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It has been a couple years since I have been on the boards, it's amazing how fast life goes by. Anyway I was hoping for some prayers for my boy black jack. He is about 12 to 14 years old and a rescue for those who don't remember us. He has been showing his age for a while but doing ok with it. About four weeks ago he lost use of his back legs but with a steroid shot he can at least slowly walk now. My vet thinks he has DM (Degenerative myelopathy) but I don't want to put him through tests to find out because hes already weak enough I dont want to stress him more. He has slowly been losing use of his back legs and since he is older it's taking a toll on him. Steroid shots have helped but not a lot. I'm mainly looking for advice or help as to when you guys would think about putting him to sleep or what made you guys decide in the past. I'm having a hard time with it because I've had him 10 years and we do everything together. He doesn't seem to be in pain. Just confused as to why he can't move very good or do the things he could before. I have to help him on the couch, in the truck and up the steps. But he can still go to the bathroom. I'm struggling with it because I want what's best for him and I don't want to make him suffer but I also don't want to let him go either. He's my first dog I have had that was mine and also the first one I have had to make this decision for. Thanks guys, I appreciate it.

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i am so sorry.

 

he looks like a real sweetheart.

 

no one can really advise you but him.

 

i have had to put down my last remaining sled dogs, it isn't easy.

for them i say to myself, are they eating and drinking?

are they in pain?

do they want to go out and lay in the sunshine and watch the young dogs?

 

it is these questions that for me, answer if we are getting close.

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I feel for you knowing how painful this has to be for you we lost our bc at 7 years old a few months back to a lymph node cancer and several seizers. It's very hard to let go and I agree to not let them suffer. I can not tell you when to put your dog to sleep as I am not around to see his condition and it isn't my place to say. If he starts to be in a tremendous amount of pain that can not be relieved I would say that is when it is time. It's hard to say this but no one is ever ready to have to let their best friend go even when we know it is time. That being said when it is time we have to be completely selfless so that they do not have to suffer. They know we love them more than anything and in someway I think they understand. Your boy is very beautiful and I'm sending a lot of love and prayers your guy's way. I wish you the best please keep us updated.

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Thanks guys. I know it's up to me to decide when it's time so it does help hearing from other people when they said it was time for them. What you guys said pretty much sums up what I was thinking and going by so it helps knowing I'm thinking the right way. I really do appreciate it. I take him in for another steroid shot today so hopefully it will help him out.

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I have had that decision a number of times and been present for others as a vet tech in the clinic Never Easy. For myself when their bad days out number the good I begin to know it is time. One bc came as a pup, my first Border Collie. It was sudden with him, even with hm 16. Ate supper one night several hours later could not stand, next morning no better. My other bc at 15.5 suddenly was super confused. Would get behind an open door or in a corner and not be able to get out. A couple days later was not eating much. He lived and worked beside me with so much thought and dignity I was not going to let him end his days like that. I felt it was time.

 

I try to do what is best for them, they give me so very much over the years. It is the least I can do for them.

Rear leg weakness is common with advanced age. I will help them as long as they seem happy or content but there seems to came a time when it feels 'right'. Not easy but right. Just have to remember all the wonderful things he shared with you.

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I think it's awesome what you are doing for him. Knowing you are not alone also helps you are doing the right thing many of the people on these boards have had to go through the hard time of a dog getting old or sick and I agree with Denice and tea they have given good advice.

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I'm so very sorry that you're facing this. I've had to make this decision several times now and it's never easy, but please know it's the very greatest final kindness you can do for your dog.

 

When my dogs are showing signs of age or illness I make sure to tell them that it's OK for them to go when they need to (I believe that some dogs hold on for owners who are unwilling or afraid to let them go) and I also ask them to tell me when it's time. Again, I truly believe many will find ways to do this.

 

Sometimes the ways they tell us are subtle, so it's important to know your dog and to observe them. You'll see when the bad days outnumber the good ones, or when they start refusing to eat or lose interest in things.

 

As for the rear end weakness, you might consider getting a mobility assist harness of some sort to help Black Jack. Most harnesses offer support for the front end, but be sure to look for one that supports weight in the hind quarters. I got this one from PetEdge a few years ago. https://www.petedge.com/zpetedgemain/catalog/productDetail.jsf?area=&sort=RD&wec-appid=PEDM_WEBSHOP_TR&page=C35456610F7C42BFA1CA25328F1F0BBB&itemKey=005056A633791ED2B59143B7ED9DEFB3&show=12&view=grid&simpleSearchString=th+lift+%26+Go+Lead&wec-locale=en_US They sell another (https://www.petedge.com/zpetedgemain/catalog/productDetail.jsf?area=&sort=RD&wec-appid=PEDM_WEBSHOP_TR&page=C35456610F7C42BFA1CA25328F1F0BBB&itemKey=005056A633791ED2B5866575D6926FB3&show=12&view=grid&simpleSearchString=th+lift+%26+Go+Lead&wec-locale=en_US), but the one I bought looked like it had better support to me.

 

Wishing you and Black Jack all the best.

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It's so good to hear from you - I remember when you first started on these Boards and we learned all about your early goings-on with Black Jack. How wonderful that you've had so many loving years together!

 

I don't have anything to add to the above comments. You'll approach this phase with the love and care that you've shared with Black Jack over his whole life, and you'll make the best decision for him, to preserve his dignity and his comfort.

 

Please stay around, and keep us posted! Wishing you both the very best.

 

Amy

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Welcome back but I am so sorry. I have a good friend who lost her Corgi to DM last year. She says it is the doggy version of Lou Gehrig's disease. If only the back legs are affected, and he is happy in every other way you can get him a wheel chair, which is what my friend did. The Corgi still went on short walks happily when she was at that stage. She was eventually put down when she started having trouble breathing. I think she went on pretty well for a couple of years. So you may not need to make any decisions yet. Black Jack will tell you when he is finished.

 

Take care and know that everyone is praying or thinking of you.

 

Kathy Robbins

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I am sorry that you are facing this.

 

My Jester died last June. It was very difficult for me to make that decision.

Jester was the most vital and energetic and full of life creature I ever knew.

Then, one day, he couldn't hear very well but it did not slow him down.

When he was no longer able to go up or down the stairs or get up without help, I used a harness designed to assist dogs in that circumstance.

 

But when he still wanted, desperately, to chase the frisbee and yet could not go after it even one step without falling down, and when he fell he could not get up again........when he started peeing and pooping on himself because he could not stand long enough to do it, and could not get up to do it unless I was there to help him.........

 

It was incredibly hard. He was still as full of life as ever. He still wanted to do everything. Before I took him to the vet that day he ate a whole chicken breast one small piece at a time and loved it. He enjoyed the ride to the vet. I hated myself for what I was going to do.

 

But I had to ask myself what kind of life he had, really. He was constantly frustrated because he could not move on his own or do what he wanted to do.

I went back and forth on it for a couple of weeks, and finally one day I just told myself that it had to be today because it had to be some day and it would never, ever feel like the right day. Jester, you see, was never going to give up and want to die.

....................or......maybe one day he would. And did I really want him to have to come to that point?

Would it not perhaps be better to take him on a day when he still liked the sun on his face?

 

People will tell you that your dog will let you know when it is time, but sometimes they don't, or you don't want to let it get to that point.

 

Jester knew I loved him. Maybe that is the most important thing in the end.

 

I wish you the very best and my heart is with you in this difficult time.

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Thanks everyone for your help and support. I'm broken hearted today because I ended up having to put him to sleep this morning. I was by his side the whole time but it was by far the hardest thing I have ever done but I know it was right. He couldn't walk anymore and you could tell in his face he was ready. Thanks again and I hope to stay around for a while. I miss talking to everyone on here.

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I am sorry for you and am grateful you haD a good, long journey together. You did the right thing. As Deb Crowder said, "We do this for them because we love them that much." Those words are often with me and, with two rapidly approaching 15, I know I will be faced with one of the hardest things I will ever have to do in the not too distant future, but I will take comfort that I can ease them out when they are ready, with love and dignity, as you chose to do.

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My condolences for your painful, very sad loss. It is, as others have said, the hardest thing for us, and the best thing for our beloved companions.

 

When I had Buzz euthanized, because of bone cancer that had spread, I cried for days. And every time I cried, I remembered that he was out of pain, no longer suffering. As the days went by, that realization meant more and more to me.

 

I hope your heart finds peace soon, and I know you miss him dreadfully.

 

Ruth and Gibbs

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