I am looking forward to sharing on this Forum and will copy this into the Introduction area also. You see it's been a rough week. After 17 months of fighting Type 2 lymphoma we let our golden go back and run in the breezes above this last Monday. A lot of tears from an old hunting partner here.
Now it's my 14 year old lab! She's a trooper and an athlete her whole life. But I now face another decision. My wife and I agree we would never put our girls quality of life after our desire to not lose them. We didn't with Hannah and we won't with Maggie.
A little background - Maggie has fishing line in both rear knees to replace ligaments (at 3 years). Arthritis is almost debilitating in shoulders and spine. I have to lift her from sitting or laying and she poops 90% of the time while laying down and doesn't know it but never ever urinates inside. Pads are regular purchases.
She is so stoic, I don't think I'll ever know how much she hurts. I also know no one can give a quick answer, but this decision is hurting. Our vet is wonderful and knows she's close and has already had one mini seizure. Must I wait for a major seizure? Having held 4 dogs as they were given peace isn't helping me. Please help!
I am sure that you don't want to read this. The first time I had to let my dog go, 47 years ago, it was his inability to control his bowels that told me it was time. As best as I could read him, he was not happy about what happened. I was never able to read pain. He was 15 years old at the time.
I have had dogs slow down, but when one would need help getting up, had difficulty walking (forget running which ended years earlier), when we saw indicators that she wanted to join other dogs but just couldn't. I had to conclude that pain was what was holding her back, and it wasn't fair.
My other dogs were easier to decide. Cancer tends to make the decision easier to make, but no less painful to us.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
Thank you. We've been lifting her most of the time for more than 6 months. I can almost see it in her eyes that she's saying," Hey, Dad, what the H*** is going on with me. I had to carry our last lab out of the pheasant field our last hunt as he dragged his hind legs behind and had a major seizure 3 days later. I don't want to wait that long, but also worry over the decision when she has a good day and trots for 20-30 yards before the signals get mixed to her legs and she just stops. Thanks for sharing. Right now I just needed to know someone else heard my thoughts.
I am sorry
I am so sorry you are going through this. I so wish those dogs could speak. In all honesty, i thnk if they could, our Rinnie would have told us to let her go months before we actually made the decision. But i say that with the benefit of hindsight. When i got Harvey, i made a promise to listen to him rather than try to think 'tomorrow may be a good day'.
The only advice i can offer is - evaluate her quality of life. If she has some, enjoy the time you have. If she has very little or none, then i think it is time to help her. Good luck, you have had a rough road, my thoughts are with you during this very difficult time.
Skippy was only 10 when he died. He had had "wobbly back legs" off and on for about 6 months, and then just went downhill really quickly. We didn't do alot of testing, because the ultrasound showed alot of fluid in his abdomen, and the vet really felt it was cancer somewhere, and short of putting a very sick dog through a lot of testing, we couldn't really be sure where. After about 2 weeks of him being very ill, barely able to get outside to potty, and eating extremely little (and only what I would hand fee him), I realized that we were just waiting for him to die. Every morning I found myself holding my breath, not wanting him to have died during the night, but almost hoping that he would have and I wouldn't have to make the decision. I decided to help my dear old friend one last time. But I think it was when I realized that we were hoping that he would die in his sleep, that I knew it was time.
These are so sad and making me cry I'm sorry you are going through this. When Abbey died it was ruff. I saw her get hit by the car and go flying in the air. When I wake up sometimes I wish she was there. Tank is always there though. I love the big bugger. Bentley stretches real big them comes. Tank takes a little longer to get up now due to his hip problem. He is only 5 so I'm dreading what it is going to be like for him when he is a "senior". I know you do not want to hear this but...My aunt had a shepherd/lab cross named Angel and she was one. Well she went deaf could not walk well and then went downhill very fast. Couldn't stand o her own and could not eat. She died in her sleep but I did not like to see how she suffered for 3 days. In the best interested of the dog I think you and your spouse should sit down think it through and listen to your dog she can tell you.
~It doesn't matter how smart the dog is,it matters how smart the owner is.
I feel so bad for you. I just went through this with my almost 15 year old girl. It is a terribly hard decision to make. I'm guessing that deep inside you already know what you are going to do. All you can do is evaluate her quality of life. If it's still there then you have more time. My old girl could not walk, we don't know why. She could walk in the morning but not that night. But the look in her eyes told us she didn't want to go on that way. When we made the decision to put her down was the first time that day that she wagged her tail at us. I feel that was a sign. She was ok with our decision. Good luck with making the decision. I feel for you.
I was recently faced with this same decision. Isn't it a shame that one of the hardest things to do for your pet is actually the kindest. I found it helpful when our vet told us, that when we think of the three things your dog likes to do best, if they cant do them anymore it is time to make that hard and kind decision. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but I know now that Marley is with all my other pets keeping watch over her people.
Splash born December 2010
Marley 1997 to April 2011 (RIP sweet girl)
My Indy will be 13 in June. He is on a combination of Rimadyl and tramadol, without these meds his pain would be intolerable and he would suffer. With them, he is able to thrive. Yes, I do have to lift him up and down the steps, onto and off of the bed, etc. but I think this is a small price to pay when he is still happy and enjoying life. Recently we took our three dogs to the Pennsylvania Lab fest. He laid on a blanket most of the time, smiling and watching everyone, but he also got up and wandered around from time to time. I figure when he's had enough, he'll let me know. He still loves to wrestle, eat, go for rides, lay in the sunshine on the deck, and be Mr. Sassy Pants when he wants something NOW.
Mom to Indy 6/12/98 to 11/16/11 (always in my heart), and Jobe 8-14-2000 to 6/24/2013 (Working TDI) English Labs, and Annie our Golden Retriever (TDI), and Kodiak (who will one day hopefully be a TDI dog if he doesn't kill me first).