• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • jordan barton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Leigh Tate
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Greg Martin
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • Nancy Reading
  • Mike Barkley
  • Christopher Shepherd

Advice on what to do with LGD

 
pollinator
Posts: 2674
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
445
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Our Great Pyr/Anatolian was limping so we took him to the vet. They believe he's tore his MCL. It will likely require surgery. So here's the thing, we've gone from 4 dogs to 2. Brewster- the injured dog, and our 13 year old great pyr Jiki. We dug a hole for Jiki in case he dies this winter. He's old, it's inevitable. And now here we are with Brewster and I guess I'm wondering if we should put him down. His hips, they aren't good. So, we can do surgery and brace but he's already having issues standing up. How long does he have with those hips? Is it worth spending mucho bucks? I just can't tell. But if we don't, and put him down, we'll have 0 dogs and I've never, ever lived without a dog and I can't even contemplate it.
 
master gardener
Posts: 3626
Location: southern Illinois.
1052
goat cat dog chicken composting toilet food preservation pig bee solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You already know it’s a tough decision.   I paid out for the surgery on a young Australian Shepherd.   The recovery AFTER the surgery was long and painful. That said, he is in great shape now and running around the countryside at full tilt. But, she was 2 when he had the surgery, and I had a well paying job  If he had been over 10  and with other problems, I doubt if the surgery would have been the same.
 
gardener
Posts: 503
Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
328
forest garden fungi foraging trees urban chicken medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Elle, I'm sorry to hear your pup is hurting. Dogs are super special beings and just make life better, so I see why this would be hard for you. I do imagine there are some things you can do to help the pain and mobility difficulties. I have seen rest, massage and cbd oil do truly amazing things for dogs with hip problems. I have had roommates and friends whose dogs had hip issues and I would give them cbd oil (with their person's permission) and massage and the dogs would always seek me out and ask for those things in their way.
Here are some ideas for massage and acupressure you can do yourself for hip issues, along with some other ideas for natural support:

I know this is for the ACL, but some good things to consider and that might still apply in this video:  

 
pollinator
Posts: 1866
Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
473
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've been through similar loss this year, with another one on the horizon. It's hard; but that's what we signed on for.

Ask yourself the tough question: what is best for the animal? Is there a reasonable prospect of a good quality of life?
 
John F Dean
master gardener
Posts: 3626
Location: southern Illinois.
1052
goat cat dog chicken composting toilet food preservation pig bee solar wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Douglas,
Indeed. That is the gold standard ...  what will be the quality of life for the dog.
 
pollinator
Posts: 376
Location: SE Indiana
201
dog fish trees writing
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

elle sagenev wrote:Our Great Pyr/Anatolian was limping so we took him to the vet. They believe he's tore his MCL. It will likely require surgery. So here's the thing, we've gone from 4 dogs to 2. Brewster- the injured dog, and our 13 year old great pyr Jiki. We dug a hole for Jiki in case he dies this winter. He's old, it's inevitable. And now here we are with Brewster and I guess I'm wondering if we should put him down. His hips, they aren't good. So, we can do surgery and brace but he's already having issues standing up. How long does he have with those hips? Is it worth spending mucho bucks? I just can't tell. But if we don't, and put him down, we'll have 0 dogs and I've never, ever lived without a dog and I can't even contemplate it.



I've been without a dog for almost three years now and it is tough for sure. Form me it's not like just going out and getting a new toaster.
On the hip issues I had a large dog for a long time. When he as maybe 6 or 7 he started having hip issues, it got to where sometimes I would have to help him up.

The vet said to try aspirin but that just made him sick, he would just set around slobbering and looking miserable. I take Aleve for problems I have sometimes and even though it is supposed tp be very bad for dogs, I gave him one. Almost immediately it was like he was cured and he stayed that way for a month. When he started hurting again I gave him just half of a pill and it had the same effect.

I told the vet what I was doing and that I would rather him be happy and pain free for a few months than live a long time miserable. The vet agreed and said he thought it would take a long time for small doses to hurt such a big dog. Over time I reduced the dosage to just a crumb about every two weeks and he lived happily for another 7 years or so. He weighed almost 150 pounds and that little crumb, maybe about a 1/10 of a pill made him act like a puppy again.
 
gardener
Posts: 2324
Location: South of Capricorn
982
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm sorry to hear it, Elle. You've had a lot of animal drama and heaven knows don't need any more.
My Nacho has hip dysplasia and we only found out about it when he was 10 and suddenly hurting. He was a mutt off the street and it never even crossed my mind that he might have it. Even without the advanced age, he had a bad time with anesthesia a few years ago when he had a tumor removed and the vet has said he wouldn't anesthetize him again. He is taking pain meds now (and will for the rest of his life) and we've cut our long walks back, added some things to his diet, and he's almost back to normal. But when the pain meds don't work anymore I'm going to let him go, I'm not going to let this boy suffer.
That said- MCL surgery is a lot easier than hip dysplasia surgery. Then again, it seems like your dog has both, maybe. The dog thing is really hard.

(to ride off the post above: he takes (human) Lyrica. On cold days or when he's limping the doc has told me to supplement with an OTC that is not available in the US, I don't think (dypirone?). We've had to adjust the meds a few times but now it's easy sailing, aside from the fact I need to give him a pill twice a day and there is no more leaving him if I need to go somewhere overnight.)
 
elle sagenev
pollinator
Posts: 2674
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
445
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So Brewster is 4. We got him when he was 2. He wasn't bad but obviously he had hip issues. We give him vitamins and he does ok but with the limp back leg it's making it very hard for him to get up and around. So, I guess I am a bad person because at age 4 he'd be worth 2k to keep but with the bad hips how long does he actually have? I'm kind of doing a cost-benefit analysis. Plus knowing nothing about torn ACL's I don't know how this goes, how hard it will be on him, how much the surgery and limping will hurt his hips and make him worse.
 
Tereza Okava
gardener
Posts: 2324
Location: South of Capricorn
982
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't think it makes you a bad person- I think it really depends on the circumstances, I know people who spent $$$$$$ to keep a dog alive way past when it was clearly suffering too much, I don't think spending necessarily reflects your love or your quality as a pet owner.

A relevant question might be- after the MCL surgery, would you be able to keep him on rest for however many months it would be? Realistically? Because not healing right means you wasted money AND he`s still in pain. Another might be for the vet: can you do an x-ray and determine whether the surgery is a realistic option considering hips?
 
elle sagenev
pollinator
Posts: 2674
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
445
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tereza Okava wrote:I don't think it makes you a bad person- I think it really depends on the circumstances, I know people who spent $$$$$$ to keep a dog alive way past when it was clearly suffering too much, I don't think spending necessarily reflects your love or your quality as a pet owner.

A relevant question might be- after the MCL surgery, would you be able to keep him on rest for however many months it would be? Realistically? Because not healing right means you wasted money AND he`s still in pain. Another might be for the vet: can you do an x-ray and determine whether the surgery is a realistic option considering hips?



Yeah. This is stuff we have to consider. He has anti-inflammatories and a brace right now. We'll see how it goes. He's not the kind of dog that likes being inside. We've been keeping him in and he looks tormented. So we'll see.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
pollinator
Posts: 1866
Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
473
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Agreed, you and your vet need to look at the whole picture.

The other question to explore is whether medication might be enough for now, giving you time to assess the big picture. We have had many dogs on long-term meds. Meloxicam is doggie aspirin (anti-inflammatory) that their stomachs can tolerate. Gabapentin is a very inexpensive long-term pain medication. Both are available as generic meds.

If you decide to try medication first, you can get a prescription from the vet and shop around for best prices at pharmacies. Your vet's professional practice and their in-house pharmacy are separate entities; you don't have to buy there and pay their very high prices.

[Edit: oops, we posted simultaneously.]
 
pollinator
Posts: 836
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
298
kids dog home care duck rabbit urban books building writing ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
At the age of 4 the dog may be considered middle aged or even an almost senior depending on how large he is.

Breed, size and weight are a more true indication of "age" and the choice of surgery or meds.

You know your financial max. If you really trust your vet, make it simple; ask the vet what is the best option for the amount of money you can afford to invest.

Knowing the breed, weight/size would make it easier for us to make more useful suggestions.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2596
Location: Bendigo , Australia
169
dog gear plumbing earthworks bee building homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How long do the average Guard dogs live?
I wo=uld have thought 4 yo was young, and maybe they go to 15yo?
 
elle sagenev
pollinator
Posts: 2674
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
445
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

John C Daley wrote:How long do the average Guard dogs live?
I wo=uld have thought 4 yo was young, and maybe they go to 15yo?



7 is the average age. We currently have a 13 year old pyr as well though.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2686
Location: 4b
748
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Everything I have seen says average lifespan of Pyrs is 10-12 years.  LGDs I have had and been exposed to generally fall into that range.  They are usually considering reaching maturity at 3 years, although they will be full grown before then.

It's a terrible decision to have to make.  I've had to make it a number of times.  My "rule of thumb", if I have one, is, am I keeping the dog alive for my sake, or the dog's?  If the dog is happy and still has decent quality of life, I do whatever I have to do.  That has meant spending thousands on surgeries.  On the other hand, if the dog is no happy and it's quality of life isn't good, then it's time, no matter how much it hurts.

I would have that talk with your vet, if you trust him/her, get their take on the outcome and recovery, and use that to make my decision.  Best to you no matter what you decide.
 
Paddy spent all of his days in the O'Furniture back yard with this tiny ad:
Learn Permaculture through a little hard work
https://wheaton-labs.com/bootcamp
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic