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Hello,

I just became a member and wanted some advise on my Basset.
Quigley is our 14.5 year old basset!
Quigley was not your typical basset from the start. He looks like every pure basset, but he was never slow or lazy. Quig would love to run, and even jump into bed with us! He was quite agile for a basset.
A few years ago however, he started to develop a problem with his back legs. He was beginning to loose control slowly of his movment and other things. The vet has said it's almost like a form of MS for dogs.
To keep our sanity (and home) we started to use childrens diapers (quite the conversation alone). He is great with them and never minded.
Unfortunately his control is getting worse. His legs are loosing muscle mass and they are giving out him a lot more. He is also getting bladder and eye infections constantly. He goes on antibiotics which clear everything up, then once he is off for a couple of weeks, it starts to come back.

I have a few questions basically.
First, has anyone heard of any type of drug for this muscle disease?
Next, the constant infections..I've asked my vet if we can just keep him on antibiotics constantly, but they won't do it. Has anyone had infection problems like this and found a better solution?
Lastly, and this is the tough one..I am under the feeling that if he can walk, he should not be put down. He is not in any type of pain and if it weren't for his back end, you would think he was an 8 year old basset (except a lot whiter now!). Am I pushing him too far? Sometimes people make comments like it's time.

Thanks in advance for your replys.

Steve
 

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I can't help with the medical issues, I've no experience with this illness. But I can say that the decision to put a dog down is always difficult. My husband was after me to put our cocker down at the age of 12 because she was a bit incontinent, a little hard of hearing and had cataracts. Her legs didn't work as well as they once did either. But with meds, the incontinence was controlled, her tail continued to wag and her appetite was fine so I ignored DH. At the age of 13, Molly's legs gave out one night and the vet thought she probably had a spinal tumor. Clearly, the quality of her life was not good, so we put her down. It broke my heart, but it was in Molly's best interest to let her go peacefully, which she did, in my arms.

Good luck with this. Your decision will be made out of love and respect for a life well-lived. It won't be an easy one, nor will it be without heartache. But it's a decision to be made by you, for Quigley, not by others -- no matter how well-intentioned they may think they are.
 

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My eyes literally popped open when I read your dog was 14.5 years old! That is no small deal.

However, poor old Quigley is really just that,...old. Even though his mind is still active, his body is giving out. It may be in his best interest and comfort to think about sending him to the bridge. :(

When I was much younger, we had a Giant Schnauzer who deteriorated in much the same way you described. He never complained, but you can bet he was much happier when he could walk. We finally got to the point where you are. It was very, very tough.

Your description about the atrophy in his muscles and constant infections lead me to believe his systems are just shutting down. MS is not a muscle disease, it is actually a brain disorder where lesions develop on the brain and effect the nervous system. His muscles are affected because the nerve signals to his legs are not getting through. Unfortunately, there is no cure and it's most likely degenerative and fatal.

Please let us know how Quigley is getting along. Keep him comfortable and he will appreciate all you do for him.

Sending you healing drool for your situation.
 
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I recall reading on another board that when you're dog can no longer do the three things he loves most, its time to consider sending him to the bridge. I've given that some thought and think its a good guideline, or at least a starting point for when its time to consider euthanizing (geeze, I hate that word) a dog. Good luck with your decision.
 

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I love the title of your post. And I love Aruuuu's response:

" Good luck with this. Your decision will be made out of love and respect for a life well-lived. It won't be an easy one, nor will it be without heartache. But it's a decision to be made by you, for Quigley, not by others -- no matter how well-intentioned they may think they are."

Welcome to CyberHound.

[ August 29, 2005, 03:59 PM: Message edited by: murraysmom ]
 
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I understand that a dog does not think the way we do, they don't think "Oh I can't do this or that anymore" If the dog is in pain, that's different.But if it's like toby was , all systems just slow down and shut down, but toby never suffered. I knew people that said i should put toby down before i did...i knew he still was determined to be alive and be there. there was a time that he got up 2-3 times a day for about 20 minutes and that was it, but he wasn't in pain, Believe me i asked my vet 800 versions of "What is he thinking. What is he feeling?" You will know when he is uncomfortable or whenever you know Prayers to you in this difficult time
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for your support. Quig has been a big part of our lives and we only want the best for him. As I type this I hear him on the main floor walking around.
We will just take it day by day.

Thanks again, and I'll keep you all posted.

Steve
 

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Give Quig a BIG, WET Smoochie kiss from all of us! Bless his little doggy self!
 

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At his age a day at a time is all you can ask for.
FWIW long term antibiotics can be given for chronic UTIs...my dibaetic was on them for nearly 9 months before he was cleared up.
Good luck

Judy
 
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My heart goes out to you. Maggie Mae will be 15 years old in October. I know how hard it is to have such an old hound. She is still able to walk great but her mind is getting very old. As the Vet said, she has bouts of Dog Cognitive Disorder. She now has heart disease. We have resorted to doggie pants with a huge sanitary pad when we leave her. Even if we are only gone an hour, she pees and poops in her pants. She gets that upset. I can only tell you, that if he is not suffering in pain and you feel he still is enjoying his favorite things in life, let him go day by day. I've told myself that when Maggie Mae doesn't have quality of life then it will be time. It will be the hardest decision we will ever make but one that must be faced one day. Everyday with your beloved hound is truly a precious gift!
 
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Steve, last month my 6 1/2 year old basset, Francis, permanently lost his eyesight and many people actually asked me if it would be kinder to "put him down". Of course, with Franny being so young and otherwise perfectly healthy, I wsa horrified but if he were a lot older, I might have considered it. I cried like a "whack job" for a week and in that time Francis was trying to get me to play "Baby" (tug-o-war) and getting the house down cold. As long as Franny wants to play Baby I'll know I made the right decision. I truly pray for you and good old Quigley and just your writing this letter alone lets us all know how much love you give him. You'll make the right decision when you're both ready. Peace.
 
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