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Deteriotating Spinal Cord


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Poodle is falling all the time. At first he was falling occasionally and both vets said "I can't fix old". Now it has gotten far worse. I'd say since Sunday he must have fallen 30 times.

He still beats me up to go for walks so we walk two driveways, and back. He usually does better on the concrete but fell last night and then fell trying to come up the steps. Yesterday I was putting away groceries and heard scrabbling in the living room like he and Barkley were playing.. When I went in it was Poodle. He'd laid down on the hardwoods and couldn't get up. The everyday falls seem to bother me more than him but he was very upset when he couldn't get up. When he poops he doesn't poop when he squats - he poops later as he's walking away - it's like his brain and his back end don't connect.

Dr. Josh said his spinal cord is deteriorating and we are nearing the end of the road - which I know. I've just never faced this where as Josh says "the brain is fine, the internal organs are fine but the spinal cord is crap". Everyone else has been in pain (or in Buddy's case not in pain but struggling to breathe) when I've said goodbye. If he quit eating or didn't want to go for a short walk I'd say I have my sign, but I don't know what to do. I'm here 98% of the time but what if he falls and can't get up when I'm at the grocery store or Wal-Mart or the doctor? If a dog could be lathered he would have been yesterday and it was only a matter of a few minutes. I know it is my decision, but I've never had such a tough one. Thanks for the vent.

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Magic is having similar problems. His vet said that the message isn't getting from his brain to his back end. To top it off, he has LarPar too.

 

I know things won't get better but I'm sure he'll have his good days and bad days. Hopefully, he'll have more good than bad days.

 

As for the fear that he'll fall, can he be confined to one room when you're out? Preferably a room with carpeting that he can use to get up.


Carol, missing Magic (1/5/01 - 4/15/15) but welcoming Fuzzy's Joy Behar (Joy) into my life on 5/31/15.

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Pam, when you have to be away from home, can you put Poodle in an ex-pen or gate him in a room with flooring that's good for him? (Or at least gate him out of problem areas?) Put bed and water bowl in with him so he has no need to move around too much.

 

And if the flooring is a problem where you want to leave him, try rubber-backed bathmats--they provide good traction, and they're easy to wash.

 

I went through the same worries with Sam last year. I think he wisely limited his own moving around when I wasn't home. (Sam would do "Bambi on the ice" moves and scream until I got his feet back under him because he couldn't figure out how to shift his weight to get up on his own.) But Sam was having some arthritis pain on occasion, and when he spent an entire night panting--even though maxed out on his pain meds--I knew I shouldn't wait any longer. My deciding point was: as long as I can make him feel better, we're good. When I can't make him feel better, we're done. I was not going to rely on luck to give us good days.

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Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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:bighug I think the hardest of all (for us, the people) is when an animal's spirit is still willing, but their body is failing them. Most of my pets have reached a point where they show me they are ready to go, but I did have one cat that was never ready to give up. His body finally quit on him, but he never said, "I'm done". From what you have said about Poodle, he may be the same. Keeping him confined in an area with rubber backed rugs when you are gone is a good idea , he should be able to get himself back up, at least for now.

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Hugs. This struck a chord with me, Doc has a crumbling spine too. As you say, it is an extra-tough decision to make if a dog is all there mentally and still enjoying meals, little walks etc. I have always told myself that Doc 'would let me know if it was time,' now I am coming to see that there may be good practical and indeed merciful reasons not to wait for such a sign.

 

Maybe another way to look at it could be: 'If I was Doc (or Poodle) and he was me, what decision would I want him to make?'

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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It is very hard when the mind is willing but the body is failing. That was Pal, at 14.1. He simply wore out. We had a heart-to-heart talk, several actually, and when it was time he handled it much better than I did.

 

:grouphug

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Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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Poodle has always been so invincible. Good grief, he almost died from pancreatitis, has been diabetic for 4 years, has had two strokes, is almost totally blind and deaf but he's just soldiered along until now. Poodle my Poodle. :weep :weep Barkley knows...and I think maybe Poodle does too.

ETA - I forgot that his trachea is collapsing so he hawks fairly often. I think his parts are just wearing out. I found him 12 years ago and he was young but grown so he's at least 14.

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:bighug

 

Sammi is also getting weaker in the back end :( Acupuncture used to help, not so much lately. But her spirit, heart and appetite are all so strong still. She still has zoomies daily... just not as long lasting.

 

We're preparing to turn the main floor utility room into our bedroom soon, so that she isn't coming down the stairs any more. Her night vision is almost nil, and her vision in normal light is starting to go. So between her vision, her determination to keep up with the young'uns, and her wobbly back end, we feel it would be safer for her to stay on the main floor. Which means we all stay on the main floor with her. DH even relented to dogs on the sofa because it is easier for her to get up and down from there, than from our bed, or even from the floor. Even her "throne" (overstuffed chair) is getting harder for her. A few weeks ago, it looked like she wanted up on the bed to snuggle with me. I invited her up, but she changed her mind. instead she turned and kicked River off of her dogbed and laid down as River jumped up to snuggle. I almost burst into tears. She just looked at me with that goofy smile of hers and laid her head down and sighed.

 

She doesnt go on long walks anymore, and it about kills me to leave her at home when the younger 2 go out for a walk. If I take L&R to the dogpark for a run, and Sammi doesn't get to go, the look I get is so sad. But the local one is all sand and within minutes you can see her struggling to just walk across the sand to get to a warm spot to sun herself. :cry1

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Guest Downtownhoundz

Pam, I went through something similar with my beloved,Bunny...he was fine and healthy but his rectum lost elasticity and he just couldn't poop anymore even with medication. It was so uncomfortable for him as he got more and more backed up, straining to pass what he couldn't. I know the dilemma you are facing but someone said to me, that letting them go a day too soon is so much better than a day too late.I chose to let him go with his dignity still in tact. Hugs to you and poodle during this time...

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I so understand, Pam. I've lost 2 like that (the spirit is still willing, but the flesh oh, so weak). Skeeter left me just 2 weeks ago at age 17.2. In both cases, I knew

their time was short, but I could probably keep them going for a bit longer. What I finally based my decisions on was the fact that I couldn't bear the thought of

having a "crisis" at 3 in the morning and ending up at an e-vet among strangers. In both cases, I second guessed my decision. In both cases, my heart broke in

a million pieces. In both cases, the only thing that keeps me going is knowing that as they were friends in this world, they are surely happy & healthy in the next.

Hugs to you & Poodle.

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.

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Wish I had more to offer than hugs, Pam, but I'm sending you those. :grouphug I know how much you love your Poodle.

Mary with Jumper Jack (2/17/11) and angels Shane (PA's Busta Rime, 12/10/02 - 10/14/16) and Spencer (Dutch Laser, 11/25/00 - 3/29/13).

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He fell today on the steps again today so no more steps for him. I think we are looking at next week. Maybe I'll have shed most of my tears by then. He's not black and he can't get mad as hell anymore but he'll always be my Poodle with a Mohawk.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/POODLE-WITH-A-MOHAWK-Linda-Barry-Book-Promo-1982-Original-Poster-RARE-/251583912839?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a9391db87

 

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No advice, just hugs for you and scritchies for your little guy.

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 know how heartbreaking it must be to see him like this. I think I'm getting close to that with Polly and Lydia. Steps are very, very scary for all of us.

I'm so sorry you're seeing your precious boy fading. He's so brave and so stubborn, but I think he will let you know when he's ready to give up.

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Nancy, Mom to Evangelina, Kiva and Laila
Missing Lacey, Patsy, Buster, my heart dog Nick, Winnie, Pollyanna, Tess, my precious Lydia, Calvin Lee, and kitties Lily, Sam and Simon
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I know how you feel.

 

George has similar problems--not quite as bad, yet. But I own my condo, and it's up three flights of stairs, and I cannot carry 64 pounds up the stairs. I suppose I could, in a life or death situation once, but not the five times a day he goes out.

 

I know that he will end up leaving me sooner than he would have to if I had a home with a yard and a way to get him in and out without the stairs, and it breaks my heart because I used to own a condo WITH AN ELEVATOR. I moved because I didn't like my neighbors. I still have whacko neighbors at the new place, but no elevator!

 

Argh.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Here's what a young man I greatly respect wrote to me today "...In the end, we have to make a decision about quality of life. Right now, it does not sound like the quality of life is there and it won't be there in the near future".

Very very bad news is that he is at DFW right now waiting to board a plane for another mission trip. He's going to Costa Rica to treat the locals pets and livestock for free. He won't be back until the 26th. :(

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I know how you feel.

 

George has similar problems--not quite as bad, yet. But I own my condo, and it's up three flights of stairs, and I cannot carry 64 pounds up the stairs. I suppose I could, in a life or death situation once, but not the five times a day he goes out.

 

I know that he will end up leaving me sooner than he would have to if I had a home with a yard and a way to get him in and out without the stairs, and it breaks my heart because I used to own a condo WITH AN ELEVATOR. I moved because I didn't like my neighbors. I still have whacko neighbors at the new place, but no elevator!

 

Argh.

It always makes me so sad for people in this situation. It's like your being cheated out of that extra time.

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Oh Pam, what a heartbreaking time. I'm sorry that Poodle is having such difficulty. You and Poodle are in our caring thoughts.

 

When we've had cats or dogs struggling with serious later life mobility concerns, we've placed them in a nicely padded crate if leaving for brief urgent outings. The smaller space seems to keep them from attempting to move around too much. If the crate is not a plastic airline type, crib side-bumper pads help keep paws from catching in the wire openings.

 

Take good care.

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I'm so sorry, Pam. I, too, know how you feel, as I had to let Tori go a couple of months ago at the age of 14 1/2. She was mentally all there, happy, comfortable, eating like a champ, but her back end failed her and there was nothing to be done. We found temporary relief with a steroid shot, but she soon lost control of her bladder. She wanted to go for walks, but her body couldn't keep up with what she wanted to do. We had given up stairs months earlier and moved all of us to the main floor of the house. She was comfortable, but physically she was getting worse, so I decided to let her go. It was so hard. No matter what, we never have enough time with our animals.

Jenn, missing Shadow (Wickford Big Tom), Pretty Girl (C's Pretty) and Tori (Santoria)

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Poodle is going to the bridge late morning tomorrow. I had two very heartfelt talks with two different vets today and it is time. His trachea is getting so much worse. His beloved next door neighbors got home today so we said goodbye. It is going to be a very long night.

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