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WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Jellies- I need doggie help.

Asked by WillWorkForChocolate (23120points) December 9th, 2011

My furbaby is 13. She recently had surgery to remove a tumor and a bladder stone. She is now peeing on herself all the time, not out of a behavioral problem, but because she just can’t hold it in. I’ve already given her two full weeks of Clavamox and it didn’t help, so I don’t think she has a bladder infection after the stone removal. She just has no bladder control now and even pees in her sleep.

She’s getting more jittery, too, and reminds me of a shaky chihuahua, and she seems to have lost a little of her personality “sparkle”. She’s not as excited about people as she used to be, and doesn’t give us her tongue lolling doggie smile. She still enjoys rolling in the grass for a minute when I take her outside, but then she comes back to the patio and lays down. When we’re in the house she just sleeps all the time.

My husband wonders, since she’s fairly old and seems to be declining, if it’s time to “let her go to sleep” but I just don’t know. I’m also waiting to have a conversation with our vet and explain everything to him, but I wanted your opinions too.

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37 Answers

TheIntern55's avatar

I’m sorry. My dog was 18 when we finally realized we should let him down. He had seizures all his life and they increased in number and intensity as he got older. He also got Lyme Disease and arthritis in one of his legs so he could be barely walk. It’s times like this that you just need to let a dog out of their suffering. My parents friend have a lab who’s 14 and she’s like this, jittery all the time and needs constant attention. They are also going to let her down soon.
Perhaps it would be better to let her go. Sometimes, it just has to happen.

Coloma's avatar

Awww…I’m sorry!
I had a little dog go through something similar years ago, she too had a bladder tumor and then was still incontinent after it’s removal.

I think that you should discuss her condition with the vet and then, it really is up to you, if you want to continue to manage her situation if her quality of life is still decent.

I have managed many animals with various issues in their old age, but, once the incontinence got really bad I usually opted to say goodbye.

Obviously she is coming to the end of her lifespan, just love her up and treat her like a princess in her remaining days. :-(

submariner's avatar

Just going by what you’ve said, I’d say not yet. It’s normal for a 13-year old dog to lose a little sparkle even without the surgery. The peeing is unpleasant, but it doesn’t sound like she’s lost the will to live, nor is she suffering greatly. She can live with her condition—can you? That is the question you must confront, because if you put her down at this point, it won’t be for her sake.

Judi's avatar

The doctor prescribed Proin for my molly when she started peeing herself and it worked. She didn’t have any surgery though. I’m so sorry she isn’t doing well. :-( Molly is 13 also.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’ll ask the vet about the Proin, then. I expect her to decline as she ages, and she’s geriatric, so I’m assuming she will be acting more and more elderly. I’m just concerned about the combined decline in activity and excitement and the incontinence.

rooeytoo's avatar

I am amazed a vet would suggest such surgery for a dog of that age. I am a realist and I personally would feel the time has come. If you want, pm me and I will send you the most amazing poem about what a good deed you do when you recognize it is time to let them go.

Coloma's avatar

I haven’t had a dog for 15 years now, but, there HAS to be doggy diapers?
I mean, they make Duck diapers for house ducks and geese. haha

Judi's avatar

Molly has dogie diapers. I use them if I forget to give her her medicine.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Coloma, There are and I’ve been trying them. The problem is: she doesn’t have a full tail, she’s got a nubbin which won’t hold the diaper up, so it just gradually slides off.

Bellatrix's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate you know your puppy better than anyone. You know if she is happy but just getting old or if she is distressed. If it is the former, take the time to love her to bits in the winter of her life. If it is the latter, you know what you have to do for her. Be guided by your vet and listen to your heart and do what is best for her.

jazmina88's avatar

I loved my Maggie. She was 16, I picked up poo every day for over a year. I came to jellies for help when it was time. My sweet girl turned around when we held up her back legs so she could get to the car when we took her to the vet….like she was saying,,,,carry me, I love you. She grinned as I held her. This is not easy. Much love to you and PUPS!

GoldieAV16's avatar

The SPCA site has some good advice about when it is time to say goodbye to our furry friends. A dog’s life consists of three main components: eating, peeing and pooping, and being social. When any one of those three functions is permanently altered, the dog’s quality of life is likely in decline; two out of the three – definitely in decline.

Personally, I’d wait a bit longer to see if the surgery is still the cause for some of the impairment. But five weeks after the surgery I’d start marking the calendar with a happy face for a day when your dog is able to socialize, eat, pee and poop. An unhappy face for those days when your dog cannot. When the unhappy faces outnumber the happy faces, you will know what is best for your dog. Good luck to you. I consider this one of life’s most difficult decisions.

comity's avatar

I feel for you! Everytime I had to say goodbye to my furry children and make the decision, It was very hard. Only you can make that decision in consultation with your vet. I had to put down the two dogs shown in my picture and it was the hardest thing for me. Around the holidays, I like posting this picture of me to remember those sweet angels. A positive is that she’s still rolling in the grass. It may not be time yet, but that time will come, so just be prepared. I had the vet come to my home for any dogs I had to put to sleep. They were too scared in the vets office. This way, they were relaxed, I petted them and talked to them while they laid in their favorite spot. It was a sweet good bye for all. Good luck!

Coloma's avatar

@GoldieAV16

I really like the calender and happy vs. sad faces to keep an accounting of things. A lot like journaling for ourselves and relationships. lol

Welcome to fluther.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@GoldieAV16 It’s actually been about two months since the surgery, and we already went through a round of antibiotics, so I’m wondering if her bladder sphincter is out of whack.

Coloma's avatar

@comity

Yes, I do housecall euthanasia on my pets as well, just went through this with my kitty Marley last June. If you can afford the extra fee it is SO worth it. He went peacefully on my bed, at home. :-(

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

If she’s not in constant pain and suffering, I would hold off with the euthanasia. She just had surgery recently, and the effects of that surgery are quite apparent with the loose bladder and “loss of spark” in her demeanor. Personally, I would give her a lot more time to recover from the surgery. Who knows, she may still make a good recovery. Two weeks is too fast to make such a serious decision. In the meantime, try using doggie diapers on her.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I love how no one reads these days…lol.

Ela's avatar

Put a shirt on her and pin the diaper to it.
Please let us know what the vet has to say : )

syz's avatar

It sounds as if she may have bladder atony. Your veterinarian can prescribe a medication to help, but if she hasn’t improved in two weeks, you may not see any significant improvement.

You don’t mention if she had pre-surgical bloodwork done. If not, I would recommend it – that will tell you a lot about her major organ function. You should also talk to your vet about hormone responsive incontinence (somewhat unlikely to be the problem based on her other issues, but worth investigating).

laureth's avatar

A couple months ago, we had to have our dog Digger put to sleep.

We went through more than a year of the dog crapping and peeing randomly on the floor, to the point where parts of our floor are stained. (I’m linking because those are dated – I look back and think “OMG has it been so long?!”.)

Digger started randomly falling over when he walked, sometimes right into the puddle or pile he was making. And then he wouldn’t walk at all. He was unable to stand up for about a month (we had to keep changing his bedding 2–3 times daily) and hold the food or water bowls while he ate and drank. The house reeked to high heaven of dog piss. He was clearly no longer enjoying life for quite some time. I thought that we dragged it out too long for poor Digger, but Mr. Laureth (his dog, after all) wanted to make sure that every last drop of joy was sapped out before making that last appointment.

In short, I don’t think your pup is as far gone as we waited. One thing we learned, though, is that it becomes a question of how long you want to put up with the, ummm, products that you have to clean up. If she’s still rolling on the grass and shaking and is at all excited by the things that she’s always liked, it could take a very long time for her to reach the state at which we took Digger in.

(On a side note, we decided to just let Digger eat all the hamburger he wanted, for the last couple days of his life. We thought it would make him so happy, ya know? And he loved it… except it gave him the most horrid diarrhea. Be warned.)

And doggie diapers are a solution, if you don’t mind bathing doggie poo out of doggie fur on a regular basis.

My heart goes out to you, your family, and your pup.

Pandora's avatar

Is she still on medications? Maybe they are making her jittery.
Could also be she isn’t healing inside as quickly as you may think and she feels sore.
I would ask the doc to check her over one last time to make sure before coming to a decision.
As for sleeping a lot. That and a weak bladder can come with age. It really depends on on how long your dog breed tends to live. Some large dogs only have the life span of 7–9 years, so 13 would be really old and some can live past 14.
This is making me really sad. My dog just turned 11. I really hope your dog is fine. I don’t really know how I will handle such a decision myself some day when I can’t even think about it now.
No doubt poorly. I wish you all the best.

Judi's avatar

I also got welping pads for Molly to sleep on.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Once any of my dogs get to the point where they lose that sparkle then I definitely consider that it may be time. It’ a horrible decision to make but if they have lost that sparkle and are not as excited by humans as they used to be then they probably aren’t enjoying life much anymore. It’s a decision that you have to make yourself but I am inclined to agree with your husband here. I really wish that our dogs didn’t have such a short life compared to the majority of humans.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

So my vet agrees that she may be beginning the elderly decline, BUT that she still has life in her to live yet, and he does have an incontinence supplement for me to try. We’ll see what happens, keep your fingers crossed!

comity's avatar

This agnostic/atheist is praying for you.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@comity Awww, thanks so much!!!

Coloma's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate

Yay! Let us know how the meds work. :-)

Sigh…people, pets and cars…one day everythings fine, the next, hearts explode, we pee all over ourselves and the engine blows up. :-(

TheIntern55's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Good luck. She sounds like a good dog. What kind of dog is she?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

She’s a Scnoodle- part miniature schnauzer and part toy poodle. And she’s just the best-behaved dog I’ve ever seen!! I’m not ready to give her up yet, but I know I’ll have to make that decision for her at some point. :( Hopefully, these meds will work well for her incontinence.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Sooo… guess what? We’re on day three of her Proin, and it seems to be working so far!

Of course, nothing can help with the decline of her youthful zip, but it’s fantastic that she’s not peeing on herself now!! I didn’t expect it to work this quickly!

Coloma's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate

Yay! I have cat diarrhea going on over here, everyone is being medicated for possible Coccidia from the new shelter cat. Oh joy! Cat bath today! Psht!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Oh, the joys of cat diarrhea! Fun times.

Coloma's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate

It’s a gas, gas, gas! lol
Not. :-(

comity's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate So happy for you that your furry kid is doing better!

rooeytoo's avatar

That is good news!

TheIntern55's avatar

That’s great! She sounds like a cute little puppy. Good thing she’s doing better.

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