Page 2 of 10 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 98

Thread: Advice on Abbey from my fellow SM owners

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    185
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Oh Linda, I feel for you. I had a very old staffie/cross who was declining with various medical ailments and she was about 15 or 16 yrs old. It was the first time I had to deal with the thought of euthanasia and didn't know when or if. Everyone told me that I would know when it was time, but I just felt that I didn't. That day, I knew what everyone meant as she (Granny was her name) wouldn't eat anything and looked as though she was in pain, but what convinced me that it was time, was the look in her eyes. I believe that the way she looked at me told me that she was ready. It is such a hard thing to do, but in most cases, the kindest. Fortunately with Jade, my SM cavalier, that decision was taken out of my hands and her suffering ended when she died following surgery. All I can say is take it day by day and you WILL know when it's time. Thinking of you and Abbey. xxx
    Kathleen
    Thomas (tri-colour) & Jade (blenheim) waiting at the Bridge

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cork,Ireland.
    Posts
    2,563
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    The hardest thing Linda is the guilt.We want to give our beloved dogs every chance and we think of all the things we love so much about them..
    We had an emergency visit to the vet yesterday again.
    And we know she has advanced liver failure which she may recover from with a strict diet and liver supplements.
    However,she cannot have NSAIDs again for the forseeable future and she has HD and SM and we face the challenge of being unable to control her pain.
    However,we suspect that she has a tumour in the liver or bile duct which will make our decision clear cut.
    This is a terrible time where we find ourselves in Limbo,uncertain of what to do and needing just that bit more information to tell us the truth of just how bad things are.
    Good luck with your decision and we're all here for you.
    Sins

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Birmingham, UK
    Posts
    807
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    I'm here for you too Linda.

    I have had to make the decision for all except one of my departed dogs over the years. All I can do that might help is to tell you what the 'triggers' were for me:

    Mandy Poodle was 17 1/2, fit but very frail. The family kept telling me it was time, but I could not accept it. Then one day this voracious eater sat on her bown full of food instead of eating it. Then I knew and made an appointment for the next day. I think Mandy knew too, because it was the first time in all the years we lived in Redruth that she had allowed me to take her on the same side of the road as the vet. I had never seen a dog euthenaised before and was shaking like a leaf, but once I saw how quick and peaceful it was I knew I would not hesitate again.

    Emma had her 15th birthday which seemed to signal the end for her. She had really bad arthritis and was getting wobbly on her legs. Warts around her eyes were growing back as fast as the vet was scraping them away. The vet was pretty sure she had cancer but we didn't want to do any invasive investigations, although she was still mvd clear. Then she stopped eating. The vet checked her over and said there was nothing more he could do to help her. He said to bring her in at any time. After several days I had to take her outside to toilet, but she just stood there with a blank look on her eyes and obviously had no idea of where she was or why, so I made the appointment for the next morning. She was gone in seconds. Peacefully and in my arms.

    I had really been hoping that Angus would carry on, he was very frail at 16 yrs 10 mths and I wanted him to reach 17. The week before the decisive day a very tiny Yorkie pup had run into the side of him, knocking him down. Poor Angus had no idea what had happened, he just lay on the ground looking at me. I helped him up and he managed to carry on with his walk, so that was that. His appetite was good and everything seemed to work, albeit very slowly, so he carried on. Just a week later I took Angus out for a short toilet walk. He wanted to go and tried to dig his heels in to the pavement to do what he needed, but his legs kept going from under him. Finally he sat down on the ground and looked at me. Total despair was in his eyes. He had had enough of living, so again I took him to the vet and he seemed to pass gladly.

    Angus and Emma had two daughters that I kept. Victoria was 13 1/2 and was fit and well except for an arythmic heartbeat. The fateful day of 9/11 she had her first seizure, which I now believe to be SM. A trip to the vet gave no diagnosis, but the vet thought it might have been vestibular disease. She had several more fits, increasingly frequent, then the following day before Christmas Eve she had a really severe one and could not get up. She was in deep distress. I rushed her to the vet. He advised euthenasia and she was another who passed peacefully in my arms.

    Easter was the other pup I kept. She too reached 15. She had had a fine show life in veteran classes but went downhill rapidly after I retired her from the ring at 14 1/2. A month after her birthday she had a fit during the night and I thought I would loose her, but she rallied. She was due a check up for her glaucoma at the vet's the following afternoon. On the way her legs kept going underneath her, leading to the indignity for her of having to be carried onto the bus. She was obviously unhappy in the waiting room and disorented. When we were called to go into the surgery I put her down to walk in with dignity, but this was not to be, as her legs went again and she could not get up. I knew without doubt that it was time. She was the fourth Cavalier who passed peacefully in my arms.

    I hope there is something in what I have told you that might be comforting or helpful. If there is anything I can do then please let me know.
    Warmest wishes
    Flo & the ByFloSin Cavaliers
    Rebel, Winston Alexander,Little Joe & Holly Poppet
    Birmingham, UK

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    740
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Hi Kathleen---I appreciate your writing. From everybody's posts everbody says I will know and I definitely have doubts so that means its not time. My husband definitely says it's not time and even though she's more attached to me he is her daddy and he loves her so much also so we both need to come to agreement.

    Like Beverly said with this disease you just don't know regarding the progression.

    Sins I am so sorry. I read a bit about what you are going through also.

    I've always promised Abbey that I will never ever let her suffer and like somebody says I have a feeling one day she will look at me and I know she will be saying to me "I'm tired Mom--let me go" and now the tears are flowing.

    Thanks all of you. I know this site is always here for all of us.
    Linda, Georgia, USA
    Winston--shih tzu-male, Darby female tri, Bentley male blenheim and Chelsea, black-tan
    Abbey my beloved tri who is so embedded in my heart--RIP Sweet Princess

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    740
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    yes Flo it does help. You must have posted that at the same time I posted.

    Abbey is only 7 years old. She will be 8 on the 21st of January and she came from Slovakia and we were so stupid but her neuro told us we saved her and she has had a good life with us for sure. She's had parents who definitely loved her and took care of her needs etc. She has given me so much joy but I'm afraid I won't know and she will suffer but from reading all these posts I feel now that I will know and more importantly Abbey will tell me. Who knows maybe a miracle will happen and doubling the prednisone will miraculously help her. We have non-skid socks on her which help alot. We have to figure something out to make it easier for her to go outside. They have a doggy door but the steps are really hard on her. George built a ramp on the left side of the steps and put some covering on it but she sort of slides down that so we need to come up with something else for outside to cover it with to make it easier as a ramp is easier than steps.

    Thanks and God Bless all of you.
    Linda, Georgia, USA
    Winston--shih tzu-male, Darby female tri, Bentley male blenheim and Chelsea, black-tan
    Abbey my beloved tri who is so embedded in my heart--RIP Sweet Princess

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    2,088
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    18

    Default

    Linda,

    It seems that you already received your answer but I thought I would post to just tell you I believe you will know and Abbey will tell you. I know there is a library section here on how do you know, but I remember reading it and even though it is helpful, I know for me, Ella told me. You know Abbey more than anyone else and can see her everyday. SM is SO hard and it can be especially hard on the people who care for them. I was at the point one time of thinking of another surgery for Ella. My neurologist contacted Dr. Dewey and he explained it was VERY risky and there was a chance Ella would be paralyzed. I decided not to or maybe as a last resort but I could not put her through that.

    Ella always seemed like Riley and a little like Abbey. She had trouble with mobility. I would be at a point of having her in a stroller then she would surprise me and go running and playing on a Cavalier meet up. I thought NO she is not ready. She had that life in her but I had to make adjustments like doggie stairs and carrying her sometimes. I had switched medication and she seemed to be doing better but God had another plan. It wasn't her SM that made me decide it was time to go to Rainbows Bridge, but she had a large part of her intestine removed. If she survived, it probably would not be a life worth living. Some people told me to go ahead and put her to sleep but maybe it was me or her but I waited until I got a call saying it was not good. The Internal Medicine Doctor said it has never happened to him before, but the surgery did not work. She would need ANOTHER surgery or well she would not survive.

    Ella's neurologist was back because this all happened over the weekend. When I visited her that weekend she would not get out of the cage. It was the saddest thing and I would just lay in there with my hand touching her during visiting hours. When that call came Monday, I went to the hospital knowing I was going to send her away. I was amazed that she was up and with a smile on her face. I think she knew. We went outside in the sun and I had her neurologist with me as I said my final goodbye. I really can't explain it but I knew she was telling me it's ok.

    I hope this helps some and know that I am thinking of you.
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Chicago area
    Posts
    1,763
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Linda,

    When the time comes to make the decision, you can rest a little easier knowing that it is very gentle and peaceful. When we had our shepherd (Rachie) put to sleep, my daughter was with me. We laid Rachie on her bed and my daughter held her head and stroked her while the vet gave the injection. It really just seemed like she went to sleep, there was no jerkiness, no spasms, she didn't even pee or poop (at least that's my recollection). At first, I told them I didn't want her ashes, but then they called later and told me they had them if I wanted them. Now I'm kind of glad I have them. Something to think about when the time comes.

    This is just to put your mind at ease a bit about the process - that it really is a kindness at the end, a relief of their suffering. I know Abbey isn't there yet. Enjoy every minute of your time with her. I look at Riley all the time with amazement and wonder and think "You should not be alive". One of these days I will be in your shoes and dreading it. But for now, I just look at her and hug her and love her. I know you're doing the same with Abbey.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Western Australia
    Posts
    44
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Linda

    All our thoughts are with you. When living with an SM dog we prepare ourselves for that dreadful decision that one day we have to make. It's been nearly 4 months since I put Bonnie to sleep at the tender age of 3 yrs, and though she had trouble with mobility she still had more good days than bad and I was not prepared for the decision i had to make. In the end it was not SM that led to my decision but she just did not recover from surgery to an abcess wrapped around her trachea and developed an infection in her lungs that would not respond to antibiotics, in the end could not maintain adequate oxygen percentage in her blood, it was one of the hardest decisions I made but I know in my heart it was the right one and she went peacefully. When the time comes you will know in your heart and until that day arrives try and enjoy every moment with Abbey.

    Thinking of you
    Paula

    Molly (Tri female),
    Murphy (Blen boy), and Bonnie (running at the rainbow bridge)

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    740
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Oh paula--I can't imagine making that decision with a 3 year old. I feel robbed and Abbey is 7. I am so sorry you went through that. I am taking it one day at a time in regards to her and enjoying her time left with us no matter how long it will be. She has changed so dang much this past year and time will tell and I do appeciate all your posts more than you know as it has helped me see that it's not time yet.

    Love ya and God Bless you.

    Linda
    Linda, Georgia, USA
    Winston--shih tzu-male, Darby female tri, Bentley male blenheim and Chelsea, black-tan
    Abbey my beloved tri who is so embedded in my heart--RIP Sweet Princess

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    North Scotland - east coast
    Posts
    9,955
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    I'm sorry you are having to face this - I've had to help 7 Cavaliers to leave this life, one the decision was taken for us by the vet during surgery, but the others we had to decide. I ALWAYS feel it's better to let them go too soon than to leave them too long, as Margaret says above, sadly many people keep dogs going too long and then do carry that guilt. My own vet said that was one of the hardest parts of her job, so many times she would know that an animal had had enough, but the owner insisted on keeping them going.


    I don't believe my dogs let me know, I knew, from knowing my dogs intimately, when what they were dealing with was just too overwhelming for them and nothing further could be done to help them. One of them was only 3, another was my heart dog who was only 6 - age is NOT a deciding factor sadly, we would all like to have Cavaliers who live well into their teens but the reality now, due to all the health problems they suffer from, is that long lived Cavaliers are rare.

    With Cavaliers, they wag their tails until they leave us, so I don't think that is an indicator - even a dog in severe pain, as they want to please us and they are genuinely happy to see us.

    Also, especially if they are on steroids, SM affected dogs still tend to have a good appetite [obviously not in MVD or Pancreatitis, kidney or liver diseases etc]





    PLEASE read this section http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/c...rdest-decision


    Dogs also have no mindset for emotional surrender or giving up. They have no awareness of the inevitability of death as we do and they have no fear of it. It is fear that so often influences and aggravates our perceptions when we are sick or dying and it becomes impossible to separate the fear out from the actual illness after a while. But that's not the case with dogs. Whatever we observe to be wrong with our sick dogs, it's all illness. And we don't even see the full impact of that until it's at a very advanced point, because it's a dog's nature to endure and to sustain the norm at all costs.

    If that includes pain, then that's the way it is. Unlike us, they have never learned that letting pain show, or reporting on it, may generate relief or aid. So they endure, assuming in their deepest doggy subconscious that whatever we abide for them is what is to be abided. If there is a "look in the eye", or an indication of giving up, that we think we see from our beloved dogs, it isn't a conscious attitude on their part or a decision to communicate something to us. It's just an indication of how tired and depleted they are. But they don't know there's any option other than struggling on, so that's what they do.

    We must assume that the discomfort we see is much less than the discomfort they really feel. And we do know of other options and it is entirely our obligation to always offer them the best option for that moment, be it further intervention, or none, or the gift of rest.


    THE MOST IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION IS:

    IS YOUR DOG HAPPY WITH THEIR QUALITY OF LIFE?

    Are they able to comfortably take themselves outside to eliminate - dogs who are house trained can find it distressing to soil in the house.

    Are they able to interact with you and their companions?

    Are they able to rest comfortably? Enjoying their meals?



    You can add to this list with things you know are important to your own dog.



    I'm sorry you are dealing with this and I do hope that Abbey will be more comfortable on the higher dose of steroids.
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •