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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,
I am new to posting on this forum but admit that throughout my boy's life I came here to seek boxer owner knowledge.
On September 1st my 9 year (and 4 months) old boy , Mugsy, was diagnosed with a brain tumor and we let him go late on September 2nd.

Mugsy had about 12 surgeries in his lifetime to remove mast cell tumors and each time he went under was gut wrenching. We were always assured that removal was the best thing we could do for him and so we did it. He had his last surgery mid-July (with a toe amputation included) and I had noticed him not returning to "himself" as quickly as before. I kept mentioning to my husband and my family that he wasn't as spunky anymore and I was met with the same reply, "He's getting older, he had a major surgery..."

On August 31st I noticed Mugsy walking to the left, my husband thought maybe he had an ear infection and we took him to the ER. The doctor we saw check his eye reactions and noticed his left eye was slow to respond. She immediately ruled out an ear infection and advised us to see the neurologist. We met with the neurologist the next morning who had us admit our boy for an MRI the following morning. This broke my heart because we were told we had to leave him overnight, for the first time in his life. We went home that night and researched CBD oil, ordered it, and it came (with rush shipping) 2 weeks after he was gone.

When we met with the neurologist the next morning, she immediately walked over to the computer and I knew. Mugsy had a brain tumor, which she believed was a glioma. She told us that his chances of survival with surgery was 20-30%. She mentioned radiation, in which he would have to be dropped off every morning Monday-Friday and picked up at night - or we could leave him there all week, Monday - Friday and pick him up on the weekends. With radiation, he would need to be put under anesthesia every day, as well. Our last option was an oral chemo pill with prednisone - which we said we'd try.

Upon going home that night, our sweet baby was not himself. He feel into his bowl, he would not settle down, even in the comfort of my husband's arms - his favorite place to be. Things started getting worse overnight and throughout the course of the next day. Walking in circles, unresponsive to us or our family members, bumping into things, and finally collapsing with his eyes drooping and uncontrollable, deep panting. I don't know if that was a seizure or a stroke, I have researched and cannot find an answer. After the collapse, we made the decision to take him and let him go...

70 days later, I am still heart broken and cannot be at peace with our decision. Looking back over his "recovery" from MCT surgery, there are things I noticed and did not act on. I think maybe he had a small seizure or two, things that I now know could have been seizures (focal??), but then would never have known: example - licking his lips on day. I am so mad at myself for not trusting my gut, for not taking his lack of spunk more seriously. I do believe for the most part, this tumor hid itself well, until things got bad - at the end. I don't know if anything could've helped him: CBD oil, letting the chemo or prednisone have more time to kick in...The doctor told us he would not be here for Christmas...I was mad at her for saying weeks, but a day? It's something I am having a very hard time with. I did not want him to suffer and I think maybe when I saw him collapse that that was maybe just the beginning of worst things to come.

I miss my sweet angel boy every day, all day. It seems the pain gets worse, not better. I appreciate any thoughts or words or experiences... to know I am not alone?


I guess I am here and decided to join in seek of others who have have similar experience with brain tumors or having to make a decision to let go so quickly.
 

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First I will say I'm sending my deepest condolences on the loss of your dear one. I lost 3 in one year to cancer and I've never, ever known such grief and loss so I can relate to your pain. One of ours, Faline was a puppy mill rescue and came to us with cancerous growths as a senior, one was Donner who had epithelial cutaneous lymphoma at age 6 and one was Blitzen age 5 who had gastric cancer and although it will not be a popular opinion here's what we decided at the time. We had no options with Faline and gave her the best quality of life we could until she had a stroke - or the cancer traveled to her brain. Much like your loved one during her last days she started walking into things/stood over her food bowl and a strange angle and couldn't decide what to do/ then lay panting with her head pushed into a corner. Donner was diagnosed and we were told that no matter what we did (or if in fact did nothing ) he would be gone in less than 2 years, he was ready to leave in 9 months. Blitzen stopped eating one day, was diagnosed a couple days later and just gave up and lay on the floor waiting to leave 5 days later. All of them left quietly wrapped in my arms.....I tell you all of that to explain my belief that until we find a way to breed cancer out of our beloved boxer lines - when the cancer beast comes for them....it will have them. We can sometimes buy a little more time (although I personally question making my dogs go through painful, tiresome treatment to give ME more time) but in the end when the bad outweighs the good, the tired outweighs the happy, wiggly, glad happy butts....it's time to say goodbye. I think you paid the highest price this crazy boxer loves demands and that you did exactly the right thing. I will also share that since I was a little girl I have believed that when our dear ones leave, the heavens gain a new star that night. Mugsy's will be there, bright and shining down looking over you and your family.
 

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I am so so very sorry for the loss of your Mugsby. Our dear boxers leave us much too soon. Don't 2nd guess yourself, you gave him a wonderful life and took care of all his needs along the way. Whether you found the brain tumors earlier would not have mattered, perhaps treatment would have made him suffer and you too for a longer period of time just waiting on the inevitable. As time goes on I have learned there are certain cancers there just isn't anything you can do. From your post, I think you did everything right. Know that he was happy and loved very much and find comfort in that. My thoughts are with you .
 

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Sorry for your loss. My condolences.


I would just say try not to 2nd guess yourself. You can come up with a million "what if's". Just know you gave him the best 9 years and try to be at peace with it.
 

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Hi illin97,

I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet boxer. Clearly, there are others here who understand your grief all too well. We are all so blessed to have these sweet souls in our lives.
I recently lost my sweet 14 year old boxer to a brain tumor as well and am still missing him terribly. Much like your situation, his decline, and the decision to help him pass all took place quickly. He had been doing great (with the help of pain pills for his arthritis) up until about 6 months before he passed. Even then, he had simply just slowed down quite bit more, but that was to be expected at 14 years of age. A few weeks before he passed, he slowed down considerably more. Then, a few days before he passed, he started having seizures. It sounds to me like your boxer's experience was similar to mine. I understand what you have been through and the weight of your decisions that were a part of your experience. Please know that the greatest gift we can give these loyal friends of ours is to find the strength to be there for them at the end of their lives when they most need us to have the strength and grace to help them cross over. You did the right thing when your sweet pup most needed you to. Don't second guess your self. Find peace in knowing you were your dog's angel when he needed you to be, and now he is one of your angels. I am truly sorry for your loss.
 

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Aw, I'm sorry for your loss! But it clearly sounds like you did the best that could be done and sadly it was just simply a losing battle.

I luv Boxer's, but sadly, I consider them a "Heartbreak" Breed! At the"extreme" losing, one between 8 weeks (for me (parvo puppy) and six months for others (heart issues??) is not uncommon?? :(

If you can get to three years without issues, you've done well! And even then, ... between 8 and 10 ... things can start to get "wobbly???"

It happens ... all the time ...it would seem?? Nonetheless, it seems you did good! You did good and ... yeah right now "the end" is all you can see?? But you have "years" of good memories! And you should "focus" on that! Right now the "pain of loss" seems unbearable??? But one day that will pass and the "tears of sadness, at his passing, will be replaced, by "tears of joy of his life!" You have a "lifetime of good memories," of his life with you! Hold onto hard to that!!!

Don't ... go down that deep, dark hole of sadness!! I did ... "PTSD" "nother story" different situation, but I did, it and it took "years" to recover! Your most likely on the cusp??? ANd mostly your on the cusp???

Take a "deep breath" and relax and understand that you did the best you could and that could be done!! It was just simply a "losing battle!" :(

We "all" pretty much "know how you feel!" You are not alone! Stick with us, and you can make it threw this! Sorry for your loss ... but it will get better with time! :)
 

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What a handsome boy. Since you didn't have a biopsy of the tumor, it would be hard to predict outcome. UC-Davis Vet school looks like it has lots of information on brain tumors. Outcomes didn't look all that good, and said 25% of dogs with brain tumors other cancers too. I waited longer then my vet advised when my Boxer had lymphoma. As a result we couldn't have him die at home. His veins were no longer that good. He was able to walk into the vet's office, eat treats, and show affection for all of us in the room. At least we had that, and he didn't need to be carried in. I think they should go out with some dignity.


I don't know if you have another dog at home. It must be very empty if there isn't one. I took a foster in, and that helped keep me busy.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I truly, from the bottom of my heart thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read my post and even more-so, for responding with such kind, gentle, understanding words and experiences.

I wish I had turned to this forum sooner, to at least have the peace of knowing there are others out there who understand. I had just about lost faith that anyone would "get it".

It's a struggle: the sadness, the guilt, the regret, the second guessing. I know what science says about brain tumors and his age and boxers. I know it was inevitable, but the speed at which everything escalated is something that haunts me. Never would I ever have thought it would be like that. I wish I felt better about the end, like you do OWENOWLSNEST. We tried to have him walk in, but he struggled so my husband carried him, the room was so hot, the tech couldn't find his vein and shaved both of his legs, and I was so upset that I'm afraid I didn't help him feel calm.

People had told us in the past couple of years that we should've gotten a second dog because Mugsy was getting older. For a couple of reasons we did not. We never really planned on him, he came to us on a whim. Someone didn't want him anymore and we said "sure". He was (is) our one and only, our first. He just fit into our lives so perfectly.

The house is empty, very. However, I feel guilty even thinking about bringing another dog into our home because this is Mugsy's home. He came to us just 3 short months after we moved in. He was perfect from the start. We really didn't teach him a thing, he just knew. He was loved by all of our family and friends and he loved each one right back. Right now, I miss him too much. I am afraid to bring another dog home and constantly compare him or her to Mugsy, afraid to not be able to give my love to another.

Equestrian, I hope that he is an angel... I hope that is true. I always called him my sweet angel was he was here.

Mylittledeers - I always look up at the stars now... wondering, could it be?

Bless you all - I always knew boxers were so special and so are their people.
 

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MugsysMom, there are some online support groups for people experiencing the loss of a pet. I actually found one that helped a little bit, and I could give other people support also. Can't remember the name of it, but if you can talk about your grief the pain is eased for awhile anyway. Eventually it will get much less severe. I remember being relieved to have someone to contact in the middle of the night. That was some of the really lonely times for me. You did a wonderful thing for him out of love! You'll realize that later on. Sorry, but first it gets worse.
 

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I truly, from the bottom of my heart thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read my post and even more-so, for responding with such kind, gentle, understanding words and experiences.

I wish I had turned to this forum sooner, to at least have the peace of knowing there are others out there who understand. I had just about lost faith that anyone would "get it".

It's a struggle: the sadness, the guilt, the regret, the second guessing. I know what science says about brain tumors and his age and boxers. I know it was inevitable, but the speed at which everything escalated is something that haunts me. Never would I ever have thought it would be like that. I wish I felt better about the end, like you do OWENOWLSNEST. We tried to have him walk in, but he struggled so my husband carried him, the room was so hot, the tech couldn't find his vein and shaved both of his legs, and I was so upset that I'm afraid I didn't help him feel calm.

People had told us in the past couple of years that we should've gotten a second dog because Mugsy was getting older. For a couple of reasons we did not. We never really planned on him, he came to us on a whim. Someone didn't want him anymore and we said "sure". He was (is) our one and only, our first. He just fit into our lives so perfectly.

The house is empty, very. However, I feel guilty even thinking about bringing another dog into our home because this is Mugsy's home. He came to us just 3 short months after we moved in. He was perfect from the start. We really didn't teach him a thing, he just knew. He was loved by all of our family and friends and he loved each one right back. Right now, I miss him too much. I am afraid to bring another dog home and constantly compare him or her to Mugsy, afraid to not be able to give my love to another.

Equestrian, I hope that he is an angel... I hope that is true. I always called him my sweet angel was he was here.

Mylittledeers - I always look up at the stars now... wondering, could it be?

Bless you all - I always knew boxers were so special and so are their people???
The fact of the matter is, that dogs ... simply do not live as long as people??

One can deny, that reality if they choose ... ( I did) but facts are facts!? Marilyn use to annoy the crap out of me with her "Struddell" is getting old crap?? I could not see it?? Well I guess I could but I was denial??

At year 8, a clicking right, foot on hard surfaces on?? The classic, calling card for "DM!" Marilyn was right ... and I was wrong??

The end is near, clock had been tripped for my Struddell ... I just did not realize it?? Aww well ... I carried on my battle against the inevitable! It was a losing battle! But with pretty much 24 hour care 7 days a week care ... we "dragged Struddell" across the ten year threshold!

And the day ... she would not eat her favorite treat, a dollar burger from Jack in the Box, I knew it was "Game Over!" :(

We took her to the vet, .. to have her "PTS." And that could have gone better?? I'm not good with shot's but they did get part of it right! Struddell did not suffer but they, struggled with the second part of the process?? It was to much for me?? I held her paw but I was "Blacking out??" I would not let go of her paw thru this process ... "daddy" is still here but I was passing out?? I carried out for Marilyn, she did not want to be there for the end ... but she had no choice! Daddy was down and even still ... I was not letting go of my girls PAW!!

Daddy "blacked out" but Marilyn took over! So my "Baby Girl" did not pass into the great unknown along! :)


So yesss ...losing one of these guys, is a "Big Deal!" You are not alone!! I do have "hope for the future" to add but ... you know although its been wow ... five years now?? Posting this has been a tear filled struggled?? I got more but I need a break. But just know ... you are not alone, in your pain! :)
 

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MugsysMom, I read your followup post and can feel your pain and it leads me to share a couple more thoughts with you. We've had boxers for a long time 30+ years (man, that does sound loooong:confused:) Our 1st one was my husbands idea, a friend had a boxer puppy who had never been socialized or house trained and suddenly was homeless so we took her in. We knew nothing about boxers - our other dogs had been mixed breeds and easy keepers. Sophie was anything BUT an easy keeper...naughty, pushy, dog aggressive and never, ever really house broken. She also loved my 2 step children like they were hers and her joy in life and love of family was unmatched. I swore we'd never have another boxer when she left after 13 years. After about 3 days the silence in our home was deafening....so off we went to find another boxer, still knowing nothing about the breed or breeders. Much to my eternal gratitude we found Donner as a puppy. I read absolutely everything I could find about boxers, their history, traits and training. I joined this forum and made friends and learned even more. Eventually met a fabulous trainer / behaviorist and with her help raised one of the best dogs I've ever had the priviledge to share my home with. Along came Blitzen a year later, goofy, impetuous and a little scatter brained but attached to our grandson like second skin. Then Comet, a senior rescue who was only here for a short time (he escaped the yard and was hit by a car in a matter of minutes) but he was here long enough to make me believe that we could actually manage and enjoy THREE dogs??? So he was followed by our puppy mill girl Faline and we were three again....Then, in what felt like the blink of an eye they were all gone.......my heart was where yours is right now....lost, sad and not sure I could ever do that again....along came Angel at a shelter. When Blitzen left my last words to her were "you will be the whitest, brightest star in the sky and I will look for you every night" when the shelter brought Angel out to meet us, her ID tag was in the shape of a star and I knew she was ours.....we had already made tentative arrangements with a show breeder to be on a wait list for her next litter - health tested from head to toe for generations -trying to avoid any heartache that I could. So then arrived not one, but two and litter mates at that... (may God help anyone who makes THAT decision lol) Chase and Mysti. They have made me laugh, cry, pull my hair in frustration and dragged me back from a very sad, dark place.... the point of all this history is to try to explain to you that each one is entirely different, yet with similar boxer traits. One never replaces another but somehow they filled the piece of my heart that left with the one before....I've said many times that boxer love comes at an enormous price and one that I will pay over and over again and it's worth it each and every time. I wish you peace on your journey and hope that soon the time comes when you can remember happy times and joy with Mugsy instead of sadness and doubt about his passing. Oh, and his star IS there. I'm sure of it :angel:
 

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Mylittledeers...What a lovely post...you sound a lot like me in that there is always another one coming into our home. We have only 1 boxer though and his is our heart. I also have a 11 month old standard poodle. You think our boxer are full of spunk...lol try a st poodle. I was looking for another boxer when I got him. Another story...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
chip18 - You're right, dogs don't live long enough. They should live longer because they are better than people. I am so sorry to hear about what you went through with your Studdell. I am also sorry for causing you to stir up those feelings again. I don't think that there is any time limit when it comes to feelings. I am sure that 5 years from now, I will still be missing my boy and still cry when I think of him. People have said to me because everything happened with Mugsy so fast, that I should not have been there with him in the end. As awful as it was to watch him slip away, as painful as it is to replay those last moments in my head, I know it was only right for me to be there to hold his paw and kiss his face. I owed him that, despite what anyone says. I keep saying that I came to this forum to hopefully find out that I was not alone. Hearing your story, lets me know that I am not alone - and I hope that hearing my story lets you feel the same way.

mylittledeers - you are a warrior. Losing my boy took my to a place I have never been emotionally. Losing 3 so fast? My heart goes out to you. What a blessing that your babies picked Angel for you. I've been hoping for signs, maybe looking for them too much. I wish I could dream good dreams - for a couple of weeks I kept dreaming of Mugsy being sick over and over. One time I had a nightmare of him "leaving" (I can't say the "d" word) all over again. I thank you for continuing to check on my posts and for your kind, heartfelt thoughts and words.

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!
 

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Well I don't know who said "you should not have been there with him at the end??" But I would have some strong objections to that! I am not a fan of "needles" myself ... as in if crap does not go right ... I tend to black out!! But I was gonna be there for my girl!

And yep ... at the end it went partial wrong!! They got the first part right ... put her to sleep but the next step they screwed up ... could not find the vein?? Struddell was "asleep" so she was fine. But for me ... they were taking to long and the clock got tripped! Marilyn had left the room as she did not want to be there. But I was in trouble!!! I held, Stru's" paw ... and I would not let go! But I was ... "blacking out!!" I could not/ would not let her go ... alone, so as I slumped into darkness ... I cried out for Marilyn to come in and be there for her! My "baby girl was not going away alone ... no matter what it took! Marilyn came in and was there at the end ... me yeah I blacked out ... but I never let go of her paw! :)

Being there at the end ... is the least we can do! So you know feel free to tell "whoever " to get bent!! And "PLEASE" don't second guess and beat yourself up!! I can attest ... that doing that can be very, very bad!! Guilt can "destroy" you! Been there done that ... it's another story!

I luv Boxer's but I consider them a "Heart Break Breed!" You have nine years of good memories to fall back on and trust me ... there are a lot of Boxers that can't even come to that! Most likely ... I have the dubious honor of the shortest lived Boxer owner ever! That would be my "Heidi" .... that was 15 years ago ... she is on the shelf behind me ... don't wanna talk about it. :(

But moving on ... when you think it's time ... you could also consider "fostering??" It was nothing I was aware of at the time?? But most likely it would have saved me a lot of "Pain!" It's pretty hard not to smile or laugh, when you have a Boxer in the house! When I lost Struddell ... I still had my Rocky WL GSD and he "was" sigh ... A great dog but you know being "Funny" was not really his thing?? The day "we" lost our Struddell ... was the day the "laughter Died!" Boxers are kinda like that. Take Care. :)
 

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I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Don't second guess yourself. From what I can tell, you did everything and more for your boxer. That boxer was loved and was lucky to have such a great owner. I just lost my 2 sister boxers (from the same litter) within two months of each other. Dreamer in September and Diamond in November. They were 11 plus years old. Both had brain tumors. I made the decision to put them to sleep as I saw them suffering. I still feel guilty about it. Held them in my arms as they passed. I miss them so much it hurts every day. They were my best friends. I'm trying to focus more on the love they brought me and the love and care I gave them in return. Hang in there.
 

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Ckvbxr - I am so sorry for your losses. Losing two in a short a short time... awful. There are no words. Did you know of their tumors long before their passing? I live with such regret for getting Mugsy's diagnosis and letting him go so soon after. The doctor gave us a grave diagnosis when she said weeks...and she cringed when she mentioned months. Two days before his MRI, he started walking to the left and bumping into things. When he came home from the MRI he was not well, like I had never seen in him. The day after things started declining - so many symptoms all at once. I never, ever wanted my sweet angel to suffer but wonder if I did not let the medicine (chemo pill and prendizone) work. I live with so much "what if".
I'm sorry for asking... I am just always looking for others who have been through it.
 
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