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Handhold - 10yo Springer with nasty spinal issues

(14 Posts)
BagelDog Thu 19-Dec-19 15:55:19

So we have two springers, 10years old this October. The boy is a big softie and a total favourite with our children who have never known life without him. Has had two weeks of rapidly progressive weakness of his back leafs, faecal incontinence and now urinary incontinece. Anti-inflammatories not made any difference. So probably something nasty. Having an X-ray tomorrow - small chance it could show a discitis or something antibiotics could help with. But probably something nasty. Then we have to decide what to do with him. Poor bugger. So far he is cheerful just a bit thrown when his legs let him down. Luckily the random pooing doesn’t bother him.... not sure what I am asking for just some moral support I guess?

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Aquamarine1029 Thu 19-Dec-19 16:03:21

I'm so sorry about your lovely dog. It's simply awful when they become unwell, and I know exactly how sad you are. Unless this is a condition that can be quickly treated, I would put him to sleep as soon as possible. Animals are very good at hiding their pain and misery. When their quality of life is gone, we need to do the right thing and let them go peacefully.

BarbaraStrozzi Thu 19-Dec-19 16:09:36

Have a handhold. He sounds like a lovely dog. Sad though it is, I agree with PP. If it turns out to be something serious we owe it to our pets to make sure they don't suffer


BagelDog Thu 19-Dec-19 16:11:50

I think the X-ray tomorrow will decide things. There is either something readily treatable or not. Then we have to work out what to do when. The poor kids have always had him and are going to be beside themselves... may not be the cheeriest Christmas.

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Wrongintherightway Thu 19-Dec-19 16:12:35

Oh my dog years seem so unfair as they leave us way too soon, my heart goes out to you and your family but I think you will make the right choice. Don't be hard on yourself about this x

BagelDog Thu 19-Dec-19 16:38:10

Any advice on how to explain this to the children?

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Aquamarine1029 Thu 19-Dec-19 16:56:44

You simply tell them the truth. Your beloved dog is very sick, and because you love him so much, it's your duty to help him pass away peacefully without any pain or suffering.

Children are very resilient. Of course they will be sad, but as long as you allow them to express their grief and talk about how they're feeling, they will be fine. Loss is a part of life for all of us.

Booboostwo Thu 19-Dec-19 19:54:52

Don’t despair yet, you don’t know what it is. A herniated disc in dogs is easier to operate on than in humans and they make a very good recovery.

BarbaraStrozzi Fri 20-Dec-19 15:01:31

How did the xray go, OP?

I agree with the above - an age-appropriate version of the truth is best.

I had to take my 5 year old to the vet to say goodbye to our cat after he got run over. The vet did a brilliant job of laying out the body so we could see him in as good a state as was possible, but I think it was important to both of us to say goodbye. Then we went home and had a good cry and ate lots of chocolate.

I think the same goes as with human death - don't use "going to sleep" as a metaphor, as (a) that makes them think maybe the dog could wake up one day, and (b) they may have issues around sleep as a result ("What if I go to sleep and don't wake up?" "What if mummy goes to sleep and doesn't wake up?")

Fingers crossed for a good outcome, and flowers.

Scattyhattie Fri 20-Dec-19 17:23:32

Although it seems awful now your dog may improve when the pressure on spinal cord subsides & the incontinence may well not be permanent either.

Whether end up going for spinal op or its conservatively managed, hydrotherapy & physiotherapy are fantastic to keep the muscles working & nerves firing for best chance of recovery.
It is a big commitment on owner with spinal rehab but nearly all the dogs my friend has treated have recovered to have good quality of life, even if not quite same as before . Only one dog who had spinal op didn't regain enough mobility in his hind legs to walk unaided (didn't stop him going where he wanted at speed) and he lived a happy long life, luckily dogs live in the moment & don't get the mental hang up to deal with.

BagelDog Fri 20-Dec-19 21:17:22

So he has a rapidly evolving cauda equine syndrome secondary to spinal cord compression from a soft tissue tumour. Fast growing. He now also has a neuropathic bladder and goes into retention rather than stress incontinence like a couple of days ago. Could refer to a neurosurgical centre but the initial MRI and electrophysiology studies take us way way over the insurance limit, an operation would need to happen ASAP and isn’t likely to be that successful given how aggressive this is, and would be another few thousand. I think we need to make the right decision for him and let him go. Another anaesthetic for a series of investigations that are highly unlikely to change the outcome isn’t fair. It sucks in people but at least they understand the rationale behind it.

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BarbaraStrozzi Fri 20-Dec-19 21:18:40

So sorry to hear that Bagel. It does sound like letting him go would be the kindest thing to do - as you say, he couldn't understand his suffering. flowers

BiteyShark Sat 21-Dec-19 06:29:36

So sorry thanks. I think you are doing the right thing as I wouldn't put my dog through that kind of surgery with that prognosis.

Booboostwo Sat 21-Dec-19 10:03:43

I am so sorry to hear that. For what it’s worth I think you are making the right decision.

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