Ask the Veterinarian/Bailey

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Question
Our dog Bailey was just a little older then 12 years old, male, white shepherd. Since he was about 1 hes been having bad hip problems and has had 3 or 4 surgeries. They helped but has been on pain medications his whole life. The past few years, he has gotten worse, cant get exercise because he can barley walk, he was 165 pounds at his heaviest. My parents did everything to help him, but the past year he has been worse, does not do stairs, so didn`t really go outside, started pooping in the house a couple months ago, but my dad was still not ready to let go, a couple weeks ago, started peeing in the house and well Saturday chewed up a wall, which Bailey has never EVER done, and dont know why he did. Went to go see him Sunday, 2 say goodbye, as 2 he was being put down on Monday. He did not look the same, would not move from his spot, dad tried helping him up, but he would just fall right back down, refused treats, which he never does! He loves his treats. Would take water, but no food at all. It was hard leaving him, did not want to say goodbye. Through the night, he puked up some black fluid, not sure why and Monday at 1:30pm before the vet could get there, he just passed away. He was gone and I am heartbroken! We all are, but my dad and I are taking it the worst. Did he die of old age? Was he ready to go or was there anything else we could have done to keep our boy alive?

Answer
There was nothing you could have done. At his age, and after being on pain medication his whole life, he was ready to go. The vomiting was probably just the body purging itself but he was ready.

His liver might have also been affected by the pain meds after so many years but at least he was pain free most of the time.

You did the best you could. 12 years old is old age for a Shepherd so he lived a full life.
And while you miss him terribly, he wasn't cheated out of any of his life-span.

The fact that he had stopped eating was a sure sign that he was ready to go. That is the way they tell you that they are ready.

It's very, very hard to let go, but now Baily is pain free and running and playing somewhere. Isn't that a beautiful thought? I hope that brings some comfort in this trying time.
My condolences to your family.

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT

Expertise

PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!

Experience

I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

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Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

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http://askthevettech.com/

Education/Credentials
Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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