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16 year old dog. Help, please.

(48 Posts)
Mollymax Tue 05-Jul-11 19:29:04

Our wonderful 16 year old Border Collie is coming to the end of her life, we really don't want to drag out the inevitable but also want to make the right decision at the right time.
She is blind, deaf and getting more incontinent.
Her hips are very arthritic and she finds it difficult to bget up if she has been laying down for a while.
She does not enjoy her walks anymore.
She finds it very difficult to settle at night time, and paces around.

But, she is my beautiful, wonderful faithful friend and we have been through so much together over the last 16 years.
Please help me make a decision.

bumpybecky Tue 05-Jul-11 19:41:09

I'm so sorry sad our 14 year old lab x collie was pts in january. It was such a difficult decision to make, but her quality of life had got so poor it was the last kindness we could do for her really. For us when she couldn't walk properly (on top of the deafness, poor sight, bad breathing and incontinence) it was the end. She wasn't enjoying her food or walks sad

Has your dog seen the vet recently? are there any other options with painkillers? it might be worth taking her in and having a frank discussion (don't worry if you cry all over the vet, they'll be used to it!)

sad

Scuttlebutter Tue 05-Jul-11 22:11:48

It's a very difficult time. An American vet has come up with a very useful tool called the HHHMMM scale which helps owners consider the issues facing them and their pet now and in the future, at the end of life. [[ http://www.homevet.com/petcare/documents/quality.pdf Link here ]]

I hope you find it useful when thinking about this.

Please be brave for your dear friend. As owners, this can be the last great kindness. One other thing, when the time comes, many vets are willing to come and PTS at home - may be worth asking your vet if they can do this, especially if your dog gets stressed at the vets or finds travelling difficult.

sad Sending you all best wishes.

Scuttlebutter Tue 05-Jul-11 22:14:25

It's a very difficult time. An American vet has come up with a very useful tool called the HHHMMM scale which helps owners consider the issues facing them and their pet now and in the future, at the end of life. [[ http://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/vet-practice-news-columns/bond-beyond/quality-of-life-scale.aspx link here ]]
I hope you find it useful when thinking about this.

Please be brave for your dear friend. As owners, this can be the last great kindness. One other thing, when the time comes, many vets are willing to come and PTS at home - may be worth asking your vet if they can do this, especially if your dog gets stressed at the vets or finds travelling difficult.

sad Sending you all best wishes.

Mrsfluff Tue 05-Jul-11 22:20:35

I'm so sorry you are facing this decision. I would agree that it is worth chatting to your vet, they are usually honest about the situation/prospects. I agree with Scuttlebutter though - as owners we owe it to our beloved pets to do the right thing, even though it's incredibly hard. We had to make the decision 2 yrs ago for our beautiful 14 girl and our vet was brilliant. Me made the decision to have Mae PTS at home and I'm so glad we did, she'd hated going to the vets and I didn't want her to be stressed at the end.

I shall be thinking of you.

Mollymax Wed 06-Jul-11 11:01:35

Thank you for the kind posts.
I don't think there is much more the vet can do for her, it is as though she is slowly wasting away.
Somedays she can be quite bright and alert. We met a puppy today and he seemed to perk her up for a while.
I will take a look at that link. Scuttle.

Mollymax Mon 18-Jul-11 18:31:53

Sorry to bump an old thread, but wanted to let you know that we went to see the vet last week. He said that our dogs nerves had gone in her back legs and that was the reason she was scratching and biting all the time.
With all of her other problems we discussed PTS and have decided that is the right thing to do.

We have made an appointment for tomorrow morning.
I am now sitting here thinking, are we doing the right thing. I feel dreadful and not sure I can go ahead with it.
She has been brighter over the last couple of days.
Please hold my hand.

AllTheYoungDoods Mon 18-Jul-11 18:36:29

Oh MOlly, you poor thing. I have no idea how you know when it is time to make that decision, but I did once read that it's better to do it a day too early than a day too late and that struck a chord with me.
Am sobbing a little for your lovely collie now. Sending you best wishes and lots of strength.

BeerTricksPotter Mon 18-Jul-11 18:40:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Empusa Mon 18-Jul-11 18:43:50

I'm so sorry you are going through this.

Will be thinking of you tomorrow!

<hugs>

bumpybecky Mon 18-Jul-11 19:15:38

oh Molly sad I'm so sorry. I know it's an incredibly difficult decision.

Treacle was brighter that last afternoon with us (despite me crying every time I looked at her!) and I wondered if it really was the right time for her. As AllTheYoungDoods said though, better to go a day too soon than a day too late sad

Will be thinking of you both tomorrow xx

Mollymax Mon 18-Jul-11 19:18:47

We don't know the vet we saw. Our dog has been very well and healthy so have not needed to go to the vets often. I think that is why it is so hard to see her this way.
When we took her last week the vet was the one to suggest PTS and said he would do the same if it was his dog.
So why do i feel so dreadful about it.
I do agree better a day too early than too late, but how do you really know?

throckenholt Mon 18-Jul-11 19:23:33

we knew with ours just by looking her in the eye (also a border collie). She was just so sad and had had enough. We decided it was the kindest thing to do. And it was very easy for her at the end - quick and calm.

We were lucky we had had a fantastic fortnight's holiday with her the week before.

It is inevitable with dogs - their lives are so much shorter than ours. You have to make the best of their time with you and let them go with good grace.

Be prepared to be very upset for a while - she has been a big part of your family for a long time.

BeerTricksPotter Mon 18-Jul-11 19:24:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mollymax Mon 18-Jul-11 19:30:27

Don't apologise Beer. I really appreciate your advice. I don't think another vet will say anything different.

She has lost her spark, and I know we are doing the right thing for her.
It is just so difficult knowing that this time tomorrow she will not be here with me.

Empusa Mon 18-Jul-11 19:52:11

"So why do i feel so dreadful about it."

It's perfectly natural to feel dreadful. Knowing that it's right isn't the same as feeling it's right.

It'll be for the best though. Give her lots of cuddles tonight.

RainySmallHands Mon 18-Jul-11 19:54:17

Oh you poor thing sad.

We lost our last dog suddenly on her 9th birthday (emergency vet call out late one evening, painkillers and sent home, then she died undergoing investigative surgery). I was pregnant and it was horribly shocking: within 15 hours she had gone from fine to just well, gone. And I still remember how utterly scared and wretched my lovely girl looked when they took her. It must be so terribly tough for you right now, but please try to have a calm, gentle evening secure in the knowledge that you ARE doing the right thing. At least she won't have to go through a terrifying final ordeal like an acute illness which would necessitate being PTS. So sorry. x

Scuttlebutter Mon 18-Jul-11 20:20:05

Molly, this is the news that we all, as dog owners dread. I am so, so sorry.

Give your darling a peaceful evening. Is the vet coming to you at home tomorrow? This can often be a more peaceful, quieter way to go, as you avoid the hustle and bustle of the surgery, especially if she is finding travelling difficult.

I know it doesn't feel like it at the moment, but this is the most loving, and kind and brave thing you can do, for your wonderful, loyal companion and friend. If the vet has confirmed this level of nerve damage, it really is the best thing.

We will all be thinking of you. sad

coccyx Mon 18-Jul-11 21:33:22

Its bloody horrible. Day before we had our wonderful old man of a labrador PTS, i was a mess. Kept looking at him and crying, i was counting the hours off!. But you know I woke up and knew it was the right thing to do for him. His quality of life was limited and not improving.
He was a wonderful companion for many years and I had to be brave and do the responsible thing.
Going to be tough day, well weeks really, but sending you a big hug and thoughts are with you

Mollymax Mon 18-Jul-11 22:20:37

Thank you all so much, all your thoughts have made this evening more bearable.

MotherJack Mon 18-Jul-11 22:53:53

Oh Molly.... I'm so, so sorry. I will hold your hand across the ether tomorrow. I have done it three times and it is never easy... but it has always been right. I miss each and every one of them, but I do know I did the right thing at the right time. I would personally have a ceremony to mark how special she was to you in her life... and do something like planting a tree. It seems so futile and comparatively meaningless now, but in time you will see it and it will allow you to celebrate her life with you, rather than mourn it X

chickchickchicken Mon 18-Jul-11 23:10:37

i will be thinking of you. i havent had to make this decision yet and hope i am brave enough to not let my oldie suffer. i totally agree with better a day early, than a day late. they are such loyal friends, arent they. take care

BeerTricksPotter Tue 19-Jul-11 09:16:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Empusa Tue 19-Jul-11 10:48:42

Thinking of you x

bumpybecky Tue 19-Jul-11 10:55:22

thinking of you both this morning x

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