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Old 11-08-2012, 04:02 PM   #1
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Need some hand holding right now...

Hello Friends....

I have a beloved pup...she is a 10 year old Sheltie but she has congestive heart failure. I have nursed her along with a regimen of expensive heart meds but she is "coughing" a lot and although she does not seem to be in pain...I am so concerned about her. The vet says that it is my decision, but I am asking y'all....have any of you had this type of situation with their pup?? She seems fine...she eats and she sleeps...yet she is awake every ten minutes when she tries to clear her airways.... Her enlarged heart presses on her trachea and she tries to clear her throat. I hate to think that I need to put her down for this, yet I do not want her to suffer.

She curls up next to me and places her head on my lap and after her coughing episode...she has a little mini seizure and yet after that she sighs and sleeps peacefully for a little while.

Friends...help me out....She is my best friend but I do not want to end her life too soon...

Thanking you all for your help....

A Crying Faith

Faith and Bob, Bitsy the Papillon and Bosco the Chi-weenie....RIP Truffles
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:13 PM   #2
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I had a pup with the exact same problem. Age plays mean tricks on our loved ones. I did not put him down. Instead I would massage his throat when I was around during his episodes. That seemed to help get him by faster because he was more nervous before I did that. Also I started giving him a small amount of Crisco several times a day the day. The rhaspy coarse sound actually got a lot better. If at any time I had felt he was suffering I would have put him down. He died naturally in his sleep 6 months after and I feel great about the time I had with him. It is your call but it is in your pups eyes. They will let you know

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Old 11-08-2012, 04:16 PM   #3
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In 2007 we had that decision to make with our career changed guide dog. He was only 8 years old and it nearly killed me, but I also knew there was no way he would ever recover or even have a quality life from then on. It was the hardest decision I have had to make in many years. But it was for the best. It took me 3 years before I was ready to get another pup. But we did find another one another Lab at the local animal control and he has been a great companion. Ultimately you need to decide if there is any quality to his life as it is. Then make the hard decision best for him
Don and Lorri
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:45 PM   #4
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I feel your pain! We have a 10 year old Jack Russel that displays similar symptoms, plus has a large growth on her side. The vet says not alot to be done. She has some days where I believe it will be her last and then the next day she bounces back. We too hope we will see it in time to not make her suffer. The last dog we had was a 13 year old gold lab that developed cancer. He was doing well and then one morning he made a strange sound and then seemed fine. We went out for several hours and returned home to find him in a really bad way. I had to carry him to the vet and let him go. Both of us have regretted that for 10+ years now, that we were not paying close enough attention and let him suffer. We don't want to do it again with our Jack. It is a very hard call to make and we can not be selfish. I really feel for you , it's hard.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:03 PM   #5
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Wish I had an answer for you, but I don't. It would be so much easier if they could tell us how they feel then our decisions would be a lot easier. Our thoughts are with you.

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Old 11-08-2012, 11:33 PM   #6
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You will know when it is the right time to let her go. I nursed my last cat TK with insulin & woke up early one morning to find him having a seizure. I wrapped him in a towel & laid on the floor with him until the vet opened. Again, when its the right time you will know.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:12 AM   #7
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My heart goes out to you. Praying for you and your pup.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:03 AM   #8
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I wish I had something to say that would help ease your concern and give you some comfort but I'm afraid that having gone through what your going now know that words cannot ease your concern. You will know what's best and it will be a decision that you will question for a long time to come. It's so hard to do and loosing or the thought of loosing ones faithful companion is so hard. Just always remember the memories you have and do what you feel is best for the both of you. I'm still not over my loss and think of her often but what keeps my head up is knowing that I gave her what she could not get from her previous two owners [rescue]. She had a happy life and love that she never had in her past and she would never take her eyes off me, went everywhere I went. She was my little girl. It is hard and my thoughts and prayers are with you.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:18 AM   #9
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It is a heartbreaking decision and one that is not easy to make.
As a nurse, I will tell you that the dying process is pretty predictable, for humans. I think the process is similar for animals too.
The first thing to decline usually is appetite, then energy, then bodily functions. I would say that if your precious pet is eating, he or she is probably not suffering. But when the eating stops, and the ability to rest comfortably declines, you might need to make a decision.
Trust that your pet will give you signs that will make your decision a little clearer. Not easier, just clearer.
Best wishes and you are in my prayers.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:43 AM   #10
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This is a very hard time for you. I think in your heart you know the answer to the question you asked. Be at peace with whatever decision you make and move forward. If you worry every day about the dog, it's not doing you any good either.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:38 PM   #11
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I just went through this a couple of weeks ago with my Sheltie. It was so very hard. Sammy had a tumor in his liver but we were watching it. The vet said he looked good and showed no indication of pain so I was happy. Two weeks later we went back with problems and he was given medication. It didn't help and by the next week he wasn't eating. The vet said he looked like he was in pain now. I couldn't stand that! My heart broke as my daughter and I made the decision to release him from his pain. Everyone from the vet's office came in to try to comfort me and assure me that the decision was the best thing I could do for my fur baby. I have another dog who had spent her entire life with Sammy and she is grieving too. Sammy would have been 14 in December. Trust your vet - they will know when it is time to let go.
Barbara Spade
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:02 PM   #12
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We had the very same thing with our little Keegan. We treated her with meds until they stopped working. She let us know when she was done, it got so bad one evening she couldn't lay down, she just stood there and stared at me. I knew it was her time, we told her a all long time before that we wouldn't let her suffer. She was with us from may 1999 to august of 2011, we still miss her sorely.
Please don't let your baby suffer either, when she says she's done, do her the favor and put her down. It hurts, but it's the best thing you can do for your pets when they are sick.

Take care
Liz & Mike in Alaska
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:29 AM   #13
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You'll know what to do when the time comes, but the decision will not come easy. We went thru this in May when our 13yr old Sheltie succumbed to bladder cancer. He had chemo and he couldn't have been more loved. He was able to travel with us to Key West early in the year and he seemed happy. He was very mobile till the end, but we always said we would let him go when he appeared to be in pain. It's difficult to determine when they're fading because our Charlie continued to eat and drink well. You'll know when to let go, but be aware you may occasionally regret your timing, i.e., did you do the right thing at the right time? It's okay.

Hold her and love her and do everything you can for her until she can't take the pain. You'll cry for her for a long time. My DW grieves every day, and I'm tearing up as I write this. Rejoice in her memories, and know that she will have enriched your life, and you hers.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:45 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by fansill View Post
Hello Friends....

Friends...help me out....She is my best friend but I do not want to end her life too soon...

A Crying Faith
I would not put a dog or cat down unless they were in untreatable pain with no hope of recovery. Where there was no quality of life left. Where it was obvious the animals was suffering. It doesn't seem like your dog is suffering or lacks any quality of life. That's just my opinion.

Just curious, has your vet mentioned why she has an enlarged heart? Does she have clogged arteries and high BP?

Retired. RVing with one husband and five cats.
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