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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just got back from the annual vet visit with our 12yo Border Collie and I just feel really sad. We have to vax her annually for rabies in order to keep her in the city limits so I had to get her vaxed even though I didn't want to.<br><br>
Anyway, her heart rate is slowing down and her thyroid is low and she has arthritis and she's overweight due to the thyroid and inactivity. So we have some thyroid medicine and I'm cutting back on her food a bit so maybe some weight loss will help, but I'm very concerned about her generally. I know we don't have many more years with her.<br><br>
We had a great older dog that died a few years ago of congestive heart failure, well she had heart failure but we had her put to sleep when her tongue was turning blue and it was obvious that she was having trouble getting enough oxygen. Ever since I've wondered if it was the right time and if I should have just kept her with us and let her pass naturally. Is euthanizing them always the right thing to do when it's obvious that they're about to go?<br><br>
Our BC isn't ready to go yet, of course, but this just all reminds me of the past and I'm wondering how we'll make the decisions this time.<br><br>
Sorry I'm rambling, I'm just thinking as I type.
 

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((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))<br><br>
I'm sure you will do what will be the best for all of you when/IF the time comes...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
nak...<br>
Thank you. I think I just needed a hug and some encouragement.
 

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I, too, have a geriatric lady. She's 14. For two years I have watched her physical health decline. She walks into things (like poles when we are out walking), and she falls alot, seemingly for no reason.<br><br>
I built a ramp out to the back yard and I made a sling for months to come.<br><br>
Big HUGS to you and your doggie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just curious, what is the sling for? I've been contemplating making some sort of sling or lift to help Maggie get into our van since her hips seem to be hurting her more and more lately.<br><br>
Also, we saw our other dog, Polly, go through all of this a few years ago and she did that falling down for no reason thing. Maggie hasn't started it yet, but it's so hard to watch.<br><br>
Do you have any other dogs? I'm not sure we're going to get any more right away. I don't know if having another dog would make this any easier, but come to think of it when Polly died having Maggie around to spoil made it a bit easier to bear.
 

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I lift my old lab in and out of my explorer... he used to be able to get in when I had a little sedan, but the explorer is too high. He wants to jump in, you can see him tense his muscles and a couple of times he has tried, but he can't make it. Luckily he's only about 70 pounds, so Rain or I can lift him fairly easily.<br><br>
Here's a dog sling:<a href="http://shop.store.yahoo.com/doolittlespetproduts/liftnaidslings.html" target="_blank">http://shop.store.yahoo.com/doolittl...aidslings.html</a><br><br>
It would have been useful with my last dog, a heeler/lab mix, because sometimes her arthritis hurt so much that she would just pee on herself rather than trying to get up...<br><br>
I've noticed that Keith doesn't pee like a boy dog anymore, lifting one leg. He just standss there and pees, with all 4 legs on the ground, no squatting or anything. His hips have always been stiff, and I think it's more comfortable not to lift a leg.<br><br>
Dar
 

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I did buy a folding ramp for my elders.<br>
I did have a mix of elders, adult & a pup @ 1 time :LOL <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut"><br><br>
My last rescue foster German Shep was approx 10 YO... she was the sweetest dog... she would get confused @ times <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br>
I had to tell potential adopters that she may be around 4 yrs or 4 mos... just don't know <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> but she did go to a great couple in their 50s who did not mind the risk...<br><br>
if we ever start being a rescue foster home again... we're gonna do the elder dogs as they are the 1st to go in pounds <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> & they are so sweet.<br><br>
Most loving pet owners know "when" - y'know - the quality of life thing..<br><br>
enjoy your elder <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="heartbeat">
 

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Kayjayjay - my dog is old too, an 11 year old rottie, and she has arthritis in her back and disco spondilitis where her pelvis meets the base of her spine. I have to hoist her into our car too, and she weights 106!<br><br>
Anyway, she had low thyroid and needs to lose weight - our holistic vet recommended giving her super greens (ie kelp, blue green algae, etc) - I got this from him: <a href="http://www.naturalpetmarket.com/productdetails2.cfm?Product_ID=AEgreens" target="_blank">http://www.naturalpetmarket.com/prod...ct_ID=AEgreens</a>, then I ran out and bough human grade stuff from the store and gave it to her with some kelp powder. After 6 months she was retested and her thyroid levels were normal.<br><br>
((hugs))
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dar,that sling looks like just what we need. I think I'll try to make one. Maggie weighs about 65lbs right now, but she should really weigh more like 50.<br><br>
I do want more dogs eventually, I just don't want to live in the city limits anymore, and I'm sort of waiting for that perfect living situation before we get another. We can't take a dog from a pet rescue right now because our yard doesn't have a fence and we won't be building one probably until spring. Maggie just goes outside and hangs out in the yard and comes to the door when she's done...she actually has always done this, even when she was young. She's such a good dog. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/luxlove.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="throb"><br><br>
Owensmom, thanks for the link, I'll check that out. I have been wondering if there was some more natural way to approach the thyroid issue. I wish we had a holistic vet, there just doesn't seem to be any around here.
 

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Kayjayjay, you have my sympathy. We've been through end of life with too many beloved animals. I have to say, nearly all of them have told us when they are done. Dogs can live with a great deal of pain and disability, and still be happy. And then one day they weren't happy anymore, we knew they never would be again, and we were comfortable with our decision to euthanize them. It's the most agonizing decision- and the right one.<br>
We did have one cat who decided to die at home. He spent the night on our bed as usual, and didn't wake up in the morning. This sounds weird, but he very clearly told us that was what he wanted.<br>
I guess I just think it's intuitive- our animals will tell us what they want, if we listen to them. You've had great suggestions for how to make your dog more comfortable, so try to enjoy the time you have.<br>
Peace,<br>
Mary
 

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Sympathies to you kayjayjay. I know what youre going thru.<br><br>
Ive got 2 border collie mixes, both rescues.....one is dying, and its been really hard.... wondering if Im doing the right thing, is she in pain? etc etc. For me, I think Im basing it on her quality of life. Yesterday she didnt eat at all or this morning, so I dont know how much longer this is going to go on. I hope she just goes naturally.........it would be hard to euthanize, but I would if she were suffering.<br><br>
My other dog (both are 10yrs) has mild arthritis, so she limps if I walk her too long. Shes also a little overweight, otherwise in good shape.<br><br>
Anyway.....this is the one part of pet ownership that I dont like......<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you dogmama and rainsmom.<br><br>
I wish I felt more at peace about having Polly (our other dog) euthanized. I think we just got the diagnosis that she was probably not going to last more than a day or two, so we just agreed to put her down. At the time I was afraid of coming into the room and finding her gone, for some reason. Now I wonder if it wouldn't have been kinder to her to just bring her home and make her comfortable. I really don't know if I would do it the same again. I'm sure every situation is different, but I think I'll approach this next time with a more "how does she feel" rather than "how do I feel" approach.<br><br>
Rainsmom, I'll be thinking of you as you deal with your sick doggie. BTW, our BC was a rescue also. I would love to get another one, we've really enjoyed her for the past 10 1/2 years!
 

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Thanks.........you know, BC are THE most intelligent dogs.......and ours certainly are.....easy to train, very communicative, loyal and funny too. Its been a real joy having both of them.<br><br>
Today Zoe (my sick doggie) wont eat.......has no saliva in her mouth TO eat, and I dont know what to do.........starving to death is not the answer and just as hard to face as putting her down. I know she doesnt feel good, but its getting harder to know what to do for her. Im making some broth with slippery elm for her right now. The last time I talked to her vet, he wanted to do a test to find out where she is as far as kidney testing (which is like 100 dollars) and knowing this info doesnt change her meds or anything Im doing now for her, it will just tell us that she is dying or at the end, which I think she is, obviously. So I dont feel like I can call him for advise on what to do. It would be almost easier to wake up and find her gone already, instead of having to make that decision. Sorry, Im rambling.......
 
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