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Thread: Vocalising - pain??

  1. #1
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    Default Vocalising - pain??

    I'm very confused by Teddy's behaviour - background is we've been battling SM for over 4 years now, diagnosed by MRI 3 1/2 years ago. manged medically. He's been on the highest possible dose of Gabapentin for over a year, is on steroids all the time, Omeprazole and Frusemide, also now Fortekor as he has a Grade 4 murmur. Also on Destolit to help support his liver, as he has liver damage from the drugs. Also various supplements and homeopathic remedies.

    The last few days Teddy is "vocalising" again - he is scratching more, BUT has is brighter and going for walks. He is happy when out, runs about. He plays with the pups sometimes, goes and gets his toy to play with when I'm getting their meals ready.

    He just seems to be groaning more - what do you think of that? Otherwise he is still waggy, enjoys cuddles as long as you stroke his belly or the top of his head.

    Still a nightmare to brush - hates it now and gets quite distressed.

    Obviously when we get to the point where is not enjoying a good quality of life, we will let him go. This would absolutely break my heart, he is a very special dog, but you have to do what is right for them, it is selfish to keep them going, knowing they are suffering, for your own gratification.
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

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    Oh Nicki, it breaks my heart to read your post, I don't have any advice to offer you as I don't have enough experience I can only offer my sympathy xx
    Tania and The Three Cavaliers!
    Dotty!- A Sweet Little Tri
    Molly - Pretty Tri Dougall - Gorgeous Blenheim

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    Thanks Tania
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicki View Post
    I'm very confused by Teddy's behaviour - background is we've been battling SM for over 4 years now, diagnosed by MRI 3 1/2 years ago. manged medically. He's been on the highest possible dose of Gabapentin for over a year, is on steroids all the time, Omeprazole and Frusemide, also now Fortekor as he has a Grade 4 murmur. Also on Destolit to help support his liver, as he has liver damage from the drugs. Also various supplements and homeopathic remedies.

    The last few days Teddy is "vocalising" again - he is scratching more, BUT has is brighter and going for walks. He is happy when out, runs about. He plays with the pups sometimes, goes and gets his toy to play with when I'm getting their meals ready.

    He just seems to be groaning more - what do you think of that? Otherwise he is still waggy, enjoys cuddles as long as you stroke his belly or the top of his head.

    Still a nightmare to brush - hates it now and gets quite distressed.

    Obviously when we get to the point where is not enjoying a good quality of life, we will let him go. This would absolutely break my heart, he is a very special dog, but you have to do what is right for them, it is selfish to keep them going, knowing they are suffering, for your own gratification.
    Oh Nicki,

    What can one say?

    The vocalising and groaning have to be discomfort, but you obviously see that he still has sufficient quality of life, and you can be the only one to make the decision.
    We know our own dogs best.

    This is one of the hardest conditions to deal with, we know that the symptoms can be intermittent, that painful episodes may pass and the body can compensate for some of the neurological damage inflicted by SM.

    The big problem is, how can you ever know if life is still worth living for them?
    Margaret C

    Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
    Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
    Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi

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    how can you ever know if life is still worth living for them
    Yes that is the truly hard question (as it is for other illnesses too but there is just something particularly insidious about SM as from the human accounts, you know how much of it can be endless discomfort and pain but not of the sort that would necessarily cause a dog to cry out).

    The difficulty is always having the courage to recognise the point at which you feel you are hanging on for yourself, rather than for the affected dog -- but at the same time, to neutrally consider whether this day is one they would wish to continue through. If a dog is having happy periods and playing and enjoying walks, and this isn't outweighed by really difficult painful periods, I'd be inclined to have them stay. When the balance tips and a recovery seems unlikely, then I'd be considering heavier choices.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Thank you so much - it really hellps to have your thoughts and support.

    He is just so special {well they all are aren't they?} but I don't want to think he is not coping with the pain and I'm not able to help him.

    I'm realistic enough to know that we're not going to be able to totally control pain {know that from personal experience, like quite a few others here...} but it's whether quality of life is good enough isn't it?

    He did get quite bad a while ago, but had bounced back.

    Maybe will talk to my vet again - she is brilliant, but says that at the end of the day it is us who are with him all the time and see how he is doing.
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

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    I dont have much advice to offer you nikki however I do think about when the time comes for Ruby alot.
    My mum actually asked me to think about it a little while ago as she doesnt think I will be able to make any desisions when the time comes so she said to start thinking about where I would like Ruby to be cremated, whether I would like to donate her to Clare for research and at what point we will decide that enough is enough.

    I think that for every day she is able to enjoy her walks and agility and wags her tail to go out and train and play with Charlie we will carry on. Even if every so often (once or twice a week) she vocalises her discomfort. (groaning and scratching and/or little yelps here and there. Because on the face of it she is a happy dog 90% of the time. if that number in my estimation was to drop belw 50/60% I would have to think about the inevitable.

    You have all our suport but as Margaret said You and only you can make that desision for Teddy an that is the cruel thing about all this.

    Best Wishes

    Karen

    Ruby - my stunning soul mate who defies the odds every day
    Charlie- my angel at heart and devil at play


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    Hi Nicki,
    I am sorry to hear about Teddy's situation. I am fairly new to the SM world and I can only imagine the position that you are in. The only advise I have is what my mother told me many years ago when I was in the same dilemma with a different dog. She said " You'll know when it's time" I thought she was crazy. How would I know? How can I do this ?etc. But unfortunately the time did come, and I KNEW it was time. It doesn't make the decision any easier but you know Teddy the best of ANYONE, and you will do what is right for HIM. That is what loving your dog is all about. There are those who let their dogs suffer and linger because they don't want to let them go. No one wants their dog to leave especailly these precious cavaliers, but you love Teddy so much that there is no doubt in my mind when "you will know when it's time" I hope you have many more good day with Teddy.
    Proud Mom to Riley, male B&T, my velcro boy

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    Hi Nicki- Knowing when to make that call is the most difficult decision as a pet owner. We've all seen the video of the "seriously affected" SM Cavalier--- but it is so hard: what if those episodes were only once a week? Once a day? Multiple times a day? Where do you draw the line? In my head, I have said that if Casey starts having fits like that even once a day for more than a week, I would make that decision. From what you're describing, your boy is still very happy and overall not in severe pain *all* the time. I think if and when his disease progresses you'll know.

    Hang in there! Big hugs to you.
    Trisha in Southwest Florida
    Cavaliers: Casey, Ollie, & Winston and usually a foster or two! Cats: Pebbles & Benson

  10. #10
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    Hi Nicki, my heart goes out to you and Teddy. I know this is something I will have to face at some time with my little guy too.
    I am sure I saw somewhere on this forum - ages ago- a link to a chart that was made to help owners evaluate the quality of life their dog was experiencing, so that they could assess if it was 'time' yet. Hopefully someone else, with a better memory than me, might also remember this and give you the link to it.
    Found the link:
    http://www.naturescornermagazine.com...ompanions.html

    Charli.xx
    Last edited by Charlifarley; 5th November 2009 at 06:14 PM. Reason: found the missing link!

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