Equus
 
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 03:41 pm
I have heard that elderly cats, sensing death is near, will go off to die alone. Is this true? Do dogs do this?

My 15-year old dog Honey is very old, arthritic, and barely able to walk. Several days in a row last week, while I was away at work, she crawled off behind some heavy furniture in a room rarely used; then would get stuck back there and need rescuing. She barely has use of her hind legs, so to get there on her own was a major effort. Her whole life she avoided that room, until recently. One day she was so thoroughly stuck behind old furniture, it took me about 3 hours to excavate her. There is nothing to eat or chew back there. As far as I can tell there is no sane reason for a dog to laboriously crawl into such a tight space repeatedly. Since the last episode, I've made certain the room is inaccessible.

Could she be instinctively 'crawling off to die'?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 6,331 • Replies: 38
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 03:57 pm
A friend's golden retriever ran off when she (the dog, not the friend) was about 13. We assume Ginger was going off to die, so yes, I think it's very possible.

Hugs, my friend.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 04:06 pm
Equus, I feel very sad for you....it is true, dogs do this. As far as I know, depending on the personality of the dog, some will crawl off, and some will seek owner attention when they sense they are about to die. The sensitivity of animals never ceases to amaze me. 15 would make her 105 in human years...doesn't make it easier, but it puts things in perspective. Sincerest wishes that this isn't the case.
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 04:14 pm
Sorry to hear about this equus.

That kind of strange behavior does sound like she might be wanting to be alone to die.

It is always a very sad thing to lose an old friend like Honey to death -- and my heart goes out to you.

You might consider talking to a vet about this -- and doing whatever has to be done to ease any pain she might be feeling right now.
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Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 06:32 pm
It's so sad to lose a loyal companion. My heart goes out to you.

You can try and make Honey a place in that out of the way room. Put her favorite blanket in a corner and maybe some old sweater/sweatshirt of yours. She may use it and then again maybe not. She is an old soul.

Be glad for her, in the midst of your saddness, be glad for her.

Peace

Joe
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 11:31 pm
I'm so sorry Equus. My thoughts are with you.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 11:36 pm
I suspect as you and others do that you are right. I suppose there is a chance that you aren't. Love to you both from me, .
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Sep, 2003 10:02 am
I agree with Joe Nation.

Your dog knows she is weak and feeble and unable to defend herself. Do you have a card table that you can drape with a heavy blanket to make a safe (and accessible) cave?

We just had our 16 year old dog put to sleep. He still enjoyed much of life, but he was paralyzed and couldn't control his bladder or bowels.
He elected to spend most of his last month under the kitchen table surrounded by the kitchen chairs (with a rug added for traction when he needed to stand up) He felt safe there and still able to supervise cooking.

All dogs take a great interest in cooking meat. Laddie was the only dog I've known who enjoyed supervising vegetable preparation.

This is a hard time for you. Hold your dominion.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Sep, 2003 04:21 pm
Hugs to you, too, Noddy.
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Diane
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2003 09:53 pm
Equus, I'm very sorry to hear about your dog. I think they follow their instincts and go off to be alone or choose to stay clost to someone they love.
Our first dog stayed so close to me on her last day that she actually had to be touching me.
I have a feeling that cats are more inclined to want to be alone.
As Joe Nation said, be glad for her. They have a much better attitude toward death than most humans.
Noddy, very sorry to hear about your dog. We had an old black lab in the same shape. She seemed happy simply to be in the middle of all the action even though she wasn't able to move very far. I still miss her after 10 years.
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quinn1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Oct, 2003 07:21 pm
Hugs to all who have experienced this, I know this first hand as well and its a perplexing thought but, it seems to be something natural for them.
My dog growing up ( Laddie also noddy!) for about three days in a row tried his hardest to run away, get off his leash or sit stubbornly with all his might. On the fourth day he became very ill to the point where we knew he had to see a vet. He was old and we knew he had cancer, it seemed to be that point where we problably couldnt do anything further except make it the easiest for him and we weren't going to allow him to wander off on his own. He didnt make it to the vet but, he did try with all his might to sleep by my side that night, so much so that my dad couldnt take his crying up the stairway but, when he tried to pick him up he wimpered with such pain that dad stayed up with him all night at the bottom of the stairs. He passed when he had done his job of making sure I got up one more morning. It still tears me up to this day and I realize how different animal instincts are then ours, and how incredibly special they are in so many ways.
Equus, please let us know how you & Honey are doing..Im sure its a tuff time, and we're here for you with hugs and support, little that it is at times like this...its something to lean on.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Oct, 2003 09:15 pm
That's right, Equus. Here's a little top of head scratch for Honey.
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Equus
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Oct, 2003 04:20 pm
Honey is pretty miserable but I can't bring myself to have her put to sleep just yet. She does fine as long as she doesn't have to move. She can hear, see, and feed herself if food is close by. But she has almost no use of her hind legs.

Funny story- I came home from work one day last week and my second dog Tyke had been busy. He had knocked over a broom which had been upright near the front door. It slid down against the wall just right to throw the deadbolt so I couldn't get in the house. And to top it off, he had somehow jumped on the TV remote and were watching TV, with the volume blaring. It was funny after I broke the deadbolt and thought about it, but upsetting before. I wonder if he tried to order pizza while I was locked out?
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Diane
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Oct, 2003 04:22 pm
Equus, better check your email--they might have been having fun there as well as watching TV!
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Oct, 2003 05:45 pm
Cleo often seems to be trying to push the buttons on the phone, when I'm talking to Setanta. We've been trying to figure out who she thinks WE should be calling.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Oct, 2003 07:07 pm
ehBeth- We had a boxer who would jump all over us, and try to attract our attention by rubbing us with his paw whenever we were on the phone. I think that he was jealous of the attention given to the person on the other end of the phone!
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quinn1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Oct, 2003 07:32 pm
Equus....funny story! Gosh..what do they do all day when we're out...thats what those mysterious charges are Wink
Cleo comes out from under the bed for her nightly attention when I get on the phone and Zoey has moments of stepping over the phone while Im on it...I thinks its all about wanting to share.
Sorry to hear Honey is having such trouble getting around and about, seen the vet about helping the situation out without putting down yet?
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Oct, 2003 08:11 pm
Equus wrote:
Honey ...has almost no use of her hind legs.


Would a doggie wheelchair work for her?
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Equus
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2003 10:42 am
I've thought about a doggie wheelchair, and came close to ordering one. I may still yet. But $ is very tight at present.
0 Replies
 
quinn1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2003 12:30 pm
What about anti inflamitories or is the problem deeper than that?
0 Replies
 
 

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