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Old 06-22-2010, 09:13 PM
Novice Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Halifax, VA
broken femur

i came here because i cannot find any peace with the decision i made.
i've been secondguessing myself and need some input from people who know and love rottweilers.
sunday i had the vet come to our house to put max to sleep while i held him.
max is a 12yr old rottweiler weighing in at 125 lbs. 2 weeks ago he fell down about 5 steps on our carpeted stairway and broke his femur. our vet felt he could not fix it and i sent the rads to an orthopedic specialist.
there the news at first sounded fairly good. the fracture could be fixed with a bone plate. unfortunately, there was hip dysplasia and severe arthritis. max was not able to walk at all on 3 legs which did not surprise me. for the past 2 yrs he was very laid back, rarely walking but seemed to be very content. he only moved fast when i called him for supper but made his way upstairs every night to sleep in front of my bed.
the specialist informed me that the healing would take about 3 months, and for the bone to mend properly he had to walk some every day, not just go to take care of his business. this was impossible, i weigh about the same as max, and when my boy did not want to get up i could not make him.
there was also the question why the femur would have broken in such a small fall.
for 2 weeks i walked max with my hands under his belly. i got him out in the mornings, watched during the day when he wanted to change positions, and back inside at night. his tail was going a mile a minute, his appetite was good, but all i heard was that i could not let him be that way.
now that he is gone i feel i made the wrong decision. please, help
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:22 PM
frontierrots's Avatar
Ancient Valued Member
Join Date: Jun 1998
Location: Unity, NH USA
Images: 62
Re: broken femur

rest easy. At 12 years of age you made the kindest and most humane decision

I applaude your courage and heart
Diane-Dogs of Frontier
River PKD-T,NCO-1
Bella (SBMC) Wildlife Recovery Dog
Gone on-VP Darla, U-CD Bea CD,RE,TD,CGC,TT, Bonnie CGC, Bill HICs,TT, Annie RE,CD-C,CGC,Wildlife Recovery, Aeryn CL-4FSH, Itsy Antler Dog
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:49 AM
Valued Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: N Z
Images: 19
Re: broken femur

I have no doubt you made the right decision. It's only natural to second guess yourself (even when there really is no doubt), it's part of the greiving process.
It's the worse thing we have to do as pet owners. You did the right thing for Max, he's no longer in pain. He had a good long life thanks to you, and you should be proud.
My sympathies go to you at this time, Alison
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:21 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Miami, FL usa
Images: 22
Re: broken femur

12 is up there for a rottie. and i too would wonder why the break so easy. maybe bone cancer could have been a possibility.
it is normal to second guess ourselves, but you most likely did the best decision. healing on a 12 year old dog with other ortho problems would not have been easy...
rest in peace.
not easy losing our pups.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Brasil
Images: 8
Re: broken femur

This post brought tears to my eyes as I was imagining how I would feel in the same situation. I think the way I would look at it would be the 12 quality years of life Max had, opposed to putting him through surgeries and things which in reality may only extend his life a little, and those wouldn't be quality months for him. This decision is something very personal, to each individual, personally, I believe you did the right thing for Max. It sounds like he had a wonderful life with you - keep those memories close to your heart
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:41 AM
Valued Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: New Hampshire
Images: 15
Re: broken femur

Sometimes our canine companions require the ultimate from us. Your action was the kindest and most compassionate. You really did right by your old fella. Please do not second guess yourself.

Braxenburg's Haute Couture BN, RN, WPD, CA, RATN, RATI, CGN, CGC, TT, HIC

Zebi's Some Kind of Wonderful PKD-T, RATI, NTD, DSA-TD
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:21 PM
Novice Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Halifax, VA
Re: broken femur

what bothers me the most is the opinion that unless a dog is active his life is not worth living.
i know it'll get easier, at 62 max was not the first pet i lost. but the only one where i'm not sure if he was ready. i appreciate your votes of confidence in my decision and i thought that would help but the hurt has not let up
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:46 PM
Novice Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Halifax, VA
Re: broken femur

i appreciate the replies, hopefully it'll get easier soon
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:04 PM
Valued Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Washington, NC
Images: 5
Re: broken femur

You made a decision based on the wonderful love you had for your boy. You saved him long hours of pain had you decided to try to "fix" the leg. At 12, he wasn't a good surgical candidate and surely his post op days wouldn't have been good for you or him. Try to be at peace with yourself knowing that your unselfish love put Max at rest and in no more pain.
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Old 06-23-2010, 04:09 PM
Valued Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Janesville WI
Images: 95
Re: broken femur

Oh my heart just aches for you.

You had Max for 12 wonderful years. That speaks volumes for the love and care you gave him. Please do not feel guilty. You didn't allow your boy to suffer and that is the most wonderful gift you could give him. I can say you 100% did the right thing.

He is smiling down on you from the bridge thanking you for taking the best care of him possible...right to the end.

**We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals. Immanuel Kant
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:28 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Tempe AZ USA
Images: 5
Re: broken femur

Originally Posted by tiburonfirst View Post
what bothers me the most is the opinion that unless a dog is active his life is not worth living.
i know it'll get easier, at 62 max was not the first pet i lost. but the only one where i'm not sure if he was ready. i appreciate your votes of confidence in my decision and i thought that would help but the hurt has not let up
You did the right thing. Yes, dogs can still enjoy life even if they've slowed down quite a bit. However, in your boy's situation, with the fracture and his age and other orthopedic issues complicating the recovery, you did the kindest thing you could have done. Dogs have no sense of time, they only know the here and now. Not being able to get up and walk, even if the dog is generally fairly sedentary, is very frustrating. My Missy had a spinal stroke at 12, and was clearly frustrated by her inability to get up. She had other ortho issues as well, and there was no guarantee she would recover enough function. So, I did as you did, with the vet coming to the house. I knew, and know, that it was the right thing.

Please do not punish yourself. The pain you are surely in will ease in time. Your dog knows that you did right by him, as you always did.
Missy Von Chaos (2/24/96-5/17/08)
Anneheuser the Bud Lady (11/23/86-1/19/98)

Forever my special angels.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:02 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Wapwallopen PA USA
Images: 5
Re: broken femur

You did the kindest thing for Max, although the hardest thing for you. My boy is also elderly and I hope when the time comes I have the strength to make the same decision that you did.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:26 PM
LORHEL's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: FL
Images: 11
Re: broken femur

I can tell you with experience you did the right and kind thing, your boy was in pain that just could not be bearable and with his age of 12 that alone is outstanding, makita had broken her bone in her radius/ulna when i first got her but she was 1.5 years old.

In the last year starting around 7 and half because of that she began to have chips floating in her elbow area along with arthritis - it was manged for a year with pain meds and an anti inflammatory and she had much quality of life even in the end - she ended up having thyroid cancer but it was her severe elbow dysplasia and a really bad week of having trouble just walking in and out for potty breaks - when they are in that much pain you have to consider and you did, it will hurt for a long time and never totally go away but you will eventually feel comforted knowing there is no more pain- a broken femur to me is one of the worst breaks - I am so very sorry it happened - don't ever doubt you did the wrong thing, the wrong thing would have been to let him suffer any longer - my thoughts are with you.
Makita-9.5 year old female CGC-My heart and soul at the bridge 12/27/99-05/07/09
Zeke-not the end, but the beginning, until we meet again, 6/22/00-8/1/01
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