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Stitch

Old age and the big question

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Stitch   

My old girl, who I have been managing her IBD for many years now, is progressively getting worse.   She is currently only on boiled chicken, rice, veges with calcium added plus she has to have twice daily Metronidazole tabs (which are not working like they used to), sometimes Buscopan and from this week Cerenia to combat nausea as she went off her food.  Obviously all these meds are not a good but she is in her 16th year and does still have a reasonable quality of life.  She is happy enough in herself, not skinny, although if she farts she can clear the room so internally things are not great and is really dependant on me giving her her medications especially the Cerenia as it does make a big difference to her.   She won't eat otherwise. 

I am unsure as to how long I should leave her on Cerenia as it is supposed to be a short term fix.  At her age it really isn't going to hurt her long term as she doesn't have much time left but when do I call it quits?   The vet tends to see the situation without any emotional ties to the dog whilst not giving me any guidance as to how long I should continue with her and I am obviously emotionally involved.  I don't want her to suffer but by the same token I don't want to deprive her of life that she is still enjoying and it seems to me she still has a lot of life in her.

I guess I am waiting for an event that meds can't remedy, then I will know that will be the right time.  Waiting and knowing what is to come is not easy but when is the right time?

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Rebanne   

It's such a hard question to answer. For me, once I start asking that question then I start making plans. We all have such individuals ideals. I know I will go earlier rather than later having left it too late by 12 hrs for one dog. I vowed never again. Dogs live in the moment, they don't stay awake at night thinking what if.

I wish you all the best with your decision, it is never easy. Big hugs to you and your girl.

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Stitch   

Thank you Rebanne, can I ask how you knew when the time had come?

My old girl is still able to chase away my young bitch....not very far mind you, but she still thinks she is the alpha.

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Rebanne   

Oh Stitch. One of my guides would be having to give more and more meds. I don't use the still eating so they must be ok thing. My last one, Fern, she looked at me and clearly said I am sick of this please make it stop. Fern was still eating but she had adult onset mega esophagus. Battled it for a year. I wouldn't put a dog through that again. 

Really look at your girl, you'll know when.

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Without sounding clinical theres a checklist.... will try to find it for you. 

 

Personally -I've been lucky to just know. 

 

Big hugs. Its a gard time.

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So sorry. Stitch ...
 

I'm probably no help ....  

14 hours ago, Stitch said:

  I don't want her to suffer but by the same token I don't want to deprive her of life that she is still enjoying and it seems to me she still has a lot of life in her.

but that sounds a good thing :) 
When you need to add more , and stronger meds ... or when she declines food ..that would be 'it' for me . :( 

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Stitch   

Thank you all for your kind words.  Yep, I am having to take one day at a time now.  The new development this week is that she is getting up at about 4am for me to let her out to do wee which doesn't look like it is urgent when she gets out.   She sleeps a lot during the day but is always at my side and follows me everywhere.  She has done this for years now and I am sure going to miss that. 

I think in her case that eating will be an indicator but I am unsure about the nausea meds.  We have been twice to the vet in the last 2 weeks and it looks like I will have to take her again this week so that I know what to do with that Cerenia.  It is such an expensive drug....1 tablet $8 but I can't think about that now.  Would just like to have a rough plan worked out in my head.

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To quote the folk song:

You gotta walk

That lonesome valley

You gotta walk

It by yourself,

Ain't nobody here

Can walk it for you.

You gotta walk that lonesome valley

By yourself.

 

It's hard.  Sympathy.  Been there.  But trust your heart...and don't feel guilty.

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Everyone , every dog,  and every way of letting go a life is different  :love:

 

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Kirislin   
On 15/03/2018 at 6:32 AM, Scottsmum said:

Full disclosure: I haven't personally used this list as part of my process. But it comes highly recommended by someone I admire.

https://journeyspet.com/pet-quality-of-life-scale-calculator/

 

 

 

Thanks for this.  The questions didn’t apply exactly to one of mine but I was still able to apply them. He got 54 :( but on one he got a 1 

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9 hours ago, Kirislin said:

Thanks for this.  The questions didn’t apply exactly to one of mine but I was still able to apply them. He got 54 :( but on one he got a 1 

I looked at it once before Scotties time was here - when it was new to me & found it wasn't amazingly useful for dogs with dementia. I also didn't consult it in the heat of the moment -:but its a tool to help think about things. 

 

Is there a way you can more actively manage the area you got a 1 in, now you're aware /thinking about it / have acknowledged it?

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Kirislin   
12 hours ago, Scottsmum said:

I looked at it once before Scotties time was here - when it was new to me & found it wasn't amazingly useful for dogs with dementia. I also didn't consult it in the heat of the moment -:but its a tool to help think about things. 

 

Is there a way you can more actively manage the area you got a 1 in, now you're aware /thinking about it / have acknowledged it?

Not really. It will probably be the one that forces me to act.  Right now I don’t think he is in pain, but at times he must feel uncomfortable.  He has an inoperable growth in his colon that will eventually either bleed continually or just get too big.

for now though, he still loves his tucker and the prospect of a walk or a ride in the car, or a game, so we take it Day by day.

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9 hours ago, Kirislin said:

Not really. It will probably be the one that forces me to act.  Right now I don’t think he is in pain, but at times he must feel uncomfortable.  He has an inoperable growth in his colon that will eventually either bleed continually or just get too big.

for now though, he still loves his tucker and the prospect of a walk or a ride in the car, or a game, so we take it Day by day.

Oh. I'm so sorry to read that. :heart: but sounds like you're on the money.  Who doesn't love the idea of a good feed and some adventures!

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