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How do you know when it's time?

Old 09-08-2015, 01:16 PM
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Default How do you know when it's time?

Well guys I can't believe I'm writing this but it has come to that point. Here is the situation.

My golden retriever turns 10 next Tuesday and has been dealing with some health issues. He had a large tumor removed about 9 months ago which was found to not be cancerous. Fast forward to about 9 weeks ago and he had a seizure in the middle of the night which lasted about 5 minutes. Spoke with the vet they said to monitor it as at his age it was not uncommon. 2 weeks later and he had 2 more seizures (1 on Friday night 1 on Saturday night of that week). Vet said bring in for test. All test blood, urine etc came back fine BUT vet says he has developed a slight head tilt. So vet describes keppra xr and ask us to see a neurologist.

Neurologist says she is seeing the same things but it also appears he is loosing vision in right eye. She recommends the possibility of a mri because she believes it is brain cancer. Well that was somewhat inconclusive so at his age they are not recommending surgery and said the keppra xr along with an anxiety medicine so allieviate his pain.

So here I am today 2 weeks later watching my best friends condition deteriorate quicker than I ever thought possible. Here is a run down of his current symptoms: drowsiness, very lethargic, somewhat unstable, above normal panting (all of which could/are side effects of RX) very noticeable head tilt now, walks in circles, very bad twitch that sometimes is almost like clock work every 5 minutes, will freeze up on occasions for no reason, doesn't enjoy his head being petted (but still loves a back or belly rub) etc.

So here is the question this was my first pet that was all mine (I bought him and have been the sole provider for him his entire life, not to mention he was my only ever roommate until the finance and I moved in together). So I am very attached to him and I don't want to be the person who puts their best friend through days, weeks or months of pain because they can't stomach making that appointment at the vet in their very selfish ways because they don't want to put their best friend down yet.

So guys (I know there are a ton of dog owners and vets here) when is it time to make that appointment. I have had to do this with 2 of my other dogs, but they were "family" pets so I guess it wasn't as hard then, still hard but nothing close to this for me.

Thanks guys
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:27 PM
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I think you know that the right thing to do is to put him out of his increasing misery. It totally sucks, but it sounds like it's time. He's suffering and there is nothing else you can do for him. Good luck to you, toughest thing about owning a pet.
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:29 PM
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What is ailing him is probably bothering you more than him. Dogs love and adore their owners and only live to make you happy with them. I certainly can't speak for your friend but I'm willing to bet he would die sooner than nature planned to save you the prolonged heartache. I know that ether of my two would die a hundred times to protect my wife or I from the discomfort of a single bee sting. At times like this I try to put myself in my pet's shoes and what they would want us to do.
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by SweetD View Post
I think you know that the right thing to do is to put him out of his increasing misery. It totally sucks, but it sounds like it's time. He's suffering and there is nothing else you can do for him. Good luck to you, toughest thing about owning a pet.
I agree.
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:47 PM
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I think you know that the time has come.

Remember, you owe it to your pet who provided years of friendship to relieve his/her suffering when the time has come.
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:55 PM
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It will be one of the toughest things you'll ever have to do, I'm not gonna sugarcoat it.

For me it was "does he have any quality of life?" and "is he in pain?". When the answers were no and yes for those two questions then I knew it was time.

You have to be honest with yourself when you answer those questions, don't keep him alive for you, do what's best for him.
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Old 09-08-2015, 02:03 PM
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many of us have walked the same trail, in the same moccasins

i wish i had been kinder to my last partner & done the necessary deed sooner

seeing her in pain and watching her increasing frustrations was not worth the few extra days/weeks we had together

i am, now, almost 2 years into a new partner but the heart ache is still there, specially as i write to you...

it is a tough decision but you owe it to him, for all the wonderful times he afforded you, to take away his pain & suffering

SMOKE is rising, from my fire, for you & your dear friend

sw
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Old 09-08-2015, 02:29 PM
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my golden was diagnosed terminal in october 2013 at age 11 and lived until thanksgiving only due to my wife's constant nursing. when it was time it was obvious
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Old 09-08-2015, 02:38 PM
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Is he still eating an enjoying his food? Taking care of his business outside? If so, I think I would consider easing back on the meds to see if there is a lesser dosage that will allow him to maintain some normalcy. It sounds like the end is near no matter what. Bottom line, everyone that has been in your shoes, knows what agony it is. If you trust your Vet, what does the Vet say? You know best, and your pup will appreciate you making the best decision. Your concern for him shines through your post, I am 100% confident you will do the right thing at the right time.
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Old 09-08-2015, 02:40 PM
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I can't tell you exactly "when" but I can say that in the few times I've faced that decision I agonized about it just like you are, and in each case when it was over I felt like I should have done it sooner.

Peace.
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Old 09-08-2015, 02:47 PM
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went thru this with my Golden 15 years ago,,when he was 16 at the time,,far easier decision

who's cutting onions
man hug sent
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Old 09-08-2015, 03:35 PM
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Very sorry for your situation.
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Old 09-08-2015, 04:11 PM
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Very sorry for you and your dog.

I am an "animal person" and own numerous dogs and horses. As such I have had to make this decision too many times - even put down my own horses a few times. It isn't easy to make the decision but if you keep the animal's interest first the decision is a lot easier. Keep in mind your dog doesn't know all the vet visits, surgeries, meds, etc are meant to help them. Sometimes the kindest thing you can do for them is make the decision to euthanize.

You might see if you can find a vet who will come to your place to do it. It is less stressful for the pet.
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Old 09-08-2015, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Jkcam View Post
Is he still eating an enjoying his food? Taking care of his business outside? If so, I think I would consider easing back on the meds to see if there is a lesser dosage that will allow him to maintain some normalcy. It sounds like the end is near no matter what. Bottom line, everyone that has been in your shoes, knows what agony it is. If you trust your Vet, what does the Vet say? You know best, and your pup will appreciate you making the best decision. Your concern for him shines through your post, I am 100% confident you will do the right thing at the right time.
Yes still enjoying food and treats etc. Still taking care of his business outside (maybe a little more frequently but without any issues). As far as the medications go without the keppra xr he experienced seizures practically as soon as taken off of it so going without it is not an option we have reduced the dosage from 2 pills twice a day to 1 pill twice a day.

I think the hardest part is the fact I come home today and he meets me at the door tail wagging ready to go walk the yard before we fire up the grill for dinner. And yes he is getting his own steak tonight.

I think me posting this was me more or less just looking for some reassurance that I am thinking the right way and not making a decision that would take his life before it was time and making sure I am not putting him thru undue pain and suffering because that is something I definitely don't want to do.
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Old 09-08-2015, 04:35 PM
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I had to put my yellow lab down over 3 years ago. My vet told me she will let you know when it's time My wife told me it was time on a Saturday and I knew it wasn't The Sunday. She had a great day and was very happy then at 4 am on the Monday morning she gave me a look as if to tell me it was time Your friend will let you know. Best of luck
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Old 09-08-2015, 04:39 PM
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Like BurningDaylight said, its about quality life life. Is his quality of life to the point that he has more bad hours than good ones? That is what you can lean on in making the determination.

Also the suggestion about working with his seizure meds is a good one. Work with your vet and find a happy medium, it might be a pill and a half or a pill and a quarter twice a day, as an example.

In any event, sorry for your situation.
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:07 PM
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We had our Boykin (Sam) 5 years too long but it was worth having the family all in agreement. So my answer is when everyone closely involved is ready. It's hard and sucks!
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:49 PM
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It sucks, really sucks.

The questions I ask myself are,

Can the dog get up and walk around on its own and do basic things like eat, drink, and use bathroom?

Is the dog suffering?

It is a decision you must make yourself.

I recommend having a mobile vet come to your home so you and the dog can be as comfortable as possible. Your vet should be able to recommend one.

Seems each time tears me up worse than before.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by raystein View Post

I recommend having a mobile vet come to your home so you and the dog can be as comfortable as possible. Your vet should be able to recommend one.

Seems each time tears me up worse than before.
X2

We went thru a similar situation with our Jack Russell, she developed epilepsy and no matter what we tried, we just couldn't keep the epilepsy and seizures under control. We finally had to have her put down for her sake. The saddest part of this is the dog was terrified at the vet's office and the vet was very clinical and did nothing comfort the dog or my wife and I. So the last few moments of our dogs life were spent in terror. I regret it to this day.

I used a mobile vet after that and while still sad, it's a much more peaceful experience for the pet and the owners.

Good luck, it's always tough, but it's the right thing to do when the time comes.
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:04 PM
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Sucks man.
My pup has , what we believe, is Degenerative Myelopathy.
He turned 3, in July. We share the same bday.
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