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Avatar universal

how long will it be?

8 days ago my vet told me my baby girl only had a week-two at the most to live. My baby is Cookie, a 14 yr old border collie. I was stunned by this news. I had taken her to the vet because her appetite was off.  The vet was basing this on blood tests and urinalysis results. Since getting this news I am feeding Cookie people food such as hamburger, eggs & cheese simply because it's all she will eat. She still moves well and even plays a little but that's the border collie in her. The nights are the worst. She sleeps very little at night & just wants to be loved on. I feel like I'm sitting on a ticking  bomb. I can't eat, sleep or do any day to day things.  This is so hard. By far the hardest thing I've ever experienced. I'm not young & have watched many loved ones pass but this dog thinks I'm the best and expects me to take care of all her needs. And I can only watch her die.  She doesn't seem to be in pain. Like so many others on this site, I'm praying that she will die peacefully here at home. She has always been so afraid at the vets office and shakes uncontrollably whenever she has to go there.  I wish I knew how much longer it will be & what signs there will be that she is near the end. Does anyone have any idea how I will know the end is near?
I feel the pain of all of you who are going through your pets dying. After all, they really do love us more than any human love's US don't they?  I will miss her so much. I'm too old to get another dog. I surely don't want to worry about who will care for a dog I might have when dying myself.
24 Responses
Avatar universal
Just wanted to say how sorry I am for you and Cookie.  Its very hard, I know, because I also have a border collie/lab, and shes 15.  She follows me everywhere, it seems like shes afraid to be alone.  She's also deaf, which doesn't help.  She still eats pretty good, and loves to spend time outside, so I'm just going to let her do whatever she wants and enjoy her while I can.  You must have been floored by the vets diagnoses, what did he say is wrong with her?
Avatar universal
The vet says she is in complete kidney failure. Several months ago I had to take her to the vet ER in the middle of the night because I thought she'd had a stroke. It turned out to be vestibular syndrome. At that time the vet said her blood work was showing some possible kidney failure and I should followup with my regular vet which I did. She said that I needed to bring her back every 3 months or so to keep an eye on those blood counts. She wasn't even due  to have any blood work when I took her because she didn't want to eat. And suddenly I was living an unbelievable existence watching Cookie and thinking that in just a few weeks she would be gone. Needless to say I've done a lot of crying. I asked the vet if she recommended putting her down and she said yes. But when the vet called to give me this horrible news, cookie and I were in the middle of a tug of war game!  Put her down while she's still enjoying life?  I couldn't do it.
I think you are very wise to just let your dog do what she enjoys and get all the love you can now. I hope when her time comes it will be quick and gentle. Thank you for just listening. I can't believe how much it helps to talk to someone who understands that very special love  our dogs give.
Avatar universal
I'm so sorry your going thru this. We lost our pup 1 1/2 yrs ago and it still feels like yesterday. I miss him so much. Hug and love on Cookie as much as you can. I think you will know when it's time to let her go. I will keep you both in my prayers
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your kindness. The prayers will be so much appreciated. Bless you.
9274532 tn?1402782114
I just read your post and my heart is breaking for you and your pet, tears are rolling down my face.  I just want to say how sorry I am for what your going through and let you know your not alone.  My thoughts and prayers are also with you.  I lost a pet 15 years ago to cancer and now that my 13 year old is getting up in age and having health issues.  I am dreading the day I lose him. Your story really touched home.  God bless you and Cookie
Avatar universal
I hope Cookie will continue to get some enjoyment out of life each day, and have more days than predicted.  Try to stay as calm as possible in front of her so she won't know how upset you are, I think that would only make her feel worse.  Let us know how shes doing.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your prayers.  We all know what we are getting into when we get these "angels" but we still do it.  And that is because the years of love are worth the agony we go through when their time on earth is done.  I am trying so hard to enjoy these last few weeks with Cookie.  I think she is one special dog, but to be honest each and every one of them are very special dogs.  I am so touched by the people such as yourself that take the time to lift me up with your support.  It really means a lot to me.
Avatar universal
Cookie is a stubborn little border collie and she won't give up her life easily.  That may not be a good thing though.  Right now she is loving this new diet of human food and is still very playful but tires easily.  I do hide from her when I can't hold the tears back anymore and I try to act normal around her.  It's now been nine days since the vet told me she has two weeks at most to live.  And other than being a little more tired than usual she is doing amazingly fine.  Thank you again for you concern with me and Cookie.  It just amazes me, this wonderful kindness of strangers. But I've always said that dog lovers are the best people of all.
Avatar universal
Very sorry for your dog. My beautiful English setter who is my hunting companion and best friend was diagnosed with kidney disease 3 weeks ago. He is only 7 and I have had him only 3 years. This, after my 12 year old pointer died just a month ago. This happening to the younger dog is probably the most tragic thing that has happened in my life of 53 years. We are doing all we can to manage it . Again, I am sorry for what you are going through.

Avatar universal
Robert I'm so sorry to hear about your young dog.  I have been fortunate that Cookie had a good and fairly long life.  I can't even imagine how I would have felt had this happened in her prime years.  I'm hoping and praying that they can get your dog's kidney disease under control.  Do they give you any hope at all of recovery? Please keep us informed of what is going on.  I hope you find as much comfort from the wonderful people in this forum as I have.  
Avatar universal
The vet is giving a guarded prognosis for the long term. From what I have learned so far about this disease, although manageable in some cases, it is difficult to predict and each dog progresses differently with the disease. I am really still in shock to some extent with the diagnosis. I can find no other example of this disease in dogs of his breeding. He comes from a line of setters used for hunting, but that retain the look of bench English setters. I am following the low protein diet using Hills dog food supplemented by some high quality protein, chicken and egg whites, and sweet potatoes/white potatoes. His blood numbers so far have staid about the same, in the lower end of Stage 3 range.  He will be checked again on Friday. I hope there is some improvement. Fortunately he continues to eat well and has not vomited to date. I wish the best for your dog. Robert
Avatar universal
And I will pray that your dog survives.  I know he must be a beautiful dog.  As all other Irish Setters I've seen are.
1916673 tn?1420233270
Hi. I am very very sorry to hear about your best friend, Cookie. I don't need to add more than what others have said here, other than that you may find some useful comfort, information and support on the Chronic Kidney Failure in Dogs USER GROUP. Search for it under the button for Forums - Groups - at the top of the page. I administrate this User Group.

Also, it may be helpful to read my piece on Kidney Disease in Dogs and Diet, which has a few useful suggestions about suitable foods for energy. You can find that article here:


Tony x
Avatar universal
Thank you so much. I suppose Cookie is beyond any help offered by this user group. According to the vet who gave her two weeks at most to live, Cookie should have passed away by now. However it won't be long now I believe. But I will certainly remember this site & the user group to any friends who may experience kidney disease with their dogs in future. I'm sure it would be so helpful.
603946 tn?1333941839
We are going through the same exact thing. Buddy doesn't play so much as he still acts perky, especially at meal times, eats and drinks. When he stops eating and won't wag that cute tail we have decided that will be our cues to put him to sleep.
We had to put a border collie down two months ago, bladder cancer, the vet said her rumors got so big the vet could feel them, and the reason I took Lady to the vet that day was Lady that "that look" dog owners talk about when they know the dog has had enough.  It seemed to say "get me better, please" which I knew was impossible. The vet took me right away. The procedure took 10 seconds or less. lady was at peace. I feel your pain. I know my dogs give me 100 times more love than I give.
By the way, I've been doing sort of a bucket list now for Buddy. We ride to Mcdonalds and get him a dry cheeseburger. And he LOvES to ride in the front seat of the car.... we are doing those special things I know seem to make him happiest
Avatar universal
I am so sorry that you are going through this too.  It's just so hard to know if I am doing the right thing.  One minute Cookie has what I feel is "the look" and the next she is handing me the tug of war toy and yanking away.
She is still eating but I can see she is having indigestion sometimes and she will occasionally throw up the yellow bile, but she keeps her food down and still enjoys eating.  Of course she isn't eating the dry dog food she ate for most of her life.  Now it's boiled chicken mostly and sometimes and egg.
I think you are doing a wonderful thing with letting Buddy do all the things he loves.  I'm doing the same with Cookie.  She NEVER hears the word "NO" anymore.  
I will pray for you and Buddy, that his passing will be gentle.  And for you to survive the time of grieving and have all those wonderful memories.  Again I want to thank you for this note.  Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my own grief that I don't stop to think that there are so many others that are going thru the same thing.  Please let me know how things go with Buddy.
Avatar universal
Robert I'm still thinking of you and you English Setter. I pray all is going well.
Avatar universal
How is Cookie doing?
Avatar universal
It's unbelievable but Cookie is still with us.  She has lost quite a bit of weight and I spend the majority of each day trying to get her to eat something...anything!  I guess the vet doesn't always know everything.  But it is all so stressful.  I know she is dying ever so slowly.  She vomits up the stomach bile sometimes and has diarrhea often and she does sleep a lot but she still insists on playing with her favorite toys and who can deny her that?  So I do play whenever she wants.  I tell everyone I know that I can make no plans for travel as long as she is here and needs me.  I just have to keep in mind that this is not some illness that will pass.  She is an incredible dog.  and I do thank you for asking about her.
Avatar universal
Even though our dog isn't sick, just old, we won't go away overnight either.  Shes deaf and wouldn't understand being put in pet boarding, and relatives have too many stairs to leave her at their house.  What is the one thing that you can get Cookie to eat the most?  When another one of our dogs was sick, baby food was the thing she liked the most, and pizza.
Avatar universal
I was giving her lean hamburger but she was getting indigestion from that so I stopped.  She likes cheese and usually if I can't get her to eat cheese, I can't get her to eat anything.  She won't even attempt to eat anything hard and crunchy and I'm not sure why that is.  I have the best results if I hand feed her.  She always loved eggs but hasn't been interested in them lately.  I thought about baby food!  I think I will give it a try.  Was there any one particular baby food that worked best?  
Avatar universal
She didn't like the vegetable ones.  Make sure there's no onions in them .How would she do  with boiled chicken breast cut up in tiny pieces, and of course hand fed?
Avatar universal
We did the chicken and she seemed to like it well enough and then after several days, she wanted nothing to do with it.  I was amazed yesterday when I tried to give her a small milk bone and she ate it!  I'll tell you Lindapalm, sometimes I wonder just what is going on with Cookie.  She does still seem to have her bad days but my husband and I both swear we see slight improvements in her.  She definitely spends less time lying around and more time playing. We are just taking one day at a time.  Don't want to get my hopes up.  Surely the vet couldn't have been that wrong.
1916673 tn?1420233270
Hello again. I am so pleased your Cookie has now survived longer than your vet thought. That is the nature of this disease - sometimes no matter what we try to do, nothing seems to help; then, other times, good management and lots of care to diet, etc., works well, at least for a period of time.

Please join the Chronic Kidney Failure in Dogs User Group on MedHelp. I think you will get some benefit from it and lots of support from others going through or that have gone through a very similar experience.

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