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My lurcher isn't well - how will I know when his time has come?

(16 Posts)
AddToBasket Sat 02-May-15 11:11:04

I know he's an old lurcher - 14yrs - but that doesn't make it any easier. On Wednesday, he refused to walk any further after 10 mins and had to be carried home. The vet x-rayed yesterday and said his lungs are cloudy and he has arthritis on his spine. Then the vet talked about giving him 'quality of life at this stage'.

Anyway, he came home and ate his tea, but this morning won't eat his breakfast and so hasn't had his painkillers. He is now lying on the floor looking comfortable enough. He is shedding excessively - I've never known anything like it.

I've never had a pet at this stage and I'm a bit lost as to what the right thing to do is. Any advice? Should I force him to have his pill?

Mavisblewitt Sat 02-May-15 12:46:36

Oh bless you, my dog had arthritis, we lost him 2 weeks before Christmas at the ripe old age of 16.
If he is comfortable don't worry too much about his painkiller, you will soon notice if he needs pain relief.
If he's off his food, try him with something tasty to tempt him, my dog loved scrambled eggs, chicken, etc, I reasoned that at his age he should eat exactly what he fancied so he did!
Take care xx

cathpip Sat 02-May-15 12:52:38

I think your vet was giving you a heads up that sooner rather than later would be kinder. Am sorry your going through this I dreaded the day I took my old dog in but I just knew it was his time, the life had left his eyes, if you get what I mean, and this is the last kindness you can do for them. I do agree with pp, feed him what you want, he's not going to get fat.......

PoshPenny Sat 02-May-15 13:01:38

It's sounds a bit fluffy, but you will know. It's one thing being very old and frail and not able to do a lot, but you can see they're ok with that and happy with their lot and enjoying life in an elderly way. Then something happens and I think you can see it in their eyes. I was fortunate to have one dog die peacefully at my feet which is possibly the best way for it to happen, another had what appeared to be a stroke, and lost one side of his body, so couldn't walk etc, that was pretty clear that it was time to take him to the vet for the last time. The first one I lost, I didn't heed the vet's subtle warning, put her in for an x Ray and she died on the table. I should have called it a day before the x ray and if I'm honest I've never really forgiven myself for that, putting her through something she was too ill to cope with. Personally I'm not one who can have their dog euthanised before they get too ill, I need to know they're pretty much at the end to justify making that decision.

Greenkit Sat 02-May-15 16:56:10

You will know when its time.

We lost our whippet at 8yrs a week before Christmas, she had cancer for 4 years and we just knew when it was time. The vet saw her many times and just said give her the best of everything, which we did. She was weeing, pooing and drinking ok food was hit and miss so we let her graze all day if she wanted.

On the morning I took her in she was different, didnt eat, didnt drink, didnt move and looked at me like, its time, i took her to the vets and we had her put to sleep on my lap. I miss her every day

So sorry you are going through this xxxx

Scuttlebutter Sat 02-May-15 17:55:27

I would definitely be looking at every which way to ensure my dog was still taking its painkillers - try tempting them with the tablet hidden in something smelly like pate, cheese etc.

How is he doing now?

As it's a BH weekend, your normal vet probably won't be open but if he's not better, there's no kindness in forcing him to hang on. We've been lucky enough with a couple of ours to have the vet come out to the house to PTS - many surgeries will do this (though prob not the Emergency vet over the weekend). If your dog makes it through the weekend, this is a lovely way to go, so peaceful.

If you do have to go in to the emergency vet, they are usually lovely (we have done this twice), and will sort out liasing with your surgery etc.

On a more general note, with an elderly dog, this is why I think it's so important to build a relationship of trust with your vet and don't be afraid to have the difficult conversations, so that you both know what the other means. One of the reasons I value our vet so highly is that I know they will almost certainly be the ones to PTS our dogs and we have had several conversations with them about our "red lines" in terms of treatment etc. and I totally respect that I can be so open and honest with her, and have considered, thoughtful advice. One of our dogs had a hellishly traumatic accident last year and both DH and I (though very emotional) were able to have a conversation with her about the issue of PTS and her prognosis.

Wishing you all the best. Our oldies bring us so much joy, yet also this last heartbreak.

AddToBasket Sun 03-May-15 17:55:42

Thanks for the replies. He's actually looking quite perky and has some bounce in his stride. I am confident I won't have to face PTS this weekend or anything serious in the next few days at least. Obviously, I know it isn't going away.

I love the advice about feeding him whatever he wants! He's had cheese with pill, pasta with pill and tonight matthesons sausage with pill. grin

Lara2 Thu 07-May-15 20:23:45

I was really worried about this when Laradog2 was diagnosed with terminal cancer in February. The vet gave her 2 months and said I'd know when it was time. I thought she was talking rubbish, but I did know. She went from being well-ish to suddenly not eating or drinking, not wanting to go for a walk, avoiding us and just lying quietly. She died before we could call the vet - and I wondered why I'd ever doubted what the vet had said. She was thoroughly spoiled and loved before she died, we fed her all her favourite forbidden treats - she particularly loved Lidl giant bockwurst chopped into slices. grin

MyFeatheryHat Sat 09-May-15 01:42:09

I have always believed in "better a week too early than a day too late" sad

All my (numerous) dogs have gone while they still have a reasonable quality of life left (the vet has always been happy to PTS, it's not like we do it months before to save the hassle IYSWIM?)

With the passing of time I remember them as elderly or poorly but not at deaths door. This comforts me, though I concede it's not the approach for everyone.

Greenkit Sat 09-May-15 14:13:30

Hows things going ??

AddToBasket Wed 13-May-15 21:05:39


When he got up first this morning, he couldn't actually get up, couldn't stand. We knew his time was up and took him to the vet. Over very quickly.

Now I feel heartbroken.

JohnCusacksWife Thu 14-May-15 13:32:23

Oh, I'm so sorry. Hope you are ok and remembering the happy times you had with him.

Floggingmolly Thu 14-May-15 13:35:52

Oh, poor fella. sad

moosemama Thu 14-May-15 14:59:30

I am so sorry for your loss. sad

Sending you some very unmnetty ((hugs)) and hoping you can take some comfort in the 14 years worth of happy memories. flowers

Mavisblewitt Tue 19-May-15 07:22:34

I'm sorry for your loss flowers cherish your memories and take comfort in the fact you were a good mum to your darling fur baby xxx

Greenkit Thu 21-May-15 20:41:24

I am so very sorry for your loss flowers

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