is it time?(8 Posts)
i have a 15 year old JRT. He has been a fixture in our family since he was 8 weeks old. He has taken a real downward slide in the last few months which is breaking my heart and i am wondering if now is the time to do something to ease his passing or if we should let him go on until nature takes it course.
He is almost completely blind now. He can distinguish light from shadow and color but not a lot of detail. He frequently walks into walls and door frames. He is quite arthritic in his hind quarters. I see him getting out of his bed and can see how hesitant he is to bend those joints. He cannot go on walks any more. It takes us 10 minutes to walk to the end of our road which is about 30 meters and he is utterly exhausted by it. I end up carrying him (which he hates).
He is becoming increasingly incontinent. He messes in the house at least once, usually twice a day. We have a doggy door so he has independent access to the garden but will just stand up and suddenly start weeing and seems surprised by what he has done.
The worst part is the senility. He seems to wander around in a daze. Gets confused and lost in the house and garden. If he loses us he gets really distressed, howling and crying even if we are just in the next room. We cant leave him alone at all any more.
Objectively, i see all these things and i do think it probably is time we start thinking about how to make his passing as peaceful as possible but then he has these moments where he is almost back to his old self. When the kids come home from school he get so excited to see them and runs around like he was a little puppy again and i wonder how i could ever think about putting him down.
I don't know. I am utterly conflicted. I love my little mate and I hate seeing him so confused and lost.
I just wondered if anyone else had gotten to this stage with their dogs and how they made this decision.
I have had that with a cat but not a dog. It is impossibly hard. So sorry you find yourself in this position. It is the hardest decision of all... to let them pass naturally (my inclination) or to make that choice for them. Can you speak to your children/partner? Fwiw - with our cat, who was only 7, she was incontinent, had lost the use of her back legs which resulted in her messing herself daily, and she had regularly seizures. She had an irreversible neurological condition so I took the decision to hav her pts. She couldn't even move about without dragging herself on her front legs. I felt dreadful but it really did feel like the fairest thing.
I think you know.
I'm so sorry. You get this little pup and let them into your life then suddenly they are old and in pain and it breaks your heart.
I have an elderly Goldie who is getting to this point. Her sight is not good, she's very deaf and stiff but she still enjoys a totter down the lane and loves her grub. At the moment the good outweighs the bad, but I don't know how long for.
Is he on medication for his dementia and arthritis . My mum has 2 15 yo JRTx borders , one is demented and has arthritis , the other is awaiting surgery for a gum infection and a growth on her leg , both are not reliably continent anymore . They survive on a mixture of pills . To cope with the incontinence everything they use is washable and the sofas have washable throws on them with puppy pads underneath just in case . We know we are lucky to still have them but they still really enjoy life / food , neither of them goes out for walks anymore as the arthritic one refuses to walk and the other one is a nightmare if she’s on her own , they do run about the garden . Often that results in having to go and collect the demented one as he gets transfixed and forgets where he is .
We had our 18 year old JRT pts after 6 months of deterioration,she lost her sight,was deaf but in the last few weeks she lost a lot of weight & I could tell she had had enough,it was heartbreaking to see as I'd had her from a puppy.
When we finally took her to the vets they agreed that it was the right time to let her go.I felt privileged to be with her at the end & even though I was devastated I was glad she didn't suffer.
It's so difficult,hand holding for you
It's very hard to make that final decision.
You could be describing our old dog in much of your post.
She was 14 and had suffered from increasingly poor health for years. She had anal furunculosis and severe skin problems. Her back legs had all but given up, she was doubly incontinent and her neurological function was severely impaired.
But! She was still eating and would get excited when she saw her lead (even though had to take her out in a pushchair), so I kept thinking she was still getting some enjoyment from life.
When we took her to the vet to discuss the best way forward, he didn't hesitate in telling us he thought the time was right.
I will be honest, once the horrendous deed was done, it was a blessed relief and we didn't regret it, only perhaps that we'd kept her going for too long. If only she could've slipped away in her sleep though.
I think one hopes they will pass in their sleep, but is that the right thing? I have a relative in the terminal and terrible last stages of cancer, I just wish this person didn't have to suffer so much and literally be forced to suffer to death - I digress a bit, but at least we have the power to end suffering in animals. With our last much loved dog, it was the indignity of his situation, in such a proud smart and previously active animal, that really hit home to me. I still miss him terribly, after a year, but I know we did the right thing by having him pts peacefully at home.
It does sound like he has lost his quality of life Some people say that you will ‘just know’ or ‘the pet will give you a sign’ but sad,y I don’t think it’s always the case. Some people that wait for that end up leaving it too long and regret it in hindsight.
Obviously it’s easy to say all this without knowing your dog or being emotionally involved.
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