Author Topic: Advice on Elderly Cocker  (Read 363 times)

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Offline AndyB

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Advice on Elderly Cocker
« on: November 19, 2018, 10:06:06 PM »
My beloved Jazz is now thirteen and a half.  He now has many health issues.  He was diagnosed with diabetes 18 months ago and I have injected him with insulin twice a day since then.  This resulted in him losing his eyesight around 6 months later, which is quite usual in diabetic dogs.  He has coped reasonably well with the loss of his sight as I live in a bungalow so there are no stairs.  Early this year he was diagnosed with Exorcrine Pancreatic Insufficiency which caused him to lose a lot of weight.  He has regained some weight which my vet is very pleased about as it is difficult for dogs to put on weight with this condition.  In the last month he developed a limp on his back left leg and a cough.  The vet has diagnosed a fractured cruciate ligament and he obviously cannot have surgery at his age.  The cough is a result of a heart condition, (I was aware he had a heart murmour).  He is now on a lot of medication and it is very difficult to get him to eat reasonable amounts of food.  In the last two weeks Jazz has stopped wagging his tail, which as you all know is massive for a cocker.  I only had to touch him and his bum would be wagging furiously.  He has started bumping into things in the house and is not coping with his sight loss as well as he was.  I have to carry him outside for toileting, sometimes he will find his way back to the door and sometimes I have to go outside and pick him up.  In the last three weeks I have spent nearly £300 on vets bills as Jazz is no longer insured.  The premiums went up to £95 per month at the beginning of this year and I decided it was no longer cost effective as the insurance no longer covered his insulin.   He seems very mithered and his head hangs a lot of the time.  I am beginning to question his quality of life.  He sleeps most of the time.  In the evening he lies on the sofa on his fleece at the side of me and is obviously comforted by my presence.  He now hates me trying to groom him, albeit very gently, and will try to bite me.  He has never been an aggressive dog and has always allowed me to groom him on his table in the shed. 

I am finding it very difficult to decide what is best for Jazz.  I love him dearly and he has brought me such joy, we do not have any children.  All my previous cockers have been relatively well up until just a few weeks before they died and it has been very apparent when that dreadful decision had to be made.  Also I lost my husband 3 years ago and we always had each other to come to the right decision and be there for each other afterwards.  Jazz's decline has been very gradual and I am beginning to analyse how much quality of life he now has. 

Does anyone have any advice or experience of a similar situation.

Offline Pearly

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Re: Advice on Elderly Cocker
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2018, 10:17:26 PM »
Andrea, I am truly saddened to read your update on Jazz.  Heís such a character and I know a very big part of your life, filling part of the void left by your husband.  Only you will know when the time is right.  If Jazz has lost his sparkle and you are so concerned for him that the thought is there, perhaps the time has come.  Would a day less in his life make such a difference now - or a day more bring more discomfort, distress and possibly pain?  If heís not in the latter category yet you have your answer.  It is the greatest gift we can give to our loyal companions.  My thoughts are with you xx

Offline PennyB

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Re: Advice on Elderly Cocker
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2018, 11:18:47 AM »
All I can say is a day at a time and sometimes through trial and error you hopefully work things out - Lady got more irritable with stuff done to her in her last year too and yes I had days when I asked myself is this it but I worked very closely with my vets (going more often than I used to) as they were useful guides too. Take care xx
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Four Paws Animal Rescue (South Wales)

Cockers are just hooligans in cute clothing!

Offline ejp

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Re: Advice on Elderly Cocker
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2018, 07:31:03 PM »
Max was our first dog, and with hindsight we should have had him pts a day sooner than we did.  When Bertie reached that stage we were more sure and made the decision quicker. Trust your instincts, you know Jazz better than anyone and love him so much. I really feel for you, it is not easy when you have no sounding board. Sending you both hugs. Xx

Offline AndyB

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Re: Advice on Elderly Cocker
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2018, 07:37:10 PM »
Thank you for your replies and kind words.  Jazz has eaten much better today and been a little more perky.  It's difficult getting 7 tablets into him when he is not eating.  At one time I could put the tablet in his mouth and stroke his neck until he swallowed it but he wouldn't stand for that now.  I think, as you say Penny, it is one day at a time.  I have been at home with him all day today and he has had lots of TLC and had a snooze in whichever room he chose.  I put the heating on for him at lunch time as it seemed rather chilly.  He still snuggles over to me at night and puts his leg on my thigh and his chin in my lap and I snuggle my face into his neck so he knows I'm near him.   It's the non wagging tail that has upset me.  Jazz has always been a very "merry cocker" and his helicopter tail has always been a source of great joy and amusement.  He is back at the vets in two weeks for another review so all I can do is monitor him.  He is certainly enjoying "fine dining" these days.  Anything to tempt his appetite. 

Offline ejp

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Re: Advice on Elderly Cocker
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2018, 05:46:31 PM »
Definitely one day at a time with him. Max was better fed than us in his twilight days... Enjoy him while you can. Take care.

Offline annclare

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Re: Advice on Elderly Cocker
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2018, 07:57:25 AM »
Your post made me smile ejp as I think back on all the times I  have wandered round the supermarket looking for food to tempt my golden oldie whilst I existed on mere basics! I too am alone and my cockers have been - and still are - my life. My heart goes out to Jazz and her owner at this difficult time. God bless  xx

Offline phoenix

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Re: Advice on Elderly Cocker
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2018, 09:34:24 AM »
My heart goes out to you Andrea.  Iíve been there too, several times, and it helped to have someone else point out the obvious to me , when I was the emotional mess, and scared of my broken heart. Itís going to be awful whenever it happens.   Take every day as a gift, and spoil him rotten. When the time comes, i can tell you itís so much better to ask the vet to come to your house.
Pearly has said everything for me.   
Hugs, Patsyxx
RIP Marti  the EPI springer age 12,  and beloved black cocker Bobby, 8 yrs old, too soon, from PLN.
Now owned by TInker, tiny hairy grey poodle/terrier rescue from Greece and Jack, local rescue,   scruffy ginger terrier mutt.

Offline daydreams

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Re: Advice on Elderly Cocker
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2018, 10:46:03 AM »
so sorry to hear of your dilemma,  I know exactly how you are feeling and the questions that you ask and ask again, I was in a similar position with my special girl Bracken a few years ago,
just go with your heart and I am sure you will do the right thing for your special Jazz,  make the most of each day, and what ever decisions you make you know in your heart it is the right one  made with love.

it broke my heart when I lost Bracken,  and I cried a river of tears, but two years down the line, and with a clearer head, I know it was the right thing to do when I did make that decision

take care of yourself and give a hug to Jazz
love Maria

Offline Finvarra

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Re: Advice on Elderly Cocker
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2018, 01:28:48 PM »
So sorry for your position, we all have been there with our beloved dogs, and understand how you are feeling. Thinking of you and Jazz  :bigarmhug: :bigarmhug: :bigarmhug:

Lesley and Dylan
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Offline Countrygirl

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Re: Advice on Elderly Cocker
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2018, 08:41:26 PM »
I am so sorry.  The only problem with dogs is that they do not live long enough.  I hope with all my heart that Jazz remains as well as he can for a long time yet.  My heart goes out to you.

Dogs give you some of the best days of your life, and one of the worst.

Offline revis

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Re: Advice on Elderly Cocker
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2018, 10:13:21 PM »
so sorry to read about Jazz .Such a difficult time.Just enjoy your time together .Its even harder when you are on your own thats how i was last year when i lost my dear Maggie.Thinking of you and Jazz so much.