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I have a golden named Chloe. I adopted her at 8 weeks and she is probably not a pure bred dog. She is now 12 years old. She's been with me since before I was married, through 3 pregnancies, 2 countries, good times and bad times. I love her so.

In the past 6 months, and increasingly so in the past few weeks, Chloe has lost a lot of weight. She has food available to her, but doesn't eat. I can see all her ribs.
I groomed her for the summer and her hair never grew back, she is totally bald in many places now. I'm afraid she must be very cold. She has severe arthritis.
She seems to be getting more ill and tired over time. She frequently vomits multiple times a day. Good days are days where she manages to sleep comfortable on the couch. She doesn't greet me anymore at the door, because she can't. She looks like she is suffering.

I do not have the finances for expensive exploratory veterinarian care (I've cared for her her whole life, but I don't live in a country where pet insurance or pet non profits exist)

I feel Chloe's time has come, and I don't want to prolong her suffering just because it's hard for me. But I also can't imagine bringing her to the vet for the last time. How did you know it was time? How did you deal with the guilt and pain? How did you tell your kids? Please be gentle. This is not easy for me.
 

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I am so so sorry. Your post made me cry because I've been I
your situation. Both of my Goldens died during their 12th year. Here is a link to a thread about quality of life.
https://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/golden-retriever-health-anatomy-physiology-breed-standard/440010-quality-life-scale.html
Only you can decide this. I can tell you have given her a good life and I hope you can find comfort in that. Letting Chloe go, as painful as it is for you, may be the most loving choice. You're in my prayers.
 

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I'm sorry about Chloe, has she had a recent Vet exam that included a full blood work up?
Is she on any pain medication or joint supplements?

If it's possible, I would get her in for a Vet exam, especially since she's vomiting.
 

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I feel Chloe's time has come, and I don't want to prolong her suffering just because it's hard for me. But I also can't imagine bringing her to the vet for the last time. How did you know it was time? How did you deal with the guilt and pain? How did you tell your kids? Please be gentle. This is not easy for me.
Oh, how I know the pain you're experiencing right now. My wife and I just went through the same experience with our 11-year-old Golden, River, this past December 15th. It's never easy, and it doesn't get any easier no matter how many times you have to go through this experience.

That said, at the very least, do take Chloe to the vet, and have blood work done. This procedure will help the vet in diagnosing what she is experiencing. You state Chloe is 12, so she has had a wonderful life, and she possibly has more years ahead, but until you get your vet's diagnosis you can't know for sure what is going on with her declining condition. The last thing you want is for Chloe to suffer.

Let me try and help you with the guilt and pain you're experiencing now. I realize this is not easy to do, but you need to get your feelings off yourself and think solely about what is best for Chloe. As mentioned, you don't want her to suffer. Animals have a wonderful way of telling us when it's their time to cross over the rainbow bridge. Our River had cancer. After the vet told us he didn't recommend treatment, I asked him what would be the first signs that the time was right to say goodbye. Remember now, I already knew his time was limited due to the cancer diagnosis. The vet told us that not eating and becoming lethargic are usually the first signs the time is drawing near. If Chloe is not eating, not greeting you, and not her normal self, then something is definitely going on inside if her that needs to addressed, one way or the other.

If your vet finds something life threatening such as cancer, then your vet will advise you of your options, which you need to know to make an informed decision. If euthanizing is recommended there are a few things you should know. Yes, there will be tears and you're going to feel like it's hard to breathe. I know because I just went through this...If there aren't tears and the feelings of true loss, well, one can only wonder why. Be truthful with your children. This may be the first time they are experiencing loss, so this will be a good time to help them learn how to deal with loss as well.

When Chloe's time comes, you will want to be with her. You may want to have your children with you and Chloe, but at least make sure someone close to Chloe is with her. Remember, this is the time to think about Chloe. You should be with her to comfort her as she crosses over. After you have hugged on her for as long as you and Chloe need, your vet will give Chloe a sedative to make her fall into a deep sleep. She hasn't passed yet, Chloe will simply be sleeping soundly and not experiencing anymore discomfort. Think about this for a moment...Isn't this what you want for your beloved pet of 12 beautiful years? Sure it is! Then after about ten minutes, the vet will administer a shot that will stop her heart. Chloe may take a few deep breaths, or wine and groan a bit, but you need to know that she is not in any distress or suffering at all from this procedure. As I said, this is the most humane thing you can do for a pet that has loved you for so many wonderful years. Keep your mind and heart on Chloe...

Your vet will let you stay with Chloe for as long as you feel it's necessary. Just know that Chloe will no longer be suffering or in any discomfort. You may want to have someone with you to drive you home because you will experience the same loss as one feels when they lose a member of their family or a close friend. There isn't any way around this part. It's simply the tough part of having had one of God's amazing creatures in your life for 12 years. As each day passes, your pain will begin to ease. In time, you will be able to talk about Chloe without breakdown into a stream of tears, though your eyes will still water up a bit when you talk about her, but even this too will pass in time as time and God heals your feelings of loss.

When I was with River, I witnessed something I will never forget. He was able to walk into the vet's treatment room under his own strength after we spent one last time outside the vet's office in the grass together. I had him off leash so he could sniff the ground as dogs do. Then we walked into a private room where the vet had a large doggie bed laying there on the floor. River went straight to the bed and laid down. I sat on the floor next to him and began gently petting his big beautiful head. After a few moments, River got up and turned away from me and laid back down. I didn't know what to make of him turning away from me, but I then realized without any question that this was River's way of telling me he was ready to go.

As you may or may not know, animals often want to be in seclusion, away from their pack and humans when it's their time. They will wander off to die, which is what I think River was trying to to do when he got up and turned away from me. I couldn't help it at the time, so I pulled on the dog bed around so I could stroke River a few last times before we began to process to ease him of the pain he was experiencing. Once he crossed over the rainbow bridge, I just sat there with him for a while and thought about all the beautiful memories he gave to me and my family. River was a gentle giant, and I loved him so much...

BeckyK, my thoughts, and prayers will be with you. God Bless!
 

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After reading these posts I'm sitting at my desk in my office trying not to cry. I went through this situation a few years ago with my 13 year old golden, Gracie. She had been on thyroid medication for years, and the last two years of her life she suffered with kidney problems. We were at the point where I felt she was getting more medication then food. I took her to my vet, who has been my vet for 30 years, at least 5 different times with the intention of it being the last. I would take her in and then just couldn't do it and we would try one more food, or one more medication.

Finally, one Friday night I came in and she didn't get up to greet me at all. She worked as hard as she could to lift her head and wag her tail. I made my mind up that no matter what I wasn't adding another medication to her list. It wasn't fair to her. I got up early Saturday morning and called the vet. My vet was off, but another vet in his office said to bring her right in. I think it was better because she didn't know me, or my relationship with my dogs as well. I sat with Gracie as she went. It literally took seconds and although I was heart broken I knew I had done the best thing for her. Driving home alone was awful, but even then I knew I should have done it months before.

It was a bad time for me. My oldest son had just graduated and was going off to college. I just think I didn't want one more change in my life right then. I realized immediately after I did it that I had waited to long. I came home and looked at Duke, my much younger Golden at the time and made my husband promise that if Duke ever got to the point Gracie was he would take him. I think we've come so far with medical advances for our pets, but sometimes I think we just can't tell our selves when it's time to let go.

My heart goes out to anyone facing such a hard decision. I would have an honest conversation with my vet and make my decision from there. Remember it's not about you, and there is always one more thing to try, but is it what's best?
 

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I feel Chloe's time has come, and I don't want to prolong her suffering just because it's hard for me. But I also can't imagine bringing her to the vet for the last time. How did you know it was time? How did you deal with the guilt and pain? How did you tell your kids? Please be gentle. This is not easy for me.
Your Vet should be able to tell you from the blood work. My Vet help with Blondie (13 1/2 years), she could have live longer maybe a week but it would have been in pain. She could not hold her food or water without vomiting multiply times, her system was shutting down. The vet re-hydrated Blondie so I can bring her home one last time for a ride on the river. It was very hard to make that choice, but it was best for Blondie. I made sure I held her until she pass.

Have someone be with you at the Vet office. When you make the decision take time off from work for as long as you need. Yes you will feel guilt and pain, it was not easy for me, crying now about it. Praying for you.
 

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I feel your pain...you should make a vet appointment, talk to them about her quality of life, and together make a decision best for your sweetie....I wish you the best, but your strength is needed at this time, to help Chloe, especially if these are her last days...my thoughts and prayers are with you...
 

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I’m very sorry for you, crying reading this thread. It’s one of the hardest things to do and definitely the worst part of owning pets.

I don’t know how old your kids are but let me share something with you from when I was a child. We had a gentle little beagle that we all loved and I don’t remember him coming into my life, I just remember that from when I started having memories of life, Tippy was there. One day I came home from school and Tippy wasn’t there. I wasn’t aware enough about life to realize he was old and I had never experienced death before this. It wasn’t until after my parents had him put down that they told us he was old and sick and it was time to send him to doggie heaven. I was crushed. I was also angry that I didn’t get to say goodbye. I was about 8-9 yrs old. I was angry enough that it has stayed with me my whole life and I’m now 50.

So obviously, make the best decision you can in regards to how to tell your children but I just wanted to share my story as something to think about. I know you have a lot to think about already, again I’m so sorry.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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All of the advice given thus far are accurate. The need to have a vet visit will probably answer many questions. Having the time to go and see your vet would be beneficial. For me, having our Golden collapse suddenly will never be erased from my memories. We did not have time, and although it was surreal, for us, it was important to have the entire family there. It's so difficult, and a decision that you and your family would need to make. I pray much strength and comfort during this time and the focus on Chloe and her well being.
 

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Since you live in a place without the best options for veterinary care, and you love your girl, the age of 12 is elderly for a golden retriever. It's possible that bloodwork, etc could be done and you might find out what is wrong and it could possibly be fixed with medication. But what if you do all that, and still can't find out what it is? Will this prolong her pain? Will this prolong your pain of watching her do so poorly? I've made the choice to let my goldens go, several times over the years. It doesn't get easier, but the signs of deciding when to let them go, are a little more easier to see with each of my goldens that have passed. For me when I decide to let them go I have a few lines in the sand. One is pain, if I can no longer manage their pain. Two is eating, if they have stopped eating, no matter what I've tried. Three is visible clues, like distance in their eyes, or not knowing who I am or what is happening around them. You'll have to decide what your lines in the sand are.


Goldens are the best dogs in the world. I empathize with you having to make this decision. Whatever you decide, do not beat yourself up. Only you can decide for her. Be her advocate. What would she want? What is best for her? Unfortunately our dogs don't live forever and we have to make those decisions for them. Whatever you decide we will not judge you, we all only wish you and her the best through this difficult time. Her passing will affect your whole family, so include them in your decision. Let us know how things go. We all wish you well.
 

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I believe Chloe deserves at least a biochemistry blood profile if you suspect cancer IN ADDITION to blood parasites test.If not cancer,it can a much easy health problem such as Lyme ,anaplasma or ehrlichiosis which are quite cheap to treat with antibiotics.If this is also a considerable cost for you,I would contact each GR rescue possible to ask for their assistance.They can even start fundraising for you .HOWEVER ,I believe you owe at least this chance to Chloe.I wouldn't be able to let go of any of my dog or rescued ones without finding first what is wrong.If it is cancer ,again it 's treatable depending on the type.I hope it's something minor and I literally beg you first to contact a GR rescue and if at least the blood tests exceed your budget,I would surrender her definitely to a rescue which sometimes happens to be the case.
 

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I'm so sorry. I would call your Vet and ask for an examination, a lot can be told with just a senior blood panel test. Then go from there. It is obvious something major is wrong. My last Golden that I had started getting lumps on her, she slowed way down and could no longer walk with me. I still remember her last walk. She always wanted to go with me and I would feel bad and take her but the last time we walked a half of block and she just stopped. I knew she couldn't go any further. It was a sad wake up call for me. She could no longer jump into the car, on a Vet trip she couldn't step up into the car. I tried lifting her and she growled at me (I'm crying remembering this) That dog put up with 4 kids playing like crazy on her running with her pulling on her, she never ever ever growled at any of us. I knew then that she was truly in pain and it was another hard wake up call for me. She was 12, almost 13. I talked with my Vet about her changes, she also was eating less. My Vet suspected she was probably full of cancer and it was spreading fast. She said doing all kinds of test wasn't necessary because she was pretty sure by her symptoms what was going on. She told me I would know when it was time. I took her home and did not want to decide to end her life, we went a couple more weeks but I could see her getting worse. So I would have to say the hardest decision was making the decision. When I saw pictures of her after how skinny she looked and old I was sad I didn't make the decision sooner.

I went through another situation with our cat. Both my Golden and cat grew up together. A few years after my Golden died my cat started losing weight and throwing up. I did everything I could and spent a lot of money on him but he got worse, again I didn't want to put him down but when I saw him laying on the floor one day so skinny, he looked dead. I started crying because then I knew it was his time as well. So I'm so sorry you have to decide and are going through this. It is not easy. These pets are part of our families and lives. :(
 

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Sorry to hear. You'll know when it's time I believe. My Golden is 13 1/2 yrs. Started having seizures last July. Off and on since. Terrible to see. He bounces back to normal so it's hard one to deal with. 3 weeks ago he lost appetite and had one. Went a week not eating good had another good one were he wouldn't get up at all for almost 24 hrs. I was going to put him down but just as the time came he got up and walked poorly but went outside to pee,etc. and within a few hours was walking better etc. now a week later hes better then ever. Eating like a champ and loves his walks. Such torment to deal with.

He's such a good dog. And they are so hard to replace. You just can't go down to a store and find one. Good breeders are far and few between and have litters booked in advance. It will be hard to find another Golden when he goes. I'm looking now cause I can't see him living much longer really but can't seem to find one. I have the time (retired) and place (3 acres in the country) to keep two.
 

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FWIW - I'll tell you about my recent scare with my oldest.


I do have access to (mostly) wonderful vets.



My 11 year old Faelan, slowed down and stopped eating -- his last meal noted was on a Friday morning and he was very reluctant to eat that. My older girl Towhee was due to go into season so I thought maybe? Anyway, on Saturday Towhee went to her co-owners for safe keeping and Faelan still would not eat.


Monday night he was at the E Vets; I had a horrible experience as this vet refused to listen to me, insisted she heard a heart arrythmia and off he went for X-Rays. Vet was amazed his heart looked clear but thought she saw 'something' in the lower portion -- his abdomen. She flat out refused to give me pain killers for my dog screaming in my face he was not in pain and there was nothing wrong with his mouth. I tell you this merely to show that sometimes you need to fight for your dog. I got the pain killers by adamantly insisting -- enough for a few days while we awaited analysis of the X Rays.


XRay results came back as inconclusive concerning that 'spot' but his heart was normal, so at this point he was under my regular vets care. I had a dental scheduled but this was postponed pending an ultrasound for his abdomen. While we awaited the Ultrasound appointment (tech who only came in once a week), I got more pain killers for my Faelan.


In the meantime Faelan had lost 6 pounds but was eating if I hand fed him. He went for his Ultrasound and results were still unremarkable so he finally was scheduled for a dental! Still on pain killers and still losing weight rapidly. At this point he was nearing skin and bones.


His dental? He had a (benign) tumor on his gum causing a LOT OF PAIN. Tumor out and I asked the vet I trusted if she heard the arrythmia -- he was on the monitor the whole time in surgery and there was no problem noted with his heart's rhythm.


He went home with a few more days of painkillers and is now back up to his normal weight, running & playing, eating gleefully and fully back to being my Faelan.


Now I had actually made a grid of possible scenarios as he went for these tests and I awaited results and he was not giving me signs he was ready to go... but a golden (or any dog) not eating is a hard thing combined with the lack of energy so most of my results had my Faelan not coming home from the UltraSound. The tears were endless as I made my way through those weeks.



Why am I telling you all this --- have her mouth checked, have blood work done if at all possible, talk to the vet if possible. It may be a thyroid problem or something like a mouth problem. If not, you can make the best possible choices from there.


FWIW: My mother told us that a dog we had was sick and in pain, and she could not make him better any more so she had to do right by him and relieve him of his pain. This we could understand. As kids, it hurt losing our dogs but she always gave us the chance to say our goodbyes and it helped --



I wish you peace in whatever decisions you need to make.
 

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I am new on here because we just got our new golden puppy and I love the advice and support on the forums. I saw this thread and just had to tell you our story.



We had to make that awful decision 2 1/2 weeks ago with our beautiful Odin. Our golden was going to be 16 on February 14 of this year. I so wanted to celebrate that birthday with him and it guts me that he is not here. I am so sorry you are going through this but I would also definitely do bloodwork. At least it will give you an idea of what is going on but not be too expensive. This is what happened to us.



We almost lost Odin at 12 yrs of age. He stopped eating and lost a tremendous amount of weight. We had no idea why. He was not voiting though. We took him to the vet and they did the blood work. It came back excellent so it gave us hope, there had to be a reason for this. I started researching a homeade diet and getting him the right nutrients. In the end I got a cookbook for dogfood from the vet. In the beginning when I was getting him back on track I started hand feeding him to get him going and feeding smaller, frequent meals. It took a couple of months but we got him eating well again and he LOVED the homeade food. It was a lot of work but so worth it. I just made big batches and froze serving size portions. We still had problems off on and on with feeding but about a year later when his skin started getting crusty and hair was falling out we/the vet finally figured out he was dealing with outside allergies. We put him on an allergy med and he was great right up until after Christmas. I think the allergies were so bad that he even had an upset tummy. He had arthritis and that hurt him but we had him on pain meds for that too. He had a good quality life until after Christmas when old age got him and his body was just shutting down. That had to be one of the hardest things we have had to do. And yes it is normal to question yourself and feel guilt as well as the sadness.



Reading this thread was hard but I wanted you to know that there may be a chance to help your golden and if not I am so sorry. It is not easy losing them. Good luck.
 
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