My senior dog - my friend

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Sunray
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Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:36 pm

My senior dog - my friend

Post by Sunray »

I have a situation that I would like some input on please. I have a 13-year-old dog that I love dearly. She has lost control of her bladder and now the bowel. It is to the point that I keep her in a newspaper lined play pen at night because she can no longer roam the house freely without watchful supervision. There are accidents almost daily and I find myself cleaning up messes constantly.

I recently found a tick on her and I fear she is infected now from the tick. A trip to the vet this week will clarify this for me. She has a cataract on one eye which I cannot afford to have removed. It turns out the cost is way out of my reach financially. She does have good eye site in her other eye. No cataract has developed in her good eye.

She seems to get around o.k. There are times like early in the morning, when she appears lame and has trouble walking. Like any senior person just getting up out of bed in the morning. For the most part, she seems chipper and can run and play like a puppy. I have a new full time job and do not want to confine her to a room all day. It seems inhumane to do this, yet I cannot let her roam the house freely.

Family members have encouraged me to put her down, but I can't stand the thought of having this done. She still loves to go for walks and is very affectionate. I break down and cry everytime I look at her and think of having her put to sleep. Another option would be to use an adoption agency for senior dogs. There are people who will adopt a senior dog and care for them.

The question is what is best for my dog? Has anyone had a similar situation they could share with me. Any input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Lulu2
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My senior dog - my friend

Post by Lulu2 »

You might not want to think about this....but....is your dog embarassed by the loss of control? Sometimes we need to think about their comfort and their mind-set and their emotions about how their physical problems effect them.

What size is your dog? Breed? Large breeds don't usually live long lives and, if yours is a larger dog...she might be near the end of the road.

Otherwise, a vet MIGHT be able to help, but it sounds to me as if there're either spinal problems or geriatric ones and you need to consider some serious options.

Sometimes, the most loving thing is to let a friend go. It would be wrong to keep the dog alive for your own comfort....if she were in distress.

Good luck from someone who's been there many times.
My candle's burning at both ends, it will not last the night. But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--It gives a lovely light!--Edna St. Vincent Millay
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LilacDragon
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My senior dog - my friend

Post by LilacDragon »

Please do not rehome your dog. With her failing health, homes will be limited. Whoever told you that rehoming a senior dog with health issues is easy - lied. If you can't keep her happy and comfortable - Please - put your issues aside and hold her in your arms while your vet puts her to sleep.
Sandi



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Lulu2
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My senior dog - my friend

Post by Lulu2 »

L'D is right....if you've never helped a dog out of life, you might think it's a terrible process. IT IS NOT! Your dog will quietly go to sleep....and that's it.
My candle's burning at both ends, it will not last the night. But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--It gives a lovely light!--Edna St. Vincent Millay
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Adam Zapple
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My senior dog - my friend

Post by Adam Zapple »

It's a sad time, Sunray. My Boston Terriers' are 10 and 9 so I know that in a few years we will face the same decision. I agree with LuLu and DG, if the dog is suffering from pain and discomfort at that age, the most kind act is the one that let's them go.
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Lulu2
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My senior dog - my friend

Post by Lulu2 »

You're right, Adam...and I'm sorry to hear your canine friends are near the end of their roads. Lulu will be there in a year or two. I'll promise you big hugs if you'll do the same for me....when the time comes.
My candle's burning at both ends, it will not last the night. But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--It gives a lovely light!--Edna St. Vincent Millay
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valerie
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My senior dog - my friend

Post by valerie »

I was going to pm you but your box is full.



I have an old girl, too, she will be 14 in December. I know what

you are going through.



Please do not try to re-home her. And I don't think it's time to

put her down just yet. She can compensate for the vision loss

as long as she has one good eye.



Something I once heard on making the decision to put a dog down,

is that if the dog still has 3 things it likes to do, it's not time yet.

Those can be any 3 things, sleeping, meals, rides in cars.



Confining her during your work hours is not inhumane, in my book.

Get baby gates if you have to and confine her to a bathroom or the

kitchen. Use puppy housebreak pads. She's old, a lot of her time

will just be spent sleeping and she will be glad to see you when you

get home!



As for her "ailments"... ask your vet about something called PPA...

Phenylpropanolomine. That might help with the urinary incontinence.

You can give baby aspirin for the joint pain, don't know your girl's

size but my 65 pounder gets 2 baby aspirin morning and evening,

always with a "cookie" to help avoid tummy upset.



I have had Tamsen on glucosamine supplements for several years

now. She is a 3 legger, and still most of the times does steps out to

potty by herself. Ask your vet, also maybe investigate Adequan, they

should have an info pamphlet on that.



You can work this out, really. Your girl could have quite a long time

with you yet.



<> and if you think of anything else, feel free to pm me.



Val



(Check out Tamsen's dogster page in my sig!)
Tamsen's Dogster Page

http://www.dogster.com/?27525



annabelle
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My senior dog - my friend

Post by annabelle »

I really do feel for you , but, no matter what your feeling's may understandably be, what really matters here is this. You need to ask yourself, however hard it may be, what quality of life does my pet have. If you feel you are unable to make this decision, then listen to the opinion of your vetinarian.

I personally wouldn't see my dog suffer in this way, and that is born out of love, not selfishness.
RedGlitter
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My senior dog - my friend

Post by RedGlitter »

Dear Sunray,



I am really sorry to hear of this situation. I have had to make The Decision many times. I guess I'd hav eto be there to see the state she's in when these accidents occur to actually judge for sure but based on what you tell us and what I know, I tend to go with Valerie's call that it may not be time yet. Old dogs get stiff and that's a fact of life. My guy is getting up in years and is bothered in the mornings like I am with my arthritis. A baby aspirin (never Tylenol- it's toxic to dogs and cats!) and some glucosamine seem to help this along.

I lived with my blind Llhasa for seven years. She wasn't born blind, she was abused and suffered retinal damage. She learned her way around the house and furniture just fine. When it was time to go out (supervised natch) or come in, I had special words I would say so she would know to either go up the step or down the step. She was also urinary incontinent and my carpet suffered and I got tired of cleaning up but that wasn't a reason to put her down either. Anyway we developed a routine and I imagine you can too. It takes a little getting used to but if you love your dog, that's what you do. Same thing when it actually comes time to make that decision- it hurts but if you love your dog that's what you'll have to do. Lulu is correct in that it is not a horrible thing to watch. If you've never seen it done, the vet gives the dog an injection usually in the arm and the dog relaxes and appears to just fall asleep. It's over very quickly. That said, I don't think having a cataract is any call to be thinking about putting her down. Neither is the incontinence unless maybe she's soiling herself all the time and is raw from it. If she is in pain, then we are talking something else. But just inconvenience, no. And I'm not making light of having to clean up after your dog, I know it gets to be a drag.



As far as keeping her confined to her pen or in a separate room while you're gone, I don't think that's inhumane at all. Give her her food and water or special chewie and toys. People *crate* their dogs for hours while they're gone and I have a problem with that but just giving her a confined place to be should be no problem. Baby gates work great for this.



You will have to make some adjustments in your life because you are the proud mom of an old dog. We all get old. We can only hope our loved ones make adjustments for us too. I think if your dog is otherwise healthy and is as happy as you describe, that you still have some time left together.



Please- don't consider rehoming your dog. I'm in the adoption world and I know how hard it is to get a senior dog with NO problems a home. Believe me, no one will give your dog a better loving home than you .
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cherandbuster
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My senior dog - my friend

Post by cherandbuster »

Hi Sunray,

Seems you've gotten some great advice from fellow FGers.

My heart is with you :-6
Live Life with

PASSION
!:guitarist





Sunray
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:36 pm

My senior dog - my friend

Post by Sunray »

Thank you so much FG members for all your caring and wise replies. It really has helped put things into perspective for me. Especially with keeping her confined during the day while I am at work. I know she will be lonely because she is so used to having me home most of the time. I do have a radio I can turn on so she can hear people voices.

I forgot to mention my dog is a small mixed breed mostly Yorkshire Terrier/Schnauser and weighs in at 4 lbs. I do believe small dogs can live to be 15 or 16 if I am not mistaken.

I will be taking her to the vet this week and will let you know what the vet recommends for her. The baby ASA and incontinence medicine would probably work wonders for her.

Sun :-6
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valerie
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My senior dog - my friend

Post by valerie »

A couple more things I thought of:



What are you feeding? SLOWLY switching to a higher grade kibble

formulated for seniors might at least help lessen the frequency of

bowel incontinence.



And baby wipes can be a real help with keeping your girl clean.
Tamsen's Dogster Page

http://www.dogster.com/?27525



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cherandbuster
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My senior dog - my friend

Post by cherandbuster »

Hi Sun :-6

I have a chihuahua named Buster:)

Toy dogs, of which yours is one, can live for 20 years. The smallest dogs usually live the longest lives.

Please keep us posted

We care :-6
Live Life with

PASSION
!:guitarist





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cherandbuster
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My senior dog - my friend

Post by cherandbuster »

valerie wrote: A couple more things I thought of:



What are you feeding? SLOWLY switching to a higher grade kibble

formulated for seniors might at least help lessen the frequency of

bowel incontinence.



And baby wipes can be a real help with keeping your girl clean.



Hello my lovely Val :-4
Live Life with

PASSION
!:guitarist





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Atlantia
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Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:08 am

My senior dog - my friend

Post by Atlantia »

Sunray, I'm sorry to hear of your fury friends health. It's so sad when their bodies age, yet inside thier minds, they are like the puppies we first loved years ago.

Toby is sometimes left on his own, for a few hours a day. We have a baby gate in the kitchen, as Toby too leaves little accidents. Not all the time, and there has been a great improvement since we switched to the all in one dry meal. The tinned food just went straight through him, so he can no longer have that. The all in one food also has all of the vitamins he needs. We switch between a Senior dog food, and one for dogs with sensetive stomachs. Good luck with your dear friend.
Some people think this is it;

fish think the same about the sea.
Sunray
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Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:36 pm

My senior dog - my friend

Post by Sunray »

I am feeding my little girl Pedigree in the can. They just came out with some new flavors that she loves. She will also eat Alpo in a can, but I prefer giving her the Pedigree because I heard it was better food. She has become fussy about certain dog foods in her old age.

She does not have very many teeth left so I mainly give her the soft food. She also gets Beggin Strips, Pupperoni and soft chewy T-Bonz treats which are her favorites. She loves to naw on small round steak or pork bones which is good for the tartar on her teeth.

Any suggestions on other brands of food would be appreciated. She does need some sort of semi-hard food to clean the tartar from the few teeth she does have.

Thanks for all your input. I sincerely appreciate it. :-6

Cher - your little chiuahua is adorable. :-4 I had one when I was 20 and lived on my own for the first time. His name was Rosco and he was an angel.
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LilacDragon
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My senior dog - my friend

Post by LilacDragon »

My pup eats Merrick's kibble. It comes in some wonderful flavors with such things as buffalo, venison, salmon, chicken and more that just don't come to mind right now. It is also available in a can and doesn't contain the fillers and meat junk that both Purina and Alpo are so fond of. It is a bit more expensive but that is because it doesn't use cheap junk.
Sandi



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