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Old and poorly dog... How do you know when it's time? Any advice?

(10 Posts)
EmmalinaC Mon 16-Jul-18 13:54:18

Our Basil was 14 on Saturday. He's suffering from inflammatory bowel disease which is (mostly) controlled with medication and old dog vestibula disease, which makes him unsteady on his feet but isn't too serious in itself.

Just recently the IBD flare ups have become more frequent - maybe once a week - this makes him miserable and results in bouts of diarrhea.

This morning he fell over on his walk a couple of time. The ODVD does make him wobbly but this was more like he didn't have the energy to lift his feet.

He's very old. He's very tired. But he's got a good appetite and he's still wagging.

How do you know when he's had enough? I would care for him forever, but I don't want him to suffer.

Any advice welcome. Thanks sad

OP’s posts: |
user1488204592 Mon 16-Jul-18 13:59:16

When they stop eating/drinking/enjoying stuff. That's how we've always done it, we've usually been right, a friend of mine lost their dog recently at 3 years old. He had all those signs before passing.

Wolfiefan Mon 16-Jul-18 14:03:19

I'm sorry. We have only had to face it for a cat so far. Our vet said it wasn't about preventing suffering. It was about dignity. And she had none.
I think for me it is about whether they are still able to enjoy the things they always have and that make them happy.

CocoaGin70 Mon 16-Jul-18 14:04:09

It's very unusually warm weather, maybe cut back on the walks and just let them enjoy the garden? We hadn't walked our old girl for her last couple of years.... it was just too much.

I just knew when she was ready to go - her eyes showed it. She was eating, and drinking but when she kept stumbling on her way out for a wee, I just realised she was suffering. She was a chocolate lab and I'm so amazed we got her to the grand old age of 13 as she was a stocky girl.

It's the worst decision for you but the kindest for them flowers.

Phillipa12 Mon 16-Jul-18 14:15:55

My vet always said to me "rather a week early than a day late". I agree with what Cocoa says, its the eyes that give it away, even if they are still eating and drinking.

Lancelottie Mon 16-Jul-18 14:18:37

For our very old cat, it was when she didn't perk up miraculously at the sight of forbidden food (ham in her case).

EmmalinaC Mon 16-Jul-18 14:42:47

Thank you all for your replies.

Cocoa Basil is a lab x springer. In the past year he's lost nearly 10kg in weight, which has cured his arthritis but means he's very weak. Part of the problem is that he get's miserable if he doesn't get taken out for a walk. We also have a much younger dog who needs a lot of exercise and Basil hates being left behind. He just doesn't realise his own limitations.

Phillipa yes, that's good advice. But so hard to make that decision.

Wolfie what you said about dignity breaks my heart. Every time he poos in the house he is so embarrassed.

I've made appointment with the vet tomorrow evening. DH is going to come home early so we can go together and have The Talk.

OP’s posts: |
Branleuse Mon 16-Jul-18 14:46:57

i keep wondering this too. We have a 17 year old staffie who is wobbly and epilileptic now, and covered in lumps, but she still seems to enjoy pottering around a bit
I worry a lot about whether she is still comfortable, but am assured that we will know when the time comes

mayhew Mon 16-Jul-18 14:50:13

I had my Labrador was pts in March. She was 14, arthritic and less able to go on her beloved walks. One night she got distressed, seemed confused and had soiled the floor. The next morning she had great difficulty standing. We did it that day. It was very gentle and dignified.
She died as she had lived, snacking.

SpiderCid Tue 17-Jul-18 12:09:32

I recently had to make this decision with my elderly cat. Its certainly not a easy decision to make. My cat had lived with a stomach growth for about a year which due to her age operating was risky and no guarantee that they could fix the issue. Other than the fact she would occasionally throw up she was her happy lazy self. The issue came when she started throwing up about half her food a day and she started losing weight dramatically. I just knew one day soon I was going to wake up to find she couldn't move anymore. The vet agreed it was for the best but a couple of months on I still feel guilty, I wish I there was a way to be 100% sure the day before. But I guess as Phillipa12 says rather a week early than a day late.

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