Recommended to put my buddy down

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Recommended to put my buddy down

Postby Tucothebeardo » Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:55 pm

Hi everyone!

My fiancé and I are crushed! Our vet has recommended that it might be best to put our best buddy down. Looking for some advice from this community! We have a 8.5 yr old that was in great shape until last week. We noticed that she started pooping often (diarrhea ish), and started looking dehydrated. For some reason, she was very sensitive to touch on her stomach, and is always lifting her tail, constantly straining to push something out. Her last poop wasn’t bad, but a small spot of fresh blood was associated. She also is uncomfortable laying down, always shifting to remove weight off her stomach. Her eyes are slightly sunken, the usually plump tissue on the top of her head is sunken in. At the vet today, terrible news! The vet could feel a mass in her stomach, and advised us that it’s likely cancer, causing her to be dehydrated, a large loss of muscle mass (noticeable for certain) and extremely lethargic. Comparing to an old dog of mine that had very similar symptoms, this fits. the vet also advised that she suspects it’s on the liver. Obviously, the animal can’t live without that. My question is regarding surgery, and if it makes sense. Generally with cancer, these things have spread, or will spread this late in the game, as it seems there’s only days left for her. Other considerations is her weakness, as I don’t want the animal to go in for surgery and not make it out. I’d rather her last days with us be fun and happy. Her suffering is not an option, as this is the responsibility of being a pet owner. She did crush a horn worm today too! Any insight is greatly appreciated! :(

Dan, Elena and Tuco
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Re: Recommended to put my buddy down

Postby Drache613 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:15 am

Hello Dan & Elena,

I am sorry to hear about your little Tuco. Goodness, that is not a good diagnosis, at all &
hate that you even have to consider options like putting her down.
Did the vet take any blood from her?
Has she ever laid eggs before? The vet felt that she may have a tumor on or in the liver?
You could consider an exploratory surgery to see what is going on. Though, I have to say
that the vet would probably tell you that if he found something alarming that he would recommend
not bringing her out of surgery. A lot of them say that so you don't bring them out of a surgery
only to have them pass. If she isn't strong enough though, I wouldn't recommend putting her
through surgery.
Personally, if they are not suffering I prefer them to spend their last time with their owner so
they aren't all alone. That's just me. If she got to the point where she was suffering then, that
is a different story.
Has her beard been black at all or is it still a nice color? You could try giving her a probiotic to
see if that helps out her tummy. Are you keeping her a little warmer overnight to help boost her
immune system?
I'm sorry you are having to go through all of this. My thoughts are with you.

Tracie
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Re: Recommended to put my buddy down

Postby Tucothebeardo » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:24 am

Hi Tracie,

Thanks for the quick reply. It’s awful, I feel so bad for my fiancé and my little Dinosaur. They are so close, and love spending time together. Tuco even snuggles into us when she wants to sleep! She’s the best!

Anyway, to answer the questions. No blood was taken. She has never laid eggs before, however the vet was confident she isn’t feeling a clutch, but rather a mass. The vet mentioned that last time she felt something like that, she went in to discover the liver totally overtaken by cancer, and referenced that previous experience.

Her beard has been dark, but I wouldn’t say black. She’s a orange / sand colour generally. Remains now, however she is darkening and showing some stress as she gets sick.

I generally subscribe to the reptile rule of sick reptile = pump up the heat.

Her rear legs, which used to be strong as muscular, are now thin, with excess “skin”. Her back spinal cord sticks out vs being muscular. She’s lost a lot of muscle.

I just don’t know if we did do surgery, if she can even recover from such a beating...

Poor little dragon!

Dan
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Re: Recommended to put my buddy down

Postby DragonPete » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:34 pm

I'm so sorry. I feel for you and your fiance.
After losing many to age related illnesses, I know how hard it is to make 'that' desision.
You have to consider her quality of life. Because we love all our babies, we are a bit selfish because we don't want to lose them. Been there more times than I want to recall. Whether Dragon, cat, dog or whatever. You do all you can and when there is nothing left, you help them to the rainbow Bridge.
Much love and big hugs! Believe me, we've all been there at some point.
-Dee
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Re: Recommended to put my buddy down

Postby Coopersdad » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:21 pm

At 8.5 years old, she has lived a good long life. To be honest; even though it's going to HURT, do the humane thing and put her to sleep (she is in pain and suffering right now). The only thing you can do is be there when she transitions from this life to the next. :cry:
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Re: Recommended to put my buddy down

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:21 pm

Oh dear- if she's in pain and suffering putting her to sleep would be best- it is heart breaking I know- :( -- I feel your pain-
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Re: Recommended to put my buddy down

Postby Tucothebeardo » Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:03 pm

Thanks everyone for the sympathetic responses

Question toward Coopersdad.

She isn’t showing signs of being in pain right now. The moment I suspect the animal is in any pain, we will do what needs to be done. That being said, she isn’t showing any stress spots, and is eating horn warms. That being said, her muscle is breaking down and she’s getting skinny. I don’t want to end things prematurely for her either. She’s been sleeping with us a lot, and enjoys being around us, even crawling around from time to time and looking up at us.

Would you generally agree that she will show some sort of stress spits, stop eating etc. Those are the markers I’ve been waiting for...

Dan
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Re: Recommended to put my buddy down

Postby Coopersdad » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:16 pm

Dan,

She isn't showing any deep discoloration in her beard, or avoiding being touched? I read where you said her beard was darkening, but not black. That is why I say she is likely in pain. I hope I am incorrect.

If she is still active and respondent, then I would say she has some time left. When Benji passed, it took her about a week between quickening muscle loss/sunken features to taking her final breath. She quit eating, but would crawl up and snuggle with us (I assume for the warmth). I would like to think it was because she actually felt something close to love for me, as she passed away next to me, with her muzzle against my neck.

I don't want to give false advice, and what I did was based on the symptoms given and discoloration of the beard/very sensitive to areas being touched/against the ground.
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Re: Recommended to put my buddy down

Postby Drache613 » Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:14 pm

Hello Dan,

Please keep us posted on your girl, we are all thinking about you both & know how difficult
these times are. :cry:
I do think that you would be able to tell if she were in pain. I also think that she will be able
to seek comfort from you which is really the most important thing, for you both.

Tracie
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Re: Recommended to put my buddy down

Postby Tucothebeardo » Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:04 pm

Hi everyone

Thanks so much for the sympathetic messages. It really means a lot to us to know that other people know what we’re going through, and don’t feel so crazy for feeling so awful!

Tuco’s behaviour is kinda confusing, but we’re happy with what we saw today! She is degenerating and getting skinny, and I’ve had her wrapped up in a towel to keep warm and she sleeps on my chest. But she seems to genuinely be comfortable. She doesn’t show Signs of stress, and even had a random burst of energy today after eating some apple! She ran around on the couch before snuggling up to my fiancé. but she usually just sleeps. She ate a horn worm yesterday and the day before (even when healthy, she didn’t eat a lot, so hard to gauge). The diarrhea has also stopped, and so has the constant pushing... but she’s so obviously sick and tired... but comfortable!

We’re taking things day by day.

Thanks again everyone

Dan & Elena
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Re: Recommended to put my buddy down

Postby Drache613 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:59 pm

Hello Dan & Elena,

We are all here for you!
It sounds like Tuco is doing well, despite everything. I think that she enjoys being around you
& the comfort of her family because she is happy!
She ate a hornworm also, has she eaten anything else recently? She is a very sweet soul,
indeed & it is a gift that she wants to be near you all of the time. Please keep us posted on
how she is doing!

Tracie
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Re: Recommended to put my buddy down

Postby Tucothebeardo » Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:25 am

Hi everyone

Thanks again for the continued support. Some updates and backstory. My fiancé and I just moved into our first home 2 weeks ago, and this hole thing has kinda put a downer on everything with the poor little dragon being so sick. At this point, I’m more confused than anything! Obviously, the move could be stressing her out, but the only way to manage that is for her to spend time with us / putting her by the window. This little one LOVES just being next to the window and staring outside so we wrap her up in a towel to stay warm (a tuco burrito). She’s spent most of her life sitting on a black pillow in front of the window suntanning - sometimes staying there for 8+ hours! When she had enough, she would just walk away from the pillow to another one in the shade. Knowing that, we keep her in the window often. She also shows no stress marks when she’s there. Otherwise, it looks like she’s speaking out some sun (darkening her back), which, again from experience has always meant more sun!

Now the tricky part. She is clearly getting weaker and weaker as her muscle breaks down. However, she continues to eat! (Admittedly, she was a little oinky) And walk around, snuggling up to mom and I often! Today we woke up with bad news! A limp! Her front right paw just isn’t supporting her weight. She can still use it to grab and pull, but can’t stand on it anymore. This looks like a calcium problem... but I suspect with the cancer she’s degenerating in every way. But with her continuing to eat, continuing to snuggle up to us and walk around, and not really showing any signs of being upset to us, we are confused what to do. We obviously don’t want to put the animal down too early.... but also don’t want her to
Suffer. Generally animals stop eating when they are sick or in pain, but she continues to. She certainly doesn’t look like she used to, but she is still energetic to run around on the couch, her diherrea has subsided, so she doesn’t really care about her stomach being touched anymore.

Beard is still orange. It always had darkness in behind, but I would say it hasn’t darkened. She’s happy every morning when her lights come on, and is generally very energetic in the morning, much more lethargic in the afternoon.

This is brutal! Poor little dragon!
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Re: Recommended to put my buddy down

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:19 pm

I wonder if you could build some kind of support for her to help her move around without putting as much stress on her hands. Maybe a chest strap connected to a wheel or something like that.
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