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Sjogrens Topics => Living Life In Spite of Sjogren's => Topic started by: Winnie on July 22, 2013, 05:42:33 PM

Title: our family pet
Post by: Winnie on July 22, 2013, 05:42:33 PM
Our dog is 12 years old and possibly has a tumor or blockage at the base of her heart.  She is having difficulty breathing.  We have tried medicine and I don't think she is any better although I don't think she is worse.  The heat is making it difficult since she is an outside dog.  I put her in my utility in her kennel in the afternoons.  She sleeps like a baby.  My 2 boys take care of her but we are having a lot of trouble accepting this and making this decision.  We all go back to school/work in several weeks.  I call the vet tomorrow with an update.  I am looking for some comforting thoughts to make the decison to put her asleep easier for my family.


Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Cassi307 on July 22, 2013, 05:51:25 PM
My heart goes out to you since I have 2 elderly dogs who both have health issues. I believe that your dog will let you know when it is time. You said she is having trouble breathing so that is not a good sign.

Call your vet and be guided by what he thinks. It is hard to see our pets suffer.

Sending hugs and support.
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Joe S. on July 22, 2013, 06:53:13 PM
I feel for you. I had to be there when each of our Westies was put to sleep. Jan came with me on the last one. They are pain free now and for that I am thankful. I still miss them all.
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Carolina on July 22, 2013, 07:40:03 PM
Dear Winnie,

My heart goes out to you.

Quality of life is the key.  Your beloved dog doesn't know what is wrong, which is a blessing in a way.

My younger cat (7) has severely deteriorated hip joints.  The vet has never seen anything so terrible.

I give him an NSAID twice a week, and help him onto the bed to sleep next to me.  He likes to be very warm, so he has a bed that is like an igloo and he wants to go out on the porch in the 90 degree weather, so we let him be out there, with a gate to protect him.

The doctor talked about hip surgery, and I will discuss that with her, but I'm not up for hip replacements because he won't understand the pain and separation from us.  And I can't even imagine the cost!

Right now he seems happy enough but he sleeps more than the 12 year old cat.

I am watching to see how he's moving and how 'happy' he is.

If he's not happy, that will be it.

I've seen so many people put their beloved pets through so much, because they don't want to let go, even tho' the quality of life will be so very very poor no matter what they do.

It is just very very hard.


Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: eija on July 23, 2013, 07:27:55 AM
Winnie, like Caroline said already: Quality of life is the key. I have a principle with my pets: I try to make sure that they'll be put away rather a bit too soon than a bit too late. However, making the decision is never easy. Never.

Right now my horse is living her last days. I know many would still keep her or sell onwards, but I don't think her life is worth it anymore. Why? Because she loves to gallop as fast as she can with a rider, but now that causes her pains afterwards. She'd be doomed to just walking and even with that with intermittent pains - and that's no good quality life for her. So I'm letting her go, but with a heavy heart. And yes, many days still fighting with myself if I'm doing the right thing or am I too hasty.

I'm sorry you have to go through this struggle, too :(

Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Velcro on July 23, 2013, 07:32:48 AM
So sorry Winnie.  It's always such a hard decision.  I agree with the others, it boils down to quality of life and the amount of suffering that it is causing.  Once the suffering surpasses the ability to function, it's time.
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Winnie on July 23, 2013, 11:43:53 AM
I talked to the vet today and they are going to try one more drug.  I will give it until next week and that will proabably be it.  It is just so hard to deal with, especially my boys.  I asked for prices to put her asleep today and the nurse sympathized with me as she is going through a similar situation.  I felt so bad that all I could do is nod my head, turn around, cry and walk out with the dog perscription.  Well, I guess my antidepressant isn't taking care of this problem very well.

Thanks for the advise.  I know it is the right thing to do.  I just need to help my family understand that she can't suffer.  I know that I wouldn't want to suffer and I know she wouldn't either if she could tell me.

Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Katybarstool on July 23, 2013, 01:41:07 PM

We were in a similar position a couple of years ago with our little ginger terrier. I talked it through with my sister, who is mad about animals. Her advice was to give him his dignity by knowing when his ime had come. She was right. He hated being incontinent and no longer being able to run around the fields. We miss him every day, but the decision was the best present we could give him.

Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: tiffferoni on July 23, 2013, 05:39:00 PM
It is very difficult to have to make this decision.  I have had to make this decision before.  Your pet's quality of life is the most important thing...I'm sure that I'm not telling you anything you don't know.  I'm sending prayers your direction!
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: eye2dry on July 23, 2013, 06:36:34 PM
hi Winnie.

I am sorry you are going through this. I myself had to make this
decision for our dogs over the years....never easy

Seemed after it's done I think...what if I waited it out or maybe we should of tried that...etc..

Look into your dogs'll know when it's time.

take care.
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: slccom on July 26, 2013, 08:12:58 PM
My heart goes out to all of you! We lost our littlest, most adorablist one suddenly and unexpectedly, and Mr. Bojangles decided to take off on his own, too.

I don't know which is harder, but I do know that the love we share will always be there.

Hugs to all, Sharon
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Aquarius on July 27, 2013, 06:23:17 PM
Winnie,  My heart goes out to you.  I lost my dearly loved Border Collie earlier this year.  My animal companions are members of the family.  It is enormously difficult to see them in pain and nearing the end of their earthly life. 

Talk to her, explain what is happening, repeat how much you love her and how she has enriched your life.  Ask her to give you a sign to let you know when it's time to go. 

If you pray and have special healing prayers or bible verses that bring comfort, read them to her.   

Animals understand a lot more of our thoughts and words than we think.  She'll feel your love. 

I read a book about grieving for pets for dummies, or some title like that.  Never forgot a statement that had a profound impact.  When we adopt an animal, we become caretakers of their physical body and spirit, and we sign up to be with them not only in life but also at their passing. 

Candidly I want to run during the latter because it is beyond, beyond utterly painful.  But as their Mom, it is an obligation to be by their side, to be their constant.  We must ensure they are out of pain and make the transition surrounded by love.  This is about doing right by them, not about our personal anguish.  I had to continually remind myself of it the evening my border collie passed.

I pray for the gift of discernment for you in the days ahead. 

Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: susanep on July 30, 2013, 12:52:19 AM
We lost our Jo Jo doggie baby boy this year, and not long ago lost our big white fur baby kitty boy Charlie. It is so hard, and it's just as bad for some of us as people in our lives. They truly become our family.

We had Charlie over 10 years, but didn't know his age when we got him, and Jo Jo we had since he was a baby. He was about 6 years old.

We have now 3 other doggie babies getting older, and I can't even think about it, and we have a new little girl that is about 2 years old, and is a delight.

susanep :)
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Winnie on July 30, 2013, 11:49:38 AM
Thanks for the kind words.  I just got another week's supply of medicine for her.  She doesn't seem to be suffering unless she tries to keep up running around with the boys.  It is cool here so that is helpful for her.  We need to sit down and talk about it as a family but my husband is avoiding it.  :(

Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Cassi307 on August 12, 2013, 02:29:04 PM
My 12 year old cocker spaniel passed away today. She has been in poor health and had difficulty walking and her vision was poor. We had planned to say our final good byes last week but she seemed to pick up and we changed our mind. She seemed to be struggling this weekend so we decided it was not fair to her to make her hang on. We had an appointment for tonite and shortly before we were to leave she suffered a seizure. She died at the vet's office.

I will always remember the unconditional love and the way she hung onto every word I said when I talked to her. She was generous with her kisses. When she first came to us 9 years ago she had this strange affinity for bricks and would dig them up and carry them around the yard as if they were a baby. Of course it eventually took a toll on her teeth but in the meantime she was the talk of the neighborhood.

Thank you for letting me celebrate her life with you.
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Winnie on August 12, 2013, 05:18:57 PM
Thank you for sharing your story.  I am so sorry for your loss.

We are still struggling from day to day whether to put our dog to sleep. She still seems to have that spark, but not always.

Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Cassi307 on August 12, 2013, 05:24:34 PM
Thank you Winnie. It is a hard decision to make. I wish you the best. Cherish your dog as long as you can. I have 2 other dogs. Sam was her mate. They did everything together or at least he did everything she made him do lol. She was the alpha dog!

I have wonderful memories to cherish.
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: ellenkerr on August 12, 2013, 07:29:56 PM
Winnie, Cassie and for all of you who have loved and lost a pet.  It's never easy to lose a family pet or know when it's time to say

goodbye.  Our pets trust us to help them ease their pain and end their suffering, although it is heartbreaking.  As I was reading these

posts this evening my eyes are filled with tears remembering my two little black Scottish terriers, Mac and Molly.  They've been gone about

8 years, but I will never forget them.  We had Mac put to sleep when his cancer was making it hard to breath.  Molly lived another year

and started having seizures, so I talked to my family and decided that we would have to put her to sleep before too long.  My son in law

promised me when it was time, he would take her for me because I couldn't do it myself.  One night I got up in the middle of the night

to check on her and found her dead, laying in the middle of the hallway.   I cried and cried and covered her with one of her blankets,

but couldn't bring myself to move her.  I stepped over her going back to the bedroom, then again when I went to the kitchen.  I put on

pot of coffee and decided this was serious enough to wake my son-in-law up in the middle of the night, to come help me.  I felt bad

because he had been working overtime and was getting very little sleep, but I dialed the number anyway.  After a little sleepy

grumbling, the son-in-law says he will scrape the snow off his truck, and drive across town to help me.   When he finally arrived,

extremely sleepy and cold, he rang the doorbell.  I once again stepped over my  lifeless friend to get the door.  My son in law steps in

the house and I start crying again, and suddenly, Molly got up from under her blanket, wagged her tail and greeted my son-in-law

with a big wet kiss.  He looked at me, and then the clock on the mantle....and I sheepishly replied "false alarm?"

Well little Molly had a great rally for a few more months, but then it was time.  My son-in-law still kids me today about not taking a nap

at my house!
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Cassi307 on August 12, 2013, 09:07:57 PM
Oh my goodness mizzy! Thank you for the smile. I needed that. I am glad that Molly left you with such a funny memory.

Her loss was harder because I was already stressed from my ER visit on Friday, the kidney infection, the flare symptoms and yet another bout of costochondritis. Ice that cake with a teenage son who thinks life should stop because he broke up with his girlfriend and worry about missing a deadline to file a grant at work. I was crazy and couldn't stop crying. Reading your story reminded me to put things in perspective.
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: slccom on August 13, 2013, 08:59:43 PM
I'm so sorry, Cassie. Such little dogs to leave such big holes in our hearts!

I was out weeding, and missing all the dogs who used to "help" me.

Hugs, Sharon
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: eija on August 14, 2013, 07:26:59 AM
So sorry for your loss, Cassi  :'(

Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Cassi307 on August 14, 2013, 12:04:47 PM
Thanks everyone. I have 2 other dogs bust she is my favorite. She was never more than a few inches away from me. Yesterday while I was walking around the house I realized how much more room there was. She left a big hole physically and emotionally.

Winnie I know it is painful but we waited too long. That last seizure was awful for her to experience and awful for us to watch. I wish I had the corkage to do it sooner. I wish you luck and support.

Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: connie50 on August 15, 2013, 05:14:41 PM
I too am very sorry for everyone that has lost a treasured family member.

We lost our Beauceron without warning on Saturday.  He seemed perfectly fine when we left for
my husbands company BBQ and I found him in the laundry room when we returned 4.5 hours later.  The only ones that will know for sure are my 2 std. poodles that were with him in the house but they aren't talking...

The shock and disbelief were so great that neither of us could cry on Saturday but Sunday was a different story, the pain is immense and the loss and emptiness so very great. Everything in the house reminds us of Viper.

He was my husbands "big boy" and the kind of dog that came along at just the right time for him and changed his life.  Our hearts are still heavy but the happy memories are beginning to come back. 

All I ever wanted for my pets was that they do not suffer.  I waited a bit too long with my Cocker Spaniel some 10 years ago and it haunts me to this day.  We hope Viper did not suffer ,Heaven help us if he did and that it did not last too long.  We know their is a special place in Heaven for Viper, until we meet again...
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Cassi307 on August 15, 2013, 05:29:22 PM
Connie, I am sorry for your loss. The pain is fresh and we can only hope it will be replaced by the happiest memories.  I agree with you- it feels like a hole with a pet gone. I like to think she is up in pet heaven running and playing and waiting for me.

 We also waited too long. It is my deepest regret over Lucy's loss. We just couldn't let go. I swear I will not let that happen when Sam's time comes.

Sending hugs of support...
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: connie50 on August 16, 2013, 09:11:54 AM
Thank you Cassi for the hugs of support.

I know my husband and I are beginning to accept the loss as we were able to share our favorite Viper story last night.  It's a good one- thought I would share it with all of you as well.

My husband became familiar with the Beauceron breed while on a job.  He loved how proud,noble and aware the breed is, just perfect for him.  A Beauceron is a head turning dog, they are that beautiful.  This will be important to remember as you read farther down  :D

He made contact with a breeder some 600 miles away inquiring about fees, next available litter etc.

They kept in contact and one day she emailed that she didn't know if he would be interested but she had a
15 month old male that was to be her show dog.  Turns out that his bite was under shot which disqualified him
in the ring and also was unethical to use him as her breeding dog.  We could have him for free if we would come pick him up.

Needless to say, we made a power road trip to Northern California to meet this dog.  My husband was pretty sure he would like the dog so we came prepared with a collar, leash, large crate and blankets.

Viper was beautiful, nervous but what dog wouldn't be knowing something is up.  She said he would need work on his socialization skills, all the while busily feeding him bits of hotdogs.  She said they were his favorite treat.

We loaded Viper in his crate and headed down the road.  We made it a couple of miles before we noticed this
awful, gagging smell.  We pulled over on the side of the road and realized that this poor dog was so nervous that he threw up (surprise ! hotdog bits) and pooped too.  Thank goodness for the blankets- got him sort of cleaned up and off we went again.

Another couple of mile and Whew !  this time major diarrhea sloshing everywhere, all over him and the crate.  Way too much to clean up.  Called the breeder for the nearest self service dog washing area in her small town.

Luckily for us, Petco had just opened a couple of weeks ago.  We get there and Surpirse! they are having their grand opening celebration.  Local media and radio set up right between the front entrance and the entrance to
the grooming salon.  No way to sneak and poop covered ,VERY stinky dog and his sloshing crate into the store.

All we could do was to take a deep breath and march him right through what seemed like a million people
into the grooming salon.  What a way for poor Viper to get his first bath... once cleaned up, we gave him a bit of immodium and he was good the rest of the way home.

We love this story although Viper was less then thrilled.
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Cassi307 on August 16, 2013, 11:26:36 AM
I LOVED that story!! What an introduction to your family lol. But, you guys came out smelling like roses after that groomer visit with hopefully no more diarrhea the rest of the way home.

All these happy stories help us work through our grief. Thank you for sharing.
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: slccom on August 16, 2013, 11:40:20 AM
I am so sorry for your loss, Connie. Finding a beloved pet just lying dead is horrible. It is better than losing one because you were careless and let the dog run into traffic, though. I figure that for every tear, there were a thousand smiles and laughs.

Except for eating my hearing aid. That wasn't funny, Paige!

Hugs, Sharon

Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Velcro on August 16, 2013, 12:03:26 PM
So sorry for everyone's losses.  My cat is my child and so spoiled.

Loved your story Connie.  (I had to go google the breed.  Gorgeous!)
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Winnie on October 19, 2013, 10:06:19 AM
Today we put our black lab to sleep.  She is at peace now.  I know we did the right thing but it didn't make it any easier for our family.  It felt like re-living through the movie "Marley and Me" all over again. We brought her home and buried her.  I am going to plant a tree to remember her.

Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Cassi307 on October 19, 2013, 11:51:01 AM
Oh Winnie! I am so sorry, I understand and feel complete sympathy.

Your lab was a lucky dog who was loved and cared for until her last moment.

Sending hugs...
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: slccom on October 19, 2013, 09:35:08 PM
I'm so sorry. I'm sure she would heartily approve of the tree.

But you won't need that to remember her!
Hugs, Sharon
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Tivia on October 20, 2013, 08:26:27 AM
Today we put our black lab to sleep.  She is at peace now.  I know we did the right thing but it didn't make it any easier for our family.  It felt like re-living through the movie "Marley and Me" all over again. We brought her home and buried her.  I am going to plant a tree to remember her.


I am so sad for you, but you did the right thing. I am torn at the moment my self. My elderly dog is 16 she has been blind for a few years since a very fast and aggressive uveitis attack. Over the last year her arthritis has gotten worse, and the doctor palpitated some large masses may or may not be breast cancer even though she was spayed at 6 months.

I know I should put her to sleep, but I cant bring my self to do it, not while she is eating and drinking and still moseying along. She sleeps a lot but she is really old. I guess I will have to make a choice soon, I just always hoped my babies would go peacefully in their sleep. My last pet died of mast cell cancer, she is buried under her tree, I still cry about her and its been 3 years. Its so hard to accept they dont live as long as us. Although my aunt tells me the dog will probably outlive me lol
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Carebear on October 20, 2013, 02:09:36 PM

I am so sorry for your loss.  How lovely to plant a tree in her memory.
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: frizzy0206 on October 20, 2013, 07:44:48 PM
Took me 5 Years to get over losing my YOKO..She was only 5 and her disc slipped in her was quick and to be truthful I was hysterical.I decided to bury her beneath a garden her and I had planted together that month.Two days later my family gave me Lotte and I was not ready..we had a tough time of it for a little while.She is 6 now and is my shadow 24/7...I admit I will always miss YOKO even though I have had many dogs..They say you have one soul dog..She was sorry for your loss.
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Velcro on October 21, 2013, 09:48:03 AM
So sorry for your loss.
Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: Winnie on October 21, 2013, 03:31:24 PM
Thanks for your kind words.  It is so different not having to rush home to put the dog out.  I see the empty doghouse and it is so sad.  Time will heal.

Title: Re: our family pet
Post by: eye2dry on October 21, 2013, 04:51:10 PM
Winnie I am so sorry to read about you having to put your lab down.

Not to sound will "get over" this a little bit  at a time, day by day.

We put our little guy "Alvin" down Jan 12, 2007 and I still think of him and speak his name

at least 1 or 2 times a week. He was nearly 16...nice ripe age but never the less I was

distraught over it. When I think of is not sad. It is usually something we remember

that he did that was cute, smart or funny.

We too buried him out back and I look at his stone with his name on it and I smile.

I take my "new" little dog Rodney with me and visit.

You'll smile when you think of him someday, the sadness will with ease in time.

take care.