Hello and help please

Discussion in 'Introductions & Saying Hello' started by Barbara Dunleavy, Sep 1, 2018.

  1. Barbara Dunleavy

    Barbara Dunleavy Registered Users

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    Hi everyone. I have just joined today. I have a beautiful black Labrador who will be 14 in October. I love him so much and he is such an important member of our family. He has been struggling for a while with weak back legs. He has been on Metacam for past 3 years and recently also Tramadol. In recent weeks he needs help to get up and cannot get up without help. In the last 2 weeks he has been having accidents in the house, mainly bowel movements. He still eats and is still waggy. He doesn't seem in pain.
    On Friday we had to take him for his medication check. He was out of breath and the vet examined him and said he has circulatory problems (pale gums) and said she recommended we put him to sleep!
    We were in shock. We said we needed time to think about it. I am devastated and want to do what is right for him, but I don't know what that is. Am I being selfish or deluded thinking he has more time because he is still eating well etc. Should I accept the vet's recommendation? I am at a loss and the thought of putting him to sleep feels like I am murdering him. I know his quality of life is not good. I just don't know what to do. I have been praying he would die in his sleep, but that is not to be. I am so sorry for the length of this post. Any comments will be so welcome. Thank you.
     
  2. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Oh Barbara my heart goes out to you. We had to make that dreadful decision this year with our gorgeous girl.

    It's awful i know but if it helps at all don't leave making it until your boy becomes really ill suddenly as this is worse. You want to have lovely memories of him.

    It sounds like in your heart you already know what's best for him ,thinking off you all sending love
     
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  3. Barbara Dunleavy

    Barbara Dunleavy Registered Users

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    thank you so much for your kind and lovely reply. I am so sorry to hear about your girl. This feels like one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.Thank you for understanding xxx
     
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  4. mandyb

    mandyb Registered Users

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    Hi Barbara, I really feel for you. It's an awful decision to have to make, but arranging for your lovely boy to have a peaceful, pain free end of life is the biggest, bravest gift of all. Remember the saying 'better a day too early, than a day too late.' Saffy/isla has put it so much better than me.
     
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  5. Granca

    Granca Registered Users

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    Hello Barbara, I’m so sorry you’ve found the forum because of having to make such a tough decision. It’s difficult to judge whether we are really considering what’s best for our dogs, but I think @Saffy/isla and @mandyb have already made some good points, particularly ‘better a day too early than a day too late’.

    You know your dog best, so I’m sure you will make the right decision for him. Thinking of you. :hug:
     
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  6. Stacia

    Stacia Registered Users

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    I am so sorry you are in such a sad position. You say your dog isn't in pain and he is eating well, if you think he is still finding life pleasurable despite his weakness on his back legs and his circulatory problems, then give him some more time. As the others have said, a day too early is better than a day too late, but he is your dog, you know him better than the vet. The time will come when you will KNOW it is the day you say goodbye, but if you are sure you are not being selfish and that he is enjoying life as much as he can, as I have said, give him more time.
     
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  7. Edp

    Edp Registered Users

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    I really feel for you. We are in pretty much the same position with our 13 year old malamute...I also wish he would just go peacefully in his sleep. He has many difficulties but still manages to look at me perkily....I just can’t do it yet. My vet ( who has put my previous 3 dogs down) always says when it’s his time, you will know. It won’t be long for Jasper, but it’s not time yet. Go with your gut and you will know. Our heart goes out to you
     
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  8. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    I think every dog owner can relate to what you've described there, Barbara - but that doesn't make it any easier for you. There is only one version of all of our dogs :(

    I recently had my 13yo Weimaraner PTS and it all happened quite suddenly at the end - including the decision. She had bone cancer and a huge lump on her face - but didn't seem to be in much pain (yet), although she was very slow on her walks and wheezing - which meant it had probably spread to her lungs. Then she started bleeding from the nostril on the same side as the tumour and it didn't stop and she was distressed by it.

    What I would say, from the point where I am now (3 months later), is:

    That even if I hadn't done it then, she didn't have much longer left and probably wouldn't be with us now, whatever I'd done. So, even if it was slightly early, I am satisfied that I didn't deprive her of much - except for a lot of pain and suffering. (Better a few days too early than an hour too late, kinda thing.)

    And also that whilst making the decision was absolutely horrendous beforehand, once it was over, I knew it was ok.

    But really also that only you can make the decision for your dog. I had people telling me to PTS from the moment of diagnosis, when she wasn't in pain. Only you can make the decision, but I would also really be guided by your vets too - they see lots of dogs in various stages of decline and are well-placed to give impartial advice about a dog's quality of life. xx
     
  9. Barbara Dunleavy

    Barbara Dunleavy Registered Users

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    Thank you so much Mandy. I know in my heart that I will know when it is the right time.
     
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  10. Barbara Dunleavy

    Barbara Dunleavy Registered Users

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    Hello everyone I cannot thank you enough for responding and reaching out to me. I am so sorry to read about your own beautiful and much loved family members for whom you had to make the final and awful decision.
    My beautiful boy is still here. I just believe I will know when it is time. It just really doesn't feel like right now. He is still waggy and enjoying his food. I have to trust my instincts are correct. The vet had no empathy and she really shocked us. I was left believing that she could actually take the decision away from me and that really scared me. Thank you all once again. Xxx
     
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  11. Cath

    Cath Registered Users

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    Hello and welcome to the forum. Thinking of you.
     
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  12. Aisling Labs

    Aisling Labs Registered Users

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    I truly understand what you are going through as I'm certain others here do as well.

    We are currently going through it with our 12 year old Callie. She was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor on her face in February and due to her age and the condition of her hips from her advanced age, decided not to take any drastic measures. We have had her on a steroid and benydryl and pain management since then and thought that - at the rate it was progressing - we would have only about 6 weeks left with her. She is still here but.....

    She now has labored breathing and another mast cell tumor forming on her leg. The family is waiting on me to make that phone call and in fact, I was ready to make it yesterday but we all decided "one more week" last night because she was still eating, still playing with the new puppy for a minute or two each day (she is the only one he is gentle with!) and still actively engaging with all of us. I have been sleeping downstairs with her now for several weeks as she can no longer make it up the staircase and cries at its foot if we leave her down alone. The reality is that yes, she is still having good days, but the bad ones where she sleeps the day away are becoming more the norm. She has lost her hearing, loses her balance and has developed fears that have her afraid to go from room to room after the sun has gone down.

    Up until recently, every dog I've ever spent a life with seemed to let me know when it was "time"; but two of the members of our last pack (when our Callie was a puppy through the age of 6) never did and I had to make the difficult realization that in some cases, they just don't. Like you, I have prayed that Callie would just go to sleep on the floor beside the couch where I am sleeping and pass.

    So, I've done some reading on the subject over the last few days as I bring myself to the point of making the decision. The overwhelming thought that I have come away with is "better a week too early than a day too late" (I think Pippa linked to a page for someone else's post and I went there as a starting point and that THERE is where I first read that.)

    I'm not ready yet...but I'm getting there. We've taken her to the beach for a final outing with her extended family....

    Hugs to you!
     
  13. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi Aisling labs in so sorry,i know myself how awful this is,just wanted to reach out and say thinking of you and your family and sending love
     
  14. Barbara Dunleavy

    Barbara Dunleavy Registered Users

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    Thank you so much for taking
    Thank you so much for responding to me. I am so sad and sorry to hear about your Callie. It is an horrendous time. We have had Alfie since he was 8 weeks old and he has been everywhere with us. I am just praying that something will tell me when it is time. I am sending love and hugs to you. I wish our beautiful pets could just close their eyes and go to sleep.
     
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  15. Brenda Rupkey

    Brenda Rupkey Registered Users

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    Oh, Barbara, sending you lots of love and hugs. We had to say goodbye to one of our poodles July 31st of this year, he was 16 years old. He was blind, deaf and was starting to suffer from dimensia. His back legs also had very little muscle mass but was able to get around but at times would get lost in our back yard. We finally realized that even though he was eating and his tail still wagged when we gave him treats, this was not a good quality of life. It's always a hard decision to make but I know in my heart and soul, it was what was right for him. Follow your heart...
     
  16. Barbara Dunleavy

    Barbara Dunleavy Registered Users

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    Dear Brenda, thank you so much. I am so sorry to hear about your beautiful boy. It is so kind of you to respond to me especially when you must be hurting so much. It is such a painful thing. Our dogs are such a part of us and give us so much love and comfort. I am sending love and warmest thoughts back to you. xxx
     
  17. Mardi

    Mardi Registered Users

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    Hi Barbara, my heart breaks for you! It truly is one of the hardest decision we ever have to make. I lost two Golden Retrievers within 9 months of each other, one in Oct 2015, and the other in July 2016... they both lived to be about 12 and a half. My husband and I were so devastated over losing them that we said we never wanted to have to go through that again. So we were dogless for 2 years before we both admitted how much we missed having the pitter patter of paws in
    the house. SO, we dove in and adopted two chocolate labs (brother and sister). Trey and Sadie are now 4 months old and have brought us so much love and joy again. I know at some point and time we will have to make that heart wrenching decision two more times... but for all they give us, when it comes to that time, its the least we can do to be with them and help them to cross that rainbow bridge. Best to you and your beautiful boy ...
     
  18. Barbara Dunleavy

    Barbara Dunleavy Registered Users

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    Dear Mardi thank you so much for your kind response. I am so pleased you now have 2 new family members. I am hoping and trusting that I will know when the time is right for my boy. Your kind thoughts mean a lot. Thank you x
     
  19. Diane Hess

    Diane Hess Registered Users

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    You will know.......trust your instincts.
     
  20. Barbara Dunleavy

    Barbara Dunleavy Registered Users

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    Hello everyone I want to let you know that my beautiful Alfie was put to sleep on Saturday morning. He took a turn for the worse on Friday evening. His front legs as well as his back legs wouldn't support him and he was having breathing problems. I sat up with him that night and on Saturday morning we phoned the vet. I just knew it was time and that his life was too hard. A lovely vet and nurse came 2 hours later to our house. They were so kind and gentle and very respectful of him and of us. I was talking to Alfie the whole time and holding his beautiful face and telling him how much we loved him. It was very quick and he wasn't stressed or frightened.
    So, it is as if the logical part of my brain knows it was a loving and kind thing we did but the emotional part feels so gulity and bad. I keep seeing his eyes looking at me so full of trust and love. I was telling him everything was ok whilst at the same time we were ending his life.
    Forgive me for this long post, but I feel racked with guilt even though I know his
    life was coming to an end and had we not called the vet his end may not have been so peaceful. Thank you for listening. I am heartbroken. X
     

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