Gransnet forums


conflict with husband over poor old dog

(27 Posts)
frida Sun 29-May-11 19:29:12

We have an ancient labrador/cross aged about 16 years, we got him 6 years ago when his owners could no longer manage to look after him. He is a lovely old doggie but has lots of health problems including loss of sight, deafness, arthritis and nerve degeneration in his spine. For the past 9 months he has been incontinent of faeces at least once a day and also overnight. The constant cleaning up of his accidents is wearing me down, not to mention the wear and tear of the carpets and furnishings. 2 weeks ago he fell downstairs and injured his ear, it is swollen up and looks like an egg. I took him to the vet who said continue on his steroid tablets and bring him back in 2 weeks, if no improvement he will need an operation to remove the heamatoma in his ear. Since then, he has had another fall and his ear is worse. I want the dog to be 'put to sleep' husband is dead against it and says dog should be able to live his life out in comfort. He does not find the fouling in the house to be a problem, he's out at work 12 hours a day. We are at loggerheads, advice please

glassortwo Sun 29-May-11 19:47:40

frida it sounds as if the poor old chap is suffering, personally I dont think he will live out the rest of his life in comfort

Sorry but I would have him put to sleep. Its is a very hard thing to do I have been there myself with my little dog but I could not see her suffer, I went in when they put her to sleep, she was my dog from being a puppy and it was my place to be with her she just went peacefully but I felt I owed it to her!!

I think the vet will possibly suggest putting him to sleep will be the kindest option.

This is only my opinion. sad

twizzle Sun 29-May-11 20:00:00

frida, this must be very difficult for you. You say that your dog has many health issues and he is also very old. If he does have the operation to remove the haematoma, he will still have his other health problems and may well fall again due his athritis and nerve degeneration. You say that your husband says that your dog should be able to live his life out in comfort, but maybe, he is not very comfortable (with regard to his ill-health).
This is such a heart-breaking decision for you both to have to take, but I am sure that you will both agree to reach a decision which will be in the best interest of your lovely old doggie.

glassortwo Sun 29-May-11 20:04:51

Thanks twizzle thats what I should have said, but as usual I jump in with both feet.

frida Tue 31-May-11 19:40:47

Well, dog been to vet today and had haematoma drained under local anaesthetic and 'sedation', his ear looks ok. Vet asked if dog was eating and drinking well (he is) likes to go on walks (he does) said that was great and certainly no need to' put dog to sleep' as he was being well looked after and to keep giving him the steroid/painkiller tablets. Dog is home now, very dopey and sliding around on the kitchen floor. I feel really sad about him, I was a bit harsh about him yesterday re cleaning up all the poo etc, he can't help it and all I can do now is watch him get more and more frail. So sad.

glassortwo Tue 31-May-11 20:04:08

frida the vet must think he still has a good quality of life, all you can do is make him comfortable.

Divawithattitude Wed 01-Jun-11 05:12:41

I am in a similar situation - our old dog is now 16, suffering from arthritis, on more tablets a week than both DH and I and struggles to get up the stairs now.................

tjspompa Wed 01-Jun-11 07:15:41

These are terrible decisions to have to make, you can only try to consider the pets quality of life, if it is no longer able to enjoy it's life, it's time to say goodbye.
We recently lost our cat, he got to the point where he was just surviving, not enjoying his life, it was a hard decision after 18 years, but we are sure it was the right time. We arranged for the vet to come to us, she was wonderful, very supportive of our decision.

yogagran Mon 06-Jun-11 20:49:50

I do wonder how your dog feels about being incontinent, From an early age we teach them to be clean in the house and they surely must hate to go against this basic training and feel guilty about it. Personally I wouldn't put an elderly dog through surgical treatments as they don't understand and very often there are other problems too.
We should feel privileged that we are able to help our elderly pets out of their pain and discomfort - just wish sometimes that we could do the same for our terminally ill family members too.
I've just started a thread "virtual remembrance garden for pets" that you might like

Gally Sun 12-Jun-11 17:29:34

Frida, I feel for you. We have a similar problem with our old Mille, a rescue dog who is nearly 15. Blind, deaf, sometimes incontinent, can only manage a short walk, sleepy and doddery on the old pins etc.... Vet only suggests treatment for this, then that, then something else when we feel that the best thing would be for her to be put to sleep. We go away a lot and I feel so guilty leaving her in the kennels (although she sleeps in their house). I do hope nature takes its course - maybe with a little help for both our old faithfuls.

supernana Sun 12-Jun-11 17:59:57

frida my heart goes out to you and your husband and your much-loved dog. We've had numerous problems with sick and elderly pets. The final months of pet's life can be a nightmare, especially when husband and wife have opposing points of view regarding the way forward, or not. Recently, good friends have made the decision to have their elderly dog put to sleep. Another friend had to make the same decision about her dog and cat. There were many tears shed...that's natural. Both friends maintain that their choice to have the animals put to sleep was made out of love - because the animal had reached the stage in it's life when it no longer enjoyed food, walks, and a comfortable night's rest. It appears that your dog still enjoys aspects of his life but, I'm wondering how anyone can know how much pain he experiences. I believe that you will sense when the time arrives for you to help him have a pain-free release. In the meantime, enjoy having whatever time is left...with my love x

Anne58 Tue 14-Jun-11 19:59:08

So sorry to hear this.

On the one hand, I think it sounds as if your dogs quality of life is very poor, having falls can't be good for him, must make him feel nervous and insecure. Plus treatment for the ear etc can't be doing much for his "comfort"

With regard to the incontinence, I see it from the other side. My dear old girl became poo incontinent at about 17. In all other respect she was very fit & sprightly, still enjoyed her food, her walks and playing with the other 2 dogs, one of whom was her son.

My ex husband found this intolerable, I was working full time, he was at home all day.

Against my better judgement, he "persuaded" me to have her put down. It was awful, she wasn't ready, if you know what I mean.

To summarise, my girl was happy, healthy for her age, but an inconvenience to my ex husband, but it does sound as if your old chap is not enjoying a comfortable, dignified and happy old age.

Janice Tue 02-Aug-11 16:22:03

Ask yourself what is your dog's quality of life? Is he eating, does he greet you when you some down in the mornings and/or when you come home? Do you think he is still enjoying life?
It is a very hard decision one I have had to make all too many times. I assure you that the WORST time is making the decision to euthanase your dog. Blue Cross have a help line. There are several websites where petowners have left poems etc and The Rainbow Bridge is a poem I still cannot read without crying even when I have not just said goodbye to a pet. At least we can legally give our animal friends a 'good death' we cannot do that for humans yet.

bikergran Tue 02-Aug-11 20:01:23

Oh heck!! what a heartrendering daughter had her lovely dog put to sleep over 18 mnths ago..I took both her and the dog to the vets (daughter had no car doesnt drive)..I felt like the worst person in the world!
dog was weeing in the house struggling to walk and didn't want to go much past the gate of the house..she had diabetes and become blind, so was frightened of going out , although she still trotted round the house..but!!!!!!!!!! he quality of life had deteriated, but daughter just kept putting it off n off..until she felt it was the right time(there is never a right time) and even if there is it makes you feel so.horrible and guilty...even now we look back and know it was the right thing to do, it is still raw, daughter had her ashes put in a pink urn and she (keetah) sits on the fireplace smile
dont rush into your decision, hope you and your husband can come to a solution that will put your pet and your mind at

goldengirl Tue 02-Aug-11 20:29:43

It was my dear old dog himself who 'told' me he'd had enough. He had cancer but the vet had given him some medication to help him but warned me it wouldn't last. One day I came home from work and couldn't find him until I went out to the garden and he was lying in his special place. Somehow he'd managed to negotiate the cat flap and he was a Briard / retriever cross, so a large dog, in order to go there. I rang the vet and she said she'd come out and the worst bit was watching the clock inexorably ticking on. My daughter was with me and I held him and the light just went out of his eyes - very peaceful. The vet was very supportive. They really are part of the family and though it was several years ago I still miss him and just writing this makes me feel tearful sad

yogagran Tue 02-Aug-11 21:18:20

I believe that the animals themselves can let you know when they have had enough. I sadly lost my beloved border collie at the beginning of May aged sixteen and a half. For the last six months or so of her life I was getting up around 4am to let her out as she couldn't last all night. She was deaf and her legs didn't work very well. On a Saturday she had her usual two shortish walks and meals as normal but on Sunday she just chose to stay in her bed. On lifting her out into the garden we found that her back legs just didn't want to support her and she spent the day in her bed. Monday morning we called the vet who came to the house. Sad, sad times and the house seems so empty now.
I'm not yet ready for another dog but I'm sure one day there will be something looking for a new home.

frida Mon 30-Jan-12 22:49:16

just an up-date, doggy was 'put to sleep' just before xmas, am picking up his ashes from the vet tomorrow, really miss him, now hubby wants a puppy, i think it's too soon.

glammanana Mon 30-Jan-12 23:13:45

So sorry to hear your news frida it is so sad when we loose a good friend,DH and I have had many dogs over the years all who have become extentions of our family and the worst time is that awful final visit to the vets.If you feel that you need another dog in your life have you considered a rescue dog at all,there are many young dogs looking for a nice caring home,our Barney a small Jack Russell came to us 3yrs ago from the pound he is settled in so well you would think he has been here forever and he is now 8/9yrs old,we have always had bigger dogs and at one time fostered dogs for the local animal charity and some of them stayed for a while,we have mainly had bassett hounds but my son now has my two bassetts as we live in a 1st floor apartment and they need the big garden,but I see them nearly every of luck with your decision.

Carol Mon 30-Jan-12 23:21:57

I'm so sorry to heard your sad news frida. It's the price we have to pay for all those years of devotion from our doggy pals. You never know, a puppy may come along that really needs your love, so keep an open mind. I still have the ashes of my last two dogs, and I must scatter them in the wood behind my house - just the place for beloved pets who give me such happy memories.

glamma I have put a photo of my dog, Nell, on my profile - she is a cantankerous, stubborn basset and I love her to bits. The photo was taken at doggie daycare, where she goes twice a week to play and let off steam. Very Los Angeles, but it's fantastic for dogs, gives me a chance to go out for full days without feeling guilty about leaving her alone, and the training she gets there has turned her into a lovely dog who is so patient and playful with all the chbildren in our family, who adore her. They have lots of rescue dogs there, in fact the owner started the daycare place so she could keep her rescue dog with her all day.

glammanana Tue 31-Jan-12 09:11:06

Carol your Nell has similar colouring as my Bonnie in fact they could be twins,Henry has a black saddle across his back and is very much darker,he is a big chunky boy and as you say both of mine are stubborn and can sulk for England.When I get myself more computor savvy I will post some pics of them with one of their pups Oliver who my friend took when the pups where ready to go to new homes.

Carol Tue 31-Jan-12 09:21:34

I'd love to see your photos of your bassets glamma. Nell is such a clown - this morning she has been walking round the sitting room with her upturned bed on her back - looks like a multi-coloured turtle scuttling round!

Yummygran Tue 31-Jan-12 12:58:04

Nell sounds adorable Carol. Where I currently live I am unable to have any pets and miss having a dog.

My son (who has just had a little baby....well his partner).. has a dalmation/boxer cross, as mad as a hatter and a complete wimp! He has been thoroughly upset by the new addition to the family, it took him two days to stop shaking everytime the baby cried. Now he cries along with Oscar. Son and daugther-in-law are including him in all baby related activities where feasible, so that he doesn't resent this interloper. He stands next to the moses basket with his chin resting on the side. I hope this is his form of friendship and not waiting for a chance to eat the baby!!!

Yummygran Tue 31-Jan-12 13:02:05

Sorry frida, I meant to say, I think your decision to put your beloved pet to sleep was the right one. There comes a time when it is kinder to do so. I had to do this for one of my dogs when she reached the stage where she had no quality of life and was 'embarrassed' when she had accidents in the house. She was 15 and had been a very loyal, loving friend and I felt it was what she wanted.

It took me a long time to get over loosing her, we did have another dog but left it a while before we did.

supernana Tue 31-Jan-12 13:46:17

frida If you've a favourite CLEAR photo of your darling dog, I would love to paint a wee portrait [as a gift] smile

glammanana Tue 31-Jan-12 14:10:30

super you are golden.