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Discussion Starter #1
Well the past couple of weeks my German Shepard, Killian, has been looking like his stomach was getting bigger and bigger. It is not bloat, as it was not sudden. I wondered if it was him just getting older and putting on some pounds but rather than guess I brought him to the vet. The vet said he has heart disease and his belly is full of fluid. Monday he will be getting his belly drained and some more tests to rule out anything else.

The vet said that I should expect him to have another 6 months to a year.

This is very tough for me. I was in the military for ten years and Killian was with me for 6 of those. I got out in 2004 and we traveled all over the country together. When I was living somewhere that I didn't know anyone he was always there for me. We've had a ton of adventure together and honestly this is ripping my heart out. I don't know how I'm going to handle this. Killian is coming up on 10 years old in October, I know that he's lived a good life but its still tough. Every time I see him now I can't help but feel bad. He's still very playful, loving and other than looking like he swallowed a volleyball he's no different. It just breaks my heart.

How do you cope with this?
 

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I wish I could tell you it is easy, but the only people it is easy for are the people who think a dog is just a dog.

You need to enjoy every minute you have with Killian right now. Forget feeling bad, as long as Killian is happy and not in any pain there is no reason for you to feel bad, your friend is still with you.

Now I know how much you love Killian, it is evident in your post. So while it won't be easy I know that you will put Killians welfare before your feelings, that is what we do. I honestly believe that when Killian can't handle things any more, He will let you know that it is time to say goodbye. None of us want that day to come, but at least with this section on the board you are among like minded soles who will offer you as much moral support as we can.

Let's see what the Vet has to say before you try to handle the rest. But please enjoy every minute you have with Killian.

Val
 

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It is very tough my friend. But the time is not upon you now. Enjoy every minute with him. Take him to the park and out for ice cream. He is still with you. When he is ready to depart, you will know it and if you sit with him he will tell you. But that time is not now. As a soldier you know that you must be strong in front of him and do not break down in front of him. He will sense that you are sad and he will think that he has caused this. We all know that this day would come as much as we hate to face it. Be strong for him. He will tell you when it is time. I am truly sorry to hear that your Killian is sick, take care of him and your self.
 

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Listen to what bullet395 says. If you need to talk to someone get on the site and we will be there for you. Just like you are there for Killian, we will be there for you. This is not an easy time, but we will help you thru this. Spoil Killian rottten and be with him and play with him when he wants to play. Take alot of pictures also.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well here are some pictures of him I took today. Like I said he still looks happy and still does not to hesitate to hover in the kitchen when we're cooking.





Here he is hanging out on the deck. His little buddy seems to know something is up because he's acting much different around him now.

 

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If it helps any, Killian looks so very happy. Enjoy the time you have left with him. Take him to do things he loves to do.
 

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I'm very sorry to hear that Killian is sick.
He is still with you. And he looks like a very happy and loving boy. Enjoy every minute with him and remember to have as much fun and make as many good memories as you can.
 

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I'm so sorry
! I just went through the same thing with my GSD Maggie.

Her diagnosis was a shock to say the least. Just like Killian she seemed completely normal except for a lump on her head. She went into the vet to have a tooth removed, and we received a call saying she had a few weeks to a month left. Everything came crashing down on me. That sounds overly dramatic, but Maggie was one of my "kids".

I went through the same exact thing once I knew she had cancer. At first I couldn't look at her without telling her I was sorry. I told her over and over again it wasn't fair.

Think of what makes Killian happy. Does he like going for rides in the car? Take him for a trip to McDonald's every once in awhile and get him his own burger/nuggets. Take the time to just sit by him and tell him how much you love him. Take him for long walks. Tell him it's going to be okay, and try your hardest to believe it. It hurts like heck, but they need the comfort.

As much as it hurts, try to have an idea of how you would like the end to be, if it comes down to you making the decision. Speak with your vet as far as what your options are.

I'm so sorry you are going through this. Take things one day at a time, and try not to think about what is to come.

The people here are absolutely fantastic. They have been a huge comfort to me during a horrible time. I am being completely honest when I say the people here made the past few weeks a heck of alot easier for me.

Give Killian a big hug and kiss from Maggie
& myself.

~ Wendy
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all again for your words, this is honestly helping.

Killian is at the vets as I type this right now. They're doing more tests and draining his belly today. I feel better knowing he's in the care of a vet right now. I hope this makes him more comfortable.
 

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I am so sorry Killian is sick. We will keep Killian and yourself in our thoughts and prayers. You definately have tons of support here, so keep letting us know how you and Killian are doing.
Please keep us posted.
 

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I am so sorry! But lots of good words here! Hope Killian has a wonderful time with whatever time he has. He does not understand he is ill so just love him extra special in the time he has remaining. Take lats of pics so you have them to look at later and remember all his fun times.
 

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He looks particularly comfortable snoozing on the deck, with his pal hanging out with him. Ah, there's nothing like a summertime nap!

Be sure to take lots of photos. Video too, if you have the technology. We all need to take more photos and videos -- days have a way of sliding by, and we need to remember the love and laughter we share from day to day, and we forget that we are good looking pups with great smiles!


Killian has a particularly nice smile. Please be sure to tell him I said that. And give him a kiss on the nose for me.


How do we cope? We each all do it differently. But we do it together. That's why we're here for each other.

Lori
 

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So sorry to hear about Killian, He is absolutely stunning!!!

He definately looks in good spirits, just spoil him and enjoy your time together. Don't worry just as the other said he will let you know when its time!!!
Good luck keep us posted and sending you, killian and family good thoughts and prayers
 

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so sorry to hear your bad news....as everyone says, love him, spoil him and he will let you know when he is ready to leave!

Hopefully they can give him some meds to help control the fluid build up (lasix) and keep him comfortable....and you can have a good deal of quality time with Killian! He obviously loves you and is loved....all of us here know the distress of not being able to stop time and keep them with us....Enjoy him and let him enjoy his time with you!



Lee
 

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Discussion Starter #20
UPDATE!!!! I picked him up today from the vet. They pulled 26lbs of fluid from him today and the vet said his heart looks a lot better than he expected. He said that he wants Killian back in two weeks for another chest x-ray then he will be able to give me a better long term prognosis.

To me this is very good news.
 
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