14th November 2013, 08:02 AM
We have decided to put Shiloh down
After a long and hard journey with Shiloh, my husband and I have made the impossibly hard decision to have Shiloh put down. She has been on the maximum possible dose of her medicines for quite a while now, and while she sometimes has "normal doggy moments", she never escapes her pain and suffering. We have tried everything. Done everything we could possibly do. Her vet has been following Clare's treatment algorithm to a T. We took Shiloh to her follow up appointment last week and Dr. Pearce is concerned since Shiloh has started displaying seizure-like symptoms. But more than anything we are all concerned about her level of pain, which is severe. She has been hiding under our bed everyday, for most of the day, just crying. Before we found out about SM and before she was started on the meds, she would do this all the time and had stopped eating. Then the meds seemed to help at first and she had normal moments, although brief, but has declined despite all of our efforts.
The other day she stopped eating, and has been in severe pain. If she is not under our bed, she is in her crate crying. The crying and whimpers are nonstop. She has bitten her paws to the point of bleeding and has had no escape from her pain. On Monday afternoon, after being up all night with her the night before, the pain in her eyes was so evident that I couldn't deny it or ignore it anymore. I knew it was time. I made the appointment for Saturday morning. I was hoping she would bounce back and that it was just a pressure thing, and that maybe I could cancel the appointment after all. But the reality is that she has NO quality of life anymore. And I finally got to the point that the pain of watching her suffer constantly, was greater than the pain of losing her. I can't think of anything more heartbreaking than watching a helpless, beloved dog writhe in pain. It's HEART WRENCHING. I have felt so helpless these last few days. And my poor baby just had her 2nd birthday. Who puts down a 2 year old dog!? SM is HORRIFYING. The whole thing is just horrifying.
I love this dog beyond words. She is so brave. She is a true champion at this thing called life. Despite her suffering everyday, she has brought us so much joy. I can't even begin to know what Saturday will feel like. But I wanted to let you all know. You all have been so helpful and supportive throughout this whole thing. Shiloh and I are so appreciative of EVERY one of you. Your support means more than you know. I hope to still be an active part of the forum, and in Shiloh's honor I'd like to help others the best I can. My tears are blinding me at the moment....
We have a library of videos of Shiloh's symptoms and episodes, and when I'm ready I'd love to post them somewhere to help spread awareness. We have been taking a lot of videos over the last few months. Initially they were for her vet visits, but lately I've been determined to capture the reality of this disease. After all, others' videos online were the very reason we pursued a proper diagnosis so aggressively. It was like a lightbulb went off when we watched them. And I hope that somehow, Shiloh's videos can be the same for someone else, even if it helps just one dog. Then, in a way, her suffering would have some meaning. I really believe that if she had been properly diagnosed and treated early on, she may have actually had a good life. But diagnosis for other dogs won't come easy if we don't talk about it everywhere we go. That was the advice Dr. Pearce gave us. She said, "Rather than try to hunt down the monsters who bred her, talk about it to everyone you meet, everywhere you go, all the time. Spread awareness so people understand how many cavaliers are suffering..." I believe this is good advice. Then she cried as she held Shiloh, and told us, "It makes me so angry that these people are breeding these dogs, knowing that the parents have SM. It is cruelty to animals. No animal deserves this kind of life."
I couldn't agree more. Please pray for us on Saturday. I will be giving lots of hugs to Shiloh the next 2 days and I will be sure to give her some on your behalf. Thanks for the support.
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thanked for this post
14th November 2013, 08:41 AM
Thank you for making this brave decision for your Precious girl. I'm so sorry you have been through this, and for Shiloh, it's such a horrendous condition. Heartbreaking to see your dog suffering in this way.
It does sound like Shiloh is in very severe pain and I strongly believe you have made the right decision, we should never let a dog suffer for or own selfish reasons of wanting to keep them with us. Yes it will hurt to let her go, nothing can prepare you for that, but this is something we face every time we welcome an animal into our lives, one day we have to say goodbye.
Your vet sounds very wise, I commend her words, something positive with which you can move forward.
Yes it would be good to be able to make use of your videos, maybe when you are ready you could contact Tania@cavaliermatters.org as she may have some ideas; also Karlin who owns this forum possibly for http://sm.cavaliertalk.com
We will be keeping you in our thoughts, please do continue to visit the forum when you can.
14th November 2013, 09:00 AM
Thank you so much Nicki. Such wonderful insight you have given me. I still have a lot of guilt and I keep second guessing the decision. Only because it just feels so wrong to put down such a young pup. But Dr. Pearce also made sure to tell us, "It's not your fault she has SM. It is not your fault they bred a dog with a hideous disease." I guess I can't hear those words enough. It makes it easier when others reassure me that we've made the right choice, so thank you for that.
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14th November 2013, 02:04 PM
I have a 2 year old Cav and it would break my heart to see him in the kind of pain you describe. You have worked with a wonderful vet, followed instructions and did everything within your power for Shiloh. If you think it is time, then it certainly is, as no one knows Shiloh like you.
My thoughts and prayers are with you today, as well as Saturday and the coming weeks. It's horrible that you have to make this decision due to uncaring breeders. I'm 100% behind you.
14th November 2013, 02:31 PM
Man, life sure isn't fair. But I do believe when you see the difference in the look on Shiloh's face after she receives her injection and she's at peace with no more pain, you will know that you did the right thing. If you've never put a dog down, it's a very humane thing, very peaceful, very loving, very quiet (at least my experience with our german shepherd was). And my vet let us stay in the room with her as long as we wanted afterwards - which we needed to hold her and say good-bye. I'm so sorry that you had to get to this point though. That's the rotten part. We certainly were all rooting for Shiloh. You will be in our thoughts and prayers from now until Saturday and beyond. And you are and always will be a member of this community.
Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001),
Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,),
Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and
Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)
14th November 2013, 04:28 PM
Thanks so much. This morning has been brutal. Shiloh is in immense pain today. I'm just trying to keep her comfortable. Keeping her sedated and comforting her as much as possible. My other dog, Bella, has started going under the bed with her, I'm assuming to give Shiloh support. We are all suffering. After Saturday there will be an overwhelming peace in our home...
14th November 2013, 04:30 PM
God I'm going to miss her though.
14th November 2013, 05:10 PM
I'm going to stretch and go ahead and speak for everyone on CT- We wholeheartedly support your decision and send our sympathy. We also wish NO other dog would have to deal with this painful awful condition.
I want you to know that I try VERY hard to enjoy EVERY healthy moment I get with my Fletcher. I never skip a walk, a play time, a chance to cuddle, or even just talk to my dog because I know I can be in your shoes at anytime. Sometimes we get busy in life and forget to take time to "smell the roses", I will NEVER do that with Fletcher as a small way to honor your sweet cavalier. I also believe like you do that awareness and farther research is greatly needed in SM. Please know Shiloh will be in my thoughts on Saturday. You are so brave!!! Also please do not leave CT, there are NO rules about owning a cavalier to hang out here. I was a member for awhile before I got Fletcher.
"If you don't own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life."
14th November 2013, 05:51 PM
I am so sorry that you have reached the end of this journey with Shiloh but every one of us who has a dog will understand both how difficult it is and also how there comes a point when a truly loving owner knows 'it is time'. It is one of the most caring and courageous decisions anyone makes and requires no apologies. I think most of us find that though the initial decision is a hard one to take, afterwards we come to know more and more that it was the right decision. Each dog lives on too, in our hearts and minds; they are each so special.
It is heart breaking to know that you are at this point now and you will have a huge collective circle of support behind you on Saturday, all of us can either know your own pain, having shared this hard experience or truly empathise as we all so love our dogs. Being there with them at the end is the greatest final kindness we give them, too; just as they were there for us so many times in their lives, however brief they may be. What a caring and thoughtful vet you have, as well.
In memory: Lucy
Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com
14th November 2013, 06:23 PM
I am so sorry you have had to come to this decision. Shiloh has been through so much and so brave. The best thing any one of us can do for our beloved pets is love them and take care of them to the very best of our ability. You have certainly done that.
I will be thinking of you and your family on Saturday, a day that will be so painful for you, but pain free for Shiloh.
THE LAST BATTLE
If it should be that I grow frail and weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this last battle can’t be won.
You will be sad I understand,
But don’t let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.
We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn’t want me to suffer so.
When the time comes,
Please, let me go.
Take me to where my needs they’ll tend,
Only, stay with me until the end.
And hold me firm and speak to me,
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you will agree,
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don’t grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do
We’ve been so close – we two – these years,
Don’t let your heart hold any tears.
Joyce - Proudly owned & loved by
BellaMia (Aug. 30, 2012) My Beautiful Red Headed Baby Girl
Sydney (April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart