember  this not the diagnosis. I hope this helps.

I also remember the wise GT statement " better a day to early than a day too late" when it's  time.

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having done this twice in the past 2 weeks :( yes.  Go with your heart.  With Zeke, the ER vet said it wasn't a "slam-dunk" that Zeke had osteo - she couldn't confirm 100% is was :( (and thus caused his severe bone break) but in our hearts we knew it was and it was time to let him go.  With Larry -- could he have rebounded a 2nd time and gotten better?  Maybe.  But like others have said, better a day too early than a day too late.  With Zeke we didn't know he had cancer (his regular vet confirmed it after he passed, later that day) before his wrist shattered but his last few hours were in horrible pain.  So for Larry we decided there was NO way in Hell he'd ever feel anything like that and he passed peacefully.

sending you TONS of hugs.  :grouphug 

Kim and Bruce - missing my sweet greyhound Angels Rainey (LG's Rainey 10/4/2000 - 3/8/2011), Anubis (RJ's Saint Nick 12/25/2001 - 9/12/12) and Zeke (Hey Who Whiz It 4/6/2009 - 7/20/2020) and Larry (PTL Laroach 2/24/2007 - 8/2/2020) -- and Chester (8/31/1990 - 5/3/2005), Captain (10/12/1992 - 6/13/2005) and Remy (?/?/1998 - 1/6/2005) at the bridge
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -- Ernest Hemmingway

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I've lost a few--at least four--without a diagnosis, some with little or no information except symptoms. I made the decisions based on how they were and the poor odds of recovery. It's very easy to torture oneself with questions, but I try very hard to refrain.

:grouphug on your decision.

 

Standard Poodle Daisy (12/13); Greys Hildy (Braska Hildy 7/10), Ivy (Jax Isis 10/07), Toodles (BL Toodles 7/09), Opal (Jax Opal 7/08)
Missing Cora (RL Nevada 5/99-10/09), Piper (Cee Bar Easy 2/99-1/10), Tally (Thunder La La 9/99-3/10), Edie (Daring Reva 9/99-10/12), Dixie (Kiowa Secret Sue 11/01-1/13), Jessie (P's Real Time 11/98-3/13), token boy Graham (Zydeco Dancer 9/00-5/13), Cal (Back Already 12/99-11/13), Betsy (Back Kick Beth 11/98-12/13), Standard Poodles Minnie (1/99-1/14) + Perry (9/98-2/14), Annie (Do Marcia 9/03-10/14), Pink (Miss Pinky Baker 1/02-6/15), Poppy (Cmon Err Not 8/05-1/16), Kat (Jax Candy 5/05-5/17)

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He's gone.

Beth and Petey (8 September 2018- ). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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:grouphug :grouphug I am so sorry. You did right by Henry.   

In reply to your original question, yes, I’ve had to let them go without a true diagnosis after repeat exams and testing and exhausting reasonable options for that individual.

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees: Aiden. Bea. Punkin. Annie. Miss M. Cletus, knot like the others.

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.

 

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

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Just seeing this and I am so very sorry.  I, too, let a dog go without any clear diagnosis.  My vet thought that he had a GI cancer, but he was 13 and would not have done well with the diagnostics themselves.  He let me know when he was tired and I let him go without ever really knowing the cause.  

Run free, Henry.  You were so very loved. 

Wishing you peace and comfort. 

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Cindy with Miss Fancypants
Dante (Dg's Boyd), Zoe (In a While), Brady (Devilish Effect), Goose (BG Shotgun), Maverick (BG ShoMe) and Indy (BYB whippet) forever in my heart
The flame that burns the brightest, burns the fastest and leaves the biggest shadow

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I am so sorry.  I will have Larry and Zeke meet him at the Bridge.  :(  :grouphug  :cry1

Kim and Bruce - missing my sweet greyhound Angels Rainey (LG's Rainey 10/4/2000 - 3/8/2011), Anubis (RJ's Saint Nick 12/25/2001 - 9/12/12) and Zeke (Hey Who Whiz It 4/6/2009 - 7/20/2020) and Larry (PTL Laroach 2/24/2007 - 8/2/2020) -- and Chester (8/31/1990 - 5/3/2005), Captain (10/12/1992 - 6/13/2005) and Remy (?/?/1998 - 1/6/2005) at the bridge
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -- Ernest Hemmingway

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I think you’ve done the right thing. I hope I’m brave enough to do the same if I’m ever faced with this kind of tough decision :grouphug

Living with Buddy Molly b. 5 November 2010. Welcomed home 16/6/2018 ❤️

Won 17/112 races at Romford - our champion Essex boy

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I am sorry for your loss.  You were his best friend and he looked to you to keep him safe and well.  You took away his pain.  He will be in your heart forever.

Irene Ullmann w/Flying Odin in Lower Delaware
Angels Brandy, John E, American Idol, Paul, Fuzzy and Shine
Handcrafted Greyhound and Custom Clocks http://www.houndtime.com
Zoom Doggies-Racing Coats for Racing Greyhounds

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I am so sorry that Henry had to leave you.  :(  I will add Henry's name to the list of Bridge Angels on GT. He will be in good company.

 

Charlie the iggy, Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz
Angels: 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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Just seeing this now.  Beth -- Dr Patrick'sMom -- I am so sorry.  :grouphug  Especially so soon after losing Leo.  

My first grey, I let go at the speciality vet's when she was worse at the end of the day than she was at the beginning and she HATED being at the vet's.  The neuro specialist wouldn't be in until the next day, and the other docs could only tell me what they thought it wasn't.  The test costs with the neuro were going to be way more than I could afford.  So I had the best dog in the world put down.  Time has brought me peace.  She was 13, and I think it was a spinal stroke.  But at the time I felt so guilty that I wasn't giving her a chance, and that finances were such a big factor. 

:grouphug

  

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Ellen, Milo, and Jeter

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, and Nutmeg

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Thank you everyone for your kindness. Petey, who's been a bit more DH's dog, has been glued to me ever since--I think Henry told him to take care of me.

Beth and Petey (8 September 2018- ). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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I’m so sorry.

Jan with precious pups Katie Crazykatiebug, Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si) Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; and Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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