Need thoughts

guatnutOctober 13, 2011

We have been treating our 14 year old lab for diabetes for 2 years now, along with other health problems. He is on lasix, enacard, and thyroid meds along with the insulin shots twice a day. He has a special diet that we follow. My husband and I cannot go anywhere overnight together because one of us has to give him his injections am and pm. Needless to say, this has become very expensive. My husband lost his job and I am a bus driver. Snap is up several times each night and I am the one that has to let him in and out due to my husband being partially deaf. I love Snap but I am exhausted and getting worried about how long I can support him. I don't know what the right thing to do is. I think you know what I'm getting at. Any feedback will be appreciated. Thanks for reading this.

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you know, this is always a very hard decision to make. i recently lost my 10 year old great dane girl. i *could* have kept her going longer but her quality of life was beginning to become compromised as well as her dignity. i agonized over this decision for weeks. i lived my life around this old girl for the last year. oftentimes, i came home to messes in the house and i can't even count the number of times i was shampooing carpets at 1 a.m. i completely understand the "exhaustion" part. ashley was the most special dog in the world to me, always will be. but, the freedom i have now has been a welcome relief to me. nobody could blame you if you decide to lay your old boy to rest. at 14, he has lived and long and happy life with you.

some people will tell you to take into account his quality of life and even if you can say it is good, your own life has to be considered, too. i would rather see someone in your position make this decision instead of sending a dog to a shelter (which i know you aren't even considering but many do). best of luck to you. it's so hard to loose them.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 7:39AM
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I have to agree with nina, but I also want to ask if you're buying all your meds and insulin supplies from the vet? If you want to cut down costs ask for prescriptions from your vet and then check prices at all your local pharmacies....including Costco. Syringes can be purchased inexpensively online.

Here's a forum that discusses prices:

Here is a link that might be useful: A few prices of needles

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 11:56AM
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I had a cat long ago who became incontinent and mean as well. He was a beloved pet, and I was dealing with the incontinence but when he became mean I just couldn't handle it any longer. He was over 20 yrs old and when I went to euthanize him, they suggested we run tests and give him IVs, etc. They actually made me feel worse about my decision.

But in the end I asked the Dr., what is the average lifespan of a domestic cat? I had rescued him from an unhappy life and we had 5 yrs together. He was a great pet, and I felt confident that I did right by him all the way to the end.

That's all you can do. As Ninapearl says, there are some who will say you must always keep his quality of life in mind but you also have family responsibilities. One thing you can do is ask your vet if there are any of his meds you can buy at the pharmacy cheaper, that could possibly reduce some of the financial strain. But in the end, this is your life and you know your situation best. One thing is for sure, people have put pets to sleep for a lot less serious reasons. Good luck with this.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 12:16PM
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Check out Walgreens. Our Akita has glaucoma - has 4 different eyedrops & 2 different pills a day. Quite expensive.
But Walgreens has a pet prescription program. Costs #20/year - but you save 15-20%. It pays for itself with the first prescriptions I fill in the beginning of the year.
We spend much less than at the vet.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 4:36PM
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I also agree with Nina ... I said something similar on another post and there were a lot of comments about keeping the pet alive and going no matter what, they didn't like my response.

I think my quality of life, and yours, is important too.

If you are exhausted and it starts affecting your job as the only earner in the house, then you say good-bye to Snap with all your love. And no regrets.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 12:38PM
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If your dog is well regulated on the insulin, you should not need to let him out in the middle of the night. Is it possible something else medical is going on? Has he been tested for a UTI? Is it old age incontinence? All of these conditions can be managed pharmaceutically. I would start by getting him to the vet for an insulin curve, or do the curve at home if you feel comfortable with it. I can tell by behavior when my old diabetic dog needs an adjustment. The difference with him when well regulated is amazing. I can brush my teeth before taking him for a walk in the morning! When he wasn't well regulated, he would urinate almost as soon as he stood up in the AM.

Agree with others that drugs are very inexpensive at the chains. Sam's club has Humlin N for $25 and 100 syringes for $10.

If the care requirements are affecting your love for the dog, then this is not a good situation. My dogs give me a lot when they are healthy and I consider it my responsibility (I'm talking about ME not you) to care for them when they're old or ill regardless of the cost financially or emotionally. But I do know the tiredness you are feeling and although I have plenty of stress in my life, unemployment isn't one of them. That is a biggie which makes everything else harder for your family.

Please start with a vet visit to find out why he needs to go out often in the night, then work with your vet to determine how to resolve. Sleep alone will help you. If he simply has too much going on medically and his quality of life is poor, then it may be best for you and your dog to let him go.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 9:46AM
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Thank you all for your ideas. I never thought about Costco/Sams Club! I do get his needles on line but I pay $15 per 100...I'm gonna check it out after I'm done posting. Cynthia, he is regulated on the insulin as I do a curve on him myself every month. He is also on Lasix which is a diuretic and contributes to his needing to get up at night. I didn't mention in my earlier post that he is also blind and deaf, and has some dementia which causes him to bark at things when he comes out of a sleep and that causes him to want to go out and investigate. I'm resigned to going on like this. There are worse things to worry about. Snap's quality of life isn't bad. He moves really well and has a great appetite and has lots of enjoyment. Thanks again for your thoughts and great ideas!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 3:07PM
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Great, sounds like you have found some resoution for now.

I have a 20 yr old cat w beginning stages of renal failure so I can relate - I know I dont want to keep her going at all costs, but neither do I want to cut her life too short and I want to know I did right by her. I know the time will come soon enough when I wont have her purring and snuggling in my arms so that alone is giving me some patience and tolerance that I might not otherwise have... (occasional peeing outside the box, could be some dementia going on too...).

BTW, the Feline Diabetes Message Board was an absolute lifesaver a few yrs back when I had a diabetic cat - is there something similar for dogs and their people? An amazing supportive community with loads of practical advice - could not have done it without them.

Anyway enjoy Snap and give him a big old hug for me!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 1:06PM
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