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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just had to put our beautiful 12 year old rottie Lulu down last Monday (8-28) after our vet found a large inoperable cancerous mass in her abdomen. She had been not well for a couple of months and we were treating various symptoms never dreaming she had cancer.

Our 10 year old boy Zander we have also been treating with antibiotics and prednisone for herniated discs in his spine and a nasal infection for a couple of months now. He developed a droopy right eye about a month ago, but the vet wasn't too concerned about that. He had been getting better and finished his antibiotics but now has gotten progressively worse since Thursday 8/31. He has now been falling completely down (not just back legs giving out but falling flat out down) when turning too fast or backing up. This morning I had to carry him down the stairs (95 lbs) to get outside to potty (we do not have any way to get outside without some steps). We've put carpets and rugs everywhere so he doesn't slip on flooring.

My husband is taking him to the vet today at 2:00 pm.

I'm wondering if he's giving up now that Lulu is gone? He still potties outside fine and is interested in his food (much more so than normal but we figured that was the prenisone) but he will not lay on any of the dog beds throughout the house. He got up today right away when I did, but once he'd pottied and eaten he layed on his blanket and hardly lifted his head when I spoke to him.

Our hearts are breaking to think we might lose both our pups within such a short time. Have any of you had the remaining dog just give up when their house mate has passed?
 

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Oh, so sorry to hear what you are going through. I too blamed one of my Rottweilers (Rocky) losing the use of his hind legs to Prednisone. Muscle wasting is a side effect. Since then, I learned from many members here who have had dogs on the Pred for longer periods of time than mine that maybe/maybe not. It could have been that his cancer was the cause. He had lung cancer that had metastasized to other parts of his body before his diagnoses. We lost him in 2013.

February 28th this year our 9-1/2 year old boy Ringo was lost to bone cancer. His brother Johnny, we found soon after was also suffering from cancer, Lymphoma. I think the pain of losing his brother had a hand in his quick decline. Johnny also stopped sleeping on his bed. He wanted to lay on the hardwood floor in the living room. We just let him do whatever made him feel comfortable. Johnny passed away on May 6th, about 9 weeks later. My back still hurts from having to pick him up and load him in the car so I understand that struggle as well.

The vet told us that the dogs know they are sick long before we see any signs or symptoms. Their housemates also know when one of them is sick. I witnessed both Johnny and Bella sniffing at Ringo's shoulder where his cancer was before he was diagnosed. Then I witnessed Bella sniffing Johnny's abdomen and even though I hoped he just had some digestive disorder, I knew it was most likely some kind of cancer. He had been suffering longer than Ringo but they are good at hiding it. I think Johnny wanted to be strong for his brother who needed him the most. The picture shows Johnny protecting his brother Ringo the day the hospice vet came to give him his "angel's wings".

Dog Dog breed Carnivore Mammal Fawn


My advice (other than get them the veterinary care they need for their illness, of course) is comfort and love him all you can and let him know that you are suffering the loss of Lulu with him.

You're not alone. My heart is breaking too, to hear of you or anyone having to endure this heartache. Please, let us know what the vet has to say. I truly hope Zander recovers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you - my husband is a wreck. He's retired and has been home more with Lulu and Zander in the last 3 years and Lulu was his "heart dog". I still work so at least my brain has to put this aside to function (or no one in the company would get their paychecks....) Interesting on the bed for your Johnny.
 

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Hi,
I'm so sorry to hear about what you are going through. First of all, Prednisone, along with whatever it is prescribed for, depresses the immune system. The immune system is critical to fighting cancer. It's not good to have a dog on that for very long. I know this information comes in retrospect for you Michelle, but I'm putting it out there for anyone else who reads these posts.

There is a product that can help you help your dog when they have trouble walking so you don't have to carry all their weight. It's called a Ginger Lead. The Ginger Lead is sort of like a lower body sling, so you can help them walk when they don't have good use of their back legs. Here is a link to the webpage: Dog Sling | Rear Support Harnesses | Lifting Aid | GingerLead

It probably is what you suspect, generally we know these things about our dogs and what they feel through a certain amount of intuition. I'm very sorry for the pain you are going through.

Take care,
Steph
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well he perked up a bit later in the morning. I met my husband at the vet for the appointment at 2 pm and vet staff helped him in with a towel holding up his back end. He was happy to see the Dr and loved her up but couldn't stand on the tiled floor. She is upping his prednisone to once a day (he was on every other day) and is adding another steriod hoping to help him rebuild muscle mass in his rump and back legs. She did say with neurological symptoms like he is exhibiting we are probably starting down a path of him declining in health and to start to prepare ourselves for that. I asked her about long term side effects of prednisone and she said he's only been on it a few months - the other side effects are usually seen in dogs taking it for years. For now we have made him comfy in the back hall with his bed and blankets and toys and he will not have to navigate any stairs to go out to potty. He does not want to even try any stairs and it took almost 20 minutes to get him out of the van, coaxing with meat even. The vet said he will let us know when he is willing to attempt stairs again and for at least the next few days make everything as easy as possible for him. Thanks for listening!
 

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Here's an article:
https://yourolddog.com/negative-effects-using-steriods-dogs/

I stand by my feelings about Prednisone. We had a 7 y.o. Rottie die of bone cancer who'd been taking it for a couple of years. I had no idea it was that detrimental to her immune system until afterwards.

Yes, you can use an old towel under the belly to hold up their body while walking, but I have found a handle is much easier to hang onto than two ends of a towel. I have found the GingerLead (and similar harnesses) to be very helpful and less cumbersome than a towel. To be honest, we have a different harness that we got when one of ours got a hip replacement surgery many years ago and have been using it on other dogs since when needed. The handle is great to pick them up and hold them up. I learned about the GingerLead recently.

Good luck with your boy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We ordered the GingerLead and it should be delivered tomorrow. Today however he is much more nasally than he was (he was done with the antibiotics on Saturday so it's been 5 days) and his eyes don't look good. My husband got him out to potty around noon and he then came in and fell onto his bed vs laying down on it....Man this sucks!
 

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I agree, it's so hard dealing with this sort of thing. Heartbreaking.... at least you have a chance to say goodbye. I have lost many the slow way, and some the fast way (bleeding out from tumors and only a few hours to say goodbye). It has never gotten any easier, and each way is incredibly difficult to live through, but it's probably the reason why we have 3 or more dogs at a time... I take refuge and comfort in the ones I have left and it has helped ease the pain. It's not easy to have so many dogs, a lot of work, and expensive... but our choice at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Does anyone wish (I know this sounds terrible) that our old pups would just slip away in their sleep? I just hate the thought of taking him in to be euthanized. With Lulu we didn't really have a choice once they found her cancer on the xray at her appointment and we could see how she was suffering. But my poor husband was just broken because it never crossed his mind that he wouldn't be taking her home that day. The house will not be the same with no dogs at all.....and it may be a while before my poor husband will want another dog having had to do this twice in such a short period.....
 

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Yes and no... I let one dog be treated for his cancer with chemo and then it was on me when he suffered with a stroke and died in pain... there is no way of knowing what the right thing is to do... My dog then died of natural causes- with the stroke, but he would have gone much more peacefully by being PTS. We had one dog with cancer in his chest bone and rib and had him operated on. He suffered and died within a few days of the surgery. We thought we were doing the right thing and we weren't.... Since then we haven't fought cancer as hard... if it can be removed and radiated the dog has a fighting chance, if not, you have to just love them and make them as happy as possible. When it's time and their pain is great you have to play God. It sucks, but it's part of ethical and loving pet ownership. You just try and do your best. God never gives us more than we can handle and the mercy we show will hopefully be given to us in our time of need. (I hope so, anyway.)

I usually use a pet communicator to "talk" to dogs we are putting to sleep and they generally know what their status is and have come to accept it. To be honest I recommend it highly. A pet communicator has helped me more than the dogs we have put to sleep... I feel less guilty. Bea Lydecker is a great pet communicator; Joy Mason is another one. You can find them on line. It's not terribly expensive and it has helped me cope. The communicators talk to the animals in pictures and it's very simple, dogs have simple minds.
 

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Does anyone wish (I know this sounds terrible) that our old pups would just slip away in their sleep? I just hate the thought of taking him in to be euthanized. With Lulu we didn't really have a choice once they found her cancer on the xray at her appointment and we could see how she was suffering. But my poor husband was just broken because it never crossed his mind that he wouldn't be taking her home that day. The house will not be the same with no dogs at all.....and it may be a while before my poor husband will want another dog having had to do this twice in such a short period.....
Sometimes I have wished that would happen--that they would go peacefully in their sleep. The act of loading them up and taking them to be put down is a horrible sad sad day in our lives. I had an at-home service come for my Ringo because he was in enough pain and didn't deserve to be put through the trauma of being loaded and carried. I was at peace with that decision.

I am glad to hear that your boy is hanging on. I am still hoping for him to recover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
We decided to let Zander go

His breathing was so labored over the weekend and he didn't want to try any stairs to be with us in the other part of the house. His appetite was good but that was the prednisone the vet said and he didn't want to stay outside very long on Sunday. Saturday he was outside with my husband for a couple of hours while I ran errands - we brought out a kennel bed so he could be comfortable.

We gave him lots of love and chicken nuggets and I spent most of the day Sunday sitting by his bed with his head on my lap. He was breathing very fast and shallow and the spark was just not there in his eyes anymore.
The vet met us at the clinic at 6:00 pm and we said goodbye to our beautiful boy. He joins his sister Lulu way too soon, but we didn't want him to get any sicker and suffer.

This sucks! The house is so empty and quiet.

Thanks for all your replies and support...
 

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what a heartbreaking thread. Sorry for your loss. When you mentioned your husband it reminds me of a lady that I met at the bus stop a few years ago while I was walking the dog. She pet Mocha for a few minutes and then told me out of the blue that the only time she saw her husband cry in many years of marriage was when their dog died. It's such a strong bond between a dog-loving human and their friend.
 

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I agree, it's so hard dealing with this sort of thing. Heartbreaking.... at least you have a chance to say goodbye. I have lost many the slow way, and some the fast way (bleeding out from tumors and only a few hours to say goodbye). It has never gotten any easier, and each way is incredibly difficult to live through, but it's probably the reason why we have 3 or more dogs at a time... I take refuge and comfort in the ones I have left and it has helped ease the pain. It's not easy to have so many dogs, a lot of work, and expensive... but our choice at this point.
Hello,my beloved rottweiler is 9yrs 8 months,he has athritis in back legs,the vet says it's only a matter of time when his legs give out,I am gutted,I cry all day,I Have bought another rottie pup to ease the trauma of losing max,but I don't know if it will really help,any suggestions would be appreciated
 
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