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  1. #1
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    When is it time for the dog to go to the farm

    Momís dog is 14 or so, Rhodesian ridgeback/pit/lab mix. Good dog (thatís redundant).

    Lately (last 8-12 months) his legs are going- canít get up the stairs and needs help getting into the car. No the biggest of deals but heís getting old. Mom sleeps on the couch because she canít carry him up the stairs.

    Also just seems slow, disengaged, will occasionally poop wherever (not sure if heís losing control like an old man or just doesnít give a fuck...also like an old man). Heís got the shakes a bit. Coat doesnít look fantastic. Typical getting old shit, Iíd think. But he seems miserable. Then again Iím a crusty fuck too with no doggie psychology degree.

    So is there a time to be proactive? If not now, is there something to look for? Or is it just an enjoy the time kind of thing, nature will take its course?
    Decisions Decisions

  2. #2
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    Doesnít sound like itís time yet. When itís time, youíll know.

  3. #3
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    I've found that when you ask yourself this question, it's time.

  4. #4
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    I experienced something similar with my dog Rafael, about five (5) years ago. He had lost motor control of his hind quarters and had begun losing bowel control. He could drag himself about with the front legs, but had developed non-healing sores on the rear paws from the dragging. On my birthday, I had gone for coffee and came home to five piles of diarrhea all over the living room. Rafi seemed humiliated and had dragged himself out to the back yard (he still had free access). I decided that moment that it was time and called the vet. An hour or so later it was over. The paralysis was only going to worsen, ultimately affecting breathing, as would the lack of bowel control. Plus it was affecting him psychologically, I believe. He had a strong sense of dignity and his degrading condition was certainly causing him some grief.

    Looking back, I think that I prefer it this way. Don't think that I could handle scheduling an appointment for a day or more in advance to euthanize an animal. Too much stress for me and the pupster.

    Anywho, enjoy the time you and mom have with doggo. I think your mom will know, or perhaps the dog will let you know.
    °”rale, vato!

  5. #5
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    I just put my lab down last week. She was 13 1/2.
    Sounds like we were in a very similar scenario. It was the hardest decision, but she started pooping in the house and was having breathing and hip issues. I realized her life had pretty much turned into eating, sleeping 23 hours a day and I just didn't see what the point was anymore. She was miserable. The hardest part was she would have her moments where the spark would return in her eyes and she'd try her best, but overall she had zero quality of life...

    On Friday last week she pooped in the house and I could tell she was miserable about it. I called the vet, set an appointment to go in the afternoon, took her to her favorite spot on the river and gave her a shit ton of treats. I knew what my decision was, but I asked the vet for his opinion just to make me feel better. He agreed with my choice and 10 minutes later she was gone in my arms.... still really hard to grasp as I write this, but when I remember the labored breathing, poor coat and sad eyes I know it was the right call.

    I'm sad that she's gone. It sucked that I "killed" her by choice. But we're so lucky that we can end the suffering of our pets when their quality of life goes to hell. I wish we all could be so lucky.
    Some people are like Slinkies... not really good for anything, but you still can't
    help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs...

  6. #6
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    When dogs go, the go fast. Sounds a bit early to me.

    My vets guidance was when they stop eating, stop getting up, and stop going to the bathroom.

    That all developed, and peaked In about 2 weeks for me.

    Maybe I was lucky.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Landers View Post
    he seems miserable
    Does this manifest in a way that would lead you to believe that he is in chronic pain and is suffering?

    That was the line for me.
    She would have hung on for a few more months if we had propped her up with meds, etc...
    However, she was in pain, and for the first time in her life she was letting us know about it.

    Billyk is right, you'll know.

    [sigh] Not the way I wanted start my morning, but here i am...[/sigh]

  8. #8
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    This is why I’m not getting another dog. It just sucks going through this......

  9. #9
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    Well, he may not be ready right now, but very soon. We just did this with Scooter, and since she was 14 as well, we knew she wasnít going to get better. Sucks.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  10. #10
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    One of my dogs (13 year old Lab/GSP mix) is entering the home stretch as well, but one thing that's made me take pause with the whole question of "when is it time" is how she's made great improvement over the last few months. Last winter or spring, she was constantly pooping in the house, usually in her sleep, and her legs didn't want to work often. Seemed to be losing her marbles too, often staring off into space all the time.

    Then every once in a while, she gets a new spring in her step and starts bounding around the yard like a puppy, playing with her "sister" and chasing each other around the yard. It's great to see. We put her on a glucosamine regiment, which seems to have helped a bunch with her hip dysplasia. I know her time is coming, but I feel like we may have just bought another good year. She seems really happy, has a good quality of life, and doesn't appear to be in any pain. I wasn't so certain not that long ago, so I'm really, really happy I didn't take to her to the farm then. BUT, you'll know. Not for any of us to say, but for me, I'll probably hold off until she's actually suffering. Personally, I'll put up with the old aged quirks 'til the very end.

    Another thing that any vet will say is how vital good diet is. We feed our dogs super good, high protein, no grain food. It's not cheap but that's always been pretty visibly beneficial for them. Coats look great for a couple of geriatric dogs and my 10 year old Weim/GSP just went on a long, fast run with me yesterday. Ran a few miles, but sprinted as fast as I could for like a mile. Thing can still outrun most young pooches with energy to spare and she's straight jacked with great muscle tone. It's absurd. I give credit to the diet on that one.

  11. #11
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    I have always held on to my dogs to long and should have put them down a week or two earlier. It is such a hard call to make at the time, as who wants to kill a best friend? For me, paying more to have the vet come to the house is so worth it so we can all be there to say good bye (the other animals too).
    Good luck deciding what to do. It is always such a hard thing to decide.
    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    I think you'd have an easier time understanding people if you remembered that 80% of them are fucking morons.
    That is why I like dogs, more than most people.

  12. #12
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    I put my 13 yo golden down a few months ago. He made the decision "easy", it was clearly time even though it all happened in the span of 3 days. So I have no real advice to offer, just my sympathies.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin

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  14. #14
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    There's an appropriate thread for this already.

    So is there a time to be proactive?
    Been to the vet yet?

    And second ACH... are you absolutely positive the dog isn't in pain?
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by m2711c View Post
    This is why I’m not getting another dog. It just sucks going through this......
    I hear ya, and can't blame you for feeling that way.
    Old Yeller was gut wrenching for me as a kid...
    Having to say goodbye to a significant life companion two years ago is something that will stick with me for the rest of my life.
    That said, not living with a dog or dogs is a worse fate for me.
    They make me "feel", on both ends of the spectrum and that is something I value.
    "In for a penny, in for a pound".

  16. #16
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    I have struggled with this question with our last 3 Danes. Each time it is different, yet strangely the same. And it is gut wrenching.
    I find that when you start asking yourself this question, it is basically about time. You may be able to squeak out some more time with the furbaby, but is that what the dog wants? It is a really hard question to answer, I know.

    Each time I have thought I waited to long. Each time I have thought I didn't wait long enough. Each time I thought about not being selfish and not waiting too long.

    My last dog Hayley was super hard. In hindsight I waited probably a week too long. My daughter was only 6 and she was so torn apart. I gave her a little extra time instead of letting Hayley go. To this day I have mixed feelings about the decision.

    I wish you luck.
    "boobs just make the world better really" - Woodsy

  17. #17
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    I would do it sooner rather than later but I can't offer much suggestion on when the right time is. The old lady here is 16 and I'm going through the same thing. She has hip displasia, but has just started to have accidents inside the house. Although not great they removed a huge Sarcoma from her back leg/hip last year and they couldn't get all of it so it will come back and unfortunately makes my decision for me. Good luck to the mags with old dogs going through this fucked up situation.

    I'm in the no more dogs boat currently but that could change. She's been with me most of my adult life and I'm not sure I can do it all again.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by concretejungle View Post
    I'm in the no more dogs boat currently but that could change. She's been with me most of my adult life and I'm not sure I can do it all again.
    We were in that boat for several years.
    And now I am working in my home office with our 4th and 5th Great Danes.
    "boobs just make the world better really" - Woodsy

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by concretejungle View Post
    I'm in the no more dogs boat currently but that could change. She's been with me most of my adult life and I'm not sure I can do it all again.
    Not on subject, but I struggle without a dog in my life. Down the road I will try and go some time without them to travel easier, but unless things change dramatically, I won't last to long. I think I made it 3 months last time much to my wife's annoyance.
    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    I think you'd have an easier time understanding people if you remembered that 80% of them are fucking morons.
    That is why I like dogs, more than most people.

  20. #20
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    Man I'm sorry Brock. I honestly think that this is one of the shittiest things to go through in life. In the end, I think the decision comes down to; what is his quality of life?

    I had a rhodesian ridgeback/golden mix, she was also around this age, (14 or so) and she had many of the symptoms you describe. She'd poop inside ALL the time - and you could tell she felt bad about it knowing that pooping inside was "BAD girl!" stuff all her life. She couldn't poop outside very well either, she would struggle and strain and her feces were always watery and unhealthy looking at the end.

    What sealed it for us was her eyesight going, and getting to the point where she'd walk straight into the corner of the coffee table, or into the wall, or trip down the stairs, or whatever. She started to get all kinds of bumps and bruises on her head from walking into stuff. At that point, her quality of life was pretty much gone. We were propping her up with meds, but for what?

    In hindsight, I really wish I had paid for the home visit to put her down. Yeah its expensive as fuck (like 10 times as much as it costs for the vet to do it in office) but it sucked bringing her to the vet - her least favorite place in the world - for her last minutes. Watching her take her last couple of breaths while we petted her and told her "good girl! we love you so much, you are such a good girl" was one of the hardest things I've been through in my life. bringing tears to my eyes thinking about it and it was almost 3 years ago now

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by m2711c View Post
    This is why I’m not getting another dog. It just sucks going through this......
    I have felt the same way since we put Nelly down, don't want another dog because of how much this sucks, but this is an excellent way of looking at it;

    Quote Originally Posted by ACH View Post
    Having to say goodbye to a significant life companion two years ago is something that will stick with me for the rest of my life.
    That said, not living with a dog or dogs is a worse fate for me.
    They make me "feel", on both ends of the spectrum and that is something I value.
    "In for a penny, in for a pound".

  22. #22
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    Thanks a lot guys, lots of good reminiscing and advice per usual. Tougher for my mom- Iím stopping by once every week or two in the summer so I see it but donít really live it every day.

    She just mentioned that she may have to make a decision on that at some point- not today I donít really think...but was just curious if thereís more ďHey this thing is overĒ type stuff. Seems like to a small degree there is but really itís just a tough shitty decision and if you get to the point where itís obvious you think if you waited too long.

    At least it would get mom sleeping back upstairs in bed. And the dog has had a pretty good fucking life.
    Decisions Decisions

  23. #23
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    I don't have an easy answer for when's the time but I don't think anyone has ever looked back and regretted putting their dog down too soon.

  24. #24
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    Itís a fine line. The animal shouldnít suffer more than necessary. On the other hand, I donít like the idea of killing a dog just because itís inconvenient. Thatís a personal choice, and I donít fault others who would pull the plug earlier.

    We had one dog that was perfectly fine one day and the next day started staggering around like a drunken sailor. She did that for two years until it was finally time. She didnít appear to be in pain, and there were times when she would improve, especially if there were puppies around for her to play with.

    Vet couldnít figure out what went wrong, or at least, wasnít able to fix it. We had some good moments in her final years, but when the time came everyone knew it. My wife said she kept looking at her with sad eyes.

    I draw the line at pain, suffering, crapping in bed, or being paralyzed or blind. And maybe a little before it gets to that stage.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond Joe View Post
    In hindsight, I really wish I had paid for the home visit to put her down.
    Yeah, that's how I feel too. Our old Big Sky vet in fact would ONLY do home visits as standard practice. I don't think he charged any more for it. He just knew it was best for both dogs and family. I agree with that. I wish more vets would insist on it as much as he did. Might need to find a good ol' farm & ranch vet for when the time comes as home visits are obviously standard for them and they don't usually charge and arm and a leg anyway.

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