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    dilemma with older dog
    • #1
    • 17th May 13, 5:12 PM
    dilemma with older dog 17th May 13 at 5:12 PM
    Hi All,

    Our family dog is a 12 and a half year old collie/Alsatian. We went to the vets a few days ago for his annual booster as he is booked into kennels in july for 2 weeks.

    Our dog has been fine but over the last couple of weeks he has sometimes fell over and he also struggles to get up when he has been laying down for a while. In the mornings when I let him out he just looks at you however once he is up he runs around the garden like normal although he will fall over sometimes. I know this was a sign that his back legs are failing.

    The vet examined him and was concerned that he has gone thin (he has a thick coat so it was hard to spot). I have noticed in the last few days before the vets he doesnít eat all his food but then the next day he will eat it all. He may not eat the food in the bowl but if you throw him some scraps he will eat them, so I do not think his appetite has gone! I have now started to give him smaller portions with a few hours in between and he has eaten it all. He drinks a lot of water (sometimes nearly a big bowl full) however, he has been doing this for years and they vet was not concerned last year.

    The only other major issue with him is that he will go through periods of ďbleedingĒ. He will walk around and leak blood, when he lies and stands up there is a blood. He does look uncomfortable when this is happening. However, this happens randomly i.e. it may happen for a few days then it disappears for a weeks. This has been happening for about 2 years now and as it is so random the vet has put it down to age related. He had it last week and it lasted about 4 days but that is the first time this year.

    The vet has said that he has arthiritis and the nerves in his back legs are no longer working properly as when he bent his paws he got no reaction. He said he is more concerned about the weight though. He did not give the booster as he said he feels the dog may only have months left. He give him medicam to help with pains and said to see how he goes. He said our dog is close to the end however he is not quite at thatís stage yet and it is a hard choice at the moment. He advised however that it would be kinder to let him go while he has quality/dignity and do not leave it until he is too far. We are going back in about 2 weeks to see if the medication has had any effect.

    Most people are saying now is the time to let him go however when I see him running around I feel that he isnít ready, then I see him struggling to get up and I then I feel I am being cruel by keeping him here. I have said to the vet once he is up he can run around and play with the younger dog except he will fall over sometimes and needs a good rest after. I still do not feel he is ready to go yet though.

    My other dilemma is thinking ahead. Although our holiday is quite a few weeks away, if he is still the same condition as he is now do I risk putting him into kennels for 2 weeks (there is nowhere else he can go) and risk something happening while we are not here or do we give him a few good weeks (hopefully) and consider putting him down before the kennels so that it would happen in his home with me there and we would all have the chance to say goodbye.

    Sorry if this is a bit of a ramble and a long post! but this is our first dog we have had since puppy and itís just a hard decision on when is the right time. I know a lot can change as well in the next few weeks but I cant stop thinking about this.
Page 3
  • needsomecash

    Thanks all for the advice.

    Since we have been the vets and he was a lot better he has gone up/ down again.

    He had sickness and the runs for a few days, he also didnt eat during this. His back legs give in virtually everytime he walks around and the slightest gust of wind will knock him over.

    He has also had the 'bleeding' for the last week and a half - blood drips out of him and after he has got up from lying down there is normally blood around him.

    He does sleep a lot although this isnt unusual in the heat probably normal. On the upside he has started to eat again and he still plays with the other dog, he just falls over while doing it.

    We have the vets again at the end of month but if he gets worse I will call them out. Although I think he could go on for a few more months it may be kinder to let him go on the next visit.

    It sounds weird but I had a dream last night that I found him in a large pool of blood and he could no longer stand up and we had to call out the vet to put him to sleep there and then. I certainly wouldnt want that dream to come true!
    • bugslet
    • By bugslet 10th Jun 13, 8:55 AM
    • 3,114 Posts
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    I feel for you needssomecash. You know it's coming, it's getting the timing right. I think I mentioned before the twice I've been in your situation, I've erred on the earlier side; last one with fits which came on with increasing frequency just before his 15th birthday. I'm sure he could have managed a bit longer, but it was not pleasant for him and I didn't want him to get to the point where it impacted.

    Best of luck to you both.
    • zaksmum
    • By zaksmum 10th Jun 13, 9:47 AM
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    It's a massive worry when your dog is old and nearing the end. I was terrified of the manner of their passing - I'd hate them to suffer.

    My last dog collapsed and couldn't get up again, on his last day. He was terrified and I blame myself every day that, in my efforts to save him, I let it go that far.
  • Celli
    I make a bargain with all my pets when I first get them that they will never have to suffer because I can't let them go. I try my best to stick to it, but it's damned hard sometimes
  • pauletruth
    has the vet done a kidney function test. has the bladder been scanned. honestly i think you should not wait until the end of the month. think the pain meds are hiding the symptoms.
  • needsomecash
    Hi all

    I just wanted to update an post from a few weeks ago.

    Our holiday has come around. Over the last few weeks there has been little change in our dog. The bleeding has stopped for now however he is falling over quite a lot and not always eating. His coat has lost its "shine" as well, which the vets say is a sign he is close to the end.

    The last few days the little fits he has become more and more often which causes him to fall over and he struggles to get back up. I dont think the heat is helping him much either.

    I could probably keep him for another few months but he will only get worse and suffer especially if he made it to winter.

    We are going to do the kindest thing and let him go to sleep. The vet is due tomorrow.

    Thanks for all the useful advice and posts.
  • Celli
    I'm so sorry, but for what it's worth, your doing the best for him, it's not easy, it never is.
    Just think how awful it would have been if he'd taken bad when he was in kennels and you couldn't be there for him.
    Swift and gentle passing for him tomorrow
  • ian103
    we let our older dog go earlier this year, its very hard and I hope you cope OK.

    its so so difficult to decide when the time is right but really only you can decide when the time is right, with hindsight we possibly kept him too long.
    • zaksmum
    • By zaksmum 22nd Jul 13, 4:49 PM
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    Really sorry. I do think it's the kindest way to let your dog go though.

    I'll be thinking of you tomorrow.
  • eddi
    This is so sad it's never easy in the slightest. I've had to make the decision for our dog, cats and our old rabbit over the years and I've never sobbed quite so much in the company of near strangers as when I've had to do this. You can only just be safe in the knowledge that you're doing what's right for him no matter how painful it is for you and that's very brave.
    I feel for you I really do ((hugs))
    DF by Xmas 2013 #107 £1000 / £2972.15
    • calicocat
    • By calicocat 22nd Jul 13, 7:09 PM
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    It is probably one of the most horrid choices (if you can call it that) that you will ever make, but you have made the right decision. This way you are around rather than him being in kennels for his last bit of life. For months I would ruminate on whether I put my dog down too early, I had a 'once he has more bad than good days' test for it.....when I look back now I did the right thing and spent months feeling guilty for no good reason. Mine perked up once he realised i'd been to the pet crem to look at what I wanted to do (I swear to god they know exacly what's going on) it ended up being a few weeks after that. I cooked up a sausage storm for his last meal and some ice-cream. If he feels like eating give your boy his favorite food for brekkie tomorrow and rest in the knowledge that you are doing the right thing.

    And enjoy your holiday, you deserve it after this.
  • needsomecash
    Thanks for all the kind words.

    It hasnt been easy as his good days / bad days have been virtually the same. After watching him struggle this weekend I do feel now is the best time even if we did not have the holiday coming up, I still think this is the best time.

    He could go on longer but it would only be a few months. We do not want him to get as far as not being able to stand and him soiling himself either.

    The younger dog (he is more dominant) has attacked him a few times recently as well. (including last night while people were saying their goodbyes to him!!) He has also distanced himself from him a little, they used to cuddle up together but the last few nights he has gone to the other end of the room, so I dont know if this is another sign he is nearer the end.

    He has a sausage meal for dinner as he loves them. The kids will give him some fuss this morning, they are then going to go out and unfortunately I can only pop home on my dinner break to let the vet in and put him to sleep.

    Thanks again all.
  • loulou123
    Hugs for today, I've been through it myself and know how hard it is, but it does sound like you are doing the best thing.

    Some people almost seemed shocked I had my dog put down when I did (he walked to the vets himself and didn't seem too ill) but he'd had terminal cancer for months and I knew he was ready to go, yes I could've kept him going for a few more weeks but I'd have been doing it for me not him.

    Hugs x
    • zaksmum
    • By zaksmum 23rd Jul 13, 8:58 PM
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    • 7,253 Thanks
    Hope you're ok, OP
  • Jalapee

    I just wanted to send my love to you, ive just read through the entire post and it sounded very similar to my position 4 weeks ago, in the end it was the best thing for our dog, sending hugs xxxx
    • Sharon140
    • By Sharon140 24th Jul 13, 5:03 PM
    • 97 Posts
    • 164 Thanks
    Just wanted to say that I am thinking of you all today

    I went through a similar experience last November with my 12 yr old girl it was the hardest decision I have ever had to make

    . Big hugs to you and your family
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