Put to sleep or potential life saving surgery

edited 28 September 2018 at 1:28PM in Pets & Pet Care
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MrBrindleMrBrindle Forumite
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edited 28 September 2018 at 1:28PM in Pets & Pet Care
It's been a tough day, myself and my partner haven't stopped crying since this morning.

Last Saturday, our brindle lurcher Jasper (who my username is named after!) went off his normal food and we noticed in the week he had melena (digested blood) in his poo. Fast forward to today and we have found out he has a lump/tumour in his small intestine. Needles to say we are beside ourselves, he's 9 years old now and we've had him 6 years.

Looking online, intestinal tumours, which although rare, are almost always malignant.

The vets have advised that the next course of action is surgery to find out what the lump is, and possible removal, however due to the location of the lump and his symptoms, they said be prepared for the worst.

We are currently thinking, and as much as I hate the idea of 'giving up on him', is to spend the weekend with him and have him pts start of next week. I don't want him to suffer anymore, he's been gradually getting worse throughout the week.

We're completely beside ourselves, and unsure what to do. If the lump ends being bad and not removable, then the vets have advised leaving him go under anaesthetic - which I hate the idea of. I'd rather hold him when he slips away.

I was wondering if anyone had been through anything similar, and had a positive outcome.

I don't want to prolong his suffering, but I don't want to live the rest of my life not knowing if he could have been saved or not.

Thanks in advance.


  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    You have my sympathy. None of us wish to be on that position.

    Have the vets said what recovery would be like , if they could remove the tumour? What would his life be like afterwards?

    Your love for your dog will lead you to the best for him.

    It is okay to do nothing sometimes.

    Whatever you decide do not regret your decision. You made the best decision you could at the time.
  • MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
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    I will give you my experience, it may give you some focus.

    One day I was fussing my cats belly and found a lump, she had an op to remove that side of her breast.

    She was about 9 years old and I got her when I was 18.

    One day again I was fussing my cat and found a lump the other side. She had an op to remove that side of her breast.

    She was a few more years older.

    Yes, cats do have a lot of [email protected]@bs!

    One day my cat starting behaving a little different, still eating/drinking / toilet / beating the others up. But there was just something else that was 'off' with her.

    One day she seemed to be having a fit and toileting as a result (happens with humans), I took her to the vet and was told she was constipated and that was causing the issues. Gave me some meds for her.

    A couple if days later I was back at the vets and she was booked in for a scan.

    She had her scan, her insides had tumours (I knew they would be back and inside due to her previous ops, there was no where else for them to go was there), some were wrapped round her insides, others just growing.

    The vet gave me a choice, he opens her up has a look and if no chance of removing them that's it, she would be stitched up and PTS.

    Or, I take her home, enjoy what little time we had left together and wait or take her back in to be PTS.

    I asked how long I would have with her and he said he didnt know how she was as perky, playful as she was and not in pain, she should have been in a lot and not perky. He said it could be 2 weeks or 6 months but I was to take her back if she was in pain etc to be PTS.

    She carried on as she was.

    She was sleeping on my footstool when one of the others touched her fur and instantly she beat the poo out of him. 2am I got up, I sat her on my lap to rest and watched her leave.

    She was turning 20 that year, 1 day away from the 6 month max deadline by the vet (who incidently could not believe she made it that long).

    All of my furbabies have had funerals and I have their ashes as it brings me comfort knowing they are with me.

    I havent said this to upset you, if I am ever in the same situation I would do it again.

    I paid for two ops which removed all of her breasts, I did not pay to have the tumours tested to cancer.

    Pay for a scan so you can see what you and your family are facing, is it one lump, are there more, only then can you know what you are prepared to do after taking the advice from your vet.

    My thoughts are with you are it isnt an easy position you are in.
  • DD265DD265 Forumite
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    I'm sorry you and Jasper are going through this OP.

    Whatever you decide it's not giving up on him, and you shouldn't feel guilty. I think you've answered your own question though, which is that you need to know.

    Would your vet allow you to be with him when he goes under the anesthetic, or if they decide it's best to let him go, for you to come in and be with him then?

    If it helps at all, I had my horse put to sleep last spring and I wasn't with him, despite being adamant that I would be. The knacker-man wouldn't let me stand by him or hold him, so I walked away. A friend stayed, at a distance, and said it was peaceful and that he didn't know. I am glad that my last memories of him are him stuffing his face with the grass he'd been trying to get for years. I miss him, but I don't feel guilty that I wasn't there.
  • MrBrindleMrBrindle Forumite
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    Thank you for all your replies.

    I have had a lengthy discussion with the vet just now after they reviewed the scans and xrays this afternoon, and unfortunately it looks like there's not only a mass on the small intestine, but also a number of other abnormalities nearby, which probably means it's spread.

    I am completely broken right now.
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    If it should be that I grow weak
    And pain should keep me from my sleep;
    Then you must do what must be done,
    For this last battle can't be won.

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

    We've had so many happy years;
    What is to come can hold no fears.
    You don't want me to suffer so
    The time has come, please let me go.

    Take me where my needs they'll tend,
    But please stay with me 'til the end
    To hold me close and speak to me
    Until my eyes no longer see.

    I know in time you will agree,
    It was a kindness done for me.
    Although my tail its last has waved,
    From pain and suffering I'm saved.

    Please do not grieve that it was you
    Who had this painful thing to do.
    We've been so close, we two, these years;
    Don't let your heart hold any tears.
  • suki1964suki1964 Forumite
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    My heart goes out to you xxx

    This is the hardest thing we as pet lovers have to do, but it is the kindest

    The pain is unbearable, even though you know its the kindest thing and the best thing to do, finding the courage to do it .... :(

    Take your time, have your time to say goodbye. Have the vet come to yours, With off the phones, turn off the doorbell. Get yourself comfortable and cuddle him

    Gunnar passed cuddled on my lap eating malteasers and I sat with him till he was cold and I knew he was gone. The vet and nurse came and went, the afternoon went. We just had our last time together until I was ready to put him in his last resting place
  • I'm so sorry you're having to go through this, having to make these decisions is so hard.

    Several years ago my cat Sooty had similar problems, he wasn't himself, we took him to the vets and they did xrays and scans on him, and we were told he had several tumours in his belly, and even though there was a chance they could operate and remove them, there was no guarantee he'd survive. The vet told my dad that the best thing to do was put him to sleep. They offered to do it there and then.

    My dad said no as I was at work and would want to see him to say goodbye so he made an appointment to go back the day after.
    Later that night Sooty died naturally at home with me, my parents and my sister's by his side. It is still to this day the only time I have seen my dad cry. My thoughts go out to you, as it really is the worst feeling in the world having to say goodbye to part of your family.
  • thorsoakthorsoak Forumite
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    It is so hard to contemplate the death of a much loved pet - who is always a part of the family and I/we have had to do it so many times in my 75 years. But I try to remember this - better a day too early than a day too late.

    This really struck me on two occasions - as I was watching my lovely mum struggling in her last few days with cancer and wished I could do something to help her go, and again seven years ago when I held my beloved OH's hand and watched him leave me after 47 years of marriage. If I could have spared their suffering, - OH said enough is enough - I would have done so. So, although it will break my heart, I know that the time is near when I shall have to take our beloved Freya - labrador aged 14 - on her last trip - so my heart goes out to you.

    Our furbabies depend upon us for love, for food, for shelter and give us unconditional love. We show them the same love and be brave - but please, stay with him at the end. xxx
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    It is the last act of love that we can do for our pets.
  • Soot2006Soot2006 Forumite
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    The reason this decision hurts so much is because we care so much. So you're not giving up. I have had to make the decision and it tears you up, but I truly believe that for a loved animals it's better to go a day too soon, or even a year too soon, than a day too late x
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