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Discussion Starter #1
Despite everyones best efforts, Kiley is unfortunately no longer with us.

If you followed my other thread in the senior section, you know Kiley has been steadily getting worse. The past few days/nights had been particularly rough on her despite suggestions from people here and from the vet. It finally got to the point where i didn't think she could wait to see the vet on Thursday and my mom and i brought her to the ER clinic.

They did a chest x-ray and ran bloodwork. While we discussed the results, they kept her on oxygen. Her bloodwork came back with high kidney enzymes, high white blood cell count, and something else that was high (but i can't remember what it was). She also had fluid in both lungs (again) even though she was clear two weeks ago and fluid build up around her heart and in her chest.

Because of how rapidly this seemed to come on, and despite her being on antibiotics (her vet wanted us to try them to rule out infection) and a higher dose of furosemide than normal (suggested by her regular vet just to see if it helped), the emergency vet and the radiologist were both pretty certain that we were dealing with potential heart failure and/or complications from the lung tumor.

Initially the vet offered to try and drain the fluid, but after consulting with one of the other vets decided it would be too risky for minimal reward. Medication to try and control the fluid and/or fight any infection (high doses of antibiotics and diuretics) might give us a little bit more time, but ultimately we were looking at the same thing happening again if we couldn't control the heart and lung tumor issues. Considering i have no idea when i could get her in to see a specialist AND considering how much she was struggling.... We opted to have her put to sleep.

I had been hoping for a better outcome - maybe something to give her a little bit more time with us - but given what we knew at the time and what she was going through i know we made the right call. It was the easiest difficult decision i've ever had to make.

Thankfully, despite COVID rules and such that kept us from going inside the waiting room and exam rooms with her, they let us in to the back room that they set up specifically for good-byes. We got to see her one last time and we were with her when she started to go under for the sedation. She was awake, but not really aware, when we wrapped her in her blanket and let the tech take her back to finish falling asleep before the vet put her to sleep. I guess you could compare it to coming out of anesthesia from surgery? You could be awake and talking but not be aware of it or remember it?

We couldn't bring ourselves to stay for the final part, though. I know that a lot of owners don't, but... i kind of regret that i didn't stay for her. The tech said that once the sedation took effect, combined with her not being able to see or hear well, she wouldn't even know that we were gone for the last bit - wether or not that's true, i don't know. I mean, she recognized us and responded to us when they brought her in but quickly stopped responding to us after we held her and talked to her for a minute or two. She had our scent with her the whole time, though, so i hope that was enough comfort for her.

I take comfort knowing that we did what we could, and that we didn't prolong her suffering by trying medications or surgery or anything traumatic. She's no longer struggling to breathe, unable to play or go for long walks, or in pain. We'll miss her like crazy and it'll be a while before i can think about her without being sad.... but she was loved and had a great life with us and i hope she gets to have another great adventure wherever she ends up next.

Big thanks to everyone here for the suggestions and support.
 

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So sorry you had to say goodbye, but also glad that you were able to do what was best for her. It is so hard to lose them.
 

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I’m sorry for your loss. Don’t beat yourself up; she left peacefully and was lucky to have a family who cared enough not to let her suffer.
 

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So sorry for your loss. I know exactly how you feel. I had to send my soul dog Ginger off last April. She had been with me nearly 15 years. Sounds like you made the right decision. Blessings Brian
 

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Sometimes making a decision is so difficult - sure sounds like you loved and cared for her up and through the final days.((HUGS))
 

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I'm so sorry - thankfully you were able to be with her. (((HUGS)))
 
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So hard to be without her, but so obviously the right decision. Be kind to yourselves - grief hurts, and losing a dog who has been part of your lives for so long leaves a big hole in your hearts.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear this. At times like this, we remember the pain of our own losses and grieve with you.

Kiley knows how much you love her and always will.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks guys - it's been almost two weeks and we still miss her, we still can't believe she's gone. It's definitely been an up and down struggle for me: she was my rock for such a long time and she was there for me, no questions asked, through some tough times. Now she's gone. I'm sure many of you can relate to the feeling.

I had the vet send me her x-rays and the care summary from that night and any lingering doubt i might have had about our decision is gone - i'm no professional but i can use google, and a lot of what i saw on that report (along with what the vets said over the phone) falls in line with cancer or massive infection. Possibly both. I firmly believe that we wouldn't have been able to do anything except prolong the inevitable, so no matter how much i miss her and wish there had been some other option... i'm at peace with our decision to let her go without putting her through invasive treatments or subjecting her to more pain for a limited amount of extra time.

The only thing i still slightly regret is that i didn't stay until she was gone. I should have. I can't help but wonder if she was really unaware, if she was looking for us....But she wouldn't hold it against me, so i have to try and focus on just missing her and remembering her good times. It's hard.

Again, thanks for all the help and for the well wishes.
 
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