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Discussion Starter #1
We are proud and delighted that our beloved white shepherd Eddie has reached the ripe old age of 14 1/2. He's a lovely man we rescued when he was 2, and he has been our joy for so many good years.

But he's reaching the point where we are wondering what to do next. When he went completely deaf 2 years ago, we figured out how to communicate with our hands and it's been just fine. But now he is on the verge of losing all function in his rear legs and sphincter. In the mornings now, he seems unable to get up without help, and sometimes defecates right where he lays, to his chagrin. Even WITH help up, there is an extended period when he cannot stay up, and we have to hold him up if he needs to be upright. He has a harness that helps with this. He falls often outside, and we need to run out and get him standing again.

We have tried acupuncture, water therapy, short walks, long walks, everything we could think of to see if we can keep him strong enough to get around, but none of those things is working any more.

He seems to be in some pain, so our vet has put him on tramadol. But even with the max dose, he still seems to be unhappy. If all of this were accompanied by the usual "vacant" look of a geriatric dog on his last legs, our choices would be clearer. But he's very much still in his body, with clear eyes and very alert. It's as though his body is doing one thing, and his mind is somewhere else entirely.

I love this dog and am not interested in prolonging his life just so I don't have to face the pain of losing him. I want to do what's right for HIM. But I am not sure what that is any more.

Any thoughts, suggestions, or your own experiences here? Things I might still try?

Thanks,
Margaret
 

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it is a quality of life issue
is he ashamed that he cant hold his bowels?
i know my dogs would be
it sounds like dm
and he'll continue to go down hill i am sorry to say
 

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I think it's time, JMO. He's unhappy and losing controlof his bowels.

I am so very sorry that you are going through this, I can't even imagine. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
It is DM, sadly. We've watched its progression for at least a year, and have worked every angle we could think of. I am not afraid to free him from suffering -- as agonizing as it is for me, he has been my loyal partner and it is the least I can do for him -- but I'm just not sure if I've exhausted all the possibilities yet. My vet is pondering anything else we might try, but I know you have all been there before and thought maybe there was something I was missing, or if should just be more patient, or....I am not sure.
 

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since there is no cure
sadly i believe you have indeed exhausted all your possibilities
you did the best for him you could :hugs:
 

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I like how you started your tread. This is a part of their life that is sad, but in a way, a celebration of a life well lived. You might try helping him go ahead and have a bm before he gets up. I did this with clipper his final week. At least he wasn't trying to hold it and struggle to get up. It made him more comfortable too. Both my boys body failed them first. They were all there, heart, mind and spirit when they crossed the bridge. That made it a very hard thing to do. Keep him comfortable, lots of love.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bless you all, that you've earned the love of your beautiful old dogs. Thank you for your thoughts. Aren't we fortunate to have them? Off to have a good cry and then figure out how to do this hard thing.
 

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Have you considered a wheelchair?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes. But today, all of his legs seem to have stopped working, and he is refusing food, water, medicine. At least this is a clearer sign. My sweet old friend.
 

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It is time.
We hold on to them too long sometimes so as to put off the inevitable for our own feelings.
It sounds cruel but later you might say as we did, why did we wait so long and make him suffer.

It is one of life's hardest things to do and yet the memories of the great life you gave him will be with you forever.
Remember, it's a choice we make when we enter into this deal with our dogs, they don't live as long as we do so give them the most while you can and then help them gently at the end.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
He has left us, and gone on to whatever comes next for him. Hugs to you all. Your dogs are the luckiest on earth.
 

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I'm very sorry for your loss :hugs:
 

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Sorry to hear about your loss of Eddie. It sounds like he had a great and long life. You gave him all your love all the way to the end.
RIP Eddie..Good boy.
 
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