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When do I let him go?

(3 Posts)
TheORIGINALWoofLady Thu 06-Oct-11 13:22:07

Hi all,

I guess I'm only posting more as a poll, rather than for advice but feel free to bandy some ideas about too...

I have a JRT-x, who is of unknown history and age. When I rescued him nearly 6 years ago, the vet thought he might be between 6-8 years old, so fast forward, and he might be 12-14.

Basically, over the past year to 18 months, he's had little problems surface up, and each on their own is manageable, but lump it all together and I'm starting to wonder where to draw the line.

In a nutshell, the long-term problem is that he drinks excessively, thus wees excessively. Long dribbles of wee all round the house.

We've had him tested for diabetes of various ilks, and for standard diabetes the vets are drawing a big fat 0. For the hormonal diabetes, they tried him out on the medication, but as you have to drop it in his eyes and getting him to lie still long enough to drop in one, let alone two eyes, is a challenge. We persevered for a month, but with no real improvement. So vet decided that it's not that. He was subjected to test upon test, referred to the vet university in Bristol, and generally poked and prodded. Result? Zilch, apart from one wonky result on a liver test. They wanted to knock him out and take a biopsy. DH refused, as he's so old, he didn't feel it would be fair on him, and he may not have come round.

Over Christmas last year, he started to get snappy if people touched his neck. He had an op on it about 5 years ago, so we put it down to old age and it being sensitive, and removed his collar permanently. He walks with a harness, and his IDs are on that.

Then his memory seemed to be going. He doesn't remember that he's been fed, walked, toileted, or commanded to lay down. He can't even seem to remember that he's pooped from a long(ish) walk, and tries to bounce about like he used to, then looks surprised when his back legs give way.

Now, for the past 2 days (possibly a bit longer) I've started to find little piles of sick around the house.

This isn't totally abnormal for him, as he is a dog with an intolerance to carbs of any form... try explaining to a mutt who is food obsessed that he can't hoover up dropped pasta and bread from under DD's highchair. I try to pick up as much as possible before letting our Dal in to clean up what's left, but he's so sneaky that he'll be under there before I know it. (open plan flat where I can't shut him away, combined with no jingle of collar)

Net result is, if he gets hold of anything like that, he'll sick it back up within the hour. He's been like that since we got him.

But the recent spate of sickness is odd, as it tends to be after he's been at the water bowl. He'll do a sort of burp, and then 'smack' his chops, then plop, there'll be a nice watery puddle of vomit and water for me to clean up, sometimes with lumps of food in it, but not always.

I have a 1yr old DD, who is into EVERYTHING (as they are! grin ) as well as 8yr old DS, and I honestly don't know whether I can cope with this now.

It was bad enough when he kept wetting himself (and not in a neat puddle, no! Why leave a neat puddle, when weeing and walking can be achieved!) We've cracked that simply by letting him out pretty much hourly when we're home, and by restricting his access to the waterbowl.

But adding sick into the mix is just as bad, if not worse.

I went out to a baby club this morning, I was only gone for 2 hours. I got back, and I've found a rather large of vom in his bed, and it's overflowed into the Dal's bed, and onto the floor (they're both crated when I'm out, and his crate is on top of the Dal's). I'm stunned. I honestly don't know what he'd have eaten to produce such a pile.

The daft thing is, in himself, he still seems a happy, perky little shit, into everything he's not supposed to be, dominating the Dal, and generally being his normal annoying self (said with much love, not sarky!)

I really don't know what to do. DH and I, our initial reaction to every new problem is, get rid of him, put him down, blah blah. But then once the mess is cleaned up, and he's snuggled up with you on the sofa, and demanding strokes galore, you get the ol' tug at the heart strings, and you think, I've made a commitment to him, he's happy, it's not right to let him go.

Bloody hell, I'm crying now.

What do I do?!

3cutedarlings Thu 06-Oct-11 14:18:14

Could possibly have caught a bug? i think id pop him into the vet and see if an anti vomit jab helps him settle.

My heart goes out to you, i lost my dear old lab last May, and the run up to her being PTS wasnt disimilar from what your have described. She at times was doubly incontinent sad. My DS at the time was also 1. She had gone quite senile so the mess didnt really bother her. (I was grateful of this tbh as she was such a clever dog, she would have been really upset by it) She was happy in herself and the good days often outnumbered the bad ones, i bought i steam cleaner and just carried on cleaning up after her. It was awful at time but she was happy!! some while ever it didnt bother her i just got on with it.

He will let you know when he is ready to go, you will instantly know when you look at him that its time to say goodbye. sad

Its one of the hardest decisions i have ever had to make and for a short time after i questioned if i had done the right thing! but i know now that it was the last bit of kindness i could offer her.

(((very un MNy hugs)))

TheORIGINALWoofLady Thu 06-Oct-11 15:52:09

<grateful for hugs>

I have taken him to the vets, and provided that his insurance will still cover him (it's been going on for over a year), DH and I have decided to crack on with investigations - in himself he's still so lively, and like your lab, he doesn't seem to realise what he's done.

DH is wondering whether it could be Cushings syndrome, so provided we can get it sorted with the insurance there's a very big light at the end of a (hopefully!) short tunnel!

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