When is it time to say goodbye?

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by Reauxman, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2002
    Location:
    Louisiana
    My little girl(not little any more) turned 13 last Nov. She still can see and hear somewhat, although she has a cyst on the left eye. The vet said removing it wasn't really worth it at her age, as she's be going blind soon. That was over a year ago. She is still eating well(was too well, we had to put her on a diet recently, 2 cups, she's 22 pounds). Before she was eating 4 cups a day. She looks kinda fat. She is now having a little trouble getting around. She has her highs and lows. Some days she runs, some days it's a struggle for her to get up and make it to the food dish to eat breakfast. This morning I watched her step off the patio(2" step down) and she tumbled, loosing balance and the front legs collapsed. She just laid there a few minuites and got up and went to the bathroom. It killed me to see her like that. She also is having trouble holding her urine. She no longer will go to the door and wait, she'll just go on the carpet by the door. Today I have been bringing her out, but thats not always possible. She, up till last year, was always the dog who would go to the door, come back to you, go back to the door...you get the picture. She'd let out a yelp if you didn't see her. Now she usually doesn't bother going to the door. She is also consuming a lot of water. Probably 4 cups a day. She kinda seems happy, she will often come up to you and lick your legs while at the computer, as to say here I am, lets play. She was always a playful dog up until about ayear or so ago. She'd be the one who'd fling her stuffed animal and it would be everywhere, on top of the TV, behind the couch. She'd chase her tail all day. The vet has said her kidneys are working fine, and gave us a 2 week perscription(which we had a year ago, and it worked for a while). He said we should begin thinking about putting her down. When would you say it would be time to let her go?
     
  2. airotciv

    airotciv Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,758
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Location:
    NW Oregon
    You'll know in your heart when the time has come. You know your dog better than the Vet or anyone. I have a 22 year old cat that has kidney problems and has had problems for the last 4 years. I had one Vet tell me to start thinking about putting her down. Well she has her good days and bad days, but she is happy and doing ok. When we put our old dog down, I knew in my heart it was time. Hope that helps.
     

  3. Goldenowner

    Goldenowner Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Location:
    New York
    Airotciv is right, you will know in your heart when the time has come.

    Our one Golden is 15 deaf & blind now. Every 3 moths she will crash. This started last
    August.
    Amber will fill up with fluid, can't control her urine. We follow her around with the
    Little Green Machine :)

    We put her on Baytril for 14 days. Then she is like her old self again.

    She will play with her woobies, roll around on her back. She has the best nose around.
    Can tell when you are eating & she is right there.

    So listen to your heart.
     
  4. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,992
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    Central Iowa
    It so sad when they get to the end of their life! My basic rule is to look at their quality of life. When they start having more bad days then good days then you have to start considering euthanizing her. Like everybody else said, you'll most likely know when the time is right. It is going to be very hard on you in the mean time because you'll keep wondering is THIS the sign, but when the day actually comes you will KNOW.

    What med did your vet put her on? I'm assuming Rimadyl or Deramaxx or something similiar since you mention her having problems getting around. Those drugs can really increase quality of life! I see that the vet drew blood to check kidneys-did he also check the liver and glucose levels? Some liver issues can cause increased thirst and urination and definitely diabetes can increase water consumption (they usually have weight loss with diabetes thought). It probably wouldn't hurt anything to give her a short course of antibiotics to see if that will help the urinating issue. There are other meds that may help if she's having sphincter problem (she would be having accidents in her sleep and be unaware of it). Maybe a diaper would be in order when you can't be there to let her out.

    Good luck with her. I hope you are able to keep these last few weeks/months/years happy for both of you.
     
  5. starjj

    starjj Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,512
    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Location:
    KY South Central
    We have a 15 year old chow/husky/lab mix that is deaf and blind totally in one eye. He scares me because he sleeps so deeply sometimes I think he is dead then I touch him and he jumps up scared because he doesn't hear us. His appetite is very good though and he seems to still have good days where he is actually playful. I won't let him suffer if it comes to that he will go with lots of love.
     
  6. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,799
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    My 15-year old dog doesn't see or hear well and had a stroke in March. She still staggers from time to time, but seems to enjoy her dinner and be able to jump up on the couch when we're not looking, so we're not ready to let her go yet. It's hard to know where the line of selfishness is, though.
     
  7. airotciv

    airotciv Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,758
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Location:
    NW Oregon
    Must agree that selfishness is apart of it you want them to be with us forever, that is the problem, but when I looked into the old dogs eyes, I knew what had to be. She told me that enough was enough., she was ready, but I wasn't. I had to respect her wishes. It was the best for her, NOT me.
     
  8. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,700
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Location:
    NC
    I agree that You will know! When I had to put my beloved 16+yr old Dachshund I knew in my heart that her time had come and that I had been keeping her here for me --not because she was having good days. I did not want her to suffer any more.. We now have a 15yr old Britt that is deaf and almost blind but when our truck starts up he is ready to go to the farm! As long as he eats, still gets excited about going to the farm and moves around without too much pain he will stay here with us.. Debbie
     
  9. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,832
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Location:
    Washington
    Oh, yes, you will know when it's time.

    I knew for a full year that my 15 year old cocker spaniel had liver cancer. He was doing fine, getting around and going on little "hikes" in the woods on the weekends. Then he started to cough, and looked bloated, and just didn't move the way he used to. I didn't need the vet to tell me this was the end - I knew, and had him put down before he felt any worse.

    It's hard, though, when you know the time is coming. I know I kept second guessing myself and wondering if I was doing the right thing.
     
  10. deb

    deb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,649
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2002
    Location:
    WI
    I guess I would try to get her weight down and see if that helps with her mobility. You don't say what she is eating...but I would say to put her on a senior diet from one of the higher end dog foods like Science Diet, Eukanuba etc. I've been feeding Sensible Choice for 14 yrs and gotten good results with it. The higher end foods are easier to fully digest and make less poop. 2 cups for 22 lb dog is a lot. Always carefully measure her food and try to find the right amount for her. Maybe splitting her food into 2 meals would help. too

    I bring this up because I used to have an old "baby" and keeping his weight down really helped him stay mobile. He was a 14 yr old 42 lb Lab/Shepard & mix got 3/4 C. of senior dog food 2x a day. He died 2 yrs ago of cancer.

    Just to give you an idea what our other dogs get food wise:
    The 5yr old 31 lb Border Collie cross gets 2/3 C. 2x a day
    The 1 yr old 23 lb Blue Healer cross gets 1/2 C. 2x a day
    The 2 yr old 16 lb Rat Terrier gets 1/4 C. 2x a day

    As for knowing when to let her go, I would watch her carefully and she will let you know when she wants to go. As long as she has fun, enjoys doing her favorite things and isn't in too much pain, I would just let her enjoy her sunset time. Spend more time with her now, it will make her happy and make you feel better too.

    hugs
    Deb
    in WI
     
  11. Steph in MT

    Steph in MT Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    557
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montana
    It's the hardest unselfish decision you ever have to make. We're crossing that bridge with our old gal Sophie right now. Over the last week she's really slowed down and hasn't eaten for the past two days. She's drinking lots of water and flinches when you touch her back in the kidney area. I think her system may be shutting down. We had an old cat that had adopted us that passed over a few days with lots of love and attention lavished on her as she went and my husband is hoping Sophie can go that way as well. I'm going to have to talk to him more seriously about having her put down tomorrow (god, it's hard to even type that- the tears are starting to stream). I think she's in pain and neither of us want that for her. This is only his second dog ever and he loves her dearly. I too, wish she could just pass at home surrounded by love but I think her circumstances are different from our old kitty who just shut down with no pain.
    Good luck with your girl Deb~ I can truly sympathize.
    Take care~
    Steph
     
  12. HunterTed

    HunterTed Rockin B Farm

    Messages:
    154
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    You are right. My Great Pyrenees is in pretty bad shape. He has good days and he has bad days. The hotter that it gets each year the more bad days that he has. In the winter time he is a little better. I just cannot find the strength to say it is time for him to go. Two years ago we moved him from our 500 acre ranch to a smaller place behind the house where I keep some sheep and goats. Now he has been moved to the "maternity" ward where he doesn't have to move around much. He spends his days laying under a huge shade tree and unless I have a new mother in there the only thing he has to keep his eyes on is my pet goat Precious. Yesterday I went and got a new Great Pyrenees puppy to take his place when he is no longer with me. My new puppy (I haven't named her yet) will never take his place in my heart but I hope that she will learn from him and keep his memory alive when he is gone.
     
  13. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,832
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Location:
    Washington
    Aw, Steph, there are tears in my eyes too after reading your post. It may not be possible for her to go peacefully at home, but she can go peacefully cradled in your arms at the vet's office.

    Here's a hug (((()))), take good care.
     
  14. PLPP

    PLPP Boer Lover

    Messages:
    134
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    New Castle, PA
    mY rule of thimb is when the quality of life for the animal is low it is time to go.

    You have to think for the dog not for ourselves very tought thing to do.
     
  15. Steph in MT

    Steph in MT Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    557
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montana
    Thanks Jen~ that means a lot.
    We talked about it this evening and Dave told me his fear was that the vet would want to keep her for tests and she would die alone without us there for her. We held our last dog Natonka as the vet put him to sleep and we both feel we owe Sophie our love and honor by being with her when her time comes. We'll make a decision tonight.
    Thanks again for the hug~
    Steph
     
  16. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2002
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Sorry, I just hadn't checked this post yesterday. She is eating about a cup in the AM and a cup in the PM. She is on Pedigree Senior. She's eaten Pedigree for all her life, and doesn't seem to like anything else(spoiled?). Her reflexes have seemingly gotten worse. It takes her 15-20 seconds to wake up when touched(to bring her out, if not brought out, she will now go on herself). Her good days have seemed to ended. I just am not ready to let her go. I think I'll spend the rest of the day and however many more she seems to hang on with her as much as I can.
    have to go, i'm losing it just talking about it.
     
  17. Steph in MT

    Steph in MT Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    557
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montana
    Thought I'd give an update and share our good news about Sophie. On about the third day of her extreme lethargy and not eating I was giving her some lovies and noticed that a marble sized tumor I had been treating her for homeopathically for the previous two weeks was completely gone! I think she may have been going through some form of detox as the tumor resorbed. She is back to eating and playing normally now and there's absolutely no sign of the tumor. We are still amazed she's made such a dramatic recovery. We thought for sure we were losing her.
    Take care all & have a great day~
    Steph
     
  18. skruzich

    skruzich Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    873
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Georgia
    If anyone has had to euthanize a pet, or is contemplating this act of love, It is going to be very hard for yall for a long time. You don't have to do it alone, you can meet with others who are going through this too. The site I went to when i had to euthanize my hound dog Hunter a year and a half ago as well as my schnauzer Odo died of cancer 6 months before Hunter, was www.aplb.org
    The site is free to go to and they ahve trained councellors there as well as other people who have had their pets go on to the bridge.

    It does help. The site again is www.aplb.org
    Login to the chatroom and create a username and password and your in. The councellors are Ellie, Dr. Sife (author of the loss of a pet) and ursula, as well as others are great!

    Steve
     
  19. airotciv

    airotciv Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,758
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Location:
    NW Oregon

    Thanks for the site. I still think of my old girl and cry. I miss her so much. It would be nice to talk about it with others that are going hear. So thanks never knew there was as site for this purpose.
     
  20. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2002
    Location:
    Louisiana
    I let go of my baby on July 1, 2005, after almost 14 years. She's in a better place, but it's so hard to be here without her.

    She was never that champion, heck, she never even saw a show ring. She was my little girl, the one that I could turn to, talk to when no one else seemed to listen. The one I could get mad at and she'd never get mad back. The one that used to nudge me every day as I sat here at the computer. Now I wish I had taken that few minuites and rubbed her stomach or scratched her neck instead of sitting here. She was the one who always knew when you were upset, and would be right there to comfort you. In the last few weeks she was the one I had to carry out to the restroom and watch stumble when she tried to walk. She was the one that taught me when to hold on and when to let go. All she had given me, she deserved peace, and the expense of my tears was nothing to me to know she was happy forever. We shall meet again.