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Is it time to put her down?

(45 Posts)
ELNino Tue 30-Jul-13 14:33:34

Beautiful GSD, 9 years old with CDRM.

She can still walk a bit but most days her back end just goes and she drags herself along. She can't go out for walks anymore. We have tried a cart but it stresses her out.

She poos in the house but is now sleeping on it, so not moving away from it.

Our garden has lots of steps to the grass so difficult for her to navigate.

It is painless and her mind is still young.

We work full time, me mainly from home and have a toddler, she isn't getting the full time care she needs. This is what I hate about this situation.

topbannana Tue 30-Jul-13 14:41:40

Personally I would decide that it was time but I am firmly in the "sooner rather than later" camp, particularly if there is no hope of improvement.
It's difficult to make that decision if she is not in pain but she cannot enjoy being so helpless or dirty in the house. It does not sound like there is any way you can rearrange your home to make her life easier?

So sorry to hear you are having to think about this.

From what you describe, if she were mine, then yes I would think it it probably time. I think it comes down to quality of life, and a dog wants to play and go for walks, and not defecate where she is laying. How would you rate her quality of life?

It is a heartbreaking decision. I wish you all the best with making it.

ELNino Tue 30-Jul-13 14:48:33

It is incurable and progressive. It will move to her bladder then front legs.

We can bring her into the kitchen at night but poo and a toddler isn't healthy. She sleeps in the utility room.

She spends most days outside, but it steps to the decking the steep steps to the lawn. I put water and snacks outside.

Apparently there are harnesses to help with walking and lifting but I'm starting to wonder if these are more for the owner wanting to do the right thing.

momnipotent Tue 30-Jul-13 14:50:26

If she were mine I would think it is time, yes. I would look at her life and wonder if there is any joy left in it for her, and from what you describe, I would think there was not.

I lost my own dog 3 weeks ago. He had hemangiosarcoma but for the most part seemed OK-ish, he still wanted his walk every morning and that was my measure of his quality of life. One of the tumours ruptured one day and he was then too weak to get up from his mat, he couldn't get outside by himself, our garden also has stairs and he couldn't get up and down by himself, I tried his walk the next morning and he was willing but his body was too weak. I am sure he wasn't in pain but his quallity of life had changed drastically then and I didn't want to watch it get worse so he was pts later that same day.

Hugs to you OP, it is a horrible decision to have to make.

ELNino Tue 30-Jul-13 14:50:39

She use to spend hours in the fields running, jumping, swiming in rivers, hiking in the peak district, now its a hobble to the park, chew a stick there and carry home. It isn't her.

Kormachameleon Tue 30-Jul-13 14:53:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ELNino Tue 30-Jul-13 15:12:47

I agree, I think it's time. Just hard when the mind is still willing.

Thanks for your responses.

GemmaTeller Tue 30-Jul-13 15:16:49


I think so.

We had a GSD with CDRM and the vet told us when she loses the dignity of being able to go the toilet then its time to let her go.

We did, however, cancel the appointment three times before we could go through with it.

I stayed with her and held her while the vet did it, DH walked out crying and waited in the carpark.

MissAntithetic Tue 30-Jul-13 15:19:50

Hard call but its time.

I had the same call with my beautiful boy in December. His throat was paralysed. Now looking back I wish I took him sooner. I kept him to alleviate my own guilt. (Dd was 3 months old and I didn't want him to think I was replacing him). In the end he was vomiting everywhere and although he wanted his walks he could barely manage them. It was the right thing to do, the kindest thing to do but it still felt like I was giving up on him.

1MitchellMum Tue 30-Jul-13 15:35:20

I think it's time. Laying in the poo is horrible for her ... when my 10 year old with cancer needed help to go to the toilet I knew it was time (and she died naturally a few hours later). Such a hard thing to do. Nine years ago today I had to make the decision about another of my dogs. I wish you well, it's better when they make the decision for you. x

IfUSeekAmy Tue 30-Jul-13 15:45:46

I think it's time too, it's such a hard decision though. I lost my beloved dog yesterday. She saw the vet about 3 wks ago for something unrelated to age but the vet said that as long as she could walk about ok and wasn't messing herself then leave her be to sleep all day but she really went downhill this weekend and I could see that there was no joy in her life at all. Thoughts are with you at this tough time

Gingersstuff Tue 30-Jul-13 16:21:37

I'm so sorry. Our beloved golden retriever had this, it's a horrible disease so I totally sympathise.
Have you tried steroids for her? Reason I ask is that we went through a stage where we were having That Discussion with the vet but because our boy was still eating and was happy enough in himself and alert, even though his back end was bad, went with superstrength steroids instead. We were warned that they would kill him eventually but gave him a much-improved quality of life in his last few months, he was able to properly walk again and was enjoying life. I'm happy that we tried it. They did for him in the end as we'd been told - his heart failed, it all happened very quickly and our vet came to the house to put him to sleep. He went surrounded by his humans with his head in my lap and me stroking his ears, it was fucking horrible at the time but with hindsight he had the best end a dog could have it was almost 3 years ago and I still cry for him
However if your girl is totally unaware of lying in her own poo then it may have gone further so that treatment won't help. What does your vet say?

Gingersstuff Tue 30-Jul-13 16:22:25

IfU very sorry to hear about your dog. It's so bloody hard sad

IfUSeekAmy Tue 30-Jul-13 16:35:42

Thanks ginger

WhisperingShadow Tue 30-Jul-13 16:48:56

NC to her pedigree name (well part of it)

Yes, sorry for those who have lost their dogs recently. It is amazing the impact they have.

DH was home early, so we took her over to the park, 5 of our neighbours children came over, they love her, and were walking alongside her. She managed to run for 5 minute, then her legs went, and we had to carry her home.

She was enjoying herself, but it is a pale reflection on what she use to do. It isn't fair. I am not sure about the steriods. She is on Loxicom full time because of her front leg joints, I don't think her kidneys will take anymore.

DH says Friday will be the day. So there we have it.

Thanks for your support.

CoolStoryBro Tue 30-Jul-13 16:54:07

I think you've made the right decision. Enjoy every moment you share with her this week.

momnipotent Tue 30-Jul-13 16:55:26

I think that is the right decision, I hate that final countdown though! I hope you enjoy your last few days with her.

WhisperingShadow Thu 01-Aug-13 11:55:57

I'm losing my nerve. She is sat outside enjoying the breeze, eating the bones I fetched from the butchers.

Floralnomad Thu 01-Aug-13 12:02:47

You know what you are doing is the kindest thing for her , but I've never been able to 'plan' these things ,I've always just made the decision and then done it the same day ,even with my horses .to me once the decision is made its too hard to keep looking at them knowing what is coming and you just keep finding reasons to not do it ( like the bones) even though you know deep down it is the right thing . If you think you don't want to do it then cancel and make the decision another day .Best wishes to you .

momnipotent Thu 01-Aug-13 12:10:21

If she is not suffering (ie, in pain) then I think it is OK to cancel it for now. My heart goes out to you, it is an awful decision to have to make, especially if you think they are not in physical pain.

topbannana Thu 01-Aug-13 12:28:22

I'm with floral on this one as I have only ever "known" the night before. I think it takes enormous strength to do what you are doing.
Perhaps cancel but agree with DH that the next really bad day she has will be it? sad

Empress77 Thu 01-Aug-13 13:02:02

I had to make the decision about this last year for my girl, so really feel for you. So hard to know when the suffering has become too much, I was so devastated with it all. She had an incurable tumour and had days to live but was still enjoying taking sausage soup from me and sleeping in my bed - I also changed the vet appointment a few times - and when he did come at the end she got up and was pottering round the garden - seemed impossible to make the right decision for her!.

My boy dog is now terrible with his arthritis and collapses on his back legs so fear this may arise for him in the future - fortunetly not yet as hes super happy in himself and ignores the problem. He cant go for long walks or run for a ball but he still has excellent quality of life as can do other things he loves like delicious treats, snoozing in the sun and taking an old man slowly slowly sedate "sniff everything" kind of walk. Saying that he still revels in his self assigned guard dog role and manages a run when he wants to "protect" me, and is very happy with himself. I think that not being able to do the things you used to be able to do isnt so bad - that happens to us all - as long as there are other fun things in life.

I wonder about for your concern over the pooing - have you thought about using dog nappies/pants maybe? and disposable incontinence pads to go on the bed to help keep it and her clean?. they will draw the wet away from her. Or a washable vetbed that does the same thing? If you havent tried them already they can be got online/through the vets. both would go nicely over a cheap comfy duvet for her bed?

I also wonder if the vet would try changing his meds to something you havent tried, or to add to them? - for example my dog has loxicam and tramodol. And if he gets worse the plan is to try steroids. Hes lucky that his kidneys are ok but if hes without pain from the pain relief then Im happy even though I know it wont be good for them - i want him to have a comfortable life over a long one.

you also mention harnesses - have you tried using a towel/sheet rolled up and put under her back legs to help her with steps? Kind of like a sling hoist thing - hard to explain - sorry! Thats what we do at the vets to help dogs out to the garden.

Im sorry for you and your lovely girl, I guess theres no easy way to decide atall. Shes very very lucky to have a mum who cares so muchxxx

momnipotent Fri 02-Aug-13 11:01:06

How are you doing today OP?

IfUSeekAmy Fri 02-Aug-13 11:10:05

Hi mom hope you are ok today. I came on to see how op is too, how is dog today shadow?

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