Old dog and making the decision.

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Old dog and making the decision.

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Old 03-28-2018, 09:12 AM
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Old dog and making the decision.

Hello, I'm starting to wonder if we need to make the decision for our old dog, Maggie.

Maggie is a shih tzu, almost 15 years old. She's been on a number of heart medications over the last 4+ years. Thankfully she's very determined to stick with us (the pharmacist has said she's never had a dog with these prescriptions that has survived for so long), however I'm beginning to wonder if we need to start thinking about doing what's best for her.

She's still a happy and affectionate dog, but we know her mental faculties are starting to leave. She'll often just stand and stare, forgetting where she is.

She's having accidents more and more. Not losing control, but just going somewhere in the house to do her business. She still asks to go out sometimes, but quite often we may be watching tv or something when she'll suddenly get up and start trotting to the front room (her favorite indoor place) before we catch her.

She's lost a lot of teeth, but still eats and drinks. She's also losing a lot of weight but doesn't seem to be in distress or uncomfortable. She's also mostly deaf.

Overall though, she still has some of that spark in her. She's happy to see us and likes to be with the family and see what we're doing. She's always begging for treats.

This is where the possible selfish part comes in. In early June the entire family is going on a big trip overseas. When we planned the trip we really didn't think she was going to be with us much longer. (she goes through some periods where it seems like she's beginning to trend down but then seems to always snap out of it.)

The thing that worries us is how she'll handle this. She's always had a hard time when we leave. She gets very distressed. Not to mention the accidents. We really can't have a dog with these issues at someone's house. We really don't have someone who can come over and watch her and clean up. We know her time is close, but she's been beating the odds so much we're not sure when that will come.

I know the decision is ultimately up to us, but I'm wondering what others may think?
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Old 03-28-2018, 09:27 AM
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I think this is a very tough decision. It's the hardest one any pet owner has to face. But it is also the last loving thing you can do for her.

From your post, it seems you know it's going to happen and I do believe that it's better a week too early than a day too late.

So it's down to what date you are comfortable with, really. Leaving her isn't really an option, I agree. So it's either PTS just before the holiday or doing it soon so that you have time to process it before you go.
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:27 AM
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I think it best to do it now....
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Old 03-28-2018, 11:12 AM
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I had a vet one time tell me to think of my dog's three most favorite things. As long as they can still enjoy two of the three, then they are probably still enjoying a decent quality of life. For example, my dog enjoyed jumping, cuddling and barking at her food (no kidding). When she had a stroke and lost her eyesight and ability to jump, we knew it was time. We spent a day and night cuddling her (her last favorite thing) and took her in the next day. For me, that advice was truly helpful. You still have quite a bit of time before your June vacation to evaluate her status and whether the time is right. Ultimately, I don't believe there's a "wrong answer"...it's a tough decision and you will just need to go with your gut. If you and she decide to keep plodding along, you could consider hospitalization during your trip. This alleviates the need to have the trip be the decision point and they would be prepared to address her anxieties and stress with IV fluids and monitoring. Best wishes.

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Old 03-28-2018, 01:17 PM
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Thanks, everyone! She is going in for a check up tomorrow and I'll also ask the vet for thoughts as well.

Definitely a tough decision to make!
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Old 03-28-2018, 01:21 PM
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Been there, done that. It's never easy even when you are sure.
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