03-24-2017, 09:02 AM
Join Date: Apr 2015
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I've dealt with DM ( degenerative myelopathy ) in one of my past dogs, sounds somewhat similar to your dog's situation. I'm sure you are making every moment of your dog's daily life as fulfilling as possible. I tried most every option available, some of which you cited. I'll never know if they helped to slow the progression of the disorder but I suppose it didn't hurt anything as I knew there was no cure. Some people choose to extend the dog's life by using slings and dog "wheelchairs" but it wasn't my choice as my dog's life was too active for such a remedy. The upside was, there is no pain for the dog with this disorder but the lack of motor skills was taking its toll through frustration on the dog's behalf, it rips one apart watching such a noble creature struggle as they systematically lose the control of their lower hinds as it spreads forward.
Your vet by saying " the prognosis is not good." is being honest and helping you accept the inescapable.
I decided the best mindset I needed to have in making decisions going forward was one of complete selflessness and this on its own was difficult for me as I so wanted my dog to be by my side for longer than the 8 years she had already but I had to table my wants and think of my dog's best interests. It killed me that I could not do better for my girl, it made me feel inadequate as if my dog was looking to me and asking " C'mon boss, help me out here like you always have" and I did, I liberated her from her hardship. It was the toughest of all the times I've had to say my last goodbyes to all the dogs I have had over my life.
It's hard to mask sadness and chances are your dog will know something isn't 'right" with you as you wrestle with this difficult time period. So, try your best to keep a smile when it is so tough, your dog deserves it.
I'm not sure about progressive neuropathy as compared to DM but DM doesn't cease, it continues to paralyze the dog systematically over time.
Let your conscience be your guide as you weigh your choices and remember it is you who knows your dog best therefore nobody can stand in judgment of your decision. This decision you will have to eventually make is the last greatest gesture/responsibility we as humans will make for our loyal companions who have served us so well over their life. And in my case, even though I didn't believe I could possibly care more for future dogs than I did for this girl, she lives on in all her successors and taught me how every day with your dog whether it is glorious or puts you at your wits end, is to be cherished and respected.
I wish you strength and clarity of mind as you deal with this tough inevitable phase, enjoy every moment you have with him.