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Old 12-09-2013, 03:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is my 11 year-old german shepherd dying?

Hi all,

I'm pretty heart-broken right now. We have a beautiful long-haired german shepherd who's been in our family since we rescued her 9 years ago. We think she was 2 years old when we adopted her, but no one's positive about her age. We think she's 11 years old now, and she's had limping problems with her back legs for a while now. But we've given her those glucosamine chrondantin (I know I'm spelling that wrong) tablets and it seems to help. She'll limp in the morning, then be better as the day goes on. Yesterday she walked just fine.

But this morning she was dragging both hind legs behind her, barely moving by pulling herself along the ground by her two front legs. We laid her down on her big, comfy bed, and covered her with a blanket because she was shivering. We offered her food from her bowl, and she eagerly ate some, then regurgitated it all back up (sorry for TMI). She does that sometimes, but usually not right away like she did. I noticed she hadn't drank her water and I offered her water bowl and she eagerly drank, then started acting like she couldn't swallow the water, but couldn't get it back up either. This went on for 5 minutes. She pooped in the kitchen for the second time in a week yesterday, and my husband says she has to sleep outside now (noo!). He got her a heat pad and put it under a blanket underneath her, and we covered her with a blanket, too. We're in california, so it's not as old in other parts, but it is a bit chilly. She's been laying with the blanket and heat pad for hours now, and I go out to pet her and talk to her and she just lays there looking at me. No food or water have been touched all day.

I know, we should just bring her to the vet. We are sooo financially strapped right now, though. We would have to put the visit on a credit card, and I know we couldn't pay for any tests or treatments of any sort, so i wonder if we should just bring her to see if the vet recommends putting her down if we can't pay for treatments and tests. He's a very nice vet and we haven't seen him in a few years now. Should we just charge the visit to have him possibly tell us the worst and of course I'll feel terrible because I can't pay for tests- because I don't want her in pain or misery, if she is. She's very calm- not restless or crying, so I don't know.

We love her so much, it breaks my heart. Do these sound like pretty bad symptoms to you?

Thanks for reading,
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Old 12-09-2013, 03:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds bad to me. Id bite the bullet and pay for the vet. They may put her down. I am so sorry.

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Old 12-09-2013, 03:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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sometimes it is better to let them go. I am so so saddened for you right now. <3
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Old 12-09-2013, 04:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes, I think it is pretty safe to say that she is ready to make her transition. And she needs your help now, please don't leave her to go on her own because it seems very hard for them to do that. No matter how hard it is for us, this is one of the most important things we must do for them. In a dog of her age, with her severe symptoms, tests and treatments are NOT the kindest, most caring thing to do (imho). And while I understand your husband's line of thinking about bathroom accidents in the house, please, PLEASE do not leave her outside to make her transition all alone. Bless her heart, thank you for rescuing her and caring for her thru her long (for a shepherd), life. I am thinking of you and your girl and wishing you strength to do that one last thing for her...
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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This breaks my heart. I'm so sorry for you and your girl. I agree with the others...don't leave her alone and help her with her transition. You've given her a good's so hard, this part of having a loved pet.

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Old 12-09-2013, 07:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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How do her eyes look?
Are they still bright and amused, or have they started to dull and look like she is in pain? :-/

As for moving her outside: how about setting her up in a closed off area that is easy to clean in the house? Set up the warm blanket and plush bed for her to be close to you.
She may have arthritis, in which case being outside in the chill air will be excessively hard and painful for her. May also be why she had a hard time getting outside to potty, difficulty getting up in time.

Remember: you rescued her and gave her the greatest gift anyone could ever want for: you gave her a loving home and your hearts.
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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am so sorry but I agree with the others, it sounds like its time for you to let her go peacefully vs in pain

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Old 12-09-2013, 07:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It sounds like she is facing the end. It would be kinder to take her in or have the vet come out (sometimes they will) to help her go than to make her be all alone outside.

There may be some things the vet could do to buy a little quality time but she has lived a good life and if you are strapped for money and cannot do those things, the kindest thing is to let her go.

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Old 12-09-2013, 07:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If you're not comfortable making that decision, take her to the vet and explain EVERYTHING (finances, hip problems, potty accidents, concern if it's the right time) and trust in your vet to make that decision for you, so long as you are open to letting them decide, and tell them so.

It's a heart breaking choice, but speaking for myself and from experience with my last dog, I wish I had put her down myself before nature had intervened.
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hate to say this but agree with the others as much as we don't want to let go or give up sometimes we have to make tough choices and do what's best for our animals. You don't want to remember her suffering let her go and remember her as she once was.

So sorry for you and your cherished loved one may she find comfort and peace

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