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Merlin had the fluid drained from his thorax on Tuesday, they removed nearly one litre! Initially his breathing became a bit slower and he was able to stretch out on his side again comfortably. During his walk on Wednesday he tried to play with his ball in the snow but then appeared to have an episode of possibly cramp/discomfort and wanted to lie down. Once he’d recovered we decided to abandon the ball play and continued our walk taking things gently.

Over the next couple of days walks seemed to become more and more difficult as he was having to stop more often to catch his breath and cough.  He was showing less and less interest in his evening chews and by Friday even food wasn’t appealing – a very worrying sign for a Labrador! His left eye had also become very droopy – the vet thought it could be Horner’s syndrome, possibly caused by a tumour compressing the nerves to his face.

The vet suggested that we wait and see what happened over the weekend,  we were hoping he might feel better on Saturday, but by then he didn’t want any breakfast, even when we tried to hand-feed it. He was looking very sorry for himself, sometimes he seemed disorientated and  stood around uncomfortably not knowing what to do.  His breathing was very laboured again and the coughing worse.

We talked again with our vet, feeling that perhaps the time had come to help Merlin one last time.  His life finally ended on Saturday afternoon with us all around him.  It was sad but very peaceful and hopefully he knew how much he was loved. We feel hugely priviledged to have known such a loving, gentle soul and just wish he could have been part of our family for longer. Life seems very bleak at present but we’re trying hard to focus on all the happy times we all had together. Throughout his illness Merlin was an inspiration, he coped so well with all the treatment and did his very best to live life to the full inspite of the difficulties. I think he’d want us to try to follow his example.

You’ll never be forgotten Merlin, our beautiful boy.

Hermitage 005

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