How do you know when "the time" has come?

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  1. My mom has a 13 year old labrador retriever named Candy whom she loves very dearly. My mom doesn't want to admit it... but Candy's time is fast approaching. She is in a lot of pain... caused by arthritis in both of her back legs. The pain medication that she takes does not agree with her stomach and causes her to vomit sometimes. She is unable to stand up without a lot of pain... and cannot climb up or down stairs by herself (my dad has to carry her up and down the back steps when she goes out to do her business.) And, for the last week... she's been unable to control her bowels. Today, she had 3 accidents. Basically, she stays in our family room all day and lays around. She even has difficulty standing to eat her meals.

    I don't want to tell my mom that Candy's time has come... but, my mom is not willing to admit that Candy is as ill as she really is. Any advice on discussing this sensitive topic with my mom? I don't want Candy's final days to be painful or prolonged because we are being selfish.
     
  2. Is there any way your vet could help facilitate this discussion? I don't know how often Candy goes to the vet, but perhaps next time the vet could bring this up to your mom and put things into perspective with her.

    One of my family dogs (a Brittany Spaniel) is 13 as well. She's still hanging in there, but we currently give her baby aspirin with every meal to help with her arthritis, and she's started having a few accidents. It's hard on everyone in our family, but my mom's actually been the first to facilitate the discussion on how much time Lady (my dog) has left and what we should be prepared for. I recommend just being there to talk with your mom about how Candy is doing, and how she's (your mom) dealing with Candy's old age.
     
  3. I don't know what to tell you op :hugs:. My parent's dog had the same issues right before she went to the rainbow bridge. All you can be is supportive to your parents, you grew up with your parents, we did not. I know my parent's made the decision a day after they took her to the vet. She had a stroke a few days prior and could no longer walk properly or hold her head up without it twisting around in a Linda Blair type of move.

    It is the hardest decision to make and being on the outside getting updates is so hard, trust me. I do wish my dog (we got her when I was 10) was still here but my parents made the right, very difficult, decision on the call of a vet.
     
  4. I will be honest. And please do listen. We had a doggie that was in this same boat. We got him some triple flex pills. They are for humans, but contain everything that the pet meds contain. It is a glucosimine, chondroiten, msm (spelling) pill. My dad gave him 2 daily and in a matter of days he was up and running around again. We got another 3 years out of him :smile: It can be worth a try, but if she is truely completely miserable, then do help her out of her misery. It is sad, but selfish to keep her in pain :sad:

    I am so sorry!!! *hugs*
     
  5. I'm sorry your dog is in so much pain. It sounds like this is a condition that no pill will make it significantly better. Triple Flex is great but not when it's that bad. It also takes a while to kick in.

    PrettyInPink, is it possible to have a vet come over to look at Candy. Maybe he could help your mom realise how miserable Candy is or give Candy a different pain medication, if possible.
     
  6. Sorry to hear about this, I'm about to have to start thinking about when is the right "time" for my Belldandy if things don't improve significantly.
     
  7. We lost our 13 year old dog Munchkin last May. He had a lot of the same problems and eventually was diagnosed with stomach cancer. We did what we could to make his days comfortable and without suffering or pain. Munchkin told us it was time: the night before we knew it was "the day" he got a burst of energy, he acted like a puppy. He played with the kids, over ate, and ran all over. Well the next morning he wasn't well, vomiting, could not walk. We took him to the vet and they put a blanket on the floor which he immediately laid on he never got up again. We said our goodbyes and he gave us the look saying "I'm OK". I really believe a dog knows. The vet explianed that they see that puppy energy come back before a dog dies sometimes. I'm sorry for the pain your parents are going through its a hard decision. I hope you are able to help them in this tough decision.
     
  8. She is already on the triple flex and has been on it for quite some time (at least 2-3 years or so... we began giving it to her when we began suspecting she was arthritic.) She is now on a pain medication prescribed by the vet.

    Thanks for all the advice. I think I will just try to have my mom take her to the vet so the vet can discuss things with her.
     
  9. to me the time is when the pet is suffering...part of being a pet owner is knowing when the time is right to let them go and not be selfish in keeping them around for ourselves...I had to put my beloved Coco down when I realized she was no longer the happy dog that she always had been....it was the hardest decision I have ever made in my life and I still cry for her after almost 4 years....I think your mom needs to talk to the vet who can explain that the quality of life for your beloved dog is no longer there...she is suffering....a dog lives in the moment.....she knows no yesterday or tomorrow....the greatest gift your mom can give her is to let her go....i am so sorry your family is dealing with this...it is the worst thing in the world....on your part I would just try to talk to your mom and try to make her realize that her baby is in pain.....i am sure she is in a bit of denial as we all are when the time comes....but i think with a little loving talk your mom will come to realize that it is time to let go....big hugs to you and your family...
     
  10. get the vet to talk to your mom.
     
  11. I would have the vet break the news to her and you just be there for support. It is better coming from someone who "would know". It sounds like Candy has lived a good life. Right now it doesn't sound like she has any quality of life left at all. I know it is the hardest thing to do but it is a decision every pet owner has to make. I had to make that decision for my dog Angel 3 years ago and I still cry about her. But I do know I made the right decision. Angel was a food hound. She would eat anything. She went into renal failure and I tried for several months to help her get better. The day she wouldn't eat bacon I said enough. Can you call the vet and talk to her about it? Maybe she would be willing to come over and see candy and help your mom make that decision. So sorry you are going through this. ((((HUGS))))
     
  12. I don't have any other advice aside from what everyone else has already said. We had to have two of our cats put to sleep over the years and I was really the one that had to make the decision because my husband just couldn't bring himself to admit they were as ill as they really were. It is very hard when you love them so much, but sometimes you just have to love them enough to realize that you have to left them go. It isn't easy. Sometimes euthanasia is the final act of love we can give our pets, rather than letting them suffer or die a painful or prolonged death.

    I'm really sorry you guys are going through this.
     
  13. LSCAT, sorry to hear about the loss of your dog.

    OP, I wish you the best with whatever decision your family has to make.
     
  14. Ahhh these threads make me teary. my cat got sick in 2007 (14 yrs old) and within months her health declined. In May she was dignosed with small intestinal cancer and i opted against chemo because i felt at 14, they would just prolong her life a fe wmore months and her quality of life would still suffer. I knew she had 2 months to live. She seemed fine at times but then she started having accidents and i finally i decided when she started doing #2 without noticing or started crying, i would take her in. So the day came in July when i saw her walking and not realizing she was pooing. So i knew it was time. Crap i'm at work and about to cry....ok so i brought her in to see what the vet said and they said it was her time to go. It was the hardest thing ever in the world but i had to do it for her. Have your mom speak to her vet and see what they say. Good luck!

    lscat.....i tried reading your post but almost cried.....i felt my cat was saying its ok too.
     
  15. This is so difficult. I don't have much to add.

    However, when the time comes, there are certain vets and specialized companies that come directly to your house. I'm not sure what is in your area, but the service is available in Chicago. Hopefully I won't have to deal with this problem anytime soon, but I'm a planner so I looked into it. I want to make sure that our pets feel safe and comfortable during their last hours.