Alexa29
I apologize in advance for my bad English, but it's not my native language and I don't have anyone to talk to about this, cause my friends and family don't seem to understand the dilemma between letting my baby feel so much pain and when to end her pain. My mother is the only one I can talk to, but being a doctor understands what out girl is going through, after all, human cancer is not that different from canine cancer, and my mother is freaking out.

Nala was diagnosed with brain cancer about a month ago. The primary tumor is in the brain and she has two other confirmed tumors in the neck and right shoulder. We didn't want to know if she has other tumors in the lungs or something, we already knew her prognosis was bad enough to stop the studies and start paliative care. We don't have neurosurgeons for pets in this country and the first round of chemo really made her feel worse.

In the last week we had to give shelter to our neighbors who were evicted and their stuff all around the house didn't let Nala walk around freely, so we decided to let her stay only in the upper floor of the house. She seemed to be fine. Sunday and monday she could climb down the stairs and back up with little difficulty, but as from yesterday (tuesday), she started crying when she moved her neck and she walks very slowly and carefully. She's eating fine, but it may be due to prednisone. She can't drink her water cause the bowl was too low and now I put it on a box but she won't drink.

Nala seems to very very sad or tired, I can't tell the difference. She's almost 5 years old and she has been with me for the past three years. My cousin rescued her from the streets when she was 6 months old and then tried to put her in a loving home, but didn't find one until my oldest furboy died and whe could adopt Nala.

Nala has always been cheerful, playful but also a little lazy, she has the stability and serenity of a large dog and the loveliness, sweetness and empathy of a small dog. She's a mix. And she has been the best dog we ever had, though we thought we'd never love a dog so much as we used to love our only boy. Nala is an amazing dog, I've always said she is an innate therapy dog. But she has not been herself lately. I believe she's too tired and in a lot of pain.

When we were told she had cancer, we looked for a second opinion. Both vets agreed that we needed to understand that, in order to avoid terrible pain, we should consider putting her down. We don't really have a problem with euthanasia, we believe it's much better to end the pain before it gets too hard to bear. But the problem we're facing now is when to end it. We know the brain tumor is very big, it's the seize of a fifth of her brain, we saw the CT scan... and we also know that the tumor in the neck is invading up to 75% of the space there.

My mom hasn't slept in a few days, she's in panic cause she fears Nala's shoulder may break or that she may start having seizures. I'm worried cause I can see how she can't rest her head comfortably and therefore she can't sleep as she's used to.

We were thinking about programming goodbye for saturday, so we can spend the day with her. But this is advancing so fast that we don't know if we should let her rest sooner to avoid any more pain for her. We are Mexican and maybe you know that we've had a lot of earthquakes lately. We also fear that something would happen to Nala during a quake and we won't be able to help her.

If you guys have any insight, suggestion, experience you can share with me to help us make the best possible decision, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
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RileysMom
Alexa29,

I am very sorry you are going through this. It is my understanding that brain cancer advances very quickly once it’s apparent enough for a diagnosis. This is ultimately something that you have to live with. You have to be comfortable with the decision.

But in my opinion, if you are seeing that she is in pain and nothing is able to relieve that, I think you already have your answer. What would delaying it give her? By all means, do not be hasty with your decision. You have to live with what you decide. Just be aware that an animal can go downhill very quickly.

My sympathies are with you. I hope the best for you and Nala.
Val
—Loving Riley, Rosy & Axl always 🐾

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nosunshine
Dear Alexa29,

There is a saying that "it is better a week early than a day too late" - this means it is better to let yoir pet go a little bit early than to wait and have them them suffer. I'm sorry but from what you have described it sounds like your dear Nala is in terrible pain! Prednisone is a strong drug - if she is still showing this it must be very bad!!
The other thing is that animals will hide their pain - it's an instinct so if she is showing this much pain that also tells me it it's time. I'm so sorry!! I know it's so hard but as Rileysmom said, you will have to live with what you do now and you don't want to look back and think you allowed her suffer. Cancer is so very painful!

Blessings, Sharon
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Alexa29
Thank you, Val and Shannon,

We gave her yesterday meloxicam for the pain, today she was able to walk a little faster, but she has diarrhea now. She could finally sleep a little more and rest more comfortably. She's lying now with her neck a little curved, almost as she used to do a few months ago. This is a huge relief.

I don't want her to be in pain anymore, but I must admit that I am in denial. I just can't believe that such a young and beautiful furbaby has cancer, such an awful and terminal cancer. I can't believe that she will die soon, no matter what we do. I justt can't accept the fact that the most amazing dog I've ever had is a victim of this awful disease. And the decision to be made is one we will never be able to undo.

She seems to be a little more comfortable, with a little less pain and better ability to move and walk, but at what cost? I hate to see her run to the bathroom, so to speak. But if she's showing a little improvement, if she's responding well to meloxicam, I believe it's not quite the time. Maybe tomorrow, maybe in three days, but not today.

I'm also feeling incredibly guilty, cause we decided to help the neighbors and thus lost an entire week of time with Nala. That people lied to us, used us, put us in danger because there was a very strong quake on friday and if they stuff had fallen, we wouldn't have been able to get out of the house. But what makes me feel worse is that I couldn't spend as much time with Nala as she deserves, that we neglected her for an entire week when time is so precious, that we left her in a very unhygienic room just to help a bunch of liars. Maybe I don't want to let her go yet to make up for that week we lost.

Today I'm so stressed that my blood pressure levels are high, my head hurts, i feel dizzy and I can't even cry cause my head will hurt more. But Nala seems to be a little better. Why can't I just enjoy this time with her, now that she's a little better? I remember every relative I saw in pain, I remember every dog I helped go... but with Nala is different. I know there is no cure for this, I know what will happen, but I just can't let her go and I hate myself for being so selfish.

Sorry for this long post and for venting here, but right now I feel so bad and I really don't know anywhere else to go and find some understanding.
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Alexa29
Last night we called a third vet. This man has helped us when my other dogs were too sick and old and a few hours away from passing. We have never ever let any dog suffer til they go naturally, cause none of them would've just fallen asleep and never wake up again. Schatzy had a very awful heart failure and now that we see Nala's symptoms, we believe Khali also had a brain tumor or a stroke, cause she spent ther last days with her head tilted, but she could walk and eat until she couldn't.

The last doctor spend a few hours here at home, he said that Nala still looks okay and that we should try ozone therapy to help her with the pain. Meloxicam worked amazingly, btw, but he prescribed more meds and we didn't give it to her last night cause her stomach would get irritated. Let's see how she does today. The vet also said that ozone therapy can help us reduce prednisone and help her gain muscle again. He said she looks just too tired, not sad or in pain anymore. And he charged us minimum for the visit at home.

Hope is hope and now we have a little. The vet also said that we all know this is not gonna heal, that we'll have to make a decision, but that it's not time to make hasty decisions. He aims to treat the pain and when we see it's not helping anymore, he'll help us let her go. This vet has been doing some serious research about ozone therapy in humans, horses and dogs with a lot of success, it's painless and from what I read it's toxic to unhealthy damaged cells, but harmless to healthy cells. We have nothing to loose and probably a lot of time to gain. When it comes to terminal diseases, I've learned that a month can be a huge difference, as long as they're not in pain.

Thank you guys for your support. I'll keep you updated of how ozone therapy goes. It may be an alternative therapy we all could try.
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Light
Hi I saw your post tonigh and wanted to give my support and blessings and check on you and nala. I just had to end my 8’yr old lab Chloe girls suffering from cancer tumors last night feb28 and it was heart wrenching. She was still moving around but she has two big tumors in her lymphnodes one in her heart and many on her legs and rear limbs . It was awful watching her just trying to move around . I totally feel your pain and so understand your dilemma. I am praying for you your naila and family . If you need support I’m here to listen
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Alexa29
Thanks a lot, dear. Nala seemed to be fine by Tuesday. She even tried to run a bit, though it was more like a fast walk, but it made us very happy. In the last two days, she has been falling everytime she goes to the bathroom and that's only when she pees, she hasn't pooped in 36 hours. We believe it's time to help her go. There is no dignity in falling on your own dirt, in not being able to empty your bowels, in falling every two steps. She's still eating, but I believe it's because of the prednisone. There's no room for selfishness here. We didn't want to anticipate so much, but we also refuse to se her in pain.

I'm so sorry for your loss Light. There are literally no words for a situation like this. Let's just remember that Chloe is in a much better place now, where she can jump and run again. God bless you, dear friend.
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Alexa29
Well... Nala passed a few hours ago, we decided it was time to end the pain. After 3 hours of watching her struggling to even move, we waited until it was a decent hour to call the vet. He couldn't come right away, but it gave us some time to spoil her for the last time.

I don't know how I feel. I feel some kind of peace and at the same time I feel a lot of guilt. I know not being able to walk, not wanting to eat or even drink water is definitely not being fully alive, but I feel guilty for being so calm. Maybe I cried enough already when I saw her falling onto her own poop, maybe I suffered too much watching her suffer. For the last 18 hours of her life, my Nala, the best dog I ever had, seemed to be somewhere else. She was not there, though her body was. She was not asleep, she was not awake. She couldn't even move her head to change position. I tried to carry her to her mattress... she cried, that soul crushing cry,,,

I believe I feel some kind if peace, cause I didn't let her suffer more than what I thought was necessary to be completely sure it was her time to go. I didn't want to end her life too early, cause she was fighting real hard, she tried, she tried sooo much... I'll never forget last Friday, when my mom called the vet to have Nala put down, and just as soon as my mom hung up, Nala came in the kitchen, pushing the door with her nose and waling on all four, like saying "I'm still here and it's not the time yet." I'll never forget Bimba showing Nala her way around the house when Nala got confused, how Bimba used to lay down right next to Nala to warm her up. I didn't know cancer can cause low blood sugar levels... Bimba taught me that by showing me how cold Nala was.

But I won't have the memories of Nala seizing, of Nala with her head tilted or just laying on her own waste. I find peace in knowing that I did everything I could to make her last days as comfortable as possible, as happy as possible. I find peace in knowing that she didn't suffer for too long. But I will never understand why this happened to such a loving, supportive, smart, sweet, empathetic dog.

Nala was the best dog that I could have ever dreamed of adopting. And I had an amazing dog before, but I got him when he was just 6 weeks old. Nala and my dear Schatzy changed my life and taught me so much, I can only hope they have finally met at the rainbow bridge and they can happily play together now, where there's no pain, only happiness and divine love.
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KrazyBoutCatz
Thank you for sharing your story, I know it must be hard . . . I have 3 cats diagnosed with different types of cancer since April 2017. One of my cats, a 14 year-old girl, was diagnosed just last week with a menigioma, and unfortunately has had 4 seizures in the past 2 months. She was diagnosed by a veterinary neurologist last week. This kitty gets VERY carsick, I was trying to find a mobile veterinarian to come to my home to evaluate her. The vet said elderly cats pretty much never have seizures, except when there is a tumor forming. She is now on prednisolone to decrease pressure on her brain, and levetiracetam to try to minimize the chances of another seizure occurring. It was so frightening to see her have seizures. I hope the medication controls it . . .
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bluegreen_eyes
I am here to give you support too.
bluegreen_eyes
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