How do you know when your pet's quality of life is declining?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from janmacyy. Show janmacyy's posts

    How do you know when your pet's quality of life is declining?

    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.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: How do you know when your pet's quality of life is declining?

    I too have a senior dog, she will be 13 in February.  Amber has difficulty with stairs due to athritis and probably old age, but unless she seems in pain or stiff, I let climb stairs.  Sometimes I will need to carry her.  The first few times was painful for me, more than her since it is hard to seem them get old.  I have since downsized so there are no more stairs for her exept for a couple in the front door she can handle.  Amber is also going deaf and that is very noticeable.  But I feel that until she is in pain, or so confused she doesn't know what is going on, I am just going to make her life as easy as possible.  I too have read some great advice on here and one poster has a deaf dog and it is making it easier for me to do things differently with her.  I think you will know in your heart when her quality of life is not good at all.  I give Amber dog aspirin for her athritis and that seems to help a lot, but there are other remedies you can use or all natural that other posters will let you know about.  Have you had her checked for that?  It sounds like she is in pain?  Good luck and please keep up posted on how she is doing..
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Celia2. Show Celia2's posts

    Re: How do you know when your pet's quality of life is declining?

    If you can find a way to minimize the pain and your dog seems happy then it's not time yet. When my elderly cat started having problems jumping up onto the couch we got her some step stools. She seemed healthy other than some arthritis.

    It's so hard to determine what's best for your pet. When my 17 yr old cat had kidney failure I was hoping to extend her life by giving her fluids every other day. A friend did this with her cat and her cat lived another 2 happy years. Although my cat was surviving she was becoming super thin. After a month or so we thought it was time to let her go. It was a very painful decision but it was best for her. She had been a big purrer but never purred again once we started the fluids.

    Two years later when my 16 yr old cat started having intermittent problems walking and started peeing on the floor we knew it was only a matter of time. She seemed relatively pain free for a short while but as soon as became apparent that she was in pain we decided it was time.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from janmacyy. Show janmacyy's posts

    Re: How do you know when your pet's quality of life is declining?

    In Response to Re: How do you know when your pet's quality of life is declining?: [QUOTE]I too have a senior dog, she will be 13 in February.  Amber has difficulty with stairs due to athritis and probably old age, but unless she seems in pain or stiff, I let climb stairs.  Sometimes I will need to carry her.  The first few times was painful for me, more than her since it is hard to seem them get old.  I have since downsized so there are no more stairs for her exept for a couple in the front door she can handle.  Amber is also going deaf and that is very noticeable.  But I feel that until she is in pain, or so confused she doesn't know what is going on, I am just going to make her life as easy as possible.  I too have read some great advice on here and one poster has a deaf dog and it is making it easier for me to do things differently with her.  I think you will know in your heart when her quality of life is not good at all.  I give Amber dog aspirin for her athritis and that seems to help a lot, but there are other remedies you can use or all natural that other posters will let you know about.  Have you had her checked for that?  It sounds like she is in pain?  Good luck and please keep up posted on how she is doing..
    Posted by ambergirl[/QUOTE]
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from AngellVets. Show AngellVets's posts

    Re: How do you know when your pet's quality of life is declining?

    Answer by Dr. Lisa Moses of Angell Animal Medical Center's Pain Medicine Service:
    Pet owners must always monitor their pet’s quality of life. This may be done as a pet ages or as they encounter medical issues that cause suffering. At Angell Animal Medical Center we do not consider age a disease. It is important to have your dog thoroughly examined by a veterinarian who will pay special attention to assessing any potential causes of pain in your dog. Many causes are treatable with both drug and non-drug therapies.

    I
    n addition to identifying an appropriate veterinarian, you should develop a good relationship with your dog’s doctor. Make sure that he or she is sympathetic to your concerns and will come to know you and your dog well. This will provide you with a valuable ally with an informed perspective when you are ready to consider the hard question of when is it “time”.

    The question you are asking is difficult and can only truly be answered by you. This is a question that pet owners have struggled with for ages and will continue to as long as we care for pets. When you struggle, I recommend having everyone who is part of the decision making process sit down separately and write a list of the things you think give your dog pleasure and that she has an interest in now. Then write a separate list of the things that she used to love to do and care about. Then compare your lists with the other members of your dog’s family. This exercise often helps put quality of life questions in perspective. Talk to people who care about you and your dog and ask them what they think. You may also wish to speak with a counselor who specializes in pet loss and grieving (www.petlifeandloss.com). You need lots of support when making this decision. It may be the hardest decision you ever make, but it may also be the kindest one.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: How do you know when your pet's quality of life is declining?

    I 100 % agree with you AngleVets.  I had to put down my oldest cat a couple of years ago (first time) and as difficult as it was, I was also glad to see her not in pain.  She was also letting us know..  she was sleeping under a spare room bed, that she had never slept under before...  always slept with me.  Very difficult but I do think you know in your heart when it is time.  But so difficult for sure.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from BullmastiffMom. Show BullmastiffMom's posts

    Re: How do you know when your pet's quality of life is declining?

    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.

    Good luck. 
     
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