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Unable to help my dog... what to do??

breavery
August 22nd, 2007, 11:21 AM
Hi, I've got a 4 year old mixed dog - about 60 pounds... he is very much a part of the family so this is not easy for me! He has only 3 legs that work because of an accident when he was only 6 weeks old... his back is twisted due to the shift in his weight to one side. He was always a happy dog... hopping along on 3 legs, great with my two young children and my two cats.
Well, last year we moved from the country where he had 2 acres to run to the city (due to job posting, not by choice). Since we've been here, he seems to deteriorating.... he seems to be in pain all the time, doesn't seem to hop anymore, more like a limp. His tail has actually fallen lower and hangs straight down... it seems to take great effort for him to wag it due to pain. The vets can't do anything for him... his back and leg are not repairable. Well, now we are noticing aggression... it's been several months that he would growl at us when we accidentally touched his bad leg and now it has gotten worse... he was in his kennel yesterday and one of our neighbour's kids walked by while I was taking him into the house and he took after the 5 year old boy, snarling and with his head lowered.. just like he was going to attack him!... I thank god I had him on a leash.. I honestly don't know what he would've done! We have been considering euthanizing him... please don't judge me for this.. I just don't think he's happy anymore and he really scared me yesterday!! I've brought him for one on one behaviour counselling and been told he is a submissive dog and we shouldn't have any problems with him but I think my submissive dog has become aggresive! Pain meds are not an option ... we tried that and he was miserable... couldn't even stay awake.. just laid around all day.. tried lowering the dosage but still the same.. I don't want him to live out his life miserable but at this point I can't in good conscience put him outside by himself and let him play with my kids and I certainly can't give him away and have someone not care for him or have him bite someone else! If this was your situation... what would you do? Thanks. :cry:

LavenderRott
August 22nd, 2007, 11:28 AM
What a difficult decision to have to make. And most of us have been right where you are.

Ask yourself this question - What quality of life does my dog have? If he is miserable all of the time, in pain and not getting enjoyment out of the things that usually make him happy and if you have medically done everything that you can for him - then it might well be time.

But you really need to make the decision with your family. Know that there are people here who have been where you are and understand.:grouphug:

Frenchy
August 22nd, 2007, 11:28 AM
If this was your situation... what would you do? Thanks. :cry:

I would have a talk with my vet. To make sure there nothing else I could try to make him feel better. If not , I would ask (the vet) about my dog's quality of life ....

Also , do you trust your vet ? Because before making ANY decision , you could ask another vet for a second opinion.

krdahmer
August 22nd, 2007, 01:34 PM
I would seek another vets opinion and maybe discuss holistic treatments. Sometimes they can be just as effective and sometimes more effective than conventional meds. ( I know there are ones for pain and for calming.)

I send my :pray: s to you, your dog and your family....:grouphug:

mummummum
August 22nd, 2007, 06:05 PM
Chiropracty and acupuncture may be of great help to your dog. My neighbours Australian Cattledog was brought back from paralysis with these treament modalitiies and he's still up and about 10 years later.

crazydays
August 22nd, 2007, 06:28 PM
Just following what Mmmmm just said.
I just want to mention that acupuncture can do amazing things. My friends dobe is a rescue. This dog was seizuring 3X a day even when on meds. The owner was feeling total hopeless, and thought maybe the dog should be put down. The dogs owner spoke to a Vet that just happens to walk at the dog park with us. She offered to give Ruby acupuncture free because she was such a bad case. Happy to report that "Ruby" gets seizures only sporatically-maybe 1X per 2-3 weeks. The acupuncture is doing what nothing else did-quality of life is sooo much better.

I just wanted to share this in the event you were considering the option of Acupuncture. Could be interesting to talk a Dr about this option.

breavery
August 22nd, 2007, 07:34 PM
HI.. we've brought him to 3 different vets... the one who take care of him since the accident, a second one when the first one told us there was nothing that could be done.. and a third when we moved from one province to another.. they all say pretty much the same thing. We were told from the beginning that his life would be short due to the injury. Perhaps if his leg would have been amputated his back would not have twisted soo badly but I would never consider doing that to him now. His spine actually runs to the side and his tail is is very low. My husband feels euthanasia is the right thing to do.. says he doesn't think he's happy anymore.. he just lays around most of the day... I have to torment him to come outside to use the bathroom. He sometimes waits soo long to pee that his urine smells terrible... and I know this can cause problems. Then, I think that maybe his kidneys are having trouble because of the twist in his body.. I would imagine his organs are crammed up in there! Maybe that's why he doesn't look to go outside very much... it's soo hard to accept but I think at this point I'm just trying to convince myself there is anothe way when in my heart I know there isn't. We have tried a holistic med for pain but it didn't seem to do anything for him. I don't think he would do very well with accupuncture... he would have to be sedated to do that.. he's at a point where you can barely cut his nails right now. And we've talked to vets about a doggie 'wheelchair' but again I know he wouldn't be happy strapped up like that. My family will be sitting down again to make a decision this weekend.. I will keep everyone informed.
Thanks for your warm thoughts and your suggestions.

crazydays
August 22nd, 2007, 07:41 PM
You have your hands full and it sounds like you are doing an incredible job! You know your dog and the pain, and the poor quality of life he is living. You will make the right decision. You are very much in my thoughts and I will watch to see how you are making out.

coppperbelle
August 22nd, 2007, 07:45 PM
I don't have the answer for you but I do want to offer you my support. I have a sometimes aggressive dog and it is very stressfull especially when there are children around. Everyone's idea of "quality of life" is different but you know your dog best. I would encourage you to discuss this with your vet. A good vet will be honest and tell you what he thinks can be done if anything at all. When my old girl was very sick my vet saw how upset I was and he offered me different treatment options. When I asked him for his honest opinion he was upfront and told me that even though the treatment may postpone the inevitable her quality of life would never be the same and she would be existing and not living. That made my decision a little easier. Good luck

C

Dogastrophe
August 23rd, 2007, 06:12 AM
Very sorry to hear about your pup and the trouble he is having. Based on what you've described, I wouldn't necessarily say that your dog is being aggressive per se, but rather is feeling discomfort and trying to tell ppl to leave him alone. I would agree with the others, talk to a vet that you trust and ask for their opinion.

With regards to a doggy wheelchair, if this is a viable option, many dogs do quite well pulling themselves in a cart.

Like Copperbelle, my vet provided me with several different options for treating Monty. We then asked if this was your pup what would you do. Our vet gave us her honest opinion and the reasons why. It helped us tremendously in making our decision.

:grouphug: :goodvibes:

breavery
September 1st, 2007, 07:43 AM
I brought Scooby to the vet yesterday to get him checked out again... the news was not good.. The twisting in his back had caused his internal organs (lungs and kidney) to actually be compressed.. the vet said it would be just like someone sitting on his belly all the time.. and that eventually it would affect his heart. The vet believes his pain was more from his belly than his actual leg and recommended he be euthanized as things will only progress more... eventually his kidney would fail and his lungs were already showing strain. He has been getting tired more easily in the past several months but we just attributed it to having 3 legs.. more work to do anything.. but apparently it's because his lungs were compressed.
So, Scooby is gone now.. now comes the hard task of calling everyone in our family and letting them know! I will be posting his pic in the memorial part of the forum so all can see my beautiful Scooby Doo... from his broken leg in a cast to what he was a month ago!
Thank you for all your words of support, Scooby's pain is now gone.. he went very peacefully.. the vet was amazing with him.. I had to push the vet aside so I could rub his head while the meds were administered... he thumped his tail on the table until the very end.. I think he knew his pain would be over.
RIP SCOOBY DOO.. we love you!:angel:

chico2
September 1st, 2007, 07:56 AM
After reading all the posts,I believe you did the right thing for Scooby,as sad and heartbreaking as it is to loose someone,Scooby is at peace now.:rip: Scooby Doo

CyberKitten
September 1st, 2007, 01:18 PM
Sounds as tho your dog has scoliosis (a curved spine) but of course I am guessing here. Scoliosis left unchecked does in fact crush one's organs (I know, I actually have it myself though I have had so many surgeries I have lost count and only have one lung left).

I am so sorry for your loss. I feel certain tho it is hard to say without knowing all the details and it is so easy to quarterback, but I do suspect had a vet recommended a spinal fusion (I know a cat with scoliosis who had a spinal fusion and she is doing very well) been fixed by surgery but as you say, it probably should have been done at the time of the accident. Left as it is, the spine crushed the other organs and your dog probably was in serious pain and had difficulty breathing. And I doubt too he was aggressive, just expressing his displeasure at being in pain.

It seems like you did everything you could for him with the knowledge you had and he was lucky to have you!! You should not second guess any of your decisions now. Take care - losing a beloved pet is so difficult!! :grouphug: