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Difficult subject.

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Dogloverlou, Jul 15, 2019.


  1. Dogloverlou

    Dogloverlou PetForums VIP

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    This is really difficult so please be gentle with me!

    I'm concerned about Missy & her quality of life. Up until the past two weeks I hadn't overly concerned myself with the subject but I'm now beginning to wonder whether I'm so used to her old dog ways that I've shrugged all her behaviour off as simply old age. She seems to have deteriorated more these past couple of weeks and on/off my dad has been saying she has no quality of life which has obviously made me really question that as a possibility. I feel immensely guilty that I've not had her on any meds when clearly she must be in pain from her arthritis. I thought the supplements I had her on were enough, because although she is stiff she didn't appear to be in any pain. But again, now I'm really upset with myself that I've been so blind to some of her advanced symptoms.

    She's booked into the vets for Thursday where I will obviously discuss my concerns etc and see what they suggest. I'm just worried that I've let things go on for to long and not realised just how serious her ailments were.
     
  2. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    I have no experience of an older dog so can't help to much. Please don't feel guilty we can only do our best for our friends you know her best and I'm sure the vets will guide you. Take care and enjoy your time with her x
     
  3. SusieRainbow

    SusieRainbow Moderator
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    It's so difficult and onlly you know.
    Does she have days when she's happy - is she happy more than sad? Do you feel that life is just a struggle for her?
    I never found that 'quality of life'chart helpful with either my cat or Tango, as you know Tango's death was quite sudden at the end and more a case of serious intervention if we wanted to prolong her life temporarily.
    I would say, have a chat for the vet,maybe get her some pain-killers and take it from there. I think you will know when it's time, don't listen to anyone else.
    Thinking about you ( tearfully ) at this difficult time.xxx
     
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  4. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    Try not to beat yourself up about it too much, at least you are not seeking some guidance for her. Roxy has a range of conditions (HD, spondylosis, equina cauda, general arthritis & now tested positive for CDRM) but we manage them & she has regular reviews with our vet where we discuss her exercises, meds, general behaviour, etc. I also keep a brief diary (Excel spreadsheet that I update each day) based on a quality of life calculator the veds advised me to look at to gauge her overall condition, (it was through this that i identified that a she was having a bad reaction to a new medication so very useful)

    I would say that if she is a bit stiff then she probably is in a certain amount of pain (sorry but alot of people miss this) & pain can be as subtle as behaviour changes rather than anything obvious such a limping . As well as meds tho there are loads of things you can do to help her out ... look at her environment, does she struggles in certain areas? Are there areas that are uneven or slippy that she could hurt herself on? Also consider therapies; physio/hydrotherapy is fantastic help & my physio is now offering laser therapy which has been amazing for my Roxy.

    It might be with the right meds & some changes she will be alot happier
     
    #4 Cleo38, Jul 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
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  5. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    Also look at the Canine Arthritis Management website, there is lots of great stuff on there & they also have a FB page that you might find useful. Hannah was a fantastic support to me when Roxy was going through a bad patch & I was so grateful for their advice when i was panicking one evening https://caninearthritis.co.uk/

    It is always an upsetting time seeing our dogs age especially if they are struggling. I posted on FB a while ago about how I thought I was going to lose Roxy as she was struggling so much, the appointment for her to be PTS was actually booked until I realised it was the meds that were causing her to decline. She is so much better now but I do think this will be my last summer with her. It's heart breaking when I think about it too much so I don't, I just make sure we do lots of things that she enjoys & monitor her condition
     
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  6. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I wonder if it’s worth trying some pain meds to ease any discomfort from her arthritis that might be enough to keep her happy and pain free for a while yet - assuming no other factors suggest the contrary.
     
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  7. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
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    Don't beat yourself up too much. When we see a dog day in and day out it can be easy to miss or shrug off subtle signs, and I think the little dogs can hide their stiffness much easier than larger dogs.
    What matters is that you are getting her to the vet for the extra help that she might need :)
    I second the Canine Arthritis FB page, it's a great resource.
     
  8. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    Here, have a ((Hug)).

    I was in your shoes for about 18 months be for Max was PTS. Was I keeping him going for him, or for myself? Did he really have any quality of life, or was I deluding myself?

    I ran through the Quality of Life checklist so much I think I memorized it. Especially on a bad day. I cried more than once because I knew the end was approaching and wondered how I'd cope. People would reassure me that I'd know, but I doubted it. How would I know?

    And then, the day he was PTS came. I knew. Without doubt. No question. I was so inconsolable on the phone to the vets, that I couldn't speak.

    You're doing the right thing, taking her to the vet. Try to relax and enjoy her until then. Unless your dad lives with you, he doesn't know Missy like you do (my dad was the same). Thank him for his input, take it into consideration, but don't take it as Gospel. It's his opinion. Nothing more.

    Thinking of you and Missy at this time.
     
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  9. Darkangelwitch

    Darkangelwitch Princess Shona

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    We are in a similar position with our old 3 leg dog Cheeno. His pain has been managed for the last few years with various drugs (took a long time to get the right balance as he has a delicate tummy) but the last two weeks he has been struggling to walk at all (only front leg keeps giving way and the back legs are tucked under him).

    He doesn’t want to get out of bed in the mornings so he has breakfast in bed (I know, totally spoilt but he is allowed to be).

    Have an appointment this evening with the vet to talk over options but it will be difficult to try him out on different medications as change usually starts vomiting and diarrhoea which at his age will not be nice.

    Hope it works out for you and please don’t feel guilty, it took us a while to realise Cheeno was in pain all those years ago as he doesn’t really show it in an obvious way.
     
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  10. Dogloverlou

    Dogloverlou PetForums VIP

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    Thank you all for your kind words & support.

    She actually is pottering about the kitchen as I type & seems to have perked up since I posted this thread. But there are so many little things now. The only thing she does with any enjoyment is eat :( She gets confused, loses her balance a lot, and refuses to go out on walks or even enjoy going out in the car anymore. She seems to be losing her fur and is just generally a bit whiffy...that old age kinda smell. I don't know. I just feel of late she's existing rather than living & questioning whether she's got any real happiness in her life.

    I definitely think giving pain meds a go is the right idea, at least to see whether that changes some of behaviour and helps increase mobility. I have her on a joint supplement at the mo and CBD oil. But at her advanced age I think that's nowhere near enough anymore :(

    @Cleo38 thank you for your links. I was actually just looking at the Canine Arthritis page the other day. Lots of good info there.

    @LinznMilly you pretty much summed up my whole thought process and you're right, my dad doesn't live with me & doesn't see Missy as I do day in and day out. I think the saying of 'knowing' when it's time to let them go is right & my gut doesn't tell me it is time yet, however, the fact I'm thinking about quality of life & the real possibility that time will come sooner rather than later may well indicate that time is approaching :(

    ETA: She's very bony to the touch & back in March she developed what can only be described as a watery kind of cough. She had a heart check at the time ( just a basic listen through the stethoscope ) and the vet said her heart sounded ok. She also had full bloods done & all came back good. However, the cough has persisted to varying degrees ever since & she was doing it a lot overnight & this morning. Of course, my worry is that it is a heart condition now....
     
    #10 Dogloverlou, Jul 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
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  11. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    She's a small breed...try not to worry if heart has been ruled out. Coughing could be sign of trachea collapse, which is common in small dogs. Surgery isn't really an option, but if she's refusing walks more and maybe a little bit exercise intolerance it could be that as well as the arthritis...treatment is usually anti inflammatory...and to put your mind at rest even more a stethoscope is the basic tool anyone really needs for signs of heart problems. It can tell you a lot.

    I wish I could help you more to be honest. With my two very old oldies I lost I was a bit cross about Gem, who was medicated for arthritis but was struggling. Plus she was booked in to have a bladder scan in two days. I could see her struggling, I had a terrible time with a vet who didn't up her medication didn't seem worried at all about her and just said we need this scan. I thought I was taking her to be put to sleep...roll on two days later she was sedated for the scan as she was so unsteady on her feet...which I had tried to explain to the vet. Now they did give me the option of painkillers, but them two days at home, and the previous day's I just knew it would have been kinder to have let her go. Don't get me wrong she was still eating, pottering and wanting her normal cuddles but I think she had lived with pain that came on so quickly that it just wasn't nice any more. Plus she was approximately 18. We adopted her at 9, and boy she was more like a puppy then.
     
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  12. Silverpaw

    Silverpaw PetForums Member

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    Ahh,bless you and Missy.I love old dogs but I know what a worry they can be.Taking her to get some pain meds sounds like a good idea.Hopefully,they'll make a big difference to her.It might be worth talking to the vet about something to help with her confusion if it's much of an issue.Aswell as that,I'm sure you're doing all of the usual things to support her,like keeping routines going but in a way that is flexible enough to let her benefit from the times that she feels up for doing things and snoozing when she wants to.Something loss of hearing and eye sight can cause hesitation and isolation.I don't know how she is on these but if needed,it can be helpful to gently tap a bed to save startling a dog with hearing loss.If she doesn't want to walk any more,might she enjoy a bit of a sniff somewhere interesting for a few mins?I can't tell you how many 'sniff and strolls' I've done over the years!As for the end bit,which we all dread,I really do believe what others have said,that,knowing our dogs as we do,we just know.Go easy on yourself,enjoy the quieter times with your beautiful girl,I know they break our hearts but what a small price to pay for having them in our lives.
     
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  13. margy

    margy PetForums VIP

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    That's a good idea, tapping the bed. Belle is deaf and when she's asleep I often wonder at the best way to wake her with out making her jump with fright. Mainly I gently stroke her ear, but I will try tapping her bed because she does wake when she feels Suzie get up of the bed.
     
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  14. Dogloverlou

    Dogloverlou PetForums VIP

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    Thank you for your sensible and encouraging words @lullabydream. I guess I would worry that at this point Missy's arthritis is to advanced for meds to help, but we won't know until we try. It's just the loss of balance & falling over that is becoming more regular now :( I found her stuck in the drain in the garden the other night! Sorry for your experience with Gem. Sounded like she led a full and happy life though :)

    Thank you for this. She is deaf & pretty much blind too, yes. I gently stroke her to wake her but she does often jump bless her. The tapping on the bed is a good idea & might be less scary for her. I have a buggy for her which I take her out in when I feel she's having a 'good' day. I feel she enjoys these strolls, but last week I took her out for the afternoon to a garden centre & my sister's for tea afterwards & she really struggled. Didn't seem to enjoy being out one bit and was just incredibly thirsty ( she had water in her stroller ) & tired. That's the first time I've genuinely felt she would have preferred to be left at home even though she does refuse walks when I offer to take her out. She's sleeping a lot more in the kitchen & bathroom at the mo, places she's never chosen to sleep in ever. I can only assume it's because she somehow gets lost or confused about coming into the living room where her bed is. I'm not really sure, but I do sometimes go & bring her in.

    I think a part of me is geared up for the vets to mention euthanasia. They've already said that anything that would require surgery or invasive & aggressive treatment would not be recommended and we are looking at managing any ailments and quality of life than any real solutions now :(
     
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  15. Bugsys grandma

    Bugsys grandma PetForums VIP

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    I'm so sorry you are at this point with your lovely old lady. I think it's very important at this point to be totally honest with yourself, as hard as that is.
    However as she's had no medication so far, it might be that putting her on something to help with her discomfort, might be all she needs to perk her up a bit.
    I would have a good Chat with your vet, I hope your vet is one you feel you can really talk to, and see what they suggest.
    Could it be that she's sleeping in the kitchen or bathroom because she finds it cooler in there at the moment, with the warm weather we've been having, and not for any other reason?

    At the end if the day, you know her best,and I firmly believe that you absolutely will know when it's time to let her go.
    I have always known, without a shadow of a doubt when it's been time for any of my dogs, and I'm certain you will too.
    Wishing you all the best, my thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
     
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  16. Silverpaw

    Silverpaw PetForums Member

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    Ahh,she sounds like a real little poppet.How old is she?I too was wondering if she maybe choosing to be in the kitchen or bathroom because it might be cooler.I don't think the oldies have such good temperature control.One of the other things I do,is to have a bowl of water in every room and if it's not being used,offer it to them.Your afternoon out sounds lovely but maybe it was a bit too much for her on that day.I know some days are better than others and we learn to live around them.I bet she's a cutie in her stroller,we got one for Maci.He's taken to it a lot better than we expected.Good luck at the vets,trust your heart and your instincts but do remember that you don't have to make an instant decision,especially if you are going to give pain meds a go.
     
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  17. Dogloverlou

    Dogloverlou PetForums VIP

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    Thank you. I'm not sure whether her sleeping elsewhere is related to the warmer weather, could be I suppose. I don't think she enjoyed her' walk' that I mentioned because of the heat last week. But she does get stuck in the bathroom quite a lot now, standing behind the toilet or by the bath seemingly unable to back herself out of there.
    I think my vet ( even though we see different ones quite often ) will be understanding. I definitely think we will give pain meds a try.

    She's 16 1/2 now. I keep a bowl of water in my bedroom overnight now as she wakes often to drink. Thank you for your nice words & support.
     
  18. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Keep us updated @Dogloverlou

    I know it's a difficult time for you. They will be many reading this thread with understanding, not adding as everything has been said but am sure everyone's thoughts are with you
     
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  19. Dogloverlou

    Dogloverlou PetForums VIP

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    Thank you. Will update on Thursday x
     
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  20. MontyMaude

    MontyMaude PetForums VIP

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    I have no advice but offer a squishy virtual hug as it must be so difficult, but give Missy a gentle squeeze from me, as I miss seeing her pretty face in you lovely photos you used to post.
     
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