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Reply with quote  #1 
Sunday night (two days ago) we were faced with the sudden horror that our precious angel Kiefer had to be put down.

For background: He was a 10 year old lab mix. November of last year, his spleen ruptured without any warning signs. He had it removed and biopsied and we got the news he had hemangiosarcoma. We were told it had metastasized and he had likely as little as 1-2 months to live. We got second and third opinions and everyone agreed. We chose not to do chemo for fear of it making him sicker and instead went with homeopathic treatments: turkey tail supplements, Yunnan Baiyao, milk thistle daily. Along with continuing his raw diet. I credit these actions for how long he lived after diagnosis. He made it 11 months.

Everyone told us when “it happened” it would be very sudden. He would suffer another rupture/bleed, and since his spleen was already gone it would likely be something else - something fatal - that gave way to the cancer. Still. Knowing it could have happened any day. We weren’t ready.

On Sunday he was his normal happy self. He ate dinner excitedly. He was cuddly and playful. Until suddenly he wasn’t. We went to go out back and he wouldn’t get up. I checked his gums (something I did daily and often) and they were going white. We immediately rushed to the ER Vet. They told us his abdomen was filled with blood, low BP and heart rate, and he was entering shock. We could give him a transfusion but that would only give us another day maybe. The doctor strongly suggested it was time. So went made the call to end his suffering.

He was calm even before sedation, like he knew and was telling us it was ok. We held him for an hour but didn’t want to prolong his suffering. I can’t forget watching those injections now go in and seeing his life leave his body. The pain is immense.

Now I’m filled with what if’s. What if that ER Doctor was wrong? Should we have gotten a second opinion? What if he could have come back from this episode? Could we still have him with us for a few more months? I know logically that no, it was time and we knew it would be this way. But I’m struggling terribly with these questions circling my mind.

Being at home without him is awful. Our other pets look for him and are starting to realize. I worry for our now solo surviving dog. His absence is gut wrenching. Being in bed is the worst, where he used to sleep with us and wake us up with kisses. I cry every time I go up the stairs. I need to know we made the right choice and that there were no other options left. I need to know he’s not upset and that he’s happy to be at peace now. This is the hardest thing of my life. How do you go on after this kind of thing?

Posts: 510
Reply with quote  #2 
I'm sorry you lost your beloved Kiefer. These decisions are so hard but from everything you've described, to have kept him alive longer, would have meant suffering for him. You didn't want that. He had a great and happy life with you right up until his last day! "He was calm before the sedation" tells me he knew what you were doing what was best for him. You stayed with him and hugged him and let him know how much you loved and cherished him. But don't question your decision, it was the right one. You did what Kiefer needed and it was an act of love. I'm sorry you are in such pain. As hard as it is to make that decision, in some ways it's easier then what comes after, having to go on without our precious babies. Big hugs to you!

Posts: 138
Reply with quote  #3 
Cstormborn, I am so sorry for the loss of Kiefer.  It is so devastating and working through the pain is incredibly difficult.  4 months ago our happy, healthy 11 year old Daisy had what we thought was a routine UTI.  She was in good spirits, still her normal self, but the medications did not alleviate her symptoms.  A few days later, she seemed lethargic and then we noticed that she was having trouble peeing.  We consulted many vets, had her catheterized, but once home she could not pee at all.  Finally days later they found the tumor, no bigger than a grain of rice that had completely blocked her urethra.  The placement made it inoperable and they found that the cancer had already spread to her lymph nodes.  We had no choice, there was nothing we could do and a day later had to do the unthinkable and Daisy died in my arms. From the beginning of her symptoms to her final breath was just two weeks.  And she was gone.  I know the devastation you are feeling.  It is all consuming and heartbreaking.  Can you go on? Yes.  You have other lives depending on you and you never know what the future will bring.  A few days ago, we adopted again and now have an 8 week old puppy named Luna, now asleep by my side as I type this.  I still mourn and cry for Daisy and wish she was still with me, but my new little girl needs me too.  Life is heartbreakingly sad sometimes, but it is also sweet and funny.  You will find joy again, but give yourself ample time to grieve and cry and mourn and sometimes, even smile as you remember Kiefer.
Lori, Daisy's Mom and now Luna's Mom
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