Re: How do you know when your pet's quality of life is declining?
posted at 8/24/2010 10:45 PM EDT
In Response to How do you know when your pet's quality of life is declining?
[QUOTE]Our beloved dog is getting on in years(13). She is starting to have a hard time getting up stairs, etc. I don't want her to ever be in any extended pain. When and how do you know when it's time to stop being selfish keeping her alive? We love her so much, and this is so painful. Thank you all for your suggestions/input.
Posted by janmacyy[/QUOTE]
Hello - If she is only just starting to have trouble, you could talk to your vet about a starting a daily anti-inflammatory regimen. Alternatively, if you are not already doing so, and again, because she is only starting to show signs of lameness...I suggest adding joint supplements and Omega-3 supplements to her daily diet.
Please be sure the supplements are specifically formulated for dogs. DON'T GO TO THE DRUG STORE. "Dasuquin" is a very good joint supplement which you can get online or at the vet, and any specialty pet store will have Omega-3 supplements, be sure it is a high quality product. (Especially for Pets - if there is one near you has higher quality products such as this).
It will take at least two weeks to see any change in her mobility, so don't get frustrated. Alot of dog foods have joint supplements, but for an aging, or large breeds (such as mine) they need the supplments that are specifically concentrated. If after a month or so, you don't see any improvement, talk to your vet about anti-inflammatory options.
If your vet recommends prescribed anti-inflammatory regimen (ie rimadyl, metacam), be sure they check perform bloodwork to check her liver and kidney functions before starting the medication. The reason is that, if her liver and/or kidneys are not in perfect health, the prescription anti-inflammatory medications can do more harm than good.
In terms of knowing when it's time, when our beloved boy was diagnosed with terminal cancer, our vet said he would tell us when it was time. I actually didn't really believe her, but in fact, he did. In most cases they stop eating altogether, but also they are utterly lethargic and you can see in their eyes. That was our experience. We do not have children, we have dogs (4 at the moment). If you are very in tune with your furry lovebug, she will tell you and you will hear and see.