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Old 01-02-2017, 05:28 PM   #1
SonshineMama
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sensitive How to know it's the end? UPDATE Pg 2, #22 The end is today 1/25/17

If anyone's willing to talk about this, I'd appreciate it. We know it's getting close ...

Our German shepherd is 12.5. He's amazing . Takes two short walks a day and eats and drinks well. He sleeps a lot and is beginning to lose his footing. He's on corydalis (for pain), a joint supplement and fish oil (all prescribed by our vet!) he has a neurological muscle disorder. He shakes and the missteps are due to the brain not being able to communicate w his body.

Lately I'm concerned. He still gets up and gets excited, even frisky like a puppy. But on wet cold days (like today) I see the end. Not sure if the end is jow or the end is just soon...

at the vet last time we got no indication that the end was soon or what to look for but... lately I feel it in my gut that it's soon. And he was just at the vet in the fall.

I don't want to put him down but I don't want him to suffer.

I cannot quite describe how hard it is to hit submit!
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Old 01-02-2017, 05:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to know it's the end?



It sounds like he has some time left.

I think when you see how he is and when you know him (plus whatever the vet might say about prognosis) you can just tell. This is just from my experience with two cats.
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Old 01-02-2017, 05:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to know it's the end?

Trust your gut. Our dog was a big dog, and he got to the point where his hips hurt no matter what. We knew it was getting close. Then one day he could not stand at all. Up to that day he was mostly happy. We knew that it would be tome when he was mostly in pain. We still miss him. Best dog ever. We put him down like 8 years ago
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Old 01-02-2017, 05:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: How to know it's the end?

I agree that you'll know. For our pet who was a 15yo golden retriever, he showed it with small seizures. My advice is to go to the vet you trust as soon as you do know - we waited too long even though we knew - and it was even harder than it should have been. I'm sorry.
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Old 01-02-2017, 06:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to know it's the end?

Around here they have vets that will come to your house just for that purpose. I think it would be much nicer that way!
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Old 01-02-2017, 06:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to know it's the end?

I believe you will know.

They won't express pain like we do, so it's important to listen to your gut.

I'm sorry you have this now.
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Old 01-02-2017, 06:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to know it's the end?

I love your dog, too.

I'm so glad I got to see him last summer.
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to know it's the end?

For us, I knew at least a month ahead of time that it was coming. Our dog wasn't able to enjoy outside like she used to. She needed more and more help going up and down stairs. The last day we had her, I gave her 4 days of pain meds in a 12-hour period. All this accomplished was to make her more aware of the world around her when I took her outside, But it made her back legs non-functional. I was so sad when I saw that, because I realized how much pain she really must have been in. I had to wait until DH was ready to let her go (hence it took a month from my realizing it was coming, to it actually happening).

The dog was on 2 pain meds and laser therapy before we put her down. Our vet wanted to try some other treatments but I had no desire to extend life when she wasn't able to enjoy the outside as much as she had all her life.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:41 AM   #9
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Default Re: How to know it's the end?

Our dog was sick, and we tried the lower cost less invasive treatment options. She seemed to be turning a corner and we were hopeful, she started to get that spark back, but then she crashed. We decided at fourteen years old it wouldn't be fair to put her through anymore tests or treatments. When we took her to the vet for the last time she wasn't even nervous like she usually was. It was like she knew. The vet hadn't tried to influence our decision but after it was over he told us it was the kind thing to do.

It was hard to feel like it was the right thing even though it was. It felt all kinds of wrong but I knew rationally it wasn't fair to her to expect her to either stay in what was likely constant pain, or drugged into oblivion. A dog's life is unnaturally longer because of human intervention, and the flip side of that intervention is the responsibility of making this choice. It's so hard.
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: How to know it's the end?

One of our cats had a feline virus that is always fatal, so we knew she wasn't going to last long. We knew it was time to put her down when she didn't have the energy to interact with us like she usually did. She started avoiding stairs because they were too hard for her, even though she usually loved coming up to hang out with us (dd1 especially). We could see that her body wasn't letting her do what she wanted.
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:12 PM   #11
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Default Re: How to know it's the end?

Such a hard decision.

To a point "we knew", but I came to that point before DH - our pup tried harder to hide her pain from him. She was only 3, but it was clear that her tumor was growing too fast to not cause severe pain. For me, it was clear that her bad times were outweighing her good, and she was struggling to eat and drink.

(((hugs)))
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: How to know it's the end?

Our first basset was still a puppy when we had to put him down. Our vet gave us the option of surgery ($1500 minimum, with no guarantee he would get better) or put him down. It broke our hearts, and he was still just a puppy-I can't imagine how bad it would have been with an older dog.

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:23 PM   #13
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Default Re: How to know it's the end?

Thanks everyone for these words of wisdom, understanding and comfort . He's not even on a pharmaceutical yet as we see a holistic vet. DH is taking him tomorrow morning to the vet to ask for pain meds and to make sure that we r not being selfish in attempting pain meds first. We know he's getting up there and it's our desire he not suffer. i believe this med will be the "last attempt to keep him Comfortable."

DH gave an aspirin as directed by the vet. And he perked up quite a bit. He slipped on the ice this weekend and so we need to make sure that if he hurt himself it's going to heal.

Lisa, I know u love him. (warning massive processing coming) It's crazy how many people Xander has helped overcome fear of dogs or caused them to fall in love w dogs. This is the best dog I've ever had-- we say all the time he's ruined us for other dogs. he's gone through lots of ups and downs w us. He's kissed away more tears from my face than I can count. He's been there during a birth (he wouldn't leave my side during our unplanned car birth-- some of my memories are screaming "Xander get shawn" and him pacing barking and whining ) and during chemo. Sat w me as I cried over anaphylaxis and pregnancy loss and carbon monoxide ... he's tolerated crazy costumes and selfies roflol. He's the "person" I cry with when I just cannot speak of it or be with people. Honestly, I've cried a lot over this dog too and my kids are starting to process. They don't remember life before him even though dd1 does remember adopting him. At 16,15 and 11, we r just bracing ourselves for the lifestyle change.

It sounds crazy but he's entertwined in so many memories of our family. They cannot imagine camping w out him and we've only once left him for more than 4 days . It's mind boggling to me ... frankly he's been spoiled rotten because he's so good

I started off trying to read and edit this post.. but it's just too hard and raw and real.. so I'm leaving it this is so much harder than I thought it would be. Probably because I refused to really think of it and what it will be like.
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:18 PM   #14
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Default Re: How to know it's the end?

The end, or near the end, is sooo hard. I hate it!

I have rules I made for myself. It's time when they stop eating, can't get up, and/or lose control of bowels/bladder.

Even with those rules I seem to wait a little bit too long, I have such a hard time letting go. I'm a mess leading up to it then once it's over I am still sad but have a peace.

My last two dogs (Golden, then a Lab) both lived to be 14+. In the end I was helping them to go outside for the bathroom and feeding them anything I could get them to eat, canned food, baby food, eggs, whatever.
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:38 PM   #15
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Default Re: How to know it's the end?

Thank you Katherine ! I've not done old age. We've had to do illness but never old age! That's extremely helpful because he is eating, drinking, walking, and has control of bowel and his bladder.
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