Loss of our golden - Lyon - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Loss of our golden - Lyon


I found this forum looking for comfort after we had to put our big boy Lyon down yesterday. He was 12 years young, and had been healthy for the most part until I found him in the back yard on the 26th and he couldn't get up. While he'd been having problems getting up on our laminate flooring, he could get up under his own power on carpet or grass. We knew something was wrong when he wouldn't get up on grass with our assistance. So we took him to the emergency vet that night and found out he had broken his left rear leg. The vet at the clinic recommended a specialty surgical clinic in Dallas, but we wanted our family vet to take a look at him and see if he could mend the broken leg. After spending the night at the clinic, we took him to our family vet, and he said the problem was too big for him (we found out later why he didn't want to treat him). The clinic in Dallas was booked for Thursday, but they said their clinic in Grapevine could see him and do the surgery. We took him there and waited a long time before the vet came in. Here is where the bomb dropped. She said that he had osteosarcoma, and the break was a "pathological" break. While she said treatment would include amputation, she also cautioned that since he was a big dog (116 lbs), and old, that he would have a really hard time on three legs. She also said that it may be likely that the cancer may have already spread into other parts of the body. She said that he would have had at most, 4 to 5 months of life left without chemotherapy. We decided at that point to have him put down. This was a very hard decision. We wanted our family vet to put him down, so we took him back to his clinic. He admitted that he had seen the X-rays and the pathologic break and the tumors in his leg bone, but didn't want to make a call about putting him down till a specialist vet had looked at him. But, he felt we were making the right decision. Lyon was in a great deal of pain with the broken leg, but he was heavily sedated. The doctor put him down yesterday around 5pm with all of the family at his side. This is not our first dog to put down, but this was so sudden and shocking. To have to make such a final decision so quickly was gut-wrenching and sad.

But now, my wife is second-guessing her decision to have him put down, and is beside herself with guilt and grief that she let him down. After seeing three vets, and two of them saying that euthanizing our dog was an option, I felt like we made the best decision with the information we had available. I feel terrible in that I could have said "no", let's proceed with the amputation and take it one day at a time.

Sorry for the long post. I suppose I'm looking more for consolation than anything. I'm also looking for guidance on how to help my wife cope with the loss of a wonderful dog that was so good and true to his breed. While we have three other dogs - two of them young and another old, my wife is so stricken with grief she doesn't want to spend any time with them. My children, who are all adults, seem to be coping OK, but my youngest two are having a difficult time. I'm sure that we will eventually get over our grief as we have before, but this one is different as Lyon was such a wonderful dog. Thanks.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 09:47 PM
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i have no experience to share as we're awaiting our first puppy, but I just wanted to say I'm so sorry for your loss of Lyon. It's obvious how much you, your wife and children loved him. Sending you good thoughts for healing for all of you.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 09:48 PM
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So sorry for your loss of Lyon. You've found a place where others understand that terrible sense of loss and how quickly it happens sometimes. Sending thoughts and prayers that with time you and your family will be left with only the memories of the good times. May Lyon's spirit run free and without pain.

Gracie, Sunfire's Amazing Grace, RN, CGC, CCA, Pet Partner therapy dog, 9/12/2013
Zoe, Rockwall Nantucket Breeze, BN, CGC, Delta therapy dog, 5/4/2008 - 10/28/2013
Zeke, our introduction to the world of Golden Retrievers, 6/12/1997 - 12/18/2007
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 10:16 PM
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Last edited by Millie'sMom; 12-28-2012 at 11:02 PM. Reason: changed mind
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 10:36 PM
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I'm so very sorry for your sudden loss. Whatever choice made with love is the exact right one for Lyon and you. You have given him the greatest gift... that of being free of his pain. Bone cancer is very painful and goldens are known to be so very stoic. Usually by the time they are showing their pain, it is considerable. You have taken on the pain so that he could be free of it. Many here have walked in your shoes and know the pain of loss of such a special love. I think you will find much friendship and consolation here from ones that know that special bond and how it hurts to lose it. There are several of us from the metroplex too, so..... welcome. I'm just sorry you found us under such sad circumstances.

Betty and the Dallas crew

“Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.” A. France
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 10:38 PM
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First of all, I want to extend my deepest sympathy for your loss. i know your heart is broken

I honestly think you made the right decision. We were faced with that just last June. Our Lucy was just shy of nine years old. Like Lyon, this came on very fast. She was fine for the most part up to two weeks before we helped her to the bridge.

Reflect on the love he gave your family and the love you returned to him by setting him free. Give extra love and hugs to your others dogs, wife and kids.

God Bless,


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 11:00 PM
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You did the right thing for Lyon

What you did was brave and unselfish. You gave the greatest love of all. He was spared the indignity of an amputation while suffering from cancer. Each day he would have gotten worse as the cells multiplied. You put aside your needs and looked after him. I applaud you and thank you on Lyon's behalf. I'm so sorry that you lost him in an unexpected way.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 01:41 PM
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I'm so very sorry for your loss of Lyon. I think you did the right thing. It's the final gift that we can give our fur babies to help them to the Bridge and set them free of pain. It's such a difficult thing to do. Many of us here know your heartbreak Hugs to you and your wife. Run free sweet boy
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 01:48 PM
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I'm so sorry for your loss of Lyon. I think it's only natural that you are questioning whether or not you made the right or best decision for him.

It's a very difficult decision to have to make, one of the hardest I've ever had to make. I've been through it more times than I wish, but it's always a decision made out of love and what is best for your beloved friend. Knowing that my beloved pets were no longer suffering or in pain, always brought me a little comfort and eventually I found peace with it. I still miss them all to this day while it has been many years for several and only two years ago for my most recent boy.

My heart goes out to you and your family. I hope with time you will be able to find peace.

Godspeed Lyon
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 01:50 PM
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Sorry for your loss - we had to put our dog down a month ago due to osteosarcoma in the leg. It's such a hard decision but know that with time you and your family will heal and the pain will lessen.

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