Very difficult decision to make for my 17 year old.

by Karen
(WI)

Milly, my best friend for the past 17 years is struggling. She had Mast Cell cancer 4 years ago and it attacked her digestive track so I home cook a bland diet for her. She gets an occasional bout of colitis and it can be pretty bad sometimes. I use flagyl, pepcid and time to get her feeling better. The big issue is quality of life. She is almost totally blind and deaf. she has had cataracks for years and recently had an eye ulcer and almost lost her eye. She was in a lot of pain and cannot do many of the things she did before. Her vision in that eye is most likely gone, but then she almost lost it so I guess this is a blessing. I carry her upstairs at night to go to bed and down in the morning. I carry her outside, 2 steps to get off the porch and she can't go down, but sometimes she can go up just the two steps. I have to be on constant vigil when we are outside because of sticks or bushes that could damage her eyes so she is never off leash and her longest walk is 2 blocks.

Just after the eye ulcer I called the vet because I wanted to talk about end of life, Milly will sit and stare? Not sure what she is doing at strange places, kitchen cabinets, the wall. I am not sure she knows where she is all the time. She never wags her tail anymore and I know that last week she told me she was miserable. She sleeps 23hours a day and I feel like she is in the nursing home stage of life.
If I would have any idea that the small recovery from the eye ulcer would take a month and many long drives to the eye specialist I am not sure I would have tried to save her this time. I am at a loss, what do you think?

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Aug 05, 2012
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Sick 17 year old Jack Russell
by: BOB

Hi, my 17 year old Jack russell has been the best pet i've ever owned in my 59 years...she used to wake the boys up for school every morning, she would wait for a chance and steal the baseball when they were in the yard playing....she could run on saturdays for 12 hours when my wife and i worked in the yard....my wife would be planting flowers, and look back to see "Rozzie" digging them back up. She was fearless as a pup, she killed snakes, possums, armadillos, birds, squirrells and lizards....she used to jump into my arms every day when i got home from work...she was sweet natured, fiercely loyal and protective of her people...and she was as hard headed as a living creature can get. When she wanted something, she was relentless! Now, 17 years later, she is deaf, almost blind....she has lost weight and has had to be treated for pancreatitis..she cant jump on anything anymore, even though she tries her best...i am so broken hearted at the thought of having to make an end of life decision....how do i decide when her "quality of life" is such that a terrible decision will have to be made....i just cant do it...we now have a little dog bed on the floor with her favorite blanket on it, and she even falls out of it sometimes...the worse thing now is that she is throwing up 3 or 4 times a day....i find myself getting angry having to clean it it up, but i know it isnt her fault...we cant afford hundreds of dollars for overnight stays at the vet plus treatment...her pancreatitis 2 day stay in the vet was close to $500...i'm just so sad....i love her and i'm still willing to guide her around and fix special low fat meals for her...but our time is coming...i've never known a more magnificent animal in my life...she is so much more than a pet or"man's best friend". She will be missed, and my heart will ache for a long time when she is gone...i dread the day when i wrap her in her blanket for the last time and lay her in the ground...i love my Rozzie.

Jul 06, 2012
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by: Anonymous

She will try to hold on for as long as you do. I have done that with a dog that I had, I waited far too long - because I didn't want to live with the pain of loosing him. He was finally at peace in the last moments of his life, and I personally feel that he deserved to rest much sooner then I allowed him to. I do still regret that to this day. He kept up the fight for me. Quality of life is a big factor in your choice. Jacks are tough, she may be in pain but just refusing to let it show. You have to do what YOU think is rite for your friend. Remember the good times in her life, whatever choice you make.

Jul 05, 2012
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End of life
by: Vicki

That is a decision that only you can make for your friend. If she is not in pain and is still walking around, if it were me I believe I would just carry on the way things are. Treasure every moment with your friend.

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