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Old 06-16-2017, 04:28 PM
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My 14 yr old beloved dog (I've had dogs all my life and have never been more bonded with a dog, I really love her) has lost 20% of her body wt due to not eating. No apparent illness at all, still plays like a puppy, she's just not hungry and I've tried everything. Vet did blood work as a first step, everything came back negative. She said the next step would be X-rays and scans to check for things like cancer.

And here is where I pause. She is perfectly happy, absolutely no other change in behaviors and some days eats with gusto. Do I need to know if she has cancer because what would I do differently? I would not put a 14 yr old happy dog through chemo. I would consider surgery only if she had a clearly defined, easily excisable tumor but that's it.

In two weeks, I'm supposed to have watched her eating and make a decision about further testing. I was a hospice nurse for 11 yrs, I value quality of time over quantity. But at the same time, I adore Bernice. When I became disabled and had no audible blood pressure for a yr and was flat on my back on bedrest for that yr, she had to be dragged from my side just to go outside. She never willingly left me. The selfish part of me wants to extend her life as long as possible.

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Old 06-16-2017, 04:58 PM
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My 14 yr old beloved dog (I've had dogs all my life and have never been more bonded with a dog, I really love her) has lost 20% of her body wt due to not eating. No apparent illness at all, still plays like a puppy, she's just not hungry and I've tried everything. Vet did blood work as a first step, everything came back negative. She said the next step would be X-rays and scans to check for things like cancer.

And here is where I pause. She is perfectly happy, absolutely no other change in behaviors and some days eats with gusto. Do I need to know if she has cancer because what would I do differently? I would not put a 14 yr old happy dog through chemo. I would consider surgery only if she had a clearly defined, easily excisable tumor but that's it.

In two weeks, I'm supposed to have watched her eating and make a decision about further testing. I was a hospice nurse for 11 yrs, I value quality of time over quantity. But at the same time, I adore Bernice. When I became disabled and had no audible blood pressure for a yr and was flat on my back on bedrest for that yr, she had to be dragged from my side just to go outside. She never willingly left me. The selfish part of me wants to extend her life as long as possible.

WWYD?
I've been there. Your dog is declining and it is heart-wrenching. Enjoy the dog while you can - let it sleep with you, give it snacks, lots of love.

You and the dog will both know when the time comes to end the dog's suffering. I held my dog in my arms as her suffering ended, then gently placed her in a wooden box that I made, and properly buried her in my back yard.

There is a poem that goes like this:


If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this — the last battle — can't be won.

You will be sad I understand,
But don't let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.

Take me to where to my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.

Don't grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We've been so close — we two — these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.

— Unknown
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Last edited by TexasHusker; 06-16-2017 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 06-16-2017, 05:31 PM
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thanks for that, Texashusker. that poem says it all.

I do have the number of a vet who will come to your house to put your dog to sleep. He has a wonderful reputation. Bernice will go to her rest in my arms, on my bed.
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:36 PM
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On our dog who had cancer and was undergoing chemo we did surgery to remove a tooth. It was not cheap and I really hard a hard time. It was put him down for the pain or do the surgery. It was another 6 months of good quality of life. He was in good shape. But the tooth had cracked. Anyway prior to the chemo we hadn't done acl surgery and let it heal and it was okay because that seemed harder and longer.

I can't tell you what to do and I've done ridiculous things for my dogs, but they really are often our best friends. They don't give us lip like kids. Yet understand so much. Anyway my thoughts and prayers with you.
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:21 PM
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We put a cat down that we learned has cancer in December. She likely had it far longer than we realized, but she had stopped eating. We tried everything for ten days, but then it was clear that her body was failing even more. It was so hard, but I'm glad we knew that it was simply her time to go. While extra measures could have been attempted, it seemed more stressful for all of us to go down that path. We enjoyed her last days as much as we could and I would hope you could do the same with your dog. Take lots of pictures and even video for the memories.
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Old 06-18-2017, 05:21 PM
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thanks guys, that's all good advice and helpful. I'm sorry for the pets you have lost.

Apparently, she is really struggling when I have to leave the house. She paces and whines til I get back. But I have to take my dad and myself to multiple MD appts, I feel horrible. Other than that, I am going to try to be home as much as humanly possible for her for as long as this is going on. I'm still of the mindset that if she just eats more, she'll be ok, that it's temporary.
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:15 PM
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Constant pacing and restiessness is a sign of a neurological issue - there could have been a stroke, or it could be dementia. They also tend to lose control of their bodily functions.

Our dog exhibited all of this, to the point that it was obvious that she was suffering.
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:42 AM
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except she's totally fine when I'm present. I called the vet who said she may be starting to feel unwell and only feels secure when I am there. She gave me a short trial of anxiety meds and said if that doesn't work, it's time for more of a work up (or she didn't say this but in my mind, time to put her to sleep)
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:19 AM
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she just ate a full day's worth of food and then zoomed around the house like a nutbag, growling and attacking our other dog in play. I'm glad for moments like these.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:24 AM
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Tell the vet to take those pet anxiety meds and shove them up their *&(#. Time to find a new vet.

Anyway...if the dog isnt eating it could have swallowed something and its in their guts. Is your dog going to the bathroom as normal?

Start feeding the dog "human" food. Burgers, hotdogs, steaks, chicken, fish, etc etc. Not just scraps either.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:32 AM
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I would think a simple abdominal xray would be cheap(ish) and would tell you if there's something stuck or a large tumor(?)

I agree that I wouldn't invest much at this point..no exploratory stuff..

Is drinking normal? Stools?

Maybe get a nice filet for the dog?
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:04 AM
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If your dog is rebounding, she just could have had a virus or something that passed. No need to panic! And an xray and some blood work are pretty cheap. No big deal for your dear dog.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:31 AM
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If she is anything like my dog, she just gets sick of her food and stops eating. You might want to try a different dog food in small doses. Petsmart has a lot of small trail-sized bags, or you can email the companies and ask for free trail bags or coupons. Unless she normally gets table scraps, human food can really upset her stomach or give her pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is so painful. I felt so bad for my dog when she had it, and once they get it, it never really goes away. You have to constantly watch what you feed them and look for signs of heartburn and what not.

I don't see any problems with giving a dog anxiety meds if they have anxiety, especially at 14 years old. Is her eyesight ok? Anxiety is one of the first symptoms when they start losing their eyesight. She might not be eating if she has trouble seeing the food, too.

Good luck! Watching my pets get old leaves me so sad that I keep telling myself "No more after this" and then I suddenly find my house filled with animals again.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:22 AM
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Would not recommend people food for dogs.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:07 PM
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well, the anxiety pill worked, she rested quietly while I took my dad out to the doctor and was fine and playful when I got home. My mother said she didn't whine once.

I had a dog with pancreatitis once, that's no fun.

we're trial-ing a new food, mixed half and half with her old food. I put shredded cheese on her food once and now she won't eat without it but I only have to put like 5 shreds and she's happy. The vet didn't recommend people food unless she totally stopped eating and then try chicken and rice.

her stools are normal and her urine was tested and was negative.

maybe the whole thing is that she got tired of her food or is just getting old and eating less. But she lost a lot of wt. I can bring her in for a wt check anytime so I'll wait a few weeks and see if she has gained some wt back. and if she hasn't, I've decided I'll do a workup and make decisions from there. On the days she eats, it's like there's nothing wrong, it's hard to think of her possibly being sick.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by TexasHusker View Post
If your dog is rebounding, she just could have had a virus or something that passed. No need to panic! And an xray and some blood work are pretty cheap. No big deal for your dear dog.
thank God, her blood work was negative, an ultrasound and scans would be next if she doesn't gain wt back
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