Dog Dying? Need to make him comfortable.
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Thread: Dog Dying? Need to make him comfortable.

  1. #1
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    Dog Dying? Need to make him comfortable.

    I grew up with a couple of Golden Retriever - Chow - Kuvasz brothers. GREAT DOGS. They are 16 now and one of them is doing great but the other is showing his age much more.

    About 6 months ago I was visiting home and this dog got really sick and miserable. We were all sure he was dying and of course it was heart-breaking, not so much to know that he was dying but to see him so clearly suffering and miserable. We took him to the vet and they did blood work on him and didn't find a problem and we ended up with a prescription for pain killers and also vitamins and glucosamine. Craziest thing though, HE GOT BETTER! He was back to his old self very quickly. My parents have been giving him and his brother vitamins and glucosamine every day since.

    In the last 48 hours though, my parents say he is back in that same condition. We all understand he is old and are very thankful that he has lived so long and we know the end can't be far off, but I desperately don't want him to suffer through the end of his days. My parents have some of the painkillers leftover but he won't take them, ever hidden in cream cheese or fried shrimp. They are going to try cooked hamburger meet tomorrow.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to help him feel better? Maybe how to get him to take the pain killer?

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  3. #2
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    Re: Dog Dying? Need to make him comfortable.

    wow.. its really nice to hear that you love the dogs so much, but sometimes... you just have to do what you have to do, :-(


    the BEST thing I can say, in my opinion ,is to NOT let him suffer.. I take care of my baby beagle like I would (if I had) a baby human.. Why let him suffer, cause so much stress to him and everyone around him?

    Put him to sleep, let him rest with dignity.. I understand your position, but as humans we tend to try to 'cheat death' and it's not right..

  4. #3
    Senior Member Mdawn's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Dying? Need to make him comfortable.

    I would take him to the vet to see what they have to say. If it is really bad, then maybe you need to consider having the dog put to sleep. A dog that has been a loyal, loving companion for 16 years deserves to go with dignity, not pain.

    Last year my Golden Retriever died after having multiple seizures back to back. I am telling you, not to add to your pain but it is something that has to be understood; when they go on their own, most of the time, it isn't easy and it isn't quick. At least, it our case it wasn't. We called the vet to have him PTS but our dog died while the vet was in route to our house. It is something that I will regret for the rest of my life because I didn't have him put to sleep before he reached that point. If the dog is in pain and there is nothing to be done, please consider having him put to sleep and let him go as he deserves.

    You have my condolences.
    Last edited by Mdawn; 12-10-2007 at 09:29 PM.

    The Dogs: Eddie the Lab & Uallis the Mastiff
    The Cats: Max, Gus & Lexi

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    Re: Dog Dying? Need to make him comfortable.

    The last time he got sick in the exact same way, we were discussing putting him to sleep, and then he got better. We were really astonished. A 16 year old dog getting extremely sick and then going all the way back to ripping around in the yard again and going on long walks? Putting him to sleep when he still has that ahead of him would be a crime. His symptoms are exactly the same. Miserable face, confusion, repetitive water drinking, inability to lay down, sit, or stand comfortably. It's heart breaking to watch, but last time he came completely out of it. We can't cut his life short if he still has healthy time left, and I think there's a very good chance that he does.

    What I'd like to do is make him comfortable. When he was sick before and we got him to take the Rymadol pain killer, he was better than new. Sparkle in his eyes, galloping around and all that. I know that if we could get him to take the pill now he would feel so much better. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to get him to take that pill? What do vets do when a dog is too sick to eat and needs to take a pill?

  6. #5
    Member Harmonybear's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Dying? Need to make him comfortable.

    Do you have a food syringe? Luna refused to take food for a while, so we had to force feed her. You could grind up the pill, mix it with something soft like really wet dog food (add some water to it if necessary), and then squirt it down the back of his throat. I felt awful doing that to Luna, but if it's the only way she'll eat (or take meds)....

    I really hope he gets better again!

  7. #6
    Senior Member Lorina's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Dying? Need to make him comfortable.

    Has he been to the vet for a checkup & bloodwork recently?

    Rimadyl is a very effective anti-inflamatory, but dogs should have periodic bloodwork while on it to make sure it's not affecting them in negative ways (ie, kidney function, which could cause confusion, excessive thirst, anorexia, etc.).

    It's fairly easy to give a dog a pill. You just open their mouth, chuck it in, and hold their mouth shut while rubbing their throat until they swallow. But Rimadyl should not be given on an empty stomach.

    Check with your vet if there's any other pain relievers you can give. Or perhaps you can take him to the vet to get an injection of pain reliever.

  8. #7
    Senior Member poohlp's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Dying? Need to make him comfortable.

    My dog is the hardest dog in the world to give pain pills to. Stuff works once or twice, then he breaks the code and the gig is up.

    One thing I found that worked was to crush up the pill and them mix it into some ice cream. Actually, what worked better was to take the whole pill and make a little ice cream ball around it (when Percy wasn't watching), then hand feed the ball to Percy. Because he doesn't chew it, he never figured out that the pill was in there. It was a life saver when Percy had to have a tooth taken out.

    Good luck. Maybe your dog has severe arthritis? What did the vet tell you last time. Does it seem to be related to a certain time of year/weather. I know it can be really hard trying to determine if the pain is temporary or part of a larger issue when dogs get to that age.

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    Re: Dog Dying? Need to make him comfortable.

    Harmonybear,

    A food syringe sounds like a good idea. I hate to put him through that too but I think even one dose would make so much difference.

    Lorina,

    He probably hasn't been to the vet in 6 months. He has only taken Rimadyl maybe 5 times the last time he was sick. We stopped giving it to him as soon as he got better. I know that when his blood work came back his kidneys were fine. The other dog actually tested positive for kidney trouble although he is doing just fine.

    Holding his mouth shut with a pill in there doesn't sound too fun, but I guess that's another option. An injection is another possibility.

    poohlp,

    Yeah, once they catch on it's all over. Seeing him go through the change it's clearly something other than arthritis getting worse. The poor guy is sick somehow.

    EVERYONE,

    Would you crush the pill up and use a food syringe, put the pill in his mouth and hold his mouth shut, or take him in for an injection?

    GREAT NEWS!

    I talked to my parents and the pooch looks better today. He took the pill and generally seems a bit better. I'm fairly confident that he'll come out of it this time.

    Something they just told me is that on Sunday he was throwing up a yellow foam. It kind of sounds like he got into some bad food of some sort but we don't know how that could have happened. I should have mentioned before that the last time he got sick like this the probable cause was some Mexican food we fed him. Up until that we had always fed them pretty much any table scraps we had, but we don't do that anymore at all.
    Last edited by ggking7; 12-11-2007 at 12:16 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  10. #9
    Senior Member Mdawn's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Dying? Need to make him comfortable.

    I'm glad that your dog is improving.

    I'm sorry if you thought that the suggestion of having him put to sleep was premature. I was under the impression from your first post that your dog was close to death and only had a matter of days or hours left. Sorry.

    My Golden Retriever was prescribed Rimadyl for ruptured ligaments in both of his back legs. It was extremely effective with him. I'd give it to him and he would *want* to romp around like a young pup again soon after. Of course, we wouldn't let him romp around because he'd aggravate the injuries. But he sure acted like he felt good while taking them. My Basset Hound mix was also given Rimadyl for arthritis pain before he died. Has the vet mentioned that while on the medication that he'll need blood work done? I think that we had to take our Golden Retriever in every 6 months? I think that is what it was.

    The Dogs: Eddie the Lab & Uallis the Mastiff
    The Cats: Max, Gus & Lexi

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    Re: Dog Dying? Need to make him comfortable.

    More good news, the pooch got up out of the kennel today and was on the porch when my Mom got home. She says he looks much improved. I'll think he'll come out of this one just fine. I wonder if he ate something bad somewhere along the line.

    Mdawn,

    No need to apologize, but it was impossible for any of us to tell if he was close to death or just sick. That's why I wanted to get that pill down him. Then he's comfortable no matter what.

    I know what you mean by romping around with Rimadyl. He did exactly that last time. As for the blood work, he isn't taking Rimadyl on a regular basis. He took it 5 times 6 months ago and once last night. The glucosamine pills seemed to help alot with arthritis.

  12. #11
    Junior Member Ziva329's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Dying? Need to make him comfortable.

    one thing that we do with our dog when she needs to take a pill, is put her food in a bowl infront of her, and then give her 2-3 pieces of kibble and then wait till she starts salivating a bit (which for her is within seconds lol...) and then we open her mouth all the way mouth up so that he head is straight up, drop the pill into the back of her throat and then hold her mouth shut and rub her throat gently. Then we let her have her food and she hasnt had a problem with it since. I know that it can seem hard to do that to your dog, but if its for their best comfort then its what needs to be done.

    Another thing for the thirstiness. If they are making themselves sick on drinking so much water, try feeding them ice cubes instead. I know our dog loves ice cubes, and it keeps her from pounding down the water like she normally does. I think she does it because he mouth is dry, so crunching on the ice cube slowly melts in her mouth helps better then drinking a gallon of water at a time.

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