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4th stage renal failure in my dog
I have a nine year old lab  "Sandy Grace".  She is in fourth stage renal failure-Of course she has seen her regular vet for fluids-ultra sound revealed she has one kidney which is failing.   Creatine was 13-subs at home-now using hollistic and homepatic treatment.  Recently more bad days than good.    I am giving her ice chips which seem to work better for her than lapping.  Pedialyte ice is also better.  She throws up until she staggers and falls-I am continuously trying to hydrate her and giving her baby food-At times, she is able to keep it down,  other times the vomiting is horrible.  She continues to try for us, and we are fighting so hard for her-LIke others, I tuck her in at night (she sleeps on the loveseat with her "bankie" covering her).  I am sleeping in the den with her so I can give her support throughout the night.  Neither of us are getting much sleep.  I have her spoiled now with hand feeding other than her baby food, and I hold her plate while she licks it up.  I am using a recipe of egg yellow / whites, honey, and whole yogurt with a touch of dry powdered milk.  This works sometimes.  Sandy Grace is not ready to leave us-she continues to try-we try for her twenty-four hours a day.  Is there any over the counter medication that I can give her that will help with her vomiting?  We love her so much and she loves us so much-my husband and I feel like we will know when she is ready to go.  We went to grocery store yesterday to  buy more food supplies and liquids for her, when we got home, there she was looking out the window-barking for us to hurry and come inside-you open the door and there she is  - -so excited, still wagging her tail for us.  What can we do, this is our baby, she is so, so sweet-I know her days are numbered, but she is just not ready to leave. Help.    Aggieone
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yes, this is a horrible thing for any owner or pet to endure.  I am going through this at this moment with my dear sweet little Yorkie (Honey). crying as i type.  Really nothing one can do i guess when they can't keep food, water, or anti-emetics down.  My prayers are with you.
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Good Morning!!!   We are haning in there and devoting a lot of time to Charleston (our chocolate lab-nickcname is Bubber)  We are trying to remember to call him Charleston now since Cissy is gone.  I keep reliving the last few minutes of her life.  Will share soon, but again, not now.   I have relived the last 6 weeks and the last few moments of her life a million times now.  Our vet notified Lab Rescue and they have contacted us VIA e-mail to see if we are interested.  How can we say no to a lab who needs a good home.  Husband and I plan to think about this a while.  It is too soon after losing our Cissy, but how can we say no.  What do you guys think?????

Jaybay, I live in North Carolina and love it.  Have lived here my entire life.  My nickname, Aggie was given to me by my twelve year old grandson.  He gave it to me when he started to talk as a little one.  It has stayed with me and everyone calls me Aggie.  We camp at Surfside beach at Ocean Lakes Family Campground in South Carolina, when we stay there, we take our RV.  It is wonderful and so pet friendly.  We rent a golf cart for the week and take our babies everywhere.  Husband use to be a deer hunter, but thank goodness he no longer has the heart to kill them.  From his deer hunting days, he leased hundreds of  acres of land, he still does so we can ride our four wheelers, camp "very primitive" and take our babies, we can only go on weekends because the rule is no hunting after Friday evenings at 6:00 p.m.  We also camp at state parks if they allow pets.  There are so many wonderful places to camp in the mountains of North Carolina (you know we have the Blue Ridge Mountains and Parkway).  Waterfalls, the Broad River and so much more.  You should look at the options and come camp in this wonderful state.  My only complaint is the high humidity in July and August,  I prefer our camper when it is so hot.    I highly recommend Ocean Lakes Family Campground, it is massive and so much to do there.  Our babies love it.  We have been going there for twenty-one years.  I really enjoyed this diversion from my constant thoughts of losing Cissy.  Would really appreciate your thoughts on rescuing another lab.  Kind of wish our vet would have waited a few weeks.  There will NEVER be another Sandy Grace, but we learned a long time ago when we lost our precious Hannah (another lab we rescued) that each of our wonderful babies hold new places in our hearts, have their own wonderful personalities and constantly leave their own footprints on our hearts.  Look forward to hearing from all of you.  You guys are THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Aggieone
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165308 tn?1323190145
I feel that if they contacted you, that it means you should let this new lab into your wonderful home.  You definitely are NOT replacing Cissy....no one can and no one will ever try.  Think of it as a tribute to Cissy.  She has given you so much love that it is only right to share it with another.  I still grieve often for my beloved Tiffy and am not quite ready to have a new dog, however, if one was presented to me I take it as a sign from God.  You know in your heart what to do, and I am sure that you will make the right decision.  Hang in there, and know Cissy is in a better place, running around and not suffering anymore!  
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I found this site while getting information on my Mini Schnauzer who has kidney failure and is having a bout with Pancreatitis.  I will share my story at a later time.  I just want you to know that you did everything possible for your Cissy and she is no longer suffering.  I had a dog die in my arms 20 years ago and have had to put down 2 since.  They are like your babies and they can never be replaced.  I know your Cissy is in the arms of our Savior and my beliefs are that we will see our dogs again.  My thoughts and prayers are with you.  
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172023 tn?1334675884
We have a house near Brevard NC.  Love it.
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82861 tn?1333457511
Do us a favor and check your profile settings so we can send you private messages and add you to our Friends List.  :-)

I would LOVE to see the entire east coast some day.  I've been all over the midwest from Chicago to Kansas City to Oklahoma City, Houston and points southwest to Los Angeles.  My dream is to take a summer in an RV and roam around New England all down the coast to Florida.  I also love that North Carolina accent.  Very easy on the ears.  LOL!

As for timing on another rescue, that's a tough one because it's such a very personal decision.  Right now there's nothing wrong with updating your application or even putting in applications with a couple more rescue groups.  That way, when you're ready to adopt there will be no delays.  That's actually how we came to adopt Doc Holliday so very soon after losing Chica.  My husband had made application to a dalmation rescue group a couple months before Chica died.  Yeah, I was just a tad upset out that, but as it turned out, it was a good thing.  Having Doc Holliday helped us move past our grief over Chica, and we quickly fell in love with him.  Our other dog Maggie really needed a playmate so when we found Doc and he and Maggie got along so well during their first meeting, there was no point in waiting.  How is Charleston doing being the solo dog now?  You might use his behavior as an indicator for adoption timing.  We've always had 2 dogs, and can't imagine being a 1-dog household.  Twice the love, twice the fun, and twice the.... poop!  LOL!  :-)
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Just wanted to let you know that I followed your story from the first to the last posting about Sissy.  Wow, what wonderful parents you were to her.  And in her last days, she knew you were fighting with her. There is no greater gift to an animal on this planet, than that.  Knowing that she was dying and being able to be strong enough for her, not to go ahead and put her to sleep, but instead to do ABSOLUTELY everything in your power to stretch out her days, was such a huge sacrifice.  She knew you were sacrificing for her and you can have peace of mind in knowing that.  Let the thought of you by her side in her last moments give you peace.  I lost my border collie mix, to end stage kidney failure, his name was spots, 2 summers ago, and I still cry to this day. I have since acquired 2 more dogs, but nothing will ever take his place, nor erase the memories of what I went through trying to save his life.  I can say I know exactly what you went through, from vomiting to fluid therapy, to hand feeding.  It is the most difficult situation to be in, when you love them so much, but you did exactly what I did, for my spots...and it gives me peace of mind to hear you tell your story, and know that we DID do everything and that our little babies knew it, right till the end.  God Bless!
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Wow! thank you so much.  Our home is still so sad, but we are trying very hard to devote a lot of time to Charleston.  Husband and I have talked at length about rescuing another lab, we have decided to wait a few weeks before we do as we are still mourning and so is Charles.

There is no way that I can describe what Sandy Grace and I went through the last six weeks of her life.  I truly understand "desperation"  now.  Husband hurt his back at the onset of her last six weeks, so he was not able to bend over to help hand feed her.  He was not able to help me hold her as she vomited and finally hold her when she was too weak to do her other business.  My dad had Alzeheimers disease for over eight years; my mom read a book called Thirty-Six Hour Days.  That is truly what I lived with her the last six weeks of her life.  I would do it all over again, because during that time, she did have some good days.  Even walked down to the lake, sat on the bank, watched the geese and seagulls.  She wasn't able to chase them like she loved to do, but she would just look and look as if she knew it could be her last time; finally there was a last time for her.  Cissy was in such bad shape when we rescued her, and we promised her she would not suffer anymore.  For years, she lived a wonderful life and she knew it.  What a pleasure she was!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Husband and I are reliving many of her funny times now..  It helps us to laugh.  She was a riot when she wanted to be.  I hope the day will come when kidney transplants are a success for dogs.  The specialist that we took her to said she had not heard of any successes for dogs as yet.  Some cats have been saved, but no true long lasting success for dogs.  I want to recommend to everyone that they should make bloodwork a part of their babies vet visits, at least once every six months.  Cissy was so healthy, she went in to get her nails cut, shots, boosters, tummy upsets, ear infections, etc.  She only got blood work once a year.  I am going to insist on quarterly bloodwork now.  We were devastated when we found out she was in kidney failure.  Not our Cissy!!!!!    I love my supports here and I hope you all do not get tired of me talking about Sandy Grace and the horrible disease she had.  What can we do to get the word out to those who do not know the symptoms.  I have told my family about this site and what a wonderful group of people you are.  Aggieone
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165308 tn?1323190145
Thank you for sharing your story about Sandy Grace.  You weren't here when I had to put my dog down in December.  She was a 12 year old minature poodle who was the love of my life.  She was extra special because she was in my family before my parents passed away.  She was 4 when both my parents died unexpectedly 4 months apart.  My sister and I gave my dad a "Tiffy's Grandpa" for Christmas one year.  She was definitely spoiled by him.  After my parents passed, Tiffy saw my sister and I meet great men, get married and for me, adopt a daughter from China.  My sister and I had "joint custody" of her!  She would spend the school year with my sister (but I visited every morning before school) and she spent summer with me ( I am a teacher).  She started having heart disease and it got progressively worse.  She was taking 6 pills a day for her heart.  She wasn't able to walk far, so I would drive her to the local park and let her walk a little and do her business and hang out a while, I would then carry her back to the car.  This went on like this for the last year or two.  On December 7th, my dog was attacked by a German Shephard.(my husband was walking her)  She got three puncture wounds.  2 were superficial, the other preforated her abdomen.  The doctor was able to stitch it up under a local anesthesia.  However, for the following week, my dog refused to eat .  I took her to the vet and she began renal failure.  It wasn't from the attack, it must have been brewing, but the attack exasterbated it (is that the correct word)...well, treating kidney failure and severe congestive heart is a double edge sword.  One would hurt the other. I would have had to force feed my dog and that was the only thing that she really enjoyed in the past year because she couldn't do much because of her heart.  I always said as she was beginning to "slow down" in the last 2 years, that as long as she enjoyed eating I would let her be.  Well, now she wouldn't eat at all.  I know that she was tired from her heart problem..she couldn't even lay on her stomach because her heart was so large and pushed her other organs down, so she either sat or laid on her side.  I just felt it in my heart that it was her time...I put her at peace on December 15th.  So, I never actually "experienced" the renal failure.  With all she was going through with her heart, I felt I had to do it.  It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but somehow God got me through it.  I know that she is with my father now.  Isometimes question if I did the right thing....I guess I will always wonder, but I try to find peace with my decision.  

This is the first time I shared my story...I hope you don't mind.

Suzi
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Oh Suzi, thank you so much for sharing this with me.  How my heart breaks for you and your special baby.  I understand how you feel and you wondering if you did the right thing.  You did.  My husband and I knew we would know when Sandy Grace was ready to leave us, and that would be when she refused to eat.  When she started refusing food, we knew we had to make the call.  Our vet was coming out on Feb 6 at 11:00 a.m. to help her go easily.  But as you read, our special baby left us on her own at 4:45 on the morning of the 6th.  I asked my family to pray that she would go on her own as I did not have the strength to hold her for that last moment in her life with her big brown eyes looking at me.  I thank God that I did not have to do that, but it was so hard when she died in my arms that morning.  I will tell that story someday soon.

Please know in your heart that you did the right thing.  When she gave up eating she was telling you how tired she was and she was ready to go.  We both know that, but Suzi, it hurts so bad no matter if it was the right thing to do.  I told my husband if I could just hold her , feel her breath,  her soft hair and kiss her on the nose one more time.  But I know, I would not call her back because the last two days were horrible for her.  You see I keep questioning should I have called our vet a few days earlier to come out before she died.  We will always have these questions in our minds and hearts, but you did the right thing.  Thank you again for sharing your story.  It does help to talk about it.  Aggieone
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165308 tn?1323190145
It is funny how we carry the "what if" thoughts no matter which way it goes...You wondering if you should have called the vet sooner...me wondering if I should have waiting longer.  LIke you said, it is never easy, and, right or wrong, it hurts so deeply.  I still feel like my heart has been cut out of me.  I know in time we will both heal and be able to share happier stories about our babies.  Maybe they are together.

Suzi
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Out of desperation I got online to seek info on renal failure in dogs ,my cassie is 14 golden retreiver lab mix. She is getting worse off and my heart is breaking watching her. She drinks so much and never seems hydrated enough. she can no longer hold her urine and has many accidents. Her urine is very sticky...is this common? A few weeks ago she started vomiting uncontrollable just a yellow fluid that lasted a few days but since has not vomitted any. I just wish that there was something   anything I could do.
                                           Vanessa
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I know how you feel, I wish I could tell you things wil improve.  I don't know your baby's numbers so I don't know what level she is in with her kidney failure.  Sandy Grace never had a sticky substance urine.  There was a few days at the onset of Sandy"s illness, that she did not vomit often, but after a couple of weeks, it was constant, (we did have some wonderful days in between where she seemed like she felt great, no vomiting, playing ball with us, but this does not last with kidney failure.)  Have you taken your dog in for blood work and an ultrasound.  Some vets want to biopsy the kidneys, but an ultra sound is much better and less painful.  Most important is the Creatine/Phosphorus  levels.  Are you giving your baby fluids at home, these help rid their body of toxins, but please know this buys your baby some time and makes them comfortable.  Unfortunately in the fourth stage of kidney failure, noting seems to help.   I am encouraged that she is not vomiting.  What is your vet saying?  Aggieone
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I just read so many sad stories about some of our med help friends who have lost or about to lose their babies to renal failure.  I felt like it was time for me to share Sandy Grace's last hours.  Hopefully this will help some reach that decision that is so hard to make.  Aggieone
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Well, let's try this again.  I read some very sad stories from others who have lost or about to lose their babies to renal failure.  They are in a great deal of pain from a decision they have made or about to make.  Hopefully  my response to them will help others.  Wanted to share with all of you Sandy Grace's last hours.  

I have read and reread all of these sad, sad stories.  My heart is breaking for all of you.  We just lost our beautiful yellow lab "Sandy Grace" to kidney failure.  I know many of you have read my plea for help when Sandy was so sick.  Her creatine was 13.  Our vet was amazed at her will to live.  We took her to the vet thinking she had a gastritis virus.  Like all of you, we did everything we could for her.   We admitted her for 40 hours of IV fluids.  Her creatine went down to a 10.3-  We took her to a specialist hoping for a miracle.  The specialist wanted to put her down that day as ultrasound showed she had one kidney, the other resembeled a raisin.  We told the specialist, she was still eating, drinking plenty of fluids, was still sassy when she wanted to be, still walked to the lake, SHE IS NOT READY TO GO!!!!!    I think the specialist thought we were cruel, but we knew in our hearts our Sandy  wanted a little more time with us, and we wanted a lifetime with her.

Our vet sent bags of fluids home with us.  We gave her fluids, nausea meds, vitamins, everything money could buy to make her more comfortable.  I researched every piece of  information I could find trying to help her.  I read many articles about hollistic and homeopathic treatment.  My vet referred us to a vet who practiced orthodox, hollistic and homeopathic medicine.  We rushed her to him, he prescribed  seven medications for her.  They helped a short time.  The fluids helped for a while, but then nothing seemed to help her vomiting.  This is when I came to this wonderful site for help and support.  I tried the Tums like Jaybay suggested, they gave her some relief for several hours but nothing was longlasting.  She stopped eating (KD dogfood, hamburger, dark meat chicken, bacon, some steak, chicken broth with shreds of chicken,  a special mixture of raw eggs, honey, whole yogurt, babyfood, etc.)    We were constantly giving her ice water chips and pedialyte ice chips,  We realized if she lapped, she threw up everytime-if we gave her ice chips, she seemed to hold it down most of the time.  DESPERATE!!!!  I slept in the den with her, her favorite place was our loveseat.  If she got on the floor, I got on the floor to lay with her.  What else can we do, somebody please help!!!  We can't lose our Sandy Grace, she is so special!!!!  She loves us so much, she wants to live!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Your thoughts are constantly with your baby, WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP HER, THERE HAS TO BE A WAY.  Then, you realize you have to let her go, how can you euthanize your baby who has been your best friend and lived her life for you.   NO, I can't do this.  I PROMISED HER I WOULD NOT MAKE HER GET BACK IN THE CAR UNLESS IT WAS FOR FUN!!!!!!!!!   NO, NO, NO.   Then you know, you have to do this for your baby.  She is not eating, she is drinking very little.  She is so weak, when she throws up, I am holding her so she will not fall.  YOU HAVE TO DO THIS.  NO, I CAN'T.   YES, YOU CAN.  You are being selfish, yes I am, I want to hold her, feel her breath, rub her tummy.  You have to let her go.  We finally made the decision to call our vet, we wanted her on her loveseat  with her bankie, I wanted to hold her as she was sedated, I wanted her to remember,  to experience our love one more time before she closed her eyes in sleep.  She would not know about the second shot that would stop her heart.  She would not suffer from the vomiting and weakness anymore.  She would be at peace and healthy forever in heaven.  Our vet was coming at 11:00 a.m. on Februay 6 to help  end her suffering.  That did not happen.  Sandy was much worse, the evening of February 5, she was constantly throwing up, so weak . . WHY DID YOU NOT CALL YOUR VET SOONER!!!!!!!  I finally got her settled around 11:00 p.m that evening or I thought I did.  She was able to rest for a few hours.  She wanted in the floor, O.K., we can do this together girl.  I helped her in the floor and I laid down beside her and put my arm around her, rubbed her tummey, pulled her ears (she loved that) and told her it was O.K. to go.   I told her how much we loved her and what a great friend she had been.  I reminded her of her funny times and told her we would hold those precious moments in our hearts forever.  She was relaxed for a while.  (You see, many dogs lose their personalities during their last days of kidney failure, but Sandy Grace never did.  She knew who we were and was still wagging her tail at us her last hours.  Even with a creatine level of 13, she was still rolling in the grass, watching the seagulls and geese  I hope she was thinking of her fun times.)  We managed to rest a short while, then she started throwing up horrible yellow and green fluids.  Dry heaves that was nearly killing her.  WHAT CAN I DO FOR HER, IT IS SO LONG UNTIL 11:00 AND HER SUFFERING ENDS.  I am holding her as she is dry heaving, she has a seizure, (first one-lasted only seconds)  Her tongue is turning black.  SO LONG UNTIL 11:00, I KNOW I WILL CALL MY VET TO COME EARLY MORING!!!!  I promised her no more fluids, she would not accept any water or pedialyte now.  2:00 a.m. . .  Sandy, I am just going to hold you, I will not bother you again trying to give you any meds or fluids.  We will just lay here together and I will hold you until I can call the vet to come earlier.

On the evening of February 5, my grandson called to say goodnight-I asked him to pray that Sandy Grace would go on her own, I called my daughter, son, sister, mom and friends to pray that same prayer,

Sandy rested until 4:00 a.m., finally she tried to get up, she wanted to lay on the kitchen floor because it was cooler.  I helped her to the kitchen floor.  She laid there for a while, I could tell she wanted to be alone, so I pulled up a chair, gave her some distance and just watched her.  I laid my head back and snoozed for a few minutes, I heard her trying to get up, I got up and helped her into the den.  Just as we got into the den, she sat just as beautifully as you could imagine, she looked at me with those wonderful eyes for a few seconds, dry heaved, fell forward in a violent lunge.  I tried to catch her, as I caught her and positioned her in my arms, I could see in her eyes that she was leaving us, I cried out loud, Lord have mercy on her, two weak dry heaves, and she was gone.  I must have held her for an hour or so, rubbing her tummey, pulling her ears and feeling the warmth leave her body.  I live these moments in my mind every minute of my day and most of the night.  

Why am I telling you all of this . . in my heart, I know I should have called our vet a few days earlier . . I didn't-she suffered that night-but my prayer was answered, she went on her own.  Which way is easier for all of you who loved or loves your babies as much we did.  I do not know.  I do know that kidney failure is a horrible thing and there is no cure, it only gets worse in time.  I have read and heard about dogs who lived for a year or two with kidney failure.  The sub q's do help bring down the toxins.  THERE IS NO CURE!!  I have been told by three vets that they have not heard of any successful kidney transplants for dogs.  Maybe someday.

I hope if you have a decision to make about your babies, you will make the right one for them and yourselves.  It is such a personal and painful decision to make.  My heart is with all of you if you have gone through this or about to do so.  Stay with this site, as you will get  the best support  from these wonderful friends you have found.  Aggieone
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165308 tn?1323190145
I am crying as I read your post as your dog went to a better place.  Thank you for sharing your story. I know how hard it is.  From your words, I will bet my bottom dollar that your dog left in peace.  You were there and that is all that mattered to Cissy.  Please do not wonder if you did the right thing.  Cissy would not have wanted it any other way....BLESS YOU!
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Thank you so much for your sincere comments.  You have the biggest heart.  I wanted to write about her last few hours and our time together,  I hope it helps someone through the horrible decisions they have to make concerning their babies.

I read your post to the young man who has a brother with ADHD.  I think you can help him in so many ways.    Keep in touch with him as I am very concerned about the beginning of bullemia.  I know your kids at school absolutely love you.  You are the BEST.   Aggieone
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I appreciate you posts and I now know what I have to have the strength to do. I thought a tailwag was always enough, but I don't want Santana to go through all of this. He seems fine today, but as soon as he starts vomitting nothing I willl call the vet. He's 14.5 year old Siberean. That's over 100 in dog years. He is laying beside me now looking at the laptop screen. God give me the strength to not let him suffer too much.

Thanks. I will not be back on here. Aggietone, you have saved dogs needless suffering with your tale. If nothing else, take solace that you have told others what awaits in their fate.

I know what I have to do. I pray I have the strenghth to recognize it then. I want to live in denial and hope that this will be the one case that has a reversal. Rght now that seems selfish of me.

Goodnight and thanks for reliving your tale. Your baby sounds like she meant the world to you. It seems like her passing won't go in vain.

Brian Tester...
Jonesborugh, TN
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I know you said you would not be back on this site, but if you do come back one more time, I hope you get this.

Tell us more about your baby Santana.  Talk to us about him.  IT HELPS.  Is your dog in kidney failure, if not tell us what is wrong with him, so we can provide support to you.  We all love our babies so much or we would not continuously come to this site, to our friends who understand the pain we are going through.

Thank you so much for your post, if no one else reads it, you did and it was worth the pain I went through to write it.  Please visit this site often, it will help.  WE CARE.  Aggieone
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Cassie Sue Nipper

I love you and i know that it is time for you to go ...Dont stay for us ..I never thought I WOULD ENCOURAGE your passing but can only hope the good Lord takes you so that My hands will never be responsible for your loss to me and my kids.It has been 4 days without food and although the hot dog you had today was good it didnt stay down. I so wanted it to nourish you weak body....can not. I am at a loss .....you are one of my children ...14 years old ....be waitng for me Cassie.  Is there anything I can do??
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