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Old 05-06-2014, 10:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Should I put my Shepherd down now or wait?

I am so sad. My 9 year old German shepherd has DM and anal fistulas. He is getting worse and worse every day. He almost always crosses his hind legs while walking, he sways and falls when turning. He is having a harder time getting up and down as well. He is having a hard time holding back his bowel movements too. I don't know if it's time to put him down or not and all of this breaks my heart. He still looks alert and happy and wants to run and play buy can no longer do that. He has always been an indoor dog but now we have to keep him outside most of the day in case a bowel movement happens because me and my husband both work and aren't home. Can someone please give me some advice. Should I wait longer or should he be put down. When is the right time? With my cats it was easy for me to decide because they both lost so much weight and they looked so sad all the time. They started to hide away from everyone as well. My dog however doesn't seem sad etc. Despite his problems he still seems happy. I don't want him to suffer and do not know what to do. Someone please help me.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I forgot to mention that when he is outside we have a big vinyl sided shed with windows that we leave open for him. We put a matress in there with blankets and a water dish. We have many trees on our property as well for shade and my neighbors check on him. I do not want anyone to think that we are not being nice to him because we love him more than anything in this world.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Start keeping a diary. Every day write down things your dog enjoyed and any pain or trouble he had. Then grade the day for him.

After a month, go back and count the good days and the bad days. Then you have to make a decision. The decision is do you think that he is having much of a quality of life. For some of us, it comes down to, is he having more good days than bad days. Is his pain managed, etc.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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First I want to say that only you can decide when the right time is, but I have a girl in almost exactly the same situation, except she does not have anal fistulas and is not either bowel or bladder incontinent. Here is my criteria (I've had shepherds all my life and have made this decision many times): As long as she can eat, drink, walk on her own to potty, and can enjoy an hour of "ball time" (ball time now is just being able to have the ball rolled to her on the floor), I defer the decision to another day. It is especially hard, when they are there in the head and their body fails them. They are such proud animals and the whole incontinence issue is so difficult for them. I would also think, but have never had a dog with them so don't know for sure, that the fistulas are painful. When the time comes, can you have your vet come to the house? It is SO MUCH better for them. I also plan to orally and IV sedate my Seragirl first. It's so hard. I've been getting myself ready for quite a while as she declines, but it's still hard for me to even write about it. And even tho it's SO sad, we have to do it. For them. Stay strong. What's your boy's name?
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selzer View Post
Start keeping a diary. Every day write down things your dog enjoyed and any pain or trouble he had. Then grade the day for him.

After a month, go back and count the good days and the bad days. Then you have to make a decision. The decision is do you think that he is having much of a quality of life. For some of us, it comes down to, is he having more good days than bad days. Is his pain managed, etc.
This is advice that you can do something with its solid and its a good idea, it will give you the most time to decide what is right.

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Old 05-06-2014, 11:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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His name is Lennox. Thank you so much for your kind words. I wish you and your girl all the best.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you so much
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for this advice. I will start doing that tomorrow. I will be home with him for the next two days so I will really be able to keep an eye on his activity etc.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear about your dog. That is is tough situation. All the previous posts are good advice.

We put our 15.5 year old shepherd down last year. She had DM and could no longer control her bowels. When we had to pick her back end up to get her up and outside we knew it was time, She was fine in the head but she knew it was time too.

Its super hard to do, the hardest, but be strong when the time comes, which may be very soon. When you know your dog isn't going to get better, then its time. It gotta be all about dog, not the people.

Plan it with your vet now so you are ready when you need to be.
Just be there for your dog as he passes, it will be ok.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
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There is no right or wrong here, it's going to be your call only you can decide what's best for your dog!

I had to put my baby girl (Struddell White Boxer) to sleep 24 months after she could no walk. Nov of last year. DM is rampant in Boxers, the primary requirement is time and patience, your life will change! Pretty much someone has to be with her 24/7. Bowel movements and #2 will have to be dealt with using potty pads and sanitary napkins and tissue paper. A wheelchair "if" he will/can use one will be necessary and with a GSD most likely a lifting harness will be necessary.

Tons of info on the two links below and sadly I have first hand experience with a DM dog!. Struddell could no longer use her wheel chair after about three months. I think I got it to late for her to much time passed and I just couldn't think straight!

If they don't exercise pneumonia will sit in!

I'm Gunther on Boxerworld:
Thatcher has DM. Anyone use Dwanecart wheelchair? - Boxer Board
DEGENERATIVE MYELOPATHY - Gentry Boxers
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