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Posts: 1
Sunday night (two days ago) we were faced with the sudden horror that our precious angel Kiefer had to be put down.

For background: He was a 10 year old lab mix. November of last year, his spleen ruptured without any warning signs. He had it removed and biopsied and we got the news he had hemangiosarcoma. We were told it had metastasized and he had likely as little as 1-2 months to live. We got second and third opinions and everyone agreed. We chose not to do chemo for fear of it making him sicker and instead went with homeopathic treatments: turkey tail supplements, Yunnan Baiyao, milk thistle daily. Along with continuing his raw diet. I credit these actions for how long he lived after diagnosis. He made it 11 months.

Everyone told us when “it happened” it would be very sudden. He would suffer another rupture/bleed, and since his spleen was already gone it would likely be something else - something fatal - that gave way to the cancer. Still. Knowing it could have happened any day. We weren’t ready.

On Sunday he was his normal happy self. He ate dinner excitedly. He was cuddly and playful. Until suddenly he wasn’t. We went to go out back and he wouldn’t get up. I checked his gums (something I did daily and often) and they were going white. We immediately rushed to the ER Vet. They told us his abdomen was filled with blood, low BP and heart rate, and he was entering shock. We could give him a transfusion but that would only give us another day maybe. The doctor strongly suggested it was time. So went made the call to end his suffering.

He was calm even before sedation, like he knew and was telling us it was ok. We held him for an hour but didn’t want to prolong his suffering. I can’t forget watching those injections now go in and seeing his life leave his body. The pain is immense.

Now I’m filled with what if’s. What if that ER Doctor was wrong? Should we have gotten a second opinion? What if he could have come back from this episode? Could we still have him with us for a few more months? I know logically that no, it was time and we knew it would be this way. But I’m struggling terribly with these questions circling my mind.

Being at home without him is awful. Our other pets look for him and are starting to realize. I worry for our now solo surviving dog. His absence is gut wrenching. Being in bed is the worst, where he used to sleep with us and wake us up with kisses. I cry every time I go up the stairs. I need to know we made the right choice and that there were no other options left. I need to know he’s not upset and that he’s happy to be at peace now. This is the hardest thing of my life. How do you go on after this kind of thing?

Posts: 640
I had the same experience with Tum. She was very sick, I thought it was just signs of "old age" until I took her to vet as she was really bad off and the vet determined it was cancer of the spleen. She felt a tumor she said. I had a complete nervous breakdown after Tum's death. I had her put to sleep but the guilt and torture of having done that, rather than take her home and let nature take it's course destroyed me. Just there is hospice for human beings, there is hospice for animals too. Euthanasia is no longer the only option. The mental effects this all had on me had me wishing I could commit myself to a mental hospital and never come out. I didn't but believe me I felt like it. Tum died in 2013 and I am still picking up the pieces. I wish you well as you navigate your own path out of this mess. The one thing in the beginning for me was wondering if I would feel the hell I felt forever. I had never felt anything like that in my life and nothing I could think would make the pain go away. So I was determined to believe these emotions would never leave. I was at a true 10 in terms of agony and today I would say I am maybe at a 4-5. The pain lesses. In my case it has taken a very long time. I am sad for you. I wanted to die when Tum died and I do mean die. Even if it meant at my own hands. Again, I didn't try anything but the urge was there. I am so sorry for your loss. It is very hard. God bless you.

Posts: 69
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your angel Kiefer.   I just read your post because that is what my vet says took my Jada girl, at 7 years young, suddenly , and unexpectently.  Cancer is truly horrible , there is no ifs and or buts about it.  But this cancer comes up like a thief in the night out of nowhere, and it hides itself so well, that it goes bascially undetected.   My girl was a GSD, and she was the Alpha of her pack, and she would never show us signs of being sick or in pain.  My story is on here, so I don't need to bore you with all of the details,  but reading your post brought me back to that horrifying moment, when my best girl was just playing in the hose, when suddenly she ran up to me , collapsed and died at my side.  I was completely helpless as I looked into her eyes as she wasn't even there, it was almost instantly that she was gone.   I go back to that day often , wondering if I had been able to get her to a vet would she still be here,  but in reality , for a dog that had stopped breathing and for the time it would take to get her to a vet, and for them to get to her even in ER, I would have only been able to hear them pronounce her dead.   Instead I had to wait for an ER vet to come to my house because I couldn't pick her up, she was soaking wet from playing in the hose, and my other dogs were soaking wet and I never can leave them unattended for even a minute because my neighbors had tried poisioning them last year ,  just because they don't like dogs.   So I had to wait , and although I knew she was gone, it was torture, because more than anything in this world, I wanted her to come back to me, and start breathing again, and to be able to feel her giving me a hundred kisses in my face.   I still have a hard time believing she is gone.   She left me in May, and this house hasn't been the same without her.  

So I know what you're talking about with it being so sudden and shocking and hard.   I'm glad to hear that you found the group on FB , that shared how to treat him homeopathically so that you were able to have that precious more time with him.   And no , DO NOT beat yourself up,  you did everything and then some for him, you gave him the best life he could've possibly had, and you gave him your love.  There was nothing more that you could have done,  it was his time, and sadly that is the ultimate outcome of that cancer. Just remember that he passed with the people who loved him and who he loved the most in this world, and that love never dies.   You did the most loving thing that you could for him, prolonging his life at that point would only be to prolong suffering, and that's not what he would've wanted.  He lived a good life up until the very end.   It is the hardest thing in the world to say goodbye to our most beloved fur children.  They leave an empty space in our lives and our hearts, but in our hearts they live on forever. 

I had to do the euthenasia with my cat of 18 years who was sick 9 years ago, and I felt like I killed her, I felt like I let her down, but she was sick, and she was sick for an entire year, and we selfishly held onto her , so I knew we were doing her a kindness to let her go and rest in peace, but it sure didn't feel like it at the time.   And she wasn't calm because the stupid vet , which I  will NeVER go back to, didn't even give her the 1st injection to tranquilze her, and she hated the vets, so she screamed when she got the injection and it was horrible.  I was so heartbroken and horrified that I really felt like I was going to die that night.  And to top it off , my husband wanted to bury her in the backyard so we brought her home, and she was in a little box, and she was curled up like she was asleep, and she looked so peaceful, and my mind kept telling me that she was still breathing, and I nearly had a nervous breakdown because of that.   I think our minds overthink things at these times of traumatic emotional distress, and instead of realizing that we did the kindess ,and a very  unselfish act of love to put our beloved pet out of their suffering , we beat ourselves up about it.    

Wishing you comfort and healing in this time of sadness,
Jada's mom

Posts: 7
Cstormborn, I am so sorry for your great loss. We lost our Annie over a year ago to this same cancer. And yes, the vicious Hemangiosarcoma "came like a thief in the night," "out of the blue," with no warning. Her spleen ruptured before we even knew she was sick, and we rushed her to the ER vet, where, as all of us find with this wicked cancer, there is no hope, and we had to end her suffering. She was fine at 3PM, and dead at 5PM.

I beat myself up for days: there was the night I thought she sounded a bit breathless going up the stairs, and she had gotten me up a few nights to go outside unlike her usual custom. But she was eating fine, playing fine, going on her daily walks, seeming to enjoy life. She was 12. My google search (after we had to put Annie down) showed me pretty darn fast this cancer is a beast, and we and our beloved pets have no hope of defeating it. You did so well buying your Kiefer another 11 months. That in and of itself is a miracle. But it doesn't stop the pain of loss.

I am sorry for everyone who has lost their beloved friend to this horrible cancer. And all I can say is I know how you feel. You were a good and faithful friend to your wonderful Kiefer, and how excellent and fortunate it is that it was you who walked his life with him. This will see you through.
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