My dog is dying.

Bandit is in kidney failure. He was at the vet yesterday, he hasn’t been eating well for the last few days. He has been treated for diabetes since May and I finally thought we were close to getting him regulated. He was eating his special high-fiber diabetic food, all of a sudden he started refusing it. Then he started refusing all his favorite foods. The vet called and told us the bad news. Kidney failure.

The vet told us yesterday that we could either take him home one last time and say goodbye today, or we could try treating it with sub-q fluids and pills at home. We chose option 2. He is home and we are giving fluids. However, he is still not eating. My vet said at this point it is OK to give him people food, so I cooked up a bunch of meat but he won’t touch it.

In my heart I know it is time to let him go. My SO is digging in his heels and isn’t ready yet. This is my dog (my first dog, actually), so the decision is ultimately mine, but I am so afraid. He isn’t in any pain, but he hasn’t eaten a full meal since last Wed.

I am off school now so I can spend every minute with him, so that at least is good news. I am so out of it - I left my purse with my wallet, PDA and cell phone in the cart at the grocery store last night (after I bought all the people food for the dog), luckily someone turned it in and nothing was missing. All I can think about is my dog.

This is so hard.

:frowning: I am so sorry. I can understand the desire to keep your dog for as long as possible. How old is he? Is there any chance of recovery?

He’s alsmot 14, I don’t think there is much chance for recovery. It is somehow related to the diabetes, but I’m not sure how. If he was younger, perhaps, but his age and other medical problems are working against him.

I knew this was coming soon, but now that it is here it is so hard.

Boscibo - I’m so sorry - I know how hard this is. All you can do is what’s best for Bandit. If he’s not in pain, it’s not so bad. Is he taking in liquids?


He is drinking fine, and we are giving the sub-q fluids. He did eat a couple tiny bites of cat food and about a quarter of a Meaty Bone treat. The vet said to watch for him not peeing atall, but so far that hasn’t happened.

Will he drink broth? That would have some calories. The cat food is a good idea.


As a fellow dog owner, my thoughts are with you.

Those who say that dogs don’t have souls
either never had a dog,
or never had a soul.

I’ll try to be rational without sounding cold.

Your dog has already lived longer than most.

Kidney failure is the end for every dog I’ve ever known that had it (including a friend’s dog that was like 4).

You can be sad now and save yourself the money, grief and hassle.

Or you can be just as sad a month from now and go through a month of money, grief, and hassle.

You’re keeping him alive for YOU, not for HIM.

Boscibo, a lot of times our canine friends let us know when it’s time to let go. If you feel your pal is trying to tell you this, be strong and give the ultimate kindness. My heart goes out to you.

Boscibo, my heart definitely goes out to you: as I’ve mentioned in one or two other threads, I’m going through the exact same thing with my cat right now.

(Digression: my cat’s name is Smokey, and she was adopted at the same time as another cat who we named Bandit. (Yes, Smokey & The Bandit…my only defense is that my brother and I were just kids when we named them.) All of the drama surrounding Smokey has my mom, brother, and me reliving Bandit’s death of 5 years ago, so because your dog’s name is Bandit I’m feeling doubly sad for you. Stupid logic, but there it is.)

Today is Smokey The Cat’s last chance: we did a follow-up urinalysis yesterday and her UTI is cleared up, so the vet suggested that I stop giving her the antibiotic she was on in case it was making her feel sick. If she still isn’t eating tonight, there isn’t much more they can do for her (short of starting the sub-q fluids you mention, but my vet and I agree that it would be too stressful for the cat…and me). She’s 18 years old, with terrible arthritis and a heart murmur, she’s getting weaker every day, and has lost about 1/2 pound in the past two weeks. Sad to say, but I fully expect to see no improvement when I get home from work today, in which case tomorrow morning I will call the vet and make arrangements for her to be put down (the cat, not the vet). My heart is absolutely breaking, both for myself and for everyone in a similar situation (I’ve mentioned this on other thread, too, but I am amazed at how many Dopers are currently dealing with gravely ill or recently-deceased pets :frowning: ).

I am so sorry you have to go thru this but it is the price you must pay for unconditional love.:frowning:

It’s been a couple of years since I had to take my old dog to be euthanized (love you Lou Baby). She had metastatic breast cancer and was blind, in multi system failure , incontinent of bladder and bowel and so senile she would get lost in the yard on a daily basis. Still she ate and drank and seemed to enjoy being with the family and the other two dogs so I tolerated the messy stuff. When it was obvious that she was in pain I did the merciful thing.

Being an oncology/hospice RN I’ve witnessed many deaths but none was ever as hard as that. Funny, it sure didn’t feel like mercy to me at the time.

Love your furbaby while you still have him. This physical process will be over soon but you will have his memories to cherish for the rest of your life. I wish you peace.

Thanks everyone. Trunk., I know you are right. I am keeping him alive more for me and my SO. Jeff (my SO) gets very passionate and dramatic about this and I feel bad for him, too.

Misnomer - I’m so sorry about Smokey. I hope she is better tonight, but if she isn’t I wish you peace. You are very strong to be able to do this.

I’m so sorry. I’ve been there with both a cat and a dog I loved very much. My heart goes out to you. Bandit’s a lucky dog for having someone who loves him so much.

Boscibo, my thoughts are with you. :frowning:

Boscibo, it sounds like your times with Bandit are at their difficult end. You love him, but now you have to let him go. I know how tough it is.


Misnomer - I did sub-q therapy for a cat for about a year, and she didn’t seem to find it stressful at all. She’s sit on my lap while I gave her the fluids, without being restrained. Giving her the daily meds was a different story - that she did find stressful, but never to the point were she hid from me. In the end the kidney disease killed her, but she did have a year of relatively good health.


Our mongrel went about this time last year - it was hard for my parents who had to make the decision 'cos they’d actually had her at home with them for longer (19 years) than either me or my brother so I feel for you.

But what I wanted to say to you was in the UK most vets will actually come to your house to put your dog to sleep which has the advantage of you not having to drive home with an empty car and, more importantly, there’s not the hassle for an elderly dog of getting into the car and into the surgery. See if your vet can do this for you and Bandit, it makes a hard decision that little bit easier

Thanks for the encouragement, but you don’t know my cat. :wink: The sub-q treatment would make her miserable – even my vet acknowledges that fact. And I see no point in putting an 18-year-old cat through that just to squeeze another year or two out of her, especially when she already has arthritis and heart problems. I wouldn’t be able to do that to her. I’m not even going to have the vet do a confirmatory (did I just make up a word??) blood test: if the vet says there’s a 90% chance the cat has kidney disease, and she hasn’t shown any improvement in 2.5 weeks, that’s enough. Time to say goodbye.

I second this: my vet is an in-home vet, and I knew from the start that I would want her to do the euthanasia if it became necessary, not the (wonderful) docs at the animal hospital who had been treating Smokey recently. I’m not sure how weird it will be to know the exact spot that she died in, but I’d rather have the vet come to my house than put the cat through another trip in the car (which she absolutely hates) and being handled by complete strangers. I prefer not to cry in front of complete strangers, too. :wink:

Our oldest dog (Cammie) is getting sub-q fluids. She’s never really had a problem with eating, though, and the fluids very obviously make her feel better. Our next-oldest dog (Ivan) is in early stages of kidney failure, but not on fluids yet. He’s the one we have to coax to eat. But he’s still mostly healthy.

As long as these dogs seem to be feeling ok, I’ll keep taking care of them. But I worry a lot about who we’re going to lose next. :frowning:

My thoughts are with you…

I am so sorry you’re going through this. My daughter and I went through the same thing 4 years ago with our cat Papillion. She was only 4 and had been sick for some time and we didn’t know it. She rec’d sub-q fluids, but in the end we put her down cuz’ we believed she was too far along. The vet concurred. It was heartbreaking and traumatic.
I hope things work out for you…