Devestated is the only way to express how I felt when the vet said my beloved Bullet 11yr old GSD was suffering from either total liver failure of liver cancer. I took him in for tar like stool as I knew there was a problem. He was not himself. Although he suffers from severe hip problems and skin problems, he was slower than usual and did not respond to me much at all. He's on anti biotics in hopes it is a liver infection. Because of his age, exploratory surgery in not a good option. He appears to be wasting away before my eyes. He's pretty lethargic but he gets stints of playfulness every now and then. It's only been 2 days and we're hoping for the best with a liver infection. However the vets can feel a fist sized lump in his belly. It seems like just yesterday that he was a young fireball running through the yard. I am trying to spend as much time with him as possible. He keeps barking at me like he's trying to tell me something. It is cute and sad at the same time. It feels like my heart is being ripped out.
Thank you all for the kind words and for the hope. As hard as it is, I will hope for the positive. I am planning to spend as much time as possible with him and watch for any improvement. I'll update as I can.
Bullet seems to be declining slowly. He does not want to eat much and he has been vomiting what he does eat and drink. I know the anti biotics may aggrevate his stomach, but he needs to eat if he is going to defeat this. He was up all night panting as he could not get comfy. His mama and I are still hoping for the best although instinct is telling us different. He is very clingy and does not want to leave our side. This week is crucial as there needs to be some improvement to let us know the problem is not greater than just liver damage. Hopefully not liver cancer. Thank you all for taking the time to read and pray. Although we know they are not with us forever, the thought of losing our cuddly bear is overwhelming and will be hard to go through. He was our first GSD and he was is our angel.
I am very sorry to hear this about Bullet-I would call my vet today and ask about pain management maybe? I would definitely want to update them about the vomiting-is he holding anything down?
I will say this before WiscTiger gets a chance-some probiotics given in the time between the antibiotics (so like 9 am abx 3 pm probiotic 9 pm abx) might help his stomach. You can get them from a grocery store depending on where you are.
But I'd definitely let the vet know what was happening with the vomiting and the panting/discomfort (panting is sometimes a sign of pain-though it can be other things).
I'm so sorry to hear about your dear Bullet, I hope he'll be feeling better soon. I second Jean's suggestion to contact his vet today. In addition to pain management, and maybe something to settle his stomach, he may need IV fluids since he's been vomiting so much.
Bullet knows you will do what is best for him and is letting you know by clinging to you.
Lots of prayers and thoughts will surround you and his mama in this hard time that none of us would choose.
Each moment is really a gift and never so realized than in what you are going through now.
I pray peace will allow you to be wise, strong, and confident in your decsions for Bullet.
He knows your love will do what is best.
Bullet is not eating much at all. We've tried several things including cooked meat and he won't touch it. We took him out to the yard, he went out but he got hot quickly. I took some good pictures of him with us and his brother and sister (GSD's). I let him walk around a bit so he could relieve himself. We're talking about the probable outcome and the preparations needed. But we want to give him a bit more time for improvment. We know that he will let us know when he is ready. We are trying to be strong around him so that he does not pick up any negative energy, but it is hard. We've been through this before, but it never gets easier. These guys have a way of taking a piece of your heart with them. I am a cop and I found myself crying all night while at work, but I knew his mama was at home to care for him. I might take the week off so that he is not alone at all. I feel an overwhelming need to be here for him.
Has your vet done any x-rays or an ultrasound to rule out liver cancer? We lost our Shelby (7 yo GSD) suddenly to liver cancer two years ago this month. She wasn't eating much, which prompted our trip to the vet. The diagnosis was very quick, too quick for us to be able to be ready for it. A chest x-ray was first done which showed lesions and that a cancer had metasticized from somewhere. Then they did an ultrasound which showed lesions on her liver and bladder.
I hope that's not what it is, but at least you would know one way or another and then be able to make a decision.
I'm so sorry things aren't looking bright for Bullet at the present time. In addition to the other suggestions, I also agree that x-rays and an ultrasound might give you a better idea of Bullet's condition.
Bullet, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
We did X Rays last week when he first went in. The X Rays did not show anything signifigant or conclusive except that his liver looked inlarged. Ultra sound is an option that I want to explore this week. But the vet wanted to try meds first in hopes that it was a simple liver infection and that he might respond to the meds. However complete liver failure was also mentioned due to him taking Temeral for his skin allergies and Tramadol for his bad hips.
Liver cancer would be the worst case scenario. I just tried taking him out to play catch with his tennis ball, that is his favorite thing in the world. We have it down pretty good where I can lob it to him from as far as 50 feet and he will catch it. But he did not want to even do that. I'm looking to take the week off so that I can have him looked at some more. Thank you all for your kinds words, thughts and prayers.
I am so sorry to hear about Bullet.
I lost my 12.5 yo suddenly to liver problems this February. He stopped eating suddenly and I took him to the vet the next day. x-rays showed nothing, his liver values were off the chart (they were fine 6 months earlier when we started him on deramaxx for arthritis). He had fever and was put on antibiotics. The vet said the best case scenario was a liver infection that would have required weeks of IV antibiotics treatment in the ER, with an uncertain outcome. The worst case scenario was cancer. My suspicion is that it was liver damage from the deramaxx, I forgot to ask for regular bloodwork and the vet did not suggest it. I was told that the only way to get a definite diagnosis for treatment was a liver biopsy (ultrasound is not enough and few places do good enough quality ultrasound for diagnostic purposes). My old guy was terrified at the vet, I literally had to drag and carry him. On the third day of the vet visit he would not get up or lift his head when I got home from work and I decided to let him go. I did not want him to die alone and scared in a hospital hooked on IVs. he did not eat for three days though he did drink some. Up to that day he was very healthy, arthritis was the only health problem he had that required treatment.
Looking at him and knowing him, I just did not think he would make it when he would not lift his head for me.
I sent him to the Bridge and still miss him terribly. He was my heart-dog and he traveled with me everywhere in the car. My car and house are empty without him.
I wish you better luck with Bullet. You are in my prayers.
Thank you all again for the kind words and prayers. We have been spending every second with Bullet. He is not eating at all and he does not want to get up or anything. His breathing is labored and he has given me a look in his eye that I have never seen before from him. He is telling me that he is not comfortable or happy and that he is ready to go. Wife and I discussed it this morning and I already called the Vet. He will be coming out this afternoon and we will say our good bye's to our first GSD. Our boy, the tears will not stop, but I won't cry in front of him because I don't want him to think that he did anything to make us upset. I don't want to put him through unnecessary pain with shots, biopsies that may not help him only to come home or wake up with him gone. I owe it to him to let him go with the dignity and honor that he lived his life with. With his mama and papa there with him to guide him along. This is so hard and I hope I am making the right call.
I'm so sorry you're going through this, but it sounds like you're doing the best thing for your boy - you're allowing him to leave with dignity and respect, and that's something we'd all like to be able to do when the time comes. It's only natural to wonder if you're making the right call - Bullet knows you are. He knows you wouldn't want him to suffer and that you're doing one of the hardest things you'll ever have to do, but one of the kindest, most unselfish things for Bullet. He loves you as much as you love him.
Take care. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you help Bullet on his final journey. We're all here for you .
I'm so sorry, I know this is the hardest decision any pet owner has to make. I don't know about others, but I also second guess my decision to allow a Hooligan to go to the Bridge, yet I know I'm always right.