Decision was made and today is the day.
I don’t think we slept much last night. Our lack of sleep wasn’t because the neighbor’s dog barked from 11:00 pm until about 4:00 this morning. We only know that because our eyes were open that whole time. Clyde was up much of the night as well due to his increasing pain. Ours was also due to our increasing pain. His is physical and ours, well, is emotional.
We made the decision to have Clyde put to sleep this afternoon.
We made the decision because we didn’t want him to suddenly die at home from a hemorrhage and on top of that, he seemed to be experiencing significant pain last night. We don’t want to be those dog owners that wait too long… it is not fair to the dog we love so much. Waiting would no doubt be selfish.
I’m going to call the vet this morning and see if we can give Clyde something to take the edge off this afternoon. He gets anxious every time he goes to see a vet or a groomer and we want to try to make this as easy and peaceful for him as possible.
We both have had to euthanize several pets in in our lives. Never have either of us had to make that decision about a pet that on the outside doesn’t seem sick enough. Usually they are so ill they need to be carried to the car. Our dog, Sedgwick, actually started to pass away in our living room. We had a 3:00 appointment and at 10:00 am she started to go. Clyde’s situation is nothing like that, he is still walking, barking and howling, not with the energy he used to have, but he is still active.
This day will not be easy on any of us. I am quite sure I will be in need of a good stiff cocktail after this is day is over. On second thought, make mine a double.
We’re back from the vet and have had some time to digest the news… more good and bad.
The good news is that Clyde is home with us tonight.
The bad news is that boy isn’t going to make it.
His cancer has spread to his liver and possibly other places in his body.
The plan, for now, is to provide pain management to keep him comfortable and as long as he continues to eat and is not suffering, we may be able to have him with us.
One caveat is that this cancer causes internal hemorrhaging which could happen at any time, without warning… that means he could pass any time.
This is so difficult, but we will make decisions based on what’s best for him and do the best we can.
I’m not sure if it’s more difficult to know all of this in advance or not, but as it stands, we weren’t given a choice… we never are, are we?
We thank everyone for your support and kind words. It really means a lot.
We love our boy, Clyde… will will miss him… but until then, we’ll just love him.
We discovered why one of our boys, Clyde, has been pacing and so anxious. I guess that’s the good news.
Since Friday we’ve noticed that Clyde, our 7 year old St. Bernard mix, has been pacing in the tent at night and acting very anxious. We attributed it to having to sleep in the tent in our backyard instead of sleeping in our room, in the house, which is just a few feet away (see this page to get caught up on the whole tent in the backyard thing). We first thought he was just confused by it and wondering why, when we say bedtime, we’re all venturing out back to the tent instead of going up stairs.
Last night we talked about how we also thought Clyde had been looking a little depressed lately. He just has not been his normal self. He has always been the happiest dog either Stacy or I have ever owned. He has been lying around more and been a bit grumpy and growly with the other dogs, including Drover, the one year old that is really his favorite playmate. We also noticed that he hasn’t been eating like normal. He usually gets fed 2 – 2 ½ cups of kibble twice per day. He doesn’t always eat both meals, but if he skips a meal he normally finishes it off the next day. We notices that since last Friday, the first night spent in the tent, he had only eaten a total of about 4 or 5 cups of food. Both of those times we had to doctor it up; once with a table spoon of bacon grease and once with the water from a can of tuna.
I also noticed this weekend that one of the stools the dogs left in the yard was discolored. Now we have four dogs so it is tough to distinguish whose is whose. For Clyde and Seamus, their poop looks pretty much the same. But the one I thought that looked odd was half normal color and half very dark. That can be a sign of blood in their digestive tract.
We went ahead and made an appointment with our vet this morning. So at 10:00 we loaded Clyde up and ventured up the street to Dr. Diehl at Kansas City Veterinary Care. We arrived and gave him all of the info we had gathered. All of our information was very nondescript but we knew something wasn’t right. This is when both we and the vet wished Clyde could have told us where it hurts.
We had them run what ever tests they needed to. We did blood work, and did an x-ray of his abdomen. The results…. well, that’s the bad news.
The Bad News:
X-rays show that Clyde has a large tumor in his spleen, spleen hemangiosarcoma. They are taking more x-rays this afternoon and I just received a call that they scheduled an ultra sound at 3:00 pm. This explains the nondescript symptoms we had noticed. The reason for the other x-rays and ultrasound is to see if there are tumors elsewhere. This will determine the plan of action.
The only way to determine if the growth is aggressive or non-aggressive is to cut it out and send it to pathology. The surgery to cut out a canine’s spleen is major. Clyde is a 7 year old, giant breed dog. Even though he normally hovers between the 100lbs and 115lbs mark he is still a St. Bernard mix. We are trying to determine at this point if it is even worth operating to take out the spleen. If the cancer has spread to other areas, we won’t be putting him through the surgery.
We’ll update you later today on what we find out.