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Please advice me on my 12 year old dog

(26 Posts)
olddoganyadvice Sat 24-Mar-18 12:44:42

I've name changed, a regular on Mumsnet but many family and friends know about this and could be outing.

I have a 12 year old Labrador, he's my first dog and I'm at a loss of what to do so hoping someone can help.

He has slowly being going downhill for the past couple of years. We had a number of issues last year with him collapsing for no reason and looked like he was having a fit he was also not his normally happy self, he looked deflated. I took him to the vets and £600 later and after running ever test (urine, bloods, kidney, liver etc) it all came back fine.

He is blind and deaf and struggles to walk, I can get about half a mile and then he's had enough. He can't walk up steps anymore.

Over the last few weeks we have had a few accidents in the house, often we have just been for a walk or he has been in the garden and come in and had an accident. He walks whilst having the accident so I'm not sure he knows he's doing it?? He often will want to go out at 2/3am to go to the toilet.

Two days ago he started throwing up yellow bile (he has done this before) it lasted 24 hours and he's ok now. He belches very loudly a lot and sounds like he's being sick but isn't.

I'm just struggling, I had to go back to work full time after becoming a single parent (I come home at lunch to see to him or my mum will call in so he's not left more than a few hours). But due to the accidents and the sickness I've now started sleeping on the sofa in case he needs to go out in the night or is sick. I haven't had a full night sleep in weeks and I'm exhausted.

We are due to go on holiday in May but I don't think we can go as I can't leave him with anyone when he's like this. I think I need to take him back to the vets but can't afford another £600 of tests on him. Apart from the accidents not a lot has changed in 12 months and they all came back clear last year. He's doesn't seem a happy dog anymore as struggles to get around and bangs into everything as he can't see (his eyes are glazed over) but he doesn't seem to be in pain.

Just wondered if all this is normal in an older dog.

Sorry for long post

OP’s posts: |
villainousbroodmare Sat 24-Mar-18 12:53:23

I'm a vet. That poor dog needs to go for the Big Snooze. He sounds wretched but none of the problems you describe will end his life, just make it unpleasant. (Btw "can't walk up steps" is pain and weakness.) No decent vet will deny you a peaceful euthanasia and pressure you to test further, looking for some fatal condition. However, euthanasia and cremation for a big dog in the UK might be not too far off your £600 budget. Burial is usually the least expensive option and taking him home for burial is of course the least costly if you can do that.

fourpawswhite Sat 24-Mar-18 12:57:15

Hand hold OP, that's really hard, but I agree with the vet poster.

My old girl is 14. She is a little blind and deaf and is on medication for arthritis. However she is bright and alert, eats well and goes out for a wee wander in garden for toilet. She still barks randomly to scare the other dogs, cuddles in and manages stairs and up onto the sofa.

I dread having to make that call but it looks like your dog is telling you it's time. The kindest thing you can do for your dog is to listen to that.

honeyroar Sat 24-Mar-18 12:57:41

Hi. He just sounds like an old dog. 12 is about the average life expectancy of a lab. 🙁 You sound like you're doing everything that you can to help him. I don't know if I'd put him through any more tests at that age, I'd go back to the vet and have an honest discussion with them. Tell them he's struggling and you are worried about him. I hope I don't upset you saying this, but I would personally consider having him put to sleep now before he gets any worse. If he doesn't look like he's enjoying life and he's gradually getting more and more ailments it's not good overall. I lost my 11yr old lab at Xmas, quite suddenly so I never had to make the decision, but I'd like to think I would have done the right thing if I'd had too, even though it breaks your heart to lose them. Hugs to you, it can't be a nice time at the moment.

mayhew Sat 24-Mar-18 13:00:48

I put my old labrador to sleep last week. It was very sad but her hips had been weakening for two years and now she couldn't really walk even on painkillers. It was very sad but she was not curable.
It really was the only kind option.
From the cost point of view, my lovely kind vet put her to sleep in the surgery and arranged cremation. I didn't want the ashes back.
Cost £142.

villainousbroodmare Sat 24-Mar-18 13:03:50

Oh that's good to clarify cost... I'm not in the UK and am generally amazed at British prices. Return of ashes increases cost substantially. flowers OP.

olddoganyadvice Sat 24-Mar-18 13:09:50

Thank you.

This is what I thought I needed to do but I am scared to make the decision. My dcs are under 12 and he's been in the whole lives and they love him.

My vet is lovely and I don't want it to come across that I can't cope with him and I'm giving up on him because he's old and struggling. I work one day at the weekends so I have a day off this week when dcs are in school. I will make a vets appointment and take it from there.

Thank you so much to everyone who has replied.

OP’s posts: |
villainousbroodmare Sat 24-Mar-18 13:27:01

I think it is v important to talk to your kids in advance of the visit. I usually prefer to have all family members present if possible. It is actually such a peaceful event which is a relief for everyone. Most vets will take a few minutes to talk to the kids and make it very gentle. Depending on the age of the child I would avoid the ubiquitous term "put to sleep" in case of creating sleep fears or any misconception that the dog might wake up again.

MolliewithOllie Sat 24-Mar-18 16:51:07

the cost of vet coming out to euthanise my beloved dog and ashes being returned to me in a lovely wooden box was £202. I was surprised it was so low. So sorry you are going through this.

AlpacaLypse Sat 24-Mar-18 16:58:48

I've done it both by taking the dog to the vets and by having the vet come to us. Everyone has always been very kind and gentle. You'll find vet reception will be very helpful about discussing what to do, and also what options you have for afterwards. A couple of our ddogs are buried in the garden - but you need to make a very big hole. Others we opted to have the ashes returned to us and buried those, planting a shrub or rose bush on top as a memorial.

This is the last kind thing we can do for our animal friends. [hugs]

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Sat 24-Mar-18 17:06:18

He's doesn't seem a happy dog anymore

For me, that's the key bit. He isn't enjoying life anymore and there's no prospect of that changing. It's time to let him go flowers

scattyhattie Sat 24-Mar-18 18:16:26

My dogs tend to get that bile sick when they've not eaten in a while and a few biscuits at bedtime helped.
Sorry flowersit's a tough decision but harder to watch your dog decline further so agree with other posters that best to discuss with vet & plan his passing, giving him a good spoiling.

The advantage when not emergency is you can decide what would be best choice for your family & the finances. My 30kg dogs individual cremation was £190 goes by weight & choice of box but can just have scatter tube & buy your own later. My dog was relatively ok in himself (just terminal) so had picnic in a meadow & opted for vet to come out to him so that cost us more than usual, was under £200.

Accountant222 Sat 24-Mar-18 18:34:59

It's time to say goodbye to the lovely old boy. Sending hugs it's heartbreaking

Steamcloud Sat 24-Mar-18 18:41:15

How awful for you op flowers. The vet won't judge you I promise; they've seen it all before, and it's about doing what is right for your individual dog. Dogs live in the here and now, and if he is not enjoying life any more; it's kinder to let him go.

If it helps at all, I heard or read Monty Don the gardener (a huge dog lover) say that the only regrets he has about his dogs were ones relating to keeping them alive too long, not the reverse flowers

Steamcloud Sat 24-Mar-18 18:43:15

Scatty your picnic in the meadow sounds lovely.

olddoganyadvice Wed 28-Mar-18 17:45:10

Thank you to everyone who posted on this. This morning my beautiful doggy was put to sleep.
I sat on the vets floor for an hour cuddling and talking to him until we let him go. Today has been horrific and I can't even put in to words how difficult this has been. Thank you for all your kind words and advice thanks

OP’s posts: |
ScreamingValenta Wed 28-Mar-18 17:47:02

I'm so sorry for your loss. You gave him a happy life and a loving and peaceful end flowers.

MuttsNutts Wed 28-Mar-18 18:00:25

Oh bless you. I am so sorry.

Don’t be in any doubt that you made the right decision. Dogs deserve to be happy and enjoying life and if they aren’t then it is time to say goodbye.

I know exactly how you feel as I had to make the same heart breaking decision last month. My beautiful girl had been suffering with several health conditions for a while. None were immediately life threatening but they were gradually diminishing her quality of life and it reached the point when her ‘good’ days were so few and far between that they didn’t justify the many bad. I couldn’t bear to watch her going downhill any longer so made the call.

It is the hardest but kindest thing we can do for our darling dogs. Well done for being strong enough to let her go.


Wolfiefan Wed 28-Mar-18 18:01:56

I am so so sorry for your loss. You are suffering but he isn't. You have done the right thing. Completely. He was lucky to have you. flowers

Hullabaloo31 Wed 28-Mar-18 18:09:10

Huge hugs OP. I've got a 12 year old lab too and whilst he's fit and healthy for now I know we're on borrowed time. You did the right thing, the bravest decision to make for them.

BiteyShark Wed 28-Mar-18 18:19:41

So sorry flowers

UrsulaPandress Wed 28-Mar-18 18:25:18

You don't have to put it into words. Most of us will know exactly how you are feeling.


aproblemsharedandallthat Wed 28-Mar-18 18:50:30

I'm so sorry for your loss OP. I too have been in the same position, twice. I've never felt pain like it but was once told "it's the last kind thing you can do for them". I went to the vets both times and stayed with them until the very end. I have their ashes in my living room, I'm not ready to part with them yet. It will take a long time but the pain will fade and the lasting memories will surface, making it a bit easier to move on. Feel free to share your pain and emotions with us so we can support you. The next few days, especially, will be hard for you. His presence will be missed in many ways whilst you adjust to him not being at home with you. For many months after, I used to pull up on the drive and I swear I could hear my dog bark. When I walked in the door, I would miss her bounding up to me for a fuss. I still miss them both now but the heartbreak I experienced putting them to sleep has made me not get another dog. The thought of having to go through that again, is unthinkable. I have however, sponsored a dog with the dogs trust and I also make a monthly payment to the RSPCA so I can in some way help other animals. Hugs OP thanks

Steamcloud Wed 28-Mar-18 18:55:04

So sorry op flowers

mayhew Wed 28-Mar-18 19:09:31

It is so very sad but you did the right thing. Death is unavoidable but hopefully suffering is avoidable. Dogs live in the now and accept that last sleep gratefully and gracefully. It is truly a kindness.

One nice thing that's happened is that I've accepted donations from local dog people for her bits and raised £100 for Dogs Trust.

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