CCD or “Doggy Dementia” quality of life opinions please - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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CCD or “Doggy Dementia” quality of life opinions please

We have an almost 13 year old (we think, she was a rescue) chihuahua/schnauzer mix. She has had canine cognitive dysfunction (aka doggy dementia) for the past 4 years. In the beginning it wasn’t so bad, she just seemed a little confused and sometimes forgot her potty training but was still mostly herself. It has progressed very slowly up until last year when our dachshund passed away. Then it started to progress rapidly. Now she pees inside at least 10 times a day, even if we had just taken her out within the past 30 minutes. She is constantly running into things, always seems startled by normal things like doors or people who live in the house, she hasn’t eaten more than half her food in months, all she ever does is sleep. And now... the real issue that has prompted me to consider her quality of life is that she no longer knows who I am. If we are in the yard sometimes she sees me and tries to run away. She’s no longer ever excited when I get home from work, she doesn’t ever want to spend time with me anymore. She acts this way with everyone now, but before about 6 months ago she was always the kinda dog that stuck to me like glue and I was the only person she ever liked to be around. Now it’s as if I don’t exist to her. I never see her excited about anything anymore except the occasional French fry. She’s always losing her balance and getting confused with her normal home and routine. If she’s not sleeping she pacing and getting stuck in corners.

I’ve read articles about this and everyone says they’ve euthanized their dogs who didn’t even seem as bad off as mine does... I feel like we may have already waited too long. On the other hand it’s a very difficult decision to make. She doesn’t have any other health problems besides her brain decline. My fear is that we are going to wait too long and she’s suffering the whole time. Believe me this was my first dog who wasn’t a family dog, she’s been my baby since I got her and I love her more than any dog I’ve ever had. I don’t want to make this kind of decision with her. I want to be selfish and keep her forever. But I don’t want her to be miserable because of my selfishness. It breaks my heart but she no longer seems to have any joy in her life.

I’d love you guys’s opinions on the matter. I’m going to set a vet appointment to get his opinion as well but I need to hear from others. I feel so guilty even thinking about it but I also feel terrible that she’s unhappy. I really don’t know what to do, what would you do if this was your baby?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 06:31 PM
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monsteratlas - you are clearly a loving and kind, animal person...truly, so very sorry.

You don't need a 2nd opinion, from your Vet.
- her time has unfortunately expired, 6 months know this, for a fact
- when her dachshund buddy, went to heaven
- her quality of life, is behind her now / the list of negative changes, is as long as a logging chain
- do the compassionate thing now

Its HARD, we all know this and feel your Pain.
- I slept on a makeshift bed, in the living room for 4 months, with old former Amy
- because she couldn't manage the stairs to the 2nd floor or jump up on the master bed (any longer)
- her brain was human smart, and we shared one pillow / face to face, nightly...special-sweet moments, in time
- dad would whisper puppy stories, into her ears / and thanks her every night, for her unconditional family love
- I always softly told her, "don't die in your sleep, on me / proper goodbyes needed"
- she hung on palatalized from 3-4 strokes, after midnight / still alive when Vet office opened
- enough time to get our adult son over / and have loved ones around her
- she also knew, she went out...with much family Love, dignity and respect
- but quality of Life, sadly became zero / in the blink of an eye
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------------Kelly & (Amy - RIP @ 11.7 y/o)

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 06:41 PM
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With seemingly no hope of recovery and facing declining physical and mental heath, your girl needs your help. I agree with Beaumont. It is the kind and compassionate thing to do.

I am so sorry for your predicament.

Portland OR
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 06:59 PM
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I have been fortunate enough to not have to make the end of life decision for any of my dogs--their minds were bright and clear to the very end but I did have to make those decisions for a couple of my very old cats--there is a similar dementia in felines With those two girls the same thing happened--although they knew me, friends that came over and in the case of one, my husband--in their last year of life often found themselves in corners and could not find their way out. Have a geriatric cat wailing in another room that she's lost and she can't find ANYONE--is horrid but that, at least had a solution--I went and got her and put her on the end of the bed where she heaved a sigh of relief and curled up and went to sleep. That cat died naturally (sort of) at 22. The other cat who was 21 suddenly went blind--and started falling off things--the bed, the couch, the low windowsill in the living room and the day she fell off the bed she and I made that last trip to the vet--at that point I felt she was in very real danger of hurting herself.

But I have had the sad task of making final decisions for other cats and many dogs over the years. I let a cat stay too long--for my sake--surely not for hers.

It cured me--sometimes, the hardest but kindest thing you'll ever have to do with these pets that come to share our lives, is to let them go.

You'll make the right decision...
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 07:16 PM
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I've always heard that one way to make a decision like this is to write up a list of 3 or 4 things your dog likes to do above all else.....things like snuggle with you, eat a favorite snack, play a certain game, sit in the sun.....whatever. When your dog can longer do and enjoy those things, it is time.

It is a very hard decision to make. I do believe that it is better to let them go a day too soon than a day too late. Your know your girl better than anyone else what your intuition tells you.
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