How do you know when it’s time?

(21 Posts)
justpoppy Mon 13-Aug-18 08:19:22

My dog will be 15 in a few days. She’s my first dog and i’ve had her since she was 10 weeks old. She lost her sight about 12 years ago so had always been blind and coped really well. The past few years arthritis has made walking any distance difficult for her and she often bumps into things now which she never did before. I take her to the vet regularly who says that for her age she’s remarkably healthy but I worry that she’s just existing and not really enjoying life. She sleeps for a large proportion of the day and has becoming incredibly fussy with her food. Refuses any dog food offered so we give her a bit of whatever we’re having or I cook some chicken and rice for her. My DS (12) adores her and will be deveratated when she’s gone but I just don’t know if i’ll know when the decision needs to be made. If she was ill it would be easier as the decision would be taken out of my hands. Any wise words? It’s constantly on my mind and I really don’t know what to do.

OP’s posts: |
Lonecatwithkitten Mon 13-Aug-18 09:07:52

I always suggest keeping a record of good days and bad days. Though bumping into things and pickiness of food would be up there are reasons why I would make the decision with my own pets.

MynameisJune Mon 13-Aug-18 09:16:30

DD is 15 in October, we’ve had him since a rescue puppy. He is blind and pretty much deaf now as well, he sleeps loads and bumps into things/people quite often. His back legs are starting to go but I don’t feel like he is telling me it’s time yet. He is still eating and drinking as normal, still begs at the dining table like he has done every day for the last 14 and a bit years despite never being fed from our plates. He still chases the ball in the garden despite often going in a different direction as he follows DD’s voice or the sound of the ball hitting the ground.

When it’s time I think you’ll just know, if she isn’t getting any joy from life then maybe discuss it with your vet?

MynameisJune Mon 13-Aug-18 09:16:56

That should be DDog not DD!

justpoppy Mon 13-Aug-18 10:30:59

Thanks both. The food thing is becoming a bit of a battle. She will eat one thing one day then refuse it the next. I've tried literally every brand of dog food, raw feeding, fish, meat. I think i've cracked it when she eats something then the next day she refuses it. She's very thin and had lost weight when weighed at the vet last week.

If I were to guess Lonecat, I'd say good/bad days are 50/50 at the moment.

Myname that's exactly what the vet said, that I would know but I just don't. I adore her and want the best for her, but life with her has been very hard for a while now. She often gets her day/night mixed up so i'm up with her during the night and sometimes has (poo) accidents in the house, but I feel I can't make the decision based on my convenience.

We're going away for 10 days at the end of the month and she'll be in kennels (been there lots of time before and isn't stressed by being there at all) but I know this time I'll be worrying about her.

OP’s posts: |
BrownOwlknowsbest Mon 13-Aug-18 14:58:36

I had a 16 year old Lab cross who had many of the same problems as your dear dog. We gentled her along for several months, but one morning when I went to get her up she just looked at me and didn't give me her usual morning wag. That was the day we knew it was time to let her go. The vet came to the house and it was all very calm and gentle. Making that decision is the hardest thing we ever have to do for our beloved pets, but it is the last kindness we can give them. Be kind to yourself OP. You will know when you get to the that point

spiderplantsgalore Mon 13-Aug-18 15:32:15

I understand how you feel. One of my dogs had dementia. He was also very hard to feed latterly - I know exactly what it's like to think you've found the answer then they won't eat it the next day. At the same time he wanted food umpteen times throughout the day because he'd forgotten he'd eaten.
What really made me think the time had come though was when he got confused between night and day and paced around in the night. I didn't want to give up on him for my convenience either, but felt he was distressed and made the decision.
Another of my dogs was in kennels for a week and when I collected him I really regretted having left him. He was put to sleep a couple of days later.
I hope things are clearer for you before you go away.


sacredgeometry Mon 13-Aug-18 16:19:04

At 15 and losing weight its likely your Dog wont be long for this world. It honestly depends. I think its really good that you are putting thought into this now which will make things a bit easier when the time comes.

As soon as they are in pain on a day to day basis that cannot be controlled with medication id say is the right time to take action.

I think you can get the vet to come to your home and carry out the procedure if that makes things easier

Rockmeamaryllis Mon 13-Aug-18 16:33:27

My dog was pts on Friday. He was 15 and had been getting slower and slower walking. On Thursday he wasn’t his usual self so we didn’t walk him, just let him go into the garden. On Friday he was panting heavily and refusing to eat and drink. That’s when we realised it was time. We made a real fuss over him during the day and had chance to make our goodbyes. It is a hard decision to make. I think I was still hoping that the vet would have a quick cure for him. But it was the right decision. We miss him terribly. My heart goes out to you and your dog. (flowers)

Pashazade Mon 13-Aug-18 16:40:38

We have a 14 yr old puss who has thyroid and kidney issues and high blood pressure. But she still demands attention and generally seems herself. It is when she stops wanting to interact and doesn't demand attention anymore that we will make the dreaded decision. She probably has years to go yet but she doesn't necessarily look that way. It is a terribly hard decision to make but it must be made with their best interests at heart not yours. So when people say you'll know they mean when the pets personality changes and we do all give them personality traits etc so I think you will know. The not eating is very hard to ignore and you may feel pushed into making the decision because of it. thanks

mypoosmellsofroses Mon 13-Aug-18 16:53:55

My dog was about 16 (we had her as an adult rescue so not too sure) She slowed down but seemed reasonably happy for a few months and then went downhill quite quickly. One morning her back legs totally went and she looked up at me, just something in the way she looked at me -that was when I knew. Heartbreaking but the right thing to do.

She did manage to get back up and very shakily went outside for a wee, but couldn't walk straight, I called the vets and they couldn't see her for a few hours, she spent those on her mat and was vomiting and couldn't move. Just cleaned her up and talked to her until it was time to go. DH had to carry her to car, she'd lost a lot of weight but was still quite big (border collie)

The vets were amazing, did a quick exam and said things weren't good, they did offer investigation and possible treatment but it didn't feel right to put her through that tbh. Stayed with her the whole time and the vet explained exactly what to expect, was very peaceful and we were offered extra time to sit with her if we wanted.

She'd been very slow, sleeping a lot, no walks etc for quite a few months and we kept wondering if it was time, but it's true when people say that "you just know" That morning there was no wondering, we just knew that we had to do the right thing by her.

justpoppy Mon 13-Aug-18 17:41:44

Thank you so much for all your replies. I’m reading them on the train trying (unsuccessfully) not to cry. I’m going to see if I can speak to my vet this week. The more I think about it the more I think that it’s really not fair on her to go into kennels. Going to have to speak to my son about it too. It’s just us and her at home so they have a real special bond and she’s older than him so he’s not known life without her.

OP’s posts: |
justpoppy Tue 14-Aug-18 20:34:34

Just read through this again and I think it’s time now. I have a call scheduled with my normal vet tomorrow to talk it through.

Since posting yesterday i’m looking at her in a different light. She’s barely eaten for about a week now (had a few cubes of cheese tonight but that’s it) and looks so so thin. She always slept on my bed but hasn’t done so for a few weeks and doesn’t seem to enjoy cuddles. She just looks lost and needs assistance with everything. DS took her out in the garden yesterday and she stumbled and fell into a drain. We’ve lived in this house for 7 years and she’s never done that before. I think if she went into kennels she would die there as she literally would not eat for 10 days and I don’t want that.

My heart is broken and I can’t bring myself to tell anyone in RL. I don’t know why. My DM is not a dog person and I just don’t feel I want to tell anyone until it’s done. I spoke to my son yesterday who was quite stoic about it in his typical 12/going on 16 way. Not sure why i’m posting again really... just needed to off load a bit. 😢

OP’s posts: |
FlyingMonkeys Tue 14-Aug-18 21:39:47

So sorry OP my girl is 12 and my mum's Ddog is at the soon to leave us point. See what speaking to the vet brings tomorrow. If it was me as heart breaking as it I think I'd want a peaceful day or so at home to say goodbyes rather than place into kennels at this point. I'd probably clear all her things out so it'll give you time to start to adjust by the time you're back from your holiday. I feel truly gutted for you and your family.

MynameisJune Tue 14-Aug-18 22:03:06

So sorry Op, it does sound like she would not come out of kennels very well at all. See what tomorrow brings, and don’t feel too rushed.
If she isn’t in any pain then you’ve got a bit of time to say goodbye properly. Hugs.

spiderplantsgalore Wed 15-Aug-18 12:29:49

Truly we do understand how heart-breaking it is, but I too think the time has come. Let her go with you holding her. You won't regret not letting her struggle on.

Eventually you'll be able to smile through the tears as you remember all the good times.

BrownOwlknowsbest Wed 15-Aug-18 15:33:47

I am so sorry OP. I've had dogs all my life and know well the heartbreak of having to say goodbye. Every time I've had to do it, I said 'never again' but in time the pain does ease, you remember the good times and find yourself welcoming a new dog into your life. Thinking of you and your son.

justpoppy Fri 17-Aug-18 22:48:39

It was time. She went to sleep in my arms last night. My heart feels broken and my house feels empty but I know it was the right thing to do.

OP’s posts: |
Bugjune Sat 18-Aug-18 03:15:48

It was a last act of kindness for a special friend. You did the right thing, the kindest thing. I'm thinking of you. flowers

spiderplantsgalore Sat 18-Aug-18 10:48:04

I'm so sorry, but you did what was right for her and won't have to live with the regret of letting her go on too long.

Pashazade Sat 18-Aug-18 16:08:06

So sorry to hear that but you made the right decision. thanksthanks

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in