maxi2504
Hi everyone. I'm new here and this is my first post. It's almost been a month since we had to put our beautiful yellow lab, Max down after 12 and a half wonderful years together. We got him when I was 11, so I grew up with him and he definitely was the best part of my childhood and teenage years.  To be honest, I'm feeling worse now than I was in the beginning, I guess I'm finally coming to the realization that he's really gone :(. 

One thing that I keep feeling though is guilt and regret. The vets believed he had hemangiosarcoma due to the fact that he had a number of spots on his spleen and all throughout his liver but they said they couldn't have given a definitive diagnosis without a biopsy which they didn't recommend. I feel guilty now - maybe we should have seeked another opinion before putting him to sleep? The signs were definitely there -a lot of free fluid in his abdomen, loss of appetite, sudden weight loss, lethargy, legs giving way and not being able to get back up and he just wasn't his normal happy self. He was also becoming borderline anemic with a low platelet count as well as high liver readings. But I just can't help but wonder what if??? Reading about hemangiosarcoma it usually is a huge mass on the spleen but the ultrasound showed Max's spleen as thin but with multiple spots on it. 

I'm sorry if this is a long post. I just can't help but think what if we had waited and gotten another opinion. I was wondering if anybody has experience with this particular cancer? 

I miss my best friend so very much. Our house is so empty without him. 
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CB
Hi, what a sad and tragic loss. A pet you grow up with, who shares those teenage years when no one else seems to understand is very special. You will feel deep loss and grief. Please don't let guilt rob you of the chance to grieve and mourn Max in the way you need to. Or to remember 12 and a half years of happiness and love. Sadly all of Max's symptoms lead to the same sad decision. Having a biopsy would have caused him unnecessary distress and I'm sure you wouldn't want that memory. You released him from suffering and for that you should take comfort. It is one of the few things our beloved pets ask of us in return for all they give. They need us to make the hardest decision for them. As much as it hurts, you did the right thing.
I'm sorry you have lost Max but he is around in spirit and will love you for taking his pain away.
Love you forever and ever and I will be there for you xx
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millie12
Your post is so familiar with the torment I have been going through the last 4 months. Millie was also 12, a wonderful and loving springer spaniel. We had no definite diagnosis, just what the very reputable vet could tell us. Millie had been diagnosed with gastroenteritis a few days before and then she began struggling for breath. Millie had also suddenly lost a lot of weight but then gained it as the fluid built up. The day I took her to the vet her leg gave way. She had stopped eating. Two days later we were told she had a tumour and that all her organs were surrounded in fluid. She also had spots on her spleen. We were told the same as you, that they could drain the fluid and do a biopsy but that it would only confirm what he already knew and with that there was a possibility she may not even make it through. And the fluid would just return in a day. We were shown the xrays and I could see things weren't good.

All I can say to you is what I am trying to get through to myself. Two days before, Millie was still running for a ball. Still going for her walks. Slowly, but she was walking. By not dragging her through further invasive surgery which would only basically have given me peace of mind and done nothing for her, she was able to leave this world without being interfered with, without feeling ill and just able to go to sleep with me holding her and talking to her. Unfortunately, we are left feeling the horrendous loss and guilt which no doubt you are also struggling with every single day. For me it was the suddenness of it all. Even now I cannot make sense of it. It really has been the most painful and traumatic few months. Even knowing you done right by your dog, doesn't take away the pain.

I hope you can find peace. The thoughts will always be there but I hope you can remind yourself, because of you, Max didn't have to suffer and was able to go peacefully. You really did do right by him x

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silvermini3
"By not dragging her through further invasive surgery which would only basically have given me peace of mind and done nothing for her, she was able to leave this world without being interfered with and just able to go to sleep with me holding her and talking to her."

These were comforting words for me to read. I let my dog go a little over a week ago after being diagnosed with carcinomatosis just the week before. The week before that he was off leash running in the park. How rapid this all happened was mind boggling and overwhelming. I heard a confirmation from the doctor, saw a decline in him, but am still overcome with guilt for some reason. Still questioning the diagnosis, because no one ever sat down with me and explained the specifics of this kind of cancer. Other than confirming an aggressive cancer that doesn't respond to chemo well or at all and that I should take him home and make him a comfortable as possible. I'm wondering if I put my dog down what may have had something else that was possibly treatable. Denial? Maybe. I elected to not have a biopsy via invasive surgery too. I didn't want to add that to his list. Cytology did suspect this cancer, but said further testing should possibly be done to further support neoplasia. The ultrasound showed abnormalities in just about every abdominal organ. Blood work normal. A litre and a half of blood tainted fluid taken from his abdomen. I let him go when I asked him to try and give me a sign that he was ready. At that moment he stood up and lost complete control of his bowels. And then became frantic. I couldn't see him go through this, even if it wasn't cancer. My struggle is with this....I want someone to explain to me what specifically was going on with my dog, so that I can feel that what I did was right. The little boy was excited to go on a car ride, not knowing we were going to the vet in order to set him free. It's an awful place to be, this guilt.
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Sampson
I am so sorry for he loss of your beautiful Max! I can imagine how hard it is after having all those years together! Take Care and be good to yourself during this terrible time for you!
S.
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