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Canine dying process

vickihewitt
June 29th, 2008, 08:34 AM
Can anyone give me info on what happens when a dog is dying? My dog has cancer and appears to be in pain. She is panting heavily and holding head up high. She doesn't want to move and winces when touched. Is she nearing the end? What should we expect in the last hours?

Stacer
June 29th, 2008, 08:47 AM
Has she been to the vet? Is she on any pain meds?
Have you considered euthanization to spare her the pain? I know it's a difficult decision, but it's kinder to spare her the agony. We often prolong our pet's pain for our own emotional reasons, not wanting to let go of our cherished pet even though they are suffering.

In the end only you can decide if she's had enough. Try to make her as comfortable as possible, give her her favourite treats (if she's still eating) and lots of love.

Frenchy
June 29th, 2008, 08:48 AM
What should we expect in the last hours?

Please stop letting your dog suffer this way !!!

You should bring her asap to the vet , to see if there's something he can do. If not at least he will euthanise your dog humanely and stop her suffering !!

Sabine
June 29th, 2008, 10:09 AM
I agree. Please don't let her suffer and give her this last act of love to have her humanely euthanized. My thoughts are with you.............. :cry:

sugarcatmom
June 29th, 2008, 10:43 AM
Sorry to hear about your pup's cancer. Here is a quality of life scale that you can use to help determine when euthanasia is the kindest option: Quality of Life Scale (http://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/vet-practice-news-columns/bond-beyond/quality-of-life-scale.aspx)

Dingo
June 29th, 2008, 11:19 AM
What should we expect in the last hours?

I knew my dog was ready when she just didn't seem to care anymore.

We called our vet and arranged for him to come to the house (she hated going to the vet, and I didn't want to put her through the additional stress of a car ride and a visit to the office), then spent the day fairly normally. She was pretty sick at that point, so she just rested. Took her out for a last pee about an hour before he was scheduled to come, and then spent some time just sitting quietly with her. Then the vet came. It was all over pretty quickly, and then the house was empty.

It's incredibly sad, and very hard, and nothing anyone can say will make it easier.

The funny thing was, I was a wreck right up until the vet arrived, but from that point I was ok. We'd given her a good life, and tried to make the end of it as easy for her as possible. That's all you can really do.

katherine93
June 29th, 2008, 11:40 AM
My brothers mal/wolf cross went completly different than anydog i have ever seen. She was perfectly fine, and then she started freaking out as if every nerve in her body was screaming PAIN, she ran around the house like crazzy and wouldnt let anybody near her, the whole time she was yelping and crying. Before mom got a chance to sedate her(to calm her down) she fell to the floor and took her last breath. It was expected that she was going to die anyday at all, but she wasnt in any pain so we decided to live out the rest o f her days in peace(she had cancer) Unfrtunatly she was in pain when she went, but at least the pain only lasted a few minutes.

I suggest visiting the vet, and if there is nothing they can do, you should euthanize her..


So sorry that your dog is in pain. Hang tough:thumbs up

badger
June 29th, 2008, 11:48 AM
I'm sorry to be blunt but is this a science experiment? Every single symptom you describe is an indication of extreme discomfort. Please take your dog to the vet, she doesn't deserve this.

katherine - TMI, in the circumstances.

rainbow
June 29th, 2008, 11:55 AM
Vicki, I am very sorry to hear about your dog. :sad: It does sound like she is nearing the end and you should take her to the vet asap.

It is the most difficult decision to have to make but, as badger said, she does not deserve to suffer. :grouphug:

vickihewitt
June 29th, 2008, 03:47 PM
Thank you for all of the kind words...except for badges science experiment wisecrack which was quite inappropriate. Yes, we have been to the vet and yes we are treating with pain meds. I asked the question because I have not had a dog die since I have been an adult, and have no experience. I have a great vet closely involved, but today is Sunday. Doc is not available. Our dog has been alert but panting more than normal. She does appear to be in pain. Panting is also a normal response to being warm, which is it. Not knowing the sign of impending death makes it hard to discern if this is the end or she is just having a bad day. Two weeks ago she acted like this and then she came around and had a great two more weeks. She is a dear family companion and we don't want to make a rash judgment. She is terminal, no doubt. And when we know it is really the time, we will do what we think is right. Thank you again for the input. Badge, take some sensitivity training. What goes around comes around and I hope for better for you.

mollywog
June 29th, 2008, 04:00 PM
Vicki- I am sorry to hear about your dog. The best that you can do at this point is keep her comfortable. :sleepy: This may mean hand feeding her, carrying her outside to do her business, cleaning up after her accidents, and making sure she stays hydrated. Oh, and don't forget lots of love and attention. :lovestruck: Now is a good time for you and your family to reflect on all the happy memories you shared throughout your dog's life.
I just finished reading Merle's Door by Ted Kerasote. Its a really good true story about a dog's life. At the end, as the dog is reaching his end, the author explains the process they went through. He wanted his dog to die peacefully at home, and he did it in a very humane, loving way. As long as your dog isn't suffering, don't think that you have to rush to put her down. Who knows, she may have more life left in her than you think. Today just may be a bad day.
My thoughts are with you. Stay strong for her. :goodvibes:

katherine93
June 29th, 2008, 04:07 PM
I'm sorry to be blunt but is this a science experiment? Every single symptom you describe is an indication of extreme discomfort. Please take your dog to the vet, she doesn't deserve this.

katherine - TMI, in the circumstances.

I was mearly trying to say that it is different with every dog how they go, sometimes it is unpleasent and sometimes peacful. If what i said offended you or upset you in anyway i am sorry. BUt do you think your remark was appropriate under these circumstances any more than mine? The OP is going through a great deal of pain, and heartbreak from being so close to the end with her poor doggie, and your remark was not only rude, but inconsideret of this persons feelings.

chico2
June 29th, 2008, 04:19 PM
In Badgers defense,Badger a person who is very far from insensitive,the OP's first post did not give much info,only that the dog was suffering:sad:
My first thought too was have the poor dog euthanized,dogs/cats don't show signs of pain unless it is really bad.
Painmeds,vet-visits was only mentioned in the second post.
:pray:for the poor pup and it's owners.

Love4himies
June 29th, 2008, 06:35 PM
I am so sorry you pup has cancer, I lost my precious Snowball to cancer.

Badger is an extremely loving and caring person who probably can't believe anybody would be able to watch their beloved pet in pain.

Your vet should be available 24/7 or if not an animal hospital. I would not be on the internet asking the question, I would be acting and doing what must be done immediately.

Love4himies
June 29th, 2008, 06:37 PM
Badge, take some sensitivity training. What goes around comes around and I hope for better for you.

Badger has done more for animals than you can imagine, she is a guardian angel to many, many cats.

badger
June 29th, 2008, 08:01 PM
Vicki, I deserved that. I'm sorry.
I imagine dogs die like humans do, when they're ready and in their own way. At least your baby will not be alone, as so many are.
I would think holding his head up high and panting means that he has fluid on his lungs and he's having a hard time getting enough air. As you have probably heard from your vet, fluid on the lungs means he's getting pretty close to the end.
Personally, I couldn't watch it, but it must be your decision.
I expect things will indeed 'come around' for me and I will be no no better prepared than you are :sad: we cannot conceive of their absence. And we all want them to die quietly beside us and not on a stainless steel table. When you're ready, maybe the vet could come to you.

BlueBreeze
June 29th, 2008, 08:49 PM
My last dog developed acute renal failure. He wasn't going to recover-only get worse. I took him home for the weekend. His breathing seemed laboured during the night and I almost took him to the 24 vet clinic, but I took him out to pee and he came bouncing back in to be petted.

So I pretty much stayed up all night laying beside him and he was better the next day. He played in the leaves and went for a walk around the block, but he ate nothing and drank very little ( the vet put a fluid pouch under his skin to keep him hydrated.)

I took him in on Monday to be PTS. I never, ever regretted the decision to euthanize before his condition worsened. I couldn't bear to see him go downhill. The vet actually told me he had people tell him they wished they'd euthanized their own pets before the pain was unbearable.

Sorry, this is so long. See how your dog is tomorrow. As others said, only you can decide when the final visit will be and it is a heartbreaking decision.

Purpledomino
June 30th, 2008, 08:52 AM
Having had a dog die in front of me (from a gastric tortion), helpless to end his suffering... I wish I COULD have made his end a peaceful one. This is a choice that you have the opportunity to make, a final gift to ensure your beloved dog passes in a kind, and painless way. Sometimes waiting isn't the kindest thing for the animal, and you have to live with your decision long after your pet goes. :cry:

BenMax
June 30th, 2008, 08:57 AM
I am so sorry that you are going through this. My dog passed last year to the day due to cancer.
The best advice I can possibly give is to follow your instincts. You actually do know when it is time. There is a connection that you have with your loved pet and he/she will absolutely let you know. Look into the eyes and everything will be said.
All those that have a special connection are told when it is time in the most soft and vulnerable way. Though we all try to ignor certain signals because we feel it is not time or enough time, your gut tells you differently.
I wish you strength.

Frenchy
June 30th, 2008, 11:18 AM
Panting is also a normal response to being warm, which is it.
:confused: being warm ? :confused: panting can mean the heart is too weak , or water to the lungs. And yes , this is painful for a dog !!!!
Sometimes waiting isn't the kindest thing for the animal,

And that is putting it mildly.

They are emergency vets open on Sundays.

TacoGrl
June 30th, 2008, 11:55 AM
I can't imagine a pet being in pain and not going to the vet...even if it is on a Sunday...especially if it is on pain meds and they aren't working.

Having said that, I realize how hard the decision is...I too am dealing with a decision of when to put Mooki down...she is not in pain right now and is still active/eating/etc., but I know I should cherrish every day I have with her and she will let me know when it is time to say goodbye. :sad: BUT if she shows signs of pain before that, it is vet time because as was previously stated, it takes a lot of pain for a pet to show it.

Purpledomino
June 30th, 2008, 05:36 PM
I am so sorry that you are going through this. My dog passed last year to the day due to cancer.
The best advice I can possibly give is to follow your instincts. You actually do know when it is time. There is a connection that you have with your loved pet and he/she will absolutely let you know. Look into the eyes and everything will be said.
All those that have a special connection are told when it is time in the most soft and vulnerable way. Though we all try to ignor certain signals because we feel it is not time or enough time, your gut tells you differently.
I wish you strength.

I am sorry but I have to respond and disagree here. It would be wonderful if our pets could actually tell us when it is time to let them go, but I feel that this misconception could extend the suffering of your pet. Dogs are very stoic by nature, and will hide pain as best they can as a survival instinct. Trusting that your dog will "let you know when it is time" is usually the worst thing you can do IMO, because that is assuming that your pet knows that euthanasia is an option....and they DON'T know that.

I believe that it is our judgement and hard decision to make...and personally I would rather let my dog go when he is not experiencing as much pain as if I had waited too long, waiting for him to "tell me". :2cents:

Frenchy
June 30th, 2008, 07:21 PM
Thank you for your post Purpledomino , I share the exact thoughs.

When I decided to say goodbye to Daisy , I felt bad because I told my vet maybe it was too soon , she was still walking and was able to walk up the stairs to his office. (I wasn't thinking about the fact that I was hand feeding her for the past couple of days , and that she had lost so much weight :sad: and that her gums turned white) He told me if owners have to carry their pets in their arms , in his opinion , that is waiting too long.

vickihewitt , I am sorry about what your going through , everybody here is , and I'm hoping that you took your dog to the vet today , at least to get her check upon. Please don't wait.

chico2
July 1st, 2008, 07:20 AM
Purple Domino,yes,you are soo right.
A friend of mine had a hugely obese cat,19yrs old,could not walk,would soil herself and was in obvious discomfort.It's difficult to tell someone to have a pet put down,but I did on several occasions,to no avail.:sad:
One morning they found her dead on the floor.:yell:
He said,she died alone"peacefully"in her sleep,I don't believe many animals die"peacefully"in their sleep.

Love4himies
July 1st, 2008, 08:23 AM
tyHe said,she died alone"peacefully"in her sleep,I don't believe many animals die"peacefully"in their sleep.

I agree, they probably die while the owners were peacefully sleeping.

Purpledomino
July 1st, 2008, 09:30 AM
My neighbour who undoubtably loved her dog waited much too long as well. She was steadfast in her decision to wait until everyone was "ready"...all the while her poor aged dog limped around a walking (barely) skeleton. I couldn't bare to see this animal in such pain, but this woman ignored my gentle "suggestions" as she said she just wasn't ready to see her dog go. She was waiting for a "sign", from the dog....who knows? As far as she was concerned, the limping was from arthritis in her hips, from a far from recent vet exam. When she FINALLY got the whole family (extended as well) together to put her dog to sleep, the vet determined that she had been trying to walk on a fracture. I still feel sick about it.

Seems like this woman wanted everything to be "perfect" for the family, like she was making a statement how "caring" they were to all be together for the euthanasia. I think there was NOTHING humane about this euthanasia. :censored:

Hogansma
July 1st, 2008, 09:18 PM
I am so sorry to hear about your dog. I've lost a precious dog almost 2 years ago so I know how painful it is.

I just want to say that I've read that dogs usually try to hide their pain. It has to do with being pack animals and a pack will kill off the weak and dying pack member if necessary.

It's so hard to know when to put them to sleep but I think you need to look at her through someone elses eyes. Do you have a friend/neighbour that knows the dog but hasn't seen her in a few weeks? I suggest this cause sometimes we are just too close to the whole situation and try to cling to every "good" day or hour they have.

For me, it was a photo. I got a roll of film developed (before my digital camera) and couldn't believe the changes I saw in Molly over the month but there it was, documented in actual pictures. I was too close to see the daily changes in her but pictures don't lie.

My thoughts are with you.

BenMax
July 2nd, 2008, 10:43 AM
Prupledomino - point well taken. You are absolutely right - animals do not know anything about 'euthansia' but there are signals and signs that let you know when he/she is in pain, uncomfortable. The clues given are what I consider as being told when it is time. My point is you must be aware and open to accept the reality of what your pet is relaying to you. That was my point and I guess I did not relay it in a proper manner.

4MyPip
April 9th, 2009, 12:08 AM
I have to say thank you so much for this helpful, affirming post and replies. Iím not much of a forum person but am struggling with the same most awful, heart wrenching decision. Tomorrow is the day. Iím not going to let my little guy suffer any more. The vet gave him a cautious few days prognosis. He has cancer and is on pain medication (Metacam) and Apotex(for the lungs). She let us take him home to say our goodbyes last Thursday. Itís been almost a week with good days( a lot of fun last-time-things) but Iíve noticed a severe change in his energy level, appetite, and breathing the past 48 hours. He still wags his tail but slowly shadows me around when he isnít napping and he still eats but a lot less. He seems more winded or exhausted so I havenít let him go up and down the stairs yesterday or today. I think, I know itís timeÖ.wishing my Pip a painless journey tomorrow. Only four years old, God...Iím going to miss him.

hazelrunpack
April 9th, 2009, 12:18 AM
I'm so sorry you're having to go through this with Pip. :grouphug: The decision is always an anguishing one and it never gets easier. But, if you make the decision from the heart, based on what's good for Pip, you can't go wrong.

I wish you strength and peace of mind, and a swift and painless journey for your sweet Pip tomorrow.

Give Pip a kiss from me and know you're in my thoughts and prayers.

:candle:

ScottieDog
April 9th, 2009, 10:04 AM
4MyPip, you are in my thoughts during this tremendously difficult time. We had to make this decision several months ago and it is so hard. We exhausted all medical efforts and when they began to fail, we let our girl go. She had irreversible kidney failure and was at the point her other organs would begin to fail. We let her go before this happened. By doing this, she had a peaceful and gentle passing. My pain was unbearable, but my beloved girl was relieved of pain.

I wish you strength during this time. I will say that because my little girl was so sick, there was a sense of peace and relief knowing that her ordeal was over. It really is a final gift of love for your pet. A peaceful and gentle crossing to the bridge for your sweet Pip. I'm sorry.

:candle: Pip