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    1. #1
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      Atdawn01's Avatar
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      Not sure what to do

      This topic must have been discussed hundreds of time so please forgive me, but here we go again. I Have a wonderful senior lab, she's 14 & 1/2 years old. We've seen a slow deterioration of her over the last couple of years with arthritis and perhaps a spinal injury causing neurological damage (per the vet as she has failed the "knuckle test?" In the past). At first we had her on Rimadyl which worked wonderfully for her. Eventually that did not seem to give her enough pain relief and she was once again having mobility issues so we started her on prednisone and tramadol, which got her back into decent enough shape that her mobility wasn't limited once again. There'd be the occasional incontinence and she could no longer jump up on the couch but she was doing good. The last week or so. She seems to have deterioted rapidly. The majority of the time she can't get up on her own. When I lift her up it take several tries or me holding her for several minutes for her to get her back legs figured out. She is having bowel movements or urinating while laying down, and doesn't even realize it or try to Move away from it. I don't mind cleaning up after her or bathing her. I'm confused now and don't know what to do. She still wants to be with us and still wants to eat. Am I cruel thinking of putting her down? Am I cruel to keep her going. I'm so confused. I can't help but feel I'm making a selfish decision if I choose euthanasia to early, so how do I know?

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      knuthf (06-15-2015)

    3. #2
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      barry581's Avatar
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      No you are not cruel in any way, shape or form. I've been through what you are dealing with too many times. It's the most difficult decision a pet owner has to make. I've promised all my dog I will do the right thing for them when the time comes, no matter how much it hurts me. If you feel your dogs quality of life is to the point it's time to euthanize, then you have to make that decision. You know your dog, and you know what's best. I've said many times that making this decision is the ultimate act of love. It's up to you to help them pass with dignity. I also believe it's best to let them go a day to early, than a day to late.

      My heart breaks for you in having to make this decision. I wish the best for you and your girl. Trust me, there will be many great Labs waiting to great her as she crosses the bridge.

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    5. #3
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      Atdawn01's Avatar
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      Thank-you. It's such a hard decision when you love her so much. Ultimately we want to do right by her.

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      knuthf (06-15-2015)

    7. #4
      Senior Dog
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      The hardest and most selfless gift we can give our beloved companions is such a difficult decision to make. Sending you prayers of comfort and strength.
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      Tammy
      Maxx and Emma Jean

      Ozzy - 10/2002 - 06/2011 - Rest well my sweet boy. You are forever remembered, forever missed, forever in my heart.

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      Atdawn01 (05-29-2015)

    9. #5
      Senior Dog
      Snowshoe's Avatar
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      I'm so sorry, I know how hard this time is. Our girl was very much the same when her back went out at age 12.5.

      The saying, "better a day too early than a day too late" helped me make this awful decision. It did get to the time where managing pain became difficult and I wanted to keep her from pain.

      Something else I noticed with our pets and one I was looking after is they are often better when they are with us, or they seem ok. But alone or with someone they know less well they show more pain, lethargy, confusion, disability and I learned to weigh the time I could spend just being with them against the time they had to deal on their own. Most of our pets spend a lot of time alone, we're at work, asleep, doing the other things needed to keep a household running.

      Stronger meds might give her a better quality of life now but often are hard on internal organs. We upped pain meds till there was no where else to go. We spoke to our Vet and breeder for help. Good luck, I'm thinking of you and your girly.

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    11. #6
      Senior Dog
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      As everyone has said it's one of the most hardest decision we as pet owners have to make when the quality of life and that spark in their eye goes. Most people do not understand the grief we and guilt (as pet owners) feel when we have to send our beloved pet to the rainbow bridge. That's what makes this board so great is the understanding and support we have when one looses a pet. We truly know what you are going through and the anxiety you are feeling trying to make that decision and when that time comes we are here for you. Part of the our healing process is to go to the Rainbow Bridge section and post a tribute to our lost love one.

      Remember we are here for you.
      Gracie - Yellow Lab - 10/23/2005
      Maddie - Chessie - 3/6/2010
      Pinks - Black Lab/Mix - Got ya 12/30/10

      At the Bridge
      Nozomi (Zoe) - BC/Lab - Got ya 9/5/2009 - 3/19/2015
      Abbey - Yellow Lab - Got ya - 5/8/2009 - 4/22/11
      Cheanna - Black Lab/Mix - Got ya 5/99 - 9/21/10
      Buddy (Bubba) - Black Lab/Mix - Got ya 11/2/02 - 3/28/10
      Amber - Yellow Lab/Dobi - Got ya 8/1989 - 5/15/01

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    13. #7
      Senior Dog
      Annette47's Avatar
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      I think for me (and I have been there) it would depend in large part on her pain levels. If she doesn’t seem to be in pain, but is having mobility issues then I would do my best to keep her clean and comfortable - purchase a support harness to help get her up and around. If she is definitely suffering though (either physically or mentally as some dogs do feel distress at incontinence), that would be a different issue.

      I think a good first step would be to talk to the vet and ask if it is worth trying something like Gabapentin for the pain/neuropathy to see if that makes a difference. We’ve never used it, but when Scully had severe arthritis in her elbows that was going to be the next in line to try if the Deramaxx/Tramadol combo she was on failed her (she went into kidney failure at 15 but her arthritis pain remained reasonably controlled).
      Annette

      Cookie (Jamrah’s Legally Blonde, BN) 6/4/2015
      Sassy (Jamrah’s Blonde Ambition, BN) 6/4/2015

      Chloe (HIT HC Windsong’s Femme Fatale, UDX2, OM4) 6/7/2009


      Remembering:
      Scully (Coventry's Truth Is Out There, UD, RN) 4/4/1996 - 6/30/2011
      Our foster Jolie (UCh Windsong’s Genuine Risk, CDX, WC) 5/26/1999 - 3/2/2014
      and Mulder (Coventry’s I Want to Believe, UD, VER, WC, RN) 5/26/1999 - 4/20/2015

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    15. #8
      Senior Dog
      Happy
       
      POPTOP's Avatar
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      So sorry that your senior is having difficulties. It's such a hard time to know what to do.

      Have been in your position many times as we home seniors. I have used a walking support harness which did help along with pain meds. I have been fortunate in that they all let me know when it was time, that quality of life was deteriorating to the point it was more bad times than good times. Almost all were continuing to eat and bowel and bladder functions were intact although sometimes inside.

      Have a heart to heart talk with your vet. The goal is not length of time but quality of time.

      My heart goes out to you and your senior. Prayers and support being sent.
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      Kissing Bandit

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      Atdawn01 (05-30-2015)

    17. #9
      House Broken
      KLR625's Avatar
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      I'm so sorry you have to think about this heartbreaking decision. I was faced with the same thing last year with my boy. It was the hardest decision I had to make. The one thing I regret was waiting too long. I just wanted to love him a little longer and it really wasn't the best thing for him. His quality of life was poor and I finally realized it wasn't fair to him. Each pet is individual so I feel it's important to get your vets input but if there isn't anything else they can do to the last thing you want to do is let them suffer. There are some good articles online as to when to know if it's the right time if you just google it. My prayers and thoughts are with you.
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      Murphy born Valentines Day 2014

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      Atdawn01 (05-30-2015)

    19. #10
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      -image-jpg

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