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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I'm struggling with a very tough decision today. My dog has lung cancer and I think it might be time to put him down. I'm dying inside and even though I think this is the right thing to do for him, it's killing me. I hate this so much.
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    1948 days ago
    My mother and I are both avid dog lovers and she herself is a vet tech. I know your situation and have seen it many times with her patients as well as a couple of our own family dogs. It is a heartbreaking decision but in the end you will know what to do when the time comes.
    1948 days ago
    I'm so sorry to hear this. One of our cats had lymphoma in 2010, and it was hard to know when she crossed that line to being in too much pain. :( *hugs*
    1948 days ago
    I am so sorry to hear about your dog. This is difficult for you and for him. We went through something similar twice this year, with our old cat and then with a kitten.

    When we were making the decisions, I was guided by some advice from my sister, who has raised dozens and dozens of animals. (She lives on a farm and they used to breed racehorses.) She encouraged me to keep in mind that an animal has no concept of the future. Unlike a human, he doesn't think "this hurts now but I'll feel better in a little while". If he hurts now, or is uncomfortable, that is past, present and future to him. She said that this was particularly important to keep in mind if the vet offered medical treatment that was temporarily painful or uncomfortable but that could provide some temporary relief but no cure (for example, injections).

    For a pet, that feeling of pain or discomfort might be mixed with momentary pleasures (from being stroked, or lying in the sun beside you), but the pleasure doesn't cancel out the pain the way it can for a human. They just coexist.

    She also said that she almost always ended up feeling that she waited too long because she had trouble letting go. She was talking about waiting months and weeks, though. With our pets, once we got the diagnosis that our pet was fatally ill and could not be cured, we took about a day to come to terms with the situation, and then we took another couple of days to just be with our pet and love her as much as possible.

    My thoughts are with you as you cope with this sad situation.
    1949 days ago
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    1949 days ago
    This is indeed a tough one. I've had to deal with it several times, and my daughter is dealing with it right now. What we decided is that as long as the pet was himself and not suffering too much, we would pamper him (or her) until the condition got too bad. When the condition got so bad that the animal was clearly suffering all the time, we took him to the vet and petted him and gave him love through the whole process. While it's hard to do, at the least the animal died in peace knowing that you loved him.
    1949 days ago
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