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Posts: 3
(Reposting due to urgent advice required)

Hi everyone, my 14-year old Maltese baby is currently in the hospital and he is being placed on IV drip and a feeding tube connected to his stomach which to supply nutrients to his entire body as he is no longer eating and drinking on his own. He cannot even walk anymore.

We’ve been in and out of 6 vet clinics since 31st August due to his worsening regurgitation and issue and weakening hind legs. Did X-ray and blood work at the start of this entire nightmare and the results came back normal. Initially, a couple of vets thought it was just normal vomiting issue but even with medication, his condition was worsening. So I brought him to the fourth clinic for X-ray, blood test, pancreatitis test, ultrasound, another. Looks test for this rare disorder called myasthenia gravis on 23rd September. Everything came back normal. I just couldn’t understand what was going on with my baby!

After being discharged from the hospital, he was getting weaker on all four legs back home - could barely manage a few steps before stumbling again. Couldn’t even get up to release his bladder and I went to get diapers for him subsequently. Hospital sold me a few cans of disgestible turkey meat and so I got them and fed it to him only to have him regurgitate everything out. I thought to myself that he wouldn’t be able to last long if his body kept rejecting food and water, even though he was still clearly keen in eating and drinking.

I took 2 weeks off from work after he was discharged, hoping to nurse him back to health. His condition was getting worse and I would wake up to clean him whenever I heard him regurgitate in the middle of the night. It was really draining but all I could do was pray to God and do whatever I can.

At this point of time, I wanted to let him take a break from all the tests and medication, which he clearly DETESTS. I read about acupuncture and brought him to a local renonwned TCM vet. It was my last resort. I just gotta give every viable method a shot. During the first session, his front legs were regaining strength and he could walk out of the consultation room smiling. I was ecstatic and amazed! Over the next few sessions, the frequency of his regurgitation decreased and my baby could walk and poop. He could even raise his hind leg up to mark his territory! Things were starting to look up, so I brought him for more acupuncture sessions. I cannot even count the number of sessions we’ve attended. His diet now comprised of sweet potato mash, warm rice water, and herbal powder prescribed by the TCM vet.

Then one evening, he attempted to walk but he kept collapsing onto his side so he gave up trying and peed on himself once again. Tried to feed him his mash and water and he regurgitated everything out within 5 minutes. I checked him into another reputable hospital subsequently. vet performed X-ray and blood test again and this time round, a cloud could clearly be seen between his esophagus and stomach. A CT scan and endoscopy soon followed and the vet confirmed a well shaped tumor has formed at the end of his esophagus, which explains why he haven’t been able to keep food and water down.

However, another problem was also present: Slips discs in between my baby’s C3-C5 vetebrae. The compression has rendered him unable to walk.

I was told that there are two surgeries that needs to be done to address the two different problems which are occurring concurrently (is death out to get my precious baby?):
1. A spine surgery to relieve the compression
2. Tumor removal surgery in his esophahgus

The vet also highlighted the current frail state of my baby. Given that there is a 50/50 chance for the surgeries, it is the post-operative care which could prove challenging for him as he is already a senior dog. I mentioned above that he is currently on life support, and once everything is unplugged, he will slowly slip away....

A part of me wants him to go for the surgeries! What if he makes it through? What if he wants to live? How can I give up on a living being whom I love so, so much? How can I decide death on him, for him?

This issue is starting to drive a wedge between my mom and I as she feels that I’m prolonging his suffering. A few others have told me the same. I just cannot stand the thought of him not being around anymore... he is always there when I turn around and has accompanied my through so many different phases of life since I was 14. It hurts so much I’ve been washing my face in tears. I don’t want to give up on him without even trying....

I’ve also been to an animal communicator and she told me that my baby would actually like me to spread my wings and do the things I’ve been wanting to do. I said it’s ok momma can always take him along and he replied saying that he is already an old man and he shouldn’t be holding me back anymore.

I’m utterly devastated and at a loss. Please help me... He is already a shadow of the feisty and happy dog he once was and all I want is for things to go back to how they were. My heart is so broken.

Posts: 20
I accidentally sent a p.m. to you, at any rate you are doing the right thing, we all know how difficult this is but you don't want your dear companion to suffer.  So sorry. I think your Mom and others are looking out for your best interest and the best thing for your sweet doggy.


Posts: 22
You have to take into account that he may die during the surgery instead of peacefully and pain free. It happens more often than not.
Can't advice you on what to do though. I loved my cats more than ANYBODY OR ANYTHING. Have to live without them too.

Posts: 60
I've owned five dogs as an adult.  One died "naturally" at home; three were euthanized, one at home and two at veterinary clinics.  The natural death at home was the worst.  It wasn't quick, the dog was miserable, and I felt very guilty afterward for putting her through unnecessary pain and discomfort because of my desire to not make the euthanasia decision.  In retrospect, it is clear to me that I was no less responsible for the manner of her death by having her die without assistance at home than if I had decided on euthanasia.  

I was very very sad when the other dogs died, too.  There's no getting around the fact that the death of a family member (including a pet) is sad and even sometimes traumatic.  But accepting that I could make the dog's death a little (or a lot) easier really did help me feel better about the whole sad mess.  
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