Poorly old dog. Is it time? Telling children?(11 Posts)
My dog is a sweet natured 13 year old boxer. She has had cushing's for a few years and we've had lots of problems with toileting but we had a dog flap fitted recently which she got the hang of and stopped having accidents inside (clever girl!)
In the last couple of weeks though she has started to fall over a lot including down stairs and has her head tilted on one side. She won't eat her normal food but will eat sausages. She's lost weight. She still drinks water. Sometimes she seems to walk pretty straight then other times she'll stagger about and bang into things and fall over. I wince it sounds horrible. I'd love yo follow her about cushioning everything but I also have a 4 week old baby. Sometimes she just sways and falls from standing. She's had more accidents inside again too when she's not been able to get through the door straight. It's heart breaking to see and she looks at me as if to say what's going on?
The vet has said it's most likely a brain tumour. It can't really be treated as it would bring back all the symptoms of cushing's. She said she's near the end. Being pts has been discussed.
When I see her have a big wobble and smack herself on something and look upset I get really upset and scared for her (and me) and think it's time but then she had a little run on a walk the other day and seemed to enjoy it and I think I'd be too hasty. She likes being cuddled still.
I feel like why prolong the inevitable and it must hurt her to bash herself and feel dizzy all the time. This can only get worse. What if she starts breaking bones? The other part feels horrible thinking about having her pts.
I've also been told not to tell the older children who have always known her (10 and 11) the truth if we do have her pts; other advice seems to suggest being honest but not have them there. I don't want them to see her be really ill.
Any advice appreciated. Sorry for rambling.
This is one of the tougher decisions you would make in your life, OP. My parents always had dogs and their reasoning was this: If it is a struggle for your dog to live its daily life and is not able to live with dignity, and you can do nothing to improve the condition It is time. Only you can tell if it is time. And I recommend being honest with your older children and explain why you want to give your beloved pet a dignified ending.
Really sorry to hear this. I've been through this a couple of times and the best advice I was given was better a month too early than a day too late.
It's a difficult decision to make either way. The fact that she is still eating is good.
As far as the children are concerned, my DD was 10 when we had our very old GR PTS and I told her after the event but in retrospect I wished I'd given her more warning so she could have said goodbye.
I don't think I'd have them there at that age.
Thanks so much for your replies. Can't believe it's come to this stage, kind of thought she'd go on forever. Ive told the kids we'll have to say goodbye quite soon but I'll talk more with them and be honest but not have them there. Vet said not to as well. Making that phone call just seems so callous.
Oh I do feel for you. A good day makes it feel too soon and a bad day makes it feel you're in wrong. It's going to be a very hard decision.
We went through this with our old boy six years ago. After we had him PTS, I felt bad that I hadn't let him go sooner. He was falling over on walks etc. Our children were 12 & younger and all understood that his time had come.
Thanks everyone. We've stopped her cushing's meds to promote her natural steroids which is how they'd treat her tumour or neurological problems and she's perked up loads which is lovely. But... the cushing's is clearly making a comeback. She's asking for water all the time and has clearly been drinking toilet water whilst we've been out. So we'll need to reintroduce the meds for cushing's and will prob get the wobbliness back. Can't win poor love.
Just to update she was put to sleep this morning. She fell down the stairs on Sunday night and was staggering and falling about terribly yesterday. Didn't seem happy at all. She has barely eaten for days but we hand fed her chicken last night which she liked and the children were told and able to say goodbye. They were very glad for the warning. She was actually a bit better today which was nice for her rather than being desperately ill. They came here to do it and she went off peacefully with us stroking her.
I'm so sorry for the loss of your lovely girl but you have done the right thing for her. She won't have known a thing and passed peacefully in her own home knowing she was loved.
I really feel for you, OP. Having a much loved dog PTS is one of the hardest decisions you can make. However, it is clear that the time was right and that you were doing the kindest thing you could for her under the circumstances. She was obviously well loved, and she loved you; you gave her a wonderful life and a peaceful, dignified end.
Thank you so much for your kind messages. Everyone who knew her has been sad to hear she's gone, she really was a character.
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