Welcome to tPB!

Please either login or register for an account to access the forums.

  • Welcome to The Platinum Board! We are a Nebraska Cornhuskers news source and community. Please click "Log In" or "Register" above to gain access to the forums.

What to look for/preparing for your dog’s death (1 Viewer)

Pipe Line

Graduate Assistant
Elite Member
Messages
6,104
Likes
10,724
I’m not totally sure how to ask the question, but I guess I’m just looking for opinions/experiences from others.

My lab turns 12 in 2 weeks. He’s getting old and certainly showing the signs. At his physical a month ago, they recommended a steroid and to basically enjoy the summer as later this year things could get difficult. He does have arthritis in the hind legs. He’s has some other minor issues that are age related.

A little while ago on our walk, granted it is warm out today, he pooped but struggled to squat down and ended up essentially sitting in his own shit in the splits position. His back legs have been showing signs of being wobbly quite a bit the last few weeks, but that was the first big red flag, that I’ve really noticed. His steps never really got any better and when we got home, he had quite a bit of trouble walking up the stairs to get water.

We’ve been home for a while now, and his steps are still everywhere and it’s just very obvious them legs aren’t solid anymore. He does have arthritis in his back legs.

What kind of experiences have others had in these situations and in what ways did your dog let you know it was time. My vet said that labs just basically go until they can’t anymore. Which begs the question, to me atleast, will my lab really let me know? Or will he just be done all of a sudden?
 

kenyanfeline

Pussy Patrol
Insider
Elite Member
Messages
1,184
Likes
11,883
Damn Pipeline, hate that you’re dealing with this. Ive got two of the best dogs I ever had approaching that stage of life right now.

From a vet perspective, granted I don’t know the whole story here, this has (in my opinion) been the most graceful way to handle labs with arthritis.

Sounds like your vet is on the right track. Steroid shot can give him a little boost. Where I differ from him is that I would probably try a non-steroid NSAID first.

If this is his first major episode like this, then it might just be that. The first. I would get him in the next few days and if he was my patient, I would prescribe him Quellin for about 10 days. It’s basically like Advil for dogs. There’s a great chance that he totally snaps out of it and is running around like a 3 year old pup after a couple days.

At some point, that will wear off, and he’ll have another episode. Depending on how long it is from now, I might prescribe 10 more days of Quellin (if it more than a few weeks out). You can repeat this process for a while until the episodes become really close together or the Quellin stops working completely.

At that point, I would try a steroid injection and see what happens. If it works, you might get a little more time. If not, it’s probably time to think about end-of-life options.

It’s hard to say when a dog is ready. As his owner, it is true that if you have a good bond with him, he’ll let you know.

My advice is that your job is to try some basic things like the Quellin or the steroid to give him some comfort and life. If those don’t work, and he gives you “the look,” then it’s time.

I’ve never been able to explain the look, but you’ll know it when you see it, trust me.

Again, sorry that you’re going through this, it’s hard to know when the right time is, but you’ll get to a point where both you and your dog are at peace, and that will be the right time.

Let me know if you need anything or have other questions.
 

BluesBucksNHuskers

Running Back
Elite Member
Messages
1,777
Likes
6,636
Sorry you’re going through this, it sucks.

Going through almost the same thing. Have to help my 13 year old border collie up the 3 steps up the deck and to get up about half the time. It feels like we’re close to the right time but he just is still so damn happy. It’s hard
 

Cookiemonster

PIIHB
Elite Member
Messages
1,437
Likes
5,584
I had a lab a that went through this and I switched its diet to meat only and it got about 2 more years of health before it died in its sleep.

Was probably 14 I’d guess. But it was a rescue so not sure.
 

Pipe Line

Graduate Assistant
Elite Member
Messages
6,104
Likes
10,724
I had a lab a that went through this and I switched its diet to meat only and it got about 2 more years of health before it died in its sleep.

Was probably 14 I’d guess. But it was a rescue so not sure.
He’s on a vet recommended dog food due to a sensitive stomach as he’s gotten older. He had some diarrhea issues a couple years ago and something with his stool sample gave them reasoning to recommend that. Been fine ever since with occasional dead animal in a yard treat that makes him shit weird for a day or two
 

Pipe Line

Graduate Assistant
Elite Member
Messages
6,104
Likes
10,724
Sorry you’re going through this, it sucks.

Going through almost the same thing. Have to help my 13 year old border collie up the 3 steps up the deck and to get up about half the time. It feels like we’re close to the right time but he just is still so damn happy. It’s hard
I know he’s got some time left but the question has started to creep into my head of when does joint discomfort and aging effects over ride his natural Labrador mindset of wanting to continue….his mind wanting to keep going, but his body clearly causing him pain and discomfort to do just daily needs? I’ve asked myself that question a few times watching him on our walks the last few weeks because it’s blatantly obvious those hips don’t feel good
 

Pipe Line

Graduate Assistant
Elite Member
Messages
6,104
Likes
10,724
Damn Pipeline, hate that you’re dealing with this. Ive got two of the best dogs I ever had approaching that stage of life right now.

From a vet perspective, granted I don’t know the whole story here, this has (in my opinion) been the most graceful way to handle labs with arthritis.

Sounds like your vet is on the right track. Steroid shot can give him a little boost. Where I differ from him is that I would probably try a non-steroid NSAID first.

If this is his first major episode like this, then it might just be that. The first. I would get him in the next few days and if he was my patient, I would prescribe him Quellin for about 10 days. It’s basically like Advil for dogs. There’s a great chance that he totally snaps out of it and is running around like a 3 year old pup after a couple days.

At some point, that will wear off, and he’ll have another episode. Depending on how long it is from now, I might prescribe 10 more days of Quellin (if it more than a few weeks out). You can repeat this process for a while until the episodes become really close together or the Quellin stops working completely.

At that point, I would try a steroid injection and see what happens. If it works, you might get a little more time. If not, it’s probably time to think about end-of-life options.

It’s hard to say when a dog is ready. As his owner, it is true that if you have a good bond with him, he’ll let you know.

My advice is that your job is to try some basic things like the Quellin or the steroid to give him some comfort and life. If those don’t work, and he gives you “the look,” then it’s time.

I’ve never been able to explain the look, but you’ll know it when you see it, trust me.

Again, sorry that you’re going through this, it’s hard to know when the right time is, but you’ll get to a point where both you and your dog are at peace, and that will be the right time.

Let me know if you need anything or have other questions.
So here’s the full context and the picture I can paint as clearly as possible for what he has going on at just about 12 years old.

He has the arthritis. He also has, according to the vet, the slow degeneration of the “flap in his Larynx” that makes it hard for him to breath. Basically unless he’s laying down still, he’s constantly panting. Even if we haven’t done anything strenuous for atleast an hour. Some of that is pure life excitement, atleast, I hope, but the vet said it’s overall nerves starting to die basically. They did a foot test with him at his physical where they flipped his back foot
Over and it took him probably 3 or 4 seconds before he flipped it back and realized what was happening. Doc said it was overall nerves going bad due to aging, related to both his throat into his legs.


So, we discussed options. One of them was the injectable. I don’t remember what it was called, but could have been that. The other was a steroid, he is on the steroid, that essentially was a tad less effective than the injectable but it would positively affect both his throat and legs and act as kind of an overall old man booster until the end. It has worked some, but in the back of my mind the last few weeks, after watching his back hips get noticeably wobblier it seems, I constantly ask myself is it just too little too late? I don’t know. I can’t really take him off the steroid at this point cause the injectable wouldn’t do anything for his breathing, which is half the battle.

But, that brings me to the pooping. Everyone knows one of the end of life signs is not
Being able to hold urine and poop. Well, the last two weeks or so, on walks, he shits on both sidewalks and driveways now…..it’s like he either can’t see where he’s pooping, or doesn’t know totally where he is, or maybe his feet and hips feel more stable on the concrete over the grass? Or he simply just clench the cheeks together anymore and when it goes it goes? Same kinda deal with the steroid. It makes him drink more and pee more, and it’s almost a guarantee that there’s some pee on the floor by the window when I get home from work at about 4:15 cause he can’t hold it in anymore, either from time or excitement cause he knows it’s walking time again. The peeing on himself thing is probably about 3 weeks deep now.


That’s about all I can think of. Eating and “acting like himself” is fine. Eyes aren’t milky that I can tell. No bonding issues. If I so much as move a muscle he’s right there with me trying to follow me.


If I had a prediction I think I’m gonna have to choose between letting him keep going with pain or not, just so I don’t lose him…….but, I just don’t know when that time becomes real. What I know is for sure Is that reality has started to hit the last couple of weeks
 

OmahaHusker

Bench Warmer
Elite Member
Messages
4
Likes
7
My 111 year old rescue is going through the same thing. He's not on the steroid yet. He still eats and drinks. In addition to the nerve issues he was diagnosed with lymphoma. So hard to watch. My vet says if he stops eating or drinking or the lymph nodes in other areas enlarge we move on the steroid.
 

Link-

Link Lyman invented the DLine shift
Elite Member
Messages
900
Likes
4,065
Had to put my lab down last year after 13 years of memories. Kenyan is right that you get a look, when you’ll know it’s time. As hard as it was, but being in the room with him when they put him down is important. It absolutely sucks, but you tell them how good they were all the way until the end and comfort them as you can.

My heart goes out to you bro.
 

cwessel76

Run The Damn Ball
Elite Member
tPB OG
Messages
5,824
Likes
18,443
Had to put my 13 year old Boston Terrier named Maggie down about this time last year. It was honestly one of the hardest things I’ve had to go through.

One you know, you know. Her kidneys were failing and congestive heart failure was setting in. On the day we put her down we went to take her out for one last walk and she couldn’t make it more than 200 feet away from our house.

It was the easiest yet hardest decision to make at the same time.

I feel for you, brother.
 

Pipe Line

Graduate Assistant
Elite Member
Messages
6,104
Likes
10,724
I appreciate the input on this topic, I know it's difficult. He hasn't given me any sort of look yet, atleast not that look. He gives me a look every now and then that makes me question it, but it's never definitive, just kinda makes me wonder. The walks were okay over the weekend after him sitting in shit. Them back legs are just not great. His gait is rough. He can giddy up and get goin if he wants to, but it's a very short burst. I don't know. His birthday is on the 23rd. I'm going to make it a hell of a day for him. Any time I get after that is a blessing. Just don't want him in pain.
 

KidsSeeGhosts

Quarterback
Elite Member
Messages
3,609
Likes
7,872
I appreciate the input on this topic, I know it's difficult. He hasn't given me any sort of look yet, atleast not that look. He gives me a look every now and then that makes me question it, but it's never definitive, just kinda makes me wonder. The walks were okay over the weekend after him sitting in shit. Them back legs are just not great. His gait is rough. He can giddy up and get goin if he wants to, but it's a very short burst. I don't know. His birthday is on the 23rd. I'm going to make it a hell of a day for him. Any time I get after that is a blessing. Just don't want him in pain.
I think this is how you have to look at things when you have an older dog, every day is a gift. Best case scenario is you get to decide when he gets to go b/c at this age, nothing is guaranteed.
 

Pipe Line

Graduate Assistant
Elite Member
Messages
6,104
Likes
10,724
I think this is how you have to look at things when you have an older dog, every day is a gift. Best case scenario is you get to decide when he gets to go b/c at this age, nothing is guaranteed.
I was considering calling the vet in the next few weeks, depending on how he is mobility wise, and just see what their thoughts are since he's on the steroid and that's supposed to help some.
 

Juro

Sarcastic Ass
Elite Member
Bounty Hunter
Messages
4,561
Likes
20,992
Lost my 11 year old Golden Retriever. She got big by something on her paw, took her in, got her meds, and then a week of being on the meds, she looked fine. Until one morning she lost all strength in her legs and wouldn't move. Took her in and found out she had a huge tumor in her chest. We had to put her down.

Life sucks when you lose your dog. I'm still not over it.
 

KidsSeeGhosts

Quarterback
Elite Member
Messages
3,609
Likes
7,872
Lost my 11 year old Golden Retriever. She got big by something on her paw, took her in, got her meds, and then a week of being on the meds, she looked fine. Until one morning she lost all strength in her legs and wouldn't move. Took her in and found out she had a huge tumor in her chest. We had to put her down.

Life sucks when you lose your dog. I'm still not over it.
Sorry man. We had something similar happen. We took our 15 YO dog in frequently because of age and he had lot of gastro problems. Randomly collapsed one Sunday afternoon last year and turned out he had a heart tumor. Tried to rush to the emergency vet, but they couldn't keep him alive (and his QoL would've been pretty bad if they could).
 

Pipe Line

Graduate Assistant
Elite Member
Messages
6,104
Likes
10,724
I think one of the hardest things for me will just be having to constantly explain it to my daughter for atleast the first few weeks after that day comes. She's only three, and probably won't remember in a few years, but more often than not, the first thing we do when we get home each day, as long as the weather is good enough, is take the dogs out for a long walk. She fully expects both of them to plow through the door when that door from the garage into the house opens up. She loves it and hates that at the same time. But, I know the hardest thing for me, other than him simply not being there anymore, will just be the question of "where is my Chancey?". Anytime he's not at home or outside, that's what she asks.
 

Log in or sign up to benefit more from the forum!

Log in or register to benefit more from the forum!

Register

Creating an account on the forum is completely free.

Register now
Log in

If you have an account, please log in

Log in

Users who are viewing this thread

Theme editor

Theme customizations

Graphic backgrounds

Granite backgrounds