Our old boy

(18 Posts)
Tinkerbell36 Sun 21-Jun-20 10:29:57

Our beloved nearly 14yr old lab is going downhill. Back legs are very weak and now giving way more frequently. He’s on Yumove and more recently Gabapentin to help with the pain. He can’t go for a walk anymore as he’s too breathless and slow. But he still wags his tail & enjoys his food. We just don’t know when is the right time? We are worried we won’t know he’s in pain. My mother (experienced dog owner) says now is the time before he gets really bad but I just don’t know. We love him so much and want to do what’s best for him.

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Doggiehasgone Sun 21-Jun-20 11:02:55

I recently lost my beloved old dog suddenly, at home. While we believe it was quick and painless for him, for which we are thankful, it was very traumatic for us to see him die - his body going through the throes of death, not in the 'going to sleep' way that happens with euthanasia. Like yours our dog had slowed down a lot and tired easily, although he was still enjoying food and short walks. Afterwards, I was visited with inevitable regrets that I hadn't known he was in his final hours that morning, and if I had I would have tried to make things more special for him and of course said a proper goodbye.

In contrast to this, I have had two elderly cats PTS and while it was horrible to fix the point of their death, I was able to make sure I had said and done everything I wanted. Also, the grieving process started as soon as arrangements were made, whereas with the dog it took time to even take in what had happened and we were completely knocked for six, and left with the awful task of dealing with his remains and keeping them at home as it happened at the weekend when the vet was closed.

The point I am rambling towards is that having had experience of both I would choose PTS as being best both for your pet and you and I would not want to risk a natural death by leaving this too late. You cannot be sure that a natural death will be quick and painless, and with PTS you can prepare yourself. I would talk to your vet (may have to be by phone) to see whether they think it is time.

There is no easy way - I hope you can make a decision soon flowers.

ladybee28 Sun 21-Jun-20 11:07:07

This is so hard. I'm so sorry.

Something I've done with animals at this point in the past is to choose a date and spend the week before saying goodbye.

His favourite foods, lots of cuddles, lots of photos and time dedicated to making his last 7 days the happiest they could be, and then letting him go in the most peaceful way possible.

I say this because there is no 'right' time, and that's what makes this so hard.

There's only ever a bit too soon or a bit too late – and it's always better to err on the side of the former.

Ironmanrocks Sun 21-Jun-20 11:08:22

My in laws recently had their lovely lab put to sleep. She was struggling with her back legs too as it's common in labs. They decided the day she couldn't stand up anymore. One morning she couldn't get up to pee/walk/eat etc and looked really puzzled. She was 14 too I think. Bless her I still miss her. ❤️

mrscatmad31 Sun 21-Jun-20 11:11:04

I have helped put lots if animals to sleep and what a previous poster said is true, there isn't really a right time. It is your decision completely, when he has more bad days than good days is something a lot of vets say. So sorry it is a tough decision

Doggiehasgone Sun 21-Jun-20 11:11:33

There's only ever a bit too soon or a bit too late – and it's always better to err on the side of the former.

Exactly this. Very well put.

StCharlotte Sun 21-Jun-20 11:14:09

It's so hard. Having been through exactly this with our 14 year old Lab last year, I'm really sorry but your Mum is right.

We knew it was coming and said to ourselves when he can't go for a walk... And the buggers are so good at masking pain.

flowers

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Baybetterdays Sun 21-Jun-20 14:42:54

Hi OP, your situation brought a tear to my eye as I’m in the same situation. My boy is 11 but has disc issues and elbow dysplasia. He’s playing, eating and fully with it, but his legs are failing. There was a last chance procedure (intra articular injections for the elbows) which we did last week, but it’s not looking like it’s had the desired pain relief effect.

It’s absolutely heartbreaking to know I’ll have to take a dog who leaps up his car ramp to be put to sleep, but I’m also finding it helpful to think of his joints as another organ, one which is failing.

His death is inevitable so we are just really choosing how and when and what he has to go through to get there. For me the line has gone from being a dog who can’t go for a walk to a dog that is in uncontrollable pain, and at the end of the road for pain with only that to look forward to for him, I’ll be letting him go in the coming weeks. Good luck OP, it’s very very hard.

SionnachGlic Sun 21-Jun-20 14:55:40

My boy was 14, no joint problem but a heart condition so shorter slower walks in last 2 years...food was never a problem...he even liked getting his daily tablets! I was so worried he'd dramatically disimprove & I have to have his put to sleep...we'd done it 2 years earlier with our then 16 yr old cat (kidneys failing) & it was very sad. One morning he wasn't waiting at the bottom of the stairs as usual...it didn't register with me for a second...and then I found him lying by his water bowl looking like he was sleeping. He had just died. I had all doors open in house (inc bedroom) if there had been a sound I'd have heard it ...I had heard him earlier, paws on the wooden floor. I still miss that sound waking me up...& how he'd arrive from anywhere in the house at the sound of a packet of biscuits being opened. I was dreading making a decision to put him to sleep & I am glad I didn't have to...but I would have on vet's advice. Your Mother may be right, talk to your vet...if hd is in pain then you need to be kind to him & brave. I feel so sad for you 🥀

PoopySalata Sun 21-Jun-20 14:57:12

I'm so sorry, I'm in the same situation with my elderly Staffie. He still loves food and wags his tail. He potters around the garden but is deaf, very forgetful and occasionally anxious.

His back legs are failing him now, he can still manage stairs but it's a struggle. I know dogs are very stoic so he's probably in more pain than he's showing. I'm waiting for the bad days to outweigh the good. My guess is he has about a month or so left, so we are spoiling him.

I'm not a believer that the dog will tell you when it's time, I think we have to make the decision. I think it's also harder to see how bad they are when you live with them, your mum is probably a good judge thanks

Roselilly36 Sun 21-Jun-20 15:19:12

The hardest thing about pet ownership, I can remember making this decision for our lovely old dog, it was the right thing, but such a horrible decision to make. flowers so sorry.

Tinkerbell36 Sun 21-Jun-20 17:21:22

Thank you so much for all your replies and stories of your dogs - it’s helped so much. My stepchildren came over today and they agree it’s not too long now. I will call the vet tomorrow to see if there’s anymore we can do. Otherwise we will take it day by day and spoil him rotten x

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Baybetterdays Mon 22-Jun-20 13:21:16

Hi @Tinkerbell36 how did you get on with the vet? There are other pain meds - NSAIDs, amantadine, or even rescue paracetamol in bad days (all these but particularly paracetamol must be given under vet supervision as dosage very important). Hope whatever the outcome you feel better speaking to the vet - it’s all we can do really, they’re the experts. Good luck.

Tinkerbell36 Mon 22-Jun-20 18:58:59

I spoke to our vet & vet nurse today - both were wonderful as always. We’ve increased the gabapentin. His legs are worse today 😢 Also devastated to find out the vet can’t come to our house as planned - we will have to take him to the vet. I can be with him for his sedative but not at the end. I had so hoped he could go to sleep at home ❤️

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SionnachGlic Mon 22-Jun-20 19:27:03

Maybe if the increase in meds keep him going ok for another while, the policy in the vet might change in the meantime to allow one of your family stay with him when the time comes. Hopefully you'll see a positive change & the imminent dread can be put on hold. Thinking of you

Tinkerbell36 Wed 01-Jul-20 09:43:39

The painkillers have helped but legs still give way. We’ve been managing a very slow 10 min walk everyday but this morning he just didn’t want to go or look happy. Beginning to realise his time might be here- absolutely devastating xxxx

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PoopySalata Wed 01-Jul-20 15:39:51

Bless the old boy and you, it's so awful isn't it. I went to the vets to get a prescription filled today and said that it was best that they just gave me a months supply and not the usual three months. I'm at about the same point with my old boy thanks

Tinkerbell36 Wed 01-Jul-20 18:06:18

@PoopySalata I did the very same today - picked up a weeks prescription of painkillers for him 😢 it’s so terribly difficult isn’t it?

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