View Full Version : My old girl- need advice...again!

23rd June 2008, 02:30 PM
Hi everyone. As you know I have a 14 YO terrier mix, who recently had a knee issue and was in pain for several days. Well, she bounced back from that but the past few days has been having a really hard time and is breaking my heart. :(

She has been throwing up and not eating very well. This morning she threw up 4 times, and her eyes seemed to be sunken in and really red in the white areas. She just lay on the tile floor (which she NEVER does so I know she was in pain- she ALWAYS lays on a pillow or the sofa or a soft rug).

I called my vet and he said based on her symptoms and age, most likely her kidneys are failing and suggested I give her her wings. I am heartbroken. Part of me knows it's the right time, but my other side sees that she feels better in the afternoon and is really only suffering in the mornings. What do I do?

She still enjoys her walks and usually eats well. Should I wait and see what happens or should I put her out of her misery? HELP QUICKLY!

Barbara Nixon
23rd June 2008, 02:44 PM
I have had two dogs have similar symptoms, but not so severe and both died quite quickly. The springer, I know had kidney failure and was due to see the vet. Izzy , who died last year, had advanced mvd, but his thirst and sunken eyes make me think he went so suddenly through kidney failure and the vet agreed.

Both my dogs were ill for only two days and an evening respectively, but a lady on another list had a cavalier be ill for longer and still lost the battle. I have a feeling that there is nothing to be done once the kidneys deteriorate to a certain level, so treatment will only delay the inevitable and not give any quality time.

This is a very sad difficult and personal decision, but I would let mine go. That was intended with both Cindy and Izzy, but they beat me to it.

23rd June 2008, 02:49 PM
I think listening to your vet is the most responsible choice. He seems to have made a clear judgement call and has the professional expertise to know if an animal is truly suffering.

If she is suffering, it is not right to allow her to suffer half a day every day, to wait to see how she does later that day -- at least in my opinion. Are you holding back for her sake - because she truly gets REAL pleasure out of EVERY day, or for yourself? If the latter -- she should be allowed to go with dignity before she is in serious pain and difficulty. Read through the Is it Time article again in the Library section Health forum and that might help.

My vet once said something very helpful to me: it is cruel and unfair to put off letting them go and allow them to suffer, in order to wait for what? For them to be really suffering, and really in pain? Let them go before they are in a terrible state. I know I'd rather slip away while relatively comfortable when I know the end is near, than suffer through day after day of increasing pain and discomfort.

23rd June 2008, 03:05 PM
Thanks, Karlin. I read the article and it brought tears to my eyes. I know what I have to do. Please pray for our family today as we say goodbye to our old girl- she's been a firecracker in our lives for 14 years.

Claire L
23rd June 2008, 04:04 PM
Trisha, my heart is breaking for you :hug: I have been in your position and I know how hard this is for you.

Please know that I am thinking of you and your family today and sending lots of prayers for Precious.

23rd June 2008, 04:47 PM
So sorry you are faced with this difficult decision. My thoughts are with you.

23rd June 2008, 05:17 PM
I am so sorry, my thoughts are with you and your family :(

23rd June 2008, 05:44 PM
Thinking of you today - it's really hard to make that decision but really is the kindest and most loving thing we can do when it's obvious that they are not going to regain their quality of life.

You've had 14 wonderful years - remember the precious times you've shared.

23rd June 2008, 05:50 PM
I strongly differ....however, unless things have changed there, you may not have all the same options as in the US. First, a vet should do a blood test to see if BUN, creatinine and something else are the cause. It's not an expensive panel. If it is kidney failure, then it can be treated to extend life with quality of life. When they crash like this, IV fluids can give them back so much, and then ongoing sub q fluids and change in diet will make them feel so much better. What is happening is that the toxins are not flushed out of the system. I don't understand how a vet can guess at this without doing bloodwork. I do recall from the yahoo group k9kidneydiet that the fluids weren't available for home treatment of subq for some reason in the UK and people had to order from other countries. I gave my Lhasa an extra good year by treating her kidney disease. You may want to subscribe to the list I mentioned but they want you to have blood test results to give you an informed opinion.

23rd June 2008, 06:48 PM
Nancy, there were a lot of ongoing other issues too, from some previous threads, so the vet is likely looking at a big picture as well. I am sure they will all consider all the options and take the right decision. :flwr:

PS: This dog is in the US. :) And we in Europe do have the same level of vet care as in the US -- capabilities all depend on the practice you go to, just as in the US. My own Dublin vets are certainly better equipped than my mother's is in the San Francisco area. :)

23rd June 2008, 07:12 PM
ahhh, I see. Well, certainly , if the dog is suffering from issues that can't be treated , that is much different. What I meant as far as vet care, is that for some reason, it was illegal for dog owners in UK to get subq supplies prescribed to them. Hopefully that has changed.

23rd June 2008, 07:22 PM
Well, she did so well since breakfast that I couldn't do it. My husband and I both went to the vet, he ran some tests and said she looked good and that I had painted a very bleak picture this morning when I called. Well, I explained that she was a very different dog this morning.

We all agreed that we all didn't feel good about doing it today. He told me to get her on a more bland diet, and gave me some medication to settle her stomach in the meantime. He also suggested I go back to 3 smaller meals a day instead of two.

So, we'll see if she does any better this next week. I'll keep you updated!

23rd June 2008, 07:43 PM
My thoughts are with you, please take care and know that you are doing the right thing. HUGS

Cleo's Person
23rd June 2008, 08:02 PM
Trisha, I'm glad to hear that she's a bit better than originally thought. :hug: :hug: to you as you experience this dificult times.

23rd June 2008, 08:04 PM
You are the person who can evaluate her best, so go with your honest, gut feeling. If she is particularly poor another time, it might be a good idea to get her to the vet for an assessment at a down point as that is when it is hardest to make a judgement call. :flwr:

it was illegal for dog owners in UK to get subq supplies prescribed to them

Oh, I see what you are saying now. :thmbsup: I don't know about that. I guess it is swings and roundabouts with things that are available or not in all locations, as over time, there have been drugs that can be prescribed here or are over the counter that are not in the US as the countries all set their own regimes.

Claire L
24th June 2008, 09:16 PM
It's uplifting to hear that Precious is doing better :xfngr: she stays well for you :hug:

25th June 2008, 01:48 PM
:xfngr: that she stays well for awhile at least. I think u will know ur self when the time is right.:flwr:

25th June 2008, 04:23 PM
So glad to hear she is doing well....will keep :xfngr:!