Looking for help/opinions on dealing with my 13 yr old dog

Go Back   Dog Forum > Keeping and Caring for Dogs > Dog Health

Looking for help/opinions on dealing with my 13 yr old dog

This is a discussion on Looking for help/opinions on dealing with my 13 yr old dog within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I have a 13 year old chocolate lab named Molly. She has always been a great dog but in the last year she has become ...

User Tag List

Like Tree2Likes
  • 1 Post By yoshiposhi
  • 1 Post By JohnR

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-18-2017, 04:16 PM
  #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Looking for help/opinions on dealing with my 13 yr old dog

I have a 13 year old chocolate lab named Molly. She has always been a great dog but in the last year she has become a handful. She is no longer able to walk up and down the steps on her own. If she does try, she usually loses her footing and would fall if we weren't there to help her. She goes to the bathroom in house because she is unable to get to the pen in time. She refuses to to stay downstairs and will knock down gates if we try. She has destroyed every carpet in the house. She still has an appetite and although she isn't as energetic or playful as she used to be she is still "with it" and enjoys spending time with us.

She has gone to the vet and they say she has arthritis and her problem is just old age. They did blood tests and she does not have cancer. She has started to lose some of weight but part of that is her refusal to go downstairs more than once a day which causes her to sometimes miss a meal.

In the past few weeks she has only gone diarrhea. She rarely just does solid poop anymore. When I have the money I will take her back to the vet to see what the specific problem is. I've been working from home and I spend a lot of time with her. Just today she have gone diarrhea 3 times.

She doesn't seem to be in pain. The only time she expresses discomfort is when we force her to come down the stairs and go out to the pen. She takes a very long time but once she is down the stairs she is able to walk on her own (albeit very very slowly).

We have never been the type of family to put a dog down just because they have started going to the bathroom in the house. Other dogs we've had that we had to put down either had cancer or were unable to walk at all/had little to no appetite.

This is a unique experience for us. Other people I have asked about this said they think it is time for her to be put down. I'm just not sure. Please give your advice on how to deal with this situation.
loreuhann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2017, 06:16 PM
  #2
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Boston metro-area, USA
Posts: 1,885
Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Question Confused.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loreuhann View Post

I have a 13-YO chocolate Lab... Molly. She's always been a great dog, but in the last year, she's become a [lot of work].

She [can't] walk up & down the steps on her own. If she [tries], she usually loses her footing & would fall if we weren't there to help her.
She [voids] in-house because she's unable to get to the pen in time.
She refuses to to stay downstairs, & will knock down gates if we try [to block her upstairs access].
___________________________________________

I'm confused by the part in BOLD color - if she cannot get upstairs solo, why can't she be kept on the lower / lowest floor of the house?

If she stays on the lowest floor, can she get to the "pen" to void? // Why must she poop / pee "in the pen"? - isn't there somewhere more accessible for a disabled dog to toilet?

Why can't U put a narrow ramp over one side of the stairs, like the cleated ramps used on chicken coops, that provide something for traction? -- Dogs don't need a 3-ft wide staircase, 12 to 15-inches is adequate width, so long as there's a vertical edge to prevent her stepping off into midair.
How is her vision? - can she SEE the edge of a ramp / edge of a step?

re "she can't be confined downstairs", How does she get up the steps, if no one helps her? // Why can't U install gates that screw to the wall, not the cheap spring-loaded ones that are only held in place by friction?

I'm not being critical - i know the screw-mounted gates are a bit more expensive, but surely if it saves the cost & mess of carpet ruined by urine & feces, it's worth the extra $$?
Plus, if U look on FreeCycle or CraigsList, U can find local *used* gates - kids outgrow them, & parents get rid of them. *shrug* Or look in consignment shops, Goodwill, & other used clothing / furniture outlets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loreuhann View Post

...
She's destroyed every carpet in the house. She still has an appetite... she isn't as energetic or playful as she used to be, [but] she's still "with it" & enjoys spending time with us.

...the vet [says] she has arthritis... her problem is just old age. They did blood tests & she does not have cancer. She's started to lose some weight... part of that is her refusal to go downstairs more than once a day, [she] sometimes misses a meal.

In the past few weeks she's [had constant] diarrhea. She rarely just does solid poop anymore. When I have the money I will take her back to the vet to see what the specific problem is. I've been working from home and I spend a lot of time with her. Just today she [had] diarrhea 3 times.

She doesn't seem to be in pain... she expresses discomfort [only] when we force her to come downstairs & out to the pen. She takes a very long time but once... down the stairs, she [can] walk on her own (albeit very very slowly).

We've never been the type of family to put a dog down just because they've [begin toileting] in the house... [other past dogs] either had cancer or were unable to walk at all/had little to no appetite [, when we out them down].

This is a unique experience for us. [Some say] they think it is time for her to be put down. I'm just not sure.
Please give your advice on how to deal with this situation.
Unfortunately, diarrhea is a welfare issue - U can't put off treating it, she needs a vet, & can't wait till there's money to spare.
Won't Ur usual vet allow U to at least get a stool specimen under the 'scope? - parasites could cause her problems, & a cheap Rx might eliminate her distress.

Diarrhea means lost electrolytes - E-lytes run our bodies, we cannot survive without them, & they must be in specific balance. She can die of heart failure if she loses too much calcium, or lacks sodium.
It's not "JUST" nutrition [amino acids, vits, minerals... ] she loses in the fluid stool - it's essential stuff to run the body systems.
Dehydration, especially when it's chronic, is also potentially fatal.

I'm unsure about the "blood tests" - a full blood panel is def a good practice with elderly dogs, who should be seen every 6-mos for a wellness check. // But even a full blood-panel won't reveal "cancer", which can be in any organ.
25% of all U-S dogs who die of advanced age HAVE one or more cancers on autopsy - the cancers did not -cause- their deaths; they are simply present, b/c cancer is increasingly likely with age.

I'd ask my vet if they can't see her, & U can make payments, if need be - or they might be willing to charge costs only for meds, etc, plus the office visit.
It can't hurt to ask, & she needs help ASAP.

Could a friend or relative lend the money?
Is there a local rescue or animal-welfare org that can provide funds?
If not, GO FUND ME is an option - she needs help *now*.

Is she overweight? - her walking & stair issues might be greatly helped by losing wt; obesity contributes to arthritis.

- terry


leashedForLife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2017, 06:51 PM
  #3
Senior Member
 
AlwaysTomboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: near Reading, PA
Posts: 340
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by loreuhann View Post
She still has an appetite and although she isn't as energetic or playful as she used to be she is still "with it" and enjoys spending time with us.

She has started to lose some of weight but part of that is her refusal to go downstairs more than once a day which causes her to sometimes miss a meal.
I'm afraid i don't have any good answers or advice, nor do I want to seem unsympathetic to your situation, but it's worrying me that she's having to skip meals because of her mobility issues. Can she not be fed upstairs, or where ever she happens to be at her mealtime?

I hope you're able to find a way to help her continue to be as comfortable as possible in her home, even if it means modifying your lifestyle and environment a bit.

Sincere best wishes to you both.
AlwaysTomboy is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 09-19-2017, 10:50 AM
  #4
Senior Member
 
yoshiposhi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 712
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I'm sorry to hear that you are going through this, I am actually going through something similar with my senior dog.

I would definitely find a way to bring her to the vet as soon as possible. @leashedForLife made a couple of good suggestions: a gofundme page, borrowing from friends or family?

Diarrhea for an extended period of time is not good. It can affect her kidneys or it could be a sign of kidney failure. Best to get the stool checked out and a blood panel done.

The vet should be able to offer some suggestions on how to ease her joint pain which might help her mobility a bit.

Have you considered doggy diapers?

Good luck with everything. I hope you can take her to the vet soon.
leashedForLife likes this.
yoshiposhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2017, 11:55 AM
  #5
Senior Member
 
JohnR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 332
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
You have to consider that dogs will hide any pain or discomfort that they're feeling. The fact that she is refusing to use stairs is an indicator that she is in actual discomfort. You might want to talk to the vet about some pain meds, such as Rovera.

Have you talked to your vet about the chronic diarrhea? It might not be associated with her age at all, and may just be an inflammation of her lower GI tract.
leashedForLife likes this.
JohnR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2017, 12:35 PM
  #6
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Boston metro-area, USA
Posts: 1,885
Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Arrow just saw a sticky re WHEN U CAN'T AFFORD VET-CARE

just saw this -

https://www.dogforum.com/dog-health/i...ord-vet-26920/

HTH,
- terry

leashedForLife is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Getting through puppy years (emotionally)--and specifically dealing with nighttime JoliBear Puppy Help 5 05-30-2016 11:43 AM
Dealing with large dogs and their owners... jagger Dog Training and Behavior 12 04-03-2016 10:09 AM
Dealing with a dogs during a divorce Joolie567 Dog Training and Behavior 4 01-11-2016 11:51 AM


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.