Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Texas Coast
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Quoted: 33 Post(s)
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My heart breaks for everyone facing these decisions. The firsttime I had to do make it, my Irish Setter, Red, was dianosed with a "spinal infection" and my vet triedall kinds of antibiotics, but he just keep going down hill. Today, 28 years later, my present vet (an myself) believe it was cancer. Ayway, I hung onto him far to long, let him suffer far to much with the he one of the antibiotics would work. He coulnd't get up or walk without being held, would only eat a few bites from my hand. The day came I knew I had to let him go and I swore I would never every let another dog suffer like that
Fastforward almost 13 years later and my next Irish Setter was diangsed with bone cancer rear leg. Our vet gave us our options and our hearts said amputation. But he had already passed his 12th birthday, he had arthritis in hips and shoulders and our minds said no suffering for our elegant old man. Give him the time of hislife for what little time he had left.
and that is what we did. My vet hadfigured withing a week to 10 days we would have to send him to the bridge becuae it was a very, very aggressive cancer. However at the end of the week he was actually getting around better becaue he had developed a bunny hop (he coulnd't bend that knee). I was talking him fishing every day at the bay and he swam, chased crabs andshore birds, loved every minute. He didn't want to get in the car even after 3-4 hours.
Also, he love3d fruits and veggies more than meats, had a sweet tooth you woulnd't believe. We let him hae all the tosses dalad (lettuce and tomatoes andcucumbers), melons, apple, etc that he wanted (he use to steal the tomaotes, green peppers and squash off the vines in my garden). also we let him have all thedoggy no-no food he had never been allowed to have. If we had a banana split for dessert--so did he. If we had apple pie andice cream--so did he. If we hadstrawberry shortcake--so did he.
eachweek I would take him into see my vet 2-3 times a week (he didn't charge tolook him over---he had an elderly female Irirsh at that time) and he would say "I don't understand it. He is actually gaining weight and gettingaroudn better. Wedon't have to do it yet.
I had him exactly 10 weeks to the day following diagnosis and probably could have had him a little olonger. On July 8, 1997, he didn't spend as much time in the water as normla, and spent more time in thesahe of the car. I think Iknew he was going down, but tried to tell myself we had been ther every day for 10 weeks, even in rain, and he was as tired as I was. But the next morning he went to get on sofa and fell and I had to help him up and i could feel the hardness in hisshoulder I had not felttwo days before. I decided to let him goright then.
my sone and dil took him the mile to our vet--i just couldn't doit. And after they left I almost called to tell Rickey I had changed my mind, ssend him back home with Ron and Heather. But I knew that waswrong. They stayed with him and held him and then buried him out near our duck blind where he sulc alwasy hear the shore birds.
I know I did right letting him go. I have regretted I was not with him, but he dearly loved Ron and Heather and they were. He laos loved Rickey our vet. I just coulnd't face losing him. To this day Rickey still talked about the "old red man." He lost his Irirsh girl a year later.
then in May 2008 we found my golden girl KayCee had a mass in her stomach. My vet operated and was surprised she made it thru the surgery. She died in ICU 48 hours later as I held her. I had actaully had them call my vet to come in and send her to the bridge, but she went before he got there.
I am so sorry you are facing this and I know you will do the right thing. I made a mistake with my first Irirsh and swore never to do that gain. And had Boots been 4 or 5 instead of almost 12 1/2, I do think we would have amputated. But his age, his arthritis, it just didn't seem fair to him. each person has to deiced after looking at all sides, which is the best way to go.
AT THE BRIDGE
SCOOTER 6/14/94 - 8/22/99
BUCK 2/8/95 - 5/15/07
HUNTER 8/19/99 - 10/16/03
KAYCEE 8-19-99 -5-25-08
HONEY ADOPTED GROWN 12/07/02 - 8/13/14
SOPHIE 1/8/04 - ADOPTED 2/17/15 - 10/12/16
GREAT PYRENEES SHAGGY adopted AT AGE 7 8/31/14 - 9/23/14
STILL WITH US GREAT PYRENEESE MOOSE adopted 9/30/14 AT AGE 7
Goldens bring light into the world.