June 14, 2010
We had to euthanize Pumpkin around 6 PM.
It turns out that for a couple of weeks he had been walking around on a pathologically fractured leg (sound familiar?). He saw the vet last week but did not have an xray taken, was given anti-inflammatories. Yesterday he came down hard on that bad leg, yelped in pain, and today's xrays revealed cancer and the fracture.
The vet suspected the cancer had already metastasized and that even with surgery and chemotherapy, or an amputation, Pumpkin would only have about six months. The vet could not manage his pain other than with intravenous opiates which we could not administer at home. A fentanyl patch would have taken 12-18 hours to be effective with no way to make him comfortable at home in the meantime. So rather than have P spend his last night in distress at the clinic, in order for us to have one more day with him, we made the right decision, which all pet owners have to face at some time or another, to take care of his pain in the only way left.
The vet was extraordinarily sympathetic. He brought Pumpkin out to us for a last cuddle and P was very stressed, even with morphine to ease his pain. The vet administered an overdose of anesthesia and P relaxed and was dead within moments.
Yesterday Pumpkin was running around the yard, sniffing out his turf, and willing to sit on everyone's lap even after he was hurt. This has been a really tough birthday for Rik.
We are both very sad. Pumpkin was a very good dog. He was about 15 and we were lucky to have him for eight years.