I Feel Terrible

Alright, so I’ve made mention at least once that we have 3 dogs. Yesterday, at 7 PM, we put the Golden Retriever down. She was just a couple months shy of 14, though I wonder if we didn’t put her down how much longer she would still be around. I have some serious doubts; some of the things that she was doing could be attributed to something else with which she could have made a recovery. So, I suppose I’ll give a run-down and see what you guys think.

Friday, during the day or so, she was being hovered around by flies, and that night I fed her and didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. Saturday morning she went outside and once she’s out there you really have to work to get her to come back in, but there’s plenty of shading and there’s always a full container of water for the dogs. So, later on she came in and I noticed that she ate pretty much nothing out of her bowl of food, and I also noticed that she was really smelly. Normally she was smelly because normally she would pee and not move, and normally she’d get a a bi-weekly bath and a couple hosing downs a week. Whatever, my brother topped off her bowl and we didn’t think anything of anything. Sunday morning she went outside for the day again, and we noticed that she’s yet again not eating anything out of her bowl. So, later on it’s getting a little bit warm so we have her come in, when she gets to where she sleeps I noticed that she looked like she defecated on herself. And that really bad smell from the day before? That turned into something that was unbearable. So, back outside she went and she was having a problem getting up the steps, but she’s had that problem for the longest time and it’d come and go; sometimes she would run like nothing else, sometimes she would need to work at it. So, we were giving her a bath and my brothers were cutting off some matted fur when they came upon pockets of maggots. So, they cut off all they could, and as it was getting kind of dark, she came back in (walking about like a drunken sailor) and there was no more unbearable smell. Miracle of miracles. I again topped off her bowl (I should note that normally she’d eat everything within a minute), and noticed that she was swinging around and licking where her fur was cut off along with biting some more fur off, and I figured that she had more maggots and we’d get to it on Monday, so I let her be until the next morning. Monday came around and I looked in on her and the smell was back, the bowl was still full, the smell was back, and she was having incontinence problems whilst walking around, but she wanted to go outside, so out she went. Fast forward a couple hours and she’s back in the house, in her normal spot, swinging around occasionally to pull out some more clumps of hair. So, it was time to take her out and try to cut some more fur to maybe get rid of these things.

Except, then the decision was made to put her down instead based on her not eating, the smell coming back, her inability to move, her incontinence issues, and the other dogs avoiding her.

Now, from what I’ve read these could, more or less, be explained by a stroke, and therein forms my doubt.

Sure, she was a royal pain in the ass from time to time, but, she was here for 13 years, and she was our pain in the ass dog. She was also one the the friendliest/most loyal/smartest (except for when she continually peed herself) dogs I’ve ever known.

  1. #1 by Christa on July 12, 2011 - 12:55 PM

    I’ve never lost a dog but I cried my eyes out when one of my parakeets died. It’s really hard to lose a pet. Even if your dog had a stroke, she was old, and strokes are not that easy to recover from. There might have been something else wrong, and you might have been able to do something to prolong her life for a couple of years, but then again, you might have just prolonged suffering for her. There isn’t a right answer here, as you’ll never know just what was wrong, but it does sound like she was sick and probably had some kind of infection at the very least. I’m very sorry for your loss and wish I knew how to make things easier for you.

    • #2 by Phillip on July 12, 2011 - 3:27 PM

      I’ve been hearing that the average life span is from 10-12 years, so almost 14 years is a bit longer than most. There was always something wrong with her; every other dog I can remember having would be able to jump into a truck or on a bed without a problem, this one couldn’t, so she did get rides occasionally, but we had to help her up. And whenever she got excited or scared she’d just let her bladder go..sometimes on people’s seats, sometimes on their feet.

      I also have no doubt that she had an infection or else the maggots/flies wouldn’t have been attracted to her. That and the other dogs would have gone near her but they actively stayed as far away as they could. I didn’t see anything showing that she was suffering, but that doesn’t mean that she wasn’t. I would like to think that had we corrected whatever was wrong, or at least alleviated it, she’d maybe have a couple days more, so then putting her down is, at least in my mind, more justifiable.

      But yeah, I agree, it’s really hard to lose a pet. This is the 3rd dog in my life lifespan that I’ve lost, but the 2nd that I remember.

  2. #3 by Joshua on July 13, 2011 - 12:59 PM

    Huggles @ the Phil.

    • #4 by Phillip on July 13, 2011 - 8:23 PM

      Thanks Josh, that really means a lot.

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