I desperately need to hear thoughts, input, advice from people here who have been through this. My husband and I think we may have to make a DECISION soon regarding our oldest dog, Kalvin. Even talking about it, is extremely hard for the both of us. He was our first dog together, and is as much a part of our family as our children. Kalvin is an 11 year old lab. He is partly deaf and has arthritis. He has a hard time getting up from the floor. He growls anytime anyone gets near him (only when he's been sleeping) and sometimes when no one is there at all. I do know this stems from going deaf, however, I have two young children. He has only snapped once at them, although he didn't bite, it was enough to have my heart leap up into my throat. He has what has been termed previously here as a nervous habit. He licks his paws - CONSTANTLY. I cannot stop him from doing that for anything. I refuse to put an E collar on him for 24 hours a day/everyday, because that is what it would take. I cannot wrap or bind his paws in anyway, as it is in a different location on each paw. His back paw is the worst, in any case, it is infected. The more medicine I seem to put on it, the more he licks. At best, the infection isn't worse, just not better either. Now, his two front paws are turning that rusty red color, and soon will have infection as well, if I don't find a solution. My vet says to keep putting medicine on and to clean his paws every time he goes out and/or try the e-collar. No other suggestions. It's very frustrating because I feel I'm in a no win situation in regards to his paws. He doesn't play AT ALL, all he does, is eat, sleep and potty, and lick. He does get up and wags his tail when somebody comes in the house, or when he's getting a treat or gets petted. It's not that he's a lump on a log or anything like that, but he just doesn't want to do anything, which at his age is understandable. Plus, because of his one bad paw, he is over compensating on his other paw when standing and walking, which can't be good for his hips, as labs are prone to hip problems to begin with.
I'm just so distraught over this, because we always said that we would rather put our animals to sleep (at old age) than leave them to suffer in this world because we love them and their company and because they are a part of our family. BUT, we always thought it would be when they were older than eleven! I just feel like he's too young now, and obviously can't say, hey Kalv, buddy are you suffering? Anything hurt today? I just wish I knew what the right decision was. Or the right time. Apparently, this was easier said then, than done now.
Please, I need to hear something. Validation, suggestions, anything.
It has been 7mo. now since we had to have Max put down and I still sometimes just burst out in tears. It will be one of the hardest decisions you will make. I have to keep telling myself he is so much better off now and not suffering. He was on so much insulin for diabetes and sometimes his whole day would be throwing up. We know we did everything in our power for him and that gives me some comfort. My heart goes out to you because now that I know what its like to loose one I dread anything happening to the others. I could have been selfish and brought him home from the vets where he had been on iv's the whole week-end but I knew how sick he was and you will know when its time to let them go and be at peace. God bless, its a hard thing to go through.
Two poems for you. One at the beginning and one for the end, a complete explaination in a way.
Lend A Pup
I will lend to you for a while, a pup, God said, For you to love him while he lives and mourn for him when he's dead. Maybe for twelve or fourteen years, or maybe two or three But will you, 'til I call him back, take care of him for me.He'll bring his charms to gladden you and (should his stay be brief) you'll always have his memories as solace for your grief. I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return But there are lessons taught below I want this pup to learn.
I've looked the whole world over in search of teachers true And from the folk that crowd life's land I have chosen you. Now will you give him all your love nor think the labor vain, Nor hate me when I come to take my Pup back again.
I fancied that I heard them say "Dear Lord Thy Will be Done," For all the joys this Pup will bring, the risk of grief we'll run. We'll shelter him with tenderness, we'll love him while we may And for the happiness we've known forever grateful stay
But should you call him back much sooner than we've planned, We'll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand. If, by our love, we've managed, your wishes to achieve In memory of him we loved, to help us while we grieve.
When our faithful bundle departs this world of strife, We'll have yet another Pup and love him all his life.
If It Should Be
If it should be I grow frail and weak, And pain should wake me from my sleep, Then you must do what must be done, For this last battle canít be won.
You will be sad, Iíll understand, Donít let your grief then stay your hand, For this day more than all the rest, Your love and friendship stand the test.
Weíve had so many happy years, What is to come will hold no fears, Youíll not want me to suffer, so, When the time comes, please let me go.
I know in time, you too will see, It is a kindness you do me, Although my tail its last has waved, From pain and suffering, Iíve been saved.
Do not grieve that it should be you, Who has to decide this thing to do Weíve been so close, we two, these years, Donít let your heart hold any tears.
I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. Rita Rudner Quote
Masti........ i'm so sorry for what you're going through. I know exactly how you feel. I had a boxer pup given to me on my birthday in 2006. he was the greatest gift i had gotten! I love him so much and he very quickly became another member of our family. He shared my bed, jumped in the truck to go camping and pretty much anywhere we went he wanted to go and we took him too! He came down with what ended up being a fatal illness that slowly took over his entire body. It was the saddest thing for me to watch him get so sick. i tried everything to get him better, all kinds of medicenes and treatmens but nothing worked. In a matter of just months he was blind and couldn't even stand to go potty...and he had very bad muscle spasms. he couldn't even bring his tounge back in his mouth b/c he had no control over it. the day we put him down (july 5th 2007) was the worst day ever. i cried so hard a threw up. didn't think i could make it through that day at all. it was devestating. i lost my best friend that day. but i know now that it was selfish of me to try to keep him here, in a place where he is suffering and hurting just to breath. i know his in a better place...running and playing with his squeeky ball...he's in no pain and he's happy. It's a very hard thing to do and I hate that you must make that kind of decision. I pray that you will be consoled and that you will love him enough to let him be free of his pain and illness...free to be the reall baby you have known and loved for all these years. I am so sorry again for what you are going through and the possible choice and looms to be made. Even as i right this i hurt and cry for my baby and for you and yours. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this very difficult time. God Bless.... ~Laura
Momma to Gunor Shane and Russel Gage Marcus!! Best boxer boys in the world!! :) *Formerly Oscarsmomma*
Thanks for all your posts. Everyone of them brought tears streaming down. We still haven't made a decision or even for when. This has got to be one of life's harder decisions. Thank you for all your kind thoughts.
I have been blessed with my dogs having long longevity but I did have to make that decision about a horse about 10 years ago, he was just a coming 3 year old when he coliced while we were one state over visiting family for the Holidays. When we got home he wasnt feeling good and he was hospitalized for 2 weeks before we finally had to make THE decision. I was still in high school then and some kids couldnt figure out why I missed shool over a horse, it was no big deal to them. I asked them what they would do if their dog died and there still wasnt much of a response. Took me a few years to get over that one. It is a very hard decision to make.
I know this is a hard decision for you. My last two dogs that I had to PTS were both very hard for me. The first one was only 14 months old. I had gotten him when he was 8-10 weeks old...a rescue pup. He had been so badly abused that he was never right, but he was MINE. He got really sick and they couldn't figure out what was wrong. So instead of making him suffer while we tried to figure it out, I made one of the hardest decisions ever. My last one hurt even worse. He was truly my best friend, also. I got him when he was five months old (also a rescue). He was five when he died. He had an incurable cancer. My choices were to let him live and suffer or let him go peacefully. My mom pointed out that he had had one good year for every bad month he'd had before coming to me. So he had one heck of a last day. He loved on my baby boys and slobbered everyone with kisses. We took him for a two hour walk. Let him run in the creek, chase the squirrels. I did stop him from playihng with a cow! And then (after he dried off) we took him for a short car ride. He did all his favourite things in one day. Then we took a trip to the vet's. I still cry for him. It's never an easy choice. We want to be selfish and keep them longer because it's hard for us to let go. In the end, though, I know you'll do what's best. Good luck.
is he on any pain meds ? i would bet by breed and age he is in pain due to arthiritis. that may well explain his growling when someone comes near him also. personally unless he has been checked out thoroughly by a vet, and is currently on pain meds and is still exhibiting these behaviors, i wouldnt euthanize him. there is much that can be done for him and unless it has been tried, i dont feel it is fair to euthanize.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Just remember, the most humane thing you can do for him, is not let him suffer. I know it is very hard, but I always seem to know, in my gut, when it is time. I had to put a 14 year old lab down last spring and I still think of her. But 14 is very old, but she had a good life and was loved very much. We now have a 13 year old Dalmatian that isn't doing well. Even though we are trying to prepare for this, it won't be easy.
Scout, believe me, if I can avoid it I will!!! He is not on pain medications, per se. We just give him an aspirin for arthritis on his off days. It doesn't really seem to make that much of a difference for the arthritis. He just doesn't seem to want to do anything irregardless. We are pretty sure the growling is coming from him going deaf and not pain, as he only does it when he's waking up. Or if he is busy licking his paws and somebody comes too close to him. It's hard to explain. We still don't know what to do or when. We have a vet appointment in two weeks for his yearly shots and we will talk to the vet then regarding any other suggestions. We'll see. I don't want to put him to sleep unless we have to, we love him too much and this is definitely not an "easy" out.
We held our Frisky as the vet gave him the shot. I still cry when I think about it, but we had him for 12 1/2 yrs. and we owed him! It has been almost 3 years and we now have another dog. What did it for us was asking the doctor what he would do, he said, "the way he is suffering and his very poor quality of life, I would definetly put him down". Bless you Masti its tough, but I still think we did the right thing.
i know i made a promise to me and Tito...which is is he is EVER old and hurting i will not make him suffer because of my selfishness. Yes i love him to death but thats the point...i love him to much to let him be in ANY pain...even if he has meds. Its just not fair for my boy. Im dreading when the day comes.
aspirin doesn't work well for most dogs and there are better doggie approved medications on the market. a few to discuss with your vet would be rimadyl, previcox, deramaxx and metacam and etogesic. since he is a lab i would hesitate to put him on rimadyl since that has known liver compromises in labradors. however, with all medications, periodic bloodwork will need to be done to make sure none of his organs are being compromised from the medication. not all these medications work the same for each dog so you may need to do a trial and error with a few to find the one that works the best.
as far as him not wanting to do anything, i would bet it is because of his arthritis. i kow my 12 yr old wouldn't move off the couch, barely even to get up to go outside and eliminate, without her medication. i dont have arthritis myself but from what i have heard it is pretty uncomfortable. and all these meds need to be given daily, some are once a day some are twice, but giving them only sporadically, like you have been with the aspirin, does not help.
good luck at your vet visit :)
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.