Having a Terrible Time Trying to Make the Decision - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Having a Terrible Time Trying to Make the Decision

I'm having a terrible time trying to decide if I should make the choice to have my Tala go over the rainbow bridge. She's 13 and has been going through slow nerve degeneration in her back legs/hips for the last year. She can still walk but it's a stumbling gait and she can no longer climb any stairs, only hop up the one step on the back deck where the ground is close enough for her to do so to get into the house. Twice over the last month her back legs have essentially given out and she could not walk for a few minutes while she rested. I also feel horrible for her as she can't scratch herself with her back legs anymore.....I groom and brush her, but still...is it enough?

She's on medication to help her with loss of bladder control and she has no concept anymore that she has to poop anymore so I constantly have to watch her for 'the signs' and then rush her out the door before she has an accident in the house. House accidents unfortunately have been happening regularly. She's always been a horribly picky eater but seems to be getting a bit more-so and has lead to some weight loss. She lays down most of the day and sleeps a lot.

The problem is her mind is still sharp and she 'wants' to do things....it's her body that's slowly giving out. If I ask if she wants to go for a walk (ok, if I shout as she's somewhat deaf now too) she wants to go. If I hold up a ball she wants to play...she just can't do it much. She tries to run after the ball by bounding like a rabbit with her back legs, but she manages.

I can spend more time with her now that it's summer, but when things pick up again in the fall I won't be able to as much.

*Sigh* Is it time?

Tala's Mom

An open mind will always learn.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 08:33 AM
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I am always a firm believer in you will know when it is time. Have you spoken to her vet on his opinion? I am so sorry you have to make this decision it is so very hard to do.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 08:47 AM
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Its such a hard decision but from what you are describing I wouldn't wait too long. My husband waited longer with my last gsd SlimShady and I feel bad and guilty that I wasn't more insistant. I think Shady's last days were probably horrible for him because my husband wasn't ready. I know he didn't purposely do anything wrong but ugh, that dog devoted his entire life to pleasing us and I allowed suffering. He, like your dog tried to the end and was incontinent and had accidents that made him feel bad. He couldn't get around and was quite blind banging into things. He had tumors and many many problems. His body had given out and I couldn't take away his pain as soon as he needed.

I think you know your dog. She was a precious gift and if god is calling her back theres nothing you can do. Consider the silver tears you cry as payment for his loan. Your heart will always have a hole that you can only fill with precious memories. To add her suffering to those memories will hinder your healing.

I cannot advise you that today, tomorrow, or even next month is the correct time, but I can advise putting it off will ultimately hurt b
both of you.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by jewels04 View Post
I am always a firm believer in you will know when it is time. Have you spoken to her vet on his opinion? I am so sorry you have to make this decision it is so very hard to do.
I agree with this...speak to the vet.

I will tell you about my last situation, concerning our beloved Katie.

Katie was a GSD rescue we saved and loved dearly. She was one of the most loving dogs we've ever had. Unfortunately, she developed most of the problems you have described here. I personally could not bear to see her suffer any longer...my personal beliefs of quality over quantity of life are clear for me.
After many vet visits and meds, I knew when it was time.

My hubby, on the other hand , couldn't let her go. Hubby took her to the vet and came back home with her and even more meds. I called the vet and he stated that hubby wasn't ready to let her go so the vet gave her more meds...I think he did that more for hubby than Katie

It was agonizing for me to watch her suffer but, I gave it one more month.

Her breathing became so labored from the meds that I ended up taking her to the vet by myself for her last time. (Hubby could not bear to go and said his goodbyes here at home)

I sat on the floor with her and held her until she fell asleep. I think she knew and she was ready...

I had her cremated and her ashes now sit on our bookshelf with our other beloved GSDs...we both still come to tears when we think of them all.

I Know the heartache you must be going through and I'm so sorry for your pain...no one here can tell you what to do.

Last edited by KatsMuse; 07-28-2012 at 10:51 AM.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 11:07 AM
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I do believe that you will know when its time. The problem is that we have to decide if we are being selfish by keeping the dog around or if the dog is truly ready to go. Its an awful decision to make and it is heartbreaking I almost think that the dog will let you know, something will happen that will make you look into that dogs eyes and you will see how tired she is. I did this with my lab, I kept going back and forth, he wasn't suffering, but he looked tired. Finally he had a stroke and I knew that it was time to let him go when I was down the block and he was laying there and I couldn't move him. I sat with him for about 1/2 hour rubbing him, kissing him, and crying. We had a nice long talk(as silly as that sounds) and I took him the next day. Oddly enough the next day he seemed to look and feel better then before, almost like he knew he was going to a better place. The other animals in the house knew too, because each cat went up to him, rubbed up against him, and gave him a kiss...I have pictures of two of them doing this(one never bothered with him and this day he did). Yep they know

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 12:19 PM
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I went through this with my dog Storm... she was deaf, mostly blind, suffering from DM and bouts with vestibular syndrome... she still had a good appetite and still "wanted" to do everything... but her body just wouldn't let her.

It got to the point where I just had to pick a day and make the appointment to put her down. She was 16 years old, and wasn't going to get any better... only worse.

One day, she couldn't get up. I took her outside and stood her up, encouraging her to walk, and she just fell over. I knew it was time. Fortunately I had a vet willing to come to the house. When the vet arrived, Storm didn't even lift her head. She passed to the rainbow bridge with a big, deep sigh of relief, and I knew I'd made the right decision.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 12:22 PM
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i am sorry for this terrible decision you have to make as i had to make the same one this weekend, appt with vet monday morn..like everyone says you will know when its time, your dog will tell you
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 12:28 PM
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I think making the decision is what is the hardest part, only because I know personally I feel like I'm playing God. I think some of us seriously hope the dog passes on its own, with no help. I know that is what I wish for, because I don't want to feel any guilt.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 12:48 PM
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I feel for you. My good thoughts and prayers are with you. I can't advise you but I do believe you'll do what's best for your dog and yourself. Either way, don't ever regret your decision. <3 All the best.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 01:59 PM
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I also feel you will know when the time is right..Unfortunately what makes the decision even harder, is, our dogs minds stay sharp but their bodies give out

I'm so sorry your going thru this, cherish every day

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