Dog has Lymphoma..when is the 'right time'?
So my 6 year old beagle was acting completely fine one afternoon, then he practically just dropped in a fit of pain at 3am. We rushed him to the vet, and minutes later he was rushed into surgery and we were $7000 poorer. Turned out he had a perforated bowel, which at the time they did not know what it was caused by.
During the surgery, they discovered it was caused by a tumor. While the test was sent away to determine if it was cancerous or not, he developed peritonitis. It was a miracle in itself that he managed to overcome it, however the test results came back they found that it was Lymphoma, and it had spread rapidly all over his body. They said that there was absolutely no hope for him pretty much..
So we have him home, and pretty much just..wait.
I do not want him in any pain at all, so as soon as he starts to decline we are taking him to the vet to put him in a better place. The vet said 3-6 weeks but you never know these things..and he said the first signs are his decline to the things he loves the most (food and walks). The past few nights though, he has been fairly restless, crying a little not able to get comfortable. Being around him every day for the past 6 years I am pretty sure it's not pain, just discomfort. Once he gets to sleep he is fine, and during the day he is his happy little self..it's just night times. It's only been a week though since the vet said 3-6 that we will notice changes.
Has anyone had the same situation with their dog? When do we know that it's 'time', or pin it down to days rather than weeks that we need to take him. If he was like this constantly I would take him today, but it's only during the nights that he seems uncomfortable. I don't want to end his life any shorter than it needs to be, but I don't want to leave it too long.. so how do I know? :(
- Julie D.Lv 78 years agoFavorite Answer
A friend of mine had a Standard Poodle that had Lymphoma. (6 years old, too) After finally getting the correct diagnosis, she decided to go the Chemo route. The Vet told her that treatment #5 would be the most crucial. The dog did improve after 4 treatments (and they were pretty rough on the dog) and then when #5 came along, the dog died within a week. She had somewhere around the area of $18,000.00 into this dog from the time of diagnosis, until the time of death. While the fact that my friend is very wealthy, and this sort of money wouldn't even put a dent in her bank account, the fact still stands that if treatment #5 would have worked, the dog still MAY have only lived another 6 months. This is my theory when it comes to euthanasia with a very sick animal: Better a week too soon, than a day too late. Yes, I've also dealt with Peritonitis before because of a mis-diagnosis for an intestinal blockage. This was not fun. *I* would euthanize.
- Belgian NutLv 78 years ago
I know what a hard decision it is because I've got through it more than a few times. It's easier when the vet makes the decision for you, but when you have to make it yourself you need to put the dog first, not you. When his quality of life is gone and you KNOW this dog is in pain, not just restless, you need to do the last thing you can ever do for him and let him go.
Don`t prolong it until he`s at the point of having no life - that`s not how you want to remember him. You can see the pain in their eyes, you`ll know its time.
- Anonymous5 years ago
I have an Airedale Terrier, a German Shepherd/Chow mix, and an Australian Cattle Dog/Border Collie mix. What kind of dogs do I wish I could have...Besides Airedales, probably some sort of Setter or Pointer, a Giant Schnauzer, a Boxer, a Belgian Sheepdog, a Collie and an Irish, Lakeland, Scottish, Wheaten, Welsh, and Wire Fox Terriers The coolest thing my dog does is peel boiled eggs. The funniest thing he does is he sits in a wheelbarrow and lets you push him around everywhere.
- ZLv 68 years ago
Julie said it best -- better a week too soon than a week too late.
Choose a day, make it the best day of his life, with everything the dog loves (within reason) and allow your dog to pass without pain or trauma. Give him this gift.
So very sorry for your loss. Damn dogs.
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- HubleyLv 58 years ago
Definitely a hard decision to make. If he seems to only be having discomfort at night, talk to your vet and see if there is any way of making him more comfortable. If he is still enjoying his life - still eating, looking forward to walks, playing - then if you can make his nights more manageable it will help. But if he seems to be losing interest in food, or hesitating in doing things where he used to get excited, then it could be time to make the hard decision.
I went through this recently with my older dog (pictured in my avatar). She had a tumour but despite her age (almost 16) and medical condition she was still showing interest...still eating her food heartily, still eager to go out for walks. She went on pain meds when she showed some sign of discomfort and they helped her enormously, but the moment she went downhill while on pain meds, I made the decsion to end her life humanely. It's a desperately tough thing to do, and it's personal to everyone as to when to do it, but my recommendation would be to seriously consider it if (a) your dog isn't enjoying life; and (b) if any pain is not easily controlled with medication.
I'm so sorry your dog is ill...big (((hugs))) going out to you, and huge thanks for putting his welfare first.