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Post Posted: Jan 27, 2007 9:31 am 
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Wow Jmiller. What an lovely, but sad post. I was going to respond to Coloradobabe, but I couldn't have done it anywhere close to how you did. You defined it perfectly.
I know we all hate to "be the one to make the decision" hoping that our beloved pets will find their own way (dying peacefully in their sleep), but as you said, they will hang in there for however long they can just to please us.

Coloradobabe, I know it's a tough decision, but I think you explained it very well in your first post.


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Post Posted: Jan 27, 2007 10:06 am 
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I think we always question is this the right time. My husband and I had to send our Mikki to the Rainbow Bridge in November 2005. Hardest decision of my life, she was having tremendous difficulty walking, dragging her back legs, she was going blind and deaf. I think we held on longer than we should have more because we didn't know how to let go. Lone Rock assisted us and they were extremely compassionate and I don't recall the exact price I do remember it was very reasonable. We stayed with her through the entire time with our other dogs in the room. It was very sad and peaceful.

I do not envy the decision you are in the process of making, it is one of the hardest. If you feel you beloved is suffering and there is no way to ease that suffering medically it is probably time.

I am so sorry and my heart goes out to your and your family during this time.


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Post Posted: Jan 27, 2007 9:48 pm 
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I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for your compassion and understanding as I struggle with my decision on what to do.

Unfortunately, our Priscilla doesn't seem to be suffering...However, she has started going to the bathroom all over our house when she would never do that...Plus, she is deaf and starting to lose her eyesight...And, she will soon lose loss of her back legs.....Gosh this is the hardest thing to do because I don't want to put her to sleep if she really isn't ready to go.....I don't want to spend the rest of my life wondering if I did the right thing!


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Post Posted: Jan 27, 2007 10:40 pm 
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Colorado Babe, we are looking at a similar situation with our 13 yr old lab mix Jesse. Arthritis has left her very lame and she has difficulty getting up off her bed, going up or down steps and negotiating corners. She also has a heart condition that leaves her panting and coughing at the slightest exertion. In the last few months she has lost the sense of when she has to poop, so I find poop around the house and in her bed. Fortunately she still seems to recognize when she has to pee and we have her on supplements that are supposed to keep the nerves and feelings in her rear end working as long as possible. She also takes pain meds and anti-inflamatories. Poor puppy she takes 5 pills a day.

It is so hard to know what is going on inside her head. I look at her and inside is the same dog I rescued 11 years ago but her body is betraying her and it breaks my heart to see her struggle. She is so stoic that I really don't know if she is in a lot of pain, if she was she would never tell me, I can only hope that when I look into her eyes I will be able to tell when it becomes too much.

We have discussed what is best to do for her, like you we don't want to hold on long past the "right" time. I go back and forth trying to decide. She will lay her head on my lap with those big brown eyes and I sometimes have the feeling that she is saying good bye. Other times she will perk up and have a really good day and I back off making any decision. She spends most of the day in her bed, coming out for meals, some love and attention and when she wants to go outside. I guess I feel that when she no longer wants to make the effort to do those things I will know it is time. At 70 lbs we cannot carry her in and out, so our decision will be made for us. But it is so hard to see her failing.

Sorry, I didn't mean to go on and on, perhaps it is helping me to write about what we are going through, it has certainly helped to read all the posts here and know that each and everyone of us seems to struggle with the same feelings.


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Post Posted: Jan 29, 2007 11:46 am 
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The incontinence issue can be addressed with PPA (used to be sold as Dexatrim), and dog pants. The PPA worked for an older Siberian Husky of mine, and I know of others all over the US who have used it successfully.

The dog pants simply tie on like a diaper, and are lined with a maxi-pad. I used them on my Samoyed when she would come into heat.

Going blind and deaf are not things dogs get upset about. It comes on them slowly enough, that they adjust everyday. I just wouldn't move all the furniture around, however. :)

Clearly, she's approaching the end of her life, but it sounds like it doesn't have to be now. ..... Sometimes only a professional can tell if an animal is suffering pain.

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Post Posted: Jan 29, 2007 11:48 am 
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Location: "...and the flag was still there.”
PS, PPA is sold by vets in the form of very small tablets and is VERY cheap! :)

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Post Posted: Jan 30, 2007 9:27 pm 
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My dog has been on Proin for about three years. The reason why it doesn't work anymore is because she has dementia and forgets where she is....She also takes Anipryl for the dementia and opttimune for her dry eye. I spend at least $150 a month on meds and $75 on her dry food...Plus, she eats one can of tuna a day because she allergic to everything else.....Today, I found doggy diapers at PetsMart so now we won't have to worry about her going to the bathroom in the house...


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Post Posted: Jan 30, 2007 9:57 pm 
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Colorado Babe, You will know when it is time...you will know because your sweet girl will look at you and say "It is time to let me go Mom, please help me." It will be undeniable, you will only then have to listen.

Having been there to support many families during that time and having recently let my wonderful Leo go, I want you to know that I understand your strife and despair. You are a wonderful person with a kind and caring heart.

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Post Posted: Jan 30, 2007 10:21 pm 
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Yep, Natalie, that's right! :) I was agonizing over whether to put my 14 year old husky to sleep. Three times in a 24 hour period, he would look at me with an expression that said, "I'm miserable. When are you going to help me end this?"

In the meantime, you might price her drugs in Canada. I've used www.canadapharmacy.com for several years for my drugs as well as my dog's. They run as much as 60% cheaper than in the US.

At http://www.pharmacychecker.com/ you can search for specific drugs and get a price comparison chart.

Without being able to buy Icy's drugs this way, I would have to put him to sleep. :(

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Post Posted: Jan 31, 2007 3:48 pm 
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When Grainger was hit by the car, we were faced with that decision. Even if his leg was amputated and he would survive, we had to decide if his quality of life would be good - running, jumping, playing ball - the things that he cannot live without. When the vet assured us he would be able to enjoy life, we opted for surgery. But if he was not going to be able to adjust, then it was a no-brainer. I hate that we'll have to make that decision a second time one day and I treasure every moment with the guy.

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Post Posted: Jan 31, 2007 6:21 pm 
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CB, know that you are doing the right thing. You are thinking selflessly instead of selfishly... you are considering quality of life for your pet... that is the ultimate sacrifice for love. No Regrets... The last time I went through this, I was in a small town and our vet came to the house... I think this was the best thing for all. She took Montana away with her and had her cremated. I think fondly of that day - now.

all the best to you,
Angela

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Post Posted: Jan 31, 2007 10:53 pm 
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I am so sorry that you are going through this... I have been through this many times and know how hard it is. I have had to put 7 dogs down in my life... As hard as the decision has ALWAYS been, i have always been happy wih the decision afterward. I was with all 7 of these dogs when it was done and each laid in my lap and "went to sleep". It has always been peaceful and I knew immediately that I did the right thing, because each dog immediately looked so peaceul and free from pain.
As I sit here and cry about my beloved friends, I know it is a very hard decision . I also have a very strong belief that dogs know... and they know when it is time. I believe that they also know that their people love them.
On that note, Dr. Dawn Goronja is an amazing vet and person. She is one of the most loving, compassionate people I have aver known. She would be my recommendation for sure. SHe is patient and kind and will walk you through everything...
If and when you decide to say goodbye to your friend, make the appointment just before lunch or just before closing. This way when you leave sobbing, people won't be there to make you feel uncomfortable...
GOOD LUCK and best wishes for you and your friend!

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