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I think Max's time is drawing near
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Member Since:
2 May 2015
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22 October 2015 - 9:59 am
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Everyone says you'll just know in your heart when it's time. I'm still questioning whether it is or not (so I don't think today is our day), but I think we are getting close. 

Last night when I took him out to go potty before bed, we started down the sidewalk (at his behest), but a block away he stopped and stood for a long time--didn't lie down, just stood. I had to carry him back home. All he ate yesterday was a couple of meatballs in the afternoon. He refused food last night and this morning. Even bacon wasn't enticing. His appetite has been waning all week, but saying no to bacon is a first.

We didn't get out of the yard on this morning's potty walk. And when we got back inside and upstairs, he threw up. 

Earlier in the week he had pretty good energy and stamina--we did a couple of two-mile walks, and he was ahead of me the whole time. But he coughed up some bloody blobs and was breathing laboriously, so I took him to our regular vet on Monday to see if some cough meds might be in order. Seemed to me that he's probably bringing up blood and swallowing it, which would surely affect his appetite. A cough med might take care of that. In the meantime, I'd also sent an email to the oncologist at WSU, who remains available for consultation by email and phone. 

Local vet said cough suppressants like butorphanol or hydrocodone would inhibit him from bringing up gunk that needs to come out. We mostly talked about what to do when the end comes, and I left the office with no meds.

By that evening, the oncologist had emailed back and said she thought hydrocodone might make him feel better. I told her I'd put myself in a tough spot by seeing the vet with a differing opinion in the meantime and asked for a prescription. I haven't heard back yet.

I do have a few Cerenia pills on hand but no way to deliver them because he won't even take a pill pocket or any treat at all right now. 

At this point, what will the meds do anyway? Perhaps give him a day or two longer? I'm beating myself up wondering if I'm doing all I can.

I don't know...

Virginia







Member Since:
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22 October 2015 - 10:41 am
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Such a tough time...so very, very tough.

I still .marvel at the long walks he takes. Not just the two mile walks, but just doing a two block walk. What a guy!

It certainly makes sense that his tummy could be upset swallowing all that gunk. I do know that I've seen vets prescribe hydrocodone. Guess it's just more of a personal choice with some vets. But if he's not coughing now, or just after a lot of movement, perhaps you could just have it on ha d shoukd he have a bad coughing episode.

Your journey is individual and personal. I even hesitate to share how I decided when it was time to help my beloved Happy Hannah pack her suitcase for the Bridge.

She was still eating, still wagging, still had joy in her eyes. She also had a huge met that was starting to interfere with her ability to sleep well. To go outside to potty or just sit in the sun took e ergy that she just didn't seem to have. She would just come in exhausted and plop down in ner bed.

I didn't use the "quality guages" that I thought I would be using. After all, this dog NEVER missed a meal! Even on the day of her transition I was feeding her steak, ice cream, M&Ms, popcorn, deer poop! Yep! Deer poop was her favorite meal so I piled that on ner plate too!. Her tail still wagged, she was engaged and her eyes were still bright....showing a little stress with her breathing sometimes. But all this was becoming harder and harder for her to accomplish. She was starti g to jave to "pay a price" for more tummy rubs, more treats. She was becoming "uncomfortable" because of her breathing pattern a d exhaustion.

I knew I had done all I could. I knew she would not get better. I knew it was just a matter of a very short time before she would feel too tired to get up....before her tail may not wag just by me saying her name...before her eyes would lose their joy. She had more loving and spoiling than any dog could possibly have. She didn't need to hang around being somewhat uncomfortable for more. I vowed from the very beginning, if at all possible, I would never let her suffer. I fulfilled that vow for her.

As a dear friend said, what memory did I want to have? Although it hurts like hell, through my tears I still have a memory of her wagging her tail, eating deer poop, me sitting beside her telling her what a good girl she was and hand feeding her M&Ms...right up until the shot took effect.

My experience was personal and individual just as yours is. Sometimes it's not about the "signs" they are showing or "that look"....sometimes it's must a knowing that you and your dog share on a Soul level. Sit in a still and calm place with him. See if there is a sense of "knowing" between you two.

A d it certainly may not be time yet! Maybe with so e good rest and no @o g walks he'll feel better. I merely share this for future reference.

Sending you all the love in tne world

Sally and My Chunky Spiritual Being Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

On The Road


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22 October 2015 - 10:46 am
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Susanna I'm sorry to hear this, I know what it's like to wonder what the heck is going on at a time like this and it's not easy. We had a lot of good days and not so bad great with Jerry. One day we'd think "he's done" and the next he'd surprise the heck out of us and want to have fun.

First, I'll be honest with ya; in my non-vet opinion, two miles is a long time for a Tripawd to walk. Even our Wyatt Ray , who doesn't have cancer and is only 6, doesn't walk two miles a day.

For a dog with lung mets, two miles is a marathon. Our Jerry never walked more than 5 or 10 minutes when we were coping with mets and those were slow, lingering walks. Max's appetite loss could be an indicator that he's in pain from too much walking that day. Just a guess though. I'm not sure what the throwing up could be. Was it food or mets? Unfortunately, many dogs have hacked up lung mets this way during these stages of cancer.

Jerry was also prescribed hydrocodone when his lung mets got worse. That was prescribed by his oncologist. I know you got conflicting info about that medication, but I would always go with the advice of an oncologist over my general practitioner vet when dealing with cancer. These cancer docs know their stuff.

Here's a post about things you can do to help with mets:

How to Help Coughing From Lung Mets

I'm not in your shoes right now so I can't say that his behavior is or isn't related to the final stages of cancer, but here's a post that may help you try to figure it out.

Penny Jars Measure a Dog’s Quality of Life

and also

Quality of Life Scale Tips with Pet Hospice Expert Dr. Alice Villalobos

I hope this helps. Remember, if you want to talk to someone in person you can always call the Tripawds Helpline OK? 844-TRIPAWD.

Hugs to you both, give Max some extra smooches from us and keep us posted. I hope he has many more great days ahead.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Schofield, WI
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22 October 2015 - 10:54 am
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Oh Susanna I was so hoping Sally and Jim & Rene would post first here. I knew both would have words of wisdom for you. I have no such words of wisdom for you but know I'm sending you and Max love and hugs.

Linda

Virginia







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22 October 2015 - 11:14 am
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Just to piggyback on Jerry's comments about the walks being too long (even with rest) for any trilawd...but ESPECIALLY one with mets.

I know, based on what you've said, you agonize about making sure you're doi g all you can. Maybe just give him SHORT potty breaks For a couple of days combined with a whole lot of rest. See if that makes a difference. Laying in the sun resting and loving on him...yeah, try that.

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Los Angeles, CA
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22 October 2015 - 11:23 am
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I just want to offer my love and support. We did have lung mets but they didn't impact Shelby's life in the end. Her end was very different due to seizures and cancer spreading to her brain. But also, I was looking for those "signs" and that "sign" that my "heart" would tell me. In the end, it was Shelby that told me when I looked into her eyes and I probably did wait too long ... but I can't look back now. I did everything in a place of love.

As I know you are doing with Max. I know how HARD it is. And it's so personal ... of  course we  can gage signs and try and figure it out but it's really a personal decision and one that you can make. Know our community stands by you and sends you love and hugs!!! 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

Norene, TN
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21 October 2014
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22 October 2015 - 12:32 pm
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benny55 said
 . . . She was starting to have to "pay a price" for more tummy rubs, more treats. . .

Sally, this one statement says it all.

Susanna,

Reading your posts brings back so many heart-wrenching emotions. The only thing I would like to add is to put the blame where the blame should be and that's on cancer. After the journey's end, don't second guess your decisions regarding Max's quality of life. Don't let guilt take root in your loving memories.

Lastly, have faith in Max and in yourself. Know that no matter how Max chooses to depart, this was the path that was meant to be.

Forgive yourself for NOT knowing everything.

xoxoxo

Harmony became a Tripawd on 10/21/14 (MCT). She left us way too soon on 11/1/14.

"We miss you so much; our love, our heart, our Harmony."

- Pam, Ron and Melody, Meesha, Doublestuff and Mariah Carey

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22 October 2015 - 12:56 pm
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We are sitting in the sun right now. So lucky for such a warm, bright October. He sounds like he's breathing through a straw and like there's gravel in his chest. I almost feel like if the vet were sitting with us at this moment I'd give the word. Almost. 

Believe me I would have pulled the reins on the miles but someone else wouldn't have it. He got pretty opinionated after amputation and made his wishes much more forcefully known. They were generally about swimming, fetching, and moving on already. Yesterday he was pacing to get out after a short walk but would just collapse on the grass with his ball. The spirit was willing but the lungs were weak. Today the spirit doesn't even seem all that willing. 

Your advice and insights are so helpful! And let me say that I laughed out loud about the deer poop. That is indeed some love and spoiling. I'm becoming more comfortable with letting him go in advance of suffering. Finally, finally, finally accepting that there will be no recovery or improvement or miraculous turnaround. 

Tomorrow it will be 6 months since surgery. That's three and a half dog years. Not too shabby. 

Maryland
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28 March 2015
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22 October 2015 - 1:37 pm
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Of course none of us can make the hurt go away but we all understand how bad it hurts. If we didn't love so hard, we wouldn't hurt so bad. 

I don't know what the right answer is, but I do believe you will know it when the time comes. And when it does, believe that you are giving something to Max, not taking something from him. You are giving him release from his broken body. That is a great gift. For me, it is the only thing that makes it bearable.

Denise, Bill and Angel Ellie

 

Active 10+ Pyr mix suddenly came up lame with ACL tear in left rear leg. Scheduled for a TPLO but final pre-op x-rays indicated a small suspicious area, possibly OSA, which could have caused the ACL tear. Surgeon opened the knee for TPLO but found soft bone. Biopsy came back positive for OSA. Became a Tripawd 9/18/14. Carbo6 with Cerenia and Fluids. Pain free and living in the moment. Crossed the Bridge on 7/12/15 after probable spread of cancer to her cervical spine. A whole lifetime of memories squeezed into 10 months. Here's her story: Eloise

On The Road


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22 October 2015 - 1:58 pm
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This is just the time when every moment can be so different. Enjoy soaking up the sun and being with each other. He is so lucky to have you.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Livermore, CA




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22 October 2015 - 2:14 pm
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Every situation is different, for us it was pain.  Maggie did not have lung mets, she had a different cancer which led to her amp.  What we were dealing with was a second, not treatable cancer in her mouth.  Maggie did not do well on pain meds at all, so I knew when the tumor made pain meds necessary that we would be at the end.

There is a point in this battle when there is nothing more to be done, accepting that is hard.  Yes, we could have tried different meds and maybe bought a little more time with Maggie, but at what cost and what benefit? The end result would be the same, she was getting ready to go and the only thing I could do at that point was to let her.

The most important thing now is Max's life quality. Focus on his quality, you love him, you will know what to do.

 

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Los Angeles, CA
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22 October 2015 - 2:38 pm
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Everyone has said it so well but you said it best .... 6 months is 3 1/2 years in dog years! That is SO true! When can value the time spent together vs the time lost, it really becomes a 'dog's life'. 

Quality and being in the moment with Max will help you both as you look back on this and remember the smiles over the tears.... 

hugs! 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

Michigan
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2 April 2013
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22 October 2015 - 8:27 pm
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Susanna ~

I know that it's just a matter of time before I'm in that same place with Murphy.  We have been incredibly lucky with him and we know it.  We treasure every day with him, and we worry about every sound he makes or every move that's different, every stumble he takes when he's running.

My heart is with you ...

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy 

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old. He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  
Read about Murphy's Life on Three Legs

Donna.png

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2 May 2015
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22 October 2015 - 9:07 pm
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Tomorrow is our day. It's settled and scheduled. He's barely moved today, is detached, won't eat. It's time. 

Feels surreal and weird. But it's right. 

Cant stop crying. I can't believe he won't be here this time tomorrow night. Here we go. Can already feel the big hole in my life. 

Send us your prayers and thoughts tomorrow. 

Virginia







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22 October 2015 - 9:34 pm
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We understsnd....we cry with you...we understand all too well.

You WILL get through this because you love Max sooo much! You will hold it together for hin because you love him so much. There'll be plenty of time for tears. Right now Max is still with you. Do everything in your power not to think past the moment....you will do it because you love Max so much.

Max has made the decision. He is ready for release and looking forward to stepping out of his earthly clothes that no longer serve him. As Denise said earlier, you are GIVING to Max by giving him this release, you are not taking anything away. And as Alison said, value the time spent togetjer vs the time "lost".

To hear how determined Max was to take long hikes, to play fetch, to eek out every second of living life to the fullest is such a beautiful part of his journey. What a splendid job you and Max have done of playing full out! Max has done things Max's way. And now he's let you know he's still in charge and still doing things on his own terms.

We celebrate Max tonight. We celebrate a life well lived and well loved. We celebrate yoir coursge. This is the most selfless gift of love we can give our dogs. Max is so proud of you for loving him so much. He knows he will always be with you, just from a different address where he is free to hike for miles everyday with no pain.

Sending you all the love in the world...

Sally and My Eternal Light Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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