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Dealing with dogs kidney failure
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Dealing with dogs kidney failure

How do others deal about the pain they are going through knowing that their dog only has a few weeks left?
My cocker spaniel who just turned 11years old in Oct. only has a few weeks left, as I was told by a specialist who took his ultra sound in Dec. 26, 2011. He said that his right kidney is destroyed and that his left kidney has about 25% left.
He has a tumor within his bladder and his urine cannot pass thru which goes into his kidney and damages it.

When we had Shaggy checked out in May our vet said that it's UTI...because I mentioned to him that he'd pee and then go to other spots and nothing comes out. So he was given anti-biotics. This went on for several months.

Then we finally took an x-ray and couldn't really see much, except there were little calculi and that his left kidney was enlarged...asked the vet what caused it to enlarge and they did not know.  So we put Shaggy on a special diet food for stones...Royal Canin. We did that for a month and a half until he didn't want to eat that food any longer.

Then I asked vet what can the next option be and he suggested an ultra sound. At this point his urine was having blood it it.

And then the most heart breaking news I got was on Dec. 26. After his ultra sound vet showed us the ultra sound and told me the bad news... which led me to just burst out in tears and tried to fight it. After all of this bad news...I've been trying my best to be strong for him.

Yesturday he got to spend New Years eve with us. He'll eat just a little. I'd give him chicken and rice..but today he'll sniff the chicken.

He still greets me when I come home, and he'll still go up and down the stairs. Vet told me that when he stops eating and doesn't greet me...then I know its time.

I'm just having a hard time dealing with this...and everytime I think about putting him to sleep my heart just aches.

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209987_tn?1334790318
I feel soooooooooooo terrible for you.
We went through that with our Joker Wallace.
He had kidney cancer.
I asked the vet if he was in much pain...he said yes.
My mind was made up at that point...I wanted to be selfish...I wanted my baby to stay with me ( had raised him from 2 days of age...his mommy had been killed)...but he was hurting.
The day I brought him back to the vet he had peed in the house...he must have peed out a bucket full...I knew it was over.
The vet gave me time to call hubby and to pick up the kids.
Hubby came straight from work...told them it was a family emergency.
We held Joker...we cuddled him, told him that we loved him, tried ever so hard not to cry ( which I'm doing now just thinking about it ) and the vet gave him the needle...
He passed away in the arms of the family that loved him.
It was the hardest thing I have ever done...but I'm glad it ended that way...with love, with his family by his side...and no pain.
I'm sorry...I don't want to seem harsh or anything...and
I'm sorry you have to go through this...it's one of the hardest things to have to go through.
My heart bleeds for you.

BIG HUGS!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Gracie:  I also had my beloved cocker of 16 years get kidney failure.  From the time she was diagnosed I could not bear to think of having her put to sleep.  She had helped me raise my three daughters who were 2, 5 and 6 when she came to live with us.  She was like my other child and with me, often, when no one else was.  I knew at the end of October the year she was diagnosed that she was very sick, but did not seem to be suffering, although her quality of life was so diminished.  She had always been an avid sniffer and her curiosity and love for life made her CONSTANTLY wag her little "cigar butt" as my daughters used to say.  At the begin of November, she could still walk around but her activity was so limited and her ability to do much else was gone.  When we went out, I would have to go out with her and hold her little booty up so that she would not fall backwards.  Still, she did not seem to be "suffering" and I just could not bear to let her go.  We took her to the vet intending to let her go, but I could not go through with it.  I wanted one more Christmas with my baby girl.  Just after Christmas she began to become less and less interested in eating and you know I tried to fix every kind of meal of ANY kind to get her to eat, but I knew what was coming. Just after the first of the year, I took her to the vet again because although I would have kept her with me forever had it been in my power, I knew she was needing to go.  She had loved us all, so long and so well and so I decided I must let her go over the Rainbow Bridge to wait for me - and all of her loved ones.  This was in 2005 and I, too, am still crying thinking of it.  I held her as I had so many days and nights and called her by every "pet" name I ever called her, and told her how much we all loved her until she was still in my arms.  I never wanted another dog - it was so hard.  No one can make such a decision for you.  Perhaps your baby will pass away naturally.  If not, you will know in your heart if, and when, it is time.  Just let your love for your little cocker be your guide.  That very year my mom fell ill to strokes, Alzheimers and I I brought her home to live for the next close to five years before she passed away.  I thanked my little angel cocker for her help in teaching me to caregive because I did love them both so very much.  Loss of a loved one whether human family or our four-legged family and their final illness it something we must endure if we give our hearts and love to them.  But think how much love you have received and given in that littlle life.  God bless you and comfort you.    (sorry for the length of this everyone)
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1916673_tn?1388595391
Oh my, I am so very sorry. I do empathise. I lost my own 12 yr old rescued lurcher, BB, at the start of December - having been given the news about 4th stage kidney failure by the vet only a week beforehand. Within that week she went from being just a bit off her food but otherwise completely active and contented - to a dog that hadn't eaten for 3 days (no matter what we tried to feed her with, inlcuding all her favourite things), and couldn't stand up without support, who seemed totally exhausted and occasionally confused.

It is a heartwrenching disease and you just feel so darn helpless.

All I can say is, you will know when the time is right - in fact, if your dog is anything like my BB, he will tell you in his own way that he's had enough. It is a dreadfully cruel condition and as for your question, well, I am still trying to deal with it. I think there are two big things to deal with ... the shock, then the grief (after the decision is made). My heart goes out to you. All you can do is try to be brave, cry when you need to, hug your little guy as much as you want - and come back here for support from people that truly know what you are going through. Big hugs, Tony
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What I've been doing is driving back and fourth from my house and parents house. I moved out 2years ago which is about 15min away. I left shaggy with my parents since they have a backyard and was easier to let out.  But I was always at my parents house every other day.  Ever since the bad news I've been at my parents house every day. I'd feed him and give him lots of hugs. And lay next to him and he'd put his head on my shoulder. Which he never did before. So to me it seems like he too knows that he's sick. I've been trying so hard to be brave when I'm around him, but when he's laying next to me I'd get tears in my eyes while I talk to him.

I hate leaving my parents house because I know that my baby boy needs me. I wish there was something I can do to help him.  While writing this I can feel the heartache .... But I know it's good to talk about this with others that's experienced what I'm going thru.

Just hurts thinking that one day he may not greet me when I walk into the door... And I really don't know how hard that would affect me. I'm dreading that day....
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1916673_tn?1388595391
I know that feeling. But you WILL cope. Don't be afraid to cry and don't hold back the tears. They are a necessary emotional and physical release ... and it's very natural. A dog to me is a very best friend, offering unconditional love and affection, a member of the family (actually, for me, the closest member of my family) and surrogate child. It is completely heart wrenching when their time comes to leave us, just as with human friends and family that we lose over time. In the end, all we can do is offer our dogs all the reassurance, love and attention they deserve and be as kind and humane as we possibly can. They need us to be strong and do the right thing ... regardless of how much it hurts us, it's one of the many responsibilities of being a good owner.

My heart goes out to you. Give Shaggy an extra hug from me. Please come back here as often as you want or need to. Tony
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hi..thank you so much for the reply.  i do have another question that goes thru my mind. even though he's walking still and greets me when he sees me... is he suffering inside? when he's trying to pee he's straining and he'd be going like 4 or 5 times trying to pee.

i'm at my parents house tonight to spend a night here..and I tried to feed him hamburger ..he didn't want any...so i tried chicken leg..but he's not interested.
i'll wait til later on tonight to try to feed him again.

but i just dont know if i'm suppose to wait until he's actually too weak or what?

please let me know...thank you
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209987_tn?1334790318
Sorry, I tried to reply last night, but they were doing a systems maintenance on here.
When Joker Wallace went through this, I asked the vet if he was in pain...the vet said he was in excruciating pain, but was "acting tough" for us.
If I hadn't have known that he was sick, I'm not sure if I would have recognized any major changes in his behavior.
Each animal is different, but the love they have for their people isn't. He will continue to wag his tail for you until his last moments.
Have you ever had a kidney infection? The pain is unreal...it hurts to pee, it hurts to breathe, it hurts to do anything and nothing. What your little man is going through is even worse.
It sounds as if your little man is in much pain and near the end...he won't eat...straining to pee...those are signs of the last stages...falling into a coma/death is next.
When the kidneys shut down, there isn't going to be much peeing...except possibly for that last huge one like Joker did.
Joker was still jumping onto the couch and wrapping himself around me until the end. He wanted to be held and loved...he wanted me to end his pain, make him feel better...and I couldn't. There was no magic pill.
I wish I would have put him to rest much sooner. It pains me to think about how I let him suffer just because I couldn't let go.

I wish I could be of more assistance. Wish I could tell you what to do.
But ultimately it is your choice.

To put your mind at ease, talk to your vet...ask him what he thinks.
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1916673_tn?1388595391
While it is true to say all dogs are different and yes kidney failure is a painful condition, your vet can make a much more informed assessment of how much pain and whether it is appropriate to use pain killers or consider euthanasia. Once a dog stops eating, the end is truly close, I am sorry to say ... possibly days only. You need to prepare for a rapid decline, which I know only too well is truly heartbreaking.

My heart goes out to you and to your best friend. Tony
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hi... i finally got him to eat last night. the thing is, he has been straining to pee for awhile now..and that's when we took him to vet in May and they thought it was UTI.

I've noticed that last night when i was on the computer he'd paw me and so i have him lay down and i pet his head and come back to computer and then once he notices that i'm not there he comes by me again to paw me. he's never done that. Is he trying to say something to me? Or he just wanted me to lay next to him?

I did ask the vet, and he said if Shaggy stops eating, and just lays there then it was time to talk about that subject.  
We got more dermaxx for him to take for pain killers. Has anyone used those?

I have a trip in Jan 14, but I am considering cancelling it because I don't want to come back and he won't be here.  As much as I'd like to go on this trip I don't think i can go.

I'm trying so hard to make him as comfortable. I'd make him salmon, chicken, hamburger at nights. But it just seems like he'd eat when he wants to eat. If i offer food to him he won't touch..but then later on he'll be up and eating all of the food that i have in his dish.

I guess this is just hard for me to deal with...and not knowing what else I can do....    :(

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It's good that he's still eating, even just occasionally, as this will give him the energy he needs along with the nutrition. This disease is very much a mixture of good and bad days, so when he eats it's a sure sign of a good day. I'm pleased he is still eating. It's when he stops completely that 'that' time is very close.

He is probably pawing you for reassurance - you are the most important thing in his life, so he relies on you to say everything is ok ... I know (that you know) it isn't, but he just wants to be close to you for the assurance. Just keep giving him all the love and attention you can.

I haven't heard of or used dermaxx. But maybe someone here can give you information about it, if they are more familiar with it. Your trip is a really difficult issue and only you know whether you are able to go and even if you do, whether you would enjoy it or be constantly concerned and anxious. If it is possible to postpone it, I would, but I am not in your shoes so can't really say.

This disease is heartbreaking, particularly as (you say yourself) there's so little we can do to help, other than offer our love and attention. You are doing well with him, so just keep doing what you are doing already. Big hugs, Tony
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hi... today i decided to stay over at my parents again.
i've been trying to feed him and he won't. he hasn't eaten since last night at 9:30..and then i notice that he'd shiver for a few minutes. I don't know if he's cold or what ...so i just put blanket on him.

then i started to get tears because i've been trying to feed him but he just won't take the food.

im sorry if i keep writing, but i'm really hating this feeling right now and needed to write about it.

i moved the mattress downstairs so we can just go to the backyard quickly, instead of him having to go downstairs and then upstairs again when we go back to bed. so he won't get tired.

i have so many things running thru my mind and i just trying so hard to prepare myself  :(
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1916673_tn?1388595391
Hi. Just keep trying him with small bits of his favourite food or soft treats every 3 or 4 hours. Cooked chicken is good as it is gentle on the stomach and dogs usually love it. If he goes more than 24hrs without taking any food, then 'that time' might be very close. The lack of food and losing body fat may cause him to feel the cold much more than normal, so yes, try to keep him out of any draughts and lightly covered with a blanket. If you see him panting, it means he's too hot, so just pull the blanket back for a while.

Don't appologise for writing about how you feel, what you observe and any questions you may have ... that's what this site is for ... and I for one am very happy to talk with you. You mentioned you had moved his bed to a more convenient place for going outside ... is he still getting up on his own and asking to go out? This may change, and at some stage you may need to give him some gentle support to stand up and maybe even carry him carefully to go outside. During this stage, you will also need to offer him water on a regular basis, because part of this condition involves excessive thirst - and by the late stages, you should just give him whatever he wants when he wants it, but as he may not remember where the water bowl is or be able to stand easily to go and get it, he will rely on you to bring it to him.

Be strong. This is hard, I know. You are doing a fantastic job for your best friend. Come back here as often as you want. Big hugs, Tony
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1963554_tn?1325451090
hi tony-

i tired so hard last night to feed Shaggy. but nothing. he'd drink his water, and sniff his food dish but walks away from it and go back to bed. i've noticed that when he tries to do #2 nothing comes out.  i called vet today to ask questions. Like what will happen when his kidney stops all together, will he be in pain????  or will he just fall asleep?

i got back to my house and just started to cry so hard. i'll be going back to my parents again in an hour and try again to feed him.

the thing is, i don't want to see him on those last stages, because i know he's suffering now. and i told my dad that we may have to do something by this week. as much as it kills me to say that.

what hurts the most is that i'd have to call vet to make appointment...and it just doesn't seem right, you know?  

shaggy is still walking, but noticed that he's been walking slow. this hurts sooo much that i'm getting tears writing this.....

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Hi,
First, may I say that I am so very sorry to hear about Shaggy. I know how difficult it is for you to watch him, and feel so helpless. I have tried to read this post, several times, but every time I do, I end up crying..( like I am now )
My TwoBits had kidney failure...she was euthanized in September. I still feel terrible, because I feel as though I was not able to help her....I am sure, this is how you must be feeling.  My heart aches for you.  I would have replied sooner, but I find it so hard to write between my tears. Tony is wondeful...isn't he...?   I was so glad to see that he has been here to support you.
You are doing the best you can for Shaggy...if he is not going to eat, try not to blame yourself...you are offering everything you can think of, and he just doesn't feel like eating.  He is probably nauseous. Have you tried using tums...?  Many people report that it has helped their dogs.  
There is an old post that has loads of information in it....I will check into it, and get back to you.  
I know that many people will opt to do sub q fluids on their dogs, along with prescribed meds....is Shaggy beyond this stage...?  Or is this something you cannot afford or just do not want to put him through it...?
Unfortunately...kidney disease cannot be cured...just slowed down.
I know you mentioned Shaggy shivering...this is one of the symptoms of kidney failure....it is due to the toxins building up in his bloodstream, it is also the reason he is nauseated and does not want to eat. Is he vomiting.?
The more toxins that build up in his system, will cause his breath to become very sicky sweet smelling...as the toxins start to build, he may start to stumble, stagger, act confused,...you might see ulcers in his mouth, and blood in his stools..this is due to the acid buildup in his gastrointestinal track. ....Are you seeing any of these symptoms...?
Please tell us more....
Try baking a sweet potato for Shaggy...he might eat that,
I would also like to tell you to try and buy some Green Tripe...From what I read, most dogs love it and will eat it, even if they do not want anything else. I know when Tony reads my post, he can and will tell you more about it.  
In the meantime, try tums as it may help his nausea...encourage lots of cool water...or crushed ice given by hand...even some broth if he will drink it...chicken noodle soup...?
When he paws you...he may just want to be held or be next to you... That is what my Yorkie did all her life.
My thoughts and prayers are with you both.
Give Shaggy lots of hugs and kisses, and tell him he is the best dog in the world.
Connie
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Hi Connie-
Yes I really appreciate everyones reply back...

On Dec. 26 that's when we found out about his kidney. The specialist said that his right kidney was already damaged and that his left kidney only had 25% left. Right now I don't think he has 25% anymore.

Ok I talked to vet today and she said if he doesn't eat at all then maybe its time. Instead of making him starve to death.  Gosh, that ached just writing that part.
I talked to my dad and he said maybe on Saturday.

No I haven't tried tums, but then again he probably wouldn't want to eat it. Because I tried to give him his pain medication Dermaxx...and put it in hamburger or chicken but he'd just sniff it and then walk away.

I did notice 2 vomits in the backyard, but it's not recent though, because the puke had rice in it and i haven't fed him rice since last week.

Right now I am trying to make him sweet potato ...and see if he has any interest in that.

Since Dec. 26 you would think it would get easier on me knowing that he doesn't have that long of time...but it just keeps getting harder and harder each day for me. Knowing how he is right now just kills me and wish there was something else that I can do.

I haven't really slept for the past 2 days, when I was at my parents house, it was because there has been so much thoughts in my head.... thinking about the first day I got him as a puppy and thinking to how he is now.

I have been giving him lots of hugs and kisses. Oh and also the vet mentioned that when I left that night and when my mom mentioned that he didn't move until I came back...the vet said that he was trying to conserve his energy for me.   :(

I'm trying so hard to be strong for him and not let him see me cry infront of him, but it just hurts too much.  

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Hi Gracie.....I haven't responded to any of this post as those that have,
have much more knowledge on this subject than I do......

I want to commend you for everything your doing for your Shaggy....I know what your facing is awful, but it can be done.....We here, understand it all too well.....Please know that I am thinking of you & Shaggy......Your both in my prayers......Sincerely, Karla
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675347_tn?1365464245
I am so sorry about your dear Shaggy. My girl has early stage kidney failure, she's doing ok but I am in the process of learning about this disease.
You know, when I was a little girl I used to get fevers, and would refuse to eat apparently. The only thing that could tempt me was a piece of hot buttered toast. Nothing else could. So I survived on toast for awhile!
I wonder if something like this might tempt your Shaggy? Or a little bit of mashed potato which has been browned under the grill? They both smell good too. Scrambled egg or a lightly cooked omelette smells good too, and might get his interest?
Has your vet tried ACE inhibitors? They increase blood flow to the kidneys. My dog was prescried Benazecare. The tablets are very tiny and apparently palatable, though I always give them to my dog disguised in a piece of potato. I know there isn't much kidney function but this might help. Also anti-nausea drugs might help, especialy if given as a shot rather than as tablets. If he gets a shot, then his apetite improves, it might be easier to get the following medication down him
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I have tried every food I can possibly try  :(   i tried sweet potato and i just made him eggs now, and he still doesn't want anything  :(

He tries so hard to keep his eyes open..and when i see him doing that i just feel this heartache inside.

I was hugging him and telling him that he needs to eat...because his tummy is making noise. I was telling him that things are going to be ok.

It just hurts.  I don't know what else to try to feed him. He just really lost interest in everything that I have to offer him.      :(    
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1832268_tn?1326819610
I'm sorry that Shaggy does not want to eat....and, because he has no appetite ,there is probably nothing else you can offer, that will make him want to eat. You just need to trust his judgement.  Don't beat yourself up...you are trying the best you can. Shaggy knows it...all you can do, is offer the food to him.  Think about yourself when you are sick...you know you just don't feel like eating.  It's the same with Shaggy.
If Shaggy wants to sleep ,encourage it, and be at peace with it, take comfort in knowing that if he is sleeping, he is not suffering.
Connie
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Hi,  i am sorry for what you are going through.   My dog passed away a month and a few days ago due to kidney disease.   Once he stopped eating completely,  there was nothing that i could except go along with every possible medication they had to offer.  I did that and none of them did any good.  During my dogs last 3 weeks, he was probably examined by 10 different doctors.  This is a devastating disease and not enough is done or known.  Just know that you are not alone going through this.  My dog couldnt eat because the kidney disease had caused issues with his stomach.  The final vets said that it was good that he didnt eat because he wouldnt have been able to handle it.   So dont beat yourself up.  All you can do is offer him food.  
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If we waited until Saturday that would be 4 days of him not eating.
Should I wait until Saurday or should I have my dad call and make appointment for tomorrow Friday!

I havent experienced this and just feeling really down that I can't even get in the mood to eat also. I hate this do much!  :(

It's like I have all these emotions all hitting me at once ...and can't figure out how to react to all of them.
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1916673_tn?1388595391
Hi. I've been catching up on things, but could only read the posts in bits at a time, because tears were rolling down my face too. This is so very hard for you, I know. It was exactly the same for me when my BB went through the same stages in late November.

I am going to be blunt and I appologise in advance for this.

It sounds to me like Shaggy is telling you 'the time has come' and he is ready to sleep. He needs you to be strong and even though it's so hurtful to you to make the decision, he relies on you to be his rock.

I could suggest things that might help for a day or so or even some foods that he might just lick at - but truthfully, they would only prolong the inevitable. I think you should make the appointment when you are all ready. Take time to think about it, talk about it and then decide.

Look into Shaggy's eyes ... he will tell you what you need to know. Dogs are amazing communicators, even though they can't speak English like us humans. And when you do decide, remember this decision is being made out of love. Shaggy understands, believe me, that everything you do is done in his best interests.

Fighting back the tears now, sorry. My heart goes out to you. Give Shaggy a great big hug from me. Tell him what a wonderful dog he is and reassure him that things will be ok and that you will do whatever you can to help stop him suffering. Tony
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1832268_tn?1326819610
The decision of when to assist your dog with death, is never an easy one to make.
You and your folks are the only ones who see the true picture of how much Shaggy has declined.  You and your folks know Shaggy best. It is up to you to decide what is best for him.
My heart goes out to all of you. I know only too well, how difficult this is for you.
Shaggy has been a lucky dog to live his life in the company of people who love him. He trusts you, and knows you only have his best interest at heart.
Give him an extra hug from me....
Connie
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1963554_tn?1325451090
Just had to make the hardest phone call ever. I made an appointment for tomorrow @ 11am.  Today my dad bought Mc'Ds and I gave Shaggy a fry and he actually tried to eat it. but then after i tried again...he didn't want anymore.

I took more pictures of him outside enjoying the sunlight...since it's 48 here in Chicago.

When I try to talk or write about this....its just so hard to breath and i feel like i'm choking inside.

I'll be back later to write more, I can't really type cuz i'm starting to get tears..
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1916673_tn?1388595391
I empathise utterly with what you are feeling. Nothing I can do or say would help, I only wish it could. This is heartwrenching. Please know that you are never alone here. People on here have been through what you are now going through and will be here for support whenever you might need it. Tonight and tomorrow will be hard, so take the time to be with Shaggy as much as you can. My heart goes out to you. Tony
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675347_tn?1365464245
I am so very very sorry. I have also been through similar with my last dog Toby who had terminal cancer. We had a couple of good weeks at the end. I fought hard for him, trying everything until we came to the point where nothing worked. When the little lad couldn't pee any more -and there was no way out -I made the final decision quickly.I was in dreadful shock afterwards but never for one moment did I think I had made the wrong choice.

But recently I heard a beautiful saying. I think it is a Sufi saying:
"When all roads close up on you, a secret hidden pathway shows itself, that nobody knows"
I have a feeling that for you and for Shaggy that secret pathway will be the path of his Spirit Journey to the other World. This is a marvelous secret journey that all Souls take when the time is right.
Behind the sadness, the sickness and the pain the Soul gradually prepares itself for that journey by dropping the things of this World it was attached to. Towards the end that Soul has no more need of the things that sustain us here. It enters a secret space within itself until it passes through.
But love goes with it. Love transcends.
Prepare him for that journey now with soft music, candle light, caresses, hugs. Lie with him and go halfway with him. He will appreciate that. Thank that Soul for coming here to share with you and teach you.
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i came upstairs and he followed...even though i know he's weak since he hasn't eaten for 3 days. i cried again with him, when i was telling him that everything would be ok and that we'll meet again one day.  i told him how much i love him and how i tried everything. and that as of tomorrow, he won't be suffering anymore.

i may take him for a car ride again since the weather is nice outside...
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If you go out in the car, be careful driving, as I know your attention will not necessarily be 100 per cent on the road. My thoughts are with you, and with Shaggy. Hugs from the UK, Tony x
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I want to take him, but he's still sleeping. So i was thinking when he gets up to go outside then maybe i'll take him for a car ride.

Why do i feel so bad?  :(    

My mom was just asking me about how much it would cost to get ashes back and it hurt talking about it with her. because he's still here.

Told her how vet said its $159 but it'll be with 3 other dogs, but we'll still get shaggy's ashes..they called it Partions?  or we can do private which would cost $449. and it would only be shaggy.

Has anyone gone thru that? Which ones did you guys choose?  I know that I only want Shaggy's ash and if they were to do that partion, with 3 dogs, wouldn't the ashes be flying around?  I don't know.

I'm gonna try to wake Shaggy up now and see if he wants to go for a car ride.

I just want to say that this forum has helped me alot and i really appreicate everyones comments back. It means alot to me and shaggy.
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I hope your car ride went well and Shaggy enjoyed it. As for ashes ... I know what you mean. The cost is always a problem, and more so if money is short in supply. I don't know your circumstances, but if it was me, I would forgo a holiday or Christmas presents or almost anything just to fund the extra cost.

This is my last visit to the forum tonight (it's 11.30pm here in the UK), but I will be thinking about you all and of course about Shaggy. I will try to get back on tomorrow morning, but if not definitely tomorrow evening. My heart is with you. Tony
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shaggy finally ate! he had a spoonful of fried rice...and now i don't know what to think?  my brother keeps saying to cancel tomorrow and give him a few more days...but i know Shaggy is suffering. Now I'm confused...please let me know what you guys think.
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No one can decide this, apart from you and those close to Shaggy. If you are uncertain, then cancel. I think these decisions are amongst the hardest in the world and sometimes it is useful to discuss it with the vet to see what he or she says about prognosis, even over a few days. You can ask them if this is a final rally (some dogs do seem to get a last burst of energy with this condition, though this didn't happen with my dog). You can also ask them whether it is more humane to assist Shaggy now or wait a few days. All difficult questions, I know, but responses from the vet may help clarify things in your mind. Tony
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It's now 7:17AM here...and last night i added a little more rice and he cleaned his dish...and then around 3:30-ish AM i wanted to see if he'd have more, but he didn't.

This is the hardest part right now. My brother is saying to wait until Tuesday since the people that do the creamation won't be picking up the dogs until Tuesday.

I was thinking of calling the vet to ask .... Now just feels like I'm really lost cuz I did decide for this day...but feeling like I want him to be here until Tuesday.

I asked my dad and he said it was up to me and my brother...and i already know what my brother wants to do..so basically it comes down to me again.

Any advice helps right now....
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We ended up cancelling today's appointment. For some reason I'm feeling all guilty for doing that. But we made it for tuesday morning.

So i'm feeling guilty because i made him stay for a few more days...
but i also feel glad that i get to spend the weekend with him and spend more time with him.
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Just enjoy this time as much as you can. Hug him, cuddle him and tell him how much he is loved. Talk to him - and you will be amazed how he will communicate back to you. Don't feel guilty, because you have nothing to be guilty about. You are offering the only thing you can right now, which is your love, your time, your attention and your compassion. Your best friend understands. Big hugs from the UK, Tony
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Last night Shaggy seemed so weak. We went to bed at midnight and then he'd sit up and then I took him outside. And when he came in he drank alot of water. Within an hour he'd put his head up and then sit up...so i thought he wanted to go outside agian....but we didn't. and then he did it again and puked, and then i let him out and he puked more...the puke color is white..and then when he was by the door he had drool on his mouth and i kept telling him to come inside and he was just looking at me and the steps. so i got out and carried him inside. and then he went straight to bed and just sat there..and he was shaking and starring straight at the tv. and so i went to wake up my dad at 4am and told him i dont know what he's doing. and when i came back he was still sitting up straight.

i held him and told him to lay down, waited awhile and then he finally layed down. i thought last night we had to take him to ER because I guess I just didn't know what to do.

today my parents are asking me what i want to do if i want to take him to ER but i told him maybe we can wait until tomorrow to take him to his vet.

I'm sure he can still make it for tomorrow...but i just didn't like seeing him shake or shiver like that. it just seems like he does that as soon as he come back from being outside. and thats why i put blanket on him and hug him.

i'm deciding what to do...if we should go take him to ER today or wait until tomorrow morning to take him to his vet..... i just dont know anymore  :(
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Hi Gracie. So sorry to hear Shaggy is having such a bad time. The shaking may be due to the loss of body fat, making him feel cold, or it could also be the toxins building up in his body that are sending him into shock. Excessive drinking is typical of this condition - let him drink fresh water whenever he wants. Did your vet prescribe an antacid, such as cimetidine or ranitidine, or a stomach protectant, such as sucralfate. Medications such as metoclopramide or chlorpromazine also help control vomiting. These medications or others purposefully prescribed would help alleviate some of Shaggy's symptoms. Part of the condition may also involve Shaggy having periods of confusion, when he may not know who you are or where he is. All you can really do if you suspect one of these episodes is to hold him comfortingly and offer gentle reassurance. Tony
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I'm sorry to hear about Shaggy...the vomiting, trembling, and possible confusion are due to the uremia...toxins are building up in Shaggy's system. If left untreated,Shaggy's symptoms will only become worse.
Just do your best to keep him comfortable.  
If he starts to shiver..(tremble) you could toss a blanket in the dryer for a few minutes to warm it up, and them wrap him up in it.  Just warm the blanket up long enough to get the chill out of it.
Connie
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hi tony-
no the vet didn't perscribe anything to me.

right now im just at my parents house laying next to him and i told my parents that we'll take him in tomorrow.  i dont know....why do i feel so lost now...
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I lost my dog Chica to kidney failure and I know it's a terrible thing to watch.  One of the biggest reasons they don't eat is because they are always nauseous from the toxins in the blood that the kidneys can no longer filter.  I know it makes zero sense right now to think about a life without your Shaggy, but you are absolutely doing the right thing to end his suffering.  And he is suffering now, just as much as you are.  Our pets are a gift to us in so many ways, and having the ability to ease them out of suffering is a gift we can give back to them.  Please know you aren't alone.  I pray for peace for both of you.
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Did u take him in to be put to sleep or did he pass away naturally?
He is now having diearreia. Are these all the signs for the final stage?

I'm sitting here on my phone typing this while shaggy is laying down. He'd open his eyes to see if I'm here and then close them.

I thought I was prepared for this... Since I found out Dec. 26 but it gets
Harder each day... Especially know that we're going to take him tomorrow.

:(
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This may sound rather odd and possibly insensitive, but I don't mean it that way. The worst days are here. Yes, this is the final stage of kidney failure. These worst days have been here since you got the diagnosis on 26th. They are your worst days - and they are Shaggy's worst days too. After tomorrow, you will feel like your world has ended, but it will come with something you have needed over the last 2 weeks - there is a massive sense of relief that it is over. A time when both your suffering and that of your dog stops. It is of course a bitter-sweet relief, but relief nonetheless. You ARE doing the right thing. Shaggy cannot be cured and prolonging his days just to be with you would not be appropriate, regardless of how tempting it is.

Most of us here know exactly how you feel. The mixture of emotions. The sense of guilt, despite others saying we shouldn't feel guilty. The overwhelming loss of your best friend. All of this is natural. And it is heartbreaking.

Shaggy knows you love him. Like you say, he opens his eyes to see you, then goes back to sleep reassured by you being there. You are his rock. He has depended on you all his life - and he is depending on you now more than ever. This is the cost of loving our dogs. It's so very hard - but so very necessary and it is the last heartfelt thing we can do to prevent them suffering. My heart skips a beat thinking about it, but it is something we just have to do. Give Shaggy a big hug from me - and please keep coming back, if you need to talk more. Tony
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You and Shaggy are in my thoughts and prayers.
Connie
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We are taking him in at 11:20 today. Now I'm really
Feeling everything again. I'm hugging him and feeling
So depress knowing I only have an hour.
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I'm thinking about you & your family (Including Shaggy).....Please know that your doing the right thing for your buddy......I'm so sorry for your heartache......

Let us know how you are when you can......My heart goes out to you both, Karla
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I feel deeply for you and Shaggy. It is the hardest responsibility a dog owner has to endure ... but as Karla says, you ARE doing the right thing. Big hugs, Tony
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Yesturday at 11:57am Shaggy was put to rest.  It was the hardest and painful feeling ever. I didn't want to let him go. I just keep thinking if that tumor was discovered, we could've done something to save him and his kidneys.

I'm writing this and tears are just dripping down. I couldn't write it yesturday because I just didn't want to be on the computer.

I miss him soooooo much. Hurts bad. gosh, i'm sorry, i just can't write right now....i'll be back later on....

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Hi Gracie. I have been waiting for your message, which I knew would come. I am so very sorry. I know just how deep the hurt is, but you know that Shaggy is no longer suffering. You did what, in the end, just had to be done. The loss of a dog is amongst the most difficult losses we will ever have to endure in our lives. It is a unique bond of love, mutual respect, friendship and companionship that can never be broken.

What can I say? These are just words and words seem very meaningless at times like this.

In the coming days, weeks and months, you will feel a little better - and in time, you will remember the fantastic life that you gave Shaggy. You will remember the happy times without crying over them. Shaggy will always be with you, in your heart and in your head. Never feel guilty, because you have done what we all have had to do out of compassion and love. Shaggy is free now. Huge hugs from the UK, Tony
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It's been 2 days since Shaggy's been gone...and I'm still missing him.
I've been going to my parents house every day with my other dog.
So that way my parents won't seem so sad. My dad is really sad, because once he comes home from work he told me that he'd look for him begging my dad for food, or when he goes to the basement that he has no one to watch t.v. with.  :(

And today my mom said that she's so use to saying goodnight to Shaggy at nights, but today she has no one to say goodnight to.

We all miss Shaggy so much, that we just talk about what he use to do. Or where he's always sitting. Which is always by the couch where my mom sits.

I just wanted to thank everyone that helped me thru this by writting comments back. I really appreciate it.

I really miss Shaggy  :(
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Please accept my heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your dog.
Shaggy is a lucky dog to be loved and missed by so many.
He knows that all of you only wanted to do the best you could for him.
Your love spared him of his suffering.
God Bless Shaggy's Beautiful Spirit and Soul....he is much loved.
Connie
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It's been 12 days now, since Shaggy has been gone. I read thru what I have written within the past week or two....and I can't believe that he's gone so soon.

After reading my posts, I started to feel the same heartache that I felt when I was writing those post.

I really miss him so much and I just can't believe he's not at my parents house to greet me anymore when I go there. It doesn't feel right. :(

We got Shaggys ashes on Thursday, and his paw print...I just starred at his paw prints and felt all depress ....  

I went to my trip on the 14th, and I took Shaggy's collar with me. I went to San Francisco. So I just had his collar with me the whole time in my jacket. I know that may sound weird, but I mentioned that trip to Shaggy and told him that I'd take him with me too. And I kept my promise to him.

It just really ***** writing ....cuz all those emotions that I felt before all of this....they just keep coming back.   :(
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I lost my dog 6 weeks ago to the same kidney disease.   I am still very sad as well.   I carry his collar with me everywhere.  I am still mad with my routine vet.  If they had done blood work earlier , they might have caught it sooner and given him a better chance.  And i am still unsatisfied with the treatment options once the disease becomes advanced.   I wonder if the big biotech companies are trying to do anything about this or are they doing little because they are already making so much money of vaccines, etc.  I wonder why most routine vets dont seem to do enough to educate pet owners about kidney disease.   This is as bad as cancer, lyme disease, heart worms, etc and most of us have never heard of it until we are told our pets only have a few months left.  Hang in there Gracie,  you gave Shaggy a life with lots of love and thats the most you have done.
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I hope you know Shaggy had a great life with you and it sounds like he did with your parents too. You did everything you could for Shaggy and there is no doubt he knew he was loved very much and is in heaven. Dog go to heaven, because it would not be heaven without them. I know your other dog misses him. I went through this shock back in Oct 2011, when my Jack passed unexpectedly, although I knew he was sick with liver problems most his life. He was my best friend for sure, doing things with me all the time. Dogs and cats give people unconditional love. I wrote a bit in a journal on here, which seemed to help me. You get plenty of support here too, because everyone has been where you are now. You hang in there and express how you feel all you want. I know it hurts,

Mark
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So it's now 14 days, because I haven't been able to get to the PC for a couple of days and missed your last post. Taking Shaggy's collar on the trip is something I empathise with. I often still do this when I'm taking my other dog to the local beach for a run. The two dogs were best buddies and had been all their lives, until BB passed away in November. This is all part of our grieving process and perfectly natural. It seems there is a very long way to go before kidney disease is resolved in humans, so our poor dogs will probably have an even longer wait. It's a dreadfully cruel and shockingly dibilitating illness and I just wish we could find some kind of cure, so no more dogs would suffer from it. In time, maybe, but for now we just have to do all we can to educate people about bad foods and the importance of getting early bloodwork done when the first symptoms show. Tony
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I have a boxer that is 6 years old and we were told she had kidney damage a year ago.  She got sick this week and they did a blood test.  Her kidney's show more damage.  The vet said that they didn't know if she would last the year or not.  We have started her on a new diet with rice, hamburger,eggs, and bread.  She seems to like it very much.  But she has gotten loose stools from change of food.  I am new to this forum.  Just wanted to see if i could see how other people deal with this.
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Welcome jlbell.....Here's this forums largest thread on kidney disease.....Maybe it will help you w/answers.....

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Dogs/4th-stage-renal-failure-in-my-dog/show/425814?page=1
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Hi.

I am in tears reading about Shaggy's ending. I have rottweiler Maximus ( Max), he was a keeper from my rottie Beatrice I had for 9 years and brought her with me from Russia. He was born here on Junly 2, 2002, he is 10 and a half now and was diagnozed with splin tumor in march. I decidded not to have it removed, Vet said in his age it can aggrovate cancer growth or his heart may give up. So now its January 7, 2012, my Russian Orthodox Christmas adn I brough Max to teh vet because he was throwing up all the food I gave - buckweat, chicken, oatmel - he has appetitie but vomits after a ew horus. Doc said his blodd cell are 11 ( very low) and kidneys are giving up rapidly. He is anemic, his gums are pale, he is dizzy and lthergic now ,He was a ball of energy two weeks ago, I got pian killers and appetite enchancing pills. Treated him to mcdonalds # 4 burger. He was happy! Brough him home, he peed, ate some chicken, had water, played with the rock and now snoring next to me ( I am sitting on his bed i bought for his arthritic bones). I will be sleeiping next to his bed to watch him and let him out when he starts vomiting. His breath today started smelling with this urine smell, I know its toxins. I had to put him Mom down at the age of 8 ( cancer), she still played with a stick right before the end and the look of shock when the needle when into her was like a knife to my heart. I dont want to do it again. I cried for a year, her puppy, my Max kept me going. I want to make Max comoftable and be with him longer.

I read so many good advices and supporting statements, I want to be strong for Max and nobody around me understand how i feel, they dont have to make this decision. I have no family, no children, max is my child and he was born in my hands, I am being selfvish for tourturng him to live longer because I dont know how i will get over it. I want to make his last days as comfotrable as possible.

help please........
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Hello Nika. It sounds to me as if you are doing everything you can for Max and that you already know there isn't (sadly) a great deal anyone can do once kidney disease reaches this stage. It's a waiting game. I assume you have asked the vet about anti-nausia medication, which will encourage Max to continue eating despite the toxins; and about IV fluids to keep flushing the kidneys out and maintain hydration. If Max has reached the stage when his breath is smelling, then he is likely to be at stage 4 of this dreadful illness, so I would feed him whatever he wants rather than a specific diet. It sounds like you have had a wonderful relationship with Max. If he could speak, he would say a huge thank you for giving him so much love, so much care and attention, and for providing so many adventures during his lifetime. He has been a lucky dog. My thoughts are with you. Tony x
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I would so have to agree with your comment. I had to put my Boxer down today from kidney failure. He had been losing weight for quite sometime and his breath smelled horrible. My vet mentioned his weight on a visit back in January and said he needed to lose some weight so that wasn't a bad thing. I mentioned the bad breath and the vet tech said it was from him drooling they get an infection around their mouth. They gave us an antibiotic. my dog was just diagnosed with failure on Wednesday we chose to do 3 days of iv therapy to see if his numbers improved they were off the chart. I feel as if routine blood work and urinalysis should be a part of a pets yearly visit. My dog was healthy as a horse for the 3 years we had him. We had rescued him and the vet kept saying he might have been older than what they told us but I don't believe that he had no gray hair. I am second guessing doing everything so quickly. We would have done anything we could to save him. I just somehow knew when I tried to love on him he didn't seem to want it. Boxers are extremely people lovers and I think he was distancing him from us. From other peoples comments I almost feel like we put him down too quick because he still was eating some and he could still walk on his own but he looked so miserable like he just could not get comfortable. I hope I find peace with my decision because the pain is unbearable. He was 4.5 to 5 years old so young.
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The post Ive read have touched me and Im sorry to hear/read of everyone's losses.
Here is mine and Peanuts story...My baby turned 16 on Dec 1, 2013 just 3 days ago and he is in the final stages of kidney failure even though the doctors say he is in stage 2 and his kidney functions are not yet out of control. He is anemic, lethargic, clumsy and he cant hold his head up. He weighs an incredible 3.6lbs and is a very small Chihuahua which causes me a lot of concern.  He stopped eating today and will not take in any fluids. The Sub-q fluids are not helping and he does this yelp type of bark while sleeping or being moved. He also stopped peeing today and that once familiar look of love and admiration he had in his eyes is now filled with a dim stare of emptiness. I've had my, honey bunny, Peanut in my life since he was 7 weeks old and now it hurts me to my heart to think I may have to do the dreaded vet visit. Man, my heart is bleeding right now and I cant control the tears. Ive been crying honestly nonstop for the last 3 to 4 days and now I feel like the walls are closing in on the both of us and it hurts.
This disease is awful and is very hard to watch as a mommy. My baby has gone through every stage of this disease since his diagnosis a little over a year ago. It started when he went in for a routine check up after feeling weak and throwing up, later on I noticed an ulcer on his eye which turned into glaucoma and uveitis with major pressure build up. After a long battle and hundreds of dollars to save the right eye it had to be removed. I must say my darling best friend was really never the same after they took his eye but he tried very hard and gave me lots of wonderful day of seeing his beautiful face and experiencing the love that only he can give. But now this kidney thing is literally taking him from me.
He had 4 seizures on Thanksgiving morning, the vet says it was due to his calcium being low and they gave him intravenous calcium and told me to give him 1/3 of a tums tablet 2 to 3 times a day. That was 6 days ago. Today he has taken a turn for the worse and I fear it is finally time for me to make that decision and it's sooooo hard for me to let go of someone that has literally been my best friend for 16yrs. He is truly my rock and I need him so much more than he needs me which makes this decision really hard. I look into his eyes and he doesn't appear to be there any longer but I can call his name or touch him ever so gently and his ears raise up but he is unresponsive other than that. He's stumbling over now and cant walk very well at all, his breathing is labored, raspy and heavy with a snoring like scruffy sound to it and he is barking inadvertently while laying down. Im not sure if this means he is in pain but the fact that he stopped peeing leads me to believe he is indeed in some pain. I don't know what to do. Im feeling really selfish right now trying to hold on to a portion of the loving baby that once followed me everywhere including the restroom. He watched my every move and stayed under my feet 24/7 so yes it is hard to make the decision to let go and I feel guilty about even considering it. God please help me, my heart is broken into a million pieces. I need this puppy in my life but I know he is in pain and needs to be released but I cant make myself do it. Please Dear God help me, what do I do????  

I had false hope because the uremia went away, he began to eat like crazy, his stool got solid again and he was drinking regularly. He even started licking my other babies eyes again as he always did. He was walking better and then BAM in 2 days he turned into a completely debilitated puppy. I prayed that his improvements werent the calm before the storm and here I am writing you all with a heavy heart and tear filled eyes. My blood pressure has skyrocketed and I haven't eaten in 2 days. IM A MESS!  Im alone, confused, depressed and hopeless as my better half just started a new over the road trucker job and can not comfort me through the pain or help me make a decision. Jesus please take the wheel, my head is about to explode. I feel sick and worn out. Guys im literally in peril and feel like the weight of the world has landed on my shoulders. Im not sure if I should wait another day or if I should lay down my selfishness and let go while my baby still has some level of dignity and coherence. Lord God, I keep thinking if I do this or do that or get this test done or give him this medication eventually something will work however I am hundreds and  hundreds of dollars into this and nothing has worked yet. I've just been buying time one moment after another and it's like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound. I feel so helpless and hurt. Ive lost weight and my appetite is almost nonexistent. This has effected me in so many ways but it has effected my honey even more. Watching him go through this has been torture to say the least and he is so small too. He tries so hard to be strong for me and yet Im falling apart in front of him. 3.6lbs of pure lover and protector he still is. He's laying next to me right now and every so often he lets out this muffled little bark and moves around in pain and Im nearing my limit of what I can deal with and I know the decision has to be made one way or the other. I cant help but think he has already made the decision for me and all I have to do is finalize his journey but I just cant. Please God give me strength, I need help. I need divine intervention !!!
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Hello. I am so sorry you are going through this - and that Peanuts is going through this too. It sounds to me as if you have done everything you can and at 16 yrs, Peanuts has reached an amazing age, given all the issues he's had. I cannot give you advice on what to do or when, but I really don't think I need to in any case, because I think you already know. And yes, it's the hardest thing in the world, but it's also the last responsibility we have as dog owners. I can't say this will help, but it might - please read my piece here: http://www.infobarrel.com/When_a_Pet_Dog_Dies

You have found a good place here on MedHelp. There is always someone available for support, someone to chat to and someone who will listen - and most are people, like me, that have gone through what you are going through, so we understand and empathise. You and Peanuts are in my thoughts today.

Tony
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Hi Stepluvspeanut....
My heart hurts for you.  Prayers are sent your way, for both you and Peanut.
I know you have some difficult decisions to make, You know Peanut best. You are really the only one who can decide what is best for him. I know you are probably hoping for some good advice, all I have to offer, is...If you have any doubt at all about whether or not this is the right time to euthanize...then, now is not the time.
I think you will KNOW in your heart, when the time arrives, and I think Peanut will let you know.
I realize that your vet says Peanut is in stage 2. I think that the numbers only tell you how his kidneys are doing...they don't really tell you how your dog is doing. All dogs handle things differently.  
It sounds like you need to discuss Peanuts condition further with his vet, and discuss your options and feelings with your Husband.  
You are doing the best you can for Peanut...he would not have made it this far without you. He is a lucky dog to have you making his decisions for him.
Stay strong...my thoughts and prayers are with you both.
Connie
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Im writing you with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes. I made the decision yesterday after holding my darling close to me for hours, crying and telling him how much I love him and how good of a friend he has been over the years. It was hard but he gave me the green light in his own little way and I released him from his earthly pain and he walked over into glory. I miss him so much it hurts. I just want my baby back. I find myself trying to catch glimpses of him throughout the house. I smell his binky where he slept, Ive collected some of his short little hairs, and gathered up all of his meds just so I can look at them and be close to him. God it hurts and im torn into a million little pieces. It feels like my world has ended and I have no where to go from here. There was so many little things he did throughout the years that brought me such joy and I miss him more than I care to breathe right now. Lord, God please let me get pass this traumatic experience with peace of mind because right now I feel like Im losing it and my desire to eat or do anything is gone. Connie, im sorry to burden you with this but this is my new reality. One without the love of my life, and Im lost. I do know that he is at peace and that he forgives me for having to make that dreaded decision but his pain in the end was more than he could bare and more than I could watch him bare. I thank you for your kind words of inspiration and prayers Connie, its because of people like you that I will make it through this season of my life. God bless you and thanks again
Stef
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Tony thank you for your response and Im in tears right now as I write this to you. I made the decision yesterday to give my baby the best possible ending he could have on this side of glory then I let him go. His last hours at home with me were precious moments of him laying in the bed next to me, in my arms, surrounded by love and affection and during the whole vet process he was in my arms with me singing our song to him crying and whispering how much I loved him and how much I would miss him, as he peacefully crossed over in to glory. God knows it was the hardest thing to do but in the end it was the right thing to do. I just miss him so much that it hurts for me to breathe right now. I don't have children therefore all of my love, time, attention and money was poured into my best friends and honestly a piece of my heart has literally died and im lost, confused, angry, hurt, and unhappy. I have so many emotions going on inside of me until I fear my blood pressure will skyrocket out of control. I miss my baby, Tony and Im here as his caretaker with no one to take care of and Im lost. Father God, I didnt think it would hurt so bad but it really hurts. Im trying so hard to find a reason to push forward and its almost unbearable but I know Peanut would want me to be strong and keep living. Thank you for your words of kindness, I appreciate the support so much, Peanut thanks you Im sure for comforting me through my time of grieving. God bless you
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Oh I am so very very sorry. I know how painful today must have been - and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. It hurts so deeply to lose our true and loyal soul mate. Facing life without Peanut must seem impossible, but believe me, this is the worst day. It won't get better tomorrow, but maybe a little bit the day after that - and gradually, the pain will ease, though the feeling of loss may take much longer to subside.

Peanut was certainly one very lucky dog. He was so loved and cared for, it shines through everything you have said about him. The both of you shared a lifetime of joys - just try to remember those times, and put the last horrible memories to one side, if you can. The bad times were short by comparison - and Peanut is at peace now, mercifully.

My thoughts are with you. Please come back and talk any time you feel the need. There will always be someone here to listen and support. I'm here most days too. I would love to hear more about Peanut.

You did the right thing - at the right time. Stay strong.

Tony x
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