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Hardest decision I've had to make in a long time

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  • Hardest decision I've had to make in a long time

    My little Scotty, Fiona, has pretty much completely lost the battle to her kidney disease. She's lost 10 pounds since mid-September Dash started while I was at Hershey. (Add that part of my guilt).
    She's on IV fluids every other day, is eating barely enough to keep a bird alive. Today she's had about 4 ounces of food all day. And right now it's consisting of mashed potato with cream cheese and French butter mixed in, rare lamb steak or Swedish meatballs ( IKEA brand only), maybe some ground bison.

    Since she is so feisty the vet has had to do the fluids and on this past Saturday he called me to let me know that I needed to start thinking seriously about letting her go. If she only would make it easy ---- and actually act as sick and feeble as my Honey and Chewie did in the end. But, I also don't want her to suffer the same way I think they did in their final days. But, I also don't want her to suffer the same way I think Chewie did. I am assured that Fiona is in minimal or no pain right now. Currently we're outside and she's taking a stroll.

    Part of her looks and acts like s typical geriatric - sleeping a lot and laying in the sun sniffing the breezes. Then you touch her and she's skin and bones. I'm torn between wanting to let her enjoy the last days and wanting to make sure she's not suffering. The fatalist in me knows that if I wait she'll probably take a turn for the extreme in the middle of the night, or while I'm at work and can't get back in time to get her to the doctor, or over the weekend after their offices have closed. The intellectual part of my knows it's time, the emotional part feels like Kevorkian.
    Her past vet trip is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

  • #2
    That is an extremely difficult decision to make. I have only had to once. May the both of you have peace during this time and enjoy the wonderful time y'all have had together


    • #3
      This is a hard time. My thoughts are with you and your baby. It sounds like you know what is right for you and her. You know you've done everything you can, and I can tell you want to be there for her. Hugs.


      • #4
        So sorry Chewie. It's such a hard decision. When my Mother's German Shepherds hip dysplasia got so bad she was dragging her back end behind her and was starting to lose control of her bowel movements (she was around 10 years old) I had to make the decision more or less for her and take Tasha to the vet because she couldn't bare it. I wasn't really close to the dog as it came into the family from my mothers boyfriend a couple years earlier, but I still bawled like a baby at the vet's office.

        Enjoy the time you have and make her last days comfortable. When the time comes, you'll know. My deepest condolences.
        It's not what you look at that matters; it's what you see.
        Henry David Thoreau


        • #5
          My little doxie, Fritz, 18 yrs old, and paralyzed for the last 10 years, also had a slow decline in health. The last 6 months, I would slowly syringe prescription canned food into the back of his mouth, which kept him from starving to death. If your dog is up and walking around, I don't think the time is right, but then only you will know when it is time. I wish all of my dogs would have died at home, much more peaceful.

          Happy enjoying the time that is left

          Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC


          • #6
            Oh, HoneyandChewiespal, I'm so so sorry to hear of Fiona's downturn. It is never easy to make "that decision ", and you continue to show your grace under pressure by keeping your presence of mind regarding her well-being. To have that unconditional love (and gourmet cuisine!) as her body weakens is the memory she will treasure about you for eternity. Hugs at this difficult time.


            • #7
              I know this is going to come off as harsh. It isn't directed at you Honey, it's just my opinion on euthanasia in general.

              I absolutely make quality of life decisions. It's not JUST about pain. I look at the dog and ask myself would I want to live like this? If the answer is no, I have my decision. I know everyone has different opinions on life and death. Some people are afraid to die and will do anything to prolong their life, I personally want a quality life and will never take drastic measures to prolong mine. I also have no regrets about any of my dogs.

              I think you are making the right decision for your girl. Kidney failure is not painful but the phosphorus that builds up in the system makes you feel very ******. The reason you don't want to eat is because your stomach feels like you have the flu all the time. Nobody wants to eat when they are barfing constantly.


              • #8
                I agree with cockerlvr completely. Put yourself in her shoes and ask yourself if she's truly happy. Would you want to live the way she's living now? Sometimes it's not about prolonging life until the dog starts to suffer, but letting go once quality of life has diminished irreparably.


                • #9
                  Thank you everyone. All you input and insights are appreciated.

                  She went at 5:30 today. I WAS having second thoughts - wondering if I was rushing the inevitable. Particularly when she got up this morning and TROTTED out the back door into the yard. And then ate a big ( for the recent her ) breakfast of meatballs, lamb steak and filet - about 2.5 oz total. Then she went for her .2 mile walk. All before I left for work.
                  My sister reported that Fiona slept until 3 pm, barely moving. I got in at 4 and she was right up and back out into the rear yard. Followed me to back of the acts to sit under the mango tree me last time.
                  She was fading while she rode on my lap to the vet. She gave s Scottie crew when they put in the catheter. She was gone half way through the second injection.

                  I agree that quality of life is the most important thing. I believe it is our responsibility to do what is in their best interests - even when it breaks our hearts.


                  • #10
                    Sorry for your loss.


                    • #11
                      So sorry for your loss Chewie. It sounds like you are at peace with the timing. She knew she was ready to go and had herself a great last day. I know your heart has a hole in it, fill it with happy memories tonight.


                      • #12
                        So sorry for your loss Chewie. It does sound like you are at peace. Now for the beautiful Memories and they will last your lifetime.