How do you know when to let go?

How do you know when to let go?

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PugwasHDJ80

Original Poster:

7,320 posts

189 months

Sunday 7th March
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Please be kind- i have no idea how to post this because its a topic that i don't want to even think about (i have tears streaming down my face just thinking about it)

We have a bearded collie, a wedding present from the breeders (my best man's parents- who i was very very close to)

I can't bear the thought of life without him (we've had some really hard years in his 14.5 years and he is very loved) but I'm scared that it might better for him to slip away- how do you know?

He's been getting weaker for the past year, losing a lot of weight, not really eating (although now we just feed him whatever we eat and he's put a bit more on), he fell down the stairs yesterday (and this was a dog that used to clear a 5ft fence). He doesn't wag, goes in and out of the house constantly, growls just lying down quietly and/or woofs for no reason. He isn't happy at all- never wags, very hard to get him interested in anything. He's had a lot of back pain and struggles to poo as can't bend his back (although he does manage it). He's not incontinent and is clean overnight - although he did have an accident in the house a few days ago during the day. The vet reports that he's still got healthy lungs and heart.

I can't bear the thought of him living in pain and i equally can't bear the thought of losing him. I don't know what to do. i can't even bear to talk to my wife about it as i don't want to put the decision on her and i can barely talk about it.

Any thoughts gratefully received.


Pothole

33,343 posts

250 months

Sunday 7th March
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I think you already know. Have another, proper, talk to the vet. So sorry, mate.

riosyd

601 posts

169 months

Sunday 7th March
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Is he on any medication for pain?

mickyh7

1,426 posts

54 months

Sunday 7th March
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A week early.
Never a week late!

Chester draws

1,310 posts

78 months

Sunday 7th March
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mickyh7 said:
A week early.
Never a week late!
That was the phrase that came to my mind, "better a week too soon, than a day too late".

I'm sure you'll make his remaining time as comfortable as possible.

Turn7

20,223 posts

189 months

Sunday 7th March
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Hate to say it, but it sounds the like the time is very close.....

For us, we just knew, it was just a point of ok, thats enough now......

Its hateful part of owning such loving pets, but juts think of the memories yuo have made.......

moorx

2,392 posts

82 months

Sunday 7th March
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Agree with others. I have been there more times than I care to remember, and it is a horrible place frown

I shared this with another member who was going through this a while ago:


I have seen the following quoted and I think - although it is 'clinical' - it can be useful for those of us struggling to be objective about our pet's quality of life:

From the book "Absent Friend" by Laura and Martyn Lee - proposed by Andrew Edney, vet and past president of the British Small Animal Vet. Association:

'Is the animal:

Free from pain, distress, or serious discomfort which cannot be effectively controlled
Able to walk and balance reasonably well
Able to eat and drink enough for normal maintenance without much difficulty and without vomiting
Free from tumours which cause pain or serious discomfort and are judged inoperable or otherwise untreatable
Able to breathe without difficulty
Able to urinate and defecate reasonably frequently and without serious difficulty or incontinence

and is the owner:
Able to cope physically and emotionally with any nursing or medication that may be required?

If the answer to any of these questions is "No" and treatment is unlikely to help, then euthanasia might be the preferred option.'


This cartoon has also been published on the dog forum I used to frequent - it is moving, but I think it also makes an important point.

(link removed as it has been posted below)





Edited by moorx on Sunday 7th March 19:17

Turn7

20,223 posts

189 months

Sunday 7th March
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To save the clicky linky.....


Skyedriver

12,102 posts

250 months

Sunday 7th March
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Feel for everything you are going through OP.
Our Daisy was apparently as fit as a lop last Tuesday, Wednesday she was making weird yawning noises, off her food (a good guide) and would chase the tennis ball then just look at it.
The Vet said she had a tumour in her spleen that had spread to her heart and there was a lot of fluid around her heart probably blood. In his words she didn't have long, possibly hours! Jeez that came as as hell of a shock as we thought she maybe had a sore throat!
We picked her up to take her for one last little walk, she put on a brave face (better than the three of us) but you could tell in her look at me that she knew it was time and wanted to say goodbye.
Heartbroken.
Looking back, our other dog who previously didn't really bond with Daisy had changed in her attitude over the last few months with regular sniffing of her rear end, they can tell when a dog is ill long before you can and a Springer (our Daisy) is apparently very good at hiding pain. That said for the last 6 months of her life she headed to bed straight after tea time, maybe she had just had enough of the day....
It's going to be hard whenever you decide, but is the dog comfortable, can it eat, does it want to eat, does it still greet you? It will know and tell you.


RDMcG

16,448 posts

175 months

Monday 8th March
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It is heartbreaking and I something feel sad when new pup arrives, because I know it will not last forever.

If your old friend is in any kind of pain, the the vet does not have a way to make him comfortable, then it is time. I have been with every dog when it happens at the vet. Not everybody want to do this, and I am always devastated to say goodbye, but it is because I love my dog that I want to send him on his way without pain. Too late (which occurred only once for me with a very sudden and unexpected decline) is a much worse outcome.

Best wishes for your decision; you clearly care for your dog and I am sure you will make the right decision.

Insert Coin

966 posts

11 months

Monday 8th March
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I knew it was time when I put a mini pork pie about 6 inches from my dogs nose and he couldn’t get up to eat it.

I think you’ll know when it’s the right time.

Suddenly very dusty in here and the old bugger died 5 years ago, they never really leave you.

cry

fttm

2,404 posts

103 months

Monday 8th March
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It is an awful decision but I believe you already know the answer . Having been here before I fully understand how you feel , but realistically it’s all about the quality of life and it sounds like your dog is missing out . I have an 11 yr old GS and I fully expect to have my heart broken in the next while , you’re not alone fella . When our last girl went I walked into the kitchen in a flood of tears and said to my wife “now is the time “, she protested but a few hours later agreed , it was done the next day . Only thinking of her this afternoon and it was tough , dags eh ?

Edited by fttm on Monday 8th March 01:52

garythesign

1,253 posts

56 months

Monday 8th March
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If your dog is not happy and you cannot change that, them now is the time.

Make the decision jointly with your wife.

The first time is always the worst.

Good luck

mickyh7

1,426 posts

54 months

Monday 8th March
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Chester draws said:
mickyh7 said:
A week early.
Never a week late!
That was the phrase that came to my mind, "better a week too soon, than a day too late".

I'm sure you'll make his remaining time as comfortable as possible.
That's what I meant to type!
Terrible time to be going through.


parakitaMol.

11,700 posts

219 months

Monday 8th March
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I am so very sorry you are going through this impossible decision.

One that I sadly had to make with my 21 year old Kitty last week. It was very difficult. However I was able to plan it with the vet and spend the last few days spoiling her absolutely rotten and the vet made arrangements so I could take her into the surgery and be with her as the last appointment of the day. It really helped being able to do that.

I think with animals we have to *try* (not easy) to be objective and consider quality of life. I would agree with a week earlier rather than a week later.

Thinking of you x

irc

2,227 posts

104 months

Monday 8th March
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Sorry for what you are going through. It's never easy. I have made that last trip to the vets with two dogs.

The no tail wag and "growls just lying down quietly and/or woofs for no reason" sounds like he is in discomfort or pain. Not enjoying life right now. If he is already on pain meds from the vet and they can't be increased then I think it's time.

Remember the good times.

Muzzer79

5,077 posts

155 months

Monday 8th March
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You know your dog best, so you know if he's happy or not.

Our last two family dogs were brothers. They weren't in a huge amount of pain, they were - at 16 years - just old. They couldn't toilet properly, couldn't move about easily, struggled to get on the sofa and just wound up sleeping most of the day and night.

It was heart-wrenching, but the best thing for them

14.5 years is a fabulously long time for a dog. He's had a wonderful life. Think of the joy he's brought you and continue that joy with another one, when you're ready.


Dan_1981

15,799 posts

167 months

Monday 8th March
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What is it they say?

'Don't let grief stay your hand'

You probably already know the answer to the question you are asking.

fizzwheel

106 posts

94 months

Monday 8th March
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its incredibly difficult and nothing anybody can / will say makes it any easier. We had one of our dogs put to sleep last year.

She had dementia and sight loss, she went from being a happy active, dog to one that was scared and frightened, couldn't remember where her food and water bowl were in the house, having to be taken outside to use the toilet and not wanting to go on walks.

The decline started slowly and we talked to the vets regularly and listened to what the vet told us about quality of life and that side of things, as I said physically she was fine, but mentally she was not.

Eventually me and my girlfriend decided she had no quality of life and when she stopped wanting to go on walks and we had to sit with her to make sure she ate and drank and went to the toilet we made the hard decision that it was time to let her go.

I miss her every day, but she was not happy and she was not herself anymore and I think if we had left it any longer it would have been unkind.

A friend said to me "you know your dog best and you'll know when it's time" and the same friend also said "It's not about you its about doing what the right thing for your dog is"

its very hard and I did not want to let my dog go, but I also knew I had to do the right thing for her and I got to the point where I knew it was better for her to let her go than to keep her hanging on with no quality of life anymore.

MYOB

3,889 posts

106 months

Monday 8th March
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Terribly sorry but it doesn't sound like your dog is enjoying life any more. My previous dog suffered but was still happy in life and enjoyed his surroundings and walks.

Then Xmas eve came and he was clearly unhappy and in pain. I had him euthanised the same day despite it the fact that it was going to ruin Xmas.

It's never easy. I put it off for as long as I could but you know when your dog has no quality of life.

Good luck.