Help/ advice for a sick pet

I am wondering if anyone can assist with any experiences they have had?

We have a 13 year old, dearly loved Labrador. He has had several minor collapses and is quite weak with spasmodic breathing problems. We have taken him to the local vets and, although we speak reasonable French, it is difficult to communicate on a meaningful level with the vets on medical terms etc. The vets have filled him up with tablets and returning appointments costing a great deal but they do little good. Does anyone know of an English vet in the locality of Limoges/Angouleme? Also does anyone know what the policy is with regard to putting animals to sleep here? I know in UK the vet will come to the house but I doubt in this area that will happen. At 13 he is not going to get any miracle cure, but it is difficult to know how to proceed from here as another visit to the vet will yield just another bag full of tablets.

Any advice and/or thoughts much appreciated. We are not knocking the system here in any way but just feel rather out of our depths in these circumstances.

just went through this. When the time comes you will know. It will be one of the hardest moments of your life and you will never get over it which is a good thing because you should not. Remember the good times.

I had my old dog put down last year. My local vet spoke about as much English as I speak French but together we were able to muddle through. It was one of the most heart breaking moments of my life and I did ask him if he would come to the house to do it. He explained that they used to do that, but they discovered that more often than not the atmosphere caused by the distress of the pet's family caused more distress for the animal than putting them asleep at the clinic. So that is what i did and I was able to nurse her while she was put to sleep and it was about the best solution at a very sad time. I was going to bury her in the garden, but in the end I had her cremated which was done and she's in a pot just behind me as I write.

Thanks Véronique for the timetable. As I said, I was given this information by my vet and had no need to question it as all her colleagues speak English. I was only trying to help.......

Thank you so much to everybody for their helpful comments on this blog. Really appreciated. Nobbie, having appeared to be at death's doorstep has now rallied incredibly and he seems to have a second lease of life at least for the moment, albeit temporary. (Reminds me somehow of children when you finally managed to get a doctor's appointment and arrived desperate and wild eyed at the surgery and said child suddenly appeared totally fit and healthy) ). However, as and when the time comes, we will contact the vet and ask them to come out and visit us as we would much prefer this. Many thanks for all the helpful comments.

Vets have to be able to pass exams (not the same as speak...) 2 modern foreign languages. English is usually one of them but it doesn't have to be; however as they do only 2 hours a week in prépa for the concours & the coéfficient is really low, languages are a necessity but not a priority (compared to 8 hours of biology, 8 hours of maths & 4 hours of physics plus whatever else with much higher coeffs).

Hi, we have a holiday cottage in Beaulieu and use the vets in Chalus Henry Derom. He speaks excellent English and is extremely helpfull. His email is
+33681207686 If you like mention Ted recommended him to you. I am sure he will do right by you.

I was told by my vet that as part of qualifying, French vets must be able to speak English, and certainly all 3 at our practice do. So ask to do the consultation in English - it’s going to be hard enough without struggling with language!

My heart goes out to you - it’s a heart breaking situation and I hope it goes as hitch free as is possible.

How very sad - poor you and your dog. When our ancient husky/something or other cross (he was in a refuge for 11 years and we knew were adopting for just a very short period) was on his way out, my French (which is usually quite good) deserted me. I took my neighbour with me who speaks a little English, but mainly so she could explain to me after the event what the vet was saying, when I was at home and a bit calmer. We knew Scratch was nearing the end and the vet offered to come to our house, but I decided it would be too much for the brats, so I took him to the surgery where we were treated with the utmost respect and sympathy, plenty of time for goodbyes, and I had his head on my lap when they injected him. Feeling quite tearful now even though it was nearly a year ago ......

Hi, sorry to hear about your dog. We went through that heartache ourselves 6 months ago. Our vet said she would come to the house to put Polly to sleep if we needed her to, but in the end we chose to take her down there as we wanted her to be cremated. Anyway, ask your vet if they'll do it, you have nothing to lose. I am French so if you need anything translated I am quite happy to help if you don't know anyone bilingual near you. If you message me on facebook (look for Lauren Clary) I can give you my phone number, or I don't know, maybe you can do it through this site? Good luck with it all.

My pointer/lab cross is 16 and has prilenal for her heart and incurin for incontnence every day: she has had 3 strokes and is a bit skew-wiff and arthritic but that is all she takes apart from candilat on a 10 day cure basis from time to time (supposed to be good for the strokes). At some stage my vet will have to come and put her down.

If you want the vet to come to your house to put your dog down, just tell them that is what you want, they will certainly agree if they know all about your dog, a strange vet won't. The only grim thing is you have to make the appointment, rather than waiting & reacting to how your dog is.

These are the details in case you want to check address/English speaking etc

B.p.s.k Sdelarl
Address: Résidence des Fontaines, 87150 Oradour-sur-Vayres

Hi Jennifer, the vet clinic at Oradour sur Vayres (between Limoges and Angouleme) are English speaking. Or at least they used to be - I think a new vet may have taken over but Dr Sophie definitely did.

I lived in France, in the countryside for 15 yrs and found most vets caring and helpful. We had a stud farm for horses and also pet dogs, requiring separate vet practices. We had to have both a dog and a foal pts, both times the vets came out and carried out the necessary without any issue.

We were able to bury the dog in our garden although this practice is not common in France, our vet turned a blind eye so to speak.

I doubt very much if you will find a native English vet in France but most vets do have a certain level of English, if you have a problem them get someone who can converse in French to help you.