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Old 05-27-2009, 02:03 AM
11,776 posts, read 22,533,458 times
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My border collie/corgi dog, Kona, is 13 1/2. Two years ago, his brother died of a rare autoimmune form of liver failure (age 11). Right after that, Kona was diagnosed with cutaneous lupus- bleeding sores on mouth and privates. He's been of varying doses of prednisone with good results.

Several months ago, he had an episode of sneezing large amounts of ropy blood and frank blood. Emergency vet didn't find anything of note. He's also had frank blood in poop. In recent weeks, he's had daily incontinence of mushy poop, lots of it, and falls back into it due to weakness in hindquarters.

A few weeks ago, he had another episode of the sneezing bleeding. Vet said it's likely related to pred and lupus and nothing to be done. (He also had a lupus eruption in his eye- eye drops). Now he's having tarry mushy poop and last night had another episode of bloody sneezing (and I mean a lot).

In addition to that, he's certainly had cognitive failure since last summer- getting stuck in corners, staring. Also having trouble getting up the two steps from the yard.

I am thinking it's time to put him down. I know that's a decision only I can make, but I wonder if I'm too soon. But what am I waiting for - a complete bleedout from all parts?

He is no longer active, plays a tiny bit with one of the other dogs when they get excited about dinner, and comes up for treats. Otherwise, he seems to be fading very fast.

I'm taking him to the vet in the morning around the bleeding with the thought that I'd consider putting him down, given his age and... what am I waiting for?

Opinions welcome.
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:31 AM
Location: Mostly in my head
18,896 posts, read 49,765,667 times
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I thinnk in your heart you know what needs to be done. It sounds like he has very little quality of life left. If it were you, would you want to live like that? It's so hard to let go but we have to do what's best for our babies. I waited too long with a cat that had nasal cancer - it wasn't until he hacked out a lot of blood and then could not breathe that I called his vet at 10 pm and took him in and said good-bye. My sympathies for a difficult decision.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:41 AM
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I am sorry. ((((HUGS))))
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Old 05-27-2009, 01:12 PM
Location: Manhattan, Ks
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I am so sorry! When I was making the decision for my pug I thought about what she enjoyed doing and what traits made her who she was. When she could no longer could do most of those things and wasn't 'there' enough to be herself anymore, I knew it was time. My thoughts are with you. *hugs*
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:17 PM
11,776 posts, read 22,533,458 times
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Thanks so much for the responses. I took Kona in this morning after my night shift and he went very peacefully. The vet said she wouldn't do it if she thought there was anything reasonable to be done, but 13 1/2/lupus/prednisone.
I've always had him or his late brother with me since 1996. Although I have my other (old) adoptees, the house feels very missing someone.
It's wonderful how much these critters can mean to us. Like many posters, the worst part is watching them do down and trying to decide what to do and when.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:07 AM
Location: Santa Barbara CA
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You have my sympathies for Kona. I know he will always hold a very special place in your heart no matter how many other dogs you have.

My dad's late dog Henry had lupus and was on prednisone for way too many years. It was a very sad day when My dad had to have him put to sleep and I know how much he still misses him despite the fact he does have Phoenix. Henry died about 1 yr after my mom and I like to tell myself that he felt he had to go be with her as all during her battle with cancer Henry kept a close eye on her and he did grieve her very much. Now he is there with her and happy again As your two dog brothers are together again. Jan
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:39 AM
Location: Iowa
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I am so sorry for your loss! Many, many hugs to you! It is amazing how much our little friends become more like family than some family members!
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:29 PM
Location: El Paso TX
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I'm sorry for your loss - losing a valued and much loved family member is hard to bear.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:01 PM
11,776 posts, read 22,533,458 times
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Thanks to all for condolences.
I did have a direct message from some kind person- a message that got lost when I opened it. Please resend?
I've always feared my dogs outliving me somehow, but then they don't. Our mutual timing is off.
Except for a couple of elders 300 miles away, my dogs are my family. Chosen family beats a genetic blind date!
I doubt I'll get puppies again, am pretty OK with the seniors, although when I read about people ditching a SEVEN-year-old, that was terrible. Maybe I should lower my adoption range to six or seven. (Current gang is 8-13).
Thanks again. It helps to know that my experience is a common one.
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:07 AM
1,121 posts, read 2,946,893 times
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I am facing a similar dilemma. I raised 3 St Bernards in the last 35 years. They all lived well beyond their expected lifespan of 8.5 years. I had my Tulip put down last Sept when she developed paralysis in her hindquarters and finally not only couldn't get up, but couldn't hold her urine or pass her feces. I am still heartbroken, because I am too old to take on another giant puppy. I had to come to a decision that everything is not about me, but I have to think of the animal too. I have filled in some of the empty space with my 23 year old cat that I rescued from euthanasia 7 years ago and my 16 year old cat who came from a bad home next door, was ultimately abandoned, and sat on my porch for 2 years waiting for a place in my home. I also volunteer at the local no kill animal shelter to help fill up my empty "dog" place. I am lonely and it's not the same, but I know whatever I can do is better than doing nothing.
Please adopt again if you are able. If not consider volunteering or fostering pets in your home.
I am so sorry for the loss of your friend.
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