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Thread: Is my 11 year-old german shepherd dying? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-16-2013 11:12 AM
SuperG Your situation brings me back to the heartache of my last shepherd who fought such a valiant battle against her DM condition.

A very, very affordable test for DM is available at the University of Missouri- Columbia

I believe I paid $65 a couple of years ago and you can administer the test yourself via a cheek swab on your dog and then send it back to the University for results. The test will at least let you know if your dog has both A alleles which is a strong indicator of this wicked condition.

Some have said that a dog's eyes are the gateway to their souls, desires and well being....I subscribe to this 90% of the time. Unfortunately, our gal with DM did not tell us with her "eyes" as her mind was solid but her ability to control her limbs was not. It was so incredibly difficult to say "goodbye" to her as her "eyes" never gave us that obvious " I'm done and thanks so much for all the good times, I'll miss ya" look. My heart goes out to you if you are in the same boat as I was and it somewhat sounds like you are.

We all apply our stewardship to our furry companions in different ways none being better than the other ( excepting the obvious ones who mistreat their pets). I personally believed it was incumbent upon me to let my companion of 8 years exit this world with the dignity such a regal creature deserved and that's exactly what she did. As strange as this might sound to many, she mustered up enough ability to "walk" her final steps from the truck to the vet's office where I held her in my arms for the last time. What a gift she gave me to help ease my hardship....nothing in comparison to hers...but that's what a true companion does I guess.

You are the caretaker for your furry friend and at this juncture it is as difficult as it can possibly be but you will do the appropriate thing for your friend as you are the only one who can do it in the most fitting way.

Your pooch came into your life for a reason and if you knew it would end this way, you still would have taken this soul into your life. It's just so darned sad but yet all the years are not defined by this moment.....but yet it is so incredibly consuming.

I wish you a smile amongst your tears,

12-16-2013 10:20 AM
Kayos and Havoc No more advice for you but lots of hugs. I have never had a dog with DM and I am not sure how well I would handle it.

My very first GSD became incontinent as she aged but she was still able to get up and walk to go out on her own. What we did with her bedding was slide her orthopedic bed inside a plastic garbage bag and put a throw rug on top of it. You can buy a few cheap ones at Walmart and swap them out to wash them. That way the good bed is not ruined with urine and too many washings and Sasha is not laying on something uncomfortable.

I think you will do all you can for her and when you can no longer care for her she will understand.
12-15-2013 04:04 PM
jang I just had to put down my Chi 4 weeks ago on Tues...You will know when it is time..I was told I was not looking at the facts...I was told it was my responsibility to do what was right.. I am not sorry for my decision,, I held her little head in my hands as she passed on.. This is the hardest decision you will ever make..It does not matter GSD or Chi...we love them and want what is best for them..I am sorry for what you are going through, and only you know the right decision...I am grateful for the input I received from this forum...regardless of how painful it was..I hope you can find it in your heart to what is best for your dog...Blessings to you...I feel your pain and will be thinking of you...Blessings...jan
12-15-2013 01:52 PM
Nigel Does Sasha still have good function of both front legs? I know you have stated money is tight right now, but do you think she could use a cart to regain some mobility? I saw this on the justice for Joseph Facebook page if you want to check it out. You can put one together yourself for little cost. Here's the link.
12-15-2013 12:30 PM
Zeeva I just wanted you to know that I read your entire story. I support you whatever you decide to do...and I pray things get a little easier for you and your pup. Please keep us posted and don't ever hesitate to tell us how you feel. It's difficult and we all understand...

12-15-2013 12:27 PM
jocoyn I think you won't be judged either way here. We know you will look into her eyes and make the right decision at the right time. With Toby, we made a sling (they sell them now) to hold his back end steady while we went outside.

We bought a carpet cleaner and, well, the carpet was still trash after that but it was just replaced. It pretty much did daily touch ups. A white carpet in SC with our red mud is kind of a mistake anyway........Being a boy he would pee when he hobbled around on his own and had some interesting squiggly "artwork" as we called it.
12-15-2013 10:42 AM
pyratemom Bless you for giving her time. Looking into her eyes will tell you her story. When she is ready, you will know.
12-15-2013 10:28 AM
readaboutdogs I know I'm rambling on, but another thing is I'd get out a towel lay it across his front legs and bring his water bowl let him drink all he wanted, then I bring the towel up and dry his mouth. He would just always watch, Crain his head to keep an eye on me! Even though he was unable to get up by himself, he seemed to be so content and confident of the situation. It was quite an endearing time for both of us for him to relinquish over all his needs to me like that. It did help in the end that I was able to help and show him I loved him and appreciated all the years of love he gave me.
12-15-2013 10:15 AM
readaboutdogs I had the bottoms up leash too, but got it too late really. It helped, but they still have to help with their front legs. With a towel around their middle our vet had said you have to be careful not to put a lot of pressure on the bladder as this can cause problems. Clipper had a large tumor on his ribs so that wasn't an option for him. He was a large boy, so the leash wasn't easy, he still had to pull up too and in his last days he just wasn't able, so we just helped him up and held onto him.
12-15-2013 10:07 AM
readaboutdogs I know this is a hard time. Is she able to walk on her own after she gets up? I would get behind Clipper and Cody and give a boost up on their legs under their bottom, it wasn't as hard on my back, like squat down. With Clipper on the poop, I helped him that last week, it made him more comfortable, and no messes to clean up. While he was laying on his side put some newspaper under his bottom, have some t-p or paper towels ready. Hold an ice cube against him, it works pretty quickly, it will stimulate they to poop. As she goes, turn the paper or move it away with the t-p. I did this in the morning and once or twice in the evening. I would spoon feed him his food too, he had quit eating dry, except for his milk bones! The feeding was a bonding time really, like when u enjoy feeding a baby! He ate and was alert to the end. He got to where he could barely stand long enough to pee. We always worked with them so we could touch or handle them any way, feet, tail etc, this really helped when they needed us through tough times. You might try this, I read about it on handicapped pets web site on their community page.
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