Poor little Poquita is 15 yrs old, 6 lbs, and has arthritis in her back and two permanently luxated patellas. At times, she stands like a newborn foal, with legs going in different directions. Even worse, though, is her doggie dementia. She is not blind, but gets confused about where the doggy door and her indoor potty pad are. She's lost her GPS and motion detector, does not know to move when a human foot approaches. She's totally deaf so we can't call to her. We've had her since she was five weeks old, so it is a heartbreak to see our dancing little darling so debilitated. We will let her go to the Rainbow Bridge when her quality of life is gone, but she is still eating well and has not lost control of bodily functions. She loves going to the park daily, as she has for 11 years, although she rides in a stroller for most of the walk. For years, she walked the entire big park on her own four legs, keeping the elusive patellas in place with strong tendons,never leaving Bud's side.
It is sad to see her cry at the door, thinking we are gone from the house, when we are still at home. It's hard to clean puddles off the floor multiple times a day but we know it won't be for too long and thank heavens, we have hard floors in most of the house.
When we decide we are keeping her here for us instead of for her, we will make that decision. We're not there yet.
I wondered if any of you have learned coping mechanisms for keeping an old dog comfortable as long as possible. Chiro and accupuncture are out, as she is just too delicate, vet agrees. She does have a small amount of pain meds morning and night.
Oh, it's gonna hurt to let this one go when it is time...
* This post was
edited 07/19/12 06:25pm by CA POPPY *
Judy & Bud (Judy usually the one talking here)
2004 Pleasure-Way Excel TD
My companion was put to sleep a little more than 2 months ago. He was 16 1/2 yrs young. He was blind from cataracts had arthritis in his back which we were treating with a drug to relieve the discomfort and was deaf, but his mind was sharp although he did sleep a lot. My wife wanted to put him down awhile ago, but I told her that I am not God and that Romeo will tell me when it is time. One morning Romeo woke up and his head was cocked, and a little later he was able to straighten it. Well, I knew that the arthritis was now spreading to his neck. The next morning the same thing only worse. We made an appointment with the vet for that morning, and as I was carrying Romeo in he lifted his head sniffed the air and put his head back down. He knew where he was and I am sure what was happening. The vet checked him and then gave him a series of two shots.
Most of us treat our pets as family, a son or daughter. Even though, their life span is not as great as ours, and we know this from day one, we still love them. I miss my son very much, and even though he told me it was time, the sorrow and the love still is there. I have 2 other dogs, and none can compare with the trust, companionship and love we shared. Yes it hurts he is gone, but knowing that I made the decision to let him go when he wanted to was the greatest gift of love I could offer him.
I have Romeo's ashes and if I have any say, when I go we will be together again.
* This post was
edited 07/19/12 05:54pm by joelc *
I have an older dog that's blind and deaf also. He lays around and sleeps most of the time, but we do our best to keep him comfortable. He walks up to the wall and just stands there thinking it's a door or bangs into a chair. He does have an incredible sense of where he is, as long as the furniture does not get moved around. We take him outside often for potty breaks We keep him on a leash and walk him. He feels safe on the leash. When he's not on the leash, you can tell he's just lost. We have a much younger dog (2 years old) and we tether them together and turn them loose in the yard. He will run and play with the other dog, but tires easy.
So, for us, the best solution is to confine his space and keep him on a leash and always near us where he can touch us, and he's still happy.
2005 Chevy Silverado 3500 Dually Duramax 6.6L V8 Turbo
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Oddly enough I was going to call my vet today to see if they had anything available on the market to help dogs when they start aging.
I had Danes for 30 years and they all died very early from medical problems so I have no experience what its like when a dog ages!
Well I now have been blessed with 4 long lived breed dogs that will most likely out live me.
My oldest old timer who is 12 but that's just an age they thought he was when he went into rescue, could be older, has just started getting disoriented if you wake him up too quick and other little symptoms are starting too. Thanks for posting that there are remedies available, will ask my vet about them.C
"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us".
our Nabi, which we lost a year ago last January, had multiple age related health issues....the dementia was one of the hardest to deal with.....we had meds for her cardiac condition..for her TIA's...for her pain..she was deaf and almost totally blind....she would forget we were home and cry like she hadn't had anyone around her for days....she would walk into a corner of the room and stand there unable to figure out how to move away....she would be incontinent and just lay in it ...we were heartbroken to see her deterioration....she had a large lipoma ( unoperatable d/t her cardiac condition ) in her axilla and when that became too painful for her, we did the loving thing and let her go....she was a black terri-poo and to this day I am always looking down at our black slate floor to make sure I don't kick her...we miss her like it was yesterday....
It's a hard place to be. I've had some luck with sam-e at end of life, as well as pheremones to keep one calm as things got confusing. Tapping your foot on the floor can sometimes signal a deaf/blind dog where you are.
Confinement.... as in a playpen or x-pen or a big cardboard box.... can sometimes work to reduce confusion/wandering and encourage a confused elder to settle, or to keep them where you are. Something open at the top so you can reach over and pet readily would be preferable to an actual crate. Big enough for a bed and a wee pad and a water bowl if she needs one. Not 24/7 of course but when you can't be right on top of her and you want her nearby but relaxed it can really help with some dogs. Rescue remedy in the water can also help to reduce stress, and you can give it to the dog, too!
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a wabbit, Fuzzy Wuzzy had a dandelion habit! RIP little Wuz... don't go far.
Thanks all, for the ideas. I will work on some of them we haven't tried. My mom died in December at age 93 and I notice some of the same issues she had, like "sundowning." Poquita seems to get more inconsolable in the couple of hours before bedtime, just like Alzheimer's patients often do. All this is a reminder that we, too, are fifteen years older than we were when we brought that tiny pup home. The years are showing on us, too. We just have to be grateful for all the wonderful times we've enjoyed with this little girl.
This is a timely posting for me. Our 14 1/2 yr. old large boned part Aussie is declining rapidly. She has never been to the vet for anything but her yearly shots until three months ago when her eye turned red and swollen. She has meds for that but between her poor vision, bad hearing and now bad back we are counting the days we have left. She was a rescue and the kindest animal I have ever known. Her passing will leave a hole in or hearts and family. Our little Aussie depends on her as much as we do. Thanks for letting me share my sadness.