hi, my female weimereiner is 6. she started throwing up repeatedly on Jan 8th, 2011. immediately took her to the vet, they did blood work, stool sample, and said everything came back ok, she probably just had a "virus". they gave her fluids, antibiotics, and anti vomiting meds. she did not get better so i took her back on Jan 14th when they still couldn't find anything wrong with her and sent me home with the diagnosis of "anorexia" (what???) well i knew she was sick, no appetite, i tried chicken, rice, top of line canned food, baby food, she was not interested in any of it. i was force feeding her baby food with a high calorie supplement and vitamins thru a syringe. took her to a diff vet on 2-14-11, she had lost 15 pounds in 30 days, did blood work, xrays, ultrasound, he said she had pancreatits, took her back for more work, her gall bladder is enlarged to about 8cm (20x normal size) her liver enzyme is 819!!! (norm is between 10-100) vet said she has liver disease, more than likely caused by cancer but only way to know for sure is to surgically remove a slice of her liver for biopsy. I've done alot of research and am in need of advice unclouded by emotion. I've read that even if only her gall bladder was the problem, survival rate for a healthy dog is 50/50 when having their gallbladder removed. Also, in order to get a "true diagnosis" she will need to have surgery in order to retrieve a specimen of her liver. The liver is what breaks down anethesia, and since hers is not functioning correctly, I don't want to go that route. I feel lost because we can't fix her until we know exactly what is wrong and if it's fixable, but we can't find out exactly what's wrong without jeopardizing her health even more. Any suggestions????
About the exact same thing happened to my dog years ago. It was pancreatitis but not due to cancer. It went the same way as you describe with your dog. The pancreas was so swollen it put pressure on the common bile duct which caused the gallbladder to swell and the liver to shut down. He had the best medical care money could buy - better than what most humans receive to tell the truth. Finally, we had to face the fact that he could never recover and had to say goodbye.
One of the deciding factors was how painful pancreatitis is. It's one of the most painful diseases a person or animal can have. Huge amounts of narcotics (fentanyl and dilaudid) barely kept Travis comfortable. Plus, he was over 13 years old and his body was just plain worn out.
In your case, so much depends on how much money you can spend - particularly knowing that it could easily end in euthanasia. Pancreatitis is a terribly difficult condition to treat because it can dramatically change from one day to the next. I think your decision will be easier if cancer is confirmed. It's not something everyone can afford to fight. As weak as she is now after such massive weight loss, I don't think I'd put her through the surgery to get the biopsy or deal with the gallbladder. Again, so much comes down to finances. You're looking at a whole lot of money just for diagnosis, and quite a while of post-op inpatient care.
I'm so sorry I can't give you better advice. You know your dog better than anyone else. She'll tell you if it's time to let her go. If there is nothing but pain and suffering in her eyes, then you'll have your answer. God bless you both.
I'm so sorry you and your dog are having to go through this. I agree completely with what Jaybay said, if that is the problem. You haven't seen a Vet since the 14th? Is the dog still the same? Still not eating and losing weight? I'm shocked, really, if the dog is still surviving. I did a search to see if you have any Vet colleges near you but didn't see any. I'm not sure what Vet you are using but I did see this one and it appears the Vets listed went to some good schools. You might want to get another opinion and I think I'd ask for an ultrasound to be done.
Not sure if the dog will eat it, but my daughter's dog has chronic pancreas problems and can only eat (without going holistic) Science Diet ID food. You might try that.
this is to jaybay as well. thanks to you both for your responses. I'm being pulled by my brain and heart in two very different directions. I know her passing has become inevitable. I actually spoke to the vet today to try and prepare myself for what must come. I owe it to her to put this long death to an end. She has been such a good girl, to the very end, hanging on for as long as she can with no complaint. Once so full of life, she is now only capable of sleeping. She is known throughout the neighborhood because of her rambunctious personality. Jumping over neighbors fences to play in their backyards, making her way into their homes (and hearts) for some leftovers, and when she would disappear from the backyard, I knew she had went down the street to her boyfriends house to steal one of his tennis balls. I now know why my dad was never able to get another dog after his 4 legged son passed. I don't want to ever go through this again.
You know, if your dog was in the habit of helping herself to human leftovers, that's probably the cause of the pancreatitis. If a dog gets a sudden load of fatty foods, that's a prescription for pancreatitis. They can go years without having a problem and then one episode of overindulgence sends the pancreas over the edge. The Science Diet food is merely a low-fat food for dogs with chronic pancreatitis. Once a dog has this condition, the pancreas remains extremely sensitive to fat intake.
Margot, I know how miserable you are right now. This is the downside of having an animal companion - we're going to outlive them most of the time. That's why animal lovers are special people. We endure the pain of loss over and over again and continue to bring them into our lives. Try to remember that the good times far outweighs the bad times. Now isn't the time to be thinking about the future. Stay focused on what your girl needs from you right now. In times like this, we need to be like our dogs and live in the moment. You're both in my prayers. :-(
well i had to have gracie put down yesterday. she was down to 41.4 pounds, normally 60 pounds. her vet reassured me that i was doing the right thing. without having been able to do a biopsy to make an accurate diagnosis, his opinion was that she more than likely had cancer that started in the liver and had consumed her enitre gutt. she was never given human food, her diet consisted strictly on high quality dog food with an occasional treat of fresh veggies or cottage cheese which she loved. she was bad about getting into the pantry at times and sneaking human food. her fav was hostess donettes and bread, she had actually broken my pantry door she was sooooo eager to get to those forbidden treats. after that i had to clear out space above my stove to put things like that. she was and will always be my baby gracie. thanks guys for your kind words. i've decided to plant a tree in her honor with her ashes.
Oh, I'm so sorry to read this but know you made the right decision and that is *never* an easy decision to make. Been down that road too many times myself over the years.
Please remember that, as heartbreaking as it is, this is often the last act of love and kindness we can do for our beloved pets.
thanks guys, its always nice to hear warm words, especially when something like this is the subject at hand. i was so worried about feeling guilt or doubt that i did the right thing. I guess bc i'm the one who actually took her to the doctor and had her put to sleep. I'm very thankful for my vet, he is truly a blessing. He put all my doubts to the wayside, and reassured me that i was doing the right thing. Besides reliving her last few breaths in my arms continuously, one of the hardest parts for me is when I briefly forget she is gone and the moment reality hits, it's pretty crushing. I'll hear what sounds like her paws on the hardwood floor, or pull into the driveway and think i see her starting to poke her head thru the curtains, and wow to come home and not be greated by her silly smile (her lip would get stuck on her teeth sometimes and she looked bucktooth) while her tail was wagging so hard and fast it made her entire body shake, even up to the day before she past, she would make it her mission to put her pain and discomfort aside in order to please me. i think anytime someone is faced with such a painful task of putting their four legged child to rest, we tend to focus on the task at hand, try to prepare ourselves for the actual act, and mistakenly think that is the hard part. I am realizing that the hard part does not begin and end at the vet's office. Unfortunately, it's everyday, when you wake up and they're not laying in your bed, when ur making breakfast and have one less to feed, when ur left to play catch by yourself, when you leave and realize there's no need to leave the radio or tv on to keep them company, when you come home and don't feel as safe, and especially when you come home to no one letting you know how much they missed you while you were away. These are the toughest things, for me anyways.
Oh I am so sorry! I know what this feels like, and I know that all the things you mentioned are so precious to me, I think of them every day, knowing one day will come when I won't have my girl anymore, and will feel like you do. We love them so much, they are our family, not just "a dog"....and we miss them in that sinking-feeling way when they have passed over the Rainbow Bridge ahead of us. But love never dies. Treasure the love she had for you, even though it will make you cry sometimes because you miss her. Her lovely spirit will be in your heart forever.
Planting a tree with her ashes is a beautiful idea.
I have heard it is possible to make a Crystal with the ashes too, which can be worn as a pendant, etc. (I don't know how it is made, but technology can do it)
God bless. I have recently been bereaved so can definitely identify with what you are going through right now.
Oh gracie_mae - I'm so sorry for your loss. As you said, the worst part is learning to live with the empty space in your home and your heart. You absolutely did right by your dog - never doubt that. I know it's way too soon to think about finding another companion, but try not to rule it out altogether. You're a great dog-mom and and somewhere out there is another friend waiting to be found and loved. Right now, try to remember that the good times far outnumber the bad times at the end. That's what life is all about.
I to know what you mean I am this very moment holding my dog of 15 years in my arms he has been my best true and faithfull friend and always there when I needed someone to love me he has been thru a buisness and a divorce and the kids leaving home , he has licked my tears away, he has been locked in the car, locked in the office and forgot out in the parking lot! yes always in the passenger seat! His name is coody jo and he is a shitzapoo , I went and got a little shitz and we named her phoebe she gave Cody jo a second wind he would hold her down to wash her face, they would nap together, and play, they were inseperable ,recently Thanksgiving week end to be exzact Phoebe got out and some lady picked her up (saw by a neighbor} I have despertly tried to locate this person I have passed out 300 flyers and gone door to door,called police,animal shelters,groomijners and vets hung posters all over town we have still not found her,Cody also has pancreatis but sinde phoebe has been gone Cody has not ate and what i feed him in a spoon he throws up
Cody has lost his will to live he is weak and lost a lot of weight I know he will be leaving me soon, I am not handeling this well he does not seem to be in pain and I am scared and have no money to take him to the vet I know he is tired but my heart is breaken into. He does not seem to be in pain am I wrong to keep him home to pass?
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