Old dog/euthanasia advice needed

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Old dog/euthanasia advice needed

This is a discussion on Old dog/euthanasia advice needed within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; We have an almost 15 year old lab mix who has been with us since he was 8 weeks old. He is now very hard ...

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Old 10-05-2018, 09:33 AM
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Old dog/euthanasia advice needed

We have an almost 15 year old lab mix who has been with us since he was 8 weeks old. He is now very hard of hearing, incontinent of bowel daily, mostly sleeps except when following us through the house or going out back to pee and sniff. He has obvious chronic hip/back pain that is mostly unrelieved by vet-prescribed pain meds. When he is awake he pants a LOT and paces around til he find a place and way to lay down to sleep. He is still eating and drinking well and looks happy when he is engaging with us. But we're wondering if we need to start considering euthanasia. We're unhappy with our current vet, as he is very old-school and tends to treat pets like farm animals and rarely remembers us at visits despite going there for several years, so that is why I don't bother consulting him for advice on this. He did have thyroid and liver panels done recently and they were all normal. He doesn't seem to be in excruciating pain but we also know that his quality of life is diminishing and we don't want to put him through unnecessary suffering... Yet at the same time he seems relatively content and I worry that the reasons we are considering euthanasia are selfish. I often wish he would just pass peacefully in his sleep so we wouldn't have to make this decision. Looking for honest and reasonable advice. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-05-2018, 11:08 AM
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That is the most heart-breaking and hardest decision to make. I posted a response to a very similar post recently. I'm going to re-post what I said here.

Just because one gets older and slows down, has a hard time with stairs or jumping, isn't a reason to think life is over. That's all normal when aging, so what he needs is help with all of that. A softer bed, help up the stairs, less stress on joints, etc. It sounds like he needs different medication. Focus on making life as good as it can be for someone that is elderly. Better or softer food. Medications, probiotics, supplements. Even therapy. Go all out and think of anything you can that you'd want for yourself if you were experiencing achy joints and difficulty with stairs, or losing interest in food.

Make a bucket list of things that make him happy and do those things. The worst thing is to have regrets that you didn't do everything you could and then some (speaking from expericence).

And please, if you do eventually have to make the decision to take him in to be put down, stay with him. You are his comfort. Don't let his last minutes be with a stranger. Let his thoughts be of you and how much you love him. Also, I hate even mentioning this, but it's something people should be aware of. Euthanasia does cause some pain. It's not just slipping away peacefully. At least not from my experience.

That being said. I think you should focus on life and living and making life better and happier for as long as you can. The best place to start would be visiting a vet that wants to help make quality of life better and get him examined and go from there with whatever you can do to make him comfortable and happy.
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