This may be premature, but... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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This may be premature, but...

She is a month shy of 13. Sometimes, she seems so full of life. She plays with me, she sometimes still goes for walks.

BUT. So much has gone wrong. she had really bad vestibular this summer and has never been the same since. She was having progressive constipation that has gotten much, much worse. I have to give her fluids every day. Basically our day is like this-- 1 hour in the morning it takes to do fluids, mix her meds, administer all meds, take her to poop probably twice and then wash her because her hygiene is terrible (she gets poop all over her rear)

She's on a ton of meds for bowel stimulation and laxatives. Since the last crisis she hasn't made it more than a week without an enema as a rescue because she still will become unable to poop despite everything else I am doing. She's been to the big hospital and seen internal medicine for this. They say if it can't be controlled with all the meds she is on then they want to consider a bowel resection surgery or removing all/part of her colon.

there appears to be a part of her intestines that just functions poorly and cannot move things along. They can't say 100% sure why. Mostly think neuropathy. There is no blockage, she has had a recent abdominal ultrasound to look for that.. Internal medicine did suggest a possible neurology consult but that means another state altogether and frankly I'm totally bankrupted by all this, I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars on her in the past few months. There is no price I won't pay but I also realize there will come a point when there is nothing more that can be done. And I sort of doubt that anything can really be done to truly fix this at her age.

Today I told her vet...i fear we have a quality of life issue. I feel like I spend more time with her poking and prodding her and pilling her and sticking needles in her than having any enjoyment and she is OVER it. He said yes...that is the age old dilemma.... I said, I feel I have choice and he said you don't, if you were not doing everything you are doing she would die. Which confirmed what I thought...lesser care than what I have done recently and she would already be gone.

She played ball with me today (in her old lady way). She wagged her tail. I took her to the tracking field. She doesn't get it at all but she snuffled for food in the grass and I think she enjoyed herself.

Awhile ago she became so constipated that she vomited so violently as a result that she aspirated and got pneumonia and it was a close call. Then I learned how to give her enemas and I have a much of rescue meds and enemas on hand so I can head that off at the pass when it gets that bad.

I know the end is near. I don't know how to figure it out. I do not want her to suffer or lose all her dignity. I know she has suffered already but then I ask her if she wants to play and she comes alive and gets so happy. She can seem so full of life still i can't imagine putting her down.

She is such a good girl. She still goes to her bed in the kitchen and lays down so i can jab a huge needle in her and run her fluids twice a day. She is too good for this. But also I can only even do it because she is so good.

Neither of my local vets feel I should consider the surgery which is my inclination too. She is too old. Risks way too great.

I guess I don't know how to weigh doing all this stuff to her to keep her going every day vs. how much enjoyment she gets out of every day. It is just so hard to figure out.
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 09:57 PM
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Sometimes they hold on for you...you think she is happy to play ball, yet she might be thinking, she seems so happy when I play ball!
This poem might be premature too...
whatever your decision, she will be on board
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 10:00 PM
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 10:16 PM
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My heart goes out to you also...it's always difficult making that decision, and no matter what you choose you'll question it later. Just follow your heart, whatever you decide will be right for you and for her.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorBytes View Post
Sometimes they hold on for you...you think she is happy to play ball, yet she might be thinking, she seems so happy when I play ball!
This poem might be premature too...
whatever your decision, she will be on board
She would, too. Back when she had that bad crisis with the pneumonia I asked 2 vets if it was just time. The first one said no I owe her a trip to the big hospital first. The internal medicine vet said no, there are medicines we have not tried yet and she isn't there.

Now we've tried the medicines, we've been to the referral hospital, and we are pretty much back where we started.

The laser was kind of a last ditch maybe we can reduce inflammation in her spine and see if thst helps anything. It has helped her comfort level, she can get on the couch again. But it has not helped her pooping. I am still doing it because she has better mobility and she can't take any pain pills really because it all interacts with another drug or condition that she has so adequan and laser are it.

Am giving her CBD too but I don't think it is doing anything
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Thecowboysgirl View Post
She is a month shy of 13. Sometimes, she seems so full of life. She plays with me, she sometimes still goes for walks.

BUT. So much has gone wrong. she had really bad vestibular this summer and has never been the same since. She was having progressive constipation that has gotten much, much worse. I have to give her fluids every day. Basically our day is like this-- 1 hour in the morning it takes to do fluids, mix her meds, administer all meds, take her to poop probably twice and then wash her because her hygiene is terrible (she gets poop all over her rear)

She's on a ton of meds for bowel stimulation and laxatives. Since the last crisis she hasn't made it more than a week without an enema as a rescue because she still will become unable to poop despite everything else I am doing. She's been to the big hospital and seen internal medicine for this. They say if it can't be controlled with all the meds she is on then they want to consider a bowel resection surgery or removing all/part of her colon.

there appears to be a part of her intestines that just functions poorly and cannot move things along. They can't say 100% sure why. Mostly think neuropathy. There is no blockage, she has had a recent abdominal ultrasound to look for that.. Internal medicine did suggest a possible neurology consult but that means another state altogether and frankly I'm totally bankrupted by all this, I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars on her in the past few months. There is no price I won't pay but I also realize there will come a point when there is nothing more that can be done. And I sort of doubt that anything can really be done to truly fix this at her age.

Today I told her vet...i fear we have a quality of life issue. I feel like I spend more time with her poking and prodding her and pilling her and sticking needles in her than having any enjoyment and she is OVER it. He said yes...that is the age old dilemma.... I said, I feel I have choice and he said you don't, if you were not doing everything you are doing she would die. Which confirmed what I thought...lesser care than what I have done recently and she would already be gone.

She played ball with me today (in her old lady way). She wagged her tail. I took her to the tracking field. She doesn't get it at all but she snuffled for food in the grass and I think she enjoyed herself.

Awhile ago she became so constipated that she vomited so violently as a result that she aspirated and got pneumonia and it was a close call. Then I learned how to give her enemas and I have a much of rescue meds and enemas on hand so I can head that off at the pass when it gets that bad.

I know the end is near. I don't know how to figure it out. I do not want her to suffer or lose all her dignity. I know she has suffered already but then I ask her if she wants to play and she comes alive and gets so happy. She can seem so full of life still i can't imagine putting her down.

She is such a good girl. She still goes to her bed in the kitchen and lays down so i can jab a huge needle in her and run her fluids twice a day. She is too good for this. But also I can only even do it because she is so good.

Neither of my local vets feel I should consider the surgery which is my inclination too. She is too old. Risks way too great.

I guess I don't know how to weigh doing all this stuff to her to keep her going every day vs. how much enjoyment she gets out of every day. It is just so hard to figure out.
I sat on the floor with Sabi in the middle of the night when all the noise of the day was gone and had a long conversation with her. I know that sounds really stupid but I did. I told her how afraid I was to be alone. I told her how sorry I was that I could not find a way to fix this. I told her how much I dreaded a mistake that would rob us of a day. I poured out my heart and said how worried I was that I could not do this. I was just not strong enough.
I saw the weariness in her eyes, I saw the love. I knew that she would hold on until **** froze over if she could. And I saw her answer as clear as if she spoke it.
You can do this, because I chose you.

Stop thinking and just feel. You will do what's right.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 11:27 PM
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One of the worst decisions to make. If they are eating and drinking and if they can get comfortable and not in pain are all the things I look for. When it’s time you will know they will let you know.
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sabis mom View Post
I sat on the floor with Sabi in the middle of the night when all the noise of the day was gone and had a long conversation with her. I know that sounds really stupid but I did. I told her how afraid I was to be alone. I told her how sorry I was that I could not find a way to fix this. I told her how much I dreaded a mistake that would rob us of a day. I poured out my heart and said how worried I was that I could not do this. I was just not strong enough.
I saw the weariness in her eyes, I saw the love. I knew that she would hold on until **** froze over if she could. And I saw her answer as clear as if she spoke it.
You can do this, because I chose you.

Stop thinking and just feel. You will do what's right.
It doesn't sound stupid, I've had that conversation before just not with her. I was able to make it possible for my horse to pass with the dignity and pride he wanted more than he wanted a few more days or weeks. I don't regret it.
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-19-2019, 12:11 AM
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One of my dogs did me the favour of passing in her sleep. With Ranger, it was harder. He could get up and down the stairs to the outside if I helped him, and his appetite was good, and he did not seem to be in any pain. But he would lose control of his bowels several times a week. I put up with it because I loved him and the poop was always firm and dry and easy to clean up.

Finally, it reached the point where I would come home from work, and find him lying on the floor, unable to get up. The vet tried a couple of different medications, and I thought he got better briefly.

Then there came this day when he couldn't get up at all, unless I helped him. When I did help him, his hind legs were so weak, they were crossing over. OF COURSE this had to happen on a weekend, when our regular vet wasn't available! I made some calls, and found a vet that was open the next day, and wouldn't charge an extra emergency fee.

I slept beside him that night, in case he needed anything. The next morning, he got up, went to his water bowl and drank as if nothing had happened the previous day.

I ALMOST backed out. But I knew it was going to happen again. He was 14 years old, so any sort of invasive procedure to find the cause of the problem was out of the question. And I thought of him lying on the floor all those hours while I was at work, struggling to get up, and I knew it wasn't fair to him. The time had come.

Still it was so very, very hard.

Last edited by Sunsilver; 10-19-2019 at 12:14 AM.
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-19-2019, 12:13 AM
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Whatever you decide, she has had a blessed life to have such a loving parent. I will be praying for you and your girl.
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