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poppy ben grace

Saying goodbye and when to do it.

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Please help I am in such a dilemma. Our 14 year old cocker spaniel , toffee, has an inoperable tumour on her face. It’s quite smelly now , about 2 inches wide and there’s nothing else we can do for her . I need to make a decision on when to have her pts but I feel so heartbroken and guilty for ending her life . 

Shes still eating and drinking and going for short walks and seems happy in herself. Shes rubbing her face with the tumour on quite a bit and I have to bathe it every day with hibiscrub .She’s deaf and blind in one eye too. 

Its just knowing when to do it really, the vets won’t say and I feel so awful having to do this to her . It’s just knowing when it’s the right time that I am struggling with ....

Any thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated.  Many thanks.

 

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Poor you! This is absolutley the worst part of owning an animal. That said...the fact that she is rubbing her face may well mean that there is pain and it's probably not very nice for her having it bathed/cleaned every day. Equally, although she is eating and drinking now and seems happy in herself she may well deteriorate suddenly and so might it be better to preempt any sharp decline (and associated distress for her) and have her PTS on your terms and when you are in control as to how it happens rather than having to dash to the vet as an emergency with everyone in distress and upset (including, possibly, Toffee).

I'm surprised that the vet won't make any comment....I'v always asked what the vet would do if this was their own animal and they've always then looked at it from that viewpoint. Perhaps the fact that they are not giving you a definite NO means that they don't feel that there is anything else that they can do?

You clearly love her to bits and I wouldn't mind betting that she has had a totally fabulous life with you. 14 years is really pretty good and you shouldn't feel AT ALL guilty. But you will, as we all do when the time comes, whatever animal we have, but please try and be kind to yourself and recognise that you have Toffee's very best interest at heart. Sometimes the kindest thing to do feels like the cruelest; stay strong. We are all behind you.

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We had a similar situation with our cocker spaniel, face tumours and finally lung cancer.  The vet asked if I was keeping her alive for me, and was that in her best interest.  That helped us make the decision. 

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Thank you so much for your reply’s . 

I guess I am prolonging it for me rather than her ! She’s had a nice day today so will I  give her a good weekend with lots of treats and maybe make the appointment for early next week ...  x

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We were lucky in that our vet at the time was not afraid to tell it as it was.  I wanted to take her home for another week, but he made me see that it was more about me than what was best for her.  She was 14 as well.     

Does your vet offer an at home service?  Our lovely vet sent a nurse and vet to us when our German Shepherd’s time had come as I didn’t want to stress her anymore.   She went to sleep in front of the fire.  They took her away in a dog basket.   I would have asked for that for Holly the cocker spaniel, but we were already there having an X-ray which confirmed the lung cancer.  Unfortunately our lovely vet has now retired. 

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Our vet offers an 'at home' too - I just didn't feel that I could justify it for the hamsters(!) but maybe that would be your answer for Toffee? It will cost a little more but would give you peace of mind that you had absolutley minimised her stress. If your vet doesn't offer this then others locally probably will - do what you feel is best, not just for Toffee but for you too. I'm sure she will love her treat filled weekend.

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Some lovely replies above, and having always had dogs myself, I can sympathise with your dilemma. One person (a fellow hound owner) once said to me "are you prolonging a life, or a death?". I think that over the years, in dealing with livestock, I have learned when to pick the right time; it doesn't make it any easier though. 

I have a lovely vet and he comes to PTS at home if you prefer - there's less stress on everyone concerned, and if you have another dog, they understand the loss better if the can see the dog afterwards. Give her a lovely last week.... the walks she enjoys, plenty of cuddles, lying in the sun and sossidges. You are making the right decision for her... to go before life becomes miserable, for you both.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks everyone. I will definitely enquire about the vet coming to us . I’m sure it’s something they will do although Toffee has always loved going to the vets as it always involves getting a treat!! She loves her food bless her ...

We have two other dogs . 

So much to think about. Such a horrible time . I really appreciate your responses it’s very kind of you all. X

Edited by poppy ben grace

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I'm so sorry that you're going through this.

I've had to have a couple of cats put to sleep over the years,  and quite a few hens.  

It's natural to want to put it off while they seem to be enjoying life.  In deciding when is the right time,  I've found it comforting to nbear in mind the following:
- delaying isn't going to change the eventual outcome
- it's better to do it a week to early than to wait and do it a day too late

<hugs> to you when the time comes.

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9 hours ago, WitchHazel said:

I'm so sorry that you're going through this.

I've had to have a couple of cats put to sleep over the years,  and quite a few hens.  

It's natural to want to put it off while they seem to be enjoying life.  In deciding when is the right time,  I've found it comforting to nbear in mind the following:
- delaying isn't going to change the eventual outcome
- it's better to do it a week to early than to wait and do it a day too late

<hugs> to you when the time comes.

Wise advice.

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She’s booked in for tomorrow at 2.30. 

I feel like my heart is breaking but I know it’s for the best. 

Thanks so much everyone for your advice. Xx

Here she is as a puppy. 14 years have passed to quickly  . 😍😢😢😢 x

5BB8E572-3E05-40F7-AF21-28F28C279B30.jpeg

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Ah, lovely dog. Enjoy your last day together even though your heart is breaking. Toffee will love those special cuddles and it is the kindest and hardest thing to do for her. Thinking of you.

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I see you've now made the decision, spoil her today and make it special - hope you will be okay tomorrow.

It can be equally difficult for the vet to let the owners make an informed decision and not force their own so it's important for both sides to try and communicate their thoughts and concerns, I often say the same as WH - it's better to do it a week too early than a day too late.

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Will be thinking of you tomorrow but hope that you and Toffee have had a lovely day together today. 

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She is much loved, which is what matters, and you are doing the best for her.... even if it doesn't seem that way at first. Take time to grieve and heal. Our thoughts are with you.

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Sending you enormous hugs for what is a sad time.

Our cocker spaniel, Daisy, was PTS nearly 6 years ago now, she was almost 17, so I know how hard it is.

She gave us a lot of happy memories and we were just talking about her yesterday and some of the things she used to get up to.

Your photo is beautiful, you will have a lot of happy memories too xxxxx

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Thank you all so much  . She’s gone bless her . She had a lovely last walk and even had a dip in the river one last time. 

The vet said she had lots of other things going on so I’m comforted in the fact that she’s not in pain anymore. Its still so awful and I miss her so much. 

The worse thing is the empty spot on the sofa 😢 . X

7D4E50AA-A337-4CBC-93AC-82718FBD2EC0.jpeg

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What a beautiful photo. You will miss her but you’ve absolutely unquestionably done the right thing. Best wishes.

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4 minutes ago, mullethunter said:

What a beautiful photo. You will miss her but you’ve absolutely unquestionably done the right thing. Best wishes.

Thank you x

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I hope that you have that photo framed (perhaps in a few weeks time if it's a bit raw just now) as it's really lovely.......how is your other dog coping?

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I actually have another dog so two altogether so at least they have each other . They seem ok . They sniffed her when she came home to be buried. I think they understand she’s gone . 

This is the three of them together the day before we had her pts . XA2B8AB98-A657-4DFA-A0FE-3CD7C78A5A0D.thumb.jpeg.8b5e5c42b6ef2e232b8256abfe65bbf2.jpeg

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So, so sorry.  But you did what was best for her.  She’s leaping forever over the Rainbow Bridge now. X

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They are all beautiful in that last photo xxx

The 2 golden ones look very much like my Daisy.

 

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