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How Do You Decide When Enough Is Enough?


Guest Tory
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Guest Tory

Hi,

Ellie is about to turn 11 years old and we were told at christmas that her kideys were starting to fail, i was devistated but we decided to do what we could with her diet to try and help her live as long as she could for as long as she was happy...

 

Well fast forward to now and she is pretty much unable to go out for a walk as her arthritus is bad and so she hobbles everywhere (she even screams out when she lays in her bed and walks sometimes) and she has started pee'ing an awful lot in the house, when we are out and even when we are home, like she just doesent know when she is going to go...

 

She is eating well and drinks an absolute tonne of water per day...

 

I spoke with the vet this morning as the wetting has gotten worse lately and she basically said that there is nothing more they can do and that Ellie wont ever get better and maybe we should consider euthanasia...

 

How do you ever make the decision? Im sat here in tears just writting this, i cant bear it, what about Emily? she is gonna wonder whats happened and where her sister has gone? Will she get lonley (they are litter mates) :(

 

Im just gutted, i hate all of this, i dont want to let her go but im starting to think that im being selfish and maybe it would be best for her? Im struggling with coming to terms that one day soon we are going to have to let her go...im not sure i can make that decision...what if its the wrong one??

 

Sorry for rambling, i just dont know where else to turn...

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Oh my heart goes out to you. I have not had to make that decision personally, yet... but many others will chime in that the dog will tell you when they're ready.

 

It all has to do with their quality of life, and when she can no longer enjoy those daily things that brought her joy, it is time to end her suffering. Her sister may mourn, but you will have each other to console.

Amy and Tim in Beverly, MA, with Chase and Always missing Kingsley (Drama King) and Ruby (KB's Bee Bopper).

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Oh I truly feel for you. I don't know that I have any great advice, just know that many of us here have walked this path as well. It's always a painful decision.

 

Are you currently giving Ellie any joint-support supplements or pain meds or anti-inflammatories for her arthritis? Maybe at least we can help you think of ways to make her more comfortable...

gallery_4518_2903_2157.jpg
~Aimee, with Flower, Alan, Queenie, & Spodee Odee! And forever in my heart: Tipper, Sissy, Chancy, Marla, Dazzle, Alimony, and Boo. This list is too damned long.

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It's good to see you, but not good what you have to say :( She is so young!

 

I assume you have treated with antibiotics with no result? In the seniors it's one of the first things I try as so many times a UTI does not show up.

 

Acupuncture and chiropractic help. Do you have anyone close?

 

:grouphug

Diane & The Senior Gang

Burpdog Biscuits

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Guest greybookends

First off I am sorry you are having to make the decision. It is a hard one to make. I have done so more times than I like to remember, but the time comes when the best gift we can give them is to let them go. I know we don't like to think that we let them go to soon but I think it is better than letting them go to late. No one can make the decision for you. Only you can do so. Hugs and prayers to you and you baby.

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I'm sorry you are going through this.

 

Take a moment and think about whether you've exhausted all options. I've experienced the miracle of acupuncture/chiropractic first hand... I'm a believer in it now. I'd give that a shot before I'd give up since it can help with a lot of the arthritis pains.

 

If the answer is yes, we've tried everything... then think in Ellie's terms. How is her quality of life? Is she happy? Is she eating normally?

 

I wish you nothing but luck!

Jennifer and Beamish (an unnamed Irish-born Racer) DOB: October 30, 2011

 

Forever and always missing my "Vowels", Icarus, Atlas, Orion, Uber, and Miss Echo, and Mojito.

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I forgot to add my endorsement of acupuncture & chiro also, if you've not already tried them. These have helped Chancy, my 12 year old with her back and legs, in addition to meds & supplements.

gallery_4518_2903_2157.jpg
~Aimee, with Flower, Alan, Queenie, & Spodee Odee! And forever in my heart: Tipper, Sissy, Chancy, Marla, Dazzle, Alimony, and Boo. This list is too damned long.

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If I were in your position, I would make sure that all options for helping her be comfortable had been discussed. Particularly pain relievers for her arthritis -- NSAIDs (Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Metacam), Tramadol, whatever.

 

Sometimes vets do not want to prescribe those drugs -- particularly NSAIDs -- for dogs with kidney problems because they can have a worsening effect. Note that word "can." They don't always. And if the dog is in so much pain that you're questioning whether she has any quality of life, then it is sure worth trying. (We had a dog who was diagnosed with kidney disease at a rather young age. She developed painful arthritis at age 8. Back in those days, there weren't many choices in drugs. She took butazolidin -- a NSAID that is particularly hard on kidneys/liver -- for YEARS. It didn't make her kidney disease any worse. She died at a ripe old age of something else.)

 

After her comfort, there is the question of yours! If she needs to drink a lot -- and therefore pee a lot -- think about what you can do to make cleanup effortless. Puppy pads, old quilts that are easy to wash, *encouraging* her to go in one spot so she knows it's OK ......

 

My heart goes out to you. Sending warmest hugs for your girl and all your family.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I agree with everyone who has said, make sure you have done all you can, especially for the arthritis, the symptoms can be very treatable.

 

That being said, if you know you have done everything, you have to decide when the quality of life is no longer good. I just went through this last week with my cat. I knew his kidneys were failing, they had been for more than three years, and I did what I could, but at the end, they just shut down completely and I knew it was time. What can make it so hard is when they are "still there". His spirit was willing, but his body had given out.

 

A couple of things I learned from this list (and I don't remember who said them, so, sorry in advance):

Think of the three things they love the most, and when they can no longer enjoy two of those three, it's time.

Better (for them) a day to early than a day too late.

 

:bighug

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Guest greytexplorer

Sitting here with tears in eyes as I type and remember Sam, my german shepherd.

He had hip dysplasia and had begun to routinely poop on himself as he lay on the family room floor.

Before the vet came into the examining room to begin "the process" (can't even say the word) my oldest daughter held me in her arms and said, "Mom, if I was pooping on myself, I don't think I'd want to live anymore".

That kind of helped me put it in perspective.

My own mother said that sometimes "it" is a gift of relief. It's the one sane thing that we Humans do for our pets. If he couldn't even get up to go outside to potty, like he was used to doing, well life ain't so great anymore. Sam weighed 100 lbs, so it's not like I could easily help him.

He looked unhappy and uncomfortable; I knew it was the only option. My vet cried along with us.

 

I hate that you have to go thru this decision-making time. It's painful and heart-rending. My heart goes out to you.

Keep us posted.

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Guest kenscore

First of all, I want to say how sorry I am that you are going through this. We had a similar decision to make with Dale and it was the hardest decision to make. One other suggestion that you might want to consider is getting a second opinion before making a final decision. Our vet is the best and we were failry certain that he was right on when he said it was Dale's time, but hearing it from another vet was what finally convinced us that we had exhausted all options. Letting Dale go was the hardest thing for all of us (including poor Chipper, her older sister!), but I know it was the best thing we could do for her. I pray for peace for you and your family whatever you decide.

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my heart aches for what you're going through...no advice, but :grouphug

gallery_2175_3047_5054.jpg

 

Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

Religion is the smile on a dog...Edie Brickell

Wag more, bark less :-)

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Guest CindiLuvsGreys

I'm so sorry you have to make this decision and there is only one piece of advice I can give you. A little too early is MUCH better than a little too late. I just had to put my 12 1/2 year old mix breed dog to sleep and it was the hardest decision I ever had to make. She was in Kidney failure, not eating and had arthritis in her back legs so she could hardly walk. When she decided to stop eating almost completely I decided it was time. My vet and I tried everything. I gave her one med after another, fed her special foods and I learned how to give her sub-q fluids at home. With all that she was still declining. I am so glad I did it when I did. The day we put her to sleep the vet told me not to expect her to close her eyes and that she might make noises. She did none of that. With me holding her she put her head down, closed her eyes and went to sleep. That proved to me 100% that she was ready to go, she was grateful that I was able to let her go. It was only 4 weeks ago so I still expect to see her when I get home from work and a million other times a day. You have to be strong and make the decision for her. You can fall apart after that. It does get better though, every day.

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Guest WarmheartedPups

Oh my gosh...I am so sorry. It is the hardest decision....but you will know...it wont make it easier....but you will know.

 

My thoughts are with you.

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Guest Snowy8
First off I am sorry you are having to make the decision. It is a hard one to make. I have done so more times than I like to remember, but the time comes when the best gift we can give them is to let them go. I know we don't like to think that we let them go to soon but I think it is better than letting them go to late. No one can make the decision for you. Only you can do so. Hugs and prayers to you and you baby.

I think what Lori said is just perfect. To me, when life is no longer any fun for them...then their journey is over. God put them here to make us happy, to keep us company & for their day to be easy & fun.

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I can't help in the decision making, both mine went suddenly.

 

But have you been to a specialist? Or at least a second opinion? I'm not saying she doesn't have severe kidney disease, but maybe the specialist will have something to help with longevity.

 

I was told in Oct that Pearl had myositis. In November, it turned out to be just an abscessed tooth. But when you have a dog with uncontrolled blood pressure, prednisone is the worst thing you can do for it. Pearl was put on that drug for the myositis. Obviously, it wasn't needed. Just a good strong course of antibiotics was all that was necessary.

 

If nothing else, it will ease your mind that you did everything in your power to make her live as long as possible with a quality life.

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Guest vahoundlover

I am so sorry you are going through this. :grouphug I'm a firm believer in acupuncture, maybe that would help? Sending prayers to you and Ellie.

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Guest Tory

Thanks all...

 

We have a appointment on friday with our vet to discuss the situation, im pretty sure i know what the outcome is going to be, i KNOW Ellie doesent ejoy life that much anymore and that rips my heart out, she spends most of her time asleep upstairs in te bedroom away from the hustle and bustle of the house...months ago she would have been right here in the middle of it all loving it :) Bless her, She cant go out walking anymore becuase she is in pain and hobbles and looks relieved when we get home even though its only a short walk...

 

This is hands down one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make and i dont know that i will ever believe I have ever done the best thing, the best thing would be able to keep her here with us...the family who love her and want her with us always :heart:

 

What im finding so hard is how Emily will deal with it all :( I cant bear the thought of her wondering where Ellie is, they are littermates and have been together since birth, i hate that she will be 'lonley' and wonder where Ellie has gone :(

 

For those who asked, we have had a second opinion and Ellie has been on Rimadyl (sp??) and Glucosamine for her arthritus...she seems to be in pain daily though and will often yelp as she walks around...

 

Im hoping and praying for better news on friday but I think i know what our vet is going to say and i trust her 100% that she is acting in Ellies best interests...im just beyond upset about this...

 

Thank you all for your advice, im sorry so many of us have been through this and wish none of us ever had :heart:

Edited by Tory
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After you let her cross to the bridge you will come to realize that stopping her daily pain is the greatest gift that you could give her. And remember, she will NEVER really leave you. She will live on in your heart.

You will be amazingly strong when the times comes & we will all support you...........

Carol-Glendale, AZ

Trolley (Figsiza Trollyn)

Nevada 1992-2008...always in my heart

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I'm so sorry. I too have littermates and have wondered often what will happen when the day comes that one leaves leaving the other behind. We're very lucky though and have a house full of greyhounds, that will help I think. I think Emily will grieve just as you will but just as we all move on I think Emily will also. She just may need a lot of TLC for a while.

 

My prayers are with you and your family and your beautiful Ellie.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Guest greyhound_bug

I haven't read every reply so somebody may have already said this but the best advice that I can give is its better to let them go a day early than a day too late. Its hard to know when the right time is but Ellie will let you know.

If you can, for Emily's sake (and your's) see if your vet can come to your house and do it in the back yard with Emily there too. Emily probably knows that her sister is sick and if she is present it will ease the loss.

Good luck and I know you'll make the right decision for Ellie.

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Just sending hugs. Keeping you all in my thoughts.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest paulamariez

I'm so sorry to hear about this. Our boy Bandit had kidney failure out of no where. The vet tried to reverse it and checked for reasons that he got it, but we never did find out why. The vet said maybe it was hereditary. Bandit was only 7 years old. We ended up doing the diet thing and giving him meds, supplementing with iv at home. We knew it was time to take him when Bandit slept almost all day and night, refused to eat much of anything and when he did eat, he started throwing it up. He turned into skin and bones, and this was a greyhound who tended to be overweight! He was having trouble walking and even broke a toe going down our steps to go outside. But the final straw was while he was sleeping on his bed next to me the one night, I kept hearing him whine really low and he kept moving around like he couldn't get comfortable. I knew then, I couldn't let him be in such pain and there was absolutely nothing we could do to help him any more. When we put Bandit down that day, it was one of the worst days of my life and I still am sitting here crying over losing him as I type this. My heart and prayers go out to you and your poor baby.

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