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When is it time?

(15 Posts)
battlebacktonewlife Thu 03-Dec-15 18:03:37

My Partner of nearly two years moved in a year ago with his staffy of around 12 years (he was a rescue and so we're not 100% on age).

Unfortunately my Partner had never had him insured. When he started getting bloated, drinking more, and urinating a lot more I paid to take him to the vet. The vet suspected Cushings but we could not afford the various diagnostic tests and we are not in a place where we can access free services due to not being on benefits.

These days he sleeps pretty much all the time. But when awake is a happy, waggy, loving dog. However he is having more and more accidents around the house. We both work full time and so accidents are daily. Even over night unless we set alarms and let him out in the night, but even that often doesn't work as it seems to be that when he needs to go it is urgent, but if we are sound asleep we do not hear/notice as he doesn't really cry/let us know.

The accidents do not bother me really. We have have barely any carpet in the house and so it's mainly on the wooden floors.

Today it was 3 accidents downstairs.

If he's happy in himself, it's not time is it? My Partner keeps saying perhaps we should consider it, but while dog seems happy to me, I find that option very difficult to swallow.

Are there signs of unhappiness in dog I could be missing? What do I look out for? When do I know it is time? sad

battlebacktonewlife Thu 03-Dec-15 19:17:25


I've never owned a dog before and I don't want to let my lovely old man down. I want what is better for him. I'll clean up accidents every single day he still wags his tail, but I'm scared I'm missing signs he may be in pain.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Thu 03-Dec-15 20:29:32

I'm sorry you're going through this. Our old boy died last year and our vet thought at first that he had Cushings. He was drinking and peeing constantly. After testing his enzymes etc and feeling him all over it was suggested that he might in fact have a tumour in his liver. When he stopped eating and kept taking himself off to lie in the freezing cold at the bottom of the garden, we knew he'd had enough. We took him to the vets in a panic and he said it was probably time to do the right thing by him and let him go.

We tried to tempt him with everything we could think of but he wouldn't eat. If he'd still had an appetite he could have managed on a special diet but he had hardly any liver left. I think he knew he'd had enough and we had to have him put to sleep.

With hindsight I wish we'd brought him home and asked the vet to come out later. It would have given us time to have a proper goodbye and let him go in familiar surroundings. But there you go, too late for that now.

If you can't afford to look into it further, you may have to let him go now. It will come sooner or later and you can't let him suffer for the sake of taking him back to the vets. It's hard, I know.

villainousbroodmare Thu 03-Dec-15 20:36:54

If he's happy in himself, eating well, mobile, appears comfortable (gets up easily enough, able to do his daily walk, nothing obviously painful when you touch or observe him), is not distressed by his accidents and you are prepared to clean up after him, wags his tail and enjoys your company and generally seems to to taking pleasure in life, then to me it's not yet time.

battlebacktonewlife Fri 04-Dec-15 10:29:12

Thank you both. MsAd, tumour was mentioned in dogs case too, but Cushings seems a better fit to his symptoms.

He's mobile, happy, loves his food, and not obviously in pain so I'll continue to monitor and enjoy his cuddles and love.

LimeJellyHead Fri 04-Dec-15 14:57:46

Yay, you do that flowers I would too... I am actually. Our littler terrier was recently diagnosed with aggressive tongue cancer. We took him home. He is generally happy and is still eating and drinking and loves his treat toys and his walks. You'll know when it is time, I feel sure of it. I wondered and wondered and still do but all the time I am wondering I know that means it isn't time cos when it is you will know for sure... no doubts.

villainousbroodmare Fri 04-Dec-15 15:53:53

I would say that I've seen a lot of clients who have battled on to the bitter wretched end, ignoring the fact that it's the dog who's doing the battling. It is unkind imo to wait until all the wheels fall off before calling time.
I don't think this applies to either of you though. flowers

MidLifeCrisis007 Fri 04-Dec-15 18:01:44

I had a very similar experience to MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig above. My dog's liver enzymes were through the roof - we didn't even bother to investigate further as she was rising 12 at the time. The vet said it was highly likely that it was a tumour and it would be inoperable.

She was also incontinent in her last 6 months or so. We used dog nappies for a time and then Propalin to control that in the house and gave her tablets to improve liver function.

We called time when her water retention was so great that her lungs were being squashed and her breathing became very fast. She suddenly didn't want cuddles, went off her food and didn't want to exercise. That happened in the space of 36 hours - sadly that 36 hours spanned a Sunday. With hindsight it would have been nicer to have relieved her of her suffering sooner but we had to wait until Monday morning.

It was ghastly.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Fri 04-Dec-15 18:50:45

Oh MidLife sad

No, we didn't hang on till the bitter end, he was still walking about and not incontinent or anything. Two days before he died he had his last check up at the vets and he took himself off into the receptionists bit to be made a fuss of. He went downhill after that. We took the hint from him, he just looked like he'd had enough.

You'll know when it's time. When you really start to doubt that you can put it off any longer, you'll know. They say better a day too early than a day too late and it's true. It really is the last act of love. flowers

JohnCusacksWife Sat 05-Dec-15 13:08:26

battle, your situation sounds similar experience to our old boy. About 10 months before he died he started drinking loads and having accidents in the house. He didn't even seem to realise he was peeing - didn't cock his leg or anything - just stood there and let go! But he was happy in himself and not in pain and I couldn't bring myself to have him pts because of a few accidents. We eventually Got him a nappy just to keep things manageable in the house. We used a Simple Solutions Male Wrap (you can get them from Amazon) lined with a tena lady and that kept things under control. A few people thought we were mad but if you're having a dog pts it should be because it's right for the dog, not because it's right for you and he was still happy - just incontinent! The nappies gave us a less stressful few months with our boy and were well worth it.

LimeJellyHead Sat 05-Dec-15 14:13:11

OMG, so true what you said there:

"If you're having a dog pts it should be because it's right for the dog, not because it's right for you and he was still happy."

So often people say the kindest thing is to PTS but not always. Our terrier was diagnosed with tongue cancer 4 weeks ago and there is no hope for him at all. We had the PTS option and chose not too. The vet agreed. Said he was still enjoying life and agreed with us that he would want to live a bit longer.

It's really tough and TBH doing the PTS option might have actually been easier for us but it would not be fair on Berkeley cos he still has a massive will to live. There are no hard and fast rules. Each dog's situation is different. I do feel a bit like we are all expected to straight away go down the PTS route because people see that as kinder but if the dog wants to live and is enjoying life then we should be open to letting them do that too, where possible.

As my husband said to me when I was having a 'should we just put him to sleep wobble' he said "Berkeley doesn't want to be PTS yet and we have to respect that". So very true and it really cheered me up when he said that. There is immense pressure to do it but it's not always what the dog would want yet.

JohnCusacksWife Sat 05-Dec-15 15:08:37

Lime, so sorry about your boy. If it's any help we had a few wobbles in his last few months, whenever he had a bad day, about whether we should have him pts. However when the time came it was really obvious that it was the right thing to do. All the uncertainty left me and I knew it was time. Hope Berkeley has a lovely time for as long as he can. X

LimeJellyHead Sat 05-Dec-15 15:40:40

Awww, thank you. Yes, that feeling is dreadful, isn't it. Every time he has a bad day I start to worry and over think it all again and then the next day he perks up and I am soooo relieved. What a roller coaster.

Woofs from Berkeley.

JohnCusacksWife Sat 05-Dec-15 20:00:27

Roller coaster describes it perfectly. It was a very wearing, emotional & difficult time. It's only looking back now that I can see how stressed I was during those last months. But it's the price you pay for all the years of love & companionship isn't it?

LimeJellyHead Sun 06-Dec-15 10:48:01

It is indeed smile

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