12 yr old English lab...is it time?

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12 yr old English lab...is it time?

This is a discussion on 12 yr old English lab...is it time? within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi everyone, I am new here and would like advice. Our 12 year old lab started to decline over the last few months (mainly peeing ...

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Old 02-25-2018, 06:38 AM
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12 yr old English lab...is it time?

Hi everyone, I am new here and would like advice.

Our 12 year old lab started to decline over the last few months (mainly peeing in the house and arthritis making it difficult for him to walk. Vet said he still looked good and prescribed an antibiotic for the peeing thinking it might be a UTI, and painkillers for his hind legs.

Thursday I came home from work and he could not get up AT ALL. This was a huge and dramatic decline- could not bear ANY weight on his back legs. Had to carry him to car and to vet. He was whining and panting, clearly in distress.

After getting him to vet she looked him over and said there were two courses of action: put him to sleep, or treat him with anti-inflammatories for a few days to see if he would improve and buy him some time. We chose to do that so that our teenagers would have a chance to say goodbye to him - the vet also said his gums were pink and he was breathing well, and that if it were her dog, she'd try to treat it.

The first two days were ROUGH - we had to hoist him in/out of the house to potty with a towel sling, took 2 people to carry him. We planned on taking him in tomorrow to be put to sleep. We have been grieving.

Now the question: yesterday he made some MAJOR improvements. He can suddenly now walk pretty well on his own and can walk in and out of the house to pee without us carrying him. He is wagging his tail again. Instead of feeling relieved I feel strangely disappointed (I'm sorry but I'm being honest here). We had told the kids, I had prepared myself - now he seems pretty good and I'm sure the vet would think we were nuts if we brought him in to be put to sleep.

BUT the thought of watching him decline (or finding him like I found him the other day) is horrible to me. The thought of postponing this and extending the grief feels terrible.

Does someone have any advice? We love him so much and want to do what's best for him.

Last edited by StFrancis; 02-25-2018 at 06:40 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by StFrancis View Post
Hi everyone, I am new here and would like advice.

Our 12 year old lab started to decline over the last few months (mainly peeing in the house and arthritis making it difficult for him to walk. Vet said he still looked good and prescribed an antibiotic for the peeing thinking it might be a UTI, and painkillers for his hind legs.

Thursday I came home from work and he could not get up AT ALL. This was a huge and dramatic decline- could not bear ANY weight on his back legs. Had to carry him to car and to vet. He was whining and panting, clearly in distress.

After getting him to vet she looked him over and said there were two courses of action: put him to sleep, or treat him with anti-inflammatories for a few days to see if he would improve and buy him some time. We chose to do that so that our teenagers would have a chance to say goodbye to him - the vet also said his gums were pink and he was breathing well, and that if it were her dog, she'd try to treat it.

The first two days were ROUGH - we had to hoist him in/out of the house to potty with a towel sling, took 2 people to carry him. We planned on taking him in tomorrow to be put to sleep. We have been grieving.

Now the question: yesterday he made some MAJOR improvements. He can suddenly now walk pretty well on his own and can walk in and out of the house to pee without us carrying him. He is wagging his tail again. Instead of feeling relieved I feel strangely disappointed (I'm sorry but I'm being honest here). We had told the kids, I had prepared myself - now he seems pretty good and I'm sure the vet would think we were nuts if we brought him in to be put to sleep.

BUT the thought of watching him decline (or finding him like I found him the other day) is horrible to me. The thought of postponing this and extending the grief feels terrible.

Does someone have any advice? We love him so much and want to do what's best for him.
It could have been a temporary phase. You are lucky that he has shown improvement. Dogs also have a very strong immune system so they fight from inside. I have been treating my buddy since last two months and trying to do the best for him. So keep on till you are left with no option. Only then think of ......

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Old 02-25-2018, 12:59 PM
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I would keep up the meds, as long as he had a decent quality of life, with no more pain, then is manageable, he is IMO doing ok. When and if, he does not respond to the meds, then you ask the question, 'am I keeping him alive for him or for me'? The truthful answer to that question tells you what your course of action must be.
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Old 02-25-2018, 01:22 PM
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Maybe, go day by day. He is doing well today- enjoy this time with him.

As far as when/if to put him to sleep, no time will seem right, in my experience.
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:08 PM
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Oh what a tough situation. And I understand the disappointed feeling, because now you have to instead deal with the ongoing fear of a future decline instead of having it already dealt with. It's nerve wracking I would say.

I think you will know when it is the right time, because you love him and want whats best for him.
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