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Hand feeding my old lab-OK?

Discussion in 'Bark Park' started by ShariLabLover, 12/16/16.

  1. ShariLabLover

    ShariLabLover Checking out the neighborhood

    I have a 12 1/2 year old female lab with congestive heart failure. Doc upped her water pills as she was not taking off any fluid and coughing. Coughing is better. He suggested boiled chicken and rice. She will now not eat the rice, only the chicken. The last 2 days I have had to hand feed her the chicken. Is this ok? Is she telling me it's "time". She eats what she wants and then is done, even if it was only 1/2 cup. She is drinking fine and going potty. She has hard time seeing so I changed her white bowl to stainless and she still will not eat out of bowl. Does anyone have any suggestions/help/guidance for me? I love this little girl - Haley - so much. She is my 3rd yellow labrador. I also have an 18 month old -Gabby- that is crazy but she loves Haley and lays by her and kisses on her and cleans her ears, its so sweet. I really need some help/advice my fellow dog peeps. Thank you soooo much! Happy Friday!

    P.S. This is my very first post and my very first time on this website, it looks pretty nice! Thank you..Shari
    P.S.S. This is my Haley girl. 20151204_193754.jpg
    kathyth likes this.
  2. CrazyBirdChick

    CrazyBirdChick Rollerblading along the road

    Chicago , Illinois
    Real Name:
    Welcome, ShariLabLover! Haley is so beautiful. I have been through dealing with many gariatric dogs (My own and dogs I've walked because I am a dog walker) I would say feed her anything she wants (as long as it's not dangerous food) any way that she'll eat it. Handfeeding is fine.

    They always say you'll know when it's time and I always questioned that but it is really true. When you feel she is suffering that's when I'd say it's time. Just don't wait until it's extreme suffering. If she still eats, uses the washroom, and seems to enjoy life and her 18 month old friend, I say keep loving her and doing all you can for her.

    Try to take note of how many good days vs how many bad days she has. When the bad days outweigh the good, that's when I'd say it time.
  3. Greycloud

    Greycloud Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

    I have been where you are. I know how heartbreaking and difficult it is. I just lost my 17 yr old Maggie about 2 months ago. You have to look at quality of life. I did handfeed her but she didn't have any teeth left. It is fine to hand feed her. It was the wondering the house hours on end and pacing in her bed that helped us make the difficult decision. I can only say that you will know. She will tell you with her eyes and actions.
    If she is barely eating enough to keep her body sustained than it is time. Going potty is a natural habit that will continue but decrease as organs shut down.
    Let her know you are there and ready when she is. Make sure you stay with her and don't take her collar off till after she has passed. Collars are their clothes and security.
    I held my girl and sang to her.
    I am facing the same decision now with maggie's daughter who is 15 now.
    Yes, handfeed, and you will know when to make the decision.
  4. JLcribber

    JLcribber Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

    Alberta, Canada
    Real Name:
    It sure does sound like it doesn't it?

    I know you love her but you must put your feelings aside and look at this rationally. It's all about quality of life and it doesn't sound like she has much of that left. Only you know if it's time but don't let your emotions make the decision.
  5. Sylvi_

    Sylvi_ Rollerblading along the road Avenue Spotlight Award

    South Florida
    Real Name:
    I'm so sorry your facing this decision, It truly is one of the hardest things to think about as an animal owner. :sadhug2:
    To me, if she isn't in any pain, has an appetite and can go to the bathroom on her own I would think she's okay.

    Near the end with my late doxin, her appetite was non-existent, she couldn't really go to the bathroom and along with this she happened to become half paralyzed; so we knew it was certainly time.
    Just be there for her and let her know how much she's loved. :)
    Greycloud likes this.
  6. Chopper

    Chopper Rollerblading along the road Avenue Spotlight Award

    Real Name:
    Mary lynn Snowman
    I am sorry you are going through this. It may be time but she won't suffer too much if it takes you a few days to get there.
  7. macawpower58

    macawpower58 Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

    Only you know when it's time.

    Is she suffering? Has she lost a lot of weight? Is she in pain?

    If it's just no appetite, then IMO it's not time.

    I also have an old dog. He just went from 95 pounds to 67 pounds. Everyone wanted me to 'end his suffering'. I tried one last ditch effort with some digestive enzymes.

    He is now back up to 89 pounds.

    If your dog is comfortable, alert, and not suffering, then the only problem is you having to cater to her needs. I'm guessing you're fine with that.

    I also want mine to last forever. :(

    Sadly I also don't have too much longer with him. But I'll give him every opportunity to live as full a life as possible, even when he starts to fail

    I'm sure you're doing exactly the same.

    JLcribber and CrazyBirdChick like this.
  8. ShariLabLover

    ShariLabLover Checking out the neighborhood

    Sorry I don't know how to respond yet since it's all new, looks like I didn't do it right. I didn't see the post reply until I did the quote option...sorry about that!
    Thank you so much for your kindness. I have told her that she needs to let me know when it's time. I just had her to the vet last week and he increased her water pills and she seems to be going potty more often. She has been doing fine with food until the last couple days so I think I will just give her chicken as she is not liking the rice at all. I just returned home from an interview (I've been out of work since March) and she was dancing around so happy to see me. Things like that throw me. Also at night while we are watching tv, she rolls on her back and is just so happy. She's done that forever when she's happy. I have been keeping a journal on her and the puppy because she has allergies so I am documenting everything. I'm going to just do the chicken for a few days and see how she does. She loves saltine crackers (minus the salt of course) and gobbles those up. I give them to her when her stomach is upset. We sure love our babies don't we! Thank you so much for reaching out to me, you have no idea how much that means to me!

    When it's time, I will be there with her, eye to eye telling her how much I love her, just like I did with her grandmother Hannah. This is the horrid part of having our fur babies but I can't live without my babies. Thank you for your note and yor kind words. God Bless you.
  9. Nikomania

    Nikomania Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month

    San Diego
    If she's struggling to breathe and coughing to get the excess fluid cleared from her airway, and her meds are maxed out, then it's absolutely time.
  10. iamwhoiam

    iamwhoiam Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

    Can you add some unsalted/low salt chicken broth to the chicken and rice mix. Might get her to eat the rice since it would be mixed with the broth.
    Only you know the answer as to when it's time but if she is still interacting with you, eating, maintaining weight, maintaining body functions (with help of meds as necessary) then probably not time yet.

    BTW, she is cute!

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