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Cocker Specific Discussion => Oldies (Over 9s) => Topic started by: caty on April 08, 2019, 01:08:02 PM

Title: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: caty on April 08, 2019, 01:08:02 PM
 :'( :'(
Hi everyone,

It has been a long time since I've been active on the forum. I am sorry for that but life/work/kids all got in the way. I first came onto this forum when Ludo and Flynn were 2 years old. They are now 13.

Today is a sad day for us. My beloved Ludo, who is 13 years and 4 months old has deteriorated rapidly since his boosters in February. He has gone from 10kg to 7kg since February. He eats, but only occasionally. He has balance issues stemming from his inner ear (he has always had problems with ear infections) which has ultimately affected his balance and co-ordination.

The latest issue is that yesterday we noticed a lump on his rear just to the right of his tail. Upon further inspection it looked as though he had suffered a rectal prolapse. My OH took him to our vet today who flushed out his anal glands and said it was likely a tumour, not a prolapse. At our request, they have sent bloods away to test for liver / kidney failure. He also has anemia, which we found out today. No red blood cells.

Given Ludo's other health issues and his anemia, she said that she would not operate on him and gently suggested that it was time that we started to think about euthanising him.

I am utterly devasted.  :'( :'( :'(

She gave him painkillers and we have to go back for antibiotics (at my request) later this afternoon. Since he came home, he has perked up and eaten some food (he is on a dry diet). He had a drink of water and was able to move about. His tail was wagging.

My OH says that while he is not in obvious pain and his tail is wagging we should not do anything but I am worried that we are being cruel by keeping him with us especially following on from our vets advice.

I came back on to this forum because I am desperate for some help and advice, hopefully from someone who has perhaps been through this before. I am utterly devastated and would prefer to let things happen naturally but I realise that this may not be fair.

Flynn has also been very unsettled (they were both from the same litter), naturally and has been acting a bit odd.

Please help - any advice welcome at this difficult time.  :'(
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: bizzylizzy on April 08, 2019, 01:52:44 PM
So sorry to read this, Ive had to make the decision twice and it is heartwrenching, I  do really feel for you. I dont think any of us on here are going to be able to advise you what decision to make, your vet has suggested you need to start preparing yourselves but nobody knows Ludo better than you and your OH and you are the ones best equipped to say when the time it right.
I can only suggest that you have faith in your own instincts, you will know when the time is right, I dont think you need to fear youre letting him suffer unnecessarily because, in my experience  anyway, hell let you know when hes had enough. From what youve written, Id tend to agree with your OH.
Try to enjoy the rest of the time you have left with your boy, concentrate on all the happy times youve had together and be kind to yourself, - the final decision, whenever you come to make it, will be made from the heart. Sending  :bigarmhug: and thinking of you.
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: Emilyoliver on April 08, 2019, 04:52:48 PM
Hi, I am sorry to read about Ludo, and I can only echo what Bizzylizzy has said.  Only you and your OH know Ludo, and only you can decide what is best for him.  I am in a very similar position with my 14 year old guy, Ollie, who has a whole variety of conditions and is almost completely blind and deaf now.  I have to assess him and his quality of life every day.  However, every day that he wags his tail and shows an interest in life (he still loves walks and demands to come along, he potters round the garden and barks along with the others, he loves a treat and a cuddle), I know its not the day for him to go.  Its so, so hard, but every day hes still here is a gift.  So just take one day at a time and enjoy Ludo.  You will know when its the right time.  :bigarmhug: to you and your old guy  :luv:
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: ejp on April 08, 2019, 06:47:27 PM
So very sorry that you find yourself at this point, it is so hard. We had litter mates as well, and we lost Max about eighteen months before his brother.  Max had a growth on his liver, and the vet basically gave us the same guidance as you have had. We were floored. We took him home and just made sure each day was a good day. He ate what he wanted, had short walks, lots of cuddles and a few trips to the beach. We had him checked regularly with the vet, and then things changed. We knew, we didn't want to, but we knew. So please trust your gut, love your boy and cherish each moment you have with him and Flynn.  One thing we did do, was we let Bertie see Max after he had gone, so he could understand what had happened. I still believe that was important for Bertie. They had been together from day one, so he needed to know his brother had gone. Please be kind to yourselves, this is such a hard time. Sending lots of love and support.
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: Jaysmumagain on April 08, 2019, 08:25:23 PM
I am reading this is with such an ache in my heart, two weeks today we faced the scenario with a young vet saying Ollie may have something sinister.... she took biopsy and also arranged to see senior vet.........she said hernia - I just do not know who to comfort you with the news your vet has given you.

Both myself an OH agreed that we would not let him suffer if it was bad news, we wanted him to have his time with us to love and make the memories be happy ones for him and cherished ones for us.

Like others have said take each day as it comes and somehow both you and Ludo will know when the time is, and if he is happy it is not yet. I think OH is right with that. 

I send all positive thoughts and hope the turmoil will clear a little in the days ahead and Ludo will have some special times. 
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: Mudmagnets on April 08, 2019, 09:33:46 PM
So very sorry to read your news about Ludo. Sending  :bigarmhug: :bigarmhug: for you all. As other people have said, you will know when the time is right.
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: Acciesboy on April 09, 2019, 02:27:36 AM
I'm so sorry to hear your news. It's an awful situation to face. We went through a similar ordeal with our boy Alfie recently. Wait for your test results, as you may be in a different situation...although it looks like a tumour, it might not be, so I'd make sure we had a diagnosis before making any decisions.

Alfie had anal gland cancer which was removed in November 2018. We always knew it would come back at some point. In late Feb 2019 he got very sick...lethargy, loss of appetite, diarrhoea. Blood tests revealed he was anemic. In fact it was an Auto Immune type of anemia (AIHA/IMHA). Cocker Spaniels are more likely than most breed to suffer from anal gland cancer and this type of anemia apparently. We treated the anemia aggressively and it looked as though we were about to win that fight. Unfortunately we discovered that the anemia was caused by the return of his cancer. We were treating the anemia symptoms, but if the AIHA is caused by another illness, then you have to treat the underlying illness. By the time we found the secondary tumour it was too late to do anything about it.

The anemia may be more critical right now, depending on the cause. It can be treated and managed, but needs to be treated aggressively. Alfie went from death's door to being allowed home in less than 24 hours once he started steroid treatment. We hoped that cancer wasn't the cause of the anemia...there can be other triggers such as allergic reactions, and some people report it happened soon after their dogs were vaccinated (although there doesn't seem to be a proven link.) In our case, the cause was the spread of his cancer.

In terms of when to say goodbye...we didn't rush. In the end the decision was easy to make and we did it quickly once we knew we had to. Alfie started trembling with discomfort. Not much, but there was a definite tremor. He hadn't needed pain relief before that point...he was just off his food a bit and would be lethargic from time to time. He had finally perked up, was eating properly and was no longer anemic when the vet suggested another Ultrasound to see if we could find any internal masses causing the anemia. We found a large tumour internally. Alfie looked great and was bouncing around the garden. How could he be doing so well but be so ill? Just the nature of this horrible cancer unfortunately. The vet gave us pain killers in case we needed them, but when he did start to have a bit of trembling and he was more reluctant to move (he had been chasing birds in the garden only two hours earlier) we knew that it was time. We went to the vet that evening and said goodbye. In the end he was just a bit uncomfortable. His pain killers didn't help much, so we knew we had made the right decision even though it was utterly heartbreaking. His tail was still wagging until the end, and he had a wonderful happy smile on his face when he left. He didn't suffer, and we knew he appreciated the extra time we had managed to get with him.

Looking back, I definitely wouldn't have had him put to sleep any sooner. I wouldn't have wanted to wait any longer either. It just felt the right time. We knew it, and he knew it. You'll know.
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: caty on April 10, 2019, 09:30:47 AM
Thanks so much for all of your replies. You lot are just lovely and a credit to this forum. I am actually in tears sitting reading all of your experiences as they hit so close to home. There is some fantastic advice in there though which will help us so thankyou from the bottom of my heart :luv:
We should get the blood results back today or tomorrow so I'll post once I know what we are dealing with.
At the moment he is still eating and I am giving him daily doses of Meloxidyl for pain relief and Noroclav tablets for the infection.
I didn't know that cockers were prone to anemia so hopefully there is nothing sinister behind it but once we get the blood results back hopefully we will have a clearer picture. I'm just trying so hard to remain optimistic. He is getting all manner of meaty treats, cuddles, baths and outings right now from the whole family.  :luv:
I agree about the comment to let Flynn stay in the picture- he has been acting strangely (humping him etc) so if we need to take Ludo in and say goodbye I will definitely be taking Flynn too. They have always been together at every opportunity anyway.  :'( xx
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: Ben's mum on April 10, 2019, 08:13:14 PM
So sorry to read about Ludo  :'( it is such a heartbreaking time.
Like others have said you will know yourself when the time is right. The only advice I would add is that when we had to say goodbye to Ben it was very important to me and my husband that he wasn't taken inside the vets as he was always so scared of going. I didn't want my last memories of him to be knowing he was scared. We arranged for the vet to come outside to the car so he would go to sleep on my husbands lap as he loved the car. We had to be very careful not to wait too long until there was an emergency dash to the vets because that would have taken the choice out of our hands. We could tell with Ben it was nearly time and held to him on as long as we could. I will always be greatful that we went when we did so we felt in control of it all and made it as easy as possible for Ben. I guess what i am saying is if there are things that are important for you make sure you allow time for that to happen and don't leave things to late.  It helped us a little bit in the following weeks and months.
 Thinking of you and hoping you still have more precious time with Ludo   :luv:  xx
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: Acciesboy on April 11, 2019, 01:54:29 AM
When we took Alfie to the vet to say goodbye we also took our other dog Hamish (Maltese/Lhasa Apso cross). Hamish had spent his whole life with Alfie, so it was important to us that he was there. Hamish was fine. We felt it would maybe help him understand what was going on. He still pined for Alfie afterwards. He still does, it has only been three weeks, but at least he was part of it. Hamish has since had his own health dramas (acute pancreatitis!) that the vet suspects was brought on by the stress of losing Alfie. We think it would've been worse if he hadn't come to the vet with Alfie.

Alfie had been to the vet so much and they all fussed over him, so it wasn't a scary place for him. We considered doing it at home, but we wondered if it would be more stressful for Alfie (and Hamish and us!) seeing the vet coming into our house.

But please don't give up hope just yet. We all need to say goodbye one day, but none of us knows when that day will be...it might be soon, but it might not be. We got some special time with Alfie that we might not have had if we hadn't started treatment for both his cancer and his AIHA. We wish we had got more time, but we know that we cherished the time that we did, and he wasn't in any pain. Right up until a few hours before we said goodbye he was bouncing around the garden.

There are different types of anemia. Cockers are more prone to Auto Immune Haemolytic Anemia (AIHA or IMHA.) This is usually pretty serious but can be treated. The treatment involves steroids and other immune suppressants. The treatment is very specific to this type of anemia. It can get worse before it gets better. The vet said even though he had cancer, we had nothing to lose. Alfie responded well to the anemia treatment but his underlying issues came to the fore. If it's a different type of anemia or with a different cause, ignore everything I've said about it!
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: MIN on April 11, 2019, 08:14:59 PM
only speaking after my own experiences
 It is hard to think what is the correct thing to do, although the end is inevitable for every breathing creature the journey towards the end is different for all, 
all but 2 of my babies decided their own day to go to the bridge. You have been with them all their days, we understand them but underestimate their comprehension of us. I believe you will get a sign, however slight, you will get the nod and in that instant you and pup will connect and decision made
  Just to add, I was told to take my beloved staffie home and enjoy his last few weeks ( heart tumour with no options left). I set milestones to reach, just stay till christmas, just see in the new year, stay and celebrate my birthday with me . He made all 3 and a bit more to be sure.
 Enjoy the rest of the best  :luv:
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: caty on April 13, 2019, 02:12:50 PM
Thanks for all of your replies :luv:

Ludo really picked up over the course of the week. The lump on his rear reduced after draining his anal gland and treating him with antibiotics. The problem seemed to resolve after a couple of days. He has been on pain killers all week.

Outstanding issues are his anemia - bloods confirm that thankfully there is no cancer present but we still cannot understand why his red blood count has not increased. Also, within the last week he is hardly able to open his mouth to eat. We noticed this during feeding times and during administration of his medication. The vet looked at this today and found a lump under his ear. She said it was an inner ear infection and after doing tests, confirmed that the infection had spread to his face and was the reason why he was unable to open his mouth. She took a sample of the abscess and said it was pus, indicating the infection has spread. That would explain his head tilt. She finished by saying there was nothing she could do to fix the problem. She would not put him through surgery. He has always had recurring ear infections and being a cocker, this was part of his daily care. We just did not realise that it had - or could - spread to his face.

We have come to the heartwrenching decision to put Ludo to sleep. I cannot stop crying every time I think of it. My OH is working away and the kids are back at school. I have to take him along to the vet myself. I want him to have one of us there during his last few moments. It's the least we can do for him. I just don't know how I am going to hold up. I need to find the strength to do it but every time I think of it and what I have to do, I get a lurch in my throat and feel sick.

Today I bought a tub of mince and gave it to him , he was able to eat it. He loved it. His tail was wagging. He is moving about as normal. He is not docile but then he is still on painkillers for the lump that was on his rear. He has new found energy this week. I cannot believe that we are at this stage but the vet's words keep ringing in my ear - she cannot fix his inner ear infection. He will continue to suffer and likely keep dropping weight.

I am utterly heartbroken.  :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: bizzylizzy on April 13, 2019, 03:03:00 PM
 :bigarmhug: so sorry that youre having to to this alone, . would the vet be prepared to come to you if you explained your situation? It would possibly be a little less stressful for both you and Ludo.
Am thinking of you. x
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: Patp on April 13, 2019, 03:10:34 PM
So sorry xx but is it not possible that a different antibiotic might help?  Jinley ended up having human penicillin which was the only thing that cleared up her anal glands - hopefully the results from his ear might show what could clear it, even short term.   Personally I cant understand why your vet has said there is nothing they can do or give for the infection but perhaps I am missing something from your thread.

Sending you some hugs xx
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: caty on April 13, 2019, 05:53:27 PM
I asked this but she said that because it is in the middle ear it is harder to treat and won't respond as well to antibiotics due to lack of blood flow in that region. Surgery isn't an option as difficult to access middle ear and also he wouldn't react well to the anaesthetic. X
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: ejp on April 13, 2019, 06:48:09 PM
 :bigarmhug: :bigarmhug: :bigarmhug:  I totally agree with Patp, it seems strange that there is no way to treat this infection.  Is it possible to get a culture and then a specific antib as opposed to a broad spectrum one?  Again, apologies if I have misunderstood what I have read. 
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: caty on April 15, 2019, 08:30:35 PM
Ludo's regular vet returned from holiday today so I took him in for him to see him. He was much more optimistic, which made me hopeful. I told him that Ludo had picked up a bit and was showing signs of improvement - still keen to eat, walk, sniff, tail wagging etc . His vet advised against surgery as an option and suggested we go down the route of treating it with more antibiotics. I know that our options are limited due to his other underlying health issues(anemia) and his age but I'm relieved that we have this small glimmer of hope. He was sleeping out in the garden today while the sun was shining and I just felt there and then that the time wasn't right for him to go. I hope that doesn't make me selfish but he does not look like he is in obvious pain - no whimpering or signs of distress. I have Meloxidyl to help him with the pain and Norval tablets for the infection. I'm hoping and praying that they reduce the infection and help with the abscess .
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: ejp on April 15, 2019, 08:53:24 PM
You will know when he is ready to go.  I am glad you got to speak to your usual vet, you will feel more confident in your choices.
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: Jaysmumagain on April 16, 2019, 10:58:55 AM
Am so glad you have seen Ludo's own vet.....it is more reassuring.  Our recent incident with Ollie was distressing with a young vet causing us a great deal of upset, only to see the main vet the next week with a positive outcome.
While many things are against Ludo, as long as there is a quality and happiness in his daily routine then make each day special and go with his vets care.
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: caty on June 10, 2019, 07:00:34 AM
We are taking Ludo in to our vet this morning to be put to sleep. I am heartbroken. I just cannot face watching him suffer anymore. He whimpers and cries a lot and is still struggling to eat, even though I've been feeding him soft food. It breaks my heart watching him deteriorate and continue to lose weight. I hate having to do this and I've never had to do it before. His littermate, Flynn has been acting very anxiously recently, understandably. I have been advised to bring him along so he understands what has happened to his brother. I'm so sad 😢
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: bizzylizzy on June 10, 2019, 07:39:12 AM
So sorry to hear this. It IS hard but youre doing the right thing, if hes at the stage where life has no quality for him anymore and hes suffering, the kindest thing is to let him go. Go easy on yourself and hang on to all those good memories, they are what will keep him with you forever.
Run free at the bridge Ludo, no more pain, you were,and still are, very loved.
 :bigarmhug:
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: daydreams on June 10, 2019, 08:00:08 AM
so sorry to hear your sad news,  your heart is breaking I know,  but you know you are doing the right thing for Ludo,    if he is suffering and has no quality of life, its the last thing we can do for them,  but hold on to the thought that what you are doing is out of love,  love that you have given Ludo his whole life,

take care of your self, 

 :bigarmhug:
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: Finvarra on June 10, 2019, 08:48:38 AM
The last good thing you can do for your beloved boy. Thinking of you  :bigarmhug: :bigarmhug: :bigarmhug:

Lesley and Dylan
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: ejp on June 10, 2019, 10:18:02 AM
You are doing absolutely the right thing for Ludo and his brother.  Taking them both along means they will be a comfort to each other and his brother will understand what has happened.  You know in your heart the time is right, but that does not make it an easier.  Thinking of you all. 
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: ollie nathan's mum on June 10, 2019, 01:29:48 PM
Im so sorry for what you are all going through, you are doing whats right for your boy. Sending hugs.
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: Patp on June 10, 2019, 05:23:33 PM
 :bigarmhug: :bigarmhug: from me too xx
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: Mudmagnets on June 10, 2019, 06:27:18 PM
So very sorry  :luv:  :bigarmhug: :bigarmhug: for you all
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: Archie bean on June 10, 2019, 07:28:11 PM
So sorry.  :luv: :bigarmhug: :bigarmhug:
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: PennyB on June 10, 2019, 08:24:25 PM
So sorry xx
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: revis on June 10, 2019, 08:40:30 PM
So sorry.you have done the right thing for dear Ludo.Run free Ludo. Thinking of you.
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: Ben's mum on June 10, 2019, 09:00:40 PM
  :bigarmhug: :bigarmhug: so very sorry its such a hard time  :'(
Thinking of you and sending love xx
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: MacTavish Boys on June 11, 2019, 01:55:42 PM
So sorry, thinking of you and Ludo  :bigarmhug: :bigarmhug:
Stephanie, George and Hamish xxx
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: annclare on June 11, 2019, 03:30:16 PM
My heart breaks for you. xx
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: rubyrules on June 11, 2019, 10:25:49 PM
Caty I am so sorry for you and know the heartbreak you are feeling letting Ludo go. A few days after Ruby was pts we got a card from the vet, who had cared for her all her life. He wrote the kindest words and ones I would like to share with you now. He thanked me for ending her suffering and pain and said I had shown that I was as much of a friend to her, as she had been to me all these years.
It doesn't make it better or bring her back, but I know he is right and it was the right thing to do, just as you have done for Ludo. We can take away their pain even though it breaks our heart to do so.
Sending you lots of healing thoughts, run free at the bridge Ludo xx
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: caty on July 25, 2019, 08:16:12 AM
 :luv: thankyou all so much for your kind messages. It has taken me until now to be able to read them as I've found the past few weeks very difficult. In the end, we were all there. I took my girls along too and we all said goodbye. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do but it felt right. Flynn has been coping well. Some people told me littermates would die soon after but Flynn has been by my side and he has helped me through it. He has also been the most spoilt dog ever. Thankyou all so much for your support and kind words, it really means so much  :luv:
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: ejp on July 25, 2019, 04:52:00 PM
Hey there, I am so glad you were able to come back on and update us.  It is a very difficult call to make, but the key phrase for me in your message is that 'it felt right'.  It's good to hear that Flynn is coping well, some do, some don't. Lovely to hear from you, take care. xx
Title: Re: Heartbroken: We have been advised to euthanise Ludo. Please help.
Post by: PennyB on August 15, 2019, 08:24:33 PM
So sorry to hear about Ludo. Its never easy. I find comfort in rainbows these days (because the day after one of my dogs was pts a rainbow appeared over my house and it just seemed to be a sign so every time one appears I imagine her sitting atop of it as happy as they come)