When is it time to let my 13 year old beauty go? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-07-2013, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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When is it time to let my 13 year old beauty go?

My beautiful girl, who is absolutely full of personality , who makes friends with everyone and everything she meets, has slowed down a lot over the last year. In the last few weeks she has really really slowed down. In the last week she appears to have suddenly become deaf. She can't hear us calling her she looks around for the voice. Her eyesight has faded a lot. She has had a funny hip for a year or so so she hasn't done much walking. Now all she does is sleep. She is still eating though. She will be 13 on Christmas Day. Should I just be keeping a close eye on her or should I be making appointments with the vet for allowing it all to end? I don't think she is in pain, she groans a bit sitting, lying down sometimes like any old lady. I don't want to lose her but don't want to just keep her alive. Even as I write this and read back over item probably just over reacting. It's just that the change in her has been so dramatics in the last week.

Any insights would be much appreciated.


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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-07-2013, 07:11 PM
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I think you just know in your heart, when the quality of life fades, and your family member seems as though she is not enjoying herself anymore you just know in your heart its time to say goodbye. Saying goodbye is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do, she i am sure has been a loyal best friend through everything. So, i think you will just know, and all you can do is be there for her, hold her and comfort her.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-07-2013, 07:12 PM
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I can't tell you what to do, this is really a hard decision and personal choice as to when to let go.

I CAN tell you what I would do..having had a few seniors (I have a 14 year old deaf aussie right now), There are many changes sometimes overnite, when our dogs get elderly. For ME, I don't mind that my aussie sleeps alot, when she's up, she is still moving on all fours, tho sometimes needs a little help getting up, she is still eating really good, she doesn't have accidents in the house, she's happy, she is just a little spaced out at times..She is still having a good quality of life I don't want to let her go, and right now, she isn't ready to go. Thank goodness I have taught all my dogs hand signals, comes in really handy right now with her being deaf

They say, 'you' will know when it's time, and I do believe this, with all my past senior dogs, I just "knew"..

It's tough seeing them age, and I make every day count. It doesn't sound like yours is ready yet

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-07-2013, 07:12 PM
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I know this feeling. It sounds like you are preparing yourself for her final days but she is not ready yet (from what you describe). During these times of transition I sometimes hoped that the dog would just die, but merely to end my suffering. Then after a while I had come to accept that it was going to end in a few weeks or months and I was able to enjoy the last days with him/her again and the goodbye would be OK in love and not in anxiety. (except for when they are sick and young). But that is just me, everyone is different.
Wishing you strength.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-07-2013, 07:18 PM
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I think that there is a sense of urgency that comes from the approaching holiday. It would be terrible if your friend would need something urgent on Christmas. What you are describing does not sound dire to me. She's eating and you say that she is not in pain.

You may want to make a vet appt. to see if there are any comfort measures that you can use given her age and for reassurance.

I put my Feldog down on Dec. 22nd but she had taken a turn for the worse. When I went to tend to her paw--which was infected-- she cried and whimpered. She had never, ever done that and so I knew it as time.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-07-2013, 07:20 PM
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When you are keeping her alive for yourself rather than for her.


My furs are not in storage, nor draped across the bed. They're peering out the kennel door just waiting to be fed.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 12:20 AM
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she'll let you know.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 02:32 AM
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I agree with the comfort measures. My girl had severe severe arthritis, but she always seemed happy. Put her on pain meds and she shuffled happily along, couldn't see well and deaf toward the end, but always cheerful.

I think that's why I didn't realize when it was time, she was still getting around and smiling. Fate stepped in instead.

Keep her comfortable, her eyes will show when she is ready.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Hi again,

my poor girl is going down hill. She has always suffered from the occasional hot spot that gets infected by now she has loads. I bathe them but they don't improve and more are added. She stinks, I mean really smells like she's dying. She seems confused and when she does get up to walk she wanders aimlessly as if she is lost. She's skin and bones now and this morning when she got up from her bed to go outside there was semi clotted blood under her. I think it was one of the hot spots bleeding or else it was coming from her anus/vagina. She didn't want to let me check and I was on the way to work and didn't want to upset her and I would have needed more time to look at her properly and to be gentle.

When I ask others that have dogs they say it sounds like its time to put her to sleep. I can't bear the thoughts of her suffering but I don't want to get rid of her just because she needs extra minding. I know that shepherd are really stoic and don't complain but this is not the girl I remember. I don't want to prolong her life if it's miserable and I don't think she has much of a quality of life at this stage. What should I do?

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 05:12 PM
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I know a 7 year old that sleeps all day and taking her retirement very seriously. She is very talkative and always makes sounds and groans. She is not in pain. I think she will let you know, but it sounds like she is full of life, eating and enjoying the golden years. Sleeping all day is really not all that bad, cats can sleep 23 hours a day!


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