Large dog X-rays?


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Old 02-15-07, 03:10 PM
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Large dog X-rays?

Do large dogs really need to be sedated for x-rays? And do they really need complete blood work-ups before they are sedated? [The vet said 'sedated' but I'm not sure if she meant that or 'anesthetized']

How well would an older large dog be expected to recover from surgery to repair a torn ligament on his back leg? [13.5 years, 80 lbs, mixed breed]

I really love my dog, but I do not want to spend a month's pay so he can have a few more years in pain or crippled.

I don't really trust my vet at this point.
 
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Old 02-15-07, 05:28 PM
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Sedation for x-rays is normal and blood work prior to sedation is as well. My dog had this surgery at six years old and wasn't fully recovered for about two years. In all honesty, I don't think I would proceed with a 13 year old large breed dog, as the life expectancy isn't likely to be much more anyway. Sad, but I'd probably opt for putting the dog down.
 
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Old 02-15-07, 05:44 PM
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Thank you so much for the reply.

If the sedation and blood-work are standard practice, I trust her a bit more. She did seem medically competent.

I love my dog, and I am not poor, but I don't want to make a sentimental mistake. Was your dog unhappy or in pain during the recovery?

And, umm ..., well, since this is an anonymous forum ...

May I ask how much the sugery cost?
 
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Old 02-15-07, 07:00 PM
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Part of the reason for sedating a dog or cat for x-rays is because sometimes manipulation is done that would just be too painful while the animal is awake. Be sure to get some pain meds for the dog as well.

Newt
 
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Old 02-16-07, 04:52 AM
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Thank you.

I am very worried, and the advice is helping. The spouse grew up on a farm, and, while he loves the dog as much as I do, he is much more accepting of the harsh reality of animal death.

People seem willing to spend a fortune on vet bills. While I love my dog more than I even like most people, I just don't feel right about spending all that money on a pet. It feels self indulgent.
 
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Old 02-16-07, 06:06 AM
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As others said before with big pets and Xrays and painful injuries, sedation is often necessary. In order to avoid finding out your pet has an underlying and possibly severe health problem that could be aggrivated by sedation or anesthesia, blood work is necessary.

If money is an issue, you do have options. Check with your vet to see if they offer programs like Care Credit, local vet charity programs (our local specialty hospital offers this for low income owners), or even local rescues that might be able to chip in. Is there a vet school nearby that offers lower cost services? Call around. Get second opinions.

13 *is* getting up there for a big dog, so ask yourself how is your pet's health otherwise? If he's happy go lucky and this torn ligament is a big damper on his otherwise great health, I'd personally go with surgery. In general mixed breeds don't have the same genetic health issues as purebreds, so you are doig well there! :-)

Cost can vary wildly from vet to vet, area to area. Again, check to see if there are lower cost options and get a second opinion. When my little Cairn (who was 13 at the time) was diagnosed with an erratic heart, we suddenly faced a pacemaker for the little bugger. (Yes they have pacemakers for dogs!) A vet school 2 hours away would have cost a significant amount less, but I would have lost work time travelling for the surgery and specialized post op exams, so we did it locally. Little Killer lived for 3 more years! Had she not been perfectly healthy at the time, it would have been a harder decision though.

Thanks for caring so much about your dog :-)
 
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Old 02-16-07, 09:41 AM
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My previous dog was very large and they had to give her anesthesia to take xrays in order to keep her still. They did try first without, but didn't work. Turns out she had cancer and we had her put down so she never woke up, what a wreck I was and I also had her cremated so I could bring her back home. Anyway, the cost will vary depending on the vet and location, etc., but I paid a total of $500 if that helps any. It's not cheap.
 
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Old 02-16-07, 10:04 AM
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Well, I have a 4:00 pm appointment to go over test results with the vet. That doesn't sound good to me. Surely if it were just a sprain, they'd let me pick him up now. [Lyme's was ruled out yesterday.]

Leg surgery on him doesn't sound smart to me. Too big, too old, and alone too much [the cat isn't going to be able to take care of him while I'm at work].

Damn.

At least it puts the problems with the car and clothes washer in perspective.
 
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Old 02-16-07, 10:14 AM
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I think the quality of life would be a big part of the issue. Do discuss with your vet the fact that you will be at work during the day. You could also do a google search. Once you know just which ligament is torn you could search for info on that too. I did a quick search with:
dog + torn ligament
and found lots of info. You could modify that to old dog or senior dog or add the exact ligament name.

Good luck to you and your doggie.
Newt
 
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Old 02-16-07, 06:03 PM
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Thanks for all your responses. It's very bad.

I figured the worst would be take the dog home for the week-end, feed him steaks till he dropped, and back to the vet's. Quick and painless for us both.

Nope. It's bone cancer. It could be weeks or months; but he's dealing with the pain for now. I get to watch him, and figure out when the pain is too great, and it's time to put him down.

I just went through this with a niece, and this just rips that grief open again.

I want him to last until the warmer weather, so I can take him down to the river again. I really hope I don't end up torturing him because I can't let go.

Just ... damn.
 
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Old 02-16-07, 06:19 PM
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Sorry to hear that. That's exactly what my dog had and when you said his leg had to be xrayed, I had the feeling this was what it was, but didn't want to say anything. I chose not to be selfish and let her suffer. There is pain medication that the vet can give you and I'm surprised they didn't give it to you. Maybe you want to look in to that. Very sad
 
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Old 02-16-07, 07:16 PM
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I was just baking some banana bread and sharing some treats with my dogs and thinking of you. I'm sooo sad to hear this. I know you will do what is best for him. He's had a wonderful life with you and he knows that he's loved.

If he's limping now the vet should give you some pain meds. My vet uses Rimadyl but some dogs don't tolerate it well. It's a NSAID and must be given with food. She has also used Tramadol which is the generic for Ultram and is better for more intense pain. You might want to ask for something for his pain.

My heart goes out to you both.
Newt
 
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Old 02-17-07, 05:36 AM
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Thank you both.

We have some Rimadyl, I'll see how that works.
And I have some really good foam, thick and firm, so he'll have very good places to rest.

I will definitely let him go if he is incontinent, or snaps at the cat, or sniffs at a steak before eating it.

Right now I am very concerned about HOW to send him home; in this state, it must be done by injection at the vet's. He HATES the vet's.

I'm wondering if it's possible to just give him too many of the stronger painkillers ...

But, in the meantime, I still have to fix the damned washer and get that panel put back on my car. [The windshield can wait until Spring; it will just get cracked again if I replace it now.]
 
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Old 02-17-07, 07:44 AM
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When the time comes, take him to the vet - there's nothing more humane than what they can offer and your attempt at home with painkillers could cause more suffering, rather than less.
 
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Old 02-17-07, 08:04 AM
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I can relate to your pain having gone through this with a few beloved pets, however you really need to do something about this as soon as possible.
If you are certain that there is no hope for recovery any delay in dealing with this only puts more stress on the dog.
I would think that waiting untill you see his pain would be less kind than his dislike of being in a vet's office.

I have helped couple of friends with their pets in this same situation when they could not deal with it themselves.
Perhaps you have family or a friend that could help.

Greg
 
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Old 02-17-07, 08:37 AM
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I agree with the others. It's best to let the vet do this. You might ask for something to calm the dog for before you get there. If he is in constant pain that you can see or tell by his behavior, it's probably alot more painful then you realize. Animals don't show pain like humans do. In the wild that would would make them vulnerable to predation, so they hide pain. If you've ever watched programs on tv where animals are severely injured and they don't make a sound, that is why.

Let your love for his welfare guide you.
Newt
 
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Old 02-17-07, 07:08 PM
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Thank you for the help, especially the advice to not delay putting him down. Of course, I will probably ignore that, but I will NOT torture him. I just don't want to cheat him out of a few more good weeks to spare myself the stress.

Apparently there are vets who will send pets off in the comfort of their own homes. I will look into that.

Cremation is required by law in Massachusetts for a pet this size; apparently I could get around that if I wanted to, but I don't.
 
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Old 02-17-07, 08:10 PM
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We're not talking about cheating your dog out of a few good more good weeks, we're talking about you not honoring your obligation to do what's in the best interest of an animal in your care. Your dog is in pain, quit being selfish and end his suffering.
 
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Old 02-20-07, 07:22 PM
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Thank you, Mitch. I will come back to read that post often.

I won't be too selfish to release him when the time comes.

But I will not put him down because it hurts ME to watch him stroll lazily along the river he used to tear across with perfect abandon.

He is still having fun, though. I'm a mess, but he's fine.

To everyone who has been kind enough to respond:

I promise that I will let him go when the time comes.
 
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Old 02-20-07, 09:43 PM
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Jhomeowner, my heart is with you both.

Newt
 
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Old 02-21-07, 05:33 AM
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I am so sorry to hear this and have recently been in the same situation, though with congestive heart failure.

One thing you may want to do, while you have the time, is call around to the vets in your area. Many will come to your home to do the final injection. Or as someone else suggested, ask you vet for something to keep him calm when you take him in.

Here is a site that may be helpful when the time comes:

http://www.rainbowbridge.com/

Best wishes, and prayers.
 
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Old 03-12-07, 05:28 PM
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Thanks again for your help.

It's going to be soon, as soon as possible. He couldn't make it all the way up the stairs last night. [He made it up the stairs tonight, but I am NOT going to be selfish and keep him any longer.]

Unfortunately, I did not have the arrangements made yet [he went from dragging his foot to not using the leg at all in about six hours], and the only local crematorium is closed on Mondays.

I'm worried about money; I can afford a home visit, but I just don't know what the line is, between what my best friend of 14 years deserves, and shameful self-indulgence. I don't want to cause him excess stress, but I don't want to feed into excesses of the death industry.

Sigh.

Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 03-12-07, 07:07 PM
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Cool large dog X-rys

Originally Posted by jhomeowner View Post
Do large dogs really need to be sedated for x-rays? And do they really need complete blood work-ups before they are sedated? [The vet said 'sedated' but I'm not sure if she meant that or 'anesthetized']

How well would an older large dog be expected to recover from surgery to repair a torn ligament on his back leg? [13.5 years, 80 lbs, mixed breed]

I really love my dog, but I do not want to spend a month's pay so he can have a few more years in pain or crippled.

I don't really trust my vet at this point.
At your dog's age, the blood work is very important, before-hand, to assure he can be sedated & have a great chance of recovery from being done so. my guy is just a toy poodle, but almost 15 years old. I had to have the blood work done ahead of time, to determine if it was safe to sedate him, to have his teeth cleaned. Well, the blood work came back with no problems & he went through the cleaning plus the removal of 7 teeth & did very well, i might add. If your guy feels as if he's really loved, that love can pull him right on through & he's tougher than you may think, for his age. Give the Ole Boy a chance to receive a few more years of love, for this is the last out of four & once they're gone, you're wishing you had gave him a little more time with you. The power of Love is great; even for your pets. I do realize about the Vet Bills, but I'm sure you could stretch out the payments; Isn't Junior worth that, after all the Love & devotion he's givened you? Mine is.
 
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Old 03-13-07, 06:08 AM
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I understand the feelings you are having...been there, too many times to count over the years.

Let me say this, I would pay the extra to have the vet come to the house, and for the cremation, any day of the week if I were in the situation again. (and I will be soon, once more as our lab becomes an old lady slowly but surely) It is something I personally do as my last gift of love to the pets I have had...

Just my thoughts...you will both be in my prayers and thoughts.
 

Last edited by GregH; 03-13-07 at 02:56 PM. Reason: Remove quote.
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Old 03-14-07, 10:31 AM
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Jhomeowner, I'm sooo sorry to hear this. You seem to already be aware of his increasing pain level. If a dog limps it hurts to walk on a leg. If he is holding it up and refusing to walk on it at all it generally means constant pain. The pain killers aren't working at this point.

My heart is with you. If you can't afford the home visit then a trip to the vet should be considered. I remember we discussed some type of gentle tranquilizer you could give him shortly before you leave to keep his anxiety at bay for the trip and arrival at the vet. Just make sure that you will be able to be with him if that is your desire.

You are both in my prayers.
Newt
 
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Old 03-14-07, 06:49 PM
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Well, it's over.

I took him to the vets this morning and sent him home.

We had it all set up to have a vet come tonight, but he hurt himself last night, so I had to do it first thing this morning. It was stressful for him, but less so than spending an extra 12 hours in pain.

So, Mitch, I came within 12 hours of ending things before he suffered severely, but snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

[I wasn't worry about having enough money, I've been lucky enough that way, I just didn't want to spend more than was ethical.]

Some advice for others in this situation:
PLAN AHEAD!
When the time came [and it came fast], the only vet available to do a house call was going to charge nearly $800 for the full service. It made me sick, but I was going to spend the money, I just promised myself I would donate an equal amount to an animal charity.

In the end, I was spared that useless sentimental self-indulgence, and I am grateful.

I did find two vets who charged just over $50 for a housecall, but they were not available until later in the week. If I had chosen a day in advance, and stuck to it, everything would have been easier on everyone.

In my defense, I was trapped by the unpredictable weather. I just wanted him to have some more good times at the river. The gods blessed me, we got a few warm days, but if I had known he was ill, I was have sent him home last autumn.
 
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Old 03-14-07, 08:51 PM
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Jhomeowner,

This is for you.

Beyond The Rainbow


As much as I loved the life we had and all the times we played,
I was so very tired and knew my time on earth would fade.
I saw a wondrous image then of a place that's trouble-free
Where all of us can meet again to spend eternity.

I saw the most beautiful Rainbow, and on the other side
Were meadows rich and beautiful -- lush and green and wide!
And running through the meadows as far as the eye could see
Were animals of every sort as healthy as could be!
My own tired, failing body was fresh and healed and new
And I wanted to go run with them, but I had something left to do.

I needed to reach out to you, to tell you I'm alright
That this place is truly wonderful, then a bright Glow pierced the night.
'Twas the Glow of many Candles shining bright and strong and bold
And I knew then that it held your love in its brilliant shades of gold.

For although we may not be together in the way we used to be,
We are still connected by a cord no eye can see.
So whenever you need to find me, we're never far apart
If you look beyond the Rainbow and listen with your heart.

cg - 1995

Newt

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the and the blind can see”. Mark Twain
 
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Old 03-15-07, 06:32 AM
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Jhomeowner,

My heart is with you as well...

There is a wonderful site that I often suggest to folks who have lost their furry kids to what ever cause.

www.rainbowbridge.com

Thought I would share it with you as well...it has a lot of resources for grief and pet loss, and I don't share it for the commercial aspect but the human and caring one. The poems and stories there help me a lot when I am dealing with losing one of our furry kids...I hope you find some comfort and solace there.

My prayers will be with you and your family
 
 

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