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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18138
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My Maltese is 11 years 5 months he was suffering from anal

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My Maltese is 11 years 5 months he was suffering from anal tumours he had an xray and the vet found a tumour in his torso a third the size of him the vet said there was nothing could be done and that they would not recommend chemo. I don't want him to suffer and am worried that he is not well and I can't see. When i carry him I can tell his breathing is squashed. He snores very loud and has a much deeper breathing pattern. I'm just not sure how long to leave him as I don't want him to suffer he is eating but is chewing his foot sore. He has had epilepsy from a young age and has been on Epiphen for a couple if years.
Kind regards
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am so sorry to hear about Oscar's diagnosis of anal tumors that have already metastasized to his chest. That must have been heartbreaking to hear. I think it is wise to look ahead and consider his quality of life and the appropriate time to let him go gracefully.
I suspect that he has either an anal gland adenocarcinoma or a perianal adenocarcinoma. These both are aggressive tumors that spread (metastasize) the the local lymph nodes, spleen, liver and lungs.
I am not surprised his breathing is different and he is snoring given the size of the tumor in his chest. Cancer that grows slowly is better tolerated because dogs often learn to adjust and tolerate slow changes. Eventually he won't be able to tolerate or accommodate it and then you will see signs like a complete lack of appetite, inability to pass stools comfortably or possible fecal incontinence, open mouth breathing, complete exercise intolerance, a blue of gray color to his gums because he cannot efficiently exchange oxygen.
I understand that you are struggling with when it is appropriate to consider letting him go via humane euthanasia. I try and guide clients on this very difficult decision by asking them if they believe they would want to live the way their beloved pet is.
I ask if their pet is still able to do the things that they have always enjoyed (albeit for a shorter period of time).
I also ask if they believe that their pet is comfortable most of the time and is living with dignity.
Is he able to eat and drink?
Is he avoiding socializing when he used to be very social or is he clingy when he was always a very independent fellow?
If you honestly answer these questions I believe you will come to the best decision for Oscar.
I believe humane euthanasia is a gift we can give our pets when their quality of life is poor.
Euthanasia is not painful.
It is simply an overdose of anesthesia. All your pup will feel is the placement of an intravenous catheter or the pinprick of a needle.
They get very sleepy, become mentally unaware and then their heart stops, which leads to low oxygen and brain death.
I have had to make this decision too. It is heartrending. But I was able to let go when I put myself in my dog's shoes. I didn't want my girl to be uncomfortable any more.
I can give you some tips that may make things easier for him and yourself at the appointment. If you feel it would be stressful for him you can ask for a tranquilizer before the procedure.
And if you wish staying with him while he passes can be very helpful for yourself and him, IF you can be gentle and reassuring for him. I find that dogs with owners who can be relatively calm and loving let go much more peacefully. But if the owners are upset then the poor pup tends to fight the effects of the overdose of anesthesia and it is rougher for them, and then of course for you.
If you feel you cannot be calm and reassuring for him don't worry that he won't be well loved and taken care of. We are gentle and hug and speak softly to them as they pass. They do not pass alone and afraid.
If you can, you should make his appointment for the first or last appointment of the day so there are no distractions and the clinic is quiet.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Dr. Kara and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your kind beautifully written expert reply. I can barely see through tears whilst listening to my beautiful Oscar snoring beside me. I shall monitor him over the next 24 hours. I am giving him liquid parrafin to help his bowels now and again. Thank you
You are very welcome. Oscar is so lucky to have you, as the best a dog can hope for is to be well loved and he definitely has that with you. My best to your sweet boy, may the rest of his time with you and his final journey be a peaceful one. Please take care and know that you are both in my thoughts, Dr. Kara.