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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

There’s No Expiration Date … But Here are Some Warning Signs That a Dog Is Dying

Updated: October 8th, 2019


What are the warning signs that my dog is dying?? Learn what signs to look for, and how to handle them.


If you’re reading this article, you’re probably worried that you’re missing the warning signs of your dog dying. You may even have literally searched for “warning signs dog dying.” As editor of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, I wanted to write this, just for you. Here’s what I need you to know, right up front, right now:

  1. There is no expiration date for your dog. There is no such thing as a crystal ball we can consult to know “today’s the day.” No one, not your veterinarian, not your spouse, and not you, can predict with 100% accuracy “when” your dog is going to pass from this earth.
  2. There are some warning signs that you can use to see the end as it nears.
  3. There are some wonderful, simple things you can do for your dog RIGHT NOW that will help, no matter when the end comes.
  4. This is a very, very hard time for you, and you should be very gentle and kind to yourself.

Before we launch in, let me tell you this: I am not a veterinarian. I am a writer, and the editor of the best-selling book on dog cancer, The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, but I have no medical credentials of my own. What I am including in this article is what I know from Dr. Demian Dressler and his co-author, oncologist Dr. Susan Ettinger … but mostly from my own experience as a dog lover, just like you, who has gone through the dark nights of agony at the end of a beloved dog’s life.

With that disclaimer, let’s move on.

There’s No Expiration Date

Readers of the book often join our private Facebook support group, where they can network and get support from other readers who understand what it’s like to have a dog with cancer. Far too often, a reader posts a photo of their gorgeous dog and asks “how do I know when it’s time to let go?”

And the advice from fellow guardians (what we call dog lovers facing canine cancer) is almost always summed up this way:

“You can’t know ahead of time … but when it is finally time, you will absolutely know. Your dog will tell you.”

If you would like to reach out for support from others facing dog cancer, read success stories, and gain new ideas, please join our private Facebook Group for readers of the Dog Cancer Survival Guide.

This idea that our dogs will “tell” us may sound a little obvious (or mystical, depending upon how seriously you take interspecies communication studies). But it’s not.

We often have to be reminded that our dogs actually have opinions, thoughts, feelings, and preferences. They are not human, but they are, in a very important sense, people. I’m not making this up! This is a relatively new way of thinking about animals, but it’s becoming clearer with every passing year: this planet is populated by over 7 billion human individuals, and thousands of billions more of individual animals.

Dogs are not just members of a species called Canis lupus familiaris… in fact, they are individuals who happen to be part of that species. Just like all of us humans are individuals who happen to be part of our species, Homo sapiens.

Dogs have a sense of themselves as individuals. They don’t look at another dog and think “hey, we’re interchangeable!”

But because dogs don’t speak “English” (although they understand a lot of it), and because we don’t speak “Canine,” we often forget that our dog IS a person. He has his own unique view on his world. She has her own set of experiences — experiences that you will never actually know about. Because you haven’t been her, and you haven’t lived his life!

My point is, it’s easy to forget in our distraction and panic over our dog’s warning signs that they are feeling ill, or maybe even dying, that they are actually having their own experience — that is separate from ours.

And when we forget that about other people (whether human or dog) … we forget that we need to LISTEN. Just as we would to someone in our life who does speak our language. If your grandfather told you “I think I’m near the end,” you would understand what he meant. Well, dogs might be able to “tell” us something like that, too.

So, when we offer each other those frustrating words of advice “your dog will tell you,” another way to say it is “ask your dog.”

Look, there just isn’t any way to know the exact timing of anyone’s death, human or canine. But there is great value in listening to someone, closely observing them, and providing comfort, whether they are near death, or not.

And our dogs certainly deserve that close, loving attention, at all times in their lives. Goodness knows, I wish I were even a fraction as good as my dogs. I would be a saint.

So, bottom line is this: set aside your need to “know” if now is the time for your dog. It’s just not possible to know for sure — until you do.

When it’s time, you will know, because your dog will somehow, someway, get through to you to tell you. In the meantime, the best thing you can do for yourself AND your dog is to listen, observe, and offer comfort and help as needed. How much time you have left is less important than how much closeness and love you give each other in whatever time you have left.

(I speak from hard, hard experience.)

Warning Signs Dog Dying

OK, here are some things that you can look for to see if your dog is nearing the end of life. Keep in mind that none of these are definitive, and if your dog is only going through one or two of them, it may not mean she’s near the end. I have heard from too many readers over the years about turnarounds to think that any one of the following signs definitely means your dog is going for sure.

But if you see several of the following warning signs, all at the same time? Breathe deeply. We’ll cover some more things for you to do in the next section.

Lethargy That Just Won’t Quit

In general, dogs like to move, walk, play, bounce, cuddle, fetch, eat, drink, and relieve themselves. Any time your dog is listless or lethargic … not “acting like himself” you can be sure he’s not feeling well for some reason.

In particular, lying in one spot for long periods of time, especially one that is kind of quiet and isolated, or not a normal napping spot, is a sign that your pup is feeling like life is not something he wants to participate in wholeheartedly. Those of us who live in rural areas, where our dogs have lots of outside spaces to roam, are familiar with how, given a chance, some dogs prefer to isolate themselves, far from their families, when they sense their time is up. I had a friend whose elderly dog seemed fine right up until the night she didn’t come in when called after they let her out after dinner. They found her curled up under a bush in an area she almost never napped in — as if she didn’t want to ruin their happy memories of other trees, paths, and walks.

If you live in a city or suburb, and your dog doesn’t have an outside option, you might find he chooses a weird spot you’ve never seen him use for a nap. Another friend’s dog curled up in their laundry room for his last days. It only made sense when she realized how it was out of the way, out of traffic, and afforded him maximum privacy from his beloved small human family members in their busy house.

If a dog is near the end, they may not want to get up from their spot, even for their most favoritest, favoritest things, like toys, treats, and offers to go for a walk. They might not even seem happy to see family members. If your dog has been sort of puddling up in a pile of lethargic, disinterested misery, and it’s been more than a day, that can be an early warning sign that she is getting ready to leave this life.

Lack of Interest in Food and/or Water

It’s the rare dog that doesn’t want to eat. Sometimes, nausea from cancer treatments (or cancer itself) can be the culprit. Other health conditions, medications, and even foods can certainly cause temporary nausea, too. Here’s one of my favorite articles about how to help your dog to eat when she won’t.

But if you’ve gone through all of that, and even started offering other tidbits that might be no-no’s on a typical cancer diet, and he still won’t eat? Or if he does, but then vomits? That’s a warning sign.

If your dog stops drinking water, that’s another sign that she is possibly nearing the end. At the end of life, our organs start shutting down, and as a result, the brain just stops sending us hunger and thirst signals. There’s no point in taking in food and water that can’t be digested and then used by the body.

So, if you’ve tried and failed to get your dog to take an interest in food and water, and it’s been over a day or two, it might be because he’s near the end.

Movement Problems

Dogs that are near the end of their life often become very disoriented, so if your dog does get up and move around, she may stumble, wobble, or collapse. You may find him shaking, or even having what looks like a seizure, as his muscles tremble and discharge energy.

Losing Control of Bowels and/or Incontinence

A dog who is dying often loses control of their muscles (as above), including all the sphincter muscles that hold waste in the intestines, or urine in the bladder. Combine that loss of control with the inability to move with confidence and general lethargy, and you see incontinence. Often, you’ll find your dog has soiled himself without even attempting to get up — urinating and/or defecating right where he’s lying. You might also see sores from the waste irritating the skin.

Labored Breathing

At the very end of life, breathing often becomes ragged. Instead of a nice, even in-and-out, you might hear great breaths in, and then a long pause, and a little sigh out. There might be panting, or great pauses, or almost a rattling sound as your pup struggles to keep going.

Super Snuggliness

I have a theory that most dogs absolutely know that they are dying, and they want to make the most of their last moments. Before you point out that I just told you about dogs isolating themselves to die, let me tell you this: both of those dogs actually spent the hours BEFORE they isolated themselves to pass asking for kisses and pets and snuggles from their human family members.

As far as I can tell, dogs love unconditionally, even those of us humans who maybe don’t deserve it. And so it makes 100% sense to me, as a dog lover, that my dogs all got really snuggly at some point near the very end of their lives. They want to make absolutely sure that you know that you are loved before they are forced to leave you.

If your dog is spending lots of time gazing at you with adoration, snuggling into your lap, or doing his best to request a belly rub given his limited movements, you might see that as a warning sign.

Get the Dog Cancer Survival Guide to read more on End of Life and Hospice Care, in Chapter 25

What You Can Do for Your Dog If You Think She’s Dying

First, make sure that’s what is going on. Calling your veterinarian and telling him or her all about everything you’ve observed is your first priority. You will want to know if a recent change in medication or technique could have caused these symptoms — and if so, there might be something they can do for her to get her through this period so she can recover.

Before you call in, make a list of everything you’ve seen and heard, and your general impressions of your dog, so you don’t forget anything. The nurse or tech who answers the phone will be able to help you, or have the veterinarian call you back and discuss.

Getting medical advice at this stage is really important. If there is something that can be done, they’ll advise you about what it is, and what the chances of it helping are. And if not, they might still be helpful — sometimes an overnight stay at the hospital can help both with pain management and “hospice” care, if that’s necessary.

But then, there are definitely things you can do at home to help your dog. These all can help to alleviate pain and really up the quality of life he’s feeling right now. For more detail on each of these, please see the chapter of “End of Life Choices and Care” in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.


For dehydration, aim to get about one ounce of water per pound of body weight into your dog over a 24-hour period. For example, if your dog is 10 pounds, you want to give about 10 ounces of water.

If he won’t drink out of a bowl, you can try squirting a turkey baster filled with water into his mouth. You can also use other fluids, like low-sodium chicken or beef broth, soup, or even tea. But if he refuses to drink, or hates the baster method, there’s not a lot you can do to force the issue.

In this case, ask your veterinarian for “subcutaneous fluids” to give at home, along with detailed instructions about how to inject them under the skin.


If your pup hasn’t eaten in over a day, and you’ve done everything you can think of in Susan’s article, throw out all the rules you’ve learned about what to feed a dog with cancer.

High-carb? Fine! Hot dog packed with nitrates and nitrites? Terrific! If your dog hasn’t eaten in a few days, ANYTHING she eats is lovely.

Offer anything that isn’t toxic (no onions, grapes, raisins, chocolate). Anything that tempts her to take a bite is PERFECT, and an important life quality “treatment.” Our dog Maui, when she was dying, loved angel food cake. (And we loved feeding it to her.)


If your dog is really wobbly, try to keep him in a quiet, comfortable place that is safe. Remove any furniture or objects that he might knock over, and pad hard surfaces anyway you can.


Cleanliness is really important to your dog, as it is to us humans. So if she’s soiling herself, give her a gentle sponge bath with lukewarm (not cold, not really warm, certainly not hot) water as soon as you can. Keeping her clean and dry will help her to feel comfortable and keep her from developing bed sores.

Bed Sores

Lying in one spot can cause bed sores, little ulcers where skin is rubbed raw from the pressure of the body. This is particularly important for large breeds.

Keeping your pup on a thickly padded surface and rotating him gently from side to side is a good idea. While you do this, gently look for sores that are developing so you can care for them right away if you see them.

Also, keep in mind that you don’t want to “twist” your dog as you move him. If he hasn’t turned himself over in a six-hour period, gently gather all four of his paws to his belly, roll him to his front, and then on to his other side. (Don’t roll him onto his back — it’s dangerous, especially to large breed dogs, who are prone to get a “twisted stomach” this way.)

Pain Management

Pain management might be in order, particularly if you notice panting, a possible sign of pain. There are many pain meds your veterinarian might want to prescribe, based on your dog’s specific case, so don’t be afraid to ask.

This is also a time when something like CBD oil might be warranted, for comfort at the end of life. Discuss this with your veterinarian, if you’re interested, because laws vary by state, and not every veterinarian is comfortable prescribing or using something that is still illegal at the federal level. (And I refuse to get on my soapbox about this, but let’s just say I wish scientists had the opportunity to study this.)

Life Quality!

Focus on total, 100%, super-awesome life quality tailored to YOUR dog.

You know your dog best — what does she like? Is there a favorite toy you can get for her to snuggle with or gnaw on? Is there a special treat? Does she adore fresh air?

When our dog Maui was in her last days, I bought a pack ‘n play for her, filled it with her favorite dog bed, toys, and snugglies, and put it outside in a shady spot. We also carried her in our arms and gently walked up and down her favorite beach. I can’t prove it, but I know it’s true: being outside and feeling the sunshine and fresh air, and smelling her favorite beachy smells, made her happier.

So did getting groomed. The day before Maui died, our mobile groomer appeared at the door. It was an appointment we’d made a month earlier, and forgotten to cancel as we took care of Maui in her last days. We assumed Maui wouldn’t want to make the effort to get up and get groomed, but when she heard Allyson’s voice, her tail thumped and she raised her head, and she even walked to the top of the steps to greet her. When we listened carefully, and observed her obvious positive response to Allyson, we “knew” she wanted to get groomed. Allyson’s tender care for her in her last hours was a miracle. Maui always loved being groomed, and it truly ended up being one of the “life quality treatments” we applied at the end of her life.

Manage Your Grief

OK, this one is hard, but it’s really important. While you care for your dog at this last stage of his life, try hard not to break down in front of him. Dogs pick up on our emotions, and whatever you are feeling he is likely feeling, too. So try to stay in a warm, loving, attentive, close, intimate frame of mind. Leave the harsh, ugly crying for later, or go somewhere else to do it.

It’s a terrible burden, to watch a loved one die. It can be really hard, and for some, it’s totally devastating. But if you can keep breathing, and keep your heart open to how much love there is between you and your dog, you’ll be doing a deep and great service to your pup.

And somehow, I know he’ll be grateful to you.

Which brings me to the last thing I wanted to tell you.

Be Gentle, and Loving, with Yourself, Too.

Good grief, it’s hard to lose a dog. And maybe even harder is knowing you’re about to lose your dog — that it’s going to happen soon, but who knows when. That limbo feeling can complicate our decision making and terrorize our minds. We might not feel right about eating ourselves, or sleeping, or going to work, or even taking a shower.

So acknowledge to yourself that you’re going through a really tough time, and that YOU need care, too. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that no amount of money, time, or energy can insulate us from heartbreak. Whether you are in a situation where you can’t afford pain meds, or need to euthanize, or can’t afford to miss work to be with your dogs — or whether you have all the time and money you need — you’re going through a devastating loss.

So do what you need to do to care for yourself, too. Get support. Talk to friends and family members, or a pastor or counselor. I personally advise NOT talking to people who aren’t dog lovers — some folks simply do not understand the bond that can form between us and our dogs. The last thing you need to hear right now is “it’s just a dog.”

If you’re a reader of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, I highly recommend the Facebook support group. (Email us using the contact us page to get details on how to join that private group.) Having fellow travelers take a moment or two to post messages of love and support can be very healing.  They can also be really helpful at “trouble-shooting” your end of life care for your dog.

In addition to reaching out for emotional support, I also recommend a few time-tested comfort measures. The following came highly recommended by my grandmothers and grandfathers, and my great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers (I am so lucky to have known so many!):

  • Get as much sleep as possible. Now is not the time to pull all-nighters if you don’t have to. Go to bed when you are tired, and if you can nap, do it.
  • Make sure YOU are eating and drinking. Your dog does not benefit from you being weak and hangry.
  • Take a shower. Everything seems more manageable when you are fresh and clean.
  • Take care with your dress and grooming. My grammy used to say “I wear lipstick because I feel better.” You don’t have to wear lipstick, but sometimes feeling “dressed” — whatever that means to you — helps you to face the world.
  • Breathe deeply. Constantly. When stressed, we often hold our breath, which just keeps our brains from working well. Better to add breath to any stressful situation than take it away.
  • Have tea. Any kind is comforting, but herbal teas in particular can be very therapeutic.
  • If you have a diffuser, diffusing essential oils can be really helpful to both you and your dog. Amber Drake really likes lavender oil, and so do I.
  • Eat soups. They are warm and comforting, and broth can be very nutritious, and quickly absorbed, so you get “instant” food.
  • Cry when you need to. Give yourself breaks to let out your grief, at least a little. It helps to rid the body of stress hormones.
  • Dark chocolate is a great way to reduce stress hormones and “treat” yourself. (My grandmothers all thought so — now science backs them up!)

I’m going to give the last word to one of the wise readers who contributed a “true tail” to The Dog Cancer Survival Guide. Here are some words of wisdom from someone who’s been where you are:

Let Outcomes Unfold

“Deal with it one day/ step at a time, and don’t jump ahead. Let outcomes unfold, rather than focusing on the worst case scenario. Don’t beat up on yourself.You did not cause your dog’s cancer. Don’t try to be brave. If you need to cry or do hours of research or watch action movies to feel better, go for it. If not, just love your dog. Don’t waste any energy on things you can’t do anything about. Use your energy to help your dog. Have courage when making the decisions you will have to for your dog’s well-being. Some will be hard, but if you keep the focus on giving your dog the best quality of life possible, they will be easier.”

– Susan McKay,Winnipeg, Manitoba

I don’t know you, but I feel your pain if you are reading this. I wish you the very best, and thank you, personally, for loving your dog so much that you ended up here, reading this article.

If you have anything to add, please share your story in a comment. Believe me, future readers want to hear from all of us who love and lost our dogs.

Many blessings,

Molly Jacobson

Editor, The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Also Read:

Hospice for Dogs

Was There Anything Else I Could Have Done?

Discover the Full Spectrum Approach to Dog Cancer

Leave a Comment

  1. Mary Corder on November 12, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    Thank you. I just lost my best friend companion 2 weeks ago. Weimeraner
    Cancer… Hate that word. He was 16 years old. Your article was very informative and very familiar.

  2. Kallista Metropoulos on November 12, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    This helps a lot. My dog got a big tumor removed and she has a tiny one about the size of a gold dollar coin. It hasn’t changed a lot, but she’s only 9 years old and I can’t lose her. She’s my “therapy” dog and my “child”. I-I don’t know how to cope. I still heavily miss my older pets from childhood. I have ASD (but a high functioning autism), anxiety, and depression. She’s my baby and everything and I love the training. I’m 22 and when college is tough Shelby helps me. I don’t really think she’s dying, but she hasn’t eaten much in like 2 days.

  3. Margie on November 12, 2019 at 10:42 am

    Thank you. My boxer will be 10 next may. This past August we were told he has cancer. Don’t know how long he will live. He is still spirited , eating. And enjoys walks. He is my buddy. So easy to train. Lately he will whine when he needs something. Like food. Going out to potty. This article has hoped me somewhat. As I am not looking forward to saying goodbye. Forever so loyal.

  4. Theresa Butterbaugh on November 11, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    Thank you, wonderful article and I feel more prepared and confident now.

  5. M on November 11, 2019 at 7:15 am

    It is very very sad when a Pet passes away it’s not esey. More when a Person or children are sinatives when your own Sisters don’t know you as well as they though they do. Any way younger Sister think you are normal when you are sinsative they think what ever. I have 2 Sister who rely don’t care about you same with a Sister in law bullys.

  6. Carol Brunnabend on November 11, 2019 at 3:36 am

    I’m sitting with my Lola, who is currently dying from bladder cancer. She is 13 and has been my buddy since day one. My husband and I have been through this over and over again and it doesn’t get any easier. My heart is breaking. I read your article and wanted to thank you for writing it. I’m seeing some signs in my Lola

    Thank you
    Carol Brunnabend, dog lover

  7. Annette Rhoads on November 11, 2019 at 1:23 am

    Although I don’t know exactly what my little Mitzi died of, your article helped me so much. Mitzi will have been gone two years ago this February.
    For a few weeks, my little rescue Shih Tzu had been following some of the steps that are mentioned here. She was seeing our regular vet, and although she was being treated for diabetes and something called in layman’s terms Old Dog Syndrome, things had suddenly deteriorated.
    When I called a friend over (another dog lover who Mitzi loved) and she growled at her, I knew the truth in my heart, which was breaking. There was a terrible storm outside, my friend did not want to come with me. I understood that, but it hurt me.The palm trees were bending in half, something they usually do in hurricanes. It was black out. There was a veterinary clinic I do not use open for another half hour. It was a Sunday. At least Mitzi could have one last ride in my ancient car. She loved car rides.
    Mitzi let me carry her where I needed to. Although she must have been in terrible pain she never barked or growled at me.
    She did growl at the vet tech. This was a dog who loved everyone and everyone loved her! The vet tech saw that Mitzi was having seizures.They did what they could.
    They knew I didn’t have the money to go to the vet hospital. They took me in as soon as they could. People in the waiting room hugged me.
    The Drs. offered the alternative of sending us home with pain pills. I knew better. I knew the pain must be terrible. I blamed myself for being poor, but they told me even if I had thousands of dollars, I could not save her.
    They didn’t rush me. When Mitzi was given the medication to prepare her (sorry, a little fuzzy here), they told me it would be as if she had 4 martinis. Mitzi looked drunk. All the pain was gone. Her pretty little face was happy again. Her beautiful little eyes never left my face.
    They told me to keep talking to her, so I sang and rocked her and the Drs. held me and said little prayers, and sang with me until she died. I was so grateful.
    I miss her every day of my life, and I will until it is my time to leave this Earth. Sorry this is so long.

    • Molly Jacobson on November 11, 2019 at 10:44 am

      Dear Annette, please don’t apologize for your beautiful post’s length. I’m sure everyone who reads it will feel as I do: comforted that our dogs can take comfort in our presence. Sometimes we think we need to “do everything” in order to prove to our pups that they are loved and cared for, but over and over I am reminded that our simple loving presence seems to be what they most crave. My little Kanga gives me what I call “love gazes.” She looks into my eyes for what seems like an eternity, just softly gazing at me. When she does this, I feel my heart open and her heart open and it just feels like we are being bathed in love. I’m sure that in these moments there is a ton of oxytocin, the cuddle hormone, being released for both of us. When she had an epic surgery last year and was in such pain afterward, I could tell that holding her was the only thing that truly comforted her. The only thing she liked better was to be held AND look me in the eyes. That seemed to provide a relief to her that was far beyond what the pain meds did. I’m 100% positive that Mitzi was telling you the same in her last moments. The pain and confusion she was in, which caused her to snap and growl at others, was relieved by your sweet face. What a gift for both of you, and one that I hope helps you to keep your heart open even while it is broken. I think that is the gift our dogs offer us: to love with full, even when broken, hearts.

  8. Lisa Rita on November 10, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    My dog Grace had a mass in her chest that caused fluid to build up. I took her every week sometimes twice a week to have the fluid drained. She was very sick an failed quickly. I brought her to church on a Sunday morning and asked the priest to bless her. He gave her a special blessing and that night she passed away at home in my arms. She was my first dog and the smartest, most beautiful dog in the world. It has been more than a year that she’s been gone. I think of her and miss her every day. I have other dogs I adore and they bring me so much love and happiness. I will never forget my beautiful Grace though.

  9. Tracy on November 7, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    I thank you very much for this. My little rat terrier Rocky is 14 years old and I’m afraid the time is near.

  10. Tracy on November 7, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    I thank you very much for this.

  11. Pat on November 7, 2019 at 7:15 am

    Very nice article! I learned some things I didn’t know. Written by a true dog lover! Thank you!

  12. KAREN S FILSINGER on November 7, 2019 at 6:40 am

    My heart soars to the sky reading your article. It is so comforting to know people are being educated with their beloved dogs.
    Thank you for your article. It was perfectly stated.

  13. Kathy on November 6, 2019 at 5:27 am

    Lots of great advice. We lost 2 dogs 5 days apart to cancer. One had cancer for about 18 months before nothing worked and she quit eating. She passed at home which is what we wanted since she had been to the vet so many times and hated it. It was such a relief we didn’t have to take her in to be put to sleep. With the other we weren’t so lucky. He was missing a front leg and had cancer in his remaining front foot. We knew it was time but hard to be ready after we just lost one. We feel we did the best we could for them but it was devastating.
    We found a rescue during the 5 days between losing them. We knew we couldn’t stand an empty house. She was a young pup, full of playful energy and it helped to distract us. Hope this helps people know that you never forget, we think of them often but moving on makes the pain easier to bear.

  14. Linda on November 5, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Molly, thank you for writing this article. I lost my Miriah 3 weeks ago this past Saturday. She laid for hours not taking her eyes off of me. I miss her terribly. She was 13 years old. I still have her sister. I would have never thought she would be the first to go. Your words have helped me more than you will ever know. Thank you…

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on November 6, 2019 at 8:22 am

      Hello Linda,

      Thanks for writing and we are so sorry for your loss. Please accept our most heartfelt condolences <3

  15. Paul Mccarthy on November 3, 2019 at 3:48 am

    I just love my dog so much it hurts me to see her in the pain she suffers. I can hardly cope.i spend every moment I can with her. I even sleep next to her. I don’t know what I’ll do if I lose her . God help us both .

  16. Debbie Fowler on October 31, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    Thank u for helping me. My little pooh has some of the first signs of leaving me. I just hope I can be as strong as you portray in your book. I have a long road ahead but I will do my up most to take care of my previous baby I love so very much.debbie fowler

  17. Rowmeoh’s mommy on October 31, 2019 at 6:30 am

    We had just said our last good-byes to our puppy of 16 years when this article appeared for me today. Beautifully and tenderly written. THANK YOU. I worried so much about ‘knowing’ when the time was right to let go and avoided talking to others about it. People were quick to tell me “it’s selfish to keep your dog alive.” I was a stay-at-home mom, so I spent EVERYDAY with my furry companion. I knew him better than anyone. Your article made tears run down my face. It affirmed, I was aware of all the signs, did was was recommended to make those last days soothing and loving. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.
    Warm spa baths and corn on the cob… his favorites.

    • Molly Jacobson on November 1, 2019 at 1:45 pm

      I’m so glad to be of help, and it sounds like your boy was grateful and happy and cozy. And corn on the cob?!? That sounds so decadent and fun!

  18. Sharun houston on October 29, 2019 at 7:31 pm

    Found this helpful in understanding cause my female will pass soon. Appreciate knowing signs and ways to help her as it hurts me big time to know she’s in this stage. Totally love my baby girl. Don’t want her to pass but knowing how I can help her makes me feel better and my last chance to show I love her.

  19. Liz Spolar on October 28, 2019 at 8:05 am

    I done the hardest thing ever in my life,My Cocker Spanial Apachee of 15 1/2 years was diagnosed with lymphoma October 8,2019 my Vet gave me some prednisone to help, he was okay for a while but really started to show the signs of dying i stayed close to my beloved pet till it was time to make that dreaded decision to spare him anymore suffering & had him put down on Saturday October 26,2019.I have never felt this kind of heart ache, I’m just sick,i have to force myself to eat can’t sleep the sobbing comes in waves.a real sad thing is i have his mate Cherokee who is 15 yrs old that is looking for him,will I ever get through this pain.

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on October 28, 2019 at 8:45 am

      Hello Liz,

      Thanks for writing and we are so sorry for your loss. We’ve all been touched by canine cancer here, so we understand what you’re going through. Treat this as a close family member’s death, because it is, in a way. In fact, it can feel more intense to grieve a pet than even our own parents. Our bond with our dogs is so unique, so loving, so unconditional, and so free of other baggage that our grief sometimes actually feels more intense and for some of us (or for some dogs) worse.

      Allow yourself to gradually find moments of happiness again, to embrace life again, because THAT’S what Apachee would want. He would want you to be happy. And he would want his best friend, Cherokee, to find happiness as well 🙂

      So, as you start to recover a sense of happiness, or even just OK-ness, allow that to be true, too. It’s normal to feel injured after a loss, and it’s also normal to heal. There is nothing wrong with you feeling happy, sad, angry, loving, hurt, confused — all of this is normal.

      And if you need to, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with seeking help. You may find talking to a pastor or a counselor to be helfpul. But feel what you need to feel, Liz, because grief can’t be overcome, it can only be moved through. You will always, always miss your boy — but eventually, especially if you allow yourself to grieve naturally now, you will find that there will be less pain when you remember. Eventually, your memories will bring you mostly happiness at having been able to love such a creature, not sadness at having lost.

      Sending you and Cherokee our most heartfelt condolences <3

    • Gary szczebak on October 30, 2019 at 2:55 am

      Hi liz I feel for you. We lost our beautiful roxy some 5 months ago and continue to have crying spells on and off
      It is the worse feeling losing our pets. No one loves us more. I recently lost my mom who was 85 who I adored but the grieve between the two is overwhelming harder losing my roxy. Why I dont know. Hang in there and stay strong. Also dont let anyone say it was just an animal.

    • Eric Liz on November 9, 2019 at 6:08 pm


      My pit mix, Zoe, was just diagnosed with lymphoma as well. Came home with Prednisone and some other meds and am just trying to keep her comfortable. If you don’t mind my asking, what signs did you start to notice that you knew he was dying? Her belly seems a little more distended than it had been and is firm to the touch. She’s been panting (although vet seems to think that’s another issue). Very loose/liquid stools. I know what’s coming but just want to make the right timing decision with her so she is not suffering. Just wanted to see if these were similar signs that you experienced or if there were others. Any advice would be appreciated.

  20. Deirdre on October 26, 2019 at 6:20 am

    Thank you for posting this, I lost my Bella in August 26,2019.I had to put her to sleep and when she passed part of my went with her, my heart is still broken and I am having a very hard time. She was my baby for 14 years and slept with my husband and myself every night. Sometimes I wake up looking for her. My heart is broken and I am having a difficult time dealing with it. It probably sounds silly and dramatic but it’s real.

    • Dana on November 2, 2019 at 5:07 pm

      My doberman puppy of 1 year and 21 months was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in July. We amputated his affected leg and started chemo. I learned a week ago that the cancer has metastasized in his lungs. I am beyond devastated. This boy is so affectionate, smart and funny. He has brought laughter back into my life (after losing another amazing dobe to lymphoma in 2017). This article is really helpful as there are moments when it’s very hard not to just cry constantly, but my boy is sensitive and I want to appreciate every minute I have left with him. I feel my heart breaking in a million pieces but I know it’s going to get worse, and as the article says, trying to contain that sadness and find the joy in the moment is the gift my boy is still able to give me. .

  21. Tracey Myles on October 25, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    My beautiful 6 yr old Staffy X Rebus is sitting with me because he’s concerned about my tears which just makes me cry harder because they’re all for him and the other dogs in the comments. Rebus stole my heart almost 7 years ago. Our old dog Jessie had died just before we moved house and our other dog Mocha needed a bigger yard so she moved with my daughter to their father’s house and their dog who was not coping with being an ‘only child’. It was the right thing for both dogs and while I missed Mocha she was much happier there. I decided the yard was too small for another dog but a few months later we were broken into minutes after I left for work and while my other daughter (15) was asleep and alone in the house. Her door was locked and it was obvious they took off when they realised someone was still there but it shook us all badly and I changed my mind. My ex husband worked with someone who joked they had a spare dog if I’d like to test him out. All jokes aside, they lived on a rural block with their three dogs and Rebus was from a neighbouring block who weren’t all that concerned about where their animals were and he’d adopted them. Rebus came around and the minute I met him I knew he was staying. Just 6 months old, never been taught anything but somehow knew what to do without being asked. At night he’d lay on his blanket in the corner until I fell asleep and I wake in the morning with him stretched along my side. I didn’t know until we moved a year later that he’d sit at the back fence greeting people as they walked down the path – some of them came to my door to ask if he was ok because he wasn’t there and I had to bring him back while I cleaned so they could all say goodbye! That year I found out I had sleep apnoea and my breathing was stopping up to 30 times a night; Rebus had been lying against me all night and pretty much kicking me every time I stopped. It was about that time I decided to take him to work with me and he’s spent the last 3 years visiting the mental health inpatient unit as an unofficial therapy dog. He has a natural instinct when I comes to working out who needs him and can walk into a room of people who are unwell yet walk directly to to person who needs him most. After watching him climb onto a couch and lay his head in the lap of a woman who was catatonic and have her instantly stroke his head and start talking about how much she missed her boy, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room or a doubter left on staff. I get stopped by people in the shops who met him once years ago and ask how he is. He’s been my rock through my own struggles with mental illness and I don’t know what I’ll do without him. I keep telling myself he’s an angel sent to help but he’s finished his mission and needs to move on to someone who needs him more now. It’s the only way I can deal with how bloody unfair it is that such a beautiful soul can have this happen to them.
    Last year he had what we thought was just a fluid filled cyst on his leg. It didn’t worry him so it didn’t worry me, or the vet. Then it exploded and became obvious it wasn’t a cyst and because it was a Sunday we were at a different vet who had a different opinion which left me regretting not having it seen to earlier. They couldn’t believe the other vet had got it so horribly wrong but it appears it was literally bad luck that when they drew a sample they hit a pocket which was just fluid. Rebus has only been to the vet 7 times and 4 of those have been since that day 10 months ago. After the surgery she told me that while they hadn’t tested a sample yet she believed it was sarcoma, and that although she had removed as much as she could knew she hadn’t been able to get it all and couldn’t unless we amputated. I took him home and watched him sleep, then tried to keep him still to minimise the muscle damage which wasn’t easy when he just wanted to get out there and run. A couple of weeks later he was like a puppy again and stayed that way until July when he slowed down and I just knew.
    Last month I found 3 lumps, one of them on the original site and within 5 days it had grown to the size of a small plum – my other dog Mia was fretting, and I took him to the vet who confirmed what I dreaded to hear and told me it was in his lungs. I swear she was nagging me to take him to the doctor as she’s calmed down since and I think I’ve been crying ever since.
    To make the final decision easier he suggested I write a list of 10 things he likes doing and tick them off as he can no longer enjoy them which I started to do but I found I was really making a list of the things he’d already stopped being able to enjoy. Instead I made a list of all the downright naughty puppylike things he’d had a ball doing since the op and found that list had come to 9 and that’s when I started googling for information on how to know and found your beautiful blog. This is without a doubt the hardest decision I’ve ever been left with and I know he knows that but reading the comments has made me feel less alone. My boyfriend keeps telling me he’ll still be with us for Christmas but my gut says he won’t see November. Every time I sit down he wants to climb in my lap, and he does even though he’s way to big for it. He’s never done that before. He lies there looking at me while he dozes on and off. I can’t help but wonder if that’s number 10.

  22. Rosie Anderson on October 24, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    I lost my baby girl on Monday 10-21-19. Is hard I’m broke, can’t function, the cancer took her down. I never gave her any process food or use pesticides. The last 5 weeks were really hard for both of us, I miss her so very much, my heart is . The vet did not help or understood, I feel guilty for not putting my foot down, the last thing and heard was me. I’m.

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on October 25, 2019 at 7:47 am

      Hello Rosie,

      Thanks for writing and we’re so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet can, for some people, be as hard as losing a family member. Because that’s what they are. A beloved family member. Allow yourself to gradually find moments of happiness again, to embrace life again, because THAT’S what your girl would want. She would want you to be happy, even if she can’t be there for you now.

      So, as you start to recover a sense of happiness, or even just OK-ness, allow that to be true, too. It’s normal to feel injured after a loss, and it’s also normal to heal.

      There is nothing wrong with you feeling happy, sad, angry, loving, hurt, confused — all of this is normal.

      And if you need to, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with seeking help. Talking to a pastor, or a counselor during this time may be helpful.

      Sending you our most heartfelt condolences <3

    • Liz Spolar on October 28, 2019 at 11:17 am

      Hi my name is Liz,i read this i to am facing this right now,never would have known this would be so heart wrenching,I finally had to put my 15 1/2 yr old Cocker down because of old age & cancer,i have his mate here with me she keeps looking for him & now won’t let me out of her site..very very hard.so sorry for your loss to.

      • Kim on November 3, 2019 at 4:48 am

        Hi Everyone,
        My little boy Maxie lost his battle with bone marrow cancer on Friday, Nov.1st 2019. Diagnosed in July, was on prednisone and I got him cbd oil. He just had a check up 2 weeks ago, he was great! It was surpressed by the prednisone but he was really doing well. A week later, we celebrated his 6th bday. I noticed he didn’t want any meat ( ground turkey, chicjen breast, green beans that he loved) he just ate the treats I got him for his bday. Then, the next day, stopped eating altogether. The vomiting of white foam or bile started. The bile I can understand as he had no food in him but the foam..I knew that was bad. He refused to eat all week. Vomiting got worse. Took him in Friday..it was time. His vet said I can send you home with something for his appetite, had a shot to ease the vomiting, give it 72 hours ..but you’ll be right back here on Monday..he’s suffering. I was able to stay with him in the room but i am so heartbroken, constantly questioning if I should’ve given it 72 hours..maybe if the vomiting stopped he could keep down his prednisone pill and get back on track again?? Did I jump the gun?? Mornings are the worst..the crying starts soon as I wake up. I feel guilty eating because he couldn’t. I’m grateful he made it to his 6th bday but literally the next day showed signs of the end. I didn’t know when the prednisone wore off, it happened that fast? I’m really struggling, the heartache is awful. He was like my child, I love him so much. If anyone can shed any light , please email me , kymberlyanne415@gmail.com. No one understands how I feel.

  23. Tracy Hocking on October 20, 2019 at 3:09 am

    I’m dealing with decision right now.
    I have a 7 year old female Bassett hound named Josie.
    14 months ago she collapsed and we rushed her to the vet hospital..she had a tumour on her liver and was haemorrhaging..the vet did emergency surgery and removed a liver love, and sent to pathology. We were told it was a haemangeosarcoma cancer and was told she wouldn’t live passed 12 weeks, well 14 months later the cancer has come back on her spine, two weeks ago she collapsed in pain and we have her on strong pain meds and hemp oil.. she’s still eating ..drinking ..weeing and emptying her bowls, but she can barely walk and is in a lot of pain when the meds wear off, tonight she’s not good and is clearly distressed, but still taking food…is it time to let or go ?

    • Molly Jacobson on October 20, 2019 at 9:54 pm

      Aloha Tracy, thank you for your question. It sounds like your girl is a real fighter, and has done an amazing job fighting off her illness. And it sounds like you have done a tremendous job in supporting her in her fight. I can’t tell you whether it’s Josie’s time or not, but I can definitely say that you will know when it’s time. Something inside will “click” and you’ll get the message. Just keep being present to her and breathing deeply to keep yourself as calm as possible. And asked your girl your question. I bet you will hear the answer directly from her. Many blessings.

  24. Wilma on October 14, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    I lost my wonderful dog 1 month ago. I ache so much. Every day I look at his picture and think why couldn’t I save him. We had tests ,xrays, ultra sounds done an nobody could tell us what’s wrong. He was never sick . Til now stopped eating, he loved food. He always came into my arms when I came home from work, always cuddled with me on the bed. I now cry every day. I miss him so very much that I’m thinking I may need therapy to keep moving on. I feel so quilt that I didn’t save him, I want him back. It’s too hard to live without “My Special Guy”. What do I do.

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on October 15, 2019 at 7:46 am

      Hello Wilma,

      Thanks for writing and we’re so sorry to hear about your loss and we understand what you’re going through. You will always, always miss your boy — but eventually, especially if you allow yourself to grieve naturally now, you will find that there will be less pain when you remember. Eventually, your memories will bring you mostly happiness at having been able to love such a creature, not sadness at having lost.

      Treat this as a close family member’s death, because it is, in a way. In fact, it can feel more intense to grieve a pet than even our own parents. The bond is so loving, so unconditional, and so free of other baggage that our grief sometimes actually feels more intense and for some of us (or for some dogs) worse.

      Allow yourself to gradually find moments of happiness again, to embrace life again, because THAT’S what your boy would want. He would want you to be happy, even if he can’t be there for you now.

      So, as you start to recover a sense of happiness, or even just OK-ness, allow that to be true, too. It’s normal to feel injured after a loss, and it’s also normal to heal.

      There is nothing wrong with you feeling happy, sad, angry, loving, hurt, confused — all of this is normal.

      And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with seeking help. Talking to a pastor, or a counselor during this time may be helpful.

      Sending you our most heartfelt condolences <3

  25. What Are The Signs A Dog is Dying? - Pinoy Facts on September 30, 2019 at 6:06 am
  26. Geri Mason on September 29, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    My heart goes out to you all. I so understand what you’re going through. Despite an ultrasound and contrast xrays, Jake’s cancer didn’t show up. it was thought that he had nothing more serious than a massive cyst adjacent to his prostate which was causing a lot of pain, and he couldn’t empty his bladder properly. It was difficult and complex surgery to remove the cyst, and Jake was neutered at the same time to help prevent it from coming back. A week later the lab results came back – transitional cell carcinoma, a particularly aggressive form of cancer. The whole situation is tragic as it is for all of us going through this nightmare. We take comfort in the fact that Jake is now at peace. I wish we were. It’s hard to come to terms with. The grief and trauma will take time to heal. xx

  27. Janey Hunt on September 29, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    Beautiful article, thank you. We lost Jake, our dog, a few days ago to an aggressive form of cancer. It was all very sudden. Slightly less than a month ago, he seemed fit and healthy and loved life. Jake was beautiful inside and out, and a shining light to all who knew him. We agreed to him having major surgery in a specialist hospital, which we regretted as it didn’t help. Jake coped reasonably well, but around two weeks into recovery, he looked increasingly uncomfortable. The pain meds made him nauseous and he didn’t want to eat or drink. The quality of his life had become very poor and we didn’t to prolong his suffering by delaying the inevitable for even another day. The vet came into our home, and was so kind and gentle to our dog. He euthanised our dog in his favourite bed while we loved and comforted him. It was distressing for us, yet Jake looked completely at ease. His passing was gentle and dignified, and his face looked beautiful at the end. Shortly after he died, a rainbow appeared in the sky,. We took this to be a sign that Jake had gone safely to Rainbow Bridge. If we had opted for Jake to have a natural death, I think the situation would have been very different. He had a beautiful life … and an equally beautiful ending. xx

  28. Mariea Coppard on September 25, 2019 at 12:20 am

    Thank you for this article. Today it is my turn to comfort and love my spaniel in her last hours. Her name is Jesseymay and she has cancer. Jessemay and I endured 6 years in the Christchurch earthquakes together. We helped each other through these times and I have had 11 wonderful years with her being my best friend and companion. Tonight I am thanking her for all the wonderful things we have done together. She understands everything I say because I raised her with normal speech, rather than commands. So now it is my turn to comfort her in her final hours. I have wiped her face with a cool cloth, put water around her mouth to lick and given her her favourite meal of cooked chicken. She is sleeping peacefully beside me and I hope she has a deep sleep tonight so she doesn’t suffer until we see the vet tomorrow. Always remember to thank your dog for all the years of love and companionship they have given us. Give up all of your normal routines and dedicate your undivided attention on your beloved companion. Lay beside her and gently pet her as she loves the touch of you on her, reassure her that it Is ok to let go and stay close beside her. I have kissed Jessemay a lot this evening on her muzzle and her forehead and she has responded with sounds. And I have mentioned all the words she knows which relate to things we have done together. They really do understand.

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on September 25, 2019 at 8:42 am

      Hello Mariea,

      Thank you for sharing yours and Jesseymay’s story with us x It sounds like you two have an incredible bond 🙂

  29. NawNeu on September 21, 2019 at 5:01 am

    Thank you

  30. Pete E. on September 5, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    I’m waiting up after watching my mini-schnauzer appear wobbly and disoriented – like having a seizure. It’s tough. but I gave my pup the best 9 years a dog could ever dream of. A true princess pup to very end. I’m glad I washed her soiled body tonite and freshened her up before putting her to bed. I now have to sleep wondering what I’ll wakeup to. Wish me luck…

  31. Sam on August 20, 2019 at 10:08 am

    I wanted to thank you for this article, we have been managing our 7 year – Golden Doddle’s lymphoma for the past few months. We struggled with the decision on not to do chemo since he was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma, was Stage IV with cancer in his spleen and liver, and we did not want to put him through 20 weeks of treatment for keeping him on this earth for an extra 6 months or so. We elected to treat him with prednisone until the end. We cared for him and loved him the best we could and cherished him these last 8 weeks. I really was struggling on when it was time to say goodbye. Your simple statement that he will tell you really stuck with me and was really helpful at the end. We laid our little buddy to rest a couple days ago. Our hearts are broken, he brought so much joy and happiness into our lives, we did not want him to suffer and be in pain because we could not let him go.

    • Margaret Calafut on September 5, 2019 at 2:20 pm

      I’m so sorry. I am goingbthru this Cancer with my 11.5 Golden. She has been doing well until a few days ago. Just not eating as much if at all. I pray she will let me know

  32. George F. West Jr. on July 12, 2019 at 1:40 am

    Thanks so much for your advice, my name is George, I’m 59 years old. My dog princess was diagnosed with a brain tumor, she is twelve years old and my best friend! We decided not to do the surgery or radiation because of her age and the surgeons prognosis of how quick the tumor would grow back. Although seeing her go through this is breaking my heart, seeing my better half “falling apart” is killing me too. We are exactly what you spoke about, “DOG LOVERS”, we never had children, our dogs were our children. We both planned our lives around our lil girl. If we would leave her home, say to go to a movie, we were miserable the whole time we were gone.
    Our previous dog, “patchie”, was the most kindest dog I’ve ever seen anywhere in my entire life. She had a rare-aggressive cancer n her leg, after spending too much time researching, we finally had that leg removed. But we waited too long and it had spread everywhere and we lost her shortly after. I still miss her greatly and she will never be forgotten!
    Our first dog, “lollipop “ lived to be 17 years old, she was diagnosed with Kidney failure at about 15. We had a “gift-tube” surgically implanted in her and for two years we gave her lactaid ringers every day to flush her kidneys out.
    I’m sorry, didn’t mean to go on and on, but this time it seems some much harder. The two most important things in my life are hurting and I can’t fix it.
    How do you tell, talk to, help the one you love when she is hurting so bad over the the one you both love ? I hold my sadness inside and I actually told her what you said about don’t cry in front of princess. It’s just a very sad time, she has been a great-funny-unforgettable companion and it’s almost unbearable to see her go through what she don’t deserve to be going through.
    Thanks so much for your book, your information, and you allowing me to share, George

  33. Yolanda on July 8, 2019 at 4:29 am

    Thank you for your help and support in the time I needed it the most. I felt alone and you let me know I was doing everything I could for my loved one, Bruno. You are an amazing person and it’s a pleasure to know about you and your pet. Other than my sister, you’re the Best!

  34. Jan Sturtevant on July 5, 2019 at 5:02 am

    Hi. A couple of days ago I asked if I could be included in your private Facebook page for support. Do you still run that page? Our dog has bone cancer and I could really benefit from reading what other people say who are facing this.
    Thank you.

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on July 5, 2019 at 7:39 am

      Hello Jan,

      Thanks for writing, and we did respond to your comment 🙂 The Facebook group is for readers of the Dog Cancer Survival Guide by Dr. Demian Dressler. If you would like to obtain a provisional membership, please click this link and then click the “join” button at the top of our group page?


      As soon as we see your request on Facebook, we’ll approve your membership. Then just send us proof of purchase/readership within a week to stay in the group.

  35. Jenny on July 5, 2019 at 3:18 am

    Hi I just read a blog by Molly Jacobson which has directed me here to request how to join a FB group about coping with dogs dying from cancer. I would be grateful for your direction. Many thanks in advance, Jenny

  36. Jan on July 3, 2019 at 6:14 am

    Hi. My dog has bone cancer and I’m wondering if I could take part in your Facebook group.

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on July 3, 2019 at 10:27 am

      Hey Jan,

      Thanks for writing, and we’d be happy to include you in the group, if you are a reader of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide by Dr. Demian Dressler.

      You don’t need to have purchased the book, just have access to it and read it. It’s available everywhere books are sold, and it’s available in many libraries — so it should be easy to get a copy, if you don’t already have one. Some links to the book on various online platforms are below.

      If you already have a copy, please send us copy of your receipt or a photo of you holding the book, just so we can verify you have it.

      In the meantime, we will give you membership to the group on Facebook, so you can see just how wonderful it is. Readers of this book are “nondogmatic” and endlessly supportive and helpful.

      Just get back to us within the next week with either proof of purchase or proof that you have a copy, and you’ll be all set for long-term membership.

      We don’t see a request from you, yet. Can you please click this link and then click the “join” button at the top of our group page?


      As soon as we see your request on Facebook, we’ll approve your membership. Then just send us proof of purchase/readership within a week to stay in the group.

  37. Frank Everett on July 2, 2019 at 11:50 pm

    Heart warming.
    Thank you.
    You really know what you’re saying.
    Everything happened just the way you explained it.
    God bless you.

  38. Monica Tiller and Abbey on June 13, 2019 at 6:24 am

    Thank you. I continue to revisit my decision to say goodbye to my precious girl and know having cautiously read the signs you write about that her good fight with Lymphoma was over. I asked for a sign and she gave me a clear one. The sadness still remains but there is no right day to say goodbye. Your blog is helping my heart heal knowing I made the best decision for her.

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on June 13, 2019 at 6:52 am

      Hello Monica,

      Thanks for writing and we’re so sorry for your loss. Please accept our most heartfelt condolences x

  39. Janice on June 11, 2019 at 4:52 am

    I soooo wish vets would take a hard look at prescribing Remadol (sorry on spelling) to these loving pets! Was hesitant in giving her any of it and they both carried on “Oh it is a good drug! Go ahead and give it to her!” Was still not sure but gave her half a pill and saw some slight effects. Waited till another whole day then gave her another half which was prescribed supposedly for a slight arthritis that was not what we took her in to see them for in the first place! She had a ball sized lump on her leg and we still do not know what it was from. Was used to her lunging at front door when she saw someone on other side so assumed she had some kind of injury. Otherwise she was getting around beautifully! Died before we got back out the door to take her to a hospital! And it WAS NOT PRETTY! She did NOT deserve that! From my experience with it and sooo stupid in not knowing until it was too late, this is a BARBARIC drug! Needs to be banned as far as I am concerned! Feel duped!!! She did not deserve the dis interest and disregard she was given by any of them! Makes me want to PUKE! As far as I am concerned this stuff poisoned her! SHAME on them! BEWARE of it! (other events of dis interest, wrong tests run,what tests we did get did not show cancer cells which led me to believe something else was up and we could get it taken care of but both vets who were supposed to be very good did not run what we had asked for so we could see! NOW SHE IS GONE! Was so sure could get at least another three to five years longer! Was still so full of life till we gave her that GARBAGE! GERRRRR! What is wrong with these professionals! We have been done wrong again! (Lost a daughter over a brain tumor in which the big shot University Hospital “LOST” the biopsy” how does one treat what they do not know?!)

  40. Debby on May 28, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Thank you for writing such open and honest thoughts.they truely have helped me. .Today I have to take my beautiful Charlie my English Springer Spaniel to be put to sleep.it breaks my heart but your words have helped me be strong.for him..
    Thank you.

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on May 29, 2019 at 8:34 am

      Hey Debby, thanks for writing and we are so sorry for your loss <3 Please accept our most heartfelt condolences.

      Sending you our thoughts and warm wishes

  41. Patty courson on May 26, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    My dog just got diagnosed with mast cell tumor on her chest they did surgery two months prior told me it was a lipoma and it came back quick and a lot bigger than before they tested here and it is a mast cell tumor she is 13 yrs old a chiwuawua the love of my life I got her when I was diagnosed with cancer and she got me thru it she has taught me more about kindness and loyalty and love than any human ever has this is one of the hardest things I have ever had to go thru and I am not doing it very well I spend every second I can with her and try to comfort and love her all the time without her my life will never be the same to me she is irreplaceable I love my little girl so much and I know the time is coming but I just keep my faith n our lord that he will perform a miracle n both our lives

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on May 27, 2019 at 8:50 am

      Hey Patty,

      Thanks for writing and we’re so sorry to hear about your girl. Cancer is completely heartbreaking and we understand what you’re going through. While you’re taking care of your girl, please remember to take care of yourself. The Dog Cancer Survival Guide has lots of coping strategies that can really help. https://dogcancerblog.com/book. And don’t forget to reach out for support. If you have a copy of the book, you can join our private “book club” support group on Facebook, for example. It’s super helpful! https://www.facebook.com/groups/dogcancersupport/

      We know taking care of yourself is tough to do, but you need to be in the right frame of mind to make knowledgable decisions for your girl Molly wrote an AMAZING article on Caregiver Stress that you may find super helpful as well

      Sending warm wishes to you both

  42. Laura Mayhugh on May 22, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Hi Molly,
    What a great article! My dog Lola has recently been diagnosed with Mast Cell Sarcoma. She was originally my son’s dog as a puppy, but has been mine since she was about 6 months old. My son was walking her on a leash one day and he stopped to talk to some friends and Lola saw something across the road she wanted to go see, and of course took off (between 2 parked cars) out into the road and was hit and dragged about 40ft. At the vet hospital, we were given 3 choices.
    1…Put her down
    2…Send her to the next town immediately for spine surgery ($$$$ with NO guarantee it will work).
    3…Try to medically treat her and hope & pray she can walk again.
    We chose option 3! She’s 12 years old now and has been paralyzed the last 8 years! I have taken care of her every need (yes, all her bathroom duties I do for her 2-3 times a day). She is my world! She had been the happiest dog! We joke (not!) that she’s probably our $100,000 dollar dog by now! But she’s her worth every penny and every ounce of hard work and dedication! I love her with all my heart! I’ve tried just about every treatment available for her…with no luck unfortunately. I tried for 3 years before I began to give up hope of her ever walking again. But that’s ok..she’s still our Lola!
    Anyway…I don’t know how long she has left, she struggles to get around a bit now, but her mind is still there! So it kills me to see her slowing down. I pray when it’s her time, that God takes her fast and doesn’t let her suffer! Even though she’s had a Blessed and SPOILED life, she’s been through A LOT!
    I enjoyed reading your article!
    Thank You,
    Laura Mayhugh

    • Renee on June 25, 2019 at 8:42 am

      As I read stories from all who have lost there family pet, I cry. My Josie passed 2 yrs ago from cancer. Many trips and $$ to vet before ultra sound revealed tumors. Chemo did not help and we were sent home with pain meds to deal with it. I cared for her around the clock, hardy leaving the house, couldn’t bare leaving her alone. My brave little girl. She passed in mine and my husbands arms. I am forever changed on that day. Never experienced such grief. I have missed her company, comfort and oh how she loved me, all the funny things she did. I have Josie moments every day where she walks around my mind. The good Lord sent me another rescue baby girl dog that has helped in this journey. I love her dearly. Of all the many animals I’ve been blessed with – Josie was the most special. I miss her beyond measure.

  43. Jenni on May 21, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    Molly my westie is 12 years and ten months. She was diagnosed with multicentric lymphoma at the end of March 2019. I straight away organised for her to have chemo as two years earlier her brother Jimmie was diagnosed with Melanoma and although he had surgery he then passed six weeks later. I always wondered if I did him a diservice in not trying chemo. Molly commenced the CHOP protocol but after one month it was deemed to have not worked. She then went on to rescue protocol but unfortunately this has failed to and throughout the course she has had days of nausea and vomiting. She is now at the stage my oncologist thinks that her body is starting to shut down. They have put her on a higher dose of steroid in the last 36 hours. She has picked up a little bit but is a bit weak, very snuggly for a westie and not probably her normal sunny self. She has started eating extremely well with steroid but of course is drinking a lot too. She on top of this has severe ear infections with her ear canals so swollen I cant get the medication down them. I dont feel she is in pain but I cant be certain. I am seeing the oncologist again tomorrow and she said she will guide me through this process I feel a very heavy dark shadow and burden hanging over me. I love her dearly like a daughter. Its breaking my heart and I just hope I have the strength to make the right time for her to part this earth with dignity. Thank you for listening. It helped putting it down in writing

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on May 22, 2019 at 7:35 am

      Hi Jenni,

      Thanks for writing and we’re so sorry to hear about your girl. It sounds like she has an amazing guardian and is well-loved 🙂 Unfortunately this moment is a reality we’ve all had to face at one point or another here, so we really understand what you’re going through.

      There is a chapter in the Dog Cancer Survival Guide on how to “know” when the time is right — so if you do have a copy of the book, you might want to re-read that 🙂 Truthfully, it’s different for everyone, and there’s no way anyone (us, your veterinarian, your best friend) can tell you when it’s time to let Molly go. The best way we can describe it is that something clicks inside, and you just plain old know that it’ time.

      And sometimes, dogs find a way to take the decision out of our hands, which can be helpful if we’re resisting doing something we can’t fathom doing.

      Your dog, even in the end, only wants your companionship and presence — so being fully with your girl during this time will not only help you to understand what she needs and when she needs it but also give her what he most desires — you.

      There are a couple of articles on End of Life Care on the Dog Cancer Blog that you may find helpful at this time <3

      Sending lots of warm wishes to both you and Molly.

  44. Amanda on May 20, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    I cannot find myself to accept my sweet Mya’s passing. It all happened so very suddenly. She was nearing 10 years old and was in perfect health. The morning of, she was her usual loving self and by around 3p.m. , she has made a complete 180. She had gone out to go potty and when she didn’t come back in, my husband went out to look for her. She was found lying in a spot where she has never laid before. She refused to move, so my husband had to carry her inside. He placed her down and attempted to get her up but she was very disoriented and dizzy. He did a thorough check to see if she had gotten bit or consumed something, but there was nothing apparent. I was an hour out coming home from work and we had made a plan to take her to the emergency vet, but she was deteriorating quickly. By the time I was halfway home she had passed away. She had a splenic mass rupture due to hemangiosarcoma. With regular checkups, it was never caught. How could it have not been caught? I feel so unbelievably guilty and responsible for her suffering the way she did. My thoughts are clouded with everything I should have done, but didn’t and I feel like the worst dog owner ever.

    • Molly Jacobson on May 20, 2019 at 3:55 pm

      Hi Amanda, I am so sorry to hear about Mya. What a story. I’m afraid that this is not that uncommon, unfortunately. We often find out about cancer very late, because it CAN develop very quickly and go undetected for a long time. And even more importantly, our dogs are so stoic that they actually HIDE any symptoms they might have! https://www.dogcancerblog.com/articles/book-excerpt/is-my-dog-dying/ What you are describing is the thing that dog lovers whose dogs have hemangiosarcoma most fear. For those who do make it through this catastrophic tumor rupture, they are always afraid it will happen again. It’s awful!

      The fact is that things are often not caught early enough. My Kanga had a MASSIVE ovarian tumor late last fall and it was ONLY caught because Dr. D decided to do one more abdominal exam before scheduling her dental procedure. He felt something very small, very deep that he hadn’t felt just a couple of weeks before. On ultrasound, it turned out to be a HUGE tumor, which by the time he removed it a couple days later, had already started to bleed out (but slowly, thankfully). Honestly, every night I go to sleep I thank myself for putting off her dental procedure until a time when she would be examined AND it was big enough to feel. If I had gone in a week earlier, she would have had her teeth cleaned, and the tumor would have remained undetected and probably killed her a week or two later by rupturing. https://www.dogcancerblog.com/articles/dog-cancer-surgery-what-i-learned/

      Dogs DO NOT SHOW symptoms when they get cancer, almost NEVER until the VERY END. I don’t mean to yell by using all caps. I’m trying to emphasize for you how next-to-impossible it is for ANY of us to “catch it” early. Of course we want early detection, but without routine imaging exams (Xrays, ultrasounds) included with all physicals — and doing physicals every six months or so (which would be like every three years in human terms) — it’s next to impossible. We rely on signs from our dogs to tell us they don’t feel well before we take them in. At least, most of us do. And by that time, they have sometimes been covering up their symptoms for months or even years.

      It’s totally normal to feel guilty and responsible. Unfortunately, it’s part of the denial process we ALL go through when we grieve. We have a feeling about our dogs that we are supposed to protect them, as we would a child. So it’s totally 100% to be expected that you will feel all the feelings of grief: guilt, anger, denial, etc.

      But the truth is that you are not responsible, and you are not to blame, and this wasn’t your fault. It’s no one’s fault. It’s just that cancer really, really, really sucks. Here’s another piece that might help you: https://www.dogcancerblog.com/articles/grief-loss/anything-else-done/

      Many blessings to you, Amanda. I know for certain that Mya thinks you were the best. If you are a spiritual or religious person, I am also certain that she is waiting for you and loves you. If you are not, I am certain that the love you gave her warmed her and thrilled her every day of her too-short life.

  45. Mary Ann on April 19, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    I am a dog lover and right now my Sophie was diagnosed 6 weeks ago today with lymphoma. She is on prednisone at this time. She has developed an infection in which some blood has shown. The vet has put her on cephalexin 500 mgs 2 tab every 12 hours. He also put her on melatonin because of her outbursts. She also has gone blind and the combination of both things has really been hard for her to adjust. I work with her and she has adjusted to her being blind but wants to make sure I am close by her. I talk to her and we spend special times outside and cuddle on the deck .She is such a sweetheart. I really hate to think that she may not be with us much longer. I have other dogs but each one is different. They look out for each other. Tonight is rough and I am not sure what is going on. I lost another dog last year. We also lost my sons golden retreiver as well in the same year. Each one is different as far as knowing what signs to look for. Sophie is still eating and drinking but tonight she got sick for some reason. I am taking one day at a time . I pray for possibly a miracle.

    • TJ on May 17, 2019 at 11:35 pm

      I’m right there with you Mary. My dog has Lymphoma too with an enlarged spleen. We found out in January. We just lost his companion 3 weeks ago. Sadly I don’t know how much time we have left with him and it’s heartbreaking knowing it’s bound to happen. Each day is a blessing. He’s been on Prednisone.

  46. Lorraine on April 18, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    I am currently nursing my beautiful Beagle, Archie through his final weeks. He has an aggressive form of lymphoma. Arch is my first dog so I have no experience of what to expect in the final days. Your article is wonderful and very informative. i have all your information on my home screen to refer to for advice and comfort when times get tough. Thank you

  47. lisa on April 4, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    I just lost my dog.. he was 13 1/2 years old..and at first he had an ear infection..i brought him to the vet..they took bloodwork..but they noticed creatine in his urine…it didn’t seem horrific..but i noticed he ate less and less.. I tried giving his favoritie foods and be with him as much as possible..he ate a small handful for a week then two days he ate nothing..his back legs started getting weak..i got an x-ray and it said he had crystal like formations in his abdomen and gallbladder that could possibly make him stop eating..either way i decided with his age..it was time to put him to sleep..maybe he was going to die in a couple of days..maybe he could of been operated.all that i knew was that he looked tired..not interested in playing..sleeping all the time.. I just felt guilt and sadnesss putting him down….and everyday i can’t get over it..i miss him so much..he was a joy and a comfort for me..me hugging him felt so good..and his love was reciprocated.. i lost a family member 3 years back and this was another blow..when i go to work i try to forget..but then i see an animal and i’m reminded..and sometimes..i think of the routine. i know the day it happened i couldn’t breathe..i felt anxiety..my heart felt..such painn..now i have to learn how to deal with this loss

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on April 5, 2019 at 7:05 am

      Hello Lisa,

      Thanks for writing, and we are so sorry for your loss <3 We all go through this stage where we wonder if we did the right thing, and if we could have done something else. It’s normal 🙂 The questions you are looking to answer are never going to be answered, because nothing is ever set in stone, and we don’t have a crystal ball that can see into the past, or into the future.

      So we gently offer you this advice: when you start wondering about what did or didn’t happen, remind yourself that those are thoughts that signal you are in mourning. Then, treat yourself that way. Be gentle with yourself, and feel the pain.

      Talking to a pastor, a counselor, or joining an online support group, at this time may be very helpful, too 🙂

      Warm wishes from all of us here

  48. Jackie on April 1, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    My best friend died this morning of cancer. His name was Cletus and he was a miniature schnauzer. 12 years old. It is really breaking my heart! He gave me so much happiness.

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on April 2, 2019 at 7:45 am

      Hi Jackie, we are so sorry for your loss. Please accept our most heartfelt condolences <3

  49. Adrian Schofield on March 23, 2019 at 1:23 am

    Have just read your piece on dogs dying, we lost our Cairn Terrier over two weeks ago, we did not know she was going to die, she had been ill and was on antibiotics from the vet, we ended up at an emergency vet at 11.00pm one night, we had to leave her as her breathing was rapid and they put her in an oxygen tent, she passed away in the early hours the following morning, my wife and I most heart breaking part of this is that we did not know she was going to pass away and would have wanted to be with her, especially after she was trying to come back out of the door to be with us as the vet took her for treatment. Her face will haunt me for the rest of my life.

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on March 25, 2019 at 6:49 am

      Hello Adrian, thanks for writing, and we are so sorry for your loss. It sounds like your girl was very well-loved 🙂

  50. Teresa on March 20, 2019 at 2:39 am

    My dog did not have cancer to my knowledge. But I did lose my beloved pet of 20 years! She was an energetic yet fiesty pet; everything from petting to playing were on her terms. I trusted her for her instincts when mine were cloudy and she was typically correct. As I watched her start to loose weight and eating was an hour long ordeal (not lack of appetite but most teeth were gone now and eating moist food licking it up was a chore). Then came her difficulty in walking, sometimes stumbling. I would give her a massage to help comfort her. Then came the mom I can’t hold it and pee while waiting for me, as I carried her outside so she felt like we were doing her required deed she releave her bowels making a small trail behind us.

    This particular evening she ate her dinner as usual went outside for her last nightly potty before going to bed for the evening.

    I awoke a few hours after going to bed to her yelping, a high pitch cry for help. I moved quickly to her room and finding her lying flat on her side. Her panic cry wasn’t completely uncommon but not a regular thing, sometimes her back legs would splay out and she would be unable to get up, this time was different! She urinated and moved her bowels where she laid. I picked her up not sure of the issue she was sorta stiff but relazed a bit upon my touch and her closeness to me. She would let out a bark frequently I didn’t know if she was in pain or scared and confused. I grabbed a towel wrapped her in it for comfort and to catch anything else she might expel. I quickly got dressed while my husband held her, once he was dressed we found the nearest emergency pet clinic. They were great and attentive. They did a quick exam and suggested testing and meds thinking she may have had a seizure. She never had one before and I thought more a stroke or heartattack. I looked at “Misty” and her big brown eyes were bearly open, she still was letting out a loud yelp periodicly now. I then told the doctor I can’t do that to her I think she is done with life. She put her hand on my shoulder and said I think you’re making a wise decision but I wanted to offer you options. I said I understood but she needs me now and for me to keep her going would be selfish. As I said my goodbyes and loved her I told her she is ok and she can relax now. This has been so hard and I hope I did the right thing but my heart is broken and my other dog is mourning as well through this loss.

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on March 20, 2019 at 10:52 am

      Hi Teresa,

      Thanks for writing, and for sharing your story. We are truly sorry for your loss. It sounds like your girl was, and will always be, very well-loved <3

  51. Janet cross on March 16, 2019 at 12:56 am

    I read what u have written, ty for the help I don’t know if she is dying or not but some of the sights are right, she is really old she is so skinny she won’t eat much dog food I love her soon much it’s going to kill me when she dies ty for your help janet cross my dog name is dee dee

    • Lorraine on April 18, 2019 at 6:16 pm

      I am currently nursing my beautiful Beagle, Archie through his final weeks. He has an aggressive form of lymphoma. Arch is my first dog so I have no experience of what to expect in the final days. Your article is wonderful and very informative. i have all your information on my home screen to refer to for advice and comfort when times get tough. Thank you

  52. Wendy on March 7, 2019 at 1:17 am

    3 days ago I had to have my beloved dog pts. I’m broken beyond belief and can’t get myself together. She was 14.5yrs old and I’ve losf my little shadow, she followed me everywhere and life is so empty without her.
    Back in December we had to take her to the vets she was vomiting and passing out after, her stomach was scanned and nothing there at all and the next day we bought her home and she was fine,back to her old self we thought that she may have eaten something toxic. Since this has happened she had been sick a couple of times but just thought she had eaten something again. Some days she felt cold so we would wrap her in a blanket and make her as cosy as possible but just put it down to old age.
    At the weekend she took a turn for the worse, she was sick again and so so quite (she was a very vocal dog so this was extremely rare) , she was just laying around, when we went to take her outside she walking like she was drunk, stumbling. We rushed her to the vet and we all thought mayb she had eaten something. They kept her in to give her fluids to see if this would helps d said we would see how she is in the morning. I really thought by morning she would b back to her normal self but she wasn’t she hadn’t improved. They ran scans of her chest which revealed a large heart with a sack of fluid around it, her heart couldn’t pump properly, her calcium was low, and temperature low, alll classic signs of a heart tumour. We had to make the heartbreaking decision of having her pts, we could’ve medicated her but al this would’ve done wouldve prolonged what was happening and she wouldn’t of had any quality of life. We were there with her at the end and I held her al the way through and told her how much I loved her, but I feel broken and lost without her by my side. She wasn’t “just a dog” she was part of our family and I don’t think I will get over this anytime soon. All I keep thinking is should I have given her a chance and tried medicating her, the guilt is awful. I’ve looked after her and protected her for 14yrs then it was me that finally ended her life

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on March 7, 2019 at 6:16 am

      Hello Wendy,

      Thanks for writing, and we are so sorry for your loss <3

      Keep in mind that when we mourn the loss of our dogs, we ALL go through a stage where we wonder if we did the right thing, if we could have done something else, and if we somehow “gave up” on our dogs. The questions you are looking to answer are never going to be answered, because none of us have a crystal ball that can see what never was.

      So we gently offer you this advice: when you start wondering about what did or didn’t happen, remind yourself that those are thoughts that signal you are in mourning. Then, treat yourself that way. Be gentle with yourself, and feel the pain– because grief cannot be avoided, only moved through.

      Talking to a pastor, or a counselor, at this time may be very helpful, too.

  53. Jody Harrison Agerton on February 25, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    thanks this is comforting to me

  54. Georgie on February 19, 2019 at 7:07 am

    Thank you for this article, my gorgeous Alfie boy passed away on Valentines Day, it wasn’t cancer it was MVD. Yet everything you mention resonates in me. My husband came running into the bedroom at 7:30 in the morning holding him close. I was asleep and he said I think today is the day. The next few minutes was a blur. It wasn’t just THE day, it was the next five minutes… I barely remember what happened next, I keep asking my husband to replay it back to me to help jog my memory but nothing happens. It’s not fair to keep asking him so I don’t now but my lack of memory is haunting me. What I have come to realise is in the following days is that Alfie was more like a therapy dog for me my hole life. He helped me in my dark hours, but this is my darkest and is now not here to just be here with me. But I feel that I let him down in his final moments to be there and calm and just love him. I’m not sure I will ever get through this torment. He broke our hearts on the day of love, but I have a real reason to celebrate that date in future and with something more than commercial token gestures but with the memories of what it means to be loved unconditionally.

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on February 19, 2019 at 9:02 am

      Hello Georgie,

      Thanks for writing, and for sharing your story. You have our most heartfelt condolences <3. Keep in mind that when we mourn the loss of our dogs, we ALL go through a stage where we wonder if we did the right thing, if we could have done something else, and if we somehow “gave up” on our dogs. The questions you are looking to answer are never going to be answered, because none of us have a crystal ball that can see what never was.

      With that in mind, we gently offer you this advice: when you start wondering about what did or didn’t happen, remind yourself that those are thoughts that signal you are in mourning. Then, treat yourself that way. Be gentle with yourself, and feel the pain– because grief cannot be avoided, only moved through.

  55. Debra Maclean on February 18, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    I lost my little Yorkie 2 weeks ago He was 11. Before he passed he wanted to lay on my lap in tHe prior days. He was not a snuggler . But he turned into one. He would also stare at me. The day of the night he passed I saw something different in his eyes… He was my best friend and I am devastated to have lost him. He died on his own terms laying on our bed with us. We talked to him, said the special phrases we liked for him and petted him. He didn’t die from cancer he had an enlarged heart. My lab who is also 11 is now dying from cancer my only consolation is that they will be together soon. Both came to us at 8 weeks old. Anyhow my point is I am sure you can see the dying if you are atuned to your fur baby. They love us as much as we love them. ❤️

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on February 19, 2019 at 8:50 am

      Hello Debra,

      Thank you for writing, and for sharing your story with us. You have our most heartfelt condolences <3

  56. Nicole on February 13, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    Hello Molly,

    Thank you for all your wonderful advice in your article, which I wish I had seen before our 12 year old blue heeler Max died 3 days ago. I’ve been struggling with guilt since we had to euthanise him. It’s truly tearing me apart. 5 months ago he was diagnosed with mouth cancer. His health had been slowly deteriorating since, but accelerating in recent weeks. The mass in his mouth growing by the day, and so big it had burst through his face and was constantly infected. He had daily painkillers and a few courses of antibiotics, the last course he had 3 weeks ago not working at all.

    The decision to end his pain was tough. We knew what was coming, and we wanted him to go while he still had dignity. He was still eating, but only some fresh meats. Still managing his daily walks, but not with his usual enthusiasm. He was clearly just going through the motions of our daily routine. His pain was evident though, his mouth bleeding almost contantly, him rubbing his mouth and panting all the time , and the smell of his cancer really, really bad. That would not have been pleasant for him either.

    I’m worried we were too quick with our decision. He was still eating a little, he was still managing his daily walk. He had a little quality of life. The vet said he wouldn’t be doing any of those things very, very soon and our timing was right. But what if he still had another month? Maybe I should have waited until the moment he was not eating at all.

    I also did the awful crying at the end. I feel really bad about that. I couldnt be strong for our Max. I tried to hold my sadness in but I couldn’t. And Max saw my tears and no doubt felt my sadness. I’m very glad the last thing he did right before he had the needle was eat a sausage I brought for him and then he leant his head against my chest as I scratched him behind his ears and my tears fell on his fur before he took his last breath. His ending was very calm and peaceful and probably the best outcome we could have hoped for all, things considered.

    Thank you for reading.

    • Molly Jacobson on February 13, 2019 at 5:50 pm

      Hi Nicole, thanks for writing. What an amazing story. From what you have so closely observed about Max, I’m thinking that his ending was, in fact, calm and peaceful, and truly, who could ever wish for more than that, especially after such a prolonged journey with cancer? I think you did perfectly. Second-guessing yourself is 100% natural, unfortunately. If you had waited longer, you might look back later and think “I should have done it sooner, he suffered so at the end.” There is literally no way to know that you did this “right” and so, in my opinion, it is best to just hold those thoughts lightly in your mind. Don’t take them seriously. Don’t believe them to be true, just because they’re there. We have lots of random thoughts about all sorts of things — we don’t have to believe any of them, even the bad scary ones. When a mind is in pain and dealing with mourning, it thinks guilty, second-guessing thoughts. https://www.dogcancerblog.com/articles/grief-loss/anything-else-done/ Try to breathe through this and be gentle with yourself. I have heard from many veterinarians over the years that euthanizing one day too early is better than one day too late. I personally agree. Please take care of yourself during this time, and be well as you grieve your loving Max. He would want you to mourn and heal. I love this video from the BBC about grief: https://youtu.be/X55TJRj9HUk

      • Nicole on February 17, 2019 at 3:46 pm

        Hi Molly, thanks so much for you reply. It has been a tough week. Your words have helped me come to terms with losing Maxie and I appreciate it. I’m trying to focus on the things I’m grateful for. The wonderful life we were able to provide him. The happiness he brought us every day. And the peaceful end we were able to give him, his final moments being pleasant and free of suffering. I am so angry about cancer. It is evil in its purest form. But the cancer I had no control over. Maxie didn’t deserve that.

  57. Cristina on January 4, 2019 at 5:43 am

    I ugly cried when I read this article.
    Buddy is gonna be 9 in October, he is my very sweet chocolate lab and I loce him very much.
    He has been diagnosed with a liver tumor and he is having biopsy done as I am writing this comment.
    I can barely keep the tears inside, I pray for a miracle, I wish I could take his pain away and make him healthy again.
    I love him so much and I pray to God not to take my best friend

    • GAVIN on January 6, 2019 at 1:23 pm

      Hi Cristina sorry to hear about Buddy all us dog lovers know the unconditional love and bond to the point you sometimes grieve more for your dog than family members when they pass which i have just went through.I pray for buddy and hope the big lad gets sorted.Read up on CBD oil for dogs sometimes everything is worth trying when it comes to the time of desperation.GOOD LUCK

  58. Dot Schneider on December 25, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    Thank You for all of this information that up until now, i never gave a second thought of..
    My 17 yr. Old Lab ( My Girlfriend who I call Cabella) was diagnosed w/ Bladder Cancer & further test shows it is in her Lymph Nodes.
    The information you give is Priceless & I thank you.. Her & I are now on a Journey none of us
    Want to be on. TU for sharing this information.
    It has Helped us Both beyond words..
    Pray for Cabella.. Dot

  59. Joanne Schiff on December 15, 2018 at 5:59 am

    My 13 year old is dying from a mast cell tumor that has gone to her lymph node. I got her through 5 mast cell tumor’s in her life with surgery. This one appeared after the removal of the last two. Her body is also ravaged by diabetes that I had pretty much under control. Your article was wonderful and has given me great comfort. I would like to join your Facebook group as I don’t know how much time we have left and could use the support. Thank You, Joanne Schiff

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on December 17, 2018 at 8:07 am

      Hello Joanne,

      Thanks for writing, and we’re sorry to hear about your girl. We’re not veterinarians, so we can’t offer you medical advice. However, we can provide you with information based of Dr. Dressler’s writing 🙂

      Making a decision on which treatments to undergo can be one of the hardest things that you have to do as your dog’s guardian. You know your girl the best, and will be able to decide what treatment options YOU think would be best for her. Is she mentally, and physically, able to undergo another round of surgery? Are you willing to handle the side-effects? How important is life-quality to you? Those are just some of the things that you will have to take into consideration when making your decision, and for each dog guardian, the answer will be different because each dog, and their situation is unique.

      Here are some articles that you may find helpful in making a decision for your girl:

      As Dr. D writes in the Dog Cancer Survival Guide, there are many things that you can do to help your dog with cancer, such as conventional treatments (chemo, surgery, or radiation), diet, nutraceuticals, mind-body strategies and immune system boosters and anti-metastatics. Here’s a link to the Dog Cancer Diet PDF that readers of the blog can get for free 🙂 : https://store.dogcancerblog.com/products/the-dog-cancer-diet

      You may also find this article on diet for dogs with Mast Cell Tumors to be beneficial. Here’s the link: https://www.dogcancerblog.com/articles/cancer-type/mast-cell-tumors/food-and-nutrition-for-dogs-with-mast-cell-tumors

      If you’re concerned about Life Quality and End of Life Care for your girl, you may find this article by Dr. D to be extremely beneficial as he covers how to care for your dog, what to look for, and much more. Here’s the link: https://www.dogcancerblog.com/articles/end-of-life-care/end-of-life-care-in-dog-cancer/

      Even though the Dog Cancer Support Group is for the Dog Cancer Survival Guide readers only, the admins will accept your request and grant you provisional membership to talk with members and give you time to get the book. You can find the Facebook Support Group here.

      We hope this helps!

  60. GAVIN on December 12, 2018 at 8:18 am

    my dog has just died am feeling angry and let down by my vet. 5 years of age and dead .She was diagnosed in april with ibd and put on 5mg of prednisolone a day and took to it well.She wasnt having the bloody stools which was the only concern at this point and put a bit weight back on which she had lost.Tests were done and there were a blood test,pancrease test and stool sample.All come back fine apart from there was a parasite present which she was put on antibiotic to treat.We were told to give a grain free diet of prescribed kibble and she lost weight, stopped eating.Then they put her on 2 5mg predisolone tablets per day .4 months later still on that dose and she had bad gas.Vet was allowing my wife to pick the steroids up like she was going for paracetamol and that it was not a long term solution .So what was the long term solution?.Now researching why wasnt i told to get diet right before the introduction of prednisolone .Maybe raw ,home made or something easily digestable .When i have researched i think i could of saved her if i had this information about food earlier but we relied on the vet which is there profession.NOVEMBER still on steroids and declining fast, fatigue ,not walking properly and not eating much.She was vomiting at least one time a day and stools were diarrhea like curry.LAST WEEK OF HER LIFE was the worst week of my life of 33 years on the planet my girl maisey was my soul mate.Out at 5 am looking for novel meats,canned pumpkin and king canine gastro brown label after my own research .MONDAY-took her to vets she could barely stand and they give her b12 injection and she was anemic .She had bad diarrhea at the vets after the injection and we left also with the insruction of giving her x2 5mg prednisolone on a morning and x2 on a night a total of 20mg.I give her broccoli,potatoe and white fish mashed up for easy digestion.She was sick but ate it back up and kept it down.Next day she was a little better i had to carry her over the field but she walked about a bit unsteady on her feet though.Next day she wouldnt eat or drink anything and just lay there i force fed her and she was sick and would not drink anything.next day i syringed water in her mouth and gave her little canine gastro and a little pumpkin but she brought most of it back up,i feel anti nausea meds would of helped her eat and the vets never recommended them.THURSDAY took her to the vet she had lost 500g from the monday and the vet said she was worried but to continue with the 20 mg dose for my now.My 8kg dog which she was a year and half ago, now she is 4.5 kg dog and hasnt passed stool in 3 days and she couldnt walk properly.FRIDAY part of me died i lay there syringing water to make her dink and she would not drink.Later she lay there and pooed were she was lying i put in the bath and she lay there lifeless i was never of the phone to vet and tried everthing.I took her lifeless body to the vet on the saturday and told them to do everthing they could and they put her on a iv ,x rays just incase there was a blockage.I went home got a call at 1158 am saying she was in pain and to put her to sleep.I went up and she died in my arms.I havent ate in 3 days and i believe we were soul mates and i need answers.DO YOU THINK IT COULD OF BEEN CANCER

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on December 12, 2018 at 12:26 pm

      Hello Gavin,

      Thanks for writing, and we’re sorry to hear about your girl. We’re not veterinarians here in customer support, so we can’t offer you medical advice. It does sound like she was very ill, and you did the very best you could.

      We are sending our heartfelt condolences to you and your loved ones. We’ve been where you are. One thing that helps us to cope, which may help you, is to know that feeling the intense grief is normal. Because dogs and other pets are so vulnerable and dependent upon us, our parental instincts are really kicked into high gear when they get sick/pass.

      The bond we share with them is close enough to the parent-child bond that the same biological and evolutionary instincts get turned on.

      That means there’s an intense drive to STOP them from dying, and a genuine feeling of “this shouldn’t be happening/shouldn’t have happened.” Also, when they finally do go, it seems nearly impossible to avoid a nagging feeling that we should have done more, done better, acted earlier. We go over and over their illness and passing, wondering where we could have made a different choice, a better choice, a choice that would have kept them alive.

      That’s because it is entirely unnatural for a human child to die before their parent. Intellectually, we absolutely know that our dogs have shorter life spans than we do, and that they will die before we do — but because the bond feels like a child-parent bond, we don’t FEEL that way.

      So when our dogs pass on, we’re left with this weird combination of intense grief that is biological and an intellectual understanding that it’s totally natural! So we’re confused, on top of desperately sad.

      So … treat yourself very gently now. The most important thing is that you feel FULLY whatever comes up.

      Write it down. Journaling can help us to process emotions, and allows them to pass on naturally, so that we can move on.

      You will always, always miss your dog — but eventually, especially if you allow yourself to grieve naturally now, you will find that there will be less pain when you remember. Eventually, your memories will bring you mostly happiness at having been able to love such a creature, not sadness at having lost.

      Treat this as a close family member’s death, because it is, in a way. In fact, it can feel more intense to grieve a pet than even our own parents. The bond is so loving, so unconditional, and so free of other baggage that our grief sometimes actually feels more intense and for some of us (or for some dogs) worse.

      So, be careful with yourself and treat yourself gently, and keep warm, and look at beautiful things, and cry when you need to, and get angry when you need to, and talk to sympathetic people who love you and will treat you with gentle warmth.

      Also, hot chocolate and warm soups.

      And also, allow yourself to gradually find moments of happiness again, to embrace life again, because THAT’S what your dog would want. Your dog would want you to be happy, even if he or she can’t be there for you now.

      So, as you start to recover a sense of happiness, or even just OK-ness, allow that to be true, too. It’s normal to feel injured after a loss, and it’s also normal to heal.

      There is nothing wrong with you for feeling awful now.

      There is nothing wrong with you for feeling better later.

      There is nothing wrong with you feeling happy, sad, angry, loving, hurt, confused — all of this is normal.
      Keep in mind that when we mourn the loss of our dogs, we ALL go through a stage where we wonder if we did the right thing, if we could have done something else, and if we somehow “gave up” on our dogs. The questions you are looking to answer are never going to be answered, because none of us have a crystal ball that can see what never was.

      We hope this helps, and please accept our most heartfelt condolences.

      • gavin on December 14, 2018 at 1:06 am

        Thank you so much for your reply and everything your saying i know is true but its hard. I see now that im not going crazy and its natural to feel like this .Thank you x

        • Laurin on December 14, 2018 at 7:01 am

          Gavin, I read your comment and wanted to let you know, you are not alone in feeling great sadness and grief. Today marks a week since my Moolah took her last breaths and died on Fri Dec 7, 40 min before the scheduled euthanasia appt that made to help her. I watched her die, she was scared and she yelped like I never heard before as she took her last breath. I’m very very sorry for your loss, God bless you and give you strength, Laurin

          • Gavin on December 15, 2018 at 4:04 am

            Hi Laurin,so sorry to here about Moolah and sorry for your loss.I believe this page found me aswel to help with the grieving .Its been a week today and not one day has gone by i havent cried my eyes out and other dog lovers know how your feeling.I have know doubt Moolah had a great life with you and 15 years of been blessed with such a lovely girl.It was the way she went that has hurt but i have been beating myself all week for the same things .It was not your fault and i can tell you are a good person and her unconditional still holds strong.Keep your head up laurin she had a great life and you will see her again please believe that.love GAVINx

          • GAVIN on December 16, 2018 at 8:53 am

            Thank you Laurin its been a long hard week.So sorry to hear about Moolah and i feel your pain.You had a good 15 years with her and that uncontitional love bond will live on forever.So sorry for your loss.Dogs dont live long enough but we need to cherish the time we have with them.Lots of love GAVIN

          • Kim on July 9, 2019 at 1:08 pm

            My Max Bruno was just diagnosed with aggressive lymphoma. He’s 5..he was fine a week ago, then suddenly, lethargic, vomiting white foam, drinking tons of water but won’t eat. Seen by 3 different vets in 24 hours and finally told its in his bone marrow and I may want to consider putting him to sleep. I can’t …not right away…I have to try the steroids , I have to exhaust every possible solution I can afford to. My Maxi is the clown of my 4 dogs, plays hard but the most sensitive little soul, doesn’t like for anyone to be mad at him, just a little love bug. I have to pick him up from the vet in an hour and bring him home to try the steroids. I’m told it could prolong his life anywhere from 3 days to 2 months or maybe put him in remission. I know he will never be the healthy again. I know that. But I can’t bear the way he fell sick with this damn cancer I had no idea he had…all of the sudden, he got so sick! My heart is broken and no one around me ( co workers) loves dogs like I do. He is my little boy and I’m taking off the rest of the week to give him the best days and time I possibly can. He deserves all that and more. I lay down my life for him. The pain in my heart is unbearable. The sudden onset of this is such a shock. Last Tuesday ,as soon as I got home from work, we went for his ride around the block that he loves so much , this Tuesday, he’s slowly dying from some cancer in his little bone marrow?? I can’t comprehend this nightmare. He had to stay in emergency care last night to get him stabilized. He sat there on my lap and stared at me. I sang his bedtime song, You Are My Sunshine, before I handed him to the vet tech. I can’t wait to go pick him up. The vet said you can try the steroids , give it a shot, so of course, I am. I don’t have the thousands for chemo or I’d do it in a heartbeat. I know I’m only prolonging the inevitable but if anything buys him some time and possibly a longer remission, I’ll do it. He’d do it for me, no doubt in my mind. Please pray for Max Bruno ..I wish you all could’ve met him, he’s quite the character.

  61. Laurin on December 11, 2018 at 11:15 am

    My husband and I just recently lost our beloved Moolah of 15 years on Fri Dec. 7, 2018. Our baby was very sick the last 2-3wks. We went on our last hike on 11/25/18. The day after, she no longer was able to get up or walk. We took her to the vet 11/30/18. Vet did test on Moolah hind legs, there was no sensation. She had paralysis due to her spine. Vet also mentioned she may have infection(due to blood in urine). They withdrew blood from my baby’s back hine leg, and discovered her liver counts were really high. Vet sent us home with a pain med & antibiotic. My baby’s worst day( day she died) was Fri Dec. 7th. We had made an appointment with vet technician to euthanize our baby. They only had a 4pm appointment. My Moolah died about 3:20pm that afternoon. She yelped loud arched her back as she yelped in pain and exaled 3 breaths before her chest stopped moving. We did notice her deteriorate more after she had blood taken out for bloodwork. Her leg where blood was withdrawn, started to swell terribly. The day she passed, she was also having blackish foul smell liquid diarrhea ongoing from morning to when she died in the afternoon around 3ish. I can’t stop crying, eat or sleep. I keep thinking she was in pain and I didn’t help her in time, that breaks my heart:(

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on December 12, 2018 at 7:29 am

      Hello Laurin,

      Thanks for writing, and we are so sorry to hear about the loss of your girl. It sounds like she was very ill, and like you did the very best you could.

      Keep in mind that when we mourn the loss of our dogs, we ALL go through a stage where we wonder if we did the right thing, if we could have done something else, and if we somehow “gave up” on our dogs. The questions you are looking to answer are never going to be answered, because none of us have a crystal ball that can see what never was.

      So we gently offer you this advice: when you start wondering about what did or didn’t happen, remind yourself that those are thoughts that signal you are in mourning. Then, treat yourself that way. Be gentle with yourself, and feel the pain– because grief cannot be avoided, only moved through.

      Talking to a pastor, or a counselor, at this time may be very helpful, too.

      We hope this helps, and please accept our most heartfelt condolences.

      • Laurin on December 12, 2018 at 11:37 am

        Hello Vet team,
        Thank you for your response to my previous comment. My heart is in a lot of pain, and your kind words mean a lot. Thank you for taking time of your day to respond to a grieving pet parent. Much blessings to all, Laurin

  62. Alex Tarantino on December 1, 2018 at 4:15 am

    Dear Molly,

    I found your article (or your article found me) during a very difficult time. My sweet old girl, Luna, is coming to the end and it’s been and still remains utterly devastating. She recently has begun having extremely labored breathing and is showing signs of increasing discomfort, along with shaking uncontrollably at times, and it breaks me to my core. She’s a fighter, though, and I just know and can sense she’s giving life everything she can, while she can – but it’s not easy. Her 18 year old body is catching up to her.

    Thank you for writing this article and for reminding us as humans to be compassionate with ourselves, and ensure that we provide as much love and comfort to our fur babies in their end.

    With love and recognition of all my fellow pet parents out there who are experiencing, or have experienced, the loss of their baby(-ies) – my heart is with you.


    • Molly Jacobson on December 3, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      Alex, thank you for your kind words and sweet heart.

  63. Mary Moore Salem on November 30, 2018 at 12:32 am

    I recently lost my dog Scruffy. We still have our 2nd dog Chase. I believe that my dog Cassie led me to Scruffy after her own death from cancer. Cassie had been my heart for close to 15 years. We traveled together. We got lost in the mountains together & survived. She helped me with my parents deaths & the death of a dear Aunt. She was my rock in those turbuoant times. After we had tried everything including surgery , acupuncture… I knew she was suffering & had to let her go. The next 2 weeks our dog Chase ate little & I was miserable – crying & pouring my heart out on paper. There was a hole in my heart.i told my husband that our dog Chase needed a friend, but really we both did. We found Scruffy in a shelter. Chase had already turned his nose up at another dog that was very pretty. However, when I was able to introduce Scruffy to Chase, they immediately started to play. Scruffy was very affectionate & loved all people. My husband who had talked at getting another dog was gradually brought into her circle of love. She worked wonders for me & the hole in my heart was healed We had her a little over 4 years. She was littleb- 22 pounds of love. She had hurt her back over a year ago & a pain in her back came back. We treated it with left over pain pills & muscle relaxants, but then she started to drag her back legs. She needed immediate surgery to save them .I sped 2& a half hours to a surgeon. All went well but then her spine took a turn for the first & started to disintigrate. I was told that she would soon lose feeling in her front legs as well & them her lungs would be affected & she would sufficate. I brought her home to say goodbye to my husband. He is a man who does not cry, but he broke down several times. I was able to spend hours with her & cuddle as she was healing in intensive care. Same thing at home. She had a smile on her face & love in her eyes throughout.
    We took her to our vet & she agreed with the assessment. I held her as her life force ebbed out & told her that I would love her forever & always…forever & always.

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on November 30, 2018 at 7:18 am

      Hello Mary,

      Thanks for writing, and for sharing your story. Sending you our most heartfelt condolences xo

  64. Elizabeth Combs on November 24, 2018 at 8:24 am

    I would like to join the Facebook dog cancer survival guide page. My pit bull has lymphoma and is heavy gurgling breathing that is painful to watch and he is 10 years old. I would like to find a support group for my husband and I.

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on November 26, 2018 at 7:30 am

      Hello Elizabeth,

      Thanks for writing, and we are sorry to hear about your boy. The Group is a community forum for dog guardians who have read The Dog Cancer Survival Guide by Dr. Demian Dresser and Dr. Susan Ettinger. Even though the Dog Cancer Support Group is for book readers only, we will accept your request and grant you a provisional membership to talk with members and give you time to get the book. Here’s the link to the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dogcancersupport/

  65. Nancy on November 23, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    Thank you kindly!

  66. Gine Oquendo on November 22, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. When my dog died I thought I can accept his loss, after his pet cremation in Seattle WA I found hard to cope and to move on. I’m glad that I can say, I’m okay now and not crying every time I remember him. I’m thankful that he’s been a part of my life. Please refer to this link: https://thepetlosscenter.com/our-locations/seattle/

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on November 23, 2018 at 7:08 am

      Dear Gine, thanks for writing, and we are sorry for your loss.

  67. Linda Rodriguez on November 19, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    This helped me understand better that we saw all the right signs when our dear Diesel was passing 🙁

    • Molly Jacobson on November 20, 2018 at 1:58 pm

      Dear Linda, I’m so glad this was reassuring. Please accept our heartfelt condolences.

  68. Angie on October 21, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Dear Molly
    Thank you for your article. My beautiful chocolate Labrador named Marty was diagnosed with Prostate cancer. Doctors given him a month to live. A month has gone passed and now he’s starting to loose his appetite. He’s medications maybe helping him. I’ve been crying for days but accepted the fact that soon Marty will leave me. Marty’s great companion, good friend although I have 2 grown-ups. My husband is very supportive and my family and friends too. It is hard after just loosing my mother 2 months ago my beloved pet will leave me. I don’t want him to suffer and be in pain but giving him the best of what I can. Thank you

    • Linda on November 19, 2018 at 7:20 pm

      I feel your pain…..we love our fur babies .. my Mastiff was only 4 1/2 and passed from Lymphoma

  69. Janet Jose on September 30, 2018 at 6:24 am

    My beloved dog Lassie died on February. She was only 5 year old. For no reason she became sick, she has a lot of black diarrhea and then a ulcer in her anal rectum, we took her to vet who hospitalized her but she continued sick and worse day by day. We took her to the Vet Hospital in Gainesville, the doctor told us the she has sepsis in the bloodstream due the infection, and the best decision is to let her go. We put her down and since that day my heart is broken. I miss her so much. She was my best companion and friend. I cried every day for her, I am on depression since she passed away.
    Regardless that I know that is for her best to put her down, I still feel so guilty because I accepted the doctor recommendation. My precious little dog died in front of my eyes, I cannot express how much pain I feeling in my heart since that day. Is normal that we feel guilty to put our beloved dog down? how I can move on? it’s heartbreaking because I love her so much.
    thank you for listen me. Have a blessed day

  70. Thank you this was wonderful I read it through my tears on September 3, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    I’m pretty sure my most beautiful dog buddy in America is nearing his departure. He is a precious lil Angel a lil Yorkiepoo peepopaluma. It’s a feeling then the symptoms add up not interested in water lethargic wanting to cuddle weak fast shallow breathing. Leakage. He seems as comfortable as possible rt now sleeping peacefully. But sometimes panting . By the way as s Yorkie lover along the way when he had breathing issues I kept fresh peppermint , peppermint oil and when out even Vickd on a Kleenex almost 24/7 it really seem to help and my vet was very supports of it. To me he seemed to breath more easily. He seemed to draw towards it. Careful of his eyes I even thought about putting any thing I use in a tea ball with a lid on it. That which you use for loose tea brewing. I love him to pieces he is 21. Just the other day some one said oh your
    Lil puppy is so cute. I agreed and said this lil puppy is 21 yrs old and holding. I’m gonna miss him. Most precious relationship I ever had with a doggiecuns

  71. Thank you this was wonderful I read it through my tears on September 3, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    I’m pretty sure my most beautiful dig buddy in America is nearing his departure. He is a precious lil Angel a lil Yorkiepoo peepopaluma. It’s a feeling then the symptoms add up not interested in water lethargic wanting to cuddle weak fast shallow breathing. Leakage. He seems as comfortable as possible rt now sleeping peacefully. But sometimes panting . By the way as s Yorkie lover along the way when he had breathing issues I kept fresh peppermint , peppermint oil and when out even Vic on a Kleenex almost 24/7 it really seem to help and my vet was very supports five if it. To me he seemed to breath more easily. He seemed drawer toward it. Careful of his eyes I even thought about putting any thing I use in a tea ball with a lid on it. That which you use for loose tea brewing. I love him to pieces he is 21. Just the other day some one said oh your
    Lil puppy is so cute. I agreed and said this lil puppy is 21 yrs old and holding. I’m gonna miss him. Most precious relationship I ever had with a diggiecuns

  72. VTheBrave29 on August 1, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    I just read this. I’m glad I did.

  73. Janie Lanea on April 24, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Thank you for this article.
    My 12 year old goldendoodle has a cancerous tumor under her eye.
    We found out 3 weeks ago. It has been so hard. I am trying to enjoy every last moment I have with her. She has been the best dog and companion. I will forever miss her. We are going week to week now, but I will not let her suffer. So far she is still good, eats and drinks well and plays with our younger dog.
    God Bless you for your work.

  74. Patty Smith on March 13, 2018 at 7:01 am

    Molly, thanks for this article, I myself is struggling with the decision as to whn to say goodbye to my beloved 10yr old dog Morgan. A little over a month ago he was diagnosed with Lymphoma, and due too not being able to afford the cemo. elected to give him prednisone. And as i was told the prednisone will eventually stop being effective. He has lost weight, due to not eating like he should and sometime whn he does eat he throws it up. He had some trouble sleeping at night, due to the gulf ball size lymphnodes, he pants a lot. I sleep with him sometimes but end up wanting to cry and I leave and go to my room. The vet. said that it is probably time, that he will end up starving him self, “the mind wants to eat but the body is rejecting”, and the other organs will be effected. My problem is do I want to see that happen, or is it best to let him go now, U see, he still wants to go for his walks and runs (well not so much) around the backyard chasing the squirrels with his 3yr old sister. She knows there is something wrong, she smells him a lot, and laze with him whn he naps.
    I know the inevitable, ur article will help my in my decision and answer the question “when” . I have been scurrying the internet for just this information and I thank u.

    • DogCancerBlog on March 15, 2018 at 10:12 am

      Many warm thoughts to you and your Morgan, Patty. You will know when the time is right. Peace.

  75. Karen Mullen on February 18, 2018 at 5:20 am

    Well said Molly!

  76. Nancy Walker on January 30, 2018 at 5:32 am

    Great article Molly!

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