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Sensitive - when is it time?

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Winging It Mum
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#1

Our family includes a Shiba who is now 16yo. About 2 years ago she went blind in one eye & it had to be removed & she was the worst patient ever. Since then she has slowly lost her sight in her remaining eye & hearing but still managed ok.

Until recently, her sense of smell I think has gone, she's more disorientated whereas before she could get around quite well. The last couple of weeks she's gotten distressed quite a bit but we can't find a reason for it and if she seems lost & you pick her up & put her back in her basket, she starts to tremble.

The thing is she's eating well & the rest of her physically is in good condition but we're starting to question how much of life she is enjoying. When she finally realises it is you, she will respond to being patted & you get a little tail wag. The rest of the time, she just doesn't seem very happy. Pets in the past we've known when it was time & it's been the pet that's determined when it was time for us to make the decision to say good-bye.

Any advice, it is starting to feel like it's her time but I don't know. It's hard to let go and if she was obviously in pain we'd know for sure. It's more about whether she's happy, it doesn't feel like it.
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Chicken Pie
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#2

Such a difficult situation for you OP have you had a vet check and discussed her changes to see see what they say?
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Bornagirl
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#3

I'm sorry, that is always such a difficult time. Yes, you do usually reach a point where you definitely know the kindest thing is to let them go and it's still hard and you find you're arguing with yourself about whether it's 'too soon', so to be in your shoes is doubly hard.

As per pp, I'd be making a vet appointment specifically to discuss this - take along a list of the things you've mentioned.

All the best. x
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Karlee99
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#4

Oh it is such an awful decision to make. When we had to put our dog to sleep it was a no-brainer, he was seriously unwell. Our current dog is getting on in years and losing his sight due to a growth, but otherwise is quite well and I am dreading making the decision when it comes.

BAG's advice of discussing your worries with the vet is sound.

Thinking of you x
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ANNODAM
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#5

I love Shibas!
I own a Basenji (very similar to the Shiba Inu with less fur) he too will be 16 in July.
If she is eating & not in pain, I'd leave her be.
When my other Basenji left us, he went off his food for a few days & he passed away on his own.

You'll know.



ETA: Our Basenji has also lost his hearing & is slowly going blind due to cataracts, but he woofs his food down & still sometimes walks with me for an hour, although I hardly take him anymore for such long walks as he is getting on.
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Kadoodle
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#6

Thinking of you. Time or not, it’s never an easy decision to have to make.
Plant a flower, feed a bee.
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Winging It Mum
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#7

Thanks all. We will discuss with her vet as well. It's that hard part of knowing what's in your head versus what your heart wants,
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Mooguru
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#8

We put our cat to sleep at a similar point in time, everything you describe could have been her really.

Two things happened that really triggered it for us. 1. She got disorientated on the bed she slept on all the time and tried to jump off but jumped into the wall and ended up wedged between the bed frame, wall and mattress. Luckily someone was right there to help her immediately but we couldn't guarantee someone would always realise immediately. (She'd slept in that same spot for over 20 years, she wasn't open to changing to a new bed).
2. She would yowl for food and water whilst standing maybe 20cm away from her full food and water bowls and was completely unable to find them without help.
Basically she was happy and content whilst lying in her spot but anything beyond that was traumatic. It reached a point where it was very much the right decision for us.

It's an awful decision to make. I hope you figure out what's right for all of you.
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