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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,
MomOfSasha
 

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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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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 life...it's so hard, this part of having a loved pet.


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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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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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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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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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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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Another dog who sounds like she has neural myeopathy (DM)....I just got off the phone with an old training friend whose dog is starting to show signs as well....Your girl sounds like she is farther along if she has become immobile and incontinent....Do not feel guilty, if this is the case, at easing her distress and letting her go....it is a progressive disease and can only be treated to make a dog a bit more comfortable in the earlier stages, nothing can stop the process....

<<<hugs>>> to you and your Sasha.....

Lee
 

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This is the hardest part of having a dog letting them go. My thoughts and prayers are w/ you. Give her as many hugs as you can.
 

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Sounds like DM to me to. DM took my old girl at 14.5 years old. She really started failing the last year of her life - accidents, weakness in the rear, dragging her legs. For me, I was not about to try any heroic measures at her age - even if their had been any. I agree with the others. Hard it is, it is probably best to let her go.

Hugs to you.
 

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You really need to see a vet to determine exactly what is going on just an exam shouldn't be too expensive.
 

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I like what someone else said. Take her to the vet and explain everything including where you find yourself financially. With my old Aussie that I lost just before Thanksgiving, my vet was very willing to help with palliative care and not do a bunch of tests. We got a good month with steroids and diuretics. God bless and from what you said you are likely in the "range", your decision to let go will likely be fine and humane, but a vet can help assure you.

Kind regards.
 

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Still thinking about you and your dear girl Sasha. Sending strength and peace of mind. Take care.
 

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I just read your post. I'm in tears remembering my last night with Pyrate. Sometimes the hardest choice is the right choice. Please don't leave her alone outside. I spent Pyrate's last night holding his head in my lap just to be close to him until the vet opened. I knew it was his time and my vet agreed. Go to your vet and describe everything of her behavior. The vet hopefully will give you an honest and unbiased opinion of her chances. My vet was so kind. He told me he could keep him going for a few more days but I didn't want Pyrate to suffer and I wanted him to have that dignity that all Shepherds have all the way to the end. I hate to say it but I think your girl is ready to say good-bye. Please make it be painless and be with her all the way.
 

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It's the last and greatest gift you can give her. She needs you to do what is right :(
 

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I am sorry you are going through this, especially around the holidays. It always seems to happen that way :( I am sure you will do what is right for her when it is time. It would be great if she could make it one more Christmas with her family, but as was said : the gift of making her pain go away might be the best gift for her. Prayers to you and your family Especially Sasha...
 

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It just seems to go so fast. I'm so sorry you're at this point of your dear friends time here with you. Be with her as much as possible, I agree with others, make her a special spot so she can be with you. If possible, make a special day with treats if she'll have them, high value treats, cheeseburgers, hamburger meat, chicken, what she really loves. Lots of hugs and kisses. It is so hard, we love them so. But in your heart you will find the strength to help her. She will always love and appreciate the life you gave her, never doubt that. Peace to you and your family and your beloved friend.
 
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