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Hi everyone,
I’m new here so please be gentle.
So…….
my little girl and I rescued a lab last year. You know when you see and meet a dog and that dog just touches your soul…. Well that was Ringo.
He was found on the streets in Spain.. and was taken to a shelter to be pts. Luckily he was found by a Spanish dog rescue before then and was adopted out to a family near my home town in Birmingham. However this family ( after 24 hours) decided they didn’t want to keep him as he “ wasn’t perfect” is what I was told. He was then placed in an emergency foster placement near wales.
I read his story and went to meet him and he stole my heart completely. He has no tail, is covered in scars and had severe scabbing to his elbows… and his coat… well…. I have never felt a dogs coat so rough and undernourished.
It wasn’t overly apparent to begin with just how bad his front elbow was… we let him decompress for a good few days to start off with.
I made an appointment at the vets to get him checked over, vet suspected elbow dysplasia, I had already picked up yumove for him, and he started ant inflammatory drugs. These made a huge difference initially…. We managed to teach him how to play….. and he’s had a great year pretty much up until about 2 months ago. A trip back to the vets confirmed his hips were now also causing him pain and the bunny hopping became apparent.
It seems his pain killers are no longer working for him…. He trialled gabapentin for a week but this just seemed to make him sleepy and sick.
mots really upsetting me because his behaviours have really changed… he can no longer climb the stairs…. He just lays all day looking sad, no longer greets us at the door, is still keen to go out for walks but these usually result in him tri hoping part way and it just breaks my heart to see.
he has taken to sleeping on the rug in the front as opposed to his super comfy bed as I think it’s easier for him to get up from.
he doesn’t want to play anymore,it’s like he’s lost his spark.
Ringo is insured but not for his joint conditions because he had them when we took him on.
I have another appointment with the vet on Tuesday to see what else we can try.
do you guys out there have any words of wisdom… anything else I can try, I’m starting to feel like I’m failing him andit’s breaking my heart.
sorry for the long winded post…..I know he’s only been a part of our lives for a short time, but when I looked in his eyes he went straight to my soul and I was hoping we’d be able to give him a happy loved life for many more to come. Im unsure what or if any options we have left.
I have been in touch with the rescue he originally came from in Spain… they said they couldn’t try and fund raise for surgery but the vet suggested over £ 13,000 for a double hip replacement and elbow replacement and this just isn’t achievable.
sorry for the rant … just feeling a bit at a loss
Em xx
 

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Trouble is, it's not only one end. If you went ahead with the operations, and I say operations because I dont think all four legs could be operated on at the same time, because he really would not have a leg to stand on!! (Sorry about that but I could not think of a different way to say it.) But thats not the end. These artificial joints dont last for ever. Depending on his age it's likely they will need replacing again further down the road. I dont like saying this but I think you need to look at quality of life. There are other pain killers which can be tried, but I fear they would only provide a temporary respite. Sorry for sounding so pessimistic.
 

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Just because it’s possible (even if you could afford it) doesn’t mean to say it’s right or you should. It’s tough and bless you for taking him on. I’d hazard to guess the surgery he may need would have cost a lot less in Spain than it’d cost in the UK. 😢
 

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I completely agree with John and Nicola, and the problem is, people who rescue dogs and then rehome them need to think harder about the long term because it's the likes of you, who genuinely care that end up with this situation. It's all very well taking a dog off the street but that is not the end of the story and sadly, Ringo has other issues that mean he wasn't ever going to end up with a long term miracle happy ending. The fact is Ringo has had a happy ending already with you guys, the part of his life where he was dumped on the streets wasn't good, but you have given him a good life no matter for how long. I've rescued oldies in the past that nobody else wanted, the shortest was for six months, the other girl I had lasted 18 months, but it made a huge difference to both those girls. If I were in your shoes, and it's not easy to judge how anyone would react, but in the same position I'd be looking to have him put to sleep whilst he's still got some enjoyment and life isn't too painful for him. I'd be having a chat with the vet, because realistically having joints replaced isn't going to be easy with a dog that's lame on his elbow and hips, and he won't understand what's being done is for his benefit, so have a chat with the vet and take it from there is my advice.
 

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Sorry to say I have to agree with the others. This is such a heartbreaking situation and so tough on you.

I've had a couple of dogs that have had major ops, a weimaraner who had a total hip replacement and a Pointer who needed major spinal surgery. Yes the hip replacement was a total success but it was only the one leg, all went smoothly and there were no complications. I wouldn't of considered going ahead with it if other legs were involved too. But, I always regretted putting my 7 yr old Pointer through his spinal surgery as he was never quite the same after and went on to develop a tumour at the surgery site.

I notice you say that you've trialled Gabapentin for a week. I used to use Gabapentin on one of my Labs for his arthritis in hips and elbows. When he first started on it he was just as you describe your dog, very much out of it and not his usual self. It's a drug that some dogs need a few weeks to get used to. It's so worth persevering with if you can as there's a large dosing range and it works really well along side other painkillers and anti-inflammatories when needed.
Even if he can't tolerate it, all is not lost as your vet has a vast array of other drugs and combinations of drugs that should keep your Lab comfortable for as long as possible. I expect your vet has already said, but one of the most important things to help any dog with joint problems is to keep them slim.

Good luck.
 

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Oh this is a heartbreaking read; you have done so much for him too. As mentioned, you have already made a huge difference in his life even if his time with you is not as long as you hoped. Its worth keeping the medication going for a little while longer to see if he gets past the initial symptoms.

In the meantime, whilst he might be down he will still appreciate the interaction you have with him. Maybe try warm roast chicken, sausages etc as this usually makes them irresistible. Get some empty plastic pots like yoghurt pots and hide a pice under one and let him sniff out which one it’s hiding under. He could do that whilst still lying down too as they will easily be knocked over 😊

Whatever the outcome, don’t feel you have let him down. Because of you, he’s warm, safe and loved and that is far better than his likely fate if he hadn’t been rescued. It will have made a massive difference to his life. ❤❤‍🩹💞
 

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Hi everyone,
I’m new here so please be gentle.
So…….
my little girl and I rescued a lab last year. You know when you see and meet a dog and that dog just touches your soul…. Well that was Ringo.
He was found on the streets in Spain.. and was taken to a shelter to be pts. Luckily he was found by a Spanish dog rescue before then and was adopted out to a family near my home town in Birmingham. However this family ( after 24 hours) decided they didn’t want to keep him as he “ wasn’t perfect” is what I was told. He was then placed in an emergency foster placement near wales.
I read his story and went to meet him and he stole my heart completely. He has no tail, is covered in scars and had severe scabbing to his elbows… and his coat… well…. I have never felt a dogs coat so rough and undernourished.
It wasn’t overly apparent to begin with just how bad his front elbow was… we let him decompress for a good few days to start off with.
I made an appointment at the vets to get him checked over, vet suspected elbow dysplasia, I had already picked up yumove for him, and he started ant inflammatory drugs. These made a huge difference initially…. We managed to teach him how to play….. and he’s had a great year pretty much up until about 2 months ago. A trip back to the vets confirmed his hips were now also causing him pain and the bunny hopping became apparent.
It seems his pain killers are no longer working for him…. He trialled gabapentin for a week but this just seemed to make him sleepy and sick.
mots really upsetting me because his behaviours have really changed… he can no longer climb the stairs…. He just lays all day looking sad, no longer greets us at the door, is still keen to go out for walks but these usually result in him tri hoping part way and it just breaks my heart to see.
he has taken to sleeping on the rug in the front as opposed to his super comfy bed as I think it’s easier for him to get up from.
he doesn’t want to play anymore,it’s like he’s lost his spark.
Ringo is insured but not for his joint conditions because he had them when we took him on.
I have another appointment with the vet on Tuesday to see what else we can try.
do you guys out there have any words of wisdom… anything else I can try, I’m starting to feel like I’m failing him andit’s breaking my heart.
sorry for the long winded post…..I know he’s only been a part of our lives for a short time, but when I looked in his eyes he went straight to my soul and I was hoping we’d be able to give him a happy loved life for many more to come. Im unsure what or if any options we have left.
I have been in touch with the rescue he originally came from in Spain… they said they couldn’t try and fund raise for surgery but the vet suggested over £ 13,000 for a double hip replacement and elbow replacement and this just isn’t achievable.
sorry for the rant … just feeling a bit at a loss
Em xx
Really sad to hear of all that Ringo has been through in his life and to then have such a painful decline just when he has found his forever home.
His current state sounds very much like my special 'soul' dog Maggie who in her 14th year had her mobility decline sharply to the point where all she could do physically was totter out to go to the bathroom and then back to her resting spot. Now she was at the end of a long happy life so the day when she looked up at me with the saddest most tired eyes and I could see how broken she felt it wasn't a hard decision to know the time had come to do what was the hardest decision but the right decision.
You don't put Ringo's age in your post but I presume he is not an elderly dog so deciding what is in his best interests is not as clear cut as with an elderly dog. Having said that though he is clearly in significant pain, esp as dogs are stoic and Labradors will definitely push through pain unlike other breeds so he must be in quite some pain.
Have you shopped around for second opinion & cost of surgery? There are some Veterinary surgeons who aren't fixated on the almighty dollar & for people with rescue dogs who need significant surgery they will do it at cost rather than for profit. Or perhaps you could focus on the worse of the causes of pain now with a view to completing the rest of the surgery at a later date?
Another option I have heard of people doing is going to a Veterinary Colleges where they do less expensive surgeries as while they are done by experienced qualified surgeons they use them as an opportunity to teach Vet students surgical techniques, maybe see if this is an option?
Be aware that just because you can do surgery it does not automatically follow that you should, there is only so much help that medicine can offer and when considering complex painful surgeries you have to factor in the possibility of complications post op, the surgery failing & of course putting Ringo through all that major joint surgery entails. His well-being must always be forefront in your mind, whatever you decide.

So as I see it you only have two roads to go down and neither will be easy
1. either commit to getting him the surgery by funding it somehow - bank loan/making a deal with a Vet for half now,half after surgery/Give a Little page/fundraising/approaching a rescue org for financial help/doing most urgent half surgery now & then rest later…..however you can you get it done.
or
2. you allow him to be free from pain knowing that you have given him the life he deserved from the start. It is not a failure on your part to let him go, it is showing the deep love you have for him to no longer allow him to be suffering.

Our dogs live in the moment so for Ringo those days spent on the streets & in & out of other houses will be in the past and you and your daughter will be all he loves and lives for so whatever you decide be safe in the knowledge that you've already given him a dog's version of heaven - a warm safe happy home with people who adore them. Everything else is gravy.

All the very best to you and Ringo 🐾
 
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