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Llh1107

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Reply with quote  #1 
I have a 12 year old Shar-pei. I've had him since he was 3 months old. My vet who is also a family member did an ultrasound on Thursday and sent out an aspirate for testing of a mass. Waiting for results but I know in my heart it can't be good. I'm not sure what the next steps are but I'm devastated. I feel guilty because I have a 2 year old son and since his birth my dog has been pushed to the back burner and I feel awful because now he's sick. I know it sounds awful to have resentment towards my son though it's obviously not my child's fault.

I told vet I'm willing to proceed with whatever surgery or treatment necessary, to whatever extent necessary. I cannot just sit here and watch my dog deteriorate. Just need support and someone to listen. Hubby is not a great support with this.

How am I supposed to deal with this emotionally? What devastates me most is not necessarily not having my dog around one day but I'm more upset of being scared for my dog... Will he be scared at the end? Will he be sad to leave me? I don't want him to be afraid. That's what breaks my heart the most.
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Graceful

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Originally Posted by Llh1107
I have a 12 year old Shar-pei. I've had him since he was 3 months old. My vet who is also a family member did an ultrasound on Thursday and sent out an aspirate for testing of a mass. Waiting for results but I know in my heart it can't be good. I'm not sure what the next steps are but I'm devastated. I feel guilty because I have a 2 year old son and since his birth my dog has been pushed to the back burner and I feel awful because now he's sick. I know it sounds awful to have resentment towards my son though it's obviously not my child's fault.

I told vet I'm willing to proceed with whatever surgery or treatment necessary, to whatever extent necessary. I cannot just sit here and watch my dog deteriorate. Just need support and someone to listen. Hubby is not a great support with this. How am I supposed to deal with this emotionally? What devastates me most is not necessarily not having my dog around one day but

I'm more upset of being scared for my dog... Will he be scared at the end? Will he be sad to leave me? I don't want him to be afraid. That's what breaks my heart the most.


Dear "LLh1107",
First, my heart goes out to you.  I understand how you feel, as I faced something similar.  

Also, please, please, please try to let go of any feelings associated with guilt.  You have done nothing that caused your dog's illness.  If he has cancer / a mass of any kind, it is because he accumulated cancerous cells in his body, which happens to animals and humans alike.   What I know is this:  by the time the body shows signs of the illness, a disease is often in its advanced state.   It happened to my kitty, and it happens to humans, too.    We treat symptoms as a rule, not a disease.  

I did have an ultrasound, similar to you, for my kitty.  I noticed his abdomen was distended one day, and got a sick feeling ... what's wrong, honey?   I made a vet appointment immediately, and the vet also aspirated some of the fluid to take a look.   Not good, and of course, I broke down into tears.  In our case, it was not operable.   We did have as much of the fluid aspirated as possible (and safe) and he felt better immediately, but it was short-lived.    Of course, I was devastated, and could only work with treatment options, as surgery was out of the question.

Get the results.  Learn your options.  Hear what the prognosis might be with the options, and know that the vet can't say anything for sure.  If surgery can only buy a short period of time, weigh what it will cost your dog in terms of quality of life.   Surgery can wreak havoc on a dog's system, and you have to measure if you want to put him through the rigors of that sort of medical procedure.   You will know what to do.

If you feel and believe as I do, your dog trusts you implicitly, and he will not be afraid.  He won't fully understand why he doesn't feel well or have energy, he will just look to you and know what you are doing is for the best, that you love him, and what ever you do, is because you love him.   Dogs don't have short-term specific memories, they don't know what they were doing yesterday; he doesn't remember if you gave him a kiss or a hug one day or another.  He DOES know, and DOES feel, the overall feeling of love you had for him in the long-term, for 12 years, the security, the warmth, and care, and the nurturing that made him feel loved and cared for. His feelings are based on that long-term care and love.  No one is perfect, not you, not me, no one.    No one is 100% present for every detail of life, it's impossible.   Life is complicated, and the ability to multi-task is highly over-rated. 

If he has a mass and it's not operable, then do everything you can to make him comfortable for as long as possible.  Do not, under any circumstances, feel pressured into ending his life, please.   There is no reason to hasten the decision.   Animals are survivors.  Do not impose your human feelings onto him and try to know if he is "suffering" ... if he wants to be here, he will show you.   If he is ready to go, he will show you that. I am a firm believer.    Pain and suffering are one thing, but discomfort is another.  If your dog is uncomfortable for a while, but still eating and showing affection, and just hanging out,  that is just the way it would be for a human.  I personally see no reason to make any decisions if he is acting that way.  

I had the dreaded appointment for my kitty, and when the day came (I thought he was at death's door), he did something similar to a miracle, and I cancelled the appointment.  He wasn't ready.  It has made all the difference between feeling tortured (as I was once in the past) vs. feeling at peace with the hardest decision of my life.   I also had the chance to change the last day of his life, for which I will be eternally grateful.  

BTW, it takes a special person to adopt a Shar-pei, IMO.  I know you are going to do the right thing.   I read a daily comic strip that is about a human geeky guy, a cat (sort of sarcastic, not anything like my kitties) and a dog, who happens to be a Shar-pei.  The dog is the sweetest, most lovable dog in the cartoon, and he is always saying the sweetest things.   He also cares about the human guy, whose name is Rob, and trusts him completely.  If your dog is anything similar to the way the dog is portrayed in the cartoon, believe me, he trusts and loves you.   Stay by his side.  
I wish you peace and strength.
Grace

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 Till you come to me"  (LM)

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Mistysmama

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Reply with quote  #3 
Please try not to feel awful because you put your son first. In a wolf pack, that sort of heirarchy would be natural and other pack members would accept it contentedly. Dogs live by the same rules. You were the leader. Your own son was next in line. He understands that. And what is important is they understand their place in the Pack and are happy with it, and know when they are loved -even if they are in the background a bit. Dogs are not stupid. They know we love them even when we are busy doing something else.

I understand because I felt similar when my sweet girl Misty was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma. I was strong for her, but was worried about what was going to happen at the end. On our last night, when it was obvious she was going to pass soon or I should have her put to sleep (she had a sudden bad hemorrhage that night) -I whispered to her "Don't be scared"...
Her passing was quite peaceful. I think she was too out of it and weak to be scared at the vet's like she usually was. I think she sensed I was trying to help her -that the vet was too.

I obviously don't know exactly what happened when my girl passed from this world. I shall  never know, I guess. But very soon she came back to show me she was okay, not the slightest bit scared, healthy and happy, still loved me a lot. She had a lovely, peaceful adoring energy about her, and seemed to have forgotten all about her last few hours. I take from that -that she passed naturally and there was no fear involved.

There is still a good chance that your dog's mass may not be cancer. Wait for the results first

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Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
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Llh1107

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you Grace and Mistysmama.

Update- I need some further support from you guys. I learned last night that aspirate came back inconclusive however per the vet, it's not good. She will repeat aspirate in a couple weeks but in meantime will start dog on antibiotics- apparently they have some sort of cancer cell decreasing properties. I've never heard of that. Anyway, whatever this mass is, if we choose to remove it, there's a major chance he would not make it through surgery due to mass location being close to other organs. I'm fighting back tears because how can I just sit back and basically watch him worsen? I almost want to give him a chance and do the surgery but it's risky. Please help, please take a minute to really picture yourself in this situation... Thoughts?
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smartlady52

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Reply with quote  #5 
I wanted to share with you that one of my cats that i had for seventeen years was put to sleep last Monday on January 5th, 2015. Her name was Fluffy and for the last two weeks of her life she could not eat or drink. Her kidneys had stopped acting. Fluffy was very sick. When I took her to the vet, the vet examined her and said she had a mass in her intestine. The vet told me and my mother that Fluffy was suffering a lot and the humane thing for us to do was put her to sleep. My mother and i were there with her at the end. We told her goodbye and that we would see her in heaven someday. Fluffy passed away instantly after the shot. The vet said her heart was weak. I would suggest that if your vet has a room for spending time with your dog would make it easier. I do not regret being with her at the end. Fluffy was terrified of people that she did not know. So to have me holding her and my mother there instead of two strangers holding her felt right to me. I miss her so much. God gives me comfort. She is in heaven and not suffering anymore and free and running around. I hope this gives you some comfort. I will be praying for you, Donna Hancock
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