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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 8916
Experience:  I have owned, bred and shown dogs for over 40 years.
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My dog is 11 years old and is scheduled today to be put

Customer Question

Hi my dog is 11 years old and is scheduled today to be put to sleep. About to 2 weeks ago I noticed my big boy putting on wait. I thought at first his just eating too much. I didn't worry about it until a week later it was getting bigger his abdomen. I left it for 3 more days thinking maybe it may go down. It didn't. I took him to my local Vet theu took one look at his stomach and said he has something serious as he had accumulated 5 litres of fluid. This vet gave me options of test and the costs or put him to sleep there and then . I said no I'm not making that choice right now so i went home that night and he looked so happy still eating walking and playful. I decided to get a 2nd opinion from another vet the next day .... not to mention the 1st vet didn't even touch him ... all he did was take his temp. That day my dog done a running... red... brown poor that looked bloody but smelt like poor. The 2nd vet i took him to did a thorough check said i could do test that will cost that i don't have money for jist wind up knowing theres nothing that can be done. Or take tests knowing we tried or could of helped. Unfortunately sadly i am poor and don't have money im a single mum. They gave me 3 options.
1. Take tests to wind up at square helpless... and or find something wrong costing more money and medication.
2. Medication to slow process of fluid build up and a drainage.
3. Putting him to sleep.
I chose of course the affordable ine because i wasnt ready to let my dog go. Number 2 option.
After a drainage 7 days ago and medication his filled up that fluid theu drained but double that.
This is whats happening now.
1. Sits up all night ... won't lay down ... because his so full with fluid. sleep but his tired.
3. Breathing is heavy
4. Eating well and drinking lots lots lots water.
5. Was smiling and walking until yesterday.
6. Now he can't walk or move without being carried.
7. By 6 in the morning his crying with exhaustion.
8. Since he done that runny bloody poo 7 days ago his poo is normal and has been.
9. But today he done a poo and there was white worms in it. No more bloody poos.
10. His got souch fluid his shaking and it's coming out of his skin.
11. He was wormed 2 months ago and was fine.
12. His eyes are suffering now due to fluid build up but when his stomach was half empty he was happy. 😢😢😢😧
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 5 months ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today. First, let me say how terribly sorry that you, your family and your dog are going through this horrible situation. I agree with your two previous vets that when ascites (abdominal fluid) develops, the underlying cause is not usually secondary to something that we can "cure" despite extensive and expensive testing. Cancer, liver disease or heart issues are the most common causes of ascites and once it develops, it usually does mean that the primary disease process is far advanced. Even if we identify the underlying cause and try to treat it, we're often still trying to play catch up when it comes to removing the fluid. Drugs such as lasix may be effective for some while manual drainage on a regular basis for others is often what I've had to do for my patients with ascites. The latter is not ideal but it can buy them some time if the primary problem isn't too far advanced.It sounds as if this is what you've tried to do but that the fluid is rebuilding almost as fast as you remove it. If I can get at least 7-10 days between draining procedures, then I consider that good; however, if the fluid builds up faster than this, then I'm must less optimistic about quality of life.The only other option I see at this point would be to consider removing the fluid more frequently but understand that you're only buying him a small amount of time. Perhaps that's enough for now, although he sounds as if he's a very bad way. As to whether or not it's time to let him go, there isn't always a clear cut answer to this question in every case, unfortunately.For me, it comes down to quality of life issues; this is the priority although often this is very subjective between individuals. When contemplating this decision, I ask my owners to consider the following questions:1. Does your pet have more good days than bad ones? Sometimes it helps to keep track of them on the calendar.2. Do they still enjoy doing the things they used to enjoy doing (even if for shorter periods of time) or are they too painful, tired or weak to do so?3. What is their attitude like? Are they lethargic/depressed or upbeat and enjoying interaction with the family?I find that if you can answer these questions honestly and objectively, then it often helps make this difficult decision.My personal opinion is that it's best to let our pets go before they deteriorate too far, while there's still some dignity to their lives but this is only my personal opinion. For me, quality of life trumps quantity.It's only natural to be second guessing your decision to let him go because you love him so much but in my opinion, you are making the most humane decision you could for him.With the information that you've provided and with his prognosis being so poor, you're putting his quality of life ahead of your desire to have him with you if you do decide to euthanize him today. The fact that you don't want him to suffer any longer and are making the ultimate decision about him takes a lot of strength and reflects how much you care and love him. I know how hard this decision is to contemplate but if you do decide to euthanize him today, I feel it's the right choice to make. I hope this helps although, again, I'm so sorry that you're both having to go through this. Deb
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 5 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Deb

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