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I've fallen and I can't get up…

  • Magical Thyme (2849 posts)
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    I've fallen and I can't get up…

    Watching Jakey decline this winter has been very hard. His spirit is willing, but his flesh is weaker all the time. He doesn’t look or act 12 years old…but his hips and arthritis are at least that.

    The last week or so, he’s gone down several times and not been able to get back up. Twice yesterday, the first time trying to follow me down an icy path to dump manure. I found him on the return trip. Later in the morning, he picked up his squeaky ball for the first time in ages and followed it around the kitchen a few times before losing interest, so that was something.

    In the afternoon I headed to the vet — we’re upping his pain meds to metacam. I also stopped off at Walmarts and picked up a harness. I have a harness for his back legs, but it slides off. Plus now his front end is giving out too, so I’m hoping that if I hook the two together, the back end will stay on and both will make it easier for me to hoist him up as needed. I haven’t tried it yet.

    Last night the boys were in the pasture for their last poop/pee/bark/run of the night while I gave the bunnies their late night warm water. I heard his barking interrupted by the snarly, yelpy bark he does when somebody climbs on him or Luna crashes into him…and then silence. I ran, really slid, down the hill, to the pasture, calling for the boys. Luna ran to me and then immediately turned and started to run back toward Jake. They wear camp lights at night so I can see where they are…Jake’s light was in the middle of the pasture, and still. I stumbled through the snow to him, calling his name, letting him know I was coming.

    When I reached him, he was half on his side and patiently waiting for me. Better than sometimes, when I find his back legs splayed. Better than the first time, in the kitchen, when his back legs were splayed and his front stretched out, and he was trying to crawl across the floor. Still he did the snarly thing with a groan when I slipped my hands under his back end and turned him to get the back legs under him. But with my help he was able to get up and made it back to the house without slipping again.

    Tonight he will start the metacam. He’s barely able to get up today — no aspirin or anything since yesterday morning, to clear his system. Once he’s up, he’s ok moving and he hasn’t fallen at all so far.

    But the constant reminder that his clock is winding down is breaking my heart.


    Eggar, FanBoy, Wood and 12 othersbvar22, Haikugal, Doremus Jessup, kishcreek, elias39, em77, MissDeeds, Lucas Jackson, roguevalley, Enthusiast, zoolook67, 2bAnon like this

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9 replies
  • roguevalley (2136 posts)
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    1. They are the epitome of love, animals especially dogs. Your baby

    will let you know. Mine did. That is when you give them a very great day filled with happiness, food they always wanted and never got and go outside with them. I lost four dogs in four years. It was hard as hell but I know I did the last best loving thing I could do. I hug you both tightly. Take ZILLIONS of pictures now. Love you both forever, RV

    Be love. Be light. Fear is the only darkness. Love is the only light.
    • Magical Thyme (2849 posts)
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      4. I suspect this will be our last winter, but really, who knows…

      The aspirin clearly was making a difference. I had wondered about it; there is such a distinct difference since it’s worn off that it makes me hopeful that the metacam will make an even bigger difference in his comfort levels. Its the weakness and looseness in his hip joints that makes it impossible for him to get up if he hits a slippery patch and splays. It happened once or twice last winter, but has happened multiple times in the past few weeks.

      I’ll also be ordering him a ramp next week, after I pay off my credit card for this month. He has stairs for getting into bed, but the steps are too high for him now; he can only climb stairs half that height. He also can’t get into the car any more without me picking up his hind end for him, and my back can’t take too much of that.

      • LiberalElite (5568 posts)
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        8. Maybe you know this already but there are steps and ramps for cars:



        I feel much better since I've given up hope
        • Magical Thyme (2849 posts)
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          9. I bought him steps last year…he can't climb them any more

          so we’ve been camping on the floor in the family room.

          I’m planning on getting him a ramp as soon as my tax refund arrives. Actually, just realized it’s due today. I’ll have to check and confirm it cleared.

  • 2bAnon (4163 posts)
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    2. tears, so sorry you're going through this

    sounds like he’s been in severe pain for some time.  I don’t know what metacam is. but I hope it gives him painless peace as he makes his journey.   This experience is gut wrenching.  dogs and cats are like very real members of the family. they live with us, they nurture us as we nurture them. They gives us the greatest unconditional love and loyalty that knows no boundaries or limits.

    I still find myself grieving Honey, Mia, and Jake.  (Dog and two cats)  not a single one of them could possibly be replaced by another.

    Today I don’t own a pet, largely because I can’t afford the vet bills, But critters love me and I love them back.  plenty of my neighbors have wee little doggies and I get to enjoy their company. People try and talk me into having one again, but truth be told I don’t think I could go through another loss of a loved pet.

    I write this in attempt to express my sincere sympathy and empathy with what you’re going through,  :hug:



    • Magical Thyme (2849 posts)
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      3. metacam is just a nsaid specific to arthritis and dysplasia pain

      His spirit is nowhere near ready. He eats well. He still likes to follow his nose, eat horse and rabbit poop when I’m not looking or, even better, when I am.

      Patrolling the pasture was his self-appointed job forever. He’d stopped patrolling in the last year, and now has taken it up again morning and night. It’s as if he’s looking for things he still can do.

      He scared me yesterday morning…went for a walk in the woods for the first time in ages. I was worried that the snow was too deep and would over-strain his muscles. But maybe it felt better for him, the warmer temperatures and snow instead of ice.

      It’s just watching this slow decline that makes me so sad. I don’t know how many months, weeks or days we have left. But every shift downward is another reminder.

      • 2bAnon (4163 posts)
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        7. This is so hard to go through.

        making the most of what time you left with each other.  tears flowing.  :hug:



  • elias39 (3946 posts)
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    5. I feel for you Magical Thyme.

    Been through it more times than I like to remember.

    “Name, no, nothing is nameable, tell, no, nothing can be told, what then, I don't know, I shouldn't have begun.” ― Samuel Beckett, Stories and Texts for Nothing
  • hollys mom (907 posts)
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    6. I can identify, my Holly is 16. Her rear legs shake when she stands

    So far she gets around,  – doesn’t like stairs but climbs then to sleep with me.  A few undiagnosed lumps and lots of skin tags, and lost teeth, she seems to be going strong. Certainly can annoy me enough and barks when not sleeping half the day.

    enjoy the little time left. dogs – gods