Aging dog quality of life

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Aging dog quality of life

This is a discussion on Aging dog quality of life within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; My pup turned 14 a month ago. He's a tad arthritic and has moderate hip dysplasia which affects his ability to go up and down ...

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Old 12-30-2015, 12:49 PM
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Aging dog quality of life

My pup turned 14 a month ago. He's a tad arthritic and has moderate hip dysplasia which affects his ability to go up and down stairs, even getting up on all fours takes a lot of effort. I am able to walk him for 30-40 minutes every day and he does well walking at a leisurely pace, so he's not lame yet. His eyes are cloudy but he sees fine. He has been going deaf at an alarming rate, but again he can still hear. 14 is about the average life span for his breed mix and he is the runt of his litter.

He is our (family pup, not only mine) first dog so letting go is going to be tough but I'd rather it be a day too soon than a painful day too late. A friend's 17-yo pup passed away yesterday in rather dramatic fashion and I don't know if I could handle that.

I need advice about quality of life here. I thought Christmas 2014 was going to be his last, but he keeps surprising. Overall, he seems happy but I can tell he is frequently in pain. He also does a weird thing where he will seem to shiver or get the chills and shudder, sometimes snapping his jaw closed. I don't know what that is but it freaks me out. It's like a mini seizure, and only started happening in the past year. If anybody knows what this is, please let me know.

Has anybody dealt with an aging dog/pet before. Do you have any advice?

As I said, he is not just my dog. I'm 15 and unable to take him to the vet for advice.
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Old 12-30-2015, 01:12 PM
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So far, he sounds like a fine old dog, aches and pains and all. I think if they can eat, get up, go potty on their own, if they take pleasure in life, there is no need to ask the question.
When everyday becomes an ordeal, when they look continually stressed, scared, defeated, then, well... had 3 dogs, it's not fun when they go the long slow road but it's up to us to decide how far they travel down it.
But your guy sounds just fine for the old dog stage. Look into his eyes and ask; he will tell you.
Or, as our vet puts it, do the bad days outweigh the good days. There is no easy answer.
PS. My avi is Dynamo in her last month, looks great, no? She slept alot, needed an operation, and had a wonderful weekend a week before the end being off-leash at a cottage, she chased ice-cubes (her favourite old dog pasttime) in her last week. She passed away on her own. You don't always need to decide anything at all.
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Old 12-30-2015, 02:25 PM
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That's comforting to know. Thanks for your response.
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Old 12-31-2015, 08:25 AM
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Your dog will let you know when the time is right. He is living out his golden years being loved and cared for. Your family will have no doubt when he is ready.
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Old 01-03-2016, 03:48 AM
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He sounds fine to me! Everyone (people and dogs) is going to have some health problems as they age. It's already been said, but generally when the bad days outnumber the good days, it's time.

However, in my experience, the only two dogs I had go on me went very fast. One was an Australian Shepherd who was 12 I think, and he passed on quietly in his sleep and had nothing but good days up until then! The other, was a beagle who lived to be 19 and had her eyes removed at the age of 15 due to glaucoma. I always use her as an example, because the blind, deaf, old, fragile beagle, was the happiest and most pampered beagle in the world up until we finally had to put her down. She slipped into a coma one day, and instead of letting her suffer, we knew it was time.

You will know when it's time, just, do not let your emotions get the better of you. Meaning, if your dog is suffering, let it go. But your dog is not suffering, you are doing just fine!
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Old 01-03-2016, 12:49 PM
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Agree with all the other answers here.
The questions to ask yourself are...
Do the bad days outnumber the good? Am I keeping my dog going for him, or for me?
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