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Signs a Border Collie is Dying?

Natalie Kyra

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There comes a moment when our faithful Border Collies approach the twilight of their existence. It is a time when emotions run deep. And the bonds we share with our loyal companions are tested by the profound awareness of their mortality.  But, what are the signs a border collie is dying?

Changes in appetite, restlessness, or reluctance to move and more are the signs of dying a Border Collie. Consulting with your veterinarian can provide insight into your pet’s specific condition and pain management options.

Today I’ll help you with this journey of sorrow.  Let’s navigate the path of understanding, embracing both the joys and challenges!

What Are The Signs A Border Collie Is Dying?

As devoted owners, the thought of our beloved Border Collie nearing the end of their journey can be emotionally overwhelming.

  • Persistent Coordination Problems:

You may notice that your once-agile Border Collie is stumbling or struggling to maintain their balance. These coordination problems are heart-wrenching reminders that their strength is waning.

  • Loss of Bladder Control

Accidents indoors or an inability to control their bladder can be distressing for both you and your Border Collie. It’s a stark reminder of their vulnerability during this stage of life.

  • Significant Weight Fluctuations

Unexplained weight loss or gain can be emotionally taxing to witness. Your Border Collie’s changing physique reflects the transformation occurring within their aging body. It’s a reminder to monitor their nutrition and overall well-being closely.

  • Persistent Breathing Difficulties

Labored breathing or rapid panting that doesn’t subside is a visual and auditory sign of their struggles. Each breath may remind you of the countless joyful moments you’ve shared. In these moments, your presence, soothing words, and gentle touch offer solace.

  • Loss of Interest in Favorite Activities

A sudden disinterest in activities they once loved is a heartache all its own. Watching your Border Collie turn away from the games and pastimes that once brought them joy can be emotionally taxing.

  • Body Temperature Fluctuations

Frequent shifts in body temperature, especially feeling unusually warm or cold, can be unsettling. These changes may reflect underlying health issues and call for your diligent care to ensure your Border Collie remains comfortable.

  • Changes in Appetite

A noticeable shift in eating habits, either a significant decrease or increase, can be an emotional rollercoaster for owners. As caretakers, we are dedicated to providing the best nutrition and care.

  • Persistent Muscle Tremors

Involuntary muscle trembling or shaking is a physical manifestation of their struggles. Witnessing your Border Collie experience these tremors can be heart-wrenching, as it highlights their discomfort.

  • Increased Shedding on Sleeping Spot

More hair left behind on their favorite sleeping spots is a tangible sign of their presence. It’s a poignant reminder that they’ve shared these spaces with you throughout their life journey.

  • Overall Change in Personalities

A shift in demeanor, such as increased irritability or withdrawal, can be emotionally challenging. Your Border Collie’s personality, once a beacon of love and joy, may now show signs of change.

  • Reduction in the Rate of Mobility

Slower movement, reluctance to walk or play, is a tangible sign that their once-vibrant energy is waning. Witnessing their hesitation to engage in activities they once adored is a poignant reminder of their aging bodies.

Signs Of The Last Days Of A Dying Border Collie

As I approach the final days of our loyal Border Collie’s life, it’s a deeply emotional journey. Recognizing the signs that indicate your faithful companion may be in the last chapter of their life.

  • Extreme Weakness

One of the most heart-wrenching signs of a Border Collie’s final days is their extreme weakness. Watching them struggle to stand or walk is a stark indicator of their frailty.

  • Loss of Appetite

A refusal to eat or drink is a poignant sign that their journey is drawing to a close. The food that once brought them joy now holds little interest. It’s a time when your love and care become their sole source of comfort.

  • Restlessness

Frequent shifting in their position, an inability to find comfort, and moments of restlessness are reflections of their physical discomfort. Your presence offers solace in these restless moments.

  • Shallow Breathing

Noticeably labored or shallow breaths are a testament to their weakening bodies. Every breath may remind you of the countless moments of joy and shared experiences. In these moments, your calming presence provides reassurance in their final breaths.

  • Lack of Response

Limited or no response to your voice or touch can be a poignant reminder of their declining awareness. As their senses wane, your love and companionship become their sanctuary. Continue to speak to them softly, even if they cannot respond as they once did.

How to Help Your Dog at the End: What Should You Do?

In the tender moments when you must make the heart-wrenching decision of euthanasia for your cherished companion, it’s essential to understand the process and the deep compassion it embodies.

Seeking Euthanasia

When the time comes to consider euthanasia, you have a choice to make. If a home visit from your veterinarian isn’t possible, you may need to transport your beloved pet to the vet’s office.

This can be a highly emotional journey, so having a support person by your side can provide immeasurable comfort. For larger dogs, the journey to the vet’s office may require someone to hold them in the car, making the presence of a support person invaluable during this time.

The Appointment

Euthanasia appointments are typically scheduled during times when the veterinary office is less busy, often late at night or early in the morning. This allows for a more serene and personal experience during this profoundly emotional moment.

The Procedure

The euthanasia procedure itself is designed to be peaceful and painless for your beloved pet. It consists of two stages:

Sedation: Your veterinarian will begin by administering a strong sedative to your dog. This sedative induces a state of deep sleepiness and tranquility, allowing your companion to remain calm and at ease.

Euthanasia Injection: Following sedation, the vet will inject pentobarbital, a medication commonly used for anesthesia. In this instance, the dosage will be significantly higher than what’s considered “safe,” ensuring a swift and painless process. Your faithful friend will gently drift into a peaceful slumber.

The Peaceful Transition

Before the cessation of breathing, your dog will fall into a deep, dreamless sleep, unaware of the transition taking place. This individual process typically takes only 10 to 20 seconds, during which you can hold and comfort your pet.

The only sensation your companion may feel is a momentary prick from the injection, similar to a routine shot, which is virtually painless. Afterward, they will serenely drift into a slumber from which they will not awaken.

This process is incredibly tranquil and swift, with many pets losing consciousness within mere seconds, much like the way humans experience anesthesia before surgery.

While there may be minor twitches afterward, these are simply residual nerve activity and reflexes. Rest assured, your beloved companion will find peace in these final moments, enveloped in your love and compassion.

What Will You Do Once Your Pet Passes?

The moments immediately after their passing are filled with profound emotions, and it’s essential to approach them with tenderness and understanding.

  • Allow Yourself to Grieve

The first and most crucial step is to allow yourself to grieve. The loss of a beloved companion is akin to losing a family member. Embrace the tears, the sorrow, and the emptiness you may feel. These emotions are a testament to the love you shared.

  • Create a Memorial

Consider creating a memorial or keepsake in honor of your faithful friend. This can be a cherished photo album, a beautiful frame with their picture, or even a small garden memorial. These tokens of remembrance help keep their spirit alive in your heart.

  • Share Your Feelings

Lean on friends and family who understand the depth of your loss. Share your feelings and memories of your beloved pet with those who care about you. Talking about your emotions can be incredibly therapeutic during this time.

  • Remember the Good Times

Cherish the memories—the laughter, the cuddles, the adventures, and even the mischievous moments. Your pet’s legacy lives on in the stories and moments you shared. Celebrate their life by recalling the joy they brought into your world.

Final Words

Your pet may no longer be by your side, but their memory remains etched in the tapestry of your heart. The joy, the laughter, the moments of pure connection—these are the threads that weave the story of your enduring bond.

After knowing signs a border collie is dying, you can contact the vet. If possible you can try to save your dog. Otherwise, you may need to say goodbye to it. Though they may no longer walk beside you, their spirit lingers in the memories we hold dear.

Their paw prints may fade from our floors, but they will forever leave an indelible mark on our souls. Though the physical presence may fade, the love remains, eternal and unbroken.

You may also read :

What Do Border Collies Usually Die From


Natalie Kyra

Natalie is a Chief Editor and Lead Author with over 8 years of experience, She graduated from the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. She has one Border Collie (Pez) puppy & one French Bulldog (Lerry) in her house. She spends most of her time with the Border Collie puppy. Also, she loves to write content about pets, especially border collie puppies. 🐶

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