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Time to say goodbye?

(11 Posts)
veryconfusedandupset Tue 03-Nov-09 15:33:35

Our petit Basset Griffon Vendeen will be 16 on Saturday and life is a bit of a struggle with him now. The good point is that he has a good appetite and eats all his food. Apart from eating he is really not too good.

Fairly incontinent - we always come down to a mess in the morning, and that is only from about midnight to 6am. If left unattended not reliable in the house - and by that I mean going into another room, not going out altogether.

If we leave him outside in the garden for a while lies down in mud and sometimes poos and then lies down in it - he can't see very well so tends to tread in poo anyway.

Does not relate to us at all, not pleased to see us, no tail wagging or response - seems to have memory loss.

He does not seem to be in any pain, but isn't walking very well and can't manage a walk anymore. Doesn't bark or wag tail.

I feel so sad because he is older than DS2 who can't remember life without him and he has been a great dog - DS2 was home birth and he was in next room at time, can remember his astonishment at new person in house. DH and most of our friends keep telling me it is time to say goodbye - though DH bottles it a bit if I talk about getting vet out. I know he can't live much longer anyway ( 14 is quite old for his breed, longest lived one ever was 17 years 3 months)But it is such a difficult decision.

Can anyone help me decide if it is time?

claricebeansmum Tue 03-Nov-09 15:36:40

Is he enjoying life? Is he distressed by incontinence? Is he interested in life around him, being loved etc?

It might be worth seeing a vet for an opinion. He might be able to give something for the incontinence.

FfreckleFface Tue 03-Nov-09 15:36:53

I can't add any advice, I'm afraid, not having had experience of an elderly dog, but just wanted to say how sorry I am.

Must be an excruciating decision. Have you spoken to a vet? They might be able to advise on timescales etc.

BellaBonJovi Tue 03-Nov-09 15:40:44

If he is not suffering, but not really enjoying life either, then I would say the only factor which will swing it either way is how you and dh feel.

It is a hard decision, but ime people usually know when the time is right in cases like these.

Best of luck.

silver73 Tue 03-Nov-09 16:32:54

My heart goes out to you at this time. It is such a hard decision. The logical me would think it is probably time to call it a day but the emotional side would be distraught and would be racked with guilt.

I had a dog that had to be put down when she was 17 years old. I had her when I was single through marriage and three children and the hole she left in my heart took years to heal.

If it was me I think I'd talk to the vet too and see what he/she thinks before you make your decision.


GrimmaTheNome Tue 03-Nov-09 16:43:10

Oh dear - thats so sad. It may be that your dear old dog is suffering from canine dementia. I think it would be sensible to talk it over with your vet - I don't know if there are any treatments which might help.

veryconfusedandupset Wed 04-Nov-09 12:01:18

Thank you everyone. We tried doggy Alzheimer's treatment 3 years ago but it didn't make much of a difference - he still didn't really relate to us, but did revert to sitting with us rather than always going off to his bed every evening, so at £40 per month we didn't carry on with that. Vet said last time he saw Ddog that he was quite incredible, and the general state of his hips and the fact that his balls are nearly dragging on the ground now should be bothering him, but he just seemed to be able to carry on regardless. Might take him to vets for a once over next week to see if there is anything we could do to help him, then review again at end of November. he is our third dog - in nearly 30 years of dog ownership for me, so have been there before, but somehow it seems harder with this one to reach a decision as he can walk relatively well and eats with enthusiasm.

Lulumama Wed 04-Nov-09 12:07:17

hi, we have had an ongoing similar issue with our old dog, who is also 16, for the last year, he has been weeing/pooing inside, forgetting he has just been out, and woofing at the door to go out again. can ask to go out every 10 minutes, then stands there looking at me like i;m an idiot !! lost loads of weight, two near fatal bouts of gastro and one bad encounter with an easter egg, but keeps pulling through

am worried that one day we will come downstairs and he will have died on his own

he does not spend much time with us either, prefers to lie in his basket, and if we're all upstairs, will often lie in his basket barking

DH is adamant that we should do nothing, but i don't want to wait until the dog is in pain and suffering or to find him dead/dying

having teh same problem with our rabbit who has a tumour too sad

it's the worst part of having a pet

sorry not to be much help, but i understand what you are going ythrough

Lulumama Wed 04-Nov-09 12:08:57

BTW, when i spoke to the vet last year, he was of the opnion that putting him to sleep was the best option, but he has lived another it is hard to say. but he is frail, deaf, going blind, and forgetful and not always continent, i don't think it is fair but DH got him as a 6 week old pup and can't bear to thikn of not having him anymore. we do have another dog who is 11, who will be devastated too. not to mention the distress of the children

veryconfusedandupset Thu 05-Nov-09 10:20:24

I have given Ddog a bath this week - he is still my baby and I just feel so much love for him, so will try to carry on fo ra bit longer with his difficult geriatric ways. I checked his KC docs yesterday and he will be 16 on Saturday,so only seems fair to make a fuss of him and enjoy (try to) what might only be a few more weeks.

BellaBonJovi Thu 05-Nov-09 11:16:28

When there's no suffering then it's really just a case of when you feel the time has come, OP. I'm sure you'll know when you feel that.

Wishing him a happy birthday - what a terrific age you have got him to: he must have been very well cared for wink

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