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I've had Brutus the basset since mid-February. He's been part joy and part PITA, but I think this is kind of par for a lot of dogs. Anyway, approximately 2-3 months ago we went to the vet because he was constipated. While there, Brutus shook his head and body as only dogs can and threw bloody drool on the vet. The vet started looking in his mouth and it wasn't very easily seen, but it was discovered that he had a fatty tumor growing on the inside of his mouth. The vet told me at the time that the tumor was not unusual for a 10 yr old hound and removing it would probably not be a good idea as the tumor could possibly grow back and the dog may not survive anesthesia. She also said that the tumor could eventually grow big enough to constrict his breathing and eating.

Fast forward to now. The tumor appears to have grown in the area between his cheek and his teeth. It causes part of his face to hang down and droop. The last couple of weeks I've noticed that it has grown large enough that it now sticks out of his mouth in the front. It bleeds constantly so he drools bloody drool. I can't take him anywhere other than a walk around the neighborhood because a dog with a tumor sticking out of his mouth and drooling blood tends to horrify people. If I put his head in my lap to scratch his ears, I get blood on my pants. He was chewing on a rawhide the other day and I had to do a double take as it looked like a raw piece of meat because of the blood all over it.

So, I'm starting to ask the quality of life question. He's a 10 yr old hound. It's clear he doesn't get around as well as he used to even when I got him just a few months ago now. Maybe this is just because he's settled in now. I'm sure the bleeding tumor causes him some pain. It almost has to. But I really don't know how bad the pain is. It doesn't affect him breathing or eating. What other things do I need to look at as far as his quality of life goes? I've not had to made these kinds of decisions with a dog before.
 

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we had a german shepard many years ago witht he same thing. We had the tumor cut out many times but it would always come back bigger. After a long battle and the vet suggesting he wouldn't do surgery again we had to put him down.
I just put my rottie down almost two weeks ago as she couldn't use her back leggs, lost control of her bowels and was in terrible pain. You will know in your heart when it is time and what you have to make!
 

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The fact that you are beginning to consider it is a signal that your inner gut says it's time, but you're looking for comfort and a way to keep him going because such a decision is hard. It's hard to let go of a pet, even if you've only had him a short time.

Ask your vet. You know how he is at home and your vet sees things like this often enough to know when it's time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The fact that you are beginning to consider it is a signal that your inner gut says it's time, but you're looking for comfort and a way to keep him going because such a decision is hard. It's hard to let go of a pet, even if you've only had him a short time.

Ask your vet. You know how he is at home and your vet sees things like this often enough to know when it's time.
Frak. I had a feeling someone was going to say that and I suspected it myself, but I don't want to hear that. Should I have him have surgery knowing that he may not survive and even if he does we may face the same problem again in 6 months? Also, how painful is the surgery going to be? I need to go call my vet.
 

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but I don't want to hear that. Should I have him have surgery knowing that he may not survive and even if he does we may face the same problem again in 6 months? Also, how painful is the surgery going to be? I need to go call my vet.
with out sounding rude, but having just gone through all the same questions 2 weeks ago, ultimatly the decision is up to you and you only. You know in your heart what he needs and as much as we don't want to "hear that" or "think about it" it is only fair to your baby that you help take care of him either with surgery or making the pain and suffering away!

I will tell you that having mine for 10+ years it was the hardest thing to do, but she was also is such horrible pain and it wasn't fair to her to keep it going. It is us humans who are selfish and don't want to have to make the decision. Now 2 weeks later I am am still happy with our decision, but it still hurts and I miss her terribly and still cry a lot. I visit her grave every day! But I also know that I gave her death in dignity and took away all her pain and suffering. Her mind was fully there and she knew what was going on, she could use her legs and in pain...It wasn't right to let her feel sad and in pain!

Talk to your vet, and talk to your baby. He may not be able to talk to you in words but they will also tell you in their own way! Here my baby girl an hour before the vet showed up to put her to sleep!

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it isn't about the quantity of life it is about quality!

you will make the right decision even if it may be the harder one!
 

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I am so sorry for the heartache. I was just curious, for the time being can pain meds be given?
It does sound like the time is near. *sigh* I hope you and your vet can figure out what is best for him that will ease the emotional pain for you and physical pain for him.
When it is time to let go just spoil him like crazy, cook him up a great big steak and treat him like a king before you say goodbye.
{{{{hugs}}}}


mandymmr: that picture of your rottie is so sweet... just heartbreaking to think about saying goodbye. the pain to actually let go must be overwhelming.
 

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I just wanted to say that I'm really sorry you're in this situation. I have never made this decision for a dog and I don't look forward to it. The fact that you're wondering is at least an indication that it's on the horizon. And that's got to be terribly difficult.

I have thought about it some, and I think I'll know. There's no way we can know for sure, so we have to just trust our instincts and the love for the dog. Because ultimately, that's what's going to help you make the decision.

I'm sorry.
 

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mandymmr: that picture of your rottie is so sweet... just heartbreaking to think about saying goodbye. the pain to actually let go must be overwhelming.
thanks, looking at the picture and know my Gretta that does not look like her at all! Here is how she was normally, very happy, smiling all the time.

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That picture above is a good indicator we knew it was time to let her go and run free. It wasn't fair to her! In the end you will know in your heart it is time.

Many hugs to you through this time!
 

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The fact that you are beginning to consider it is a signal that your inner gut says it's time, but you're looking for comfort and a way to keep him going because such a decision is hard. It's hard to let go of a pet, even if you've only had him a short time.

Ask your vet. You know how he is at home and your vet sees things like this often enough to know when it's time.
Good advice and I am sorry for your pain in this difficult time. If there is somebody close to you (child?) that needs to learn about making the same decision someday for themselves; maybe your gift to them can be how you both properly handle this in the end (if that makes any sense).
 

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I called the vet. They close at noon today so I missed them and will have to call back tomorrow. I guess I need to just find out what kind of pain he may be in. Otherwise he seems ok healthwise for an older dog, but I think the end is near for him and probably nearer than I hoped for.
 

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I would vote no on the surgery. Even if it were to be easy, painless, and totally safe (which it is none of those things), I wouldn't feel good about sinking resources into a 10-year-old dog.

Doubtless some of you will think me heartless, but I really feel that there comes a point in a living being's life when the point is not to make life any longer, just to make it more comfortable. For most dogs, I think 10-years-old is well into that mark.

I would want to know about pain, too. Clifford was never able to get around well, so that was not why I had him put down. I had him put down when he was almost constantly in visible (or audible, as the case sometimes was) pain.

I'm sorry you have to go through this.
 

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Well ask yourself this question..

Would you be happy being a senior and having a bloody tumor in your mouth?
 

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I'm afraid I can't help much, as only you & your family can make that decision. But my heart truly goes out to you for what I know you're going through.
 

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Frak. I had a feeling someone was going to say that and I suspected it myself, but I don't want to hear that. Should I have him have surgery knowing that he may not survive and even if he does we may face the same problem again in 6 months? Also, how painful is the surgery going to be? I need to go call my vet.
I might try it once depending on what the vet says.

If he has to remove teeth or half a jaw or something I dunno if I would.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
From what I understand from the vet (this from our last visit) it's just a matter of anesthetizing the dog and cutting the tumour out of the side of his mouth. The question then is whether the dog will survive the anesthesia and if the tumor will grow back. The first question is unknown, the second is almost certainly yes from what the vet said. But if grows back and then 6 months later we're in the same boat, what then? Spend another $200-300 (what the vet said it would cost) on another surgery that he may or may not survive? Money isn't a big problem in the short term, but I don't want to wak up a year from now discovering that I've sunk $1,500 into a dog that now needs surgery again. I also have to factor in how stressfull the surgery is going to be on him. He's a 10 year old hound and is not going to recover the way Zero would.

As I look at it honestly, if I knew Zero would have to have surgery every 6 months for the rest of his life, I might question whether he should be PTS too and he's only about 2 now.
 

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Lucky had several teeth pulled and other dental/mouth work done at 13 or 14 years old. She lived to be about 18. If you want to consider surgery you can have blood work done to determine how well his kidneys and liver are functioning. If they are working good chances are he will survive surgery fine, if they are not doing well, I wouldn't do the surgery. Thats how I would procede personally, with the blood work to see if surgery is really even a realistic possiblity. If it was I would probably do the surgery and when the tumor grew back again I would re-evaluate.
 

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If it were me, I would risk the surgery. I have seen older dogs go through worse surgeries and do just fine. A lot of it depends on the kind of anesthesia and monitoring. However, I may be a touch selfish. If you got another good 6 months with him, to me that would be worth it. That said, you will know. You see him every day and you know if he is done fighting. Good luck with whatever you decide. You know we will all be here to support you no matter what.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I just saw him when I went out to feed him. I swear it looks worse. It looked like a tongue hanging out of his mouth, but he doesn't seem to mind at all. I wonder if he's just being a trooper though.
 

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Talk to your vet. Hopefully it is someone who help you make the decision on whether surgery will really give him more quality of life. Maybe one surgery would give him some more time (6 mos) if it will be a pain free time for him.

I had a dog with a nasal cavity tumor and I was going to a new vet. I called the old one (who had treated Tinker for 14 yrs) and said he wouldn't put her through it.

I have said it before on here, relieving your baby of pain is the most unselfish thing a pet parent can do. It doesn't help us but I always think of them all waiting for me (cuz there have been a few) Over the Rainbow Bridge.

Just keep talking on here. But you WILL know when it's right. There will be a look in his eyes that will tell you "Dad, you dun good by me for these past few months and they've been swell, but it's time..." It will be one of the singular most difficult things you will do but you will also find peace in it as well.

I and my crew will be thinking of you.
 
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