Our Walk, Cut Short

The dog was just not feeling our walk this morning. We got up to Lloyd and then she just refused to go any further. And yet, I can tell she feels better when she moves around a little, so I really hesitate to decide not to take her. Maybe we’ll just continue to walk as far as she can and call it good.

I don’t know how you judge the end. I mean, I don’t think that we’re there yet, by any means. But I just want to hit that sweet spot of the moment her life isn’t that much fun for her and before she’s suffering. But it’s hard to tell.

I just feel like the most important thing I will do for that dog, the moment I can repay her for everything she’s done for me, is to ease her out of here when it is her time and not let her linger in pain.

But I’ve only ever had one other dog, Fritz, and that was when I was a kid. Mom took him to the vet in the end.

With Mrs. Wigglebottom, it will be on me and the Butcher to know. And I am so afraid we’re going to fuck it up.

I don’t want to be one of those people who has a dog that everyone else looks at and thinks “My god, how can she not see that the poor dog needs to be put down?” I don’t want to put my fear of heartbreak before my dog’s needs.

I really wish I felt more confident about this whole thing.

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3 thoughts on “Our Walk, Cut Short

  1. The best advice I’ve ever been given is to figure out the three things that your dog loves most in life; food, walks, toys, napping in laps, whatever. When the dog can no longer enjoy two of those things, it’s time.

    http://www.srdogs.com/Pages/loss.2.html

    However, if you do not have Mrs. W on a pain medication already, I would encourage you to consider doing so. Tramadol is a very effective medication for managing arthritis pain in dogs, and it is very well tolerated by most dogs. We used it with my last dog to help manage both spondylosis pain (bone spurs on his spine), and pain from an oral tumor to very good effect. It’s also very inexpensive. My vet wrote a prescription allowing me to purchase a month’s worth at a time, and simply give as needed at home.

    For longer-term care if your budget allows, there is a medication called Adequan that specifically targets the joints and the difference in dogs can be night and day! Adequan was used in horses before the small pet veterinary community started using it, and it’s amazing how much difference it can make in managing joint inflammation and pain. Adequan can be given (with your vet’s supervision) as a sub-cutaneous injection at home. You simply pinch up a little tent of skin and inject in the space created by the tent. However, it can be pricy initially. The regimen we used started with a heavy loading dose that then tapered into a smaller maintenance dose.

    If Mrs. W is otherwise enjoying life, and if you’re not using some form of pain control already (you may be?), then please consider it. It can improve her quality of life immeasurably!

  2. Rachel, your advice has made me feel so much better. I think part of the reason I’m panicking a little is that we just learned our vet is closing her practice and so I’m going to have to find yet another vet. And I was really hoping to just use this one until Mrs. W’s end. I think I’m going to look into having the big animal vet in the area drop on on us when she’s in the neighborhood instead of trying to find another vet to go to.

  3. Oh god trying to find a new vet is the WORST. My beloved Dr. R is on a leave of absence right now (and volunteering at a end of life pet hospice) but I didn’t find out until Clover needed some ointment for an eye issue and HE WASN’T AT MY NORMAL PRACTICE for me to make an appointment with. I ended up going to a well-recommended vet hospital a friend uses, but it was terribly inconvenient, let me tell you. You get so much sympathy from me on that front. It sucks!

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