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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Its with heavy heart that I write this. Indy, my heart dog, has had bad legs from day one (he just turned 11 in June), with bilateral elbow dysplasia (repaired) when he was one, to a blown knee when he was 6 (repaired and failed, leaving an atrophied leg), to a tumor removed from the atrophied toes a month ago...Now we have noticed his one and only "good" leg that has been compensating for the atrophied leg in the back, has started to bow out in the upper leg and his ankle is angulating, making it difficult for him to walk...We have tried wrapping and bracing it, but that makes his foot roll forward and he can't flip it out to walk on it...soooo, I take everything off and he can ambulate a little.... We help him up and down the stairs (which has been for a while), but yesterday he had gotten pretty bad and I was in tears.... He's already on 1 Rimadyl and 3 Tramadol at breakfast, 1 Rimadyl and 3 Tramadol for dinner, and in the winter time I would give an additional 1-3 Tramadol at night (which he got 3 last night)...

He doesnt got potty as much as the other two and I'm not sure if this is due to the pain of walking or just not having to go...Nor can I gauge how much pain he is in...

I know this question is asked all the time, and I know everyone says "you will know"... but this dog is completely healthy from all other angles, he's not sick, but his poor ole legs are going....I just dont know if its time for him, or wait and see if the additional meds will work...My fear is that this leg will break, tear, etc. and it'll be the weekend...I'm not sure what to do...and my heart is breaking....

****UPDATE*****
Took Indy to our vet, who is wonderful...She said there is increased swelling in the knee (which is arthritic and atrophied) and he is compensating with his other leg to shift the weight so he only has to toe-touch the bad leg... Basically, being 11 and having undergone so many surgeries, including that leg, all we can do is adjust his medications, rate his day every night if he had good quality of life, and then decide when it is time to ease his suffering...So, I guess, I'm just going to spoil him rotten (yeah more than usual) and do what I can for him, until I cant ease the pain anymore....

I love him more than life and without him, I'm just a lost soul...He was the only light in my last marriage, helped me through a horrible divorce, and kept me from falling apart...He's my best friend, my protector, my heart-stoppingly beautiful yellow boy...I'd give 20 years of my life if it would help him...
 

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My heart breaks for you. My dog, Caleb, was a GSD mix we got from the local SPCA in 1993. When we got him we didn't know it (and neither did the SPCA) but he had hip displaysia (4/5 displaced at 5 months old). From the time we discovered we didn't know when it would be too much for him. We were told if he lived to be 5 it would be a miracle. He lived to be 11 and died quietly in his bed one night. We were fortunate in that way, and while we loved him and wouldn't have wanted a life without knowing him, it was 11 years of always wondering when we would have to decide for him - an otherwise healthy dog.

I have no answer for you ... just {{hugs}}
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My heart breaks for you. My dog, Caleb, was a GSD mix we got from the local SPCA in 1993. When we got him we didn't know it (and neither did the SPCA) but he had hip displaysia (4/5 displaced at 5 months old). From the time we discovered we didn't know when it would be too much for him. We were told if he lived to be 5 it would be a miracle. He lived to be 11 and died quietly in his bed one night. We were fortunate in that way, and while we loved him and wouldn't have wanted a life without knowing him, it was 11 years of always wondering when we would have to decide for him - an otherwise healthy dog.

I have no answer for you ... just {{hugs}}
Indy just turned 11 in June...and like they told you, we didnt expect him to be here for this long...I have nightmares of making the decision, then being told there may have been something else that could have been done after we already put him to sleep... I've been up all night in tears...
 

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I put my 13yr old black lab Gunner to sleep in September. I knew it was time. Just like you, I questioned the awful WHEN because he was a perfectly healthy dog but had terrible legs his entire life. He was on pain meds his entire life starting at 3 months. He had double elbow dysplasis (multiple surgeries) torn ACL twice (multiple surgeries with a bad wound infection requiring hospitalization) a stomach ulcer from all the meds... It was a miracle he lived as long as he did. Part of it though was me dragging him along, now that I look back.

What was hard was that he was always happy. I was waiting for the happiness to go, and then I'd know. I just realized one day (he was accidentally pooing in the house at this point) that he was being happy while in too much pain for his own good. Our vet agreed it was time. For me it came down to not what he could do, or if he was still happy, but how much pain was he in. Maybe talk to your vet about increasing meds? Why is that leg bowing out? I know how it feels to keep your fingers crossed that their last "good" leg will hold up :( I know just how you feel. You really are in my thoughts.
 

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I'm so sorry. Been there with a 14 year old dog who was otherwise healthy and no longer able to get around and in constant pain. She's been gone 12 years and it still makes me tear up to think about losing her.

It's the hardest part of being a responsible and loving dog owner.
 

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My heart breaks for you. My thoughts are if he is in good spirits, in otherwise good health, heart lungs, liver,kidneys etc, ask your vet about looking into a wheelchair and physical therapy. The wheelchair buckles like a harness on his chest and the wheels take the place of the back legs. Swim therapy will help keep his remaining muscles from atrophying from a lack of excersize
 

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My heart is breaking for you too. We went through this situation with our 15 year old 'pound puppy'. Our kids were both gone to college so it was up to my husband and me. Our vet was so supportive and helped us in making the decision when it was time. Talk to your vet about the medication and also his 'good' back leg. But know that our beloved dogs will put on their happy faces for us no matter how much pain they are in - I know it is just tearing your heart out. I am so very sorry. Many {hugs} and I will keep good thoughts and prayers for you and Indy.
 

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Gah.. i'm so sorry you're going through this.. i have a feeling it's pretty much like looking into my future.. i hope you find the answers you're looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I put my 13yr old black lab Gunner to sleep in September. I knew it was time. Just like you, I questioned the awful WHEN because he was a perfectly healthy dog but had terrible legs his entire life. He was on pain meds his entire life starting at 3 months. He had double elbow dysplasis (multiple surgeries) torn ACL twice (multiple surgeries with a bad wound infection requiring hospitalization) a stomach ulcer from all the meds... It was a miracle he lived as long as he did. Part of it though was me dragging him along, now that I look back.
I worry about this also, that I'm being selfish and wanting him with me...He's the reason I am the way I am now... In the words of Jack Nicholson, "He completes me."

My heart breaks for you. My thoughts are if he is in good spirits, in otherwise good health, heart lungs, liver,kidneys etc, ask your vet about looking into a wheelchair and physical therapy. The wheelchair buckles like a harness on his chest and the wheels take the place of the back legs. Swim therapy will help keep his remaining muscles from atrophying from a lack of excersize
His front legs are arthritic too, he wouldnt be able to handle the pressure or weight (my first thought also)...right now, I'm lifting an 84 pound lab when he needs it..

Gah.. i'm so sorry you're going through this.. i have a feeling it's pretty much like looking into my future.. i hope you find the answers you're looking for.
I pray this isnt so...I'd hate for anyone to go through this...You are in my prayers that your puppers will get along much better than this...

UPDATE IN FIRST POST FOLLOWING VET VISIT
 

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There are no words we can say that will make this easier for you. My heart breaks everytime I read a post about one of our pups going through this. I dread the day that I have to face this myself. I just pray that you have many, many more wonderful days with Indy before you have to say goodbye. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.
 

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Lots of love to your Indy. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I wish Otis could just tell me if he's still happy, or if it's all just too much for him anymore.
 

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My heart breaks for you, know that you and Indy are in my prayers. This is the hardest part of having a loving, best friend. I pray you will know when the time is right..I knew, I felt it in my heart. I lost Casey in Jan 09, like you and Indy, Casey helped me through a really difficult time in my life. Sitting with her and petting her was the only place I found comfort and true peace, I don't know what I would have done without her. She became very old and very sick...there was no quality of life for her anymore. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Indy knows you are her angel, and what ever decision you make, she will know it is the best decision. I pray you both find comfort and peace. Hugs and prayers to you both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks so much everyone...I was telling my DH about you guys and how much it meant to me with what EVERYONE said...It helps my heart and puts me in the right frame of mind for what will have to be done....Thank you from all of us.
 
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