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I guess most of y'all know Cheyenne has mammery cancer. The three cluster lumps are now bigger than what i could hold in my hand. We had her on rimadyl, 1/2 tab a day and now lately she needs it twice a day. I am so torn about her. Everyone has always said to folks facing this, that you will "know" when the time has come. Or that the dog in question will let you know. I took great comfort in this, thinking I wouldn't have to wait too long, or too soon. But how do you know when the heart is not over-riding the brain? When you have had a dog since 10 days old and bottle fed it, how do you know the heart is not blinding your eyes? I guess I am just feeling rather sad tonight. I look in her eyes and I see the puppy playing in the snow for the first time. I watch her bunny hop up the stairs, and I see the frisky dog chasing the "grizzly bears" out of the vicinity. She will be 13 in Dec, we already know surgery is just not an option for her. She spends her days finding a place to sleep where the other dogs won't bother her. Which means, of course she is not around me. But late at night, when the other dogs have finally given up the play, and all is quiet and settled, she will come to lie by me. She still gets excited when DH comes home, but it lasts about 10 min. and then she is off to find a place to sleep. I know I will need to take her into the vets this week. At least his heart won't get in the way of saying how she is really doing. I don't mean he doesn't care, but its not the same. I just don't want my little girl to suffer for my selfishness. Thanks for listening. Just say a little prayer, or whatever you're comfortable with, that I will do the right thing at the right time.

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Oh, Linda, I am so sad for you and Cheyenne. I think you have the right attitude - remembering the "good times" before. Having had two cancer dogs myself (one BC mix, one mix), I think you really will know when the time comes. As long as Cheyenne is eating, sleeping well, and not in much pain - I think you'll be OK. I'm no expert - but is rimadyl the best you can give for pain? Sometimes it just takes a different med to make a difference. I think being up and about for 10 minutes is just FINE. When she really has trouble getting up - at least for me, that was a big sign. Hopefully, you can provide a quiet place for her - maybe that she CAN be near you? (x-pen or crate near wherever you are, that other dogs won't bother her?) Just some thoughts.

 

Cancer is just so unfair, especially to our four-legged friends who just don't get it. The good side of it is - they just don't get it. They know things aren't exactly normal, but they don't worry about the future (or the past) - they just live for "now."

 

Best of luck to you....and hugs ((((( ))))).

 

diane

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I am so sorry for you. In many ways for many of us, including me this is the hardest thing we will ever deal with. When this time comes for me I will give my dogs peace, I will help them depart. I remember every wonderful moment with my dogs and I always will. I can honestly say that they have brought me greater joy than anything in my life. All three of my dogs are with me at this moment in my office and because of your post I have a tear in my eye but being surrounded by my dogs is the most wonderful thing in the world for me. I will do anything for them, your post has inspired me to be reminded of this. I will give them everything they need and be thankful. When it is there time to go each one of them. I will hold them close, I will feel them slip away into peace, I will cry and feel terrible pain but after some time I will remember all that is good. I may again have a tear my eye when I recall but I will be thankful. Good luck, I will be thinking of you.

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When our Lucky girl was so sick like Cheyenne, Ken really struggled. We'd rescued her from the local humane society after seeing her on the local tv video and we used to say she spoke three languages, she was so smart. But at age 12 the cancer came, and there was a day that it was obvious she was ready to go. That day, our neighbor, who raised and showed Newfoundlands told us, "It's a hard thing, but you have to hurt so they don't have to." The worst part for me was taking her away from her buddy, Willie who was cuddled beside her. He was mostly blind and without her -- well, you know...

 

At any rate, your heart will tell you when its time, not your brain because you love the dog so much that you'll want peace for her.

 

 

Liz

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Linda, I'm sorry. :rolleyes: I know exactly how you must be feeling right now, and it truly sucks.

 

I think you are wise to talk to your vet this week. If yours is like mine, he won't tell you what to do but he can give you more information about what's going on and how Cheyenne is likely feeling. I always ask my vet, "Well, if she were yours, what would you do right now?"

 

In horses, we always say "Better a week too soon than an hour too late." For smaller animals, it's a little different, I guess, cause euthansia isn't quite as complicated to arrange and can be done more quickly.

 

I think I tend to keep them around longer than some would - my criteria are whether or not they are eating and interested in their surroundings. When the light goes out of their eyes, it's time. Of course, by then the animal is suffering, so maybe I do keep them around too long - DH says I do. I guess I'm not brave enough to let them go when they're still feeling relatively good.

 

This is the very worst part of having dogs.

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I do wonder about pain management for her. Rimadyl is like ibuprofen. It really only does so much for chronic pain. For inflammation, steroids can give an older dog a shot in the butt so to speak, undoing damage and allowing a milder anti-inflammatory a chance to get on top of it again. For bone or tissue pain, something like tramadol or narcotics might help her more. For chronic pain in dogs, these don't generally have the drowsy side effects they have in humans. Pain is VERY depressing to animals. Humans tend to react strongly to acute pain and then find a way to background it. In animals it seems to be the opposite. The longer pain goes on, the stronger their instinct to hide, stay quiet, and the more fearful they act.

 

Good luck! I hop you and the doc can come up with a workable solution.

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Linda, I'm so sorry to hear that Cheyenne is not doing well. Like Diane and Becca, I believe that you should check w/the vet about trying a different pain med.

 

For us, it was not one overwhelming sign, but several moderate ones. Buzz didn't want to do anything but lay under my desk, he was starting to have trouble breathing, and the lump I found was growing daily. As painful as it was to say goodbye, neither DH nor I saw any kindness to Buzz in having him get sicker and sicker.

 

I'm not saying that this is where Cheyenne is right now, just that the 'you'll know' moment is sometimes not a big realization, but a small, quiet one. When I found that damn lump under Buzz's ear, he gave me this look that said, "Finally," and I knew he was close to needing to go.

 

My thoughts are with you and Cheyenne and all your family.

 

Ruth

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To me, it's a question of pain. It sounds as though Cheyenne were not in pain, just slowly slowing down.

 

Our wonderful cat Frodo developed a fast growing cancer on a back hip/leg at 18. He was not in pain, but slept a lot. We made a bed for him in the corner of the kitchen, where he could be in the midst of things. Our younger cat came up to see him and sniff him, but she realized he wasn't his old romping self.

 

I had medication for Frodo, and we visited the vet about daily - just around the corner. One of our two teen-agers would hold him on his or her lap. The vet assured me that he wasn't in pain, offered to put him to sleep if the ordeal was too much for us. We decided that it was Frodo, not us, who counted.

 

He died in his bed one morning, with our daughter Mari patting him. He just went to sleep, and that was it.

 

I feel that, as long as the animal is not in pain and seems happy and comfortable, I will let that animal go quietly, on it's own time. I won't do any extreme surgery. We could have had that leg amputated, but by the time we discovered it (and this cat had regular vet visits, lots of attention, and even baths) it had metastasized. The surgery would have caused pain and only put off the inevitable.

 

If the animal is in pain, with no chance of recovery, that's a very different story. My best friend, Sandy, is taking her lovely rescue horse Penny to the vet today and will have to put her down tomorrow. She has arthritis and bone spurs (I think that's what Sandy said) for which nothing can be done and which cause her real pain. So Sandy knows what she owes Penny.

 

Would that we could make such choices for ourselves.

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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 final battle cannot be won.

 

You will be sad, I understand.

Don't let your 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'd not want me to suffer so.

The time has come, please let me go.

 

Take me where my need they'll tend

And please stay with me until the end.

Hold me firm and speak to me

Until my eyes no longer can see.

 

I know in time that you will see

The kindness that you did for me.

Although my tail its last has waved,

From pain and suffering I have been saved.

 

Please do not grieve it must be you

Who had this painful thing to do.

We've been so close, we two these years,

Don't let your heart hold back its tears.

 

~ Author Unknown

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Aw, dam*, I'm so sorry to hear that Cheyenne isn't doing so well. Good mojo for you and Cheyenne. I hope the vet visit gives you some peace of mind.

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I have no words. I know your feelings as I spent the last several months going through the same thing with Simon and Bear. All I can offer is love and hugs for the both of you.

 

*hugs*

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Hey Linda

I'm so sorry you and Chyenne are having to fight this. I've always said the same thing that I will know but to assure myself I've decided to make a list of the good and the bad when the time comes I'm hoping the list will help me "know". it's right.

 

I will keep you and your sweet girl in my thoughts and prayers.

Peace to both of you now and when the time comes.

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Linda, so sorry to hear she isn't doing well. You won't understand now but you will "know" when the time has come. It will "feel right" mentally, spiritually and physically, you'll just know and you will be confident and comfortable with you decision.

 

Prayers for you and Cheyenne.

 

Karen

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When Nell was dying last fall, I came to the realization that she wasn't going to let me know. She was just too good and too stoic to complain. It was up to me to make that decision.

 

She started having small seizures at night and was unable to eat solid food. I shared with her one last wonderful day and said goodbye the next morning. She may have gone on a bit longer but it wouldn't have been a kindness. I'll never forget Nell and Loki romping and rolling in the new snow and how much they touched each other on that day.

 

I wish you and Cheyenne the very best of memories as you spend your time together. I hope the vet can ease your girl and extend her comfort. Take care, we'll be thinking of you.

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Linda,

 

I know how it felt to me, and I imagine it doesn't feel much different to you.

 

The fact that this is the bargain we make doesn't make it any easier.

 

I am thinking of you with all deepest empathy. And I think that you will know the best thing to do. We worry about it, but when the time comes we know.

 

D'Elle

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