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Any vets about or those who have had old dogs - Please, I really need some help

(43 Posts)
dowdowpen Sat 10-Oct-09 15:30:59

I'm really struggling and would really appreciate some advice, our dear old spaniel is very poorly and we're heartbroken.
I have another thread here about how he went off his food and vet thought dental op might help, but its not his teeth. He's nearly 14 he's now on a drip and has been for 36 hrs. He has not eaten for 5 days yet continues to have severe diarrhea. The vet describes him as still flat, no better than when I took him (he was very poorly I had to carry him in). They have run bloods but nothing obvious found. He now has abdominal pain which he didn't have yesterday, they've scanned his abdomin and found nothing obvious - even though there is a mass on his ribs that was obvious to me and the first vet we saw.
When my sisters dog died she went just the same way for a couple of weeks beforehand. Our vet says he will keep doing more tests but I'm worried we may be prolonging his pain and suffering sad

fruitspooksbatsintheeaves Sat 10-Oct-09 15:35:02

our dog just died of old age. He stopped eating, then a couple of days later stopped drinking and then collapsed in the garden. There was nothing 'wrong' with him he was just old and everything just stopped working.

TBH if I were you I'd let him go. I know how hard it is but if they cannot find anything wrong its maybe just age and it sounds like he has had enough.


theDeadPirateRoberts Sat 10-Oct-09 15:36:21

I'd agree it's time to let him go. So sad for you.

fruitspooksbatsintheeaves Sat 10-Oct-09 15:36:45

(our dog had diarrhea too, even though he wasn't eating)

MmeGoblindt Sat 10-Oct-09 15:37:52

What does the vet say? Does he say it is time to let go? It does sound like he is suffering

dowdowpen Sat 10-Oct-09 15:43:22

I'm thinking that too but I'm not sure I'm getting that feeling from the vet. Did actually say today 'well he is nearly 14 and I don't want him to suffer' so vet replies we'll keep him on the drip and try more tests. I don't want to give up on him but the thought of him poorly, alone and suffering needlessly is killing me sad

wildstrawberryplace Sat 10-Oct-09 15:43:37

What does the vet think? When our dog was v. elderly and had kidney failure, our vet told us the kindest thing was to put her to sleep so she would die without suffering. So that's what we did.

Is he offering to do more tests because he thinks that's what you want, or because he thinks there is a chance of enough recovery to have some quality of life?

wildstrawberryplace Sat 10-Oct-09 15:44:44

sorry x posts

Drusilla Sat 10-Oct-09 15:45:12

We hd a 12.5 yr old Springer who dies in May. he went downhill over a week, off his food, not interested in going out (a big thing for a springer!) He also developed some sort of internal bleeding as everything very pale so took him to the vets. Vet thought probably some sort of tumour, or else something bad up with liver or spleen. All would have involved our dog being admitted that day for further tests or possibly procedures, with no idea of exactly what it was or if it would be an outcome worth putting the dog through that. I think the key question to ask yourself and the vet (if you trust him/her) is are you being unfair to your dog if you decide against treatment? We decided to have our dog PPTS to sleep at our house later that day. Am I right in thinking yours is about 13 or 14? If he is in pain, no apetite, no interest in anything and the vet has no idea what it could be, it does sound like it is time to let him go. Very for you, I know how it feels.

Drusilla Sat 10-Oct-09 15:45:59

Sorry, that was long. Is your dog at the vets or at home with you?

dowdowpen Sat 10-Oct-09 15:54:21

He's at the vets. We don't know the vet who's treating him, its a large practice and the vet we knew/trusted no longer works there.
We will be phoning them back later on and think we'll have to be quite clear that we are asking their opinion as to what we should do sad

Drusilla Sat 10-Oct-09 16:02:07

REading everything you have, if I were you I would bring him home, give him cuddles and get him comfy, and then ask the the vet to come to your house to pts. However, I appreciate I am not you and it is obv up to you. But he is a really old dog and if the vet can find nothing obviously wrong with him I really don't think you should feel bad or that you have let him down

dowdowpen Sat 10-Oct-09 16:10:25

Tthank you, that's comforting as I really, more than anything, want to do what is best for him. I'm reluctant to bring him home though because of the young dd's. They are really missing him but understand he is very old like nan so may not make it home again (like nan didn't) sad. So would go in to the vets when it is time sad sad

Drusilla Sat 10-Oct-09 16:16:03

If it's any help we had our 4 yr old DS with us when the vet did the deed, and there were no problems. Good luck with whatever you do. It is just awful, but I kept telling myself he was with us at home at the very end, what a wonderful life he had and how much he knew he was loved. Will go now as am welling up

themachinist Sat 10-Oct-09 16:17:18

Poor you. It so difficult and I probably should have made the decision sooner than I did (at 17).

I think it sounds like it is time. Very sad.

I agree with Drusilla though, if you could possibly face it it is so much nicer to have them pts at home. I suppose it depends on your dd ages and understanding though. Good luck whatever you decide.

LittleRedCar Sat 10-Oct-09 16:21:52

tbh it sounds like it is time to let him go.

IME vets are very reluctant to suggest putting a dog to sleep in cases like these - they would rather let you come to that decision by yourself.

Much sympathy x

twooter Sat 10-Oct-09 16:25:21

if he's got an iv line in, it would actually be fairer to be put down at the vets rather than at home. that way, he'd feel no further injections, and wouldn't have to undergo a possibly uncomfy car journey. it would be harder for you though.

twooter Sat 10-Oct-09 16:28:04

it does sound as if you need a good chat with the vet, to see what prognosis he expects.

does he know that you don't want to keep him going unless there's a chance for a good quality of life?

aristoBLACKcat Sat 10-Oct-09 16:31:24

sad this is such a hard choice.

your dog does sound really poorly and it could be the time to let him go.

thinking of you and your lovely spaniel.

dowdowpen Sat 10-Oct-09 16:32:15

Was thinking that as he does have an IV in, it may be kinder that way.
This is really horrible.
Thanks for your thoughts and sympathy.

wannaBe Sat 10-Oct-09 16:42:31

sad for you.

The question I would ask yourself is, if they were to find out what was wrong, how much treatment would you want him to go through?

Tbh I can understand your reluctance to put him to sleep given that they don't actually know what is wrong with him. I think I would want to know first so that I knew what I was up against, i.e. if it was a tumour I would probably not be wanting dog to go through invasive treatements, but if it were an infection there might be a chance of it getting better and a few more months of decent quality life. How was he before this all happened?

Tbh I would be inclined to speak to your vet. Have a very honest conversation with him/her and ask for an opinion on what they think might be the issue. And ask the question: "if it was your dog, what would you do?"

I would be clear with the vet that you want him/her to be totally honest with you though. Vets are usually reluctant to give their personal opinion, because it's your dog, not theirs, and your decision iyswim. But make it clear that you want to be guided by what they think is best.

I have had similar conversation with my own vet recently about my old dog, and I trust that she will be honest with me if she needs to be, but she's also said that it's likely that I will just know when it is time. sad

tibni Sat 10-Oct-09 16:56:20

Very difficult decision for you. Just wanted to say I am thinking of you.

dowdowpen Sat 10-Oct-09 17:02:43

We don't want invasive treatment either, so best outcome was that it was an infection/virus but he's still getting worse not better so do feel this might be the time. We've just rung up and we're waiting for a call back from the vet now, if it doesn't sound good we'll suggest we go in.sad

MmeGoblindt Sat 10-Oct-09 17:04:50

Thinking of you and your poor wee dog. My parents had a spaniel and she was the lovliest, gentlest of dogs. I still miss her, and she died 17 years ago.

minimu Sat 10-Oct-09 17:40:48

Poor you - a horrible decision to make but part of being a loving and caring dog owner. Thinking of you

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