When it’s time 😔

vannersrus

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I have a 12 year old GSD She is struggling with arthritis in all 4 limbs and is no longer able to walk very far . She is on a variety of painkillers and supplements and still enjoys her food . Recent tests showed slight kidney issues but I declined the kidney scan as all other tests normal. I have pts dogs and horses in the past but I’m find it really difficult with her - she’s certainly in some pain but hasn’t got the look of a dog that’s ready to go yet if you know what I mean . Am I being fair to try to keep her going ? Such a difficult decision…any advice gratefully received
 

SOS

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A couple of things:

• Read your post back, what would you advise someone
• She doesn’t know that a peaceful death will come, she just knows that she is in a bit of pain
• If you’re still unsure keep a quality of life diary, write all your feelings about how she is doing, how far she walks, how she is coping in a diary, use a scoring system. Put it in a draw. Don’t look at it for a week then write a new entry and then look back at your old one. Repeat until you can see a decline in your scores.

Hope this helps, it’s never easy when it’s your own :(
 

CorvusCorax

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With a large, weight bearing breed like a GSD, and I've had them all my life, once they struggle to get up, walk very far or toilet themselves, then it is time, for me. The dog cannot understand why it cannot run and jump the way it used to, only that things hurt. 12 is a great age and for a breed which carries themselves with such pride and dignity, I always feel it is much kinder to let them go before they are completely immobile. Best of luck, whatever you decide.
 

vannersrus

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Thank you for your replies . If I was advising a friend I would always go for a week too soon but I think it’s especially hard when it’s your own.
She is with me all the time pretty much so I’m watching her closely. She’s had metacam, carprieve and gabapentin but paracetamol is the most effective of all.
She’s had an amazing life since we rescued her as a youngster. I’m just so conscious of not taking a life too soon 😔
 

meleeka

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Thank you for your replies . If I was advising a friend I would always go for a week too soon but I think it’s especially hard when it’s your own.
She is with me all the time pretty much so I’m watching her closely. She’s had metacam, carprieve and gabapentin but paracetamol is the most effective of all.
She’s had an amazing life since we rescued her as a youngster. I’m just so conscious of not taking a life too soon 😔
Mine was on Codeine for her last 6 months. She coped very well and it was cheap on prescription from the chemist. The day she refused a slice of ham was the day she went. She had other issues too but I was always aware that she wouldn’t get better, only worse, so it was a case knowing when the point has been reached where any further deterioration would have meant suffering, even if a small amount. Perhaps it would be good to have a point in mind if you don’t think you are there yet?
 

pistolpete

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I had this dilemma with my last spaniel. She ate well was up and at it in the morning wanting breakfast but her coordination was awful. She kept falling. Vets hade her on onsior for arthritis and she scampered about but her eyes told me she was tired. I think she would have gone in many more weeks even months which haunted me for a while so you do have to be sure. Saying that she was put to sleep at home chomping in chicken. Loved her so much. Fab dog.
 

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Bellasophia

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We are going through this too .Its very sad, but inevitable.I’m keeping a calendar of daily routine and starring any changes.You will know when.You know your dog and when she’s struggling will decide it’s her time.It sounds like it’s not going to be long,have a plan and get your head ready to be strong for your girl.
 

vannersrus

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Mine was on Codeine for her last 6 months. She coped very well and it was cheap on prescription from the chemist. The day she refused a slice of ham was the day she went. She had other issues too but I was always aware that she wouldn’t get better, only worse, so it was a case knowing when the point has been reached where any further deterioration would have meant suffering, even if a small amount. Perhaps it would be good to have a point in mind if you don’t think you are there yet?
I’ll investigate the codeine option. She loves her food - we feed her 3 small meals a day as she’s a typical gsd who gets biley if she goes too long without eating . If she stopped eating it would be the end .
 

vannersrus

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"A week too soon, rather than a day too late". It's a trite saying, but, in my opinion, very true.
For me, more painful is the time beforehand when it's still unclear if this is becoming the Final Act in the animal's life.
I agree and have always been guided by it but it feels more difficult somehow in her case
 

brightmount

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I had to let my dog go a few weeks ago. He was eating nothing at all except sausage, but I still found it hard to make the call. It’s not true to say you will know when it’s time, as when you love a dog and are so emotionally invested, with all those shared experiences, it makes the decision so hard.

This is an article I found that really helped me, especially the bit that says it’s OK to let a dog go out on a bit of a high note. Though to be fair, I think my dog might have gone past that point, but I’m still cut up about it.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-biggest-mistake-pet-o_b_8166102/amp
 

Pearlsasinger

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I had to let my dog go a few weeks ago. He was eating nothing at all except sausage, but I still found it hard to make the call. It’s not true to say you will know when it’s time, as when you love a dog and are so emotionally invested, with all those shared experiences, it makes the decision so hard.

This is an article I found that really helped me, especially the bit that says it’s OK to let a dog go out on a bit of a high note. Though to be fair, I think my dog might have gone past that point, but I’m still cut up about it.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-biggest-mistake-pet-o_b_8166102/amp

IME, it is always a judgement call.
It is the owner's responsibility, which we should be aware of when we first decide to take on the animal, to make that final decision *for the benefit of the animal*.
I'm sorry but I really dislike the inference that those of us who do make the decision 'a week too soon, rather than a minute too late' love our animals less than those who dither about the decision, 'because I love him too much'.
No, owners are reluctant to say goodbye, because they can't face the loss -they put their own feelings above those of the animal. Is that really love?
 

L&M

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You could think about using a quality of life scale or something similar if you're looking for something to back up your gut instinct and any other thoughts/advice you've received. I'd have a chat with the vet too. So sorry that you are in this situation 😔

https://www.dignipets.co.uk/quality-of-life/journeys
A really useful tool and have always used when I need reassurance I was doing the right thing, either way.......so sorry you are in this position.
 

Moobli

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I’m so sorry you’re going through this heartache. It feels such a responsibility to get the timing right. The quality of life scale and keeping a daily diary of how she’s doing may help you decide. I’d definitely speak to your vet to see what other pain relief options there are available if she’s still enjoying life. I’d also speak to them about what you’d like done when the end does come (ie pts at home, cremated, buried etc), as it’s hard to think with a clear head at such an upsetting time. My heart breaks for you, it really is the most difficult aspect of sharing our lives with these wonderful creatures.
 

Bellasophia

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Re….https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-biggest-mistake-pet-o_b_8166102/amp
Ive just read this link.
excuse me….Bollocks!
The author signs herself author,veterinarian and death fairy…..I ask you!!
Reading the link she is so off the wall…”the look” she ridicules.
I say if you are in tune with your pet it is that very look that you recognize as a red light cry for your help.
I also add when you see that look you’ve likely gone a tad over the suggested time scale,but are excused for loving your pet so much.
Some of us have been through this many times with decades of dog ownership.
It never gets easier,the hurt is the same,if not worse, because you know what it entails.You press on because you know you will free them from their pain…your own will take a little longer.
For others it is a new experience…please be guided by many here who are going through or have gone through this.
 

Errin Paddywack

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Ive just read this link.
excuse me….Bollocks!
I just read that and she didn't say 'the look' doesn't exist, just that it isn't always obvious and basically not everyone sees it. I didn't think on the whole that the article was too bad and I did agree with what she said about some people just not seeing when it has gone too far. I have observed that both old people and old dogs get a sort of bewildered look. I only saw it in my mum when looking at photos my cousin had taken of her. I guess being with her every day I just didn't see it My friend's old dog had it but I think she knew how much my friend depended on her for mental support so kept plodding on. She still ate well and occasionally would have a mad few minutes with the other dog but it was obvious to me just how 'tired' she was. My friend took on a puppy which the old girl loved instantly. A few days later she went off her legs. It was as though the pup arriving had given her permission to let go.
I agree it never gets easier, if anything harder as you get older yourself and I dread the day I have to say goodbye to my two.
 

vannersrus

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I had to let my dog go a few weeks ago. He was eating nothing at all except sausage, but I still found it hard to make the call. It’s not true to say you will know when it’s time, as when you love a dog and are so emotionally invested, with all those shared experiences, it makes the decision so hard.

This is an article I found that really helped me, especially the bit that says it’s OK to let a dog go out on a bit of a high note. Though to be fair, I think my dog might have gone past that point, but I’m still cut up about it.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-biggest-mistake-pet-o_b_8166102/amp
Thank you that was really helpful
 

vannersrus

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IME, it is always a judgement call.
It is the owner's responsibility, which we should be aware of when we first decide to take on the animal, to make that final decision *for the benefit of the animal*.
I'm sorry but I really dislike the inference that those of us who do make the decision 'a week too soon, rather than a minute too late' love our animals less than those who dither about the decision, 'because I love him too much'.
No, owners are reluctant to say goodbye, because they can't face the loss -they put their own feelings above those of the animal. Is that really love?
Trust me I am not afraid of PTS nor judgemental of those going early- I was merely trying to gain some opinions of best ways to judge quality of life when they’re in the ‘grey area’ ie not completely well but not awful either . I put up with arthritis but can rationalise the pain .
Dogs obviously can’t - but if we said they should be completely pain free to be allowed to live then there would be an awful lot more PTS.
 

Pearlsasinger

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Trust me I am not afraid of PTS nor judgemental of those going early- I was merely trying to gain some opinions of best ways to judge quality of life when they’re in the ‘grey area’ ie not completely well but not awful either . I put up with arthritis but can rationalise the pain .
Dogs obviously can’t - but if we said they should be completely pain free to be allowed to live then there would be an awful lot more PTS.

Sorry, no, I wasn't aiming that post specifically at you. However I do think that you should read your last sentence back again and ask why you would want to keep a dog in constant, uncontrolled pain.
I am not against giving dogs, or any other animal, pain relief but it has to be effective. As background, my own Rottweiler has bladder cancer and is currently on borrowed time but is taking effective pain relief. I know that the drugs are effective because she happily goes for walks, plays with our other dogs and eats normally. If anything at all bothers her she carries her tail in a particular way and currently, unless there is an obvious short-term reason, she carries her tail normally all the time. We are very careful to monitor her demeanour, because we owe it to her not make the decision 'a minute too late'.
We don't 'love her too much' to do what's best for her.
 

vannersrus

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Sorry, no, I wasn't aiming that post specifically at you. However I do think that you should read your last sentence back again and ask why you would want to keep a dog in constant, uncontrolled pain.
I am not against giving dogs, or any other animal, pain relief but it has to be effective. As background, my own Rottweiler has bladder cancer and is currently on borrowed time but is taking effective pain relief. I know that the drugs are effective because she happily goes for walks, plays with our other dogs and eats normally. If anything at all bothers her she carries her tail in a particular way and currently, unless there is an obvious short-term reason, she carries her tail normally all the time. We are very careful to monitor her demeanour, because we owe it to her not make the decision 'a minute too late'.
We don't 'love her too much' to do what's best for her.
Sorry, no, I wasn't aiming that post specifically at you. However I do think that you should read your last sentence back again and ask why you would want to keep a dog in constant, uncontrolled pain.
I am not against giving dogs, or any other animal, pain relief but it has to be effective. As background, my own Rottweiler has bladder cancer and is currently on borrowed time but is taking effective pain relief. I know that the drugs are effective because she happily goes for walks, plays with our other dogs and eats normally. If anything at all bothers her she carries her tail in a particular way and currently, unless there is an obvious short-term reason, she carries her tail normally all the time. We are very careful to monitor her demeanour, because we owe it to her not make the decision 'a minute too late'.
We don't 'love her too much' to do what's best for her.
No - would never want to keep a dog in constant pain …. It’s compounded at the moment that vets round here won’t pts at home due to covid 😬 and I didn’t really want her taken into the surgery . I was wondering if the equine vet would do it as a one off ..
 

splashgirl45

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All you can do is judge if her quality of life is good. As an arthritis sufferer myself you do learn to cope with the pain but would you want your dog to have to. I think 12 is a pretty good age for a big dog so why wait till she is really bad and doesn’t want to eat, I would be planning some good days for her now and call it a day soon. It’s only my opinion but you know your dog. If your vet won’t come home could you take her to the vets and they do it outside if they are still worried about COVID. My vets are almost back to normal now
 

fankino04

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No - would never want to keep a dog in constant pain …. It’s compounded at the moment that vets round here won’t pts at home due to covid 😬 and I didn’t really want her taken into the surgery . I was wondering if the equine vet would do it as a one off ..
There are services that come out to ltd at home, we had a mobile vet service out for our girl in June when none of the practices would do home visits due to COVID.
 
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