Cat Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have this old Lab named Natala who I adopted a few years ago from the local MSPCA. She's been a fairly good dog, she's a bit independent and a little bit of a b---- but overall she's sweet old lady who we love very much.

The whole time that she's been with me we have been battling her severe hip dysplasia and spondelitis(arthritis of the spine) in every method available to us aside from surgery. (Her back is so bad, it wouldn't be able to support her after surgery) Within the last year she's developed dementia and it's gotten pretty bad. She paces in circles, gets herself stuck under coffee tables, has a hard time recognizing you and worst of all has become aggressive.

She snaps at you when you try and help her up if she falls, she snaps at you if you approach her too quickly and just yesterday she tried to attack my boyfriend's mother when she entered the room she was in.

Now a part of me feels with how bad her hips are(some days she can't walk without assistance) and her increasingly foul temperament that she needs to be put to sleep. The other part of me keeps making excuses and I'm worried she's not ready to go yet. I also fear that she'll severely bite someone and I'll be left with no choices. My boyfriend doesn't feel it's her time and he's not ready to put her to sleep even though she has bitten him, quite badly at that within the last month.

It's really strange because some days she's fine and she can walk good and you can tell she's feeling chipper. Other days I think it's the end because I have to carry her up and down the stairs while trying to avoid her biting me. :cry:

I'd hate to put my little girl to sleep if it's not her time but being on the inside I'm afraid I'm being blind to reality.

I'm not looking for a final decision here but I wanted some input from those who have dogs and can put themselves in my situation... Or better yet have been there before!

Anything you can add would be a help and would be appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,123 Posts
Tough question...

I've had a Samoyed with hip dysplasia but he was healthy until the age of 14, then he started to have trouble walking so we had him put to sleep.

I've also had a dog that lives a long life with epilepsy with age it just got worse and he was put to sleep 13 years old.

Now to how I think when it comes to making these kind of tough decisions. If the dog (animals in general) have more bad days than good days it's time to start thinking about letting the dog be put to sleep. It takes time to think it through but I think most of us can see in our pets eyes when it's time.

Take a good look at your dog (I believe you already have) and then think about how you want her to spend the rest of her life. If there are meds you can use to stop the pain, maybe she can go on for some time but if she has to live with the pain, is it worth it? For her?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
28,623 Posts
Oh, Jessica, that's rough! Some people say, "You'll know." I kept getting my animals treated until I knew, or the vet told me. However, the biting frightens me, for fear someone will get hurt. Normally I would wait until I knew there was no quality of life. Yours is not as clear cut, but if a child comes to visit, you might wish you had made the decision sooner. :cry:

I am a real wimp about these things though. I know I went back and kissed my old collie mix at least six times, while the vet stood, patiently waiting. Laddie couldn't walk, so there was no other choice. He had several strokes, and finally we found him at the bottom of the outside cellar steps, unable to move. There was no doubt, but it was still a horrible thing for us to go through. :(

God bless you and guide you to the right decision, and give you peace of mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
I have a 4 year old obese male lab who has alot of problems getting around too. We didn't know you weren't suppose to free feed labs when we got him (someone begged us to take him...), so now we're paying the price. He now has arthritus (SP) problems, and when he gets older, we'll probably have to put him down :cry: . How old is your lab? I hear the average lifespan is only 8-10 years. I was wondering because you said she was old. If she's having temperment problems to where you possible couldn't help her at one point, then I would say talk to your vet about putting her to sleep, for her own good. :(


PS...has she always been aggressive??? Max, our lab, has always been aggressive towards strangers...I though labs were supposed to be super-friendly, but he isn't. He's almost attacked the UPS guy numerous times, and he growls and barks at people walking down the road. Just wondering....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
First lemme say thank you for your input! I totally appreciate it.

Since I deal with assisting with euthanasias just about everyday and the grieving owners, I've always been the one to tell them that when they feel their dog doesn't have a good quality of life then maybe it's time. Now that it's turned on my own dog, it's not so easy to swallow that line.

The funny thing about her situation is one day she can't get up without assistance and the next she's able to move around fairly well. It seems to me that she has more bad days than good days but my boyfriend doesn't see it that way and his view is putting doubt in my mind. I think he's holding on to the good days she has once in a while.

I am just scared that I will put her to sleep and it's not her time yet. Dealing with her mental state can be frustrating, especially when she gets pacing and won't stop but I don't want to be selfish and have it seem like I'm just trying to get rid of her because I am not. As a human, I don't think I'd want to live like that with my head in the clouds like her, not knowing what I am doing half of the time but for a dog I don't know if it's acceptable. I don't think she's in pain, the arthritis from her back causes most of her nerves in the back end to be pinched off so she doesn't feel much and she has a good appetite but she just doesn't look happy to me.

The issue that really has me scared is the increased aggression. Just yesterday I left work at lunch time to let her outside and after she went to the bathroom she started to wander. I walked over to her, talking to her, trying to coax her back to the deck and when I got close enough she looked up at me like she didn't recognize me and snapped at me. She then trotted back near the deck and as I approached her again to help her up the deck, she went for me again.

I know it sounds corny but it really hurt my feelings to have my own dog snap at me for no reason! I don't want to be the type of person who keeps making excuses when their dog snaps and then have something terrible happen. I guess the thing that is holding me back is Brian(my boyfriend) because he doesn't seem worried about her aggression... On the other hand I don't think he wants to confront it because that would mean losing her possibly.

Hb- Nope, Labs are one breed of dog you cannot free feed. I swear most of them would eat till they popped. :lol:

We're not sure on Natala's exact age because we got her at a shelter. The workers thought she was about five years old at the time which would make her eight now but given her health problems her doctor estimates her to be about eleven or older. The good thing about Labs is, for a big dog they tend to live longer than most large breeds(I've seen some creaking around at 14) but with all of Natala's problems I don't think she'll make it that far.

And no she hasn't always been aggressive. She was a very dominate dog in her day(over other dogs and would try with me in the beginning) but she'd never snap the way she does now. It's just been within the past few months and the episodes are getting closer together. I am starting to wonder if she doesn't know who we are when she starts snapping... I tell you the look in her eyes yesterday scared the pee out of me.

I guess I have a lot of decision making ahead of me. :cry:

((Just a side note for you HB with Max, if you can get the weight off him now, as he gets older there's a lot of wonderful new products on the market that help dogs with arthritis to make them feel a lot more comfortable that are much safer than Rimadyl. It's given a lot of older dogs a new lease on life. :) ))
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,123 Posts
Her aggression is probably caused by fear and the fear is caused by pain, so I do think your dog is in pain. Maybe not all of the time but when she's in a "bad mood".

If it's to any consolation, she won't feel any pain or fear when/if she's been put to sleep, something she probably will feel for the rest of her living days.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
28,623 Posts
I don't like saying this, but I think Sol is right. This is upsetting. You just can't trust her, because she'll strike out. The pain must be very bad for her to turn on the people she loves. She mustn't realize what she's doing. God bless. :cry:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
You wouldn't believe all the attempts to get Max's weight off! We tried cutting back his feeding. (my dad even cut him back WAY to much and mom had to make him feed Max more) We tried walking him, but he would get too tired too quick. We've tried taking him swimming in the creak, and for awhile it worked. It was when the creak was low because of lack of enough rain that he stopped swimming. It seemed like for a while it was working, but now all he does is walk around in it, collecting sticks for his pile :roll: While the other dogs run around and swimm, he just kind of trots around. He usually gets painfully fat in the winter, so I don't know what wer'e gonna do then! I seriously think he has hypothyroidism! But then again, he's my dad's dog and my dad just doesn't take pets to the vet for things like that. He says "I'm not paying a fortune on vet bills when they can't even do anything without charging even more money. MAx is what he is and when his time comes, it comes." (He obviously has a different perspective on pets than me and my mom & sister) So, I guess Max will be ok because we ARE exercising him daily. I'm just glad Susie is an active dog who goes for a swim and exerices herself, BY herself!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I've come to a decision. I'm putting Natala to sleep tomorrow afternoon. She snapped at my face today and I had moved just in time. I guess you could say it was a wake up call.

It's going to be hard but I know this is the best thing for her. Natala was a great dog and she is going to be sorely missed. :cry:

Once again I thank you all.

HB- You're right... Max could have a thyroid problem. It's too bad you can't convince your dad to see it too. My dad is a lot like that. He's very old fashioned and can't believe that pets need to go to the vet like they are supposed to. He nearly fell over laughing once when he saw me brush my dog's teeth. :roll:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
I'm sorry it had to be like that. At least you'll have all of us to relate with.
It's a sad part of having pets, they just don't live that long. I actually think it would be alot harder if they lived to be oh, say 50 years? Because then, after all the undivided love and loyalty, it would kill us to have them put down.
Everything is for a time and a season. Natala's time may be up, but just think of what other doggy may need you to love it. I think God does everything in due time. I know that's how it was with Oliver and Misty. Oliver lived a fairly long, healthy, happy life. If I didn't get Misty, she could have died in that shelter because she was so sick.
Just rest at ease knowing she'll no longer be in pain soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,593 Posts
I am so sorry it turned out this way, Jessica.
I am with you just like everybody else here..knowing how it feels to lose a pet.
A few of the pets I had together with my last loss ( you remember Little Mo, the kitten with club foot that died in my arms a few days after I posted here) died in pain...and there was nothing I wished more than be able to make them pain free. It scared me to death with Little Mo when his state was degrading so fast..all I could think of was I wish I had known earlier in the day to ask the vet to free him. I am just somewhat relieved that there is no more pain and they are all resting peacefully, all sweet innocent creatures that I love so dearly. I know Natala will be the same - so loved by you and your boyfriend, she will be always with you in your hearts
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,499 Posts
Jessica,

I'm so sorry about your dog...my grandma's dog sounds a lot the same, except for the aggressiveness and there is talk of putting her down. Do you think you can help us? Did Natala's aggressiveness start when she couldn't get around, or did the immobility start beforehand? Shushka is also going nutty in her head. She walks in circles and she scratches ALL DAY. She used to have a horrible skin condition because my grandma fed her horrible food and I think Shushka has just gotten so used to scratching that its a habit. My cousin is taking care of her now because my grandma moved to a lodge. But my cousin is moving out of this house in Sept and so her mom just wants to put Shush down instead of move her. I just don't know if Shush is at that stage yet...she still has that spark of life in her eyes but she has such trouble getting around. We all just don't know what to do and its so sad. I love her like she was mine...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
28,623 Posts
Tanyuh, Has she been checked for epilepsy? My son's dog is going around in circles and acting "goofy"-in his words. He'll walk into a corner between a table and a wall and not be able to just back out, and once he (a golden retriever) was sitting on the kitchen table. He has petit mal and grand mal seizures, and requires meds every day to stop the convulsions. However, he might have several convulsions a day, and none for many days. He comes to play with my collie every Sunday (fenced in yard-more freedom) and has never had a problem here, as far as I know.

I'm fond of Casey and like you, would hate to see him put down. I think he has many good days. I would be tempted to take him myself. I hope they give him more time, in his condition.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
28,623 Posts
Guilty and heartbroken, Jessica. We know how hard this was for you, but I'm sure the vet told you it was a merciful act. Deb and I had the Rainbow Bridge at one time, and I am absolutely sure that you will see her again, and she will come running to you with love-her healthy and happy self! You gave her a home when she needed one, and helped her when she was suffering. You are a good mommy. Be assured of that! I wish you blessings and peace.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top