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catzanddogz, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 221
Experience:  I am a Veterinarian and a pet owner. I have practiced cat and dog clinical medicine for over 25 years.
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Our 13 year old Sheltie had a liver lobectomy for a Hepatic

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Our 13 year old Sheltie had a liver lobectomy for a Hepatic Carcinoma 2 days ago. Since that time it was found she also has kidney disease (BUN and Creatine up), pneumonia, and a heart murmur. The problem now is that she's got a fever of 103.5, is refusing to eat and has done for 5 days--they are feeding her with a syringe at the hospital. She also has diarrhea and due to the amount of fluids she's getting, she is urinating a lot.

We brought her in a week ago to the emergency center (and we are broke now to say the least). They think she might be able to go home on Sunday--but frankly I'm frightened by the amount of care she might need. What I desperately need to know is: from all the problems I've listed...does it appear she'll have any quality of life? Or are we hoping for the impossible...we are considering taking her home and doing the best we can for what time she has left--but I don't know if that is the right thing, or we're just being selfish as kidney disease always seems to be fatal (please note the vet told me that she thinks she has kidney disease, not renal failure) husband and I can no longer converse without tears trying to figure out what's best.

The vet at the center says to give it one more day before making the decision to let her go--but she was slightly more hopeful this morning as our dog was brighter and alert and her pneumonia cough was better. Any thoughts on this would be so unbelievably appreciated.
Hello, I am Dr. Andrea Russo and I'll try to help answer your questions.

I am so sorry to hear about all that Kelsey has been through and is going through now. You know that what's important to consider above all else, is the quality of Kelsey's life and how she is feeling. You want her to feel good enough to eat, move around comfortably, sleep comfortably and be happy to see you. With all of her chronic serious ailments, and knowing her age - the end of her life is most likely going to be soon. How do you feel about her condition? Is it too painful to think about taking her home , knowing she might only have a short while to live? No one can tell you when the right time is - you have to feel ready to say goodbye. You might get some more time with her at home and if you take her home, you will know that after a day or so depending on how she is feeling. Sometimes visiting her in the hospital might help you decide if she is well enough to take home.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I wanted to update our conversation. My husband went to see Kelsey at the hospital. She didn't seem to know him, she didn't stand, and in fact all she did was lie down and sleep...our dog would have bolted for the door to go home and have been thrilled to see him. For an hour, he tried to find our Kelsey, but she wasn't there, if that makes sense. It was like she was saying goodbye.


The vet gently told my husband that he should go home and talk about things with me, hinting that it might be time...When he came home, after an hour of crying and talking, we let her go.


I feel like I have a whole in my heart, but I really believe she wanted to go to sleep. Thank you for your response...your words helped so much. Now for the hard part--getting by without those beautiful eyes smiling at us each day...

Under the circumstances, it sounds like you made the right decision for her. I know how heart breaking it is and how much she was a part of your life. For days you will be continuing to expect to find her waiting in the usual places for food, her walk; look over at the empty place where she used to sleep. The house will feel empty. With her illnesses and her age, she would never have been back to her former self and most likely would have died on her own. Your decision helped reduce her suffering. You did all you could for her including letting her go when it was time. Hang in there - it will get easier. Hopefully you will eventually feel like smiling when you think of her better days.