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End stage renal failure
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End stage renal failure

Hi I'm new to this forum and stumbled onto it while looking for help with my dog not eating. I have a 15 1/2 year old toy poodle named Chloe. She was my daughter's Christmas present in 1994 but has really become my dog over the years. I have noticed Chloe not eating as much and losing weight but attributed it to her advanced age and problems with arthritis. We had her at the Vet's office 3 months ago and he told me she was in pretty good health for her age with the exception on a slight decrease in kidney function and suggested putting her on KD. She has always eaten dry dog food but did not like the KD and I started mixing it with chicken broth to try to get her to eat better. When that failed, I started trying out different foods. They didn't work much better. After a trip to the Vet on April 12, the Vet called and said Chloe was in end stage renal failure. I saw a different Vet from the one I had seen before. She told me her creatinine level was at 6 and wanted to get it down to 3 so they kept her for a couple of days. I told them she would not eat the dry KD so they put her on canned KD and gave her some IV treatments. When I called to check on her they told me her level was down to 4 and let her go home. I went to pick her up and was given a very expensive bill along with a case of KD. The Vet also told me she had some loose stools and gave me pills for that with the recommendation that she take them twice a day. When I got her home I fed her the KD which she ate a little of and then the pill for the loose stool. She started to heave and I took her outside and she staggered, fell, and vomited. She didn't have any more loose stools so I did not give her any more of the pills as they made her so sick. The following day I again offered the KD but she refused to eat it. I called the Vet and she gave me a prescription for canned Royal Canin. She has only eaten small amounts of that and in fact it has taken 2 days to eat 3/4 of one can. She is not drinking as much water either. Has anyone had any luck with a diet I found on line consisting of ground beef, white rice, egg, and white bread slices? It is breaking my heart to see her starving to death. We have given her thin sliced turkey that I'm sure is not good for her since it is processed just to get her to eat something. Of course she readily eats that. I have read many heartbreaking stories on here and as hard as it will be for me, I know I will do the humane thing and put her down once she is unable to hold anything down. This disease seems hopeless and I am very sad.
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I don't have any suggestions on what you can do, all I can say is to try everything possible for her and don't rush into anything.  If you do end up putting her to sleep you will at least know there was absolutely nothing else you could do, which will help alot.  Good Luck, let us know how shes doing.
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Thanks I will. I went home for lunch a little while ago and was encouraged to see that the small amount of Royal Canin I put in her bowl this morning had been eaten and that she had been drinking her water. I put more food in her bowl so hopefully she will do better with smaller amounts during the day. I also noticed that she had tinkled on my carpet but I just couldn't be mad at her.
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Why is one food better for her than another?  Does it help her kidneys more than her regular food?  Would human food (meat) be harmful?
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Nutro holistic is a really good food and they usually really like the taste of it.You can boil some chicken and then use the broth and pour on some rice.Also you can use veg-all.You want to feed food that is 17% or lower in protein if you are concerned with the crenatine.Sometimes when my baby turns her nose up to her food i pour a little chicken broth on it,But i really try to limit her meat intake due to it having high protein levels.I know its hard to try to get them to eat food they dont want,Even though its what is best for them.I had to put my little girl on special food for her weight and kidneys.She weighed 26lbs about a month ago and she is a Pekingese.She has lost 2lbs so far and needs to lose about 6 more and then she will be back to her normal weight.She went blind overnight and started eating all the time and when i took her to the vet due to her vision lose and weight gain we found out about her kidneys.What stage is your baby in ?I will keep you to in my prayers.May God Bless You both.
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I will try the chicken broth and rice. I'm desparate for her to eat. The Vet only told me she was in end stage renal failure and didn't say what level. I will have to ask about that. She called me last night to check on Chloe and told me I needed to stick with the food that was prescribed for her. Since Chloe's hind legs are weak and she can no longer get up and down from the sofa without assistance, I have been putting her bedding down on the floor so that her food and water are easily accessable to her. She has always been a private eater and does better with her food when no one is around. It takes her a long time of sniffing and walking away before she will actually take a bite of food. Last night I took her out to go to potty before bedtime and her hind legs kept giving out on her and she kept falling. This morning she was walking better. It's so sad to watch her going down hill like this. Thank you for your prayers.
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The prescribed food is lower in protein and puts less stress on the kidneys. Also so much of human food has too much sodium.
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It is very hard to watch them go down hill, especially when walking is a problem.  Ours had Cushings, and had good days where she would roll in the snow, and the next day we had to carry her outside.  She wasn't limited to what food she could have, that must make it a lot harder for you and her.  
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Sometimes i pour a little chicken broth over my Pekes NF food to get her to eat it,But i do have to be careful as to not give her to much.Cause of having to watch the protein levels.It is hard to get them to eat food when they dont want it or dont like the taste.I really wish that there was more that i could say or do to help you,I will keep both of you in my prayers.If you need to talk i am here.Take care,Chan
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Thank you for your prayers. We are now into day 2 without Chloe eating a bite. I keep her bedding near her food and water bowls hoping she will eat something. I put out fresh food and water this morning before I left for work. She did drink some water, but has sniffed her food a few times and walked away. If she hasn't eaten anything by the time I get home this evening, I am going to try making a recipe I found on line that comes from Hills that is supposed to be suitable. It consists of ground beed, white bread, hard boiled egg, and white rice. Hopefully this will tempt her to eat. I am so frustrated and worried.
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As I read your post, it brought up so-ooooooo many vivid memories of just 10 months ago with our sweetheart Sami (she was the larger, sable & white one).  She was 10 1/2 years old when we finally after 1 week of unbearable misery I put her down.  She was diagnoised with renial kidney failure in September, 2008.  She ate the Science Diet K/D wet dog food.  At first she would eat 1/2 can at each feeding, plus a little bit of dry K/D 2x  per day.  She remained pretty stable for a year.  She did go through boughts of no eating many times.  Sometimes I would give her a little bit of Science Diet Mature wet dog food since it was the closet thing to K/D.  Then last May, she quit eating anything.  The only time she would eat is if I would hand feed her little chuncks of the K/D wet dog food.  Sometimes I would lay by her and talk to her as I fed it to her.  She went from being 45 lbs to being 14 lbs in the end.  You could literally put your hands around her waist and overlap them.  

With her legs giving out it sounds like you are definitely in the end stage of the renial kidney failure.  I would have to hold Sami's hind end up the last week whenever she would go outside to do her business.  Our vet did blood work and told me it was just a matter of days.  I prayed and hoped everynight I laid with her that she would just go in her sleep.  No such luck.  Each morning she would raise her head and perk her ears as if nothing was wrong, even trying to wag her tail.  Her gums were so pail from being malnourished and she emitted an odor that the vet told me was toxins her kidneys were unable to process.  So finally I had to do the only humane thing and my dad and I took her to the vet and I held her until she finally drew her last breath.  It is so heartbreaking and I feel so sorry for you.  Those furry little friends give us so much with their life, that even in the end they try to please!!!!

Will she drink water if you dip your fingers in it and let her lick your fingers?  

Don't beat yourself up or even try to second guess yourself.  Only you know what is the best for her.   My feeling is the quality of life outweighs the quantity.  Be prepared.  the bond between you and her sometimes is so strong, that it makes them hold on even longer than their bodies will allow.  Remember, they don't want to leave us, as much as we don't want them to go.

If you need someone to talk to, we are all here.

God bless,
veryworriedmomdad,  Patty
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Well said.
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Thank you for your post. I was so much at my wit's end wanting Chloe to eat that I used a recipe I found on line that Hill's put out. She ate a little of it last night, but this morning she wolfed it down and I even put a bit more in her bowl so that was encouraging to me just to see her eating something. She will drink her water still, but probably not as much as she should be. She also likes bits of apple. I am holding on to her as long as I can.
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Spoil her rotten, and enjoy day.
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I am so glad to hear that she is eating a little.I will keep you both in my prayers.Take care.
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Whats her BUN level?
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Kidney failure is one of the hardest things to accept in our pets.  We lost our dog Chica to kidney failure in January 2008.  She was sick for a good 6 months and showed no symptoms until it was too late.

Here are some kidney failure facts I learned along the way:

1.   There is no cure.  Period.  Once kidney cells die, they are gone forever and the body cannot make more like say, the liver.

2.   That means you want to preserve what kidney cells remain.  Use plain Tums once or twice a day as a supplement.  They're pure calcium and calcium binds to phosphorus and sweeps it out of the body.  Phosphorus is deadly to kidneys in failure.  There is in expensive product called Azodyl that accomplishes the same thing, but I found the Tums to be much more effective.  If you don't know how to "pill" your dog, have your vet show how to do it quickly and easily.

3.  On diet, your dog will suffer from malnutrition sooner rather than later if you stick with a KD diet for long.  It's not so much that you want to limit all protein, but rather find a more digestible form that is low in phosphorus.  Dark poultry meat (boiled, no seasoning) is a good cheap form of acceptable protein.  Scrambled eggs are also good, but use only half the yolk or less as the yolks are high in phosphorus.  Your vet should be able to provide you with low-phosphorus dog food recipes.  One popular one is to use high-fat, cheap hamburger meat.  Brown it thoroughly, drain thoroughly and mix in plain cooked white rice.

4.  If your dog isn't able to stay hydrated, offer low sodium chicken broth - anything to keep fluids up.  You may have to learn how to give sub-q (just under the skin) injections to supplement hydration.

5.  Once a dog is actually in end-stage kidney failure, it's more important to get him to eat anything - even if it's on the No list - rather than nothing.  The calcium in the Tums will help a great deal to keep nausea and vomiting down in addition to saving what kidney function remains.  Avoid organ meats as they're very high in phosphorus.  Add plain white rice for carbohydrates to any dark poultry meat or hamburger.  Plain yogurt is also a good choice to mix in or offer by itself.

6.  Kidney failure causes nausea and vomiting because the toxins normally filtered by the kidneys are now in the bloodstream.  There are several medications that can help.  Cerenia is expensive, but effective.  Most vets rely on reglan tablets, but beware.  Reglan is metabolized in the kidneys and it doesn't take long to build up to a toxic dose.  The symptoms aren't pretty.  The dog staggers around shaking and trembling, unable to sit still, eyes spinning in their sockets, panting, etc.  Benadryl at 1 mg per pound of the dog's weight will stop the symptoms.  We did find that reglan injections did not produce this reaction.  Sometimes all you have to do is bypass the GI tract to avoid side effects with meds, and this was one of those times.

Phenergan is a very cheap medication that not many vets even know about as a very effective anti-nausea agent.  It worked the best on our dog once we learned she could take it.  I have crhonic nausea myself and always have phenergan on hand.  When any of my dogs get into a nauea and barfing episode, 12.5 milligrams knocks it out within 15 to 20 minutes.

7.  The idea is to keep your dog as comfortable as possible, and as long as possible.  That means calcium supplements, homemade boiled foods, vitamin supplements (read labels for phosphorus content - senior vitamins have little to no phosphorus) and most important, anti nausea meds.  Don't expect your dog to keep up with regular mealtimes.  Keep offering food in small amounts several times a day.  Same goes for water.  Some dogs like various flavors of Gatorade better than plain water, or even ice cubes, so experiment a bit.

8.  Believe me, you will know when it's time to say goodbye.  Once the toxins in the blood reach high enough levels to cross the blood-brain barrier, you probably won't even be able to get a response from your dog.  Copious vomiting and dry heaving usually occur by then because no medication can keep up with the toxins.  It's more heartwrenching than I can say to have to make that last trip to the vet, but still the kindest thing you can do for your suffering friend.  Meanwhile, treasure every good moment that happens in every day.  You'll probably find that your dog will cycle back and forth from good to bad several times in any given day.

Feel free to write any time.  You aren't at all alone in this.  :-)
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I just wanted to check on your baby and see how she was doing.I hope that she is eating a little better for you today.You two are in my prayers ...May God Bless You.
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Thank you so much for the advice. I am definitely dreading the day when she does start to get really sick. This is such a cruel disease. One of my sisters had to put her dog down because of renal failure so I know what is coming. In the meals I prepare for Chloe I have crushed up Tums. She eats but not much. Some days she sort of staggers around and other days she looks perky and almost back to normal.
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Thank you for your concern. At the moment Chloe seems to be doing alright though not eating as much as I would like to see her eat. I am taking her back to the vet tomorrow to check her levels. I will post again once I hear what the vet has to say. I really appreciate your prayers. Blessing to you.
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I wish I would of stumbled upon this site back last year when I really needed it.  I searched the internet high and low and only found information that made me second guess myself.  Your information would have been useful knowledge.  The vets in are small town are good, but seem to be limited in knowledge sometimes.  I had asked for any recipes and got nowhere.  

Feel good knowing your giving her the best care!!!  We've all been through this before and will be there for you.  (Lord knows a non-animal lover does not have a clue to what you are feeling or dealing with!)  It's good to have people who are compassionate on your side.  And we all are!!!

Keep us informed.
patty
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If you are concerned over her not eating enough you can use Nutri-cal.Your vet or a local petstore should carry.It really helps as far as keeping them from not getting weak and gives them the nutrients they need.It is highly palatable and most really like the taste of it.I will keep both of you in my prayers.May God Bless You.
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Thank you. I will ask about the Nutri-cal. Chloe is at the vet now for a check-up so I will post when I get the results.
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I received a call from the vet and she told me Chloe's creatinine level had gone up from 4 to 5. She suggested a suppliment that she is going to order for me called Azodyl. Is anyone familiar with that? I am certainly going to give it a try. She has also ordered another suppliment that I forget the name of to sprinkle on food. Hopefully these will help.
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Azodyl serves the same function as the calcium in Tums, and helps to remove phosphorus from the body.  I remember using the powdered stuff on our dog's food as well, but can't remember the name of it either.  It didn't take too long before Chica refused to eat anything it touched.  The azodyl was pretty expensive as I recall, and it just didn't make one bit of difference with Chica for the month she was on it.  I went back to Tums only and she did better.  Hopefully your Chloe will have a better response.

How is Chloe doing as far as nausea and vomiting are concerned?  I pray she doesn't have that part of it too badly.  
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What was her creatinine level before this lab work.Sometimes they will go up and down.I had some labs ran on my peke and in a 6weeks time they period they started out fine  then where elevated then slightly elevated then they went back to normal again.As of right now they are just slightly elevated due to age.What i am trying to tell you is that there is a chance that they will go down a little.I can tell how much you love her and we can all see that you are willing to do what ever you can to help her.I wish i there was more that i could say to help,But i am here if you need to talk.God Bless and take care
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So far Chloe has not had the vomiting. As I was leaving this morning I noticed that she was eating her food and that was good to see. On the food I prepare for her I started to add a little lower sodium chicken broth and I think that has helped her to be more interested in her food. The vet has ordered the Azodyl for me so I will give it a shot and see what happens. Her creatinine level before the lab work was 4 and it had gone up to 5. On her initial visit it had been 6.6. I do put a crushed tums in her food when I prepare it. Thank you both for your concerns. It helps to know that I am not alone in this.
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I am so glad to hear she is eating a little more now that is wonderful news.I know that has to make you feel alot better knowing that she.That little girl has alot of people praying for her and wishing her well, Hopefully now she will continue to improve and her creatinine will go down.I know that you have really been worried about her,We have all been worried.But we will all continue to pray for the both of you.Let us know how she is doing tomorrow.Take care and May God Bless
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Thank you so much. Your kind words and prayers mean the world to me. I take each day as it comes and am thankful for every day I have to spend with Chloe.
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At least you got SOME good news.  :-)  The longer you can preserve what little kidney function remains, the better for you both.

After a while, I didn't bother  asking for labs on Chica.  I knew they were bad.  I made decisions during the day based on how she was feeling and acting.  Looking back, I was lucky that I wasn't working by then and was able to do the heavy-duty nursing 24/7.  The last couple of months were brutal and I didn't even realize it until it was over.

Some dogs are blessed to be completely unaware at the end, which makes it so much easier to know when to say goodbye.  Not Chica.  She was awake and aware until we sedated her at home for the last time.  I swear it was just sheer will that kept her going as long as she did.  That dog never backed down from a challenge in her life, and illness was no different.  Oh boy.  I'm actually crying thinking about this so I'd better shut up.  Can you imagine?  
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This past weekend went pretty well. Chloe ate and drank fairly well. I added cooked chicken breast to her diet and she really seemed to like it. It is getting more and more difficult for her to walk and her poor little hind legs tremble so when she tries to support herself when going to potty. Her eyesight is getting worse too. She used to follow me into other rooms but now she just mostly stays put in her bed. She sleeps much of the time and is so still that I have to touch her to see if she is still alive. I am praying that she will just pass away in her sleep before I have to make the decision for her.
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Wouldn't it be reat if they would just pass away in their sleep, like you said.  Seldom do they, though.  We put ours to sleep a couple of months ago, and I would have given just about anything to have her go on her own, but sometimes their just too tough.  I hope its different for you, but if its not, just know you did everything you could.
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Today was not a good one. Chloe threw up her food this afternoon, but seemed otherwise ok. Tonight I took her out to potty and she could barely stand at all. When we came back in she drank some water and immediately threw it up. Now I don't know if because of the kidneys or something else or if this is the beginning of the end. I'm terribly afraid it's getting to be decision time. I can't stand to see her suffer, but I feel like she really doesn't have a good quality of life right now. I will see how things go tomorrow and then go from there.
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Oh no.  I'm so terribly sorry.  The vomiting is from the unfiltered toxins, and not being able to hold down water is a very bad sign.   She's obviously very weak now from lack of food.  You're likely right that it's time to at least think about making that awful last decision.  You never know though.  Chloe may bounce back and forth from awful days to slightly better days with nausea meds and sub-q fluids, but the general direction will be inexorably downward.  I think you're down to counting days now and I am reminded of the last days with my Chica like they were yesterday.  They were terrible, yet precious at the same time.  I don't quite know how to describe it.

Have you done any thinking about how you want that last day to play out - assuming Chloe doesn't make the decision for you?  My husband and I had many months to think about how we wanted Chica to be treated and were able to make a plan with the vet ahead of time.  It helped.  Well, as much as anything CAN help in these situations.  Since we have a long and very good relationship with our vet, he gave us the sedation pill to give her at home.  She fell asleep in our arms on the couch - her favorite spot - and never knew we left the house.  We were the last clients of the day and were able to take our time without other people hanging around.  It was a very peaceful release from suffering.  Don't get me wrong - I bawled my eyes out for days, but I know we did right by her.

Some vets will make house calls, or even come out to your car so you don't have to traumatize your dog by going into the clinic.  Ask your vet about the actual process so you know exactly what to expect.  Also ask how much it will cost as well as if you want her to come back home with you.  We elected cremation for both our dogs.  Call me crazy, but since my husband can't bear to bury them or spread the ashes on our property in case we move, I put it in my Will that any dog cremains go in the box with me when it's my turn.  Why not?  Even the ancient Egyptians took their dogs and cats with them.  :-)

My intent is not to upset you having this discussion.  I've learned over the years that it's always better to be prepared and have answers to these kinds of questions well before you need them.  Making any kind of decision when you're overwhelmed with grief and emotion isn't a good idea in any situation.  You sound like a very caring, competent and common sense person.  I have every faith that you will do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done.  Then, my dear, you must give yourself permission to fall apart and scream and cry and grieve as long as you need to.  We're all here to go through it with you.
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I am so sorry to hear that she is having a really bad day.I know that this hard for you as well.I do hope that she will let go on her on.But only you know what is right and how much both of you can stand.She is one lucky little girl to have you care for her and love her as much as you do.I pray that tommorrow will be a better day.May God Bless You...You will be in my prayers.
Lots of love to you both.
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Thank you so much for your support. This morning was better. I started her off with water to see if she could hold it down. She drank quite a bit and kept it down and then ate a bit of food so that was encouraging. I wish I didn't have to work so I could be with her more but I do go home at lunch and check on her.
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When I went home at lunch I took Chloe over to her water bowl and she gulped a bunch of water down pretty fast. Unfortunately it came right back up. I called the vet and she told me she had gotten the Azodyl in for us to try. She also told me I could give Pepcid AC for the upset tummy. I will try all of this and see how it goes. I want to be able to feel like I have done everything I could for her when the time comes to make a decision. Hopefully that will give me a little peace of mind.
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That's the way it goes: up one minute and down the next.  I doubt the pepcid will help at this stage, but it won't hurt.  The same thing goes for food.  It's better for her to eat anything at all rather than nothing.  The last few weeks with Chica drove me crazy.  Her tastes would change every couple of days.  I'd think I finally landed on something she could eat and then... nope.  She'd turn her nose away.

Has you vet offered anything other than pepcid for the nausea?  There are so many nausea meds available for dogs, so if your vet didn't offer anything, ask for it.  While kidney failure isn't particularly painful, it's extremely miserable.  The nausea is easily comparable to that endured by chemo patients and should be treated as such.  These days, I think cerenia is the gold standard for nausea in dogs, but it also has a matching price tag.  I wouldn't recommend reglan at this point since it's metabolized in the kidneys.  Our ER vet recommended over-the-counter Dramamine (motion sickness med)  for a trial, which did help in the earlier stages.  In Chica's case, phenergan (generic name is promethazine) worked wonders.  It's an old medication so it's cheap.  Eventually, Chica had trouble keeping down pills so my husband (bless him!) gave her injections over her last week.

I'm disabled and my husband worked at home when Chica was diagnosed, so I was there for her every minute of every day.  I honestly don't know which would be worse - seeing every uncontrollable vomiting episode or being at work and wondering how she was doing.  In many respects, it's probably good for you to have those hours of distraction.  Hang in there my friend.  :-)
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You are doing everything you can for your baby so please believe  that.I really admire the way that you care for her.She knows how much you love her.Could her vomting be from her drinking so much so fast.Sometimes when my babies drink alot like that they will vomit.I agree with Jaybay about the phenergran it works really well for vomiting.I will pray that tomorrow will be better for the both of you.Your little girl has alot of people praying for her and for you as well.Take care and God Bless
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Thanks again for the sweet comments and advice. I am going to pick up Azodyl today to give it a try and something else (can't remember the name) that is sprinkled on food. We did try the Pepcid yesterday. We had to crush up a half table and put it in just a bit of water. Then I held Chloe and my husband poured it down her throat. She drank some water this morning, but I had her drink it slower. She would start lapping it up and I would take it away and pause for a minute before offering it again. It stayed down, or at least it had by the time I left for work. She refused to eat anything. I am cooking some more chicken breast tonight and see if she will take that. She hasn't had a BM in several days and that is a concern for me. I did mention it to the vet. When I go to get the Azodyl today I will ask about the phenergran. Blessings to you both.
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I am glad to hear that she held down her water,I have to do that with mine were they want vomit.I hope that the Azodyl works.There are several different types of Phenergran.Sometimes when they wont hold down you can use the rectal form,I hope that she was vomiting due to her drinking so fast.If she still dont eat  tomorrow you could try the Nutri-cal.It will help keep her energy up.Well i will talk to you soon.God Bless and lots of love to you both.
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Good morning! I got the Azodyl and something called Epikitin to help stimulate appetite and decrease nausea. I didn't have a chance to see the vet about Phenergran because she was in with an emergency. Chloe was not interested in the chicken I had prepared for her so I had some thin sliced smoked turkey meat (on the no no list I'm sure) and wrapped the Azodyl in that and she took it. We also wrapped the Pepcid AC in the turkey meat and she took that as well. This was the only bit of food she had all day. She did drink her water and we took it slow with that. The rest of the night she didn't want to eat anything. At bedtime I took her out to potty and she threw up what looked to be either the turkey or some phlegm. This morning I got her to take the Azodyl with the turkey meat but she wouldn't take it with the Pepcid so we mixed it with water and my husband poured it down her throat. We hate doing this but sometimes it's the only way. I prepared the chicken and put the Epikitin on it and again she turned up her nose. She didn't even want water this morning. She is looking so pitiful that I am starting to wonder at what point do we stop and put her out of her misery. She tries her best to walk and falls down. In the 3 weeks since her diagnosis, her health has declined very rapidly. Every time I think of putting her down I cry but then again I wonder if I shouldn't let her go. That's where I am now in my process.
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This is an update. When I got home this afternoon and took one look at Chloe, I knew what my decision had to be. She looks as if she could leave us tonight but I have scheduled to take her to the vet on Saturday morning and put her to rest. She will no longer eat or drink and is fading fast. She was originally my daughter's dog, so she will be the one to go in with her when the time comes. I will not be up to going in there. I am so very sad and can't imagine life without her. She has been my little shadow for years following me everywhere I went. Tonight I gave her a bath because she had started to smell bad and brought her bed outside since it was a nice evening. My husband and I just sat and talked about her and cried. We will make it through this but it will be hard.
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This is just too sad for words.  I certainly understand your reluctance to be in the room at the end, but I have to tell you it is very peaceful.  For me personally, it's important to be there for my pets.  Yes, it's emotional. Yes, it's painful for us to see that last breath.  I always feel it necessary (for me) to make certain my hands are on them and my voice is in their ear.  Each time I've had to endure it, what stuck me was the very great respect shown by the vet and his staff.  It helps me in some small way.

My mother's cat was dying of liver failure last year and my husband and I had to take him in for that final trip. Mom was too ill and couldnt face it anyway.  I'm so glad I could be there for her pet as a loving escort out of suffering.  And that's really what it's all about - an end to suffering.

God bless you for doing everything you could.  Never forget that.  There always comes a point when we are called home.  The knowing doesn't make it any less painful.  You are both in my thoughts and prayers on this day.  :-(
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I am so sorry, it is so hard, but you know it has to be done, but yet it hurts so bad to do it.  I too cannot be there when they go, so my husband is the one that always gets stuck, although if he couldn't I would, rather than have them be alone.  You will feel guilty, but try not to, keep telling yourself you did everything possible (which you did)  There just weren't any options left, other than suffering, and you saw how miserable Chloe was.  You can almost see it in their face that its time to go.  She wouldn';t have lasted much longer on her own, and they would have been horrible days.  You made the absolute right decision, don't forget it.  She was much loved, and she knew it.  She was a very lucky dog.
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We didn't wait until Saturday. My daughter came over today. Chloe started out to be her dog. She was her Christmas present in 1994. My daughter took one look at Chloe and knew the time had come, as i did as well. I let her make the call. We all cried. My daughter took Chloe on her final trip. I couldn't face being there and this was a clinic that my daughter had worked at in high school. I stayed with my two granddaughters while she went. She told me that Chloe was sedated and that her death came very easily without any reaction. She died with her dignity. My husband buried her in the yard next to some of our past beloved pets. There was a Dalmatian named Oreo, a cat named T.C. and a hampster named Bubba. We had a little service for her and I read the poem about the Rainbow Bridge which I had a really hard time getting through but one I had decided I wanted to read. Then we all sat around and remembered things about Chloe and cried and cried. I know there will be many more tears to come. Every time I look toward the sofa where she always wanted to be brings fresh tears. Having two young granddaughters to love on has helped tremendously. We know that we will want another dog at some point, but also know they will never replace Chloe. She was a wonderful companion and a much loved family member. Thank you for your prayers. We will be fine in time.
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You loved that baby with all your heart and you did everything you could to help her and keep her comfortable,I admire you so much for all you did.I know that there are going to be alot of tears,But please know in your heart that you gave that sweet little girl the best life that she could have ever wanted.You know that she is at peace now and her memories will live on.Try to remember all the good times even though right now it hurts.You were blessed with all those wonderful years with her and she loved you with all her heart.If you need to talk we are all her for you.I will keep you and your family in my prayers.May God Bless You
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I have to say I'm glad you didn't wait that extra day.  Chloe told you it was time to leave and you listened.  Not everyone has the strength to recognize that when it happens.  A quiet release from suffering is a gift - a very emotional and difficult one, but a gift nonetheless.

Of course no other dog can replace Chloe!  She will always have a place in your heart and mind no matter how many other dogs you eventually share your life with.  That's what's wonderful about the human heart; there is no limit on the amount of love we have to give.  Take the time to grieve.  I'm hopeful that someday you will be able to share all you have to give with another lucky dog.  :-)
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Thank you both for being here for me. This has been such a sad time. Every time I look at the place at the end of the sofa where Chloe always loved to sit I expect her to be there. The house is way too quiet, although she was never a noisy girl. My husband had cut a bit of fur from the top of her head and I look at it again and again and can still smell her. I see her little pink collar. My daughter took one last picture of her just moments before she went to sleep and I look at that over and over. I am taking comfort in knowing that she isn't sick anymore. She is free of her failing body and the legs that could no longer walk and eyes that could barely see. She gave love up to the end. The final time I took her out to potty she managed to wag her tail when she looked up at me. She was my shadow who followed me from room to room and gave me unconditional love. No dog will ever replace her but I think in time we will have another dog in our lives. They truly are the best and most faithful companions we could ever ask for.
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You'll walk into rooms and expect to see her in her favortie place out of the corner of your eye, or think you hear her bark when you come home.  It will take a long while, but you'll adjust, and you'll have lots of good memories of her.  She had a very good, long life.
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I lost my little girl 9 months ago,I still can hear her tags rattling and sometimes i think that i hear her walk across the floor.When you love them so much there memories will always live own.Your little girl was very special and she knew that you loved her with all your heart.When the time comes that you bring a new baby home the love you have for it will be just as great but in a different way.You will be in my prayers.God Bless you and Take Care
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Thanks so much. It helps to hear from others who have been through this process. I know I will be fine and she will be fine. I know we did the right thing for her, but in some ways I feel guilty for ending a life. It would have been beyond selfish and cruel to let her continue to suffer until she died on her own. I wrestle with myself over this.
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You gave that little girl the best of everything.You need to think about all the good times with her.Cause if you think of the bad it can really effect.When i lost my little girl i had a really hard time,and sometimes i still blame myself.But i know that i was blessed to have had her in my life.If you need to talk we are here for you.Take Care and God Bless.
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How do I know when the time is right to let my doggie go?  I don't know what to do... she is declining & has been for some time.  I posted this on another board, but it's just too painful to type it all again.  I have read thru all these posts -- my dog isn't falling down as much, but she is 14 & sooooo thin & so weak & blind (unrelated condition, we think) & staggering & vomiting here & there & having accidents (poop & potty) here & there.  Earlier this past week she went out in the sun in 110 degree weather & laid down -- I swear she was trying to kill herself.  Got her recovered from that, but it's been a steady downhill since then.  

She has the most horrific smell coming out of her mouth -- almost cannot even stand it.  There is this strange black, crusty, scaly, sticky stuff all around her mouth -- she's an italian greyhound & sooooo tiny now - probably 5 lb.  Bones showing everywhere.  Eating here & there -- vomiting some.  I'm heartbroken, but not sure I know when the time is right to not let her suffer anymore?  Love her with my whole heart -- just hate seeing her this way, but also feel like it's unfair to let her go before her time comes, too.

How do I know????  I'm feeling like the day is approaching... and do I let her go a wee bit early to avoid the HORRIBLE stuff to come?  We're getting there... I fear.

SOOOO sad.  

Ging
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Ging....I just answered your other thread........Karla
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I discovered this site while searching the web for information on canine kidney disease and what a help it's been! I want to thank everyone for their posts and for sharing what they have been and are going thru.That is actually why I am posting.
    My 9 yr old golden retriever Ginger was Loosing weight (thought it to be her aging so wasn't too concerned), she had diarrehea not alot but, every now & then again thought it just an upset tummy from to much people food,then she was refusing her beloved milk bones taking them but just placing them in front of her.This we thought very strange then the next morning after drinking her water and eating her breakfast she vomited it all up.We thought maybe she had just had too much water and ate her food too fast.Also while lying outside in her favorite spot we noticed she was shaking like she was cold but it wasn't that cold out.Considering the weight loss and diarrhea and especially the shaking we decided to bring her to the vet to be checked out.We thought maybe she had a doggie virus /flu or a parasite of somekind.
   At the vets they examined my sweet Ginger, all seemed fine she has always been very healthy.They took some blood samples.I got a call later that night they wanted me to bring Ginger back on Saturday to get a urine sample the blood samples had came back with high values they were concerned about kidney disease.
     Saturday we went back to the vet they got the urine sample. Then tested her values they proved to be high they said it was kidney disease.They weren't sure if it was from Lyme disease or old age without a biopsy & we wern't going there.So I asked what we do from here.The vet said her condition was gurded but,they could give her fluids to try to flush out the toxins and restart the kidneys.It should give us 2-3 months more with Ginger and help to make her feel better. Needless to say I was floored by this diagnosis! I couldn't even believe my ears.Ginger was acting fine just getting skinny.They sent us home with some pills to keep swelling down and prevent water collecting in her paws, an antibiotic, and a anti nausea med.
Monday morning I dropped Ginger off at the vet at 7am for a fluid drip and would pick her up again at 7pm she would spend the night home with us where she was comfortable and return to the vet tuesday morning for another day of the fluid drip 7am - 6pm. Around 4pm that afternoon we got a call from the vet they had rechecked Gingers values they hadn't changed if fact had gotten worse, the vet recommended we consider euthanasia. Again I was floored! I felt my heart sink down to my feet I felt like I was going to throw up. What had happened to my 2 -3 months? Well, at 6pm I picked up Ginger she was happy her tail wagging her eyes bright.She saw me and ran right over to me.Once home Ginger wouldn't eat anything we tried everything all her favorites.All types of dog food, cat food ,boiled hamburg & rice,coldcuts,icecream,steak, chicken, baby food, shredded turkey she turned away from it all.As the night went on she just layed on the livingroom floor. She didn't move much even when called.Her eyes looked dull as the night went on she was dinking some water and would go out to  pee but with alot of encouragement.Later that night she had a seizure her whole body shaking ,her teeth gnawing,& she pee'd herself.It lasted less than a minute  and the she was fine but tired of course we loved her up and held her, her little eyes were scared and looking for comfort.
    The next day the day before Thanksgiving she started off like her old self happy and ran outside with her brother to pee.Then during the next few hrs her eyes took on that dull,sickly look, she refused to eat anything or drink anything.Just layed there on the floor changing postions uncomfortably back & forth.Around 4pm she had another seizure this one was worse lasted alittle over a minute this time not only did her teeth grind, her paws twitch, pee herself but she also pooped herself. She laid on the fllor the rest of the evening not moving except to change position, not caring about the noises in the house or her brother or anything.Around 10 pm she had another seizure this one wasn't as long but had the same things happen only this time it affected her back legs.They seemed to be weaker and she had a hard time standing kinda swayed back & forth stumbling. Later that night she went out to pee and her back legs had like deserted her they seemed to want to do they own thing she tried to go one way and they went the other she was still able to pee and it looked fine.
     Friday morning 3 days after having had the fluid drips & being home Ginger was noticably weaker and getting very skinny she hadn't ate or drank anything despite our efforts for 4 days.We were heart sick. Ginger lay on the floor only moving to  change her positon she looked terrribly uncomfortable.We discussed puttting her down. Every time she stood up her back end would wobble uncontrolably, her eyes were dull, she loved being held and petted but then she always was a Lover. Later that morning she had yet another seizure this one lasted about 2 minutes she was visably shaken.After the seizure she lay there just staring not caring about anything going on.I loved her up she pulled away.We decided it was time altho we hated the idea of loosing our sweet little baby doll!
      I called the vet crying so much they could barley understand me. I asked if they could come out to our house to put Ginger down it was 11am they came out at 1:30pm and My sweet little Ginger was still laying in the same spot on the floor.Her head picked up at seeing the vet she was very alert! He assessed her and we told him about the seizures, not eating & he noticed how much weight she had lost since saturday. He shaved her leg to see the vein, Ginger's eyes got big ( the noise scared her) , she looked at me. I held her close and told her I Loved her and soon she would be at peace no more seizures, that she would be with our cats in doggy heaven,in the backyard where her brother & us could visit.The vet inserted the needle my Sweet Little Baby Doll drifted off in seconds into a peaceful sleep.Needless to say we cried our eyes out! It's been 5 days now since Ginger left us and we are still crying,talking ,and thinking of her. We have pic's of her on the mantle her brother hasn't been the same.He's been depressed not eating for the first couple days.Not wanting  to go riding wouldn't even go down the stairs to the yard without Ginger to pee.His starting to do better now day by day.He did watch the entire thing from seizures, death, to Ginger's burial in the back yard. Even our cats are acting differently.So Sad to watch. I am however, glad that the vet could come to the house so Ginger could leave this world  in the comfort of her house,in front of the fireplace, surrounded by her cats,her brother, my husband ,& me.RIP My Sweet Baby Doll- Ginger you were such a Great Friend & Copanion we will never forget you.Thankyou for touching our hearts & lives
    Thank you to all who have posted on this topic it has helped us tremendously  in dealing with it all.I only hope my story will also help someone to deal with the quickness and pain that this terrible disease brings.By the time most people realize something is wrong about 75% of the kidneys are already damaged.I still can not believe my Baby Doll is gone! It's like some sort of bad dream.We thought it was the flu or something like that Ginger had never been sick! Good Luck to anyone going thru this My Thoughts & prayers are with you.
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I am so sorry for your loss,  This is the hardest thing anyone will have to do, but know that you made the right decision.  Its so sad that the decline was so fast, you never even had time to get 'oriented' to what was going on.
I've never yet gone through anything like this, but I'm sure I will.  I have had 3 dogs pass instantly at home, 2 were only 6 days apart, and that about wrecked me.
Our furry friends mean so much to us, and it can truly be a gift to them that we can end their suffering.
you are in my thoughts.

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Thank you, for your support it really means alot.Even when you think you have made the right decision you still second guess yourself .You think did I make the right decision should I have waited longer maybe it was just a phase that would have passed. In your heart you know it was time but, you still feel you've somehow let your faithful companion down.
      Yes this did happen so suddenly our whole family is still in shock. Everyone including Ginger's brother are starting to acccept her absence altho very slowly, he still looks for her at meal time & when he goes out to pee (She was always just behind him at these times and he'd wait for her to catch up before continuing to eat  or go outside).
             I hope you never have to face kidney disease with any of your animals.I have had many animals with many different ailments but, this kidney disease was by far the hardest to accept.
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My dog Halle is following the exact path as Chloe. She is a 13 year old Yorkshire Terrier and is my 'sweetie'. She is having good days and bad days now. Actually, she did very well for about 1 month after she was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure. She is on Azodyl and medicine for an elevated blood pressure. Her numbers almost normalized and she gained a lot of weight, but now she is worse again. My husband and I have been giving sub-Q fluid boluses every other day for 6 weeks. It is so interesting to see all the postings about loss of appetite. That is exactly what Halle is doing. All of your postings have given me good ideas on food, and now I realize how this is going to end. This progression of this disease is really sad to watch. I hope you are well. Did you ever get another dog?
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I was just looking for something online that would assure me that I could have done nothing to save my little 12 year old Pomeranian Buddy.  He had started to slow down over the last few months, eyesight a little diminished, selective hearing, all we attibuted to old age.  My husband and I had even said to each other that when he passed on we would know he had a great life.  He had begun eating grass over the last few months which thought he had begun to help himself poop - he had some arthritis in his back.  Then he began vomiting on a pretty regular basis, usually in the mornings - we thought it was due to the eating of the grass.  July 4th he was his usual begging for tidbits self when we had people over for a cookout and then on July 11th I took him to the vet for the constipation.  He confirmed that he seemed constipated and suggested cat hairball remedy and Rimadyl for his arthritis in his back.  I used both over the next few days and his constipation cleared up but he continued to vomit.  I took him back on July 16th and the vet said he could do some blood work to see if he had problem with his kidneys or liver - he diagnosed him with chronic renal failure.  I asked if I could give anything for it and he said there was nothing that could be done for him.  I told him that I would not put him to sleep.  He gave me a couple of recipes for meals to try and get the phosphorus down and something for nauseau - he said he needed to eat - he had lost 1.5 lbs.  My little "Buddy" continued to drink and pee and was eating from my hand hungrily, but would vomit everything several hours later.  On the 17th, my husband's birthday, I made him one of the meals and he picked through it to eat the chicken - several hours later he vomited it all up in spite of the ani-nausea medicine.  On the 18th he was still drinking and going out to pee, but was weaker - that night he pooped and we had to clean him up.  On the 19th my 24 year daughter and my 4 year grandson came over to visit with him for several hours.  He was no longer eating at all and could barely walk - we were caring him out to potty and caring him back in.  Those two mornings he had brought himself into the bathroom while I got ready for work, his usual routine.  The morning of the 20th around 4:00am I asked my husband how he was and he said he had taken him out to potty but he could not stand.  I went into the living room to find him behind a chair standing and confused.  I brought him and put him on my bed where he stayed, moving every few minutes to get a new position - I knew that it meant he was in pain.  My husband had to go on to work.  At 7:00am I called my best friend to come over and stay with me until I could call the vet.  My friend went outside for a moment and I went into the kitchen, Buddy tried to follow me - I picked him up and put him on a blanket and my friend held him and petted him - she was his Aunty Sharon.  At 8:00am I called the vet and made an appointment for 9:00am to have him put to sleep.  It was the hardest thing I had ever done but I could no longer bear to see him in pain - by that time the smell of amonia (ammonia) was so strong that I knew he had no chance of beating this terrible disease.  The vet asked if I wanted to stay while he put him to sleep - I told him I would never leave my Buddy, and I did not.  I have had a hard time shaking the feeling that I could have done more if I had realized sooner - he was his usual prancing self just a couple of weeks before - it is just so hard to get your mind around, it happened so quickly.  I try and view this as a blessing that he got to live pretty well up until the last few days.  I did not say before but this little guy was diagnosed at 3 with bladder stones that had to be surgically removed twice and then his trachea collapsed at 5 and his bladder burst at 6 - no real health issues again until this - he had been on Science Diet U/D for 9 years.  He had a wonderful vet who retired over a year ago - that was also an issue for me - make sure you have a vet that you trust will tell you the truth but will also be willing to offer options to try if there is a chance to give you dog more time with quality of life.  I had a new vet who had very little experience with my dog.

It has only been 3 days since he passed and I miss him so much - he was my constant companion and my husband's.  We will go on vacation in Sept and it will be the first one in eleven years without him.  They steal your heart with their unconditional love and devotion - they truly are man and woman's best friend.  I am hoping when the sadness passes we will be able to find another little Pom to feel our empty house with new joy.
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My dog Silver is a 14 year old mini-schnauzer/poodle mix and dying from kidney failure.

It's been such a drastic change over the past 3 days. He vomited for 2 days, we brought him to the vet, and that's when we discovered about the failing kidneys. He has completely stopped eating, and only drinks plain water. He has refused all prescription food, any food at all, and obviously the medicine. He rejects water too for most part of the day.

The doctor gave us a sodium chloride drip (100ml, twice a day). It makes him pee (but all white, nothing is being eliminated) at the very least but he is so very weak. He stands for hours, just staring into space. He used to be so very responsive to me, but now he doesn't seem to hear me. I think he is delirious. It pains me that he is not resting properly, just keeps standing. He's been on the drip for 2 days. I asked the vet and seems like the drip can sustain him but it's gonna be a very cruel existance. I could hospitalise him for a couple hundred but I don't see how it would help him except to prolong him for awhile more.

He doesn't look like he's in pain yet. Everyone says I will know when it's time, but I really don't know. He's such a fighter (doesn't even flinch when Dad pokes the needle in) that I'm afraid he won't give up so easily. I'm a firm believer of fasting for good health (I fast occasionally too to cleanse myself) and I can't help but believe that there is a reason why my dog is not eating -- he is allowing his system to recover. But the vet says that he we don't force him to eat, it's just going to get worse.

I am so torn. I'm afraid I want to put him to sleep not because he is giving up, but because I'm giving up. I don't know if I should wait till he's suffering before I put him down. Or I should put him down while he still is still aware of us around him (at times).

You know, the worst part of it all, is that I've had him since I was 14. I was young, reckless, an animal lover, and wanted a dog. My parents took care of him in the end. I'm 28 this year and always felt that I've lived life with no regrets, but my greatest regret was to adopt a dog when I neither had the money nor ability nor time to take care of a dog. He has suffered from neglect and I can't even let him go saying 'He's had a good life'. I will never keep another pet again. Animal lover does not equate to a good owner.

I keep talking to him to give up if he needs to. I really hope I won't have to make the hardest decision. This is so difficult.
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Hi - I am so sorry to hear about your dog.  I recently went through this and it moved rather quickly.  My dog stopped eating and drinking about a month ago.  I was able to get him to eat a couple bites and drink a few tablespoons a night.  He then stopped eating or drinking at all.  He succumbed to his illness yesterday.  I had him put to sleep because I couldn't take seeing his pain anymore.  I mistook him moving his legs and trying to get to getting better and the vet said that was his first sign of being in pain and trying to get comfortable.  Enjoy every moment you still have.  When the dog just lays there and you start to see them moving the front legs and trying to get up, it is time.  Unfortunately, I thought I had more time and it moved rather quickly and my dog was in a lot a pain.  I wish you the best!
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My dod is going through the same thing as others in this forum. Her kidneys are failing and her ability to walk is getting worse everyday. Does arthritis and kidney failure go hand in hand? Does anyone else think that their dog's arthritis medication caused the kidney failure? My dog was on Metacam and then Deramaxx, and kidney damage is listed as a side effect of Deramaxx.
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Unfortunately, most medicines can undermine the kidneys if used long term. The problem here is, which is the greater evil - or to put it another way, what is more humane? Meds are usually needed to treat short-term problems. In the case of long-term conditions, it is often better to treat with meds and help prolong an active and contented life, than not give the meds because they may inflict kidney and liver issues later on. It's a call best considered by the vet treating the dog, as they are armed with much more information and experience. As for arthritis and kindey disease ... well, I think they not particularly related, though both are common in older dogs, just like the loss of hearing or eyesight.

I am very sorry that your dog is suffering kidney damage. There are many threads on this site that might offer you some advice about forward management and things that may help as time moves on. Tony
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My little shih-tzu was diagnosed with kidney failure with a BUN of 111 on Sept 29, 2009 at the age of 2 1/2.  Fast forward through the years with steady sub-q injections (100cc every 2nd day), AZODYL 2 pills per day, carafate for nausea as needed, and 5mg daily of enacard for heart.  Two vet visits per year for an overnight IV water fluid stay + Vitamin B shot. BUn remaining at no less than 70 the whole time, CReat. staying no higher than 5.  My dog has been happy, go lucky, smart, and is an amazing little guy who is spoiled beyond belief.   Arrive to 4 days ago when my little Duke decides he's just not going to eat. That's it.  No more food.  No favorite treats.  No people food.  Not even bacon, which was his most special, held-back treat for his entire disease.  I have a piece of bacon in front of him now--he won't touch it.  His eyes stare up at me like he is confused.  It is time to let him go.  I am afraid he will seize, and I can't stand that either.  I feel selfish thinking "he's going to turn around" like he has in the past.  But the poor little guy is in pain, won't stay in one position, won't eat.  He drinks fine still, still is urinating, but has vomited twice in the past week.  I am beside myself with being practical and holding out for some magic to happen.  I know there's no magic here.  Some 2+ years later, $6000 later, great memories made....how do I let my baby go?  I want to schedule him for Saturday, but what if that is too long to wait?  I am asking for advice, even though I really know the answers........my heart can't wrap around the logical outcome here.  I can't set it up for today, it's my husband's birthday.  Selfish, right????  
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I was rambling and neglected to mention that the 4 days ago point brought us to a vet visit with resulting BUN of 112, CRe at 7.1.  I also want to add that the AZODYL is an AMAZING product that I first purchsed on-line at $30 bucks a bottle, plus $16 shipping (refrigeration) per bottle; I convinced my vet of it's capabilities and he started ordering it direct from the manf. for us, at a price of 3 bottles for $100. Period.  I am firmly convinced that this product kept my baby here this long.  Plus the KD canned canine food that he stayed on this past 2.5 years, without a drop of "people" food until the end here.  I figured he can at least enjoy something at this point.  
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Wow. What an amazing job you have done with your little guy. There are lessons here for all of us - and proof that if caught early enough, we really can help our best friends stay with us a little longer. What you have achieved (for yourself and your little guy) is little short of remarkable. I can't offer advice about when the time is right ... only you really know that ... my heart goes out to you and Duke. Tony
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Thanks for your kind words.  I have been reading everyone's stories, and it has been bringing a lot of comfort knowing & actually acknowledging that we haven't been alone in this--every person here has felt these things as well.  Took Duke to the vet and let them know I'd likely be bringing him in Friday AM (tomorrow), and asked for a pain shot to keep Duke comfortable tonight.  Seems to have done the trick.  Duke even ate some ground turkey, then fell right back to sleep.  He won't go down the steps do go outside.  I took him for his last fun car ride, and tomorow he will get a McD's ice cream cone on the way to the vet.  I have cried all afternoon, but I think we are as ready as we are going to be.  Thanks again, all.
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Tony is right..you have done an amazing job with Duke. Your outstanding care really gave him a second chance at life. Thank-you for all you have done for him. Duke's story will certainly offer hope to others.
You will both be in my thoughts and prayers....
Give him lots of hugs, and tell him he is the best dog in the world.
Connie
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Hello & welcome.....My heart breaks for you tonight....I cried when reading about the Ice Cream Cone.....I agree with the others, you have outdone yourself with Duke's care....I wish all animals had such wonderful families....
I'm so sorry for him and you.....Please know that you both will be in my prayers tonight.....I hope tomorrow brings you strength & comfort....

Come back & join us when you feel you are able....Until then, I will be thinking of you & your husband .....Please give Duke a Kiss from me......Karla

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Duke took his last vet visit today at noon.  It went as good as could be expected.  He didn't want his ice cream, and that's what brought on my torrent of tears.  There was a few minutes when I held him this morning that I thought he might just close his eyes and go....he just wouldn't let himself relax.  We asked the vet to give him a sedative prior to the shaving/needle insertion so that he wasn't really aware of it.  Less than a minute and a half after the actual med, he was gone.  His eyes were open and we cuddled him like crazy for about 15 minutes.  I asked the vet if he would continue recommending the Azodyl, and he said absolutely.  He's certainly not making any money off of it--but be wary of buying it from any online site--they don't seem to care if it stays cold during shipment.  Sub-Q water, Azodyl, and the Enacard did it for him, and of course renal failure is NOT "curable".  Keep your pet happy, and the minute the Sub-Q water starts pocketing in areas of the next or chest, you know you are close.  THANK YOU EVERYONE your empathy has been EXTREMELY helpful, and I have typically shied away from ths type of interaction.  BUT THANK YOU.  I posted a pix of Duke to my profile.  Dawn and Mark Buckner, Michigan.
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Hi Dawn and Mark. I am so very sorry Duke lost his battle against this dreadful illness. As I said earlier, I just think you are both the kind of dog owners that ALL dog owners should strive to be. Duke was truly blessed to have been a member of your family ... and I.m sure he knew it. Run free Duke. Big hugs to you both, Tony
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Hello Dawn & Mark.....I thought of you all (Including Duke) today.....It seems you went above & beyond, even through the end...I commend you for such wonderful care for this little creature...You really should Pat yourselves on the back!

I know the days will be hard, painful & lonely.....As time passes, you will be able to smile at the memories, instead of cry......

Duke's picture is delightful. Thank you for sharing it with us......RIP Duke....Your parents love you alot!!!!

Take care & check in when you can........My thoughts are with you,  Karla
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OMG I am going through the same thing with both of my goldens. Mamma is going to be 13 this year and her labs are better than her Dtrs. Peji is on her last days. I got on here to see what the actual end stages were like. She has not eaten now for 6 days. She does drink, and go out to pee. But she is very weak and lethargic. It is just amazing how quickly she has gotten worse. My Middle dtr going to school to become a vet told me over Christmas Break that it will not be long. I have been making homemade food for over a year for her and then in November I took the girls in for their annual shots ect. I was SHOCKED to find out that Mamma was in failure and her labs were better than Pejis' and that Peji was in Stage 3 renal failure. Of course we decided to not do any heroic measures for either dog as finances did not allow us to. So I started both on Tums, a multivitamin, and homemade low protein food. Mamma looks great. Eats anything that will not walk away from her first. Peji however about 6 days ago just quit eating all together. We have tried EVERYTHING.
We had a Lab golden mix we rescued 3 years ago (he was 9 when we got him) so Peji would have someone to hang with when her mother died. two weeks before Christmas he got sick and within 7 days died. They think it was cancer. So this is just really a sad time for us. It was so nice to get on here and read that other people are /have gone through the same things with their animals. I guess we will have to make that decision here today or tomorrow. Do not want to but I just cannot watch her suffer. After all is said and done, our older  golden (the mother) will have out lived her spouse, and her daughter. And neither one of them were ever sick. She has had allergies all her life. been on Pred. and pain medicine for arthritis. What is wrong with that picture.
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Hi. Yes, many of us have been where you are now. This must be utterly heartbreaking for you. I too was very shocked at how rapidly my dog went downhill after being diagnosed. The truth is, I still find it hard to believe she happily ran along the beach area down to see the vet, after she went off her food, and within 3 days of being so full of energy and life she couldn't even stand up. On the 4th day of her not really moving at all and not eating at all, we did the dreadful deed. My thoughts are truly with you and Peji. This is such a heartbreaking illness. Big hugs from the UK, Tony
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Hello & welcome.....Well, it seems you've been handed more than your share of heartache, lately! I'm so sorry!

Please know that you are not alone....There is another thread on this forum that you may want to read....It's titled: "4th Stage Renal Failure in my Dog".  I will bump it up to the first page so you can find it easier.....

Also, hang around here so we can help you through this crisis......This is a wonderful forum with very caring people......

I'll be thinking about you & your Peji & I'm so sorry for your loss of your Golden Mix at Christmas.....May he RIP........Karla
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So glad to see your post. My dog has renal failure and I have been giving 25 mg phenergan. He is 68 lbs. Lost weight before I knew what was wrong. Poor appetite. I follow him around hand feeding him. SQ fluids 500cc twice a day. Doesnt sleep well and I am getting exhausted as he wants me awake with him. What can he take to sleep and not affect kidneys? I am not finding much info. I feed him raw meet and rice and probiotics and green supplements in cap form.
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I wanted to let everyone know that I am at peace now with Duke's passing....this with the help of his litlle "brother", another Shih Tzu named Rocky.  Boy, did I forget what puppyhood was all about!  Thank you again to everyone; this site is great to get support and feedback, and to bounce ideas off one another.  I hope you are at peace as well, Schunka21.
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Hi. All medications affect the kidneys, one way or another, and most cause at least some stress to them. When it comes to encouraging sleep in a dog, I would suggest natural remedies whenever possible - such as a slow but demanding early evening walk that won't cause exhaustion, but that will tire your dog enough for him to sleep at night. You might also consider moving his bed to a place nearer to where you sleep ... some dogs are very pack orientated and cannot truly relax unless they are close to the alpha of the house, the alpha being you of course. These are worthwhile things to try, but if they don't work, then I would suggest talking it over with your vet who can probably prescribe some non-stressful sleep medication. Tony
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I have a boxer her name is harley I took her to the vet many times about the odor in her mouth not one of them said anything so on Monday I took her to a different vet they informed me that she was in kidney failure all of her levels were high including her calcium which was over 200  and the odor in her mouth was a sign of kidney failure they gave her some IV fluids put some water under her skin and gave me a syringe if she stopped drinking ..  Today she will only drink water if I mix it with baby oatmeal or white rice does anybody know if that is enough water thanks
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My yorkie has only one kidney and her protein levels are +4. She is nine years old and her behavior is great.  She shows no signs of health issues.  We found out that her protein levels were high because we were going to have her teeth cleaned and we had blood work done prior to having her teeth cleaned.  Needless to say, her teeth did not get cleaned because of her kidney issues.  I am freaking out right now because we have her on enalapril and her levels actually went up  (from 3 to +4.)  I have her on KD wet food and small kibbles of Science Diet.  I just bought the KD dry too.  I'm not sure my Vet knows what to do?  My question is dialysis an option  and would that help get her protein levels down?
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If you get this message, please help me.
My little Pluto has been in stage 3 kidney failure for two months, I suspect his numbers have gotten much worse since his last visit to the vet.  He get's checked on Friday.  
He wont eat much.  Kidney diet is out, I hand feed him various home made mixtures.  I try to give hime low protien with rice, sweet potato, etc with Aluminum Hydroxide to bind.
He has started to urinate on himself in sleep.  He does not know he is doing this to himself.
He is skin and bones now, does not weigh much
He seems alert and happy during the day.  Not lethargic but generally happy.  He wants to live still.
How will I know when to put him down?  
I cry all the time not konwing what to do.   I love him so much.
Honestly, I feel so helpless and I don't know what to do.
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I've just lost my 14 1/2 yr. old miniature schnauzer to kidney failure in the 25th of August.  She was diagnosed on a Monday with a BUN of 100+ and creatinine of 7.  I went back to the vet on Wed. to start subq  fluid therapy and cerenia so she doesn't have to be so nauseated.  I gave 250cc daily for the next three days and cerenia as well.  She was walking a lot more on Thurs. and ate little amounts twice. but on Fri. she didn't not eat at all.  I took her to the vet on Fri. afternoon for blood test to see if her levels has gone down.  I was informed her BUn was 126 and phosphorus was out of whack.  She had lost more weight.  I made the heart wrenching decision to euthanased her the next morning.  We spent the evening in the park where I used to walk both my mini schnauzers.  We had a picnic and while my husband was playing with my two boys and our other mini, my Brandy and I  laid down on the rug just side by side.  I talked to her, pet her and kissed her and smelled her.  My greatest fear is that I won't remember her smell and the feel of her hair.   I wanted to spend the night beside her but seeing as I toss and turn I decided against it because I wanted her to be comfortable.  There was also this great sadness in my heart and i was getting pretty close to being hysterical about the thought of losing her.  Like many of you here I prayed that she would pass in her sleep so I didn't have to make her last visit to the vet.
The next day was a dreadful day.  My two young sons kissed her head to say goodbye.  I was actually glad the drive to the vet was thirty minutes so i was able to hold her in my arms and hugged her before we got there.  
It took me by surprise how quickly that needle worked, she took three short breaths and then it stopped.  When it was time to say our final goodbye my husband carried her from my lap to the vet table.  From that movement one of her ear bounced and i had a moment of joy because that was one of the things i loved about her.  She was bouncy, bouncy when she runs and walks, she had nice flappy bouncy ears.  She was a gentle dog, gentle in everything she does, the way she took food off your hand or the fork.  She was very affectionate.  The day we brought her home from the foster she had been in, she climbed on the couch, laid on my arm, and just looked at me lovingly.
Over the seven years we had her she became a part of the family.  We shared many a walks at the park where i let them off the leash, oftentimes Brandy trying to make friends with the geese, going under the brushes, and me hearing a scratchy sound from the thin ice covering the pond because she decided to see the geese in the middle of the pond!  She also does this excited wiggly thing with her bottom  when we go to the dog park.  I missed her so more than words can every say.  

I've been devastated and heartbroken ever since she went away.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of her.  I've had some ups but many downs.  More tears than smiles.  Just when I've reconciled myself that I did  something the best I could something else comes up that I wished I had done with her on her last days.

I thought about the first day she walked into my home, the first thing she did was pee on my carpet.  She had to be on a strict routine so there were no accidents.  I'm asking myself now If that was a sign of her failing kidney, should i have known?  Should I have put her on a senior's diet?  Should I have taken her to the vet a few months ago when once in a while she missed a breakfast or a supper?  I know I should have taken her the month before when the symptoms started really showing up but in some ways I'm glad i didn't.  It would have been one month of sorrow for me and suffering for her because I would have had to put her through subq fluid therapy and the skin infections associated with it and whatever else we humans do to prolong the life of a loved one all the while forgetting that it's about quality of life.  Brandy did not enjoy and refused to participate in anything she used to love doing like walks, talks, and cuddles.  In the end, after her death I actually felt this great burden lifted off my shoulder.  No matter how peaceful the procedure was I felt and still feel an emotional near-paralysis.  I can see the wind blowing but I don't feel it and yet I feel her presence with it.

For those of you who have a dying pet or are experiencing the death of a pet, i wish you peace and comfort.  It's a rough road but in time our hearts will mend.  It's better to love and be hurt than not to love at all.




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Hi. Just found your post as I haven't been on MedHelp recently. It sounds like Pluto still has a zest for life, though kidney failure is one of those things that can cripple a dog in days if left untreated. Of course, there is no cure, but the right treatment can certainly improve a dog's quality of life and can add time too, so it's always worth doing. You seem to be doing the right things in general, though I think it may be worth trying alternative foods as clearly Pluto needs nutrition to get some weight on him. Have you tried green tripe (available at most good pet stores). It stinks to high heaven, but all dogs love it and it is full of good nutritional elements and minerals and will help him add weight and energy. Make sure it's green tripe, and if you buy the frozen blocks, cook it first - then mix with a little boiled white rice or pasta. Give it a try if you can. Your dog will thank you for it.

Next, ask your vet about anti-nausia medication. Kindney failure causes toxins to build up inside the dog's body, and this causes nausia, which then stops them from eating. If you can relieve the nausia, Pluto may start eating better.

Finally, have you asked your vet about IV fluids? Kidney failure dehydrates the dog's body, and this causes so many problems. Keeping your dog hydrated is half the battle against this dreadful disease.

I don't think 'the right time' has come yet, so try not thinking about that. In my experience, we don't need to make the decision, because our dogs do it for us. They tell us when they have had enough - and right now, Pluto isn't saying that, so keep on doing what you can for him. All the best. Tony
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My sincere condolences to you and your family. This is a dreadful disease - and sadly far too many dogs suffer from it. If he could talk, Brandy would thank you for giving him a life full of love, adventures and shared experiences. Our dogs never live as long as we would like, but they sure make up for their short lives in how much pleasure and love they give us. Run free Brandy. Tony
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on friday i lost my baby timber, a pomeranian . been with me 16.5 years. had to put him down to CRF . its now two days and i am a complete wreck, second guessing everything , feeling guilty like i let my baby down. Everything happened so fast over 4 days. He had been losing weight rapidly, tired, and was getting clumsy to the point he could not stand up. But once he laid down he was totally at peace. Was out for dinner and finally at 10pm i couldnt wait anymore feeling something was very very wrong. Grabbed him from his peaceful sleep, brought him to the ICU. He had CRF levels off the charts, BUN 325, creatinine 10. they told me it does not look good getting him out of the hospital. I told them moneys no object do what you can to help him. 4 days later no improvement , levels worse, and made the choice to euthanize.based on the renal teams outlook and prognosis. should i have not grabbed him from his peaceful sleep that night? should i have taken him to the regular vet the next day and not the ICE? should i have just left him alone? all scenarios,in my head.   i know scientifically it was the right thing to do, but emotionally i am second guessing everything and cant stand being without him. breaking down all weekend.  rest in peace buddy i will love you forever. and God bless every pet owner who has to face this  
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I appreciate your comments.  I need some urgent advice as well on renal failure.  I am relocating 1500 miles in a new area where I no absolutely no one for a new job . . . is is humane to put Angel into the big sleep.... after reading this post?

Angel, my 13 year old Dalmatian/Spaniel (service/therapy dog) abruptly stopped eating much 1.5 months ago.  The Vet did xrays to see if there was cancer; he also did blood work and said her kidney values were off (I don't remember these facts).  

The vet gave me the stimulant to make her eat, instead, it made her very anxious and jumpy.  He gave me Benedryl for the shaking to calm her down but it made her anxious (and me watching her)

I too keep making all types of mixtures of food brown rice with ground beef and I added peas/carrots which she will eat if I put chicken in it.  I made chicken and egg noodle soup with broth -- she left most of the noodles. She will eat meat but pushes away the veggies and rice and picks out the meat.  She also refuses to eat canned/dry dog food. Angel's eating has been hit or miss this week.  (Two of my cats had renal failure and it is/was terrible to watch).

I tried to give her Tums and other prescription pills (in food, in a hotdog, etc) which she spits out.  I try to hold the pill in her mouth (gently) and eventually have ended up opening her mouth and pushing the pill at the back of her tongue so she swallows the pill.  The vet gave me supplements for her take but she refuses and walks away.  I do not want to traumatize her by forcing pills on her.

Since she is not eating much, her stool is very soft, which makes her anal glads fill faster and she gets "butt rot and tail sores" from the stool irritation.  She keeps licking and biting her tail and hind end to sooth the pain after the antibiotic ointment with pain relief wears off.  I use "lick guard" to discourage this behavior.  I will not be able to attend to her while I am at work.  It will be stressful for me to have a vet care for her during the day (and very expensive)

She has lost weight and continues to lose it slowly.  I can see her ribs and her back end (Dalmatian body) and limbs are becoming very boney.

Prior to this, she became less interested in her environment and began hiding behind the bed, couch, chair, back bedroom -- but always perked up when I went somewhere and I took her (and her sister) to the park.  I thought she was in pain due to arthritis and the vet gave me Tremadol.  

Last Sunday, Angel was shaking like a leaf while hiding under the bed.  I picked her up (all 40 lbs of her) and placed her on the bed and watched her for a while.  I called the vet about her shaking and he wasn't sure what the case was.  She also experienced some stumbling (as you has stated in a previous post).  

This week I took her for a walk less than a block and she had to sit down and panted like mad.  Yesterday, I took her to the park (which both dogs LOVE), she meandered around smelling everything but shortly after getting there (about 15 minutes) she sat down and had a hard time getting up.

Here my problem:  I am relocating 1500 across the country to a new area for a job where I do not know anyone or the area.  I have no contacts there and my vet said he will not treat my dog if I am in another state.  With Angel becoming more despondent and me starting a new job and being gone for 10 hours per day, I am afraid to take her because I know kidney disease does not get better.  Additionally, my job also requires me to travel.  

I love Angel very much.  She is very sweet.  Her canine sister will be very lonely and miss her very much as well.  

Is it cruel to put her down.  She is still someone perky -- but -- between the stress of relocating (movers coming/going) 2 days of a long stressful drive, staying in hotels, living in a new residence ... and no vet to contact in my new area....I am at a loss.  

Any suggestions?  I am all ears!  Thanks
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I am so sorry to read about your dog. You certainly have a big decision to make, and unfortunately, I can't help you make it. This decision is yours to make alone, after all, you know your dog better than anyone.
I guess my suggestion for you, is to just be sure, that your decision to euthanize is based on your dogs overall wellbeing and attitude, and leave moving out of the equation. I guess you need to ask yourself,
"What would I do if I were not moving..?"  I think if you concentrate on that question, you will come up with an answer you can live with. That way, your decision will be based solely on the wellbeing of the dog.
I'm sorry I can't be of more help....
But, try not to let moving, pressure you into any decisions you are not sure of.


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Thank you for your post. Our lab Jessie was diagnosed in July and we were told most likely 4-6 months. In the beginning we didn't think she would make it through the week. She's been on numerous meds daily to maintain what was left of her kidneys functioning. She's been waking us up crying nightly to go outside. This has been going on for weeks now. We have gotten very used to the 3:30 am wake up call. She doesn't usually cry when she needs to go to the bathroom. So now I'm concerned that she's in some sort of pain. Last night she didn't wake us. But then this morning we found vomit in the house, she didn't eat her breakfast which is the Renal MP and when we let her out she vomitted/dry heaved more. I finally got her to eat some rice. She has her appointment on Thursday but I'm fearful that her symptoms have worsened. This has been an absolute nightmare!
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hi there =i know you all talkin about dogs but i felt this be close too-watching an animal in the end ***** big time.


i just put my cat down due to bad anemia. her blood levels were danderously low..so bad the proteins in her blood were higher than her blood levels. how she was living is beyond me. my partner wanted her to die on her own-i couldnt do it. she looked in my eyes and i saw what all you see=please help she cried. she was weak and tired. she spent her last day outside. she jumped out of my arms that morning when i put her back in the house. i knew it was to be her last day. the weather called for rain so i built her a dog house. she spent the day there. despite how sick she was i knew this is how she wanted it to be. i left for work crying all day worrying she will be in crisis when i came home. she was pretty close.

when i got home from work her eyes were dialted and she was cold. i told her see thats why you should be indoors..i got her inside and she collapsed..her little arms out in front of her. never ever have i seen her do this. i looked in her eyes one more time. i made the call to the vets. it was time. then the partner came home-she jumped up on the counter and ate...all the way to the vets she groomed herself and was purring. little did she know i was horrible to not be returning her home alive. the partner said i overreacted. i said no. i saw what you dont see. she started to yellow in her skin 2 days before..i knew it would be hours...so i just wanted to share with people do NOT feel guilty for giving up. you DIDNT give up. you ended their suffering.

the vet told me if we didnt have her put down that night-her oxygen was so low in her blood she would have brain failure seizures and she couldnt go on she was tearing up..she said they have seen pets in worse shape and knew how hard it would be on us. i asked them to run one more test.. the pcr test-blood protein levels...thats when i think they gave her the first shot...she came back to us tired..not at all energetic. before she left the vet room she was all energetic...thats why the partner said it wasnt time. i think it was her last burst of energy for him. thats how much she loved him.

if only they were honest with me. i think they gave her the 1st shot out back when they said they did the test. i dont think they did the test=you could see with your eyes what the test proves...but by then we already had her closer to death with the 1st shot..the sedative they give to quiet them down...when she came back in the room with the cat=the cat was nothing like when she left. i thik this hurts the most. i didnt tell them to do this. but i think they did the right thing. i think they knew how hard this was on my partner and i explained to them on the phone how he felt she was fine. i knew she wasnt. they knew it. we all could see how miserable she was. she was one determined little kitty.


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if only they were honest with me. i think they knew how hard this was on my partner and i explained to them on the phone how he felt she was fine. i knew she wasnt. they knew it. we all could see how miserable she was. she was one determined little kitty. i may have been able to keep her alive if i gave her the medicines but at this point=the past week and half she was weak. i was afraid i would hurt her restraining her then have her retch from the medicines like she was so i decided against my partners wishes to end the medicines and let nature do its thing. sometimes its more stress on them to force them to do or eat things they dont want. and with the energy levels in crisis, i felt it more humane to leave her alone than to struggle holding her and her wasting what little energy she had left on the steriods...i felt the steriods made her kidneys fail quicker. after that last dose she drank tons of water peed tons for a week..i knew i made the right choice.

sometimes medicating them only prolongs the inevitiable but some people can do it. i couldnt. i chose to let her go. she didnt want to go. she walked in the woods daily and some days she let me carry her all over the woods purring in my arms swishy her bushy tail. she was truly happier outside than in the house.

it broke my heart to put her down but i knew it was the last loving thing i could do for her even if my partner was angry at me. i dont think he realized how much she suffered..i even went into detail of what will happen. at this point i was more angry at him than sad at loosing my best friend. i didnt want to watch her pant and froth at the mouth then have seizures...i couldnt wouldnt let her suffer that way.

we lost a cat 4 yrs ago like this=i didnt know she was suffering until i read alot of material on end of life and what happens. i should have put her down when we were at the vets. but she died an hour later. so i think they already injected her with the sedative and let us bring her home. it was more tramatic for me to watch her gasp for breathe and bleed out of her nose and mouth. i couldnt do this again.

i pray my partner understands now how hard this was on me and i hope i help you people out there make that hard decision. no one wants to suffer or watch an animal suffer its last hours. i know deep inside i did the right thing. even if my partner is angry. he is sure stronger than me to tolerate watching animal die. i thought it was very peaceful the way this kitty 2 days ago died...in my arms with assistance. they did sedatte her...at that point she put her head on my hand and gazed into my eyes with love and sorrow. i think she knew it was the end. even if i didnt want to let her go...once the last shot was done it was over in seconds...goes to show me how bad she really was..her little system hung on when she should have died...she knew how hard it was on my partner-i think she was comfortable being lethergic around me but when he came around she bounded up like nothing...this is truely a selfless kitty. to preserve her energy for her papa because she knew how hard it would be for him to let her go...i alreayd was prepared to let her go. i knew what was coming. i saw all the clinical signs...i didnt want her to seizure in the end.

she was buried in the woods where she loved to be. we put a little pine tree over her grave. she will have the tree to keep her company. boy i hate this. this ***** balls big time. hang in there folsk...at least we all know we are not alone in our pain and sorrow.


i know i will cry for awhile because i am angry at myself. i wanted to do what he wanted but i wasnt strong enough to endure anymore. she was diagnosed sept 24 non regenetive anemai. more likely bone marrow disease based on the chemical anaylsis., protein levels sky high and tests came back saying inflamation (inflammation) in the cells so we dont know if she had fiv or fip or aids. we know that something was destroying life giving cells. i let her live 3 more weeks with a blood transfusion. i almost wish i put her down in sept. if i didnt have my partner i would have done it the next day.

but we always have others in our lives we try to do the best for all. this was the best i could do. i was tired so was she. it was time to let go.

t
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I know this a respond to a very old post but I am experiencing renal failure with my almost 11 year pitbull.  She's lost about 16 lbs in the past few months and in the last couple of days she was vomiting everything she ate.  The vet wants me to bring her in to be hospitalized for 3 days but I really don't want to put her through that.  She hates being caged up and cries the whole time.  Its not really how I would like her days to be but the vet says its crucial.  I'm at the point where I don't know what to do.  Should I have her suffer, shell out thousands of dollars without the guarantee that she will recover? Or should I let her go before she suffers anymore?  My heart breaks.
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I have a toy shitzu/Pom mix that is 14 years old. My dog who is normally 4.5 lbs lost 1 lb and was down to 3.5 at her last bet visit. He ran a whole series of tests and came back with the same diagnosis as your dog. He wanted to put her on a pill as the first option, but she is so tiny and the pill can't be broken, there is no way she would take it. So he recommended the k/d food. I first bought the hard food also, which she wouldn't eat at all. I know how much she normally lows soft food, so I traded it in for the canned food. She too would not eat it at all. Desperate I searched online and saw that chicken broth was recommended. I called my vet to confirm. He agreed. He also said my to starve her if she won't eat it but that it is the best for her. He said I could also try mixing it with another soft food that I know she likes and gradually decreasing that food then use the chicken broth or chicken boullion. I did read that a symptom of kidney failure is loss of appetite so they just don't want to eat. I first mixed the food as he said and she gobbled it up. I was happy. I then tried the k/d with the boullion. She nibbled it, not as much as the other. Then I was so desperate, I would sit over her and keep putting it in front of her. I also mashed it up really soft and mushy so it was easy to eat and had it more wet wih the boullion. Gradually she began eating more. I also noticed she would look for it sometimes so I started putting small amounts and leaving it down for her. As she began to eat more an more each day, she started feeling better. Now her appetite has picked up so much anytime the bowl is empty she is scraping the bottom! She is also playful again and gaining weight. I truly can't beleive it. I felt so helpless when she wouldn't eat it and somehow I got her to do it and once she did, she got better. Maybe try some of these things. I hope it helps your dog too. Now when I boil the boullion, I cut it wih a lot of water and hope to wean her off it completely eventually. Good luck! I hope this helps you!
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Im so sad and crying as Im reading all the posts here.. I know we all love our pets and we will do everything for them, like what Im doing for my Jumper. My vet told me that its only about 3 to 6 months. His BUN and creatinine are way high and she only started showing signs in november.. Sad Christmas and New Year because he was so sick. I cant get him to eat and when I ask him to drink his jaw shivers so now he does not even drink.. It hurts me to see that I have to force feed or force drink but it seems that he doesnt really want it. He walks around just to find a place to rest but his legs are so wobbly he's so weak I would carry him to the bed. Please pray for my Jumper.. :(
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Im so sad and crying as Im reading all the posts here.. I know we all love our pets and we will do everything for them, like what Im doing for my Jumper. My vet told me that its only about 3 to 6 months. His BUN and creatinine are way high and she only started showing signs in november.. Sad Christmas and New Year because he was so sick. I cant get him to eat and when I ask him to drink his jaw shivers so now he does not even drink.. It hurts me to see that I have to force feed or force drink but it seems that he doesnt really want it. He walks around just to find a place to rest but his legs are so wobbly he's so weak I would carry him to the bed. Please pray for my Jumper.. :(
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Hello. I am so very sorry to hear about Jumper. I am assuming he is in stage 4 of this dreadful disease. Has your vet tried IV Fluids and anti-nausia medication. Both these can help make life more comfortable for him and the anti-nausia meds will help him to eat without feeling sick all the time. Of course, he needs to eat as well, which is often an uphill struggle with dogs in the final stages. There are very specific requirements for dogs with kidney failure, and your vet will probably advise you on this, if not, just ask and we can give you more info about it. It seems from your post that Jumper is in serious decline, and I do know how this must be making you feel, because like far too many owners, I have had to endure this process too. The time will come when you may have to consider the kindest final gesture of euthanasia, which will end Jumper's suffering - but before considering this, do make sure all other treatments have been tried - even if it only extends his life and quality of life for a relatively short period. Every day is a bonus ... as long as each day can be considered a good one for him. You are doing an amazing job, even though I know it must be very difficult, so keep up the good work. You are in my thoughts. Tony
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I resued my toy poodle Sam 4 years ago,. As soon as I got him I had to have 7 of his teeth pulled, he was a mess.Since that time I have taken care of Sammy the with much love and care. My ex-husband stated to me one day, " You're never going to get a husband, because you always have your dog with you.' I replied, "too bad" because we come as a package.'
Now my dear Sammy had been diagnosed with ESRD and is not eating anything. I've tried everything! I too have ESRD and attend dialysis 3 times a week. My biggest fear is Sam will sleep away and I will not be here with him! I pray that God will not let that happen. People who don't have animals do not understand the joy animals bring.
While I have cried my eyes out for Sam more than I did when I was diagnosed.Sam can't  speak to tell me what his problems are but I do sense them with my heart. Please pray for my Sammy, thank you!
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Hello. I am so sorry to hear about Sammy. Yes, our best friends fill our hearts and minds, because they offer willingly so much love and affection and ask for very little in return. I assume your vet has diagnosed end stage renal disease, which is commonly referred to as Stage 4. If he is not eating, you obviously know his body is full of toxins and he is probably feeling nauseous. Ask your vet about giving him anti-nausea meds, which won't cure anything, but it will make him feel a little more comfortable. Sadly, by Stage 4 there is very little that can be done, but also ask about IV fluids, just in case it may help prolong his life a little longer. This is a good forum to talk about your feelings, your dog's illness and for information and support. Many of us have gone through exactly the same process with our own dogs and can help, albeit possibly only with support. My heart goes out to you. I know sometimes we feel completely helpless, but you have given Sammy a comfortable home full of love care and attention, which he may not otherwise have had over the last four years. This is a dreadful time, and others sometimes don't say the right things, and many simply don't understand how important our best friends are to us. Here on the forum, everyone truly does understand and we empathize. Be brave ... these dreadful days will not last forever. Sammy is lucky to have you with him, and of course, you are both lucky to have shared the adventures and experiences (and love given and returned) over the last 4 years. Tony x
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my 12 year old dog ella was diagnosed with kidney disease, her creatin level was 6.1 after doing some research i came up with a recipe she loves within 2 weeks her creatin levels were down to 3.4. I boil a hand full of braising steak or mince beef with brocolli,cauliflower,carrots,glutinous rice or pasta,and sweet potato wich are all low in phospheros, after boiling for 10 min you drain the water to get rid of any phospherus and blend  so they get the goodness out of the veg this feeds her for about three days. she has a lot more energy and is now back to playing, with her creatin levels dropping and wolfing down all her food and moaning for more.
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Hello first time to the blog i'm so glad there's someone who can relate i'm s dealing with the same situation its heart breaking to have your best friend like this. Anniebell's on her 3rd day of IV fluids  one more day and they'll see if her levels are down i'm going to try the diets in the blog to see if she will eat for me she eats at the vets office little at a time which is fine.I get up every few hrs to see if she will eat but, all she wants to do is cuddle and sleep with mom we've been couching it all wk so it's been a busy week so thank you for you support.  
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I don't know if you are still keeping up with this thread, but your post is very helpful to me at this difficult time.  I can tell that you really educated yourself during the difficulties you experienced with your dog's kidney disease progression.  It is an absolute ugly disease.  Although I've done hours of research, I am having difficulty managing it.  

My dog Brownie is 14, and was diagnosed with k/d through a routine senior blood test about 5 weeks ago.  Although I am staying proactive with treatment, he has declined quickly.  In 4 weeks, his levels have gone from a 2 to a 4 creatinine and from 71 to 98 BUN.  It is so discouraging.  However, your in-depth recommendations are wonderful, and I will keep them all in mind as I do not yet want to throw in the towel.  

Thank you for sharing your knowledge.  Sincerely, Paulette
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I am both heartbroken, and hopeful for a peaceful renewal, upon reading all of your posts.  Kidney disease is so cruel and unusual.  I don't know what is worse: losing a pet quickly to something like cancer, or the highs and lows of kidney disease.  

Through a routine senior blood panel, it was determined that my 14 year old dog, Brownie has kidney disease.  This was just 5 weeks ago, in the beginning of May.  I immediately scoured the internet and did hours upon hours of research, just to become confused and frustrated because no matter what we do, the prognosis is death.  I get both happy for, and jealous of, others who are able to manage their pets kidney disease for months and sometimes years.  I do not think I will have all this time remaining with Brownie, although I do feel blessed to have had him in my life since 2001!  

In just four weeks time, Brownie's creatinine has jumped from a 2 to a 4; his BUN levels from 71 to 98.  My vet has warned me that he is near the end.  What really shocks me is that during my research, based on Brownie's initial levels of 2 & 71, I determined that with proper management I'd probably have him for at least 6 more good months, if not one to two years.  This doesn't seem to be the case with Brownie.  I'm wondering if there are other health issues compounding his decline.  

His appetite has diminished to the point where I hand feed him most of the time.  He wants to have nothing to do with the prescription diet.  So, I am combining beef or pork with glutinous rice, shredded carrots and pureed squash, along with egg white.  After not throwing up for 6 days (thanks to subQ fluids), I just found a spot in my daughter's room where Brownie threw up overnight.  In addition, he still has diarrhea despite the subQ fluids.  The diarrhea has been ongoing for one week.  So, if subQ fluids are not helping with the diarrhea, that tells me the toxins are continuing to build up in Brownie.  It is so heartbreaking, and infuriating that with modern medicine, we still have no control over this debilitating disease.  

I pray that I will remain steadfast in my promise that I will not let Brownie linger and starve to death.  I do not want to watch him struggle to walk, or his legs giving out which happens at the ends of this disease.  I think it will be best to let Brownie "go out on top" before the anorexia and the lack of mobility set in.  I just can't see him having any reprieve if after just 5 weeks he has already had the "end stage" symptoms.  It is so unfair.  I know i am being greedy but even though he is 14, I want more time with my best friend.  I am absolutely heartbroken.  My kids are home for summer break, yet all I can do is to focus on Brownie.  We are about to move (locally thank goodness) in two weeks.  We are surrounded by boxes.  

I am sure Brownie will not make it for the move.  We have a beach vacation planned to a dog-friendly beach in late July.  Now our other dog Junior will be without his brother.  It really saddens me.  I pray to God that in time I will heal and smile at all the happy memories I have thanks to Brownie finding his way to me.  

I am choked up with emotions swirling all around as I watch Brownie sleep on the floor beside me.  At least I can take solace in that the blood test enabled me to find out about this disease while Brownie was still able to enjoy some quality time with me, the kids and Junior at the dog park over the past few weeks.  I will have so many wonderful memories to cherish; we've been together for over 12 years since Brownie was 2.  I will miss my friend dearly.  Please hold Brownie & I in your prayers, and that I let him go at the proper time without prolonging his suffering.  Thank you all for your support.  After Brownie goes, it will be my turn to help others in dealing with all the highs and lows of kidney disease.  
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There is nothing I can say to make things any easier, I know, because I have been where you are right now - and it hurts like hell. Kidney disease can be very fast, because it builds up slowly, often with no symptoms until the later stages. Sometimes, as in the case of me and my beautiful rescued lurcher BB, the final stage can be recognised and reach its fatal conclusion within a few short days.

It is probably no comfort, but try hard to give yourself a pat on the back for giving Brownie such a wonderful, exciting and love-filled life. Not all dogs enjoy such things, but Brownie certainly has done and for now, continues to do so. There are hard days ahead, but please come back and let us know how you are doing. There are lots of people on here that truly understand and can empathise. Be strong - and give Brownie a huge hug from me.

Tony x
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Thank you Tony, for your comforting words and for being you.  From all of your posts I've read, I can tell you that you are truly a God-send for so many people on here who are hurting just as you were.  I have done a huge amount of research and have the best possible care I can get for Brownie in my area.  Today, Brownie will have a blood re-check.  He has been on subQ fluids for one week, so this has hopefully given us enough time to see if it has had any affected on reducing the creatinine and BUN levels.  I have also written a bunch of questions I have, so that we make sure to cover all of our bases.  Depending on the results of the bloodwork, I have an appointment to take Brownie to an internal medicine specialist next week.  This is been a huge financial drain, but for now I am able to make the sacrifices.  I know one thing for sure, I will be starting a "vet fund" now and contributing to it as much as I can, for our other dog, Junior.  I would rather be prepared than ever in this financial situation again.  Junior is about 4, and hopefully will stay healthy for the duration.  I think Junior senses how upset I am about Brownie being ill.  Yesterday, while trying to nap, I was watching over Brownie asleep in my bed.  As I started crying, Junior looked up at me and stared straight in my eyes.  He then came closer to me, and nudged me with his head.  Dogs are truly so intuitive and amazing.  I cherish all the time I spend with my two boys.  

I hope you have a great day, Tony.  I will keep you posted.  ~Paulette
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Hi Paulette. Yes, our dogs are amazing. Sometimes, dare I say, better and more preferable than humans. You are doing an amazing job - well done for making your sacrifices. I know it's hard. You and Brownie are in my thoughts and I really do hope you get some good news next week ... you deserve some good news. Much love, Tony x
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Hi Tony, you are so right and I always say the same thing that are dog companions are MUCH more preferable than many humans.  Thank you for your kind thoughts.  It is with sad news that the blood test results were not good at all.  In 9 days time, despite the subQ treatment, Brownie's creatinine jumped from a 4.0 to a 6.7.  His BUN level has gone from a 98 to a 115.  This is happening so fast that I cannot help it but think something triggered his decline which has done its job to destroy Brownie's kidneys.  

My vet moved up our appt with the internal medicine specialist to this morning.  So, my two children and I have had a slumber party in our living room with Brownie & Junior, Brownie's little dog brother.  I know that the last couple of days are most probably here.  

Of course, I only slept for about 3 hours as I have so much on my mind.  I woke up at 2am and decided to give Brownie some of his subQ fluid.  It perked him up immediately, so we went for a walk.  About 15 minutes later, he is fast asleep as I am sure all the toxins in his little body are wearing on him.  

I will post again as I get more information from the vet later on today.  I hope you have a wonderful day.  And, again, I cannot thank you enough for being on here and responding to my posts.  All my best, Paulette
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Oh Paulette, I am sorry. I remember a few nights like that and it really wears you out, making you even more anxious and tearful than you might otherwise be. It does sound as if Brownie's time is approaching. If he is still eating, that's good, but sooner or later he will probably stop eating and drinking completely, which is entirely down to the toxin build-up. Anti-nausia meds will help, but they can only do so much. The subQs are probably keeping him going and helping him feel more comfortable. My own dog went so fast, it left me in complete shock. It took four days from start to finish and it was like she went flying off a cliff edge during that time, finally being at the point where she had no energy even to stand up, let alone walk outside. It's a heart-wrenching process.

Do keep me informed, but don't feel the need to write if you have neither the time or energy. You are all in my thoughts. Tony x
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I remember your original posts very vividly, and felt how gut-wrenching it was for you.  I hope you don't mind me writing and dredging up these memories for you, but somehow I think you can handle it.  If not, let me know. xxx  Yes, I am spiraling into all sorts of emotions right now, mostly thinking about how much joy Brownie has brought me and how empty I will feel for awhile without having him by my side.  However, while he is still here, I try to focus on him & live in the moment.  I have to tell you that it is so hard to do without breaking down!  I will write again later or within the next few days depending on my emotional state.  But, again, I appreciate your compassion and relating your own experiences with me and the others on here who have followed in your footsteps.  Take care for you, friend.  Paulette
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Living in the moment is definitely the right approach, Paulette, and it's a lesson our dogs are able to teach us ... they are of course so much better at it than us. Even now, some 2 yrs after my own experience, talking still helps, so don't ever feel inhibited about talking about how you are coping, feeling and dealing with things. I think talking about our worries and fears and sharing matters about our sometimes anxious lives is positive therapy, good for the soul and helpful in knowing someone else has gone through the same and has survived it. But that's the way I look at it - not everyone shares my opinion, I know.

I wish you and Brownie a peaceful night.

Love, Tony x
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Good Morning Tony,
Talking about our common experiences is very helpful, I agree with you.  It makes people, who would otherwise be strangers, share a common bond and grow from their experiences.  

Yesterday, Brownie's ultrasound did reveal that his kidneys are shrinking.  I have another call in to the vet to ask how small they typically get while still allowing for likelihood of survival.  It did not sound like the kidneys were THAT small, just slightly.  However, in my grief, I did not ask the vet more specifically just HOW small is small.  We also ran several tests, and I am awaiting the results.  

It was a grueling decision, but last night I opted to hospitalize Brownie so that he could receive an IV Flush.  From all the reading I've done, and talking with a few vets, many times it takes 3-5 days for the flush to do its job when the values are as high as Brownie's.  As much as I want Brownie here with me, I feel like without giving it this one last shot, he for sure would have continued to decline.  My hopes aren't very high, however, I do have a small amount of hope that we can flush out some of the toxins and relieve the kidneys while getting the creatinine and BUN down.  That is my prayer, anyway.  All of his other blood levels are normal.  His usG is diluated at 1015 and the phosphorus is a 5, but still no where as bad as it could be, in my opinion.  So, I could not give up without at least trying to do the flush.  

When Brownie gets home, it will only take me a few days to know whether or not it has made any lasting improvements.  If so, then my prayers will be answered.  However, in the worse case scenario, I will know that it is really time to say good-bye to my best friend and let him go peacefully.  

I hope you enjoy your day and the weekend, Tony.  I will keep you posted as usual.  

Love,
Paulette
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Well that's actually much more positive than I had expected, Paulette. You are doing an amazing job and going down every possible avenue for him. If this works, it should give you both some valuable extra time and make Brownie feel so much better. Fingers crossed.

While Brownie is hospitalized, there's very little you can do, I guess, so try to use the time to regain some extra sleep - this will certainly help recharge your batteries for when he comes home. Have a nice weekend and try not to worry too much (listen to me saying that, like I ever could take my own advice).

Love, Tony x
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Hi Tony,
How are you?  I cannot believe that it has been two months since we have first spoken on this thread.  There were a few times I thought of writing, but the summer has been very hectic with two kids home from school, going places, and taking care of Brownie and Junior.  

It is VERY fortunate for us that Brownie is still alive today!  Although his numbers still remain high, compared with before the hospital stay, he is much more alert, is able to go on decent length walks (before and after the heat of the day), and has an "ok" appetite for a dog in renal failure.  

I have been trying my best to keep my chin up and focus on today.  I give Brownie extra hugs and even talk to him about how much I love him and that he had better watch over me when he gets to the Rainbow Bridge!  It is my way of not going into denial.  I always hold him close and talk to him during his subQ's.  

We have been able to make wonderful memories over the past few weeks.  In July, my husband and I took the dogs to the beach.  It was Brownie's first time to the beach, and he loved it!  Last weekend, we took a road trip to St. Louis because we got tickets to a Cardinals game.  We like to visit random stadiums because we are a baseball loving family.  The dogs came with us.  Brownie is so good in the car and at hotels.  I always say that he is training Junior on how to be a good traveler!  I pray that we have a few more miracles ahead of us before this chapter of Brownie's life ends.  

I thought I'd let you know all this since you were SO helpful and supportive during my very scary time in early June.  .....

So, how have you been, Tony?  I hope you are having some fun times this summer.  Please refresh me, how many dogs do you have now?  Tell me about them!   If you would like, please friend me on Facebook, if you do FB.  I check that a lot more often than here.  I am listed under "Paulette Vee" on FB.  Otherwise, I look forward to hearing back from you on here or there!  And....THANKS again for being there for me earlier on.  You've been a God-send to so many hurting people on here!  

Talk to you soon.

Paulette :-)
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Hello Paulette. It's fabulous to hear Brownie is doing so well, given his condition. You are truly doing an amazing job and it's so refreshing to hear (mostly) good-news about a dog suffering from renal failure. It has certainly made my day today.

I know how life gets busy, believe me, so never worry about taking time out from writing here. Our summer has been busy too. I have been working on our home and we've managed to get a new bathroom and new living room almost finished this year. I tend to run out of money, energy or motivation on big and long projects like these - and occasionally, all three. Ha.

We have two dogs now. Giro is 9yrs but is still very much like a puppy. Into everything, boundless energy and the most adorable dog I have ever had. Our most recent addition is Sally, a 4yr old retired greyhound from the Greyhound Trust. She has one or two health issues, but generally speaking, she's settling in well and is making an impact on our lives. I managed to find her old racecard online. Her last race was in 2011, when she won the race, travelling 500 metres in 22 seconds. Now, bearing in mind that we take her to the beach every couple of days, I've already worked out that if she ever decided to run off - that would be it, I would probably never see her for dust. But so far, so good. She's not exactly obedient at coming back, but she does stay close enough for me to feel comfortable letting her off to run properly. One thing she certainly is, is a thief. We can't leave anything anywhere, especially if it's food. She's already pinched our meals twice, but I think slowly she's working the rules out.

I'll try get you on Fb (I'm on there most days, even just to check-in and check-out again). In the meantime, much love ... Tony xxx
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My beautiful Bullmastiff started drinking loads of water in March, a trip to the vets broke my heartl. He said he was either in kidney failure or had a tumour or maybe addisons/cushings disease. He tried to do blood tests but Boston wasn't having any of it. He had a very poorly heart from birth and was given 12-18 months to live (7years 4 months ago in March!). When i found this out i was devastated and decided to give him the best life i could. He was our baby and i loved him so much. After reading and scouring the internet i thought all his symptoms were telling me it was his kidneys and there was nothing we could do. The vet said he would just waste away, he stopped eating, his drinking became less and he lost alot of weight and muscle. Some days he seemed in pain more than others but one day in May his back legs could not hold his body up. and he was being sick and was very lethargic. His eyes seemed 'empty' and we were all devastated, we phoned the vet asking him for a home visit, it was time to end his suffering. I lost my baby that night, this was 12 weeks ago and i still cry everyday. I cannot come to terms with losing him, i miss him so much and don't want to face my life without him, but i have 4 grandchildren to think of. Is this normal to feel like this after 12 weeks? I am absolutley devastated and i keep punishing myself for letting him go. I want him back but i know i can't. We had him cremated, took him ourselves and fetched his ashes back the very next day, and he is now with us in our lounge where he always was but its killing me not being able to see him. How do i get through this?
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Hello. I am pleased you found us here, but so very sorry that you are feeling so sad right now. Grieving for Boston is perfectly natural - and 12 weeks is only part of your journey through this dreadful process. Boston was more than a friend, more than a companion, and so much more to you than anyone else. The love we have for our dogs runs so deep, it is incomparable to any other kind of love, which is why it hurts so much when we lose our best friends.

Of course, if Boston could tell you, he would say a huge thank you for giving him such a wonderful life. He may have passed all too young, but he was loved, he was cared for, he was given adventures to enjoy and he had someone sharing his life that meant so much to him.

It will take time for the grief to work it's way through, but each day it will get a little easier. In a few weeks from now you will start to remember the happy times you had with him, and you will smile about them instead of crying. Many of us on here have gone through the same process (and many have done it several times in their lives), and though it is very different for each person, the process is much the same. Grieving simply takes it's own good time.

Please try to remember Boston when he was happy, because that's what you provided him with ... happy days, tranquil nights, and a life shared. There was nothing you could do to prevent him passing, and in the end, you did what was right for him (a completely selfless act of kindness on your part).

I hope you will soon start feeling a little better about things, but either way please do come back to tell us how you are feeling, to talk about Boston and be a part of this wonderful doggy-loving community. Cyber hugs to you. Tony x
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Hi Tony
Thanks for your kind words, (I am now in tears again) I never in a million years thought that losing him would hurt this much, the house is so empty without him, he was such a big dog but so very gentle and protective of me. We sort of knew in March that his time left was going to be short and i sobbed my heart out at the thought of it, but i feel worse now he's not here. I can actually remember taking him on his daily walk (which were slowly getting shorter)and thinking 'i ve got to lose you Boston but i don't want that day to come', i was dreading it. and now its happened i am just so heartbroken. My Boston was really the first dog we had ever had as i never wanted one, my husband kept trying to talk me into having one, and so i gave in and we decided on a bullmastiff as our friends had one and he was such a sweety. Once we picked our Boston and bought him home i fell in love with him straight away, until the vet dropped the bombshell 2 weeks later saying he had a very 'noisy' swooshing sound in his heart. Another vet confirmed he thought it was his valves but his heart was so bad he would not stand sedation. Thats when i decided he was having the best. So when he was ill in March and the vet was unable to do blood tests i felt so helpless for him, he could not be sedated to do them, so we had to watch him deteriorate right infront of us. I keep punishing myself so much, i went to work an hour late that awful day in May as i realised how poorly he had became, if i had known we were going to lose him that night i would never have gone to work! I left him on his own for 4 hours and i should have been there for him. When we came home from work my husband took one look at me and said `its time`, he was devastated and so was i. I rang my sons and 2 of them came round immediately breaking their hearts, my other son could not face letting him go. When the vet came, my husband held him but my son took me upstairs as i was in a right state, i punish myself over that too, i should have held him and been with him until the end. My husband feels so bad for agreeing to end his life, Boston was my life. My husband is so cut up he says we will never have another dog, Boston was our one and only and no way will he betray him. I actually said to Boston before the vet arrived that i would never have another dog as he was our special one and i promised Boston no dog would ever take his place. Now everytime i see a dog my heart melts and i feel guilty for feeling this way.   This grief is the worst i have ever experienced, my husband feels gulity as he has cried over Boston more than he did for his dad who passed away last year. What i would give to have him back, he truly was our best friend.I doubt i will ever get over losing him Tony, i can actually feel pain in my heart!
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Hi again. I know exactly how you are feeling. I lost my rescued lurcher, BB, over 2 years ago now, and the grief continued for at least a year, and then some. BB was as special to me as Boston clearly was to all of you. She was my companion and loyal friend during some traumatic times. She was always at my side, like my shadow, and she brought up, taught and cared for another rescued (but much younger) dog we got, Giro. Giro doted on her - and he grieved too when she passed.

But ... time does make grief easier. And so does talking about how you feel, and about Boston, and finding comfort in the company of people that understand. You and your husband's feelings of guilt are perfectly normal, even though you have nothing to be guilty about. It is also very natural to think you will never have another dog, because the pain of loss is so huge, and of course you are right ... you may feel right now that you would betraying Boston. But, in time, you will appreciate that none of those things are quite right. It is just the grief talking. Getting another dog is something you might want to consider in time, but don't even think about it now. And no dog would ever be a replacement of Boston. It took me a good year and a half before I could consider taking in another rescue... and even then, I had uncertainties about it. But then we got Sally, and she is adorable. I fell in love with her within the first few days, and now she's part of the family.

She isn't in any way a replacement of BB. She's just another dog that needed a home, needed a bit of love and affection, and is company for our (now older) dog Giro. BB and Sally cannot be compared. They are two very different dogs, each with their own personalities. The same would be true of any other dog you might offer a home to in time. No dog would ever be the same as Boston. No dog could ever replace Boston. Boston was unique - as are all dogs.

I know this is a dreadful time for you and your family. It is heartwrenching to lose such a close and loyal best friend. I can totally also understand how your husband is reacting. It is never easy to say, but sometimes our dogs are closer to us than members of our family or close friends ... and when it's their time to leave us, it is horrendously traumatic and deeply emotional. I have said for many years, that I am closer to my dogs than I am to most humans ... and that's exactly why it affects me more when I lose a dog than when a close friend or family member passes away.

I hope that as time moves forward you feel better about things. The sadness will eventually subside, but be warned it will sometimes come back - just fleetingly - and at the most inappropriate times too. I have cried recently about BB on a train journey. I wasn't thinking about her, but she came into my head - and I burst into tears right there on a crowded train. Then, moments later, I was okay again.

More usually, I can now talk about her with friends and with my partner - and I fondly remember the happy times I shared with her. I can even now laugh at some of her antics, without crying straight afterwards ... and though you may doubt it could be true, this will happen to you too, eventually.

Grief doesn't stop, as such, but it does mellow and goes more into the background of our lives. Boston will always be a part of you - and a part of your life-journey. He was a lucky dog to have had you in his life. Don't be too hard on yourself. You did everything you could to help him, you loved him deeply and you gave him a fabulous life. What dog could ask for more. I know you are hurting ... and I am here to help, if I can, by listening and empathising. Please keep me posted about your feelings and thoughts. Lots of love. Tony x
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Hi again
I ve had a really bad day today, been so depressed and crying alot. problem is i cannot cry infront of my husband as it makes him angry, he says seeing me upset makes him feel angry as its his fault for agreeing to let Boston go, so i try to be strong around him but i feel the grief 'well up' and i feel i have to release it by crying. I miss him so very much, i'm dreading the winter nights as we always cuddled up watching tv, and then theres xmas... it just goes on and on. God knows how i will get through this, if i ever do, but reading your comments and thoughts is a big help. It sounds awful but its comforting to know i aint the only one that feels like this when we lose our most dearest and loving dogs. I actually wonder that if i do come to terms with it more will i feel guilty again for not crying as often? All i can say is i loved him so much and i just never thought of losing him, never thought i would feel the grief so badly and never realised just how much love and companionship he gave to us. Now after 12 weeks of not having him i realise what an impact he made on all of us. Thank you Tony for your help, i'm still crying and cut up but as you say its got to get easier,... one day x
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Just give it time. It will get easier, I promise. I sometimes think ... knowing as I do just how much it hurts when we lose our dogs, if I could turn back time, would I change the decision to get one in the first place. And the truth is, no, I wouldn't, because all the love and affection, the bellyaching laughs and the companionship is all worth the dreadful pain of losing them. It hurts like hell, but it does ease, and once it has eased and our emotions get back into some control, we can think and remember our beloved dogs with great affection and we can truly recognise how lucky we have been to know them and share part of our life with them.

Boston would not want you to feel this way, though I am sure he would understand why you feel as you do right now. He would want you to remember the happy times you had and he would want to thank you for being his mum and dad. No matter how many weeks, months or years pass by after losing him, he will always be in your heart, because that's where our dogs start and end their lives ... they give out so much love ... and they get so much of it back from us.

Try to talk to your husband if you can, because he clearly is hurting too. Explain that he has no reason for feeling guilty. He was brave enough to do the right thing, in the end ... the right thing for Boston, which of course may not necessarily have been the right thing for both of you. It was a last and important act of pure kindness and love ... and for that, he should be thanked. It may take him just as long (and maybe even longer) to come to terms with losing Boston, so be gentle to each other, and support each other through this period of grieving.

I'm hoping you have a peaceful week, though sometimes other things that happen around us are a good distraction and actually help steel us away from the emotional turmoil - at least for a while.

Cyber hugs to you both. Tony x
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I really hope we can get through this awful grief, i lost my sister very suddenly 10 years ago and i thought that was bad enough, but my god, this feeling of not having Boston just overwhelms everything. I actually lay in bed last night thinking would i be better off not being here at all and going to be with Boston?
Some days i am actually worse than others, today i am not so bad, but it seems Boston is all i think of. I want him so badly, and as i ve said before i'm constantly thinking back to the night we phoned the vets. Should i have gave him another night and cuddled him all night? but he seemed so unhappy and unwell, not eating, drinking and what little he did have he brought back up. His back end was hardly off the ground when he was walking, and he kept losing his balance, it killed me to watch him suffer but as i had been to work that afternoon, i keep thinking maybe i should have waited to phone vets another day and spoiled him that night. Did i act too quickly? All this won't bring him back i know, but i feel so very guilty about making that decision so soon. Looking back he had been very much in pain just 2 days before and even howled in his sleep, i was so upset and asked my husband then to ring vets but we argued, he said he wasn't letting him go... until 2 days later and he just got worse and it seemed the decison was made. Am i making sense Tony? Sorry to waffle on but this is the first time i have spoken to anyone about the way i am feeling x
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Hello. First of all, yes, you are making perfect sense. I empathise utterly with all those feelings of guilt and second-guessing whether decisions made were right. Of course, deep down, you know you did everything you could - and you made all the right decisions at all the right times. We cannot turn clocks back, we have no idea what lies waiting for in the future - if we learn anything from our best friends, it's that we can only live for today, and hope that tomorrow brings us happiness, contentment and security. We might learn from things that have happened in the past, but we can't do anything about them ... they have gone. So try to work on today, because it's today that truly matters. Yesterdays are now memories, some good and some not so good. Thinking about Boston will cause heartache ... but eventually, those memories will fill your heart with warmth and happiness.

Never be concerned about talking to me ... or waffling on ... say as much as you want, and as often as you need to. I will always write back, as soon as time allows. You have found a friend who really does understand and someone that is concerned about you and your husband. If I can support you during this period of grief, I will ... that's what friends are there for.

Keep me updated on how things are going with both of you. Give each other all the support you can. Talk when you need to. Cry when you feel you must. It will get better as time moves forward. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Lots of love, Tony x
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oh Tony thanks, it all makes sense, i ve had an awful week really. But i keep thinking back to that night we lost him and now i m beating myself up for not staying with him. My son took me upstairs as i was a total wreck, screaming and crying, breaking my heart and could hardly breath but i had intended to stay with him. My husband held him in his arms until the very end but thats all he will tell me, he said Boston never moved an inch, he thinks Boston had no feeling in his back legs and did nt struggle with the injection, but everytime i ask him how Boston reacted or what did the vet do or say he gets angry and i can see him holding back the tears. he says he feels as though its his fault for letting him go and i keep reminding him of it by asking! Another day i ve cried, i wish i could turn back time, i so want him back. To anyone who's got to go through this, you have my very deepest sympathy. All i can say is, it hurts like hell x
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Hi. Okay, so it seem you are ready to talk about it, but your husband isn't. This is sometimes the way our emotions are dealt with in very different ways. Is there someone you know that can get your husband to talk, maybe a good friend of his or a brother maybe ... the point is, grief takes that much longer to work its way through head and heart when a person is unable or unwilling to voice their feelings.

It is also useful after a deep conversation to find some kind of distraction to give your mind some peaceful time away from the grief. This could simply be a walk around the block, a trip to the beach, a meal at a nice restaurant or something similar. Even the cinema, theatre or going out playing a game of 10-pin bowls are good ways to distract your minds.

Although losing Boston has been so very hard, it is something you and your husband have shared - and in the future, you will both be able to talk about him and share the memories of him. I liken this to giving Boston a voice, even after death, because if you hadn't both shared your lives with Boston, you wouldn't be able to talk about his life in the same way.

I wish you a peaceful day. Please keep coming back to talk about Boston and tell us how you are feeling. Cyber hugs. Tony x
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My Dottie Mae is a 12 year old Pom. She is my baby. The best dog I've ever seen! About a year and a half ago she was diagnosed with an enlarged heart and has been on 2 heart meds, Vetmedin and Enalapril and LASIK. All seemed to be going well until a couple weeks ago. She was not eating, vomiting when she did eat and had noticeably lost weight. At the vet appt she had gone from 10 lbs in March to 6.8 lbs. her blood chem showed her kidneys were not functioning as they should. She stayed 3 days on IV fluids and came home for a week. Had to return a week later for Sub q fluids. Took her back 3 days ago and again her numbers were up! More Sub q fluids. She won't eat the prescription food! Hates it! I'm at my wits end! Her breath is so bad you can smell it from a room away. Any suggestions? I'm numb! I've been crying for days and I know that's not good for Dottie. She's such a little love bug! I'm making a list of things to try, Tums, rice, dark boiled chicken. Any ideas would be appreciated! I tried baby food today and she wouldn't even try it! Thank you, Lisa
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H Lisa. I am so sorry that Dottie Mae and you are going through this. Kidney failure is heart-wrenching to see in our best friends. Has the vet told you whether this is likely to be renal failure due to the heart condition, or whether it's age onset kidney failure? Your vet may not necessarily be able to verify this with certainty, but he should be able to second-guess it based on prior visits and having treated Dottie Mae for her heart condition. I suspect, at 12 yrs, it could be a bit of both.

The bad breath is the toxins building up in Dottie Mae's body. The refusing to eat is typical of dogs with renal failure, as it's the toxins that make them feel nauseous. Has the vet prescribed any anti-nausea meds? This is very important, as it will help Dottie Mae feel less sickly, encourage her to eat, and therefore help give her some energy and comfort. If nothing is prescribed, ask about it today.

Dogs also associate food and feeling sick, so the last food she was sick with is the one she will probably refuse to eat more often. Small amounts given often, say hourly, is the best way forward. When my dog was refusing to eat for exactly the same reasons (my dog passed away 2 yrs ago from kidney failure), he would only eat cooked green tripe mixed with a little boiled white rice. If you can get your hands on some, it's worth trying as it's full of energy boosting nutrients. It must be green tripe (not white), tinned or fresh/frozen, and generally available at good pet stores. The frozen blocks need cooking, but the tinned varieties don't. It stinks like hell, but it's worth suffering the smell if it gets her to eat something.

Has the vet said what stage he thinks the kidney failure is at? It sounds like it's stage 3 or possibly 4, which isn't good news, as time is not on Dottie Mae's side ... but nothing ventured, nothing gained, so keep up the Sub q fluids, as this will help a huge amount, and try to get the anti-nausea meds as soon as you can.

If the sub-q treatment is expensive at the vets, ask them if they're prepared to train you in undertaking this yourself at home. Some are prepared to do this. Some aren't. But if you don't ask ... you'll never know.

Okay. That's enough for now. Please keep us updated how things are going. Give Dottie Mae a hug from me. Tony x
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Hi Tony,
i have tried to think more of the good times we had with Boston, i miss him like hell and would do anything to have him back, but i know thats just not possible. I have spoke to my brother this week about my grief and cried like a baby, he was so supportive, it has helped. I never knew he felt the same when he lost his dog, Jenna, years ago and he beats himself up to this day! I cannot thank you enough, speaking to you this last week has helped me so much. You are such a help to us all, thank you!!!

Lisalee.... I can only send my love to you, i know the heartache you are going through, to watch your dog suffering is so heartbreaking, i sobbed my heart out for weeks watching my Boston slowly wasting away. Just give as much love as you can, everyday is a bonus. My thoughts are with you x
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First of all I'd like to thank you both for your kind words and advise!
My husband and I gave Dottie Sub Q fluids today for the first time.  I'm not sure how much actually went in! I'm sure tomorrow will be easier for all of us! Having never done this before, we were both nervous wrecks! I wish I could get her to eat! I've tried scrambled egg whites, plain yogurt, chicken, broth, even cheese but she wouldn't eat anything. I even tried to get a plain tums down her! She is now following me around the house and just staring at me as if to say, help me momma! I noticed her little paws and ears are cold! I'm truly lost here! My heart is broken that I can't help her! We will try the fluids again tomorrow morning and I'll ask the vet about anti nausea meds. Any other suggestions will be appreciated! I'm so grateful that I found this site!
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Hi. Well done on doing the Sub Qs ... keep them going. Make the anti-nausea meds a high priority too, as they should help encourage her to eat. We humans are the same - if we feel like vomiting, we don't eat anything. Its the toxins in her body that are making her feel this way. The problem is, if she doesn't get some nutritional foods soon, she will start to fade, and she is only likely to start eating if you can take the sickly feeling she has away ... anti-nausea meds are the only way of achieving it. She may well be cold much of the time, so it's important to keep her warm and wrapped up while lying down. This is a dreadful time for you, I know, but keep going, you are doing well. Take a look to see if you can find tinned or frozen green tripe at your local pet-store. I've never known any dog that won't eat it, unless they really are very close to the end. Tony x
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We gave our Dottie another round of sub q fluids this afternoon. My husband actually got 2 very small bites of ground beef and white rice mixture down her. She is so very ill and is looking at me for help. I know she's in pain now as she won't stay still and is very uncomfortable. We've decided to end her suffering. I'm going to call her Dr tomorrow and have him come to our home and that way her sissy can also be with her. Sissy is our other Pom and Dottie's playmate. I wish I knew if this is the right thing to do! I just know watching her waste away is torture for all including sweet Dottie Mae. I never thought I could love a little dog as much as I love my Mae Mae! I will write again tomorrow night. Thanks for understanding, it seems like everyone I am friends with just don't get it! <3
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Hi. Deep down, you are the only person that knows if and when the right time has come to end Dottie Mae's suffering. You are there and can see what is happening. You also know her more than anyone else. It is the hardest of decisions. Heart wrenching. Ask your vet what stage of kidney failure this is. If it's anything other than the 4th stage, I would urge you to keep going a little longer - but importantly, get anti-nausea meds into her now.

Of course, if the time has come, then ... you must make the decision, because Dottie Mae looks to you to help her. I know exactly how you are feeling ... it is the hardest and most traumatic things to go through, but it is our responsibility to help our best friends when the time comes. You are in my thoughts. Please come back to talk when you feel able. Tony x
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Sadly my little Dottie is gone. I called her Vet this morning and he had planned to come over tomorrow on his lunch break. This afternoon she started vomiting and staggering. I just couldn't stand to see her so sick! My husband came home from work and we took her to her Vet. I held her on the way and she didn't even lift her head. Two techs and the Vet came out to our car so we didn't have to take her in. It was over in seconds. The Vet even gave her a kiss goodbye. I brought her home and let her playmate Sissy see her then my husband and son buried her with her blanket, her favorite dress and a treat. She was more human then animal. Smartest dog I've seen and I'll miss her forever! I'm numb and sick to my stomach! Thank you for all the advise and most of all for listening! God bless!
Lisa
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I am so very sorry to hear of your loss, i know exactly what you're going through, i lost my boy 13 weeks ago and its still breaking my heart. We had the vet come to our house, and i ve beat myself time and time again wondering 'should i have waited another day', but my Boston went  just the same way as your cherished Dottie. He did nt have the energy to lift his back legs and he was 10 stone so couldn't pick him up. He was lethargic and sick, stopped drinking and eating completely, he looked like he'd had enough. I never wanted to lose him but it was torture watching him waste away and suffer. Lisa, i send you big hugs, its simply the hardest thing we have to go through and its only this last week i have actually 'talked' to someone who knows exactly how i feel, Tony has been the biggest of help. Keep posting on here, it has helped me immensely. I m sure your lovely baby is out of suffering now, but i know how you're feeling, We all want them to live forever, don't we? God bless you Lisa, my thoughts are with you. x
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Dottie Mae is running free now. No more pain. No being sick. She looked to you for help, and you gave it, even though I know making that dreadful decision is tearing you apart. If she could, Dottie Mae would say a huge thank you. Thank you for being her Mom, thank you for the constant love you gave, thank you for the adventures you shared with her ... and thank you for sharing your life with her. And lastly, thank you for being so brave at the end, for doing what was right, for helping her make her last journey out of suffering. Lisa, my heart is with you. I am so very sorry for your loss. You and that wonderful little girl Dottie Mae are in my thoughts. Cry as you need to, rest when you can, and come back to talk as often as you like. Huge cyber hugs to you and your husband. Tony x
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I just thought I would thank you guys again for your advise and kind words. I must admit I was not prepared for the grief I'm experiencing! It cuts me to the core! I'm so upset over losing my Dottie I don't know what to do. I've cried all day and night until my head feels like it will explode! I'm trying to help Sissy my other dog as she seems to be grieving as well. I'm sure it will get easier with time.............
Hope you both are doing okay. It does get easier, doesn't it?
Your friend,
Lisa
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Hi Lisa. Yes, the grief does eventually subside, but be prepared for the experience of grief like no other ... it is very deep, very traumatic ... and it happens because when we lose our best friend, we lose part of ourselves too. Our best friends are so close, loved so much and missed so deeply, they leave a gaping wound in our hearts that takes a long time to heal.

Sissy will grieve - they say dogs don't grieve in the same way, and I think that's true, but I've seen for myself how one dog can miss another and feel anxiety that they are no longer part of the Pack ... the good thing though is, the grief a dog experiences seems to be short-lived, and is often remedied by the emotions of the human alpha. So when you start to feel calmer and more at ease, so will Sissy.

Every day will get just a little bit easier, but expect to have the occasional day when Dottie will be in your head from the moment you wake to the time you go back to sleep. It will happen. It's very natural. Just try to distract yourself on these days, so your heart and head have time to relax.

The hardest thing will be trying to remember Dottie for the wonderful dog she was ... without crying your eyes out. That day will eventually happen, though probably not for quite a while yet. Remembering the happy times is important, because you provided her with those happy times - and without you, she wouldn't have experienced those days in her life. And remember too that while the end of life is not always easy or straightforward, Dottie had a lifetime rich with happier days, months and years. Remember the happy times, because that was Dottie's legacy to you.

Thinking about you. Take good care of yourself. Tony x
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Hi Lisa. Just checking in on you ... not heard from you for a few days. Hope you are okay. Thinking about you both. Tony
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Hi Tony,
Thanks so much for thinking of me. I am doing better. I'm not crying all day! I miss that little dog more then I ever thought possible! She's been with us for 12 years and now there's an empty place! Her playmate Sissy is still waiting for Dottie to return! She lays and looks out the window. It's just not the same here!
On a lighter note, I have a brand new grand daughter to get to know! She was born 2 weeks ago. I've been so preoccupied with Dottie and trying to get her better I've hardly saw her!
Thank you for all your help! I will check back with you again.
Lisa
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Hi Tony
Another week gone by without my Boston, and i must say since sharing my grief with you it has helped me enormously. Dont get me wrong. i am missing him like hell and wish he was with me right now, but i have kind of accepted that it just can't happen. 2 weeks ago i was a wreck, so is the grief getting easier? or is it because i have talked about it to someone? I dont know the answer, but i cannot thank you enough for taking your time out to help and understand all who's grieving for our loved fur babies on here. I still beat myself up about letting him go but i suppose it was going to happen soon, i just wish we could have done more and had him a little longer. I miss him so much and will always love him until the day i die. I never realised others grieve the way i have! i thought i was going insane, so thank you for helpin me x
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Hi Lisa. That's great news about your new grand daughter. Congratulations. I'm sure you will now have some time and motivation to get to know her and probably spoil her rotten in the process, just like all grandmothers do. I know what you mean about Sissy showing signs of missing Dottie. I believe dogs miss their pack companions differently to the way humans miss people they have lost, as we have far more emotionally based personalities ... I think dogs feed on our emotions and the grief they feel is more akin to anxiety. But that's just me, others may have different interpretations of how dogs reat to loss.

When BB passed (she was also 12 yrs old when she died, but she had shared her life with Giro for several years - Giro being much younger - and Giro looked to BB as the alpha pack leader) ... Giro did much the same as Sissy seems to be doing, sitting at the front door for hour after hour, clearly waiting for her to return. This continued for several weeks, and then it slowly eased, but for a long time I was quite concerned about his reaction. I'm hoping therefore that Sissy will feel better about things over the coming weeks. Of course, during this time she will probably need (and no doubt get) a huge amount of reassurance and cuddles from you.

I'm pleased you are a little better and hope that as the days move forward, each new day will find you even better, while of course not forgetting your wonderful Dottie Mae. I think we know that grief is coming to an end when we can think about our loved ones - and smile - rather than cry. That day will come. In the meantime, take good care of yourself and give Sissy a huge cyber hug from me. Tony x
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Hi. So good to hear from you. I KNOW talking helps, or certainly it did in my case - and I think it does for most people. We need an outlet, a means of talking about those we have lost to people that understand and appreciate what we are going through - and talking also gives us something to do, when much of the time during the grieving process we really don't know what to do and cannot concentrate on anything very much.

I am firmly of the belief that grieving for our dogs can be even tougher than grieving for some relatives and friends that we lose during our own lifetimes. And that's no great surprise to me (though some people have a bit of a go at me for saying that, thinking it is ridiculous) ... after all, we probably spend more time with our dogs than most humans we know, we tell them our innermost secrets, our fears, and we share our day-to-day lives with them. They offer us unconditional love - and we love them back. We laugh with them. We cry with them.

Boston may have gone from this world - but he will live forever in your heart and memories. He will never leave you. I'm pleased to hear you are feeling just a little brighter and that the grief has subsided just a tiny bit. Each day will see that process continuing, but there may also be the occasional day when things all come flooding back - thankfully, those bad days become gradually less and less. Hoping you have a nice week - you deserve it. Much love, Tony x
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Just want you to know I get it! What you said about crying in front of your husband! I think (in my case anyway) they try to be strong for us and seeing us cry makes them feel helpless. I got upset yesterday, out of the blue began to cry and Mike (my hubby) asked me what was wrong. I just said I miss my Dottie and he said, I'm sorry. Like there was something he did wrong.
It's been a week today since we lost our beloved pet and I know they will always be a hole in my heart! Loved that Lil girl more then anything!
Take care and chin up!
Lisa
PS..Thank you and Tony so much for being there for me! It's nice to talk to someone who understands and doesn't think I'm crazy for losing my mind over this!
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Hi Lisa. Another day ... that's a good way to look at things for now, another day that I have gotten through. Will today be a day you get through without tears? If yes, then you are working your way out of grief. It can come back, sometimes thankfully fleetingly, but as days roll into weeks and weeks into months, you will - I promise - slowly recover, and start remembering the happy days you spent with Dottie. Take care, Tony x
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Hi Lisa
Hope you're feeling ok and hope your new grandchild is helping you cope with the loss of Dottie. I can honestly say that time just eases the pain, but it certainly does nt take away the sadness of losing our 'babies'. I have felt much better talking about it, and i have actually gone one day without crying! I still cannot get upset infront of my husband without him getting annoyed. I think his grief his far deeper as he can't express it. He would never come on a site like this or even talk to someone about it, but it sure has helped me somewhat.
Hugs to you, i know exactly how you feel x
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You are spot on with our beloved pets, we do tell them everything don't we? It brought a warm feeling to my heart when i read that, my husband said Boston was his best friend that knew all his secrets (he did break his heart when we lost Boston and thats exacty the words he said to me) This is why it hurts so much, they are with us 24/7 and we do everything for them, and they give loads of love in return. I am so glad he was a part of our lives, and i know he loved us unconditionally. I think you ought to be a proefessional bereavement councillor because you are so good at wording everything right. I just cannot thank you enough xx
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Thanks for your very kind words ... I'd probably make a hopeless counselor, as I have a tendency to cry along with those that tell me they have lost a beloved best friend. I am pleased that my words do some good ... they are straight from the heart. Hoping you have a lovely day. Come back and talk ... anytime you like ... I try to be here most days. Big cyber hugs to you and your husband. Tony x
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Hi Tony
You sound the same as myself! I read these posts on here and start crying, and since having Boston i cringe if i see or hear another pet being mistreated, he really has changed my life and because of that he will always be very special to me. I feel like i want another dog, but deep down its Boston i want so i know it would be wrong of me to have another so early, My hubby is determined not to have another, he really is cut up over losing Boston and puts a brave 'manly face' on daily. Its as if he has to be the strong one for me, but at times i wish he would break down and cry so i know he loved him as much as i did, even though deep down i know he did anyway. He was besotted with Boston and because of this i doubt his feelings will change. Maybe in a few years when we are older and feeling lonely we could give another dog a loving home, but it still makes me feel guilty for thinking this. I promised Boston he was my one and only and he hated other dogs around me, so i would feel like i am betraying him. Only time will tell, i wish you a good weekend, and keep up the good work on here, you are a godsend! x
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I tend to think your husband has probably had several good cries, probably all alone somewhere he feels comfortable to 'let go', as it were. And yes, he's probably just trying to be strong for you, which is very nice and very supportive. Boston sure was one very lucky dog to have had such caring and loving owners.

On the subject of (eventually, maybe) giving another dog a fabulous new life ... it IS a hard one, and certainly not one for much consideration just now, while emotions are running high. The only thing I would want to say is that no dog, no matter how wonderful, no matter how loving, and no matter how different, would could or should be thought of a replacement to Boston. Boston was unique - as is each and every dog in the world. There is no need to feel guilty about offering a home to a dog, it is actually the kindest and most natural thing in the world to do, and you already know the rewards you get for doing it.

I felt exactly the same when I lost BB. I was grief-stricken. We already had another dog, Giro, and it was actually Giro that ultimately convinced me (after 2 years) to offer another dog a home here. Giro is a real pack animal and loves the company of other dogs, as well as humans. When BB passed away, he became very quiet, a bit withdrawn, and not the bubbly little 9yr old I was used to. Within days of us getting Sally the Greyhound from the local Greyhound Rescue Centre, Giro was back to his old self and loving every minute of sharing his home with a new pal.

Anyway, that's something to ponder on in due course. For now, believe that Boston would not want you to think he would be the reason for another dog missing out on a fantastic new life with you and your husband. You will always have Boston in your heart - that 'home-for-him-forever' will never change.

Have a lovely weekend, both of you. Tony x
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Hi Tony
hope you are well, i ve just come back off holiday and for the first 2 days i cried for Boston, i felt as if i shouldn't be enjoying myself. Its making me feel as if i'm enjoying my life now i haven't got him, but i would do anything to have him back. I felt so guilty and still do, everytime i do something that makes me happy something in the back of my mind feels so wrong, as if i shouldn't be happy now Bostons gone.  I would love to have him back, you know that, but how can i overcome this feeling of guilt,living my life without him?
Your thoughts would be appreciated x
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Hello again. It's great to hear from you, though I am very sorry you have gone through a bad few days. Your holiday was well deserved after all the trauma, so while I know your emotions are still raw, the holiday probably did you a world of good. It's hard to deal with feelings of guilt, even when the guilt is entirely self-inflicted and completely unwarranted. You know full well that you did everything you possibly could for Boston and gave him a fabulous life. I recall feeling guilty about BB when she passed - and I have come to believe that the guilt is just part of the grieving process. Grieving can take a long time to work it's way through, and even when we think it has left us, it can creep up and bite us again from time to time.

Distraction (work, holidays and so on) are always good things, but so too is talking about the feelings and emotions you have - and of course, talking about Boston will help. Many people (friends, relatives, partners and colleagues) sometimes don't appreciate how deep the love for our dogs actually goes, and that means they can never truly appreciate how long it can take to get over the loss of a best friend. They (quite rightly) are getting on with their lives - and of course they may have issues of their own they are trying to deal with. So, while they may have listened and supported you when Boston passed, they may now have other things more pressing to think and talk about. That's not the case here ... I and others are always here to listen, to talk about how you are doing and to remember Boston.

You just have to give it time. Eventually the inappropriate feelings of guilt will subside. You deserve happiness in your life - and Boston would certainly want to think of you enjoying your own life, just as much as he did his.

Chin up. Life goes on. We all have to leave this world sometime, sooner or later, and all we can try to do is make the best of what time we have. Your time is precious - so live it to the full and never feel guilty about the moments of happiness you find. Love to you and yours, Tony x
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i would like to thank you again for your time and comments that you have gave to me, this grief is far more deep than i could ever imagine, i only started to feel better after talking to you. You have helped me enormously and i hope others take comfort from your comments, you make so much sense and everything you say feels so right! I can tell you have gone through this grief yourself because everything you say is so true. Thank you so much Tony, without you i think i would have gone into a very deep depression. As you say grief takes time and since talking to you from the very first time the grief started to ease, very slowly, but what you have said would happen- has! i am sure i will 'get there' eventually, but i know i will miss my Boston until the day i die, he was so very special to all of us.
I just cannot thank you enough, love to you and your furry babies xxx
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Hi. You are very welcome - and thank you so much for your kind words. I always say things to people that are grieving from the heart, but I don't always know if they help - so it's nice from my point of view to (occasionally) have people let me know things said were appropriate and helpful.

Yes, you will have Boston in your heart forever. That's just the way it will be - and rightly so. But you know, doggy people's hearts are the biggest hearts on the planet, and there's so much room in there, everyone and everything can be accommodated. There's room for your friends, your family, and for other companions in due course, should you wish to offer any a home ... and still more than enough room for Boston to stay there, all warm and snug and loved until the end of time.

Missing Boston is a hard thing to endure. It will ease, over time, but there will be days when Boston fills your head and heart to the point of actual pain. Have a bloody good cry, when that happens, as it will help ease the tension and allow you to move forward, albeit slowly. Of course, I am always here .. (well, most days at least) and welcome hearing from you at any time. Much love, Tony x
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argh thank you Tony, again you've said everything just right and i ve had a good cry today, missing him is so hard. 19 weeks have now gone by and i can't believe i have lived this long without my beauty. You help me so much with your words of true feelings and comfort, you make so much sense.
Anybody going through this grief i hope will take their time and come on this forum and explain exactly how they feel, but without you taking the time to help i doubt i would be feeling as much at ease. As i ve said before, you should be paid for this, you have been my lifeline, thanks xx
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I'm just happy to be here amongst such wonderful, kind and loving people. That's payment enough. I hope you have a lovely day - and when you need to talk (actually, even more important, when you feel you don't want to talk to anyone) ... I'll be here. Much love to you and yours, Tony x
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Hi Tony
I cannot believe how i feel at the moment, the last couple of days i have actually gone 'backwards' The pain seems so hard and its really hitting me hard that i can't see Boston, i am missing him so much, its hurting me again. I ve cried and cried the last few days, i just want him back! 22 weeks this Friday and the grief seems to have hit me again. Is this a normal thing to happen do you think?
I have come to terms with losing him but i feel i can't or don't want to believe i ll never see him again, and this is whats hurting me so much.
Hope you're ok, just a little note would perhaps help xxx
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I know exactly how you feel!! It's been almost 2 months since I lost my Dottie Mae and I sat up last night and cried my eyes out! I am finally getting to the point where I can talk about her again. I think we are all different when it comes to dealing with loss. Please know you're in my thoughts and prayers.

Lisa
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Hi. What you are experiencing is very personal to you, because we all feel grief in different ways and we all express our grief in different ways - though the journey is a common one with similar periods of time and with both forward and backward steps at certain junctions.

I believe grief comes to us in waves. The first huge and indescribable wave is at the point of loss (sometimes just before it). There is then a period of immense sadness, occasionally mixed with relief that our loved ones are no longer suffering. In the weeks and months that follow, the grief seems to ease as the loss becomes familiar and our other life-chores start to distract us.

But then - and this happens to everyone - the grief seems to hit us all over again, like a thunderstorm. I believe this is our mind starting to realize and accept that loss has happened, for real, and there's nothing we can do to change it. At this point we would do absolutely anything to change things, but change is outside of our abilities, so we cry ... and cry some more ... and we see our loved ones in every object and every routine. This is a dreadful part of the journey - it is dreadful that we have to go through it, but go through it we must if we want to get to where we are going.

These waves will ease and become less frequent. But they can still occur months and years later, and they often take us by surprise. We don't need to be thinking about the best friend we have lost, yet suddenly they can fill our minds again and cause us to grieve for a period of time. This might be a few seconds, a few minutes, or several hours. In some cases it can last days, but rarely more than this.

So what I am saying is be brave, this will get better as time goes on, but expect the occasional day to continue coming when grief takes over. I hope some of what I am saying makes sense to you. Just the other day I had a morning of mourning ... an old dog I had many years ago came into my head for no apparent reason, and tears ran down my face. A few minutes later and I was back to normal, climbing a ladder to do some exterior painting.

The best way to deal with the wave, when it happens, is to first sit down somewhere quiet and have a darn good cry. This releases the tension. Then try distracting yourself, if you can, by being with someone you can talk to about the experience - I'm usually here, or at least at some point within a 24hr period - but a personal and trusted friend or partner would be better. Then, take a walk or do something away from your home that will help you bring a breath of fresh air into your heart and mind.

I hope this helps. You are in my thoughts. Cyber hugs, Tony Xxx
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Hi Lisa
Thanks for your comment, we both are grieving for our beloved 'babys'. This is a grief that has hit me so hard, i never thought it would be this bad, it just shows what an impact Boston had on my life. I think about him everyday and i think i will do for the rest of my life, god only knows how much i have cried and how much i miss him. I'm sure we all feel like this at the dreadful loss of our dear pets, but i thought i was going insane until i came on this site. Tony has helped me tremendously, and when i feel 'ready to burst' i come on here for relief. Thank you and god bless you for your kind words and thoughts. Its nice to know i have someone i can talk to who knows exactly how i feel x
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Hi Tony
You have gave me some lovely tips on dealing with grief, and yes you are right, it is like a thunderstorm hitting me. i have been awful this past week and my husband came from work tonight and asked me what was wrong with me, he said he could see my eyes looked 'heavy'. I just broke down crying, telling him how much i miss Boston, he held me tight and said he feels exactly the same but is trying to be strong. I think you're totally right about my mind accepting our dreadful loss, i can't believe how right you are. Thank you Tony once again, from the bottom of my heart x
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Hi, to the group.  I found you while searching for help for Blue, our 8 year old blue healer.  It has only been  a couple of months since Blue was diagnosed with kidney failure.  It has been up and down since this discovery.  As I write this, I look at our dear friend, sleeping calmly on her bed in front of me.  It has not been calm today.  I know it is time to let go, but our dog is so stressed out, we hesitated taking her back to the vets to be pts.  She spent 5 days and nights at the vets, and cried when we went to see her, especially my husband.  
Well, when she stopped eating and drinking water, 5 days ago, we took her back to our vet. I asked him if I could give her the Sub Q's at home and he showed me how to do this.  I stopped this morning.  Blue could no longer walk.She had to be carried out to pee.  When brought back in she would stand where ever she was put down.  And stand, and stand.
But, today was different, and very scary for us.  All of sudden she jumped up, and wagging her tail and ran into the bedroom where her other bed is.  This has been going on all day.  
When my husband took her out early this morning, he put her down, and she collapsed.  He picked her up and she nipped at him.  She adores him and never would have done that.  and then she just fell limp in his arms.  My husbands was holding her and says her heart stopped beating and then he felt it start again.  We are all stessed out and just don't know what to do.  Any help or answers for us?  
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I am so pleased you and your husband have the support for and from each other during this dreadful process. While you may be expressing your grief in different ways and at perhaps different times, it is clear you are both experiencing the same depth of grief. You know what I am going to say ... Boston would not want you to feel this way. Boston would want you to remember the happy days you shared and recognize that all life ends eventually ... and Boston enjoyed so many full and happy years ... the end of his life may not have been how you would have wished it to be, but it was a very small part of his adventurous and love-filled life. And while I utterly understand why you are grieving, I believe you should also rejoice in Boston's life - by comparison with so many other dogs, he was actually a very lucky dog to have shared his life with both of you.

My thoughts, as always, are with you. Tony Xxx
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Hello Sue. Despite the circumstances not being nice, I am very pleased you found us - there are lots of great people here who you can use for support, for information or just to listen and be a shoulder to cry on.

I dread to say this, but it seems as if Blue is taking her final journey with you. She is far to young to be suffering from kidney failure, and I really do empathize, it is amongst the most cruel of illnesses. I wanted just to say that when Blue nipped your husband it could have been for one of two reasons ... first, her kidney area and possibly other organs are probably extremely tender, so picking her up may have caused her some discomfort - and her reaction would have been to nip. This of course would not have been intended, but more an intuitive and defensive nip.

The second possible cause, and you are the only people that would know if this is happening, is that she may be so deep into the kidney failure that it has taken over her mind and body - she probably feels dreadfully tired, very unhappy and constantly uncomfortable. As a consequence, she may also be irritable and anxious. Put together, all these feelings may have caused her to nip.

Given what you have said I rather think the former explanation is more likely, but either way, I hope your husband understands it most definitely wasn't personal - and probably more intuitive.

Has your vet told you what stage the kidney failure has reached. I suspect it may be stage four ... which means time is now very limited. Giving SubQs is excellent and will keep her going for a while - I hope you also have her on anti-nausea meds, which will continue encouraging her to eat properly.

The time may not be far off when difficult decisions will have to be considered, but maybe that day is not here yet. The truth is, only you truly know, and no one else - not me, not your vet, nor anyone else - can say otherwise. You know Blue like no one else has or could ever know her - and importantly, she knows you too, so when she is ready to say enough, she will tell you in her own way, and believe it or not but you will understand what she is saying when she says it.

My thoughts are with you at this very difficult and traumatic time. Please come back and let us know how things are - and give yourself a huge pat on the back for helping Blue so much to date. Finally, please give your best friend a huge hug from me. Tony x
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Thank you, Tony for all the information.  Right after I wrote this to the group,  Blue had what i believe to be a final seizure. The doctor told us to come in anytime and we were get ready to do this.   She rolled off of her bed, on her side and she was gone.  Our hearts are broken completely now.  Our pit bull, Duchess, 13 years
old, diabetic, deaf and blind was PTS right before Christmas, last year, so this has been a double wammy for us.  
From reading from the beginning of the posts there has been nothing but love, understanding and comfort to folks looking for just that.
Right now, our hearts and minds our full, but I would like to come back and listen and be a shoulder to cry on.  
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Oh Sue. I am so very sorry. I had an idea from what you had said that Blue's days were short ... but obviously, I had no idea just how short. I can only extend my most sincere condolences for your loss. At least it happened quickly - and at home - and with you right there at her side. Blue is now out of suffering, though I know that may seem like little compensation compared with having her there. Please, please come back and talk anytime you like. A friend will always be here to listen, to support and to talk whenever you need it (time differences between USA and UK sometimes mean it may be some hours before I am able to respond, but I WILL always respond). Please pass on my condolences to your husband too. Much love and huge cyber hugs to you both. Tony x
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Hello everyone. About 3 years ago my now 13y3mos old FCR was diagnosed with kidney failure. He was immediately put on Azodyl and responded very well to it until about 3 mos ago. Also when he was diagnosed he was put on KD, again, doing very well until about 3 mos ago. At that time he completely stopped eating the dry KD, so the vet switched him to the canned, which worked for a couple of weeks, then he decided he didn't want it anymore. He is now on the Royal Canin kidney diet. He was put on Epakitin at that time too. In addition he is on 1 Cerenia/day for nausea and also on an anti-diarrhea medication too. At one point in July his eating was minute by minute as many of you describe. In the morning he might eat chicken, but in the evening he wanted steak. Always a guessing game. After about a month of that hit and miss, I decided that I would just spoon feed him his Royal Canin with some rice. So twice a day since August I've been spoon feeding him. For a period of time he was doing really well. We've kept the nausea at bay and the diarrhea for the most part. His extremely bad breath has gotten better. So we've had some small victories along the way. However, about 2-weeks ago for several nights now, after going to bed he wakes up extremely restless, panting and pacing. I've taken him outside and he has pottied eventually, but sometimes he just laid down. Last night was the worst, as he would not potty or poop. He just walked the yard. Finally I took him into another room where we wouldn't bother my husband and he finally settled and went to sleep. Poor old guy just seemed so uncomfortable and I guess he was/is. He still has sparkle in his eyes and some spunk and life in him. As long as he still has fight in him, I'll keep fighting for him, BUT I don't want him to be in pain. It's a fine line, I know.  Anyway, I'm sorry I didn't find this community three years ago. I'm enjoying it and have learned so much from reading these  comments. Thank You!!!
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Hello. That's actually a great message, because it just goes to prove how extraordinary intervention can be, even with kidney disease, which most of us know can be both fast and tragic. You have clearly done an amazing job in looking after your best friend. These may not be good days, but so far you have managed to gain 3 years of additional life for him - and no doubt create some wonderful memories during that time - and give your dog some exciting extra adventures and pleasures that he may otherwise not have had. My heart goes out to you, because I know how stressful and painful it is to care hour by hour for a dog with this illness. Give yourself a huge pat on the back for getting this far - and cyber hugs to your best friend. Hang on in there. Tony x
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I don't normally post but wanted to thank you for this page.  I came on to find info about end stage kidney failure as my 13 yo beagle, Peanut, is going through this now.  Without going into all the details, the vet told us today that her kidneys are failing and since she hasn't really eaten for days and hasn't moved from the bed since I brought her home at noon, we've decided to put her down tomorrow so as not to prolong her suffering.  It's such a hard decision but we want to do what's best for her and not for us. We just went through this 6 months ago with our other dog (different health issues) and I believe the turmoil of that decision has helped to make this one a little easier.  I really think this is a great page and that you are a kind & caring person to comfort all of these posters in their time of horrible pain and just wanted you to know that.  Thank you.
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Hello. Your experience is so much like my own of 3 years ago. When my faithful and loyal companion, BB the rescued lurcher, was diagnosed with kidney failure, I found the diagnosis unbelievable. She seemed fit and healthy, but off her food, which is why we had taken her to the vet. Within 3 days of the diagnosis, she deteriorated rapidly to the stage she couldn't even stand up, hadn't eaten anything for 2 days, and was telling me with her eyes the time had come to say goodbye. I was utterly heartbroken - and came here by a fluke, and gained so much comfort talking to others who had been or were  in the same situation.

I have never been off this site since - and to be honest, while I do try to support anyone and everyone going through any problems or grief with their best friends, I also get so much more back - in friendship and information about how they might have helped their own dog(s). My time here has been a real learning curve. I hope my words are sometimes helpful. Not everyone replies, which I fully understand, but I am so pleased you did and your comments are so very kind. Thank you.

I am sorry you are going through this. This is a dreadful disease and so many dogs seem to get it, particularly later in their always too short lives. I had a beagle when I was a young man (many years ago) and they are such great characters. They are one of my favorite breeds. I can tell from what you have said that Peanut has had an amazing life with you. Tonight will be so hard, I know, and there will be so many tears tomorrow. You are all in my thoughts right now - and I'm here if you want to come back to chat about your decision or just to talk about Peanut.

Cyber hugs to you both and to Peanut. Tony x
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Hi Tony
Hope you and yrs are ok, i have been up and down and still miss Boston everyday and have been crying alot more again lately. I think Christmas without him is going to be so hard, he always got excited ripping open the presents and i am going to miss him this year, first one away from us. I still feel devastated but realise that some days i can talk fondly about him but then other days i am a wreck. I never thought i would grieve so much over him but it just shows how loved he really was. I am so proud to have had him as my beautful dog, i just wish everyone would treat all their pets with love and kindness because the love they give back is the best of all. Thought i would drop you a line, hope you have a good Xmas and thank you for all your help this year x
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Hello again. It's good to hear from you. I know what you mean, Christmas is a sad time, because memories of yesteryear come back and we long for them to still be with us. BB passed away at this time of the year too, so that first Christmas was fairly dreadful. I don't know about what ways you find to cope, but you will no doubt do so ... for me, well, I managed to find a small Christmas Tree photo frame and I put a picture of BB in it, then ceremoniously hung it on the tree along with other favorite decorations. So, in a way, she was still with us at Christmas - and has been every Christmas since. True, I shed a tear every year when I hang the decoration on the tree, but it's also comforting to welcome her back into the festivities.

Boston will be in your thoughts a lot this year - and every year. But as I've said many times, he sure was a lucky dog to have enjoyed such love and companionship.

My Christmas's are usually fairly quiet affairs. I have no close family remaining alive now, so it's just my partner and our dogs - and we always try to get to the beach (tide permitting) on Christmas Day itself or Boxing Day. The dogs get a good run and we get a little exercise (needed after all the excessive food intake of the period).

Hoping you have an enjoyable, peaceful and contented Christmas ... I'll be here as always on Christmas Day (as there's always someone somewhere in need of a chat and a bit of support), so if you're feeling a bit glum, drop in, it will be nice to be in your company again.

Cyberhugs and best wishes, Tony x
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Hi tony, thanks for your comments. I ve noticed everytime i m on my own i cry more, i think i notice it more when i'm alone as he was my companion and i feel so lonely without him. I'm still breaking my heart over him and don't know if thats natural since it has been nearly 7 months. I long to have him back. how the hell do i get over this yearning for him? It really is 'killing' me, i miss him so much and cant stand my life without him, i feel so empty. God, i wish he was still with me ... x
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Hi. Seven months and still grieving is (honestly) not unusual. Much depends on what is happening in our lives, the support we have from others - and the closeness we feel to the dog. Sometimes the grief can go on for much longer than seven months, but in looking back, I'm sure you will agree it is nothing like the intensity of the first month - which means things are improving, albeit slowly and in small steps.

When we feel empty and alone, it is indeed so much more emotionally charged. During these periods, it's worth having a distraction - take a short walk, visit a friend, do some window shopping in town ... anything that takes your mind off things, just for a while.

I know Boston was your world. But time sadly moves on, even when we might wish it wouldn't. The last thing Boston would want is you feeling sad and in despair. He would want you to enjoy life and everything it has to offer ... and to share the love you have with other lost souls ... have you thought about helping out at your local dog shelter? Maybe that would be one way of distracting your thoughts - without committing to another dog (I know it's maybe too early to think about the latter). There are so many dogs that will be alone and sad this Christmas, so maybe you can help them - and in return, they can support you through your grief.

The yearning for Boston will get less, in time, and as your head becomes accustomed to the fact that some things just cannot be. Boston had a wonderful life, provided in part by you - but his time came and now has gone. It's time to move on, which is exactly what Boston would want you to do.

We NEVER forget our best friends. They are always with us, in our hearts and memories. Boston shared his time with you and loved every minute of it. He was a very lucky dog.

You are, as always, in my thoughts. Stay strong. Things will get better, I promise. Tony x
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Hi....I am new to this site, purely as I have researched and researched for help with CKF and trying to find ways to feed my Kiri to the point I feel I'm going insane.  
Besides what my beautiful little girl is going through right now I just felt I needed to interject here and let you know you are 100% normal to me. As I see Tony has said we all grieve differently.  I lost one of my furry babies to cancer 10 years ago - it took me 6 years to finally come to terms and not cry when a poignant song came on the radio or TV.  I still cannot listen to some particular songs and either switch channel or turn off.  The tears involuntarily pour down my cheeks.  I have loved all my wonderful animals, but this incredible dog I was in love with.   I had 3 beautiful babies (4-legged) all together, my Kiri with CKF is the last one - she is now 15 on Saturday and diagnosed with this awful disease.  She has overcome liver cancer, cushings, pancreatitis, all of what my 2nd one had, but lived to 16 & 1/2.  I am grieving now, as I know this can't be cured.  
But...enough of what I'm going through with her.  My reason was to tell you, you must be a beautiful sensitive person, and as Tony said - people who love animals the way we do must have the biggest hearts, but that means our big hearts ache.  No non-animal person could ever understand such a love as we do with our animal babies.
Time will help (cliche I know), keep lots of photos around you and what helped me was watching videos to see them when they were healthy and happy and made them feel close and tangible.
I am not morbid, but I took solace in cremating them and bringing home their little caskets which I keep next to my bed on a dresser with their photos - it comforts me, not saddens me to know they are close.  Honestly though I know their gorgeous spirits/souls are running free - I just hope they aren't too busy enjoying themselves that they forget to meet Kiri when that dreaded day arrives.
Love and hugs to you and to everyone here x
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Hi
Thanks for you comments, I am so very sorry to hear about your beloved Kiri, how heartbreaking it is to watch our most loved pets have an incurable disease, wanting so much to help them but knowing there is nothing you can do. The one thing that you can give her is your unconditional and devoted love, give her as much as you can while you still have her. I know i absolutley broke my heart and sobbed many times watching my Boston and knowing i was losing him, and coming to terms with it is also heartbreaking.. I have had a rough week this week, still grieving badly for him, knowing that it was 1 year this week when we got the awful news that devastated my life, that Boston was poorly with no chance of survival. I have been crying alot this week, i miss him so very much and don't honestly think i will ever stop pining for him, Yes... that is exactly how i feel, i am pining for him. Anyway, sending my love to you and your beautiful Kiri, happy birthday to her too. Hugs, thinking of you x
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Thank you so much....sadly she has deteriorated so very fast.  She went back to the vets today for a blood test, my vet was so depressed to give me the results - no improvement after trying so many different meds to bring down the phosphate levels and kidney function has decreased - together with her weight in a week!  
Our lovely Kiri started her life suffering at the hand of an awful man, who beat her so badly she was in hospital for a month - he pulverized one of her hips, dislocated the other and had so many haematomas over her ears from the beating - she thank goodness was rescued by the RSPCA and funnily enough it was my vet who put her back together.  She has lived 15 years with no right hip and when we eventually were able to adopt her (it took 9 months to get through the court - before she was fully signed over to the RSPCA and we could then adopt her) she walked only on 3 legs.  After a few months of living with us she started to use all 4 and is still doing so, albeit rather shakily now.  Due to her lack of eating, weakness and knowing from reading here what she has in store if we keep her going - we heartbreakingly today made the decision she started her life suffering, we will not let her end her life suffering.  We are going to let her go on her spirit journey where hopefully she will be met by her doggie sister and brother, on Monday.  I feel sick to the stomach even writing that :( I have to think right now, we were given 2 more years after her surgery for liver cancer and be thankful.  Nothing though truly can make us feel better, can it?  
My heart goes out to you, I so understand that pining and the emptiness.
For me, this will be the first time in over 30 years I will be without a little soul in my home - the quiet and emptiness I can't imagine.  I am fortunate to have a  wonderful husband, but when he's not here - I will be so alone.  I am going to have to learn to rebuild a life for myself which I have neglected for so long as I have been their nurse.  I have not left them alone and only ever go out if someone can cover for me.
My heart is breaking - I too have cried so very much today.  
I send you big hugs x
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Hello. Your story about Kiri truly touched my heart. Although this weekend is going to be heartbreaking for you, I know, Kiri has been extraordinarily lucky to have had you share her life. The early life you describe was brutal and it's amazing how she rallied and has survived to such a good old age, all with your love, care and attention. This disease is just about the worst there is, because when it progresses to the final stages, we feel so darned helpless. On Monday, you will be performing the last act of love and kindness, even though it will be dreadful and traumatic.

I know you will be spending all your time with her today and tomorrow, and giving her so many hugs - I also know you will feel like we all feel when it gets to this stage - bereft and traumatized. Tears will flow constantly, your heart will pound from the anxiety and thoughts of how you will survive through Monday will swim around in your head. These are the symptoms of love and loss.

While these are the worst days anyone could imagine ... please remember you gave Kiri so much happiness during her long life, and without you, that may never have happened. She is a lucky dog and, despite the sad time to come, if she could, she would thank you from the bottom of her heart for inviting her to share those wonderful years with you.

My heart goes out to you and tears are in my eyes as I write ... because I know how difficult this is. Please be brave. You have made the right decision. I send you the biggest cyber hug I can muster. Come back here and talk about Kiri and your feelings whenever you need to. You are in good company and with people that understand and empathize.

Tony x
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Hello Tony, what healing words you write not only to me, but through so many posts here, I see your caring for others - I thank you so very much for you taking the time to give me the reassurance I so desperately need.

Traumatized is so correct!  All day long I have had mixed thoughts.  As she is unlike my other babies not at the end of the road of a long battle and lost, this decision is so much harder - I know I could make her go on, but to what avail?  More time for me and her facing awful suffering to come?  

We only got the full diagnosis just over a week ago - it's all so fast and such a shock.  Knowing what you know will be in store for her from so many you have helped here over the years and of course your own terrible experience, are we being too hasty or is it absolutely correct what you stated and I have too that this will be our final gift of love to her to save her from the suffering to come?

Jilly - Kiri's mummy x
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Hi Jilly. Thank you for your kind words. You have made the right decision. The problem with kidney failure is - if you catch it very early, there are things that will slow the progress down and make a dog feel a little more comfortable - but even this only last a short while (sometimes up to a year or two). But eventually, the disease takes over, regardless of what we try to do to help our loved ones.

The biggest problem of all is most owners only find out about the disease when it has reached the final stage,by which time, frankly, it is too late to do very much. And the deterioration is extremely rapid, like you have already mentioned. If kept alive, Kiri would resist all food (making her feel dreadful with no energy at all), she would continue to feel sick and probably vomit continuously, then she would likely suffer from seizures and stroke or heart attack. It is a dreadful end without intervening.

So, while you are the only person that can say whether this truly is the right time, I would say it probably is. You may keep her alive for another week or more, but that would only cause her to endure more suffering. Euthanizing is the kindest option, I think, as hard as that is to say and do. I suspect she is sleeping a lot right now, and eating very little if anything - better to let her sleep one final time.

My heart breaks reading your posts, because I do know how difficult it is. My thoughts are with you today.

Tony x
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Hi Tony,

Thank you so much for what must have been hard words to write.

I have woken this morning, feeling calmer - not sure that will last the day, but for now it's helped and I came here to see if you replied to me - thank you again for doing so.  Your words have helped me even more- at this moment I feel stronger and know it's right for her.

She went in the garden to be the clean girl she always has been, staggering only a little bit, but enough for me to know she must feel unwell and weak.  She didn't even have her usual drink when she came back in.  

I am gradually cutting out so much of the huge amount of medication she's been on for so long, besides the new additions for this disease - especially the liquid antacid, which she hates so much being syringed in her mouth.  No more forcing.  I still will give her increased anti nausea (cerenia) and some omeprazole to help the acid - she up to now has been so good and taken these with philidelphia cream cheese!

Thank you again Tony for your help in reassuring me.  Bless you.

Jilly x


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Hello,
I just had to write to let you know, I've been where you are! 6 months ago (has it really been 6 months) I lost my beloved Dottie to this horrible disease! I just want to say you're doing everything right! Lots of love is about all we can do for them at this point. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers, even if we've never met!
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Hello again Jilly. Yes, the ant-nausea meds will help her feel more comfortable, even if they don't encourage her to eat properly anymore, so keep giving. Talking about food, at this stage, I would give her whatever she wants, even if you know it may not be very good for her. If she likes the phili, then let her have as much as she can tolerate (in small amounts).

You, your husband and Kiri will occupy my thoughts tonight. I truly feel for you. Stay strong. Tony x
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Hello again.

We decided this morning to postpone.

Yesterday - she had a really good day.  She shocked us when we took her out for a walk, we both couldn't believe she ran and ran and ran and it seemed she didn't want to stop - I thought she would have a heart attack and go on the spot.  No.  We got home, I thought she'd collapse on the couch....no!  In and out of the garden and then looking for food.  We were so confused - I emailed our vet, and said I'd like him to see her this morning, perhaps give her another blood test and then the 3 of us would decide together. Her levels of Urea and Creatinine have got worse, but we all agreed while she seems happy we are loathed to go ahead today.  We shall take each day as it comes.....perhaps when she no longer wants to run, then we'll know.

Just wanted to let you know and keep you updated.  This is so hard for us after the weekend we've just had of pain in our hearts to be uplifted, but knowing we will have to go through the pain again.  BUT...never mind us, as long as Kiri seems she wants to stay, we shall do whatever we can for her.

Jilly x
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Hi Jilly. This is proof that dogs are amazing. They know when the time is right - and Kiri has told you today wasn't the day, you heard it and acted accordingly. I am so pleased. I know this disease is so very up and down, and eventually the downs become more often and more difficult - but every good day is one to cherish. Fingers crossed that today is repeated tomorrow. Have a nice evening.

Tony x
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Not run quite as much today - but has eaten far more than the last few days put together.  Despite me cooking her what I thought she'd really love, even my husband liked it....she turned her nose up and wanted the "Cesar" food again, although tonight she had some steak which we were having!

In fact on Saturday when speaking to the nurse at the vet hospital for advice, I told her she wants exactly what we are eating....so the nurse said "Well then you eat the Renal prescription diet!" she gave me the first laugh I had on the weekend.

She's done well again today :).  Hopefully now for tomorrow.  Day by day!!

It's just wonderful to hear her snoring on the couch :)
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Hi Jilly. Day by day is the right way to look at things ... and it's so good to know you are gaining some happy times with Kiri. My older best friend, Giro, now 10yrs, snores louder than any dog I've ever known. He makes me giggle sometimes and you're right, it's reassuring and satisfying hearing the sound of such contentment. Have a lovely evening.

Tony x
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Hi Jilly

Glad to hear your Kiri's eating a little better, my Boston did that, seemed to be better all of a sudden, but then deteriorated again after a week. I hope this isn't so with your baby. I have thought about you and how you must be feeling, the emotions are so up and down. Cherish everyday you have with her, its just so sad our most loving fur babies don't live as long as us. I hate my life without Boston, and was very distraught, but sharing my feelings with Tony (on this site)  helped me so much, he was my saviour and i will never forget the help and comments he gave me. My thoughts  are with you. good luck to you and most of all Kiri x
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Sorry I have not been on for a while....I tried so hard not to think about the inevitable and managed for a week to not think "when" or read about what was to come.
With a broken heart, I write to tell you we helped our beautiful little Kiri to leave her sick body at 6.30 this evening.  She is lying in her bed on her favourite place on the couch at peace, until we take her in the morning to be cremated.  I will stay with her downstairs all night long - I do not want her to be alone :(
It became harder and harder to get food down her and she seemed weaker last night.  The smells from her body only indicated the acidity and toxins that must be causing her so much discomfort.  I explained in an earlier post how she suffered in her first few weeks of life and we would not let her suffer at the end.  I feel sick myself right now and if this is how she has felt since going off her food...I am relieved we let it go on no further.
I implore anyone with a loved 4 legged furry baby with this awful disease.....do not let them suffer until the end....please.
Thank you all for your support and help with reading so many posts, so I knew what was to come.
I no doubt will be flitting in and out of here and the grief sets in harder.  
For now love and thanks,
Jilly x
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Hi Jilly

How sad i am to hear of your loss, i know how very hard it is. You did exactly what we did for our beautiful Boston, i had to let him go, my heart was breaking as i wanted to keep him, but he was in agony. How can we let them suffer like that? its not easy and it still hurts me badly 10 months on. You have gave Kiri all the love and help you could, she was so lucky to have had that love from you. My heart goes out to you Jilly, i am crying writing this. The grief is going to be tough, i still grieve badly for my 'baby', and its because of all the love they gave us and the bond we have with them is why we grieve so hard. Thinking of you at this very awful sad time. Kiri is out of suffering now, i know this is not the result you wanted but its the kindest. Please keep me posted how you feel, Tony helped me alot, and this forum has helped my grief, realising i am not the only one to love our dogs with absolutely every inch of our hearts .Hugs xxx
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Hello Jilly. Words are hard to come by. I am so very sorry for your loss. Kiri was a real fighter and stayed for as long as she could. You were very brave to help her out of suffering - and it was the right decision at the right time. Kiri had so many years of contentment, happiness and love ... and those are the times to remember. She was a lucky dog, having shared her life with you - and she will never be forgotten.

No more pain now. Run free Kiri.

Huge cyber hugs to you Jilly. You are in my thoughts.

Tony x
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Hi Tony, I have an 18 yr old dashaund. Daisy has just returned home from vet today after I noticed she was stumbling and not eating. I feel horrible bc she lost weight and I figured it was due to her age. Her bun had went from 156 to 74 and creatine 5 to 3. Her phosphorus levels came back down to the normal range. This is bc she has been at vet for 3 days hooked to fluids.  He put her on special canned food diet twice a day and sent her home with antibiotics. She has still been staggering today and sleeping. She ate small amount of canned food tonight also. We go back next Friday to recheck her kidney values. That is unless she gets worse. I am so scared she isn't drinking enough or I am gonna miss something. I cry thinking about what is to come.
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Hello. First, I am very sorry you have received this diagnosis. Kidney disease is harrowing, and that must be more so with a dog of such an incredible age. I would ask you to have a read of my article about it - and about diet - which I think may help you. You can access it here: http://www.infobarrel.com/How_Diet_Affects_Dogs_with_Chronic_Kidney_Disease

Second, please post any additional comments, questions or concerns on the Chronic Kidney Failure in Dogs USER GROUP, as this is where you will get the most answers and from people that have gone through this or are going through this right now with their own dogs. I administrate this Group and I would welcome you as a member. Please join. You can find User Groups under the Forum button at the top of the page. Once in, please use the search bar to find CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE IN DOGS User Group.

Tony
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