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Rebecca G

Rocky's Days Are Numbered - Advanced Lymphoma/lymphosarcoma - Now

46 posts in this topic

I am posting this as I am desperate for ideas on what to do for our terminally ill boy... I would love to hear if anyone else has been through this with there beloved pet???

On Saturday 20th Dec Rocky was diagnosed with intermediate to advanced Lymphoma/Lymphosarcoma. It's through all his lymphnodes.. The prognosis is not good unfortunately, the vet has given him 1-2months at best. .. We considered Chemo, however with his age, stage of the cancer and also a gold ball size growth we have decided that palliative care is the only option for him. This is day 4 of his Macrolone treatment to make his last weeks comfortable for him. Last night however he has had watery/bloody diarrhea, with blood clots. He seems to be in good spirits, considering his cancer, and panting (due to growth in lung). He even pricks his ears up when mention some of his favourite things..

We really need to take him to the vet, but live on an Island and would had to make a significant trip in the pouring rain, taking a car, then ferry, then walk to another car and then drive 40mins we don't want to stress him anymore than we have to. We would like to keep him home for another 2 days, so that when the island vet is open, she can come to our home and put him to sleep in his own home peacefully. My only worry is that this bloody diarrhea could be from Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE).. We don't want him to suffer, but we really don't want I stress him out in his last hours by travelling and then to have him put to sleep in a cold unfriendly vet consult room.. We don't know what to do!!

Rocky has been such an amazing best friend to all of us in the family. It's heartbreaking and agonising to watch your companion and bestfriend knowing that these are his last days This Christmas has been a particularly sad one for our family.

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cavNrott   

I'm so sorry to hear about Rocky. I hope you were given very strong pain relief medication for Rocky by the vet you saw just before Christmas in case Rocky deteriorated quickly and in view of the fact that you don't have ready access to a vet. Dose him up to keep him pain free and he will probably be alright for the two days before the Island vet can come to your home and put him to sleep. What is most important is that he is kept pain free, even if the pain medication keeps him drowsy and he is mostly sleeping. I understand that the complicated travel would be very difficult for you and not in Rocky's best interests.

I think you made the right decision in not going with Chemo. His cancer is very well established and chemo probably would not have helped him at all.

I have nursed a dog with cancer palliatively but we had ready access to the vet and the oncologist.

I hope the next 48 hours for Rocky will be pain free. My thoughts are with you.

edited because I left out a word.

Edited by cavNrott

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I googled Macrolone as I am in the same boat as you although not as advanced and if you read the side affects it could account for the symptoms you are experiencing. Personally I would stop giving it to him and see if they disappear

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My thoughts are with you and Rocky, Rebecca. No advice, I am sorry, but I just wanted to send you cyber good wishes. Your situation is very difficult not having a vet on duty. If Rocky is reasonably comfortable, pain free and still interested in what is going on around, I agree with CavNrott's post.

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Xyz   

I'm so sorry to hear about Rocky, such a nasty cancer.

If he continues to be in good spirits I would continue with the macrolone, spoil him rotten and await your visiting vet in a few days.

The steroids will be doing more good than bad, and whilst the hge is unpleasant if he is well within himself stick it out.

Stopping steroids suddenly can have some nasty effects on the body.

Take care of yourself and him at this sad time.

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If you have been giving Macrolone for more than a fortnight, you can't just stop it - you have to reduce the dose over the next week or so.

Ollie had a few rounds on Macrolone when we had chemo and then a few times after - horrid drug but even with some of the side effects, I believe it helped in the long run.

If you dog only has a month or two, then in all honesty I would just be making your time together as happy as possible.

Feed him what he loves, go for slow walks in the park or a paddle in a pond (if he likes water). Lay around and hug him.

There were days when all Ollie would eat was a milk arrowroot biscuit - so that is what he got. Sometimes he would eat BBQ chicken. When it was really hot, I made him chicken stock iceblocks (I still make these for current dogs) - just use the BBQ chicken carcass and boil it covered in water for a couple of hours - then double the water to water it down a bit.

Wishing you loads of luck and strength when the times comes to make that horrid decision we all have to make for our terminally ill pets.

I am really sorry you are going through this.

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Thank you so much to everyone that has taken the time to post your ideas, advice and words of kindness for our beautiful Rocky! I would also like to say sorry for not replying sooner to you all. It has been a trying time and I hadn't been able to sit down and face the inevitable by typing out my thoughts..

The vet that we originally saw on the mainland, did not prescribe him any pain medication nor did she even bother to come and see me when I picked up his Macrolone! Then when he had blood in his diarrhea (on the 28th dec) I phoned them at nearly midnight, the receptionist was really helpful and knew that there were no ferries that late at night, but the vet wouldn't even speak to me on the phone and said there was nothing she could do over the phone and that I had to bring him in.. Talk about no care factor for the most loyal, and most amazing companion I could have ever wished for in his final weeks!!!! Since then I have been in contact with the part time island vet, who is very compassionate and understanding..

We decided to keep him on Macrolone as we also read that it shouldn't be stopped abruptly.. So the few days after my initial post Rocky began improving, the blood in his diarrhea had ceased, his appetite came back slightly - although only wanting chicken from my cesear salads, BBQ chicken! What ever he felt like, although it was only in tiny amounts. His energy even increased slightly so we were able to take him for a little walk on the beach, he even played a gentle fetch the stick out of the water.... Had a few slow walks to the shop that is very close by and also has had a hydro bath :)

However 2-3 days ago we noticed the lump on his throat had grown massively and one of his cheeks was swollen. His bottom lips started to sag and now they sag so much that he is drooling everywhere.

His appetite is pretty much nothing,except yesterday he surprised us and ate nearly a

quarter of a BBQ chicken. But today he only ate 2 tiny pieces of warm BBQ chicken. I made those chicken broth ice cubes for him but he was not interested.

Yesterday he struggled to get down our stairs to go to the toilet on the lawn. Then when he did make it and finished his business he tried to make it up back up, but his legs are so swollen and he could not bend them to get up the stairs. So we got him to lay on a blanket and we carried him up the stairs. He is such a good boy he knew we were helping him and did exactly as we instructed. Now he waits at the bottom of the stairs for us to bring him his blanket to help him back up into the house...

His eyes are now sunken in an this morning he has green gunk coming from his eyes..

It is now very early morning and I have had minimal sleep as I know in my heart that this is his last night here with us. In the morning I will have to make the dreaded call to the vet.!!!!! :'(

He is the most amazing dog, we have been so lucky to have him in our lives since he was 4weeks old..

We will miss all our walks, trips to the beach, playing hide & seek with him and the kids, the barking at the wind and thunder and for just the absolute joy he bought into our lives... The kids and I even worked out that he knew more than 50 words, names and commands!

Sorry I hope I am not rambling but I think this is helping me to start to come to terms with what today, Rocky's last day will bring!!!

I will try to let you all know the outcome and how he spent his final moments here with us.

Love and light to you all x

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I am sorry he is suffering now and you are suffering seeing him like this.

I need to say it: Do you think it is time to give him his wings (only you can make this decision) - believe me when I say, I know exactly how hard it is to do that!

I am not telling you to do this because as I said, only you know what his quality of life is like.

When their quality of life is gone, when they have no more joy at eating, seeing people, sniffing around, even having a small play (if they can), then I believe it is kinder to give them their wings. Give them peace, free from any pain. I questioned myself on this so many times and others told me that 'you will know, he will let you know'. Ollie did let me know when it was time - he just gave up and he wouldn't look at me.

I wish you strength at this most difficult time.

I have said it before and I continue to say, how unfair it is that they can't live as long as us.

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Such a sad and difficult time for you and your family, Rebecca G.

My heart does go out to you, because no matter you know it is that dreaded time, you will do it for the love of your wonderful Rocky.

:heart::heart::heart:

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Thank you so much again. As I began to read your comments tears rolled down my cheeks.. We have the vet coming here between 1 - 2 pm today.. This is his final hour!! He will have those wings! I pray now that he will soon be at peace, chasing cats in heaven.

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labadore   

I am so sorry you are having to go through this with your beloved Rocky, it is an extremely and distressing time. :cry: I know only too well how devastating it is to make that call, but we do because we don't won't to prolong our sick babies suffering. :cry: My thoughts are with you all as you prepare for Rocky's journey to the Bridge. :hug:

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Tassie   
:cry: So very sorry that you have had to farewell your lovely boy. It's such a hard thing to do, even though we know in our heads that it is a kindness to our loved companions. I hope you find comfort in knowing that your lad is no longer suffering, and that you will be able to bring to mind the good times you had with him. And know that a whole family of DOLers are right there with you - with tears in our eyes.

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trifecta   

I'm so very sorry for your loss, Rebecca, sincere condolences.

We all hope our pets pass in their sleep, but the reality is very often we have to trade their pain for ours.

It sounds like Rocky enjoyed a wonderful life, in time you will smile at the memories :hug:

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Thank you to everyone's kind words.. I am sorry that it has taken me this long to reply but I am finding the loss of my best mate, and more like a middle child in our family, quite difficult ...

It is with such sadness and a heavy heart that I will let you all know that our beautiful Rocky departed this life on thurs 8th Jan at 2.30pm. The vet and nurse were so very caring and did come to our home, it meant a lot to us that he could be put to sleep at home. He went very very quickly, he was so ready to go. Our beautiful neighbour performed Reiki on him a few hours before as we knew he was just hanging on, the Reiki seemed to relax him and he was even able to have a little nap while we all sat around him and just quietly talked and pat him - he wasn't sleeping very well in his last few days and nights.. Around lunch time on that day he also let me know he was ready! Everyone was saying you will know when the time comes, and I did - he wouldn't look at me anymore, it broke my heart to see him like that :(

We all miss him so much, he was such a big part of our lives!!! Mornings have been hard for me as I always knew where he would be.. I also find sunsets to be such a peaceful time for me, as the afternoon before he passed, at sunset, I finally came to the realisation that we could no longer let him suffer, and that sunset and night would be his last with us here on earth.

I wrote a poem in honour of Rocky:

A TRIBUTE TO ROCKY

11/9/2003 - 8/1/2015

We said our goodbyes to you yesterday,

God gave you your wings, but we wanted you to stay.

Only 20 days have passed since you were diagnosed,

at first we thought of chemo, but quality over quantity is what we chose.

You were ready, it was your time and deep down I knew,

But it was hard for me to let you go after all that we've been through.

You taught me so much in the time that you were here,

about true loyalty, love & companionship, these things I will hold dear.

You wouldn't want me to be sad, so your life is what I will celebrate,

as I want to remember all the joyful memories of my best mate.

From your very first year of chasing that Nanny Goat,

right up to the day that I found that darn lump on your throat.

Oh the funny & amazing stories I could tell,

kids on bikes - those front tyres, and fighting with that feral cat as well.

Hide & seek, your high-5's and coming fishing in the canoe,

rounding up everything that moved, even crapping on Jade's shoe.

Blowing bubbles in water with your nose & barking at thunder,

In those moments your eyes would glaze over, a spell, you were under.

Your beautiful cuddles - your paws around my shoulders, nuzzling your nose into my neck,

Its everything about you and the special moments like these that I will NEVER forget.

It was so hard to watch you in your final days, I didn't want you to suffer,

But yesterday it was time to let you go - to a beautiful place, a place like no other.

Rest In Peace Rocky

Edited by Rebecca G

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Rest In Peace Rocky. A beautiful tribute, Rebecca G. I am sure we all knew that you would be finding it very tough and felt keenly for your sorrow.

It is a hard place to be.

Take care.

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Beautiful words, thank you, Dame Danny's Darling xo

And thanks so much dezzyno.1 - the rainbow bridge with the little dog running over it is beautiful! xo

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