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Is it time I put my dog down? :(

  1. #1

    Is it time I put my dog down? :(

    I post this thread with a very heavy heart, but I would like some advice and thoughts on this matter. I have a golden retriever/border collie mix named Haley and she is 12 years old. She used to be in great shape but the last 3 or 4 years she has gained a ton of weight and has not been regularly walked, which I regret but it is what it is.



    She can barely make it up our short flight of stairs and often needs help, she sleeps for most of the day and even lays down while she eats. She has pretty bad arthritis and constantly gets ear infections despite the most expensive veterinarian recommended ear-drops that we get for her. Despite all of this, oddly enough at her last check up just a few weeks ago, the vet told us that aside from being overweight and having bad legs, she is physically pretty healthy.

    That being said, we simply can't take the whining anymore. I can tell she is in pain and every night when we go to bed she whines non stop no matter what we do. I feel bad for her but it's also impacting our sleep and it become increasingly more frustrating. We try to lock her in another room while we go to bed but then she barks and literally hurts herself trying to find a way out. I'm just out of ideas and options. Adoption seems quite unlikely given her age and physical condition..

  2. #2
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    First of all, so sorry - this is a very difficult time for you

    Could the whining at night be separation anxiety? From what you've set about putting her in another room, it sounds like she might be stressed and worried by being left alone? Locking her in another room is unlikely to help much, and if she is nervous at being left alone it's best to gradually build up the time slowly. Maybe you could make her a den or a comfy bed, and put some of her favorite toys and a familiar smelling blanket in there. Then you leave her alone in the room she will sleeping in for five minutes or so a few times a day. Only return when she's quiet and give lots of treats and praise when you go back in. Build it up from there and she'll soon feel safe and secure.

    Re her arthritis - is she on any medication for it? I had a 16 year old collie with terrible arthritis in his back legs and he was on metacam long term, which worked wonders. Building up her walks slowly would also help - the more she weighs the worse her legs will be.

    Only you can know when the time is right to help her on her way as you know her better than anyone else but do take advice from your vet as well. It's a difficult decision to make no matter what the circumstance, but your gut instincts when tell you when it's time.

    Again, so sorry for the difficult time you're going through - when situations like this come up, it's heart breaking and so difficult xx

  3. #3
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    I feel bad for Haley, because she is overweight through no fault of her own, and the pain and bad legs are very likely related. Since the vet says she's pretty healthy otherwise, I would hesitate to put her down over this.

    What she really needs is a slow start to exercise and walks again, and a diet of healthier food, and less of it, definitely no table scraps. She may be whining from the pain she's in, there are natural things you can give her like Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM supplements, or the vet can give her rimadyl, although that's not ideal for long term use, as it can be harmful to the liver.

    Rather than locking her out of the room, I would show her some kindness and comfort, maybe giving her a comfortable spot in your bedroom that's out of the way, maybe a sheepskin or memory foam bed. Adoption is possible, as there are people who will take pets with health challenges and work to turn them around, so they can have peace in their remaining years...better than euthanization.

  4. #4
    Hi guys and thanks for the replies. I feel I should reiterate my post as some things came out wrong. She DOES sleep in our bedroom, and has always slept in our bedroom.. she refuses to sleep anywhere else. Up until recently it hasn't been a problem, but due to her chronic ear infections that seem to flare up during the evening she whines in a very high pitch tone throughout the night, making it near impossible for my wife and I to sleep. Thus we've tried to keep her in a separate room with her bed and toys, but it just doesn't seem to do the trick.

    We've tried every cleaning method possible for her ears and we just can never stop it from returning. We've used expensive medicines, natural medicines, even simple fixes I've read online such as vinegar or peroxide. It does the trick for a couple days, but then it comes right back with a vengeance and no vet has really explained why this seems to be a recurring issue--seems we just keep feeding them our money.

    She rarely gets table scraps these days, and we've reduced her meals to 2 small bowls a day. (Healthy Fiesta Purina Brand) and as for taking her out for walks, it's really tough. The last time we took her out for a very short walk, less than a quarter mile, she could barely make it into our home and laid down the whole rest of the day in pain. It's just very difficult to handle this right now..

  5. #5
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    Completely agree with everything Alpha1 has said - re adoption, I forgot to mention & I'm not sure where you're based but there are rescues that will help depending on their waiting lists and the space they have, regardless of age or illness. I fostered a 16year old dog with health problems - a good rescue will take any dog regardless providing they have the room to care for it (you will struggle at this time of year as all rescues are very busy at this time of year).

    She deffinately will be stressed and vocal if she's used to sleeping in your room and then found herself shut out somewhere else. Again, pain relief or anti-flamatries will much a huge different to her comfort. You can also get blankets (I forget the name but you'll probably find them online) that have a reflective foil inside. The foil reflects the dogs body heat and warms up their joints, easing pressure and pain. A total life saver for our old boy.

    Re the walks - I know it's tough, but even a five minute walk a day is better than nothing and will build up the muscles in her legs and help her to loose weight. If she's not on anti-inflamatry medication please do speak to your vet about it as it will much such a difference. Our Collie couldn't even make it out the front door because of the pain at first. He went on metacam twice a day - after his breakfast dose we'd go for a gentle ten minute stroll the block. He'd be worn out and not get out of bed all day but it made all the difference to his quality of life. Build it up slowly - you may only make it one minute out the door at first but it will build up from there.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandomFirefly View Post
    Up until recently it hasn't been a problem, but due to her chronic ear infections that seem to flare up during the evening she whines in a very high pitch tone throughout the night, making it near impossible for my wife and I to sleep. Thus we've tried to keep her in a separate room with her bed and toys, but it just doesn't seem to do the trick.

    We've tried every cleaning method possible for her ears and we just can never stop it from returning. We've used expensive medicines, natural medicines, even simple fixes I've read online such as vinegar or peroxide. It does the trick for a couple days, but then it comes right back with a vengeance and no vet has really explained why this seems to be a recurring issue--seems we just keep feeding them our money... and as for taking her out for walks, it's really tough. The last time we took her out for a very short walk, less than a quarter mile, she could barely make it into our home and laid down the whole rest of the day in pain. It's just very difficult to handle this right now..
    Ear aches and infections can be VERY painful, explaining her high pitched whine. She may have a punctured ear drum, I definitely wouldn't advise using peroxide in the ear. Here's an article with some advice, it's too bad your vet hasn't solved that problem yet. http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/ear-health/. Maybe it's excessive yeast in her system, leading to infections.

    A quarter mile to a dog that is in such poor shape is a loooong way, really. As difficult it is for you and your wife, imagine how the dog feels. I understand that it's very hard to deal with, but please reconsider adoption (to a loving home), instead of putting her down. Unless you have the time and energy to devote to guiding her back to a healthy standard, then it's the kindest choice, IMHO. Look for options for health-challenged pets in your area.

  7. #7
    Dogs can't talk and whining is one way they communicate to us whats going on with them, they shouldn't be punished for it. Call the aspca or other animal protection agency, maybe they know someone who'll adopt her and help her lose weight, lots of people really love animals and want to help the sick ones.

  8. #8
    I agree with a lot of what's already been posted especially Alpha's post. I just wanted to add that maybe ear plugs for you and your wife at night might help? The one's made of foam are nice. My son's girlfriend has hedgehogs in her bedroom and they tend to make a lot of noise at night so she wears ear plugs to bed.

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