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Discussion Starter #1
My dog is dying. It has been about two weeks since she has eaten normally. Her appetite has been dwindling each day and now she will eat nothing at all.

We strongly suspect abdominal cancer. She has an ultrasound coming on Wednesday, but I'm not sure she's going to make it until Wednesday. Her energy is waning, she is sleeping most of the time.

My question is, should I make her eat? I have, until recently, been giving her baby food in a syringe, just in hope that it would help her bounce back. I'm coming to terms with the fact that she isn't going to bounce back.

So now I want to make her last days happy and comfortable as possible. So should I continue giving her baby food, or is it kinder to leave her alone about the food? Please help. I want my girl's last time to be as good as possible, and my heart is breaking. How do I give her best possible time while I have her?
 

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So sorry you are going through this! If she is unwilling to eat then perhaps you need to speak with your veterinarian as soon as they are open/available to see what your options are. I think my biggest concern would be fluid loss. There are vitamin rich calorie boosters you can give as well, which don't actually require mastication as they will melt in the dog's mouth.

Tomlyn Nutri-Cal for Dogs at PETCO

GNC Ultra Mega High Calorie Booster Dog Formula | Vitamins & Supplements | PetSmart

Thanks so much for this idea. I've been to the vet three times now in the last two weeks and they keep giving her subcutaneous fluids, sulcrate, anti-nausea meds, and antibiotics. None of the meds are helping her. I feel like I'm being cruel forcing her to eat when she obviously doesn't want to. Same with the medications. They aren't working, and she hates taking them. I'm not sure I understand why we are putting her through this. It is so hard to watch her fading, but I want to let her go peacefully if she is dying anyway, not torture her in her final days to do something that makes her feel worse. It is a terrible feeling. I appreciate the idea. We may have to take her back to emergency today for fluids as the regular vet is closed on Sundays. I can ask about this too.
 

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Some times it best not to give anything a lot in terms of food. My grandfather was dyeing not to long ago and the nurse said when its time for the mind to leave to the body they stop eating and drinking. Its the body's response to slow things down and move on. I know it can be hard, it was so hard seeing my grandfather going. It may be best to put her to sleep. I know its hard, I have had to put so many animals down over the years. You may just have to make the call. If you think she wont come back and if she does and she does have cancer is it fair to make her go through the cancer. I am so so sorry to hear about your pal.
 

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I went through something similar with my elderly dog. What it taught me is that when they completely stop eating it's best to put them to sleep if there's no hope of them getting better. I opted to let him pass away naturally at home and while the vet said it wasn't painful to him it was very heartbreaking for me.

If you and your vet are thinking that there's something that can be done to save your girl then talk to him about what you can do to get her to Wednesday. Whether it's honey on her gums to keep her blood sugar up, baby food, or pureed meat for some nutrition, the liquid food supplement that vets have (sort of like Ensure for dogs). If y'all don't think there's hope, spare her the test, and spend a day doing all her favorite things then go have her put to sleep.

I'm so sorry that you are going through this, and my heart breaks for y'all, you're in my prayers.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you both for the good thoughts and the advice. It helps me to clarify things in my own thoughts.

We took her to a new vet yesterday because we were finding ours to be too complacent. This one gave her IV fluids (which perked her up) and also took some x-rays to see if he could find anything obvious.

He said he could see a slightly enlarged heart, but no conjestive heart failure, which is good news. He could see that her GI tract is moderately distended with gas, and no obvious masses, which is also good news. Of course the ultrasound is still necessary to rule out smaller tumours but I am more hopeful now. He suggested it might be pancreatitis or colitis.

I have my first glimmer of hope that it might be treatable… I've been assuming cancer the whole time.

Meanwhile, she is hanging in there. She's not herself, but she has enough energy to bark at squirrels and play a little bit with the other dogs. She's not ready to go.

I absolutely agree with you both about letting go when the time is right, and I won't let my girl suffer. Hubby has taken the day off tomorrow to be with her, and the next day we are both going to with her for the ultrasound. Whatever is going on with her, she has a family that adores her and will hold her tight throughout the journey, wherever it leads us.

Thanks for the positive energy here. It helps me very much. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The radiologist called us and invited us to come in today instead of waiting until tomorrow.

And the news so far is all positive. No masses, no tumours. Just some signs of aging, typical of a dog her age, but nothing terribly worrisome. Even the enlarged heart, we were told, is actually within normal range for a greyhound. (I always knew greyhounds had big hearts!)

The doctor recommended an endoscopy to see if she could find out more. She said she suspects an ulcer. The only scary part is that ulcers can still be caused by mast cells (cancer) in the stomah wall. An endoscopy would make it clear whether or not this is the case. And what's another thousand dollars at this point? Good grief.

She also recommended discontinuing the antibiotic. Not necessary and potentially contributing to appetite loss. Continue sulcrate, continue pepcid AC.

So while my brain was processing all of this… pup asked me for dinner. I wasn't super surprised because she has been doing that for two weeks, acting like she's hungry and then refusing to eat when I give it to her. But I keep giving it to her because I really really really want her to eat!

So I did my thing, put the food in her dish, sat back waiting to be disappointed. And she ate. She ate! What??? I don't get it. She suddenly ate. Her whole dinner! No vomiting, no problem at all.

I have no idea what's going on here.

Maybe your positive vibes are reaching us. If so, thank you!! Whatever has changed, I pray it lasts.

:)
 

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That's great news! I'll keep you all in my prayers, but here's hoping that it turns out to be nothing major... or at least manageable!
 

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I am so happy for you and her!! That's great news you got and hopefully she's turning the corner and on the road to recovery.

Thanks so much for keeping us updated, all to often people ask for advice and we're left wondering if the dog got better, it's hard because we do care.
 
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