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Is it inevitable?

Discussion in 'Dog Health' started by jonsav123, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. jonsav123

    jonsav123 New Member Registered

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    My Golden Retriever died recently and for the last few days of her life she completely lost the use of her back legs. This was very distressing for her, and extremely upsetting for us.
    We are thinking of getting another Retriever, but my question is, is it inevitable that dogs legs go that way, and if it is, is there anything that can be done while they are fit and well to ensure that this does not happen?
    It is the one issue that makes me hesitate in getting another dog.
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    First, I am very sorry for your loss.

    It is a sad fact that our pets' lives are are shorter than ours and we have to take the terrible decision to let them go. As they age, they do start to fail - it is not always the legs that go first; but there inevitably will be something. If you are concerned specifically about legs, choosing a dog from parents who have both been tested for dysplasia, feeding a healthy diet, providing appropriate exercise and maintaining a healthy weight will all help.

    As our pets reach their final weeks, there is a scale that measures the quality of life of ageing pets, which can be helpful to people who are facing the decision to let them go. Also there is a saying that it is better to let them go a week too early than a day too late. It is the final kindness we can show them - to stop any pain and suffering.

    But equally it is important to focus on the years of joy and happiness we give them and they give us. All we can do is give them the best life that we possibly can - and if we can say that we have done that, our pets can ask for little more.
     
  3. jonsav123

    jonsav123 New Member Registered

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    Thank you for the helpful and thoughtful reply.
    It,s true that I should have taken action sooner to end her distress, but I just could not bring myself to do it. I suppose I was hoping for a miracle and that she would recover.
     
  4. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I really did not mean to imply you should have intervened earlier - it is a very personal decision and based on many different factors. I am sure that even although her legs had failed, she would know she was loved and was being spoiled.
     
  5. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    So sorry about your dog, it's the only bad thing about having them, saying goodbye. :(
    We had the same with one of ours a couple of years ago, it was so hard to watch her go through it, we had to help her walk and she also got incontinent. her last day she was in pain and kept yelping so we just had to make that tough decision.
    I would like to just echo what @JoanneF said. Go to a good breeder who had the parents tested. Of course that doesn't always guarantee that the pup won't struggle when it gets old but it's all you can do to try to prevent it, along with proper diet/weight and exercise as Joanne mentioned. Is it just that you're concerned about? Maybe a breed that are less prone to issues with mobility would be better for you?
     
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  6. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    Pups from tested / screened parents, plus keeping the dog lean & fit, are both very helpful.
    Legs aren't always what "goes" - it could be k9 dementia, kidney failure, cardiac insufficiency, every variety of old-age affliction. There are things that can be tested for in the parents, & things that rely on medical history of the near relatives [GDV / bloat, knee luxation, Wobbler's...].
    Knowing what ought to be tested for, in a given breed, is a huge advantage - U can ask the breeder, do U have certificates / radiographs / hip-scores / knee-scores / elbow-scores / DNA tests for thus-&-so?, in both sire & dam, & skip a lot of "my dogs are FINE..." sales patter.

    this is a great resource -
    CANINE CONGENITAL AND INHERITED DISORDERS | TheDogPlace.org

    look up the breed, listed alphabetically, & then cross-match the numbers with the heritable afflictions they represent; see what screening is available to test for them, or if carrier / affected status can be determined.


    A young dog can also develop life-threatening illness - my Akita, a long-hoped-for bitch from a Breeder of Merit kennel-line, was a gorgeous 2-YO when she suddenly had a bleeding disorder. I worked 7 days a week to keep up with her vet-bills; at one point, she was having jugular blood-draws 3X a week.
    After we finally succeeded in weaning her from steroids, using an organ-transplant anti-rejection drug [which morphed her into a pseudo-male, with bizarre studly behaviors], she was stable for months, but I knew her next crisis would be the last - there was no Tx left.
    At a little past 4-YO, she had that final dreaded crisis, & I had to take her to the ER-vet during off-hours; even my planned "at home" euth was impossible, in the event, as my vet was out of town that weekend. :(

    I'd never lost a dog that young, B4 - I was devastated, but i also knew i'd done all i could, & she'd been happy and pain-free til the end.
    However, i also knew that life has no warranties - growing up on a farm, i'd seen newborns die shortly after drawing their 1st breath. Life can end at any moment; we can only stack the odds in our pets' favor, or in our own, with good nutrition, exercise, enrichment, health care, & so on.

    - terry

    .
     
  7. Nanny71

    Nanny71 Well-Known Member Registered

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    That story made me cry. Our only previous dog died at age 12 over 25 years ago and I decided I would never have another dog because of the pain.
    When my horse died 10 years ago I decided no more animals. She was 22 and I had her as a six year old.
    Now I have Dudley, I adore him and refuse to think about losing him.
    Will just love him for as long as I can
     
  8. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    All Ive ever promised my dogs is that I would fight for them as long as they wanted to . I knew with Oscar that the time had come, he looked at me and his eyes were tired. With Max it was the same I knew it was wrong to hold on.
    With Remy I didnt have a choice two massive sezuires made putting him to sleep the only humane option.
    Benny was worn out his little body just couldnt go on at 15 that was to be expected.
    Death is a natural process and we have to accept it but I dont think we should close ourselves off from love because one day it will hurt. Instead we have to accept that the joy they bring and the love we share with them is worth the pain we feel when we have to let them go.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
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  9. Flobo

    Flobo Well-Known Member Registered Partner

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    Pass the tissues, again...
     
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  10. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    Love hurts. :( Is it worth it?... ABsolutely. :)


    .
     
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