I posted before, but I am still having difficulty with grief and regret. My 16 1/2 yr old chihuahua mix passed last month. He had developed an immune disorder that caused his body to attack his platelets (thrombocytopenia) 3 years ago. After 6 months of many vet visits and strong meds, he went into remission. The following year he developed chronic pancreatitis, gall bladder disease, and kidney disease and then to top it off in Nov 2020 he developed bladder cancer (because of his kidneys he couldn’t have any meds for it and surgery wasn’t an option). I think the strong meds he was taking for the thrombocytopenia contributed to all this but I don’t know. This is in addition to mild hydrocephalus with seizure disorder he had from birth. In August of 2020 he had another attack of pancreatitis and I had to change his food to a different prescription kibble. These kibbles were fairly large, but I never had given him small breed dog food and some of his previous kibble were a bit larger. At first I put broth on it, but when he eventually wasn’t eating all of it, I put a bowl of dry next to the bowl with the broth in it. He ate all the dry and did not touch the one with the broth, so I started feeding it to him dry. He was eating like he normally did, not fast, but it appeared he wasn’t really chewing them. He wasn’t having any difficulty or distress and finishing it all so I didn’t think much of it. (He had chewed a little bit bigger ones in the past though.) Well, a few months after the cancer diagnosis he started to not finish his meals, so I began leaving food out for him all the time and gave him a few extra treats (oatmeal, fruit, veggies). I couldn’t feed him the wet prescription food because it was too high in fat. I also tried mixing oatmeal in with the kibble but after a few times he would not eat it like this and I then tried veggie baby food in it but he just licked it off. I couldn’t give him anything high fat or protein because of his other health issues. He was losing weight even though he was always excited for his people food but eating less of the kibble. He still looked pretty good up until August (he had a little extra padding at the start of this). In August (he was going to the vet every couple months) the vet did an ultrasound and saw that the tumor was bigger than a golf ball and saw spots on his other organs indicating the cancer had metastasized but his blood work showed that his kidney and pancreatic enzymes looked better so that was being kept in check. In the next few months he progressively deteriorated, losing more weight, becoming more unsteady, straining to pee more, pacing, and showing neurological signs (circling and at the end twitching). He ate less and less of the kibble (but was still eating it) but was still excited about his “people food” (until the last week of his life when he stopped eating and drinking anything). He really needed higher calorie food for the cancer, but couldn’t have it because of the other issues. He was still swallowing the kibbles whole but eating slower than before and every once in awhile he would drop them, but most of the time it didn’t appear he was having trouble, no choking or vomiting. He had most of his teeth including all his molars and the vet said he had a little gingivitis but they looked ok, but couldn’t see everything without an xray. I did tell him he was swallowing the kibbles. I did brush his teeth but he wasn’t very cooperative. He was too sick for a dental. I don’t understand, if possibly his teeth hurt, why he wouldn’t rather eat the kibble softened with the broth, oatmeal, or baby food. Also, why would he be so excited for other food indicating he did have an appetite but not eat enough kibble? Do sick dogs do this? I am so sad and having so many regrets. One thing I didn’t do is break down the kibble but I thought he never really chewed them and he is at least still eating and I was afraid to change anything (faulty thinking, I know). It kills me thinking he may have eaten more of it if I did and that he progressively ate less because it was not comfortable. My vet is great but he never offered any guidance on feeding and I regret not asking if I could add chicken or turkey to his diet (he had told me when he was diagnosed with the kidney disease not to give him any extra protein foods). I was in denial that he was going to die. I probably waited too long to let him go. I am going to counseling but still having trouble thinking I hurt him somehow and maybe he was hungry and I caused his weight loss. Also, wondering if I prolonged his suffering by waiting too long to help him pass.