• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Aging Farm dogs and aggression and when to let go

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Aging Farm dogs and aggression and when to let go

    I have a 15yo beagle/JRT who I found when he was about a year old and brought home. He has always been a typical Napoleonic JRT type--snarly, puffed up tough guy with other dogs--the bigger, the better. But he's never been outright aggressive.

    About a month ago he out of nowhere picked a fight with my two-year old Dobie. Dobie was lying quietly napping in the barnyard, and the little guy sat up, walked purposefully over to him, and grabbed him by the throat. Dobie leapt up and tried to get away, but the little guy wouldn't let up, and eventually the Dobie bit him twice, leaving some pretty good holes in him. (I was in the middle of teaching a lesson, and ran up as quick as I could when I saw the little guy stalking the big one, but couldn't move fast enough to stop it. In case you wonder why I didn't call off the little one, he's gone deaf, and I was to far away for hand signals). We had noticed he was becoming increasingly snarly and crabby about other animals over the past few weeks (to the point of growling at the cat when it wanted to drink water--they've been friends for years) and snarling and chasing the young Dobie, and our other dog, an elderly lab. As I say though, he's always been Napoleonic--he got his leg broke by a horse several years back, because he was trying to steal grain from under his feeder, and when the horse lunged at him, instead of running away, he stood his ground.

    Anyhoo, I whisked him off to the vet to get his various new apertures closed, and while in there they did pre-anesthesia blood work and discovered he is in end-stage kidney failure. He will die from this, and it can't be cured. However, we have a new diet (which he hates) and they are giving me anywhere from a few months to a year that he can survive. They also suggested some of his increased aggression may be due to the kidney function issues--sort of like being a mean drunk.

    We've had a few weeks of relative peace, but last night he got snarly again. Went after the lab when he was trying to drink, and this morning went after the Dobie again when he was lying in the barn yard. This time there's only a minor owie on his ear, because the Dobie took off running when he saw him coming. But it was still stressful and I'm a bit at my wits end.

    These are farm dogs. They've all had obediance training, and have done agility, but their "yard" is my 60 acre farm. I have a single level open floor plan house. Seperating the little monster is not a good or kind option--essentially I'd have to crate him, which he hates. So here I am, wondering if I should prematurely euthanize a terminal dog, rather than wait around for him to get himself killed.

    I feel terrible thinking about this, but I don't want him to suffer some horrible death after being grabbed by another dog, or stomped by a horse ('cuz he's been growling at them too). I don't want to have six more months of giant vet bills every few weeks because he's picking fights all the time. And mostly, perhaps selfishly, I don't want any of mine or anyone's else's animal being known for killing a dog when it won't be their fault.

    On the other hand, other than the snarly, grumpy things, and the fact he's terminal and deaf, you wouldn't really know he was sick. So I feel guilty taking a seemingly healthy guy for that final vet trip. I could do it, but it would still feel, well, weird.

    He's been a good, if trying dog (have to admit, I wouldn't go out of my way to have a JRT or Beagle ever again, LOL), and I want to make the right call here. Any words of wisdom?
    Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
    Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
    Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com

  • #2
    I type this with love and tender care..... I would put him down.

    You already know his prognosis is terminal. You already know he hurts. Then the added deafness and aggression. Let him go while he is still comfortable, with gentleness, much lovin and lotsa treats.

    It stinks and it hurts, but as the wise Coreene says: better a day too soon than a second too late.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


    • #3
      As hard as it is to type this. . . if he were mine I would most likely put him down also.

      It is never an easy decision, but I think the aggression is a sign of pain, and self knowledge that he is in a vulnerable stage of health.

      And your other points of him being increasingly injured due to his aggression are very valid.
      There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


      • #4
        I think I too would put him down. Better a week too early than a minute too late, IMO. I'm sorry. What a tough situation.
        Full-time bargain hunter.


        • #5
          If he's attacking the dog, it could be a child next. I say spoil him rotten for a day and then let him go 'over the bridge'. Better to remember the old coot for being a curmudgeon than 'that dog that bit a child' or worse.
          R.I.P. my sweet boy Tristan
          36 years old, but I was hoping you'd live forever


          • #6
            I've lost three cats to kidney disease. It is a slow, painful death. They have good days and bad days....then there are more and more bad days.

            He's not happy. He has lived a full life. It is never easy but better now, before he hurts someone or something.


            • #7
              Phoenix, I agree with the others.

              He's not going to get better, and he may get more aggressive. Do you really want to remember him as a vicious, unhandleable little monster after he's gone?

              If he were mine, I'd make the appointment.

              It hurts and it stinks, and I'm sorry as hell, but I think you know what needs to be done.
              Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.


              • #8
                If it was me, I'd fence in an area outside so he can't get out and the other animals can't get in, do the same inside (it'd be very short-term anyway). If he just spends his time glaring and trying to get out, you could realize it wasn't helping and take him to the vet since there was no solution to the problem. But it might allow him to have a few last weeks of enjoyment, with some privacy.

                Dunno if that's possible for OP, but it seems like the only possible 'solution' to the problem. If that doesn't work, I agree that euthanizing him a little early is better than risking him biting someone and/or meeting a horrific death from another animal he attacks. In any case, my sympathies for the OP's dilemma.


                • #9
                  If he's still going after the Dobie, then diet or no diet, he's still in pain. I would tell the vet that it's time. It's not premature just because he's not gasping out his last already. He's in pain, the treatment apparently isn't helping, isolating him is not an option or fair to him, you know the disease is terminal and he has months at best...let him go.
                  Author Page
                  Like Omens In the Night on Facebook
                  Steampunk Sweethearts


                  • #10
                    If I were in your shoes I think I would call it a day for the old man. I myself have a 15 year old 3-legged boy that is now deaf, and getting cranky. He won't go after other animals though, but if the younger dogs keep getting in his business he tells them were to put it! I dread the day I have to make that final trip with him, but I will do whatever is in his best interest. It sounds like your guy is checking out a bit and perhaps doesn't have all his wits about him anymore, and he's terminal anyway so why prolong the inevitable when he seems to be changing his demeanor towards life. It will be worse if he ends up getting killed by one of your other dogs or a horse when he goes after them, its a much worse way to go.


                    • #11
                      He sounds unhappy and in pain. My curmudgeonly dog turned really aggressive when he started having kidney problems as well. All of a sudden a little alpha is in chronic pain and is just pissed off at anybody within breathing distance, maybe he CAN live for a few more months but should he have to if he is miserable? I think it's a very reasonable call to spare him several months of erosion of his dignity.
                      If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb


                      • #12
                        OP - I'd definitely consider putting him down. First reason being that JRTs are notoriously tough guys (as you describe yours to be) and if they are showing any indication of pain you know it has to actually be a great deal of pain they are feeling.

                        Second reason being, if you do decide to separate him from the rest of the dogs you will have to commit to doing that for as long as he is alive. In my experience, once we separated our dogs that weren't getting along they were actually worse with each other if they accidentally ended up in the same room. Much worse. And having gone through a year of keeping two dogs separated at all times, I can tell you it is not an easy task.

                        Best of luck to you with your decision and pats to the little guy.


                        • #13
                          I think you already know the 'right' answer...

                          Don't leave it too late, or you'll end up hating yourself for making him suffer unnecessarily.
                          Eternal Earth-Bound Pets Independent Contractor.

                          All I want is to know WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CHICKEN???


                          • #14
                            Big hugs to you as this is such a tough decision. You have to look at the quality of his life and the safety of others. I can't say what you should do as everyone comes to grip with this themselves, but I have had to put down dogs that were in terminal illness and share your pain as we would all so much prefer they just die in their sleep.


                            • #15
                              This is Exactly the same as what happaned to my elderly JR bitch.
                              She had kidney problems too but we were not aware of it till much later.
                              She was always the alpha in the pack of her and a much smaller and younger JR bitch and would snarl at her but never acted upon it. One day in a seemingly random act she attacked the other bitch. Fortunately we were able to intercept. She put a few holes in the other bitches leg.
                              Then all was back to normal. No more fights.
                              UNTIL 6 months later we had gone out to the races for the day and left both dogs in our large fenced yard.
                              We came home to find the smaller bitch dead. The old dog had bit her jugular. We hoped it was a swift death but it was extremely distressing.
                              The old bitch was so happy with herself and as now the only dog got to be number one.
                              We took her to the vet who pronounced she was having kidney issues. Her health went downhill quite rapidly after that and we had her put to sleep about 5 months after the attack.
                              It was a terrible thing but we realised her crankiness and shorttempered behaviour was simply out of pain. Sad that her mate had to die because of it.

                              Would I have put the old girl down earlier and saved the attack and the death of the other girl. Probably not because I did not think it could ever happan.
                              I would certainly be far more alert now if faced with the same situation and would never leave the old sick dog in the company of others. I feel she just wanted to be left alone.

                              Your boy might just come off second best against a young doby. The decision is of course yours and only you can judge just how comfortable he is. I would definately keep the
                              dogs seperated until the time comes for the old one to cross over.


                              • #16
                                In your shoes, I'd spoil the hell out of him for a day or two and then euthanize. It does sound like he's hurting - I know I'm grumpier than usual when I don't feel well/am in pain - and I bet that's the case with him.

                                It sucks, but ... anyway, hugs and sympathy to you and the old guy.
                                Delicious strawberry flavored death!


                                • #17
                                  Add me to the send him over the bridge soon crowd.
                                  It's tough...but kidney failure as it progresses will be horrible over time. And his aggression means he's not content or happy now anyways.
                                  Aggression as they age and if they may/may not have a health issue is common. Because many times if the oldest or sick dog doesn't get aggressive the rest of the younger healthy dogs will get aggressive towards the weak dog. Genetic pack behavior...perfectly normal and often heart breaking. When an older dog gets aggressive, it's because they know they've become a target and are avoiding problems by being the aggressive one first. Means they're nervous.
                                  It would probably be kindest to the poor old boy to be euthanized after a good long day of one on one attention and treats.
                                  My sympathy on his issues.
                                  You jump in the saddle,
                                  Hold onto the bridle!
                                  Jump in the line!


                                  • #18
                                    I'm so sorry. I would put him to sleep now. {{hugs}}

                                    You have to think about what would happen if he crashed one weekend and you couldn't get him to the vets. Better he go peacefully now.
                                    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


                                    • #19
                                      My sister had a cat with kidney disease. She had good days and bad days, almost got put down a couple of times but rallied. My sister dragged it out too long, was too attached to put her down. When she finally crashed for good it was on a Friday night. The poor kitty had no muscle tone, was like a rag-doll all weekend, was miserable. The ER vet didn't want to put her down because the cat wasn't a "regular patient" and wasn't in "current pain" (I think he was a wimp). So the once-proud kitty had to endure 2 1/2 days of complete and total helplessness and absolute misery until we could get her to the regular vet on Monday. It was the worst weekend of both my sister's and that cat's life.

                                      Definitely in the "better a week early than a day late" camp.

                                      I just hope someone can be that kind to me when I get to that stage...


                                      • #20
                                        An old man animal-lover spent the night in the hospital last night because he was bitten ~for the third time in as many months~ by a dog in renal failure. Bite is infected. Blood poisoning in 24 hours.

                                        Owner is my well-intentioned sister, old man is my dad.

                                        Please don't let your situation come to this.