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Hello All,

My beautiful pug, Princess, is 14 years old and has lived a full healthy life...Up until last year...It started with her hind legs sliding somewhat and her gait was wobbly...Fast forward to today...She is cannot control her bowels...When peeing she is walking because she cannot hold her position...She has bad arthritis in her hips and back knees...We think she has constrictive or degenerative myelopathy, but will not find out exact diagnosis without a very expensive MRI...So we are treating her with prednisone and gabapentin...Her potty schedule is every 2 hours now with still some accidents...We pick up to go up and down the stairs, although she tries to do them herself...She has lost several pounds in the last year as well, even though she's on steroids...The vet can't figure that one out...Her liver counts were elevated recently but we knew that would happen due to the prolong steroid use...Now, I noticed a drop of blood underneath where she was standing and felt under her belly...Her mammary gland is swollen and slowly oozing blood...We are so focused on her lose of ability to walk much that we never noticed or even felt this mass...The one positive thing about Princess is she still eats like a piggy pug does!!...Like each meal is her last!!...She is always on the search for a stray crumb...Watching her body fail and now the mammary cyst (we have a vet's appointment tomorrow for that), I've researched the "quality of life" list...I can check off many on that list, with the exception of "loss of appetite"...It's what keeps me justifying her failing body...What if her drive for food is stronger than any pain she might be having?...Does anyone know of a dog never losing their appetite up until the very end??...I'm at such a loss...Princess has grown up with my kids and is my baby girl and we don't want to loss her...But we don't want her to suffer either...help :'(
 

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I'm so sorry. That is so hard.

I guess I can't give you any answer but I can tell you the story of our dog we lost (the first dog we lost). His name was Arby and he had very bad arthritis because of poor-shape of his back-legs. He lost a lot of weight and started being unable to stand easily, he would cry when he fell and was reluctant to be petted. He seemed sad and lifeless. That is, until we started him on steroids. He was great! He ran around, he played, he was happy, he was eating well again. The last day he was on this earth, he was still in good condition but began to pace. That morning he had a bad seizure and went to the vet. He laid down and never got back up. We put him down while there because they said something inside of him broke and he was ready to go. He likely had cancer that spread.

My point of this story is that Arby acted ready to go, but the meds helped him have a happy last few weeks and it was totally worth it. If your pug wags her tail, looks you in the eye, stands when you stand, asks to cuddle, is excited about food or walks, ect, then she is still enjoying life with you, despite the pain or trouble getting around.

It is between you and your dog when you truly know, but just because a dog has pain does not mean it doesn't enjoy its life with you. When a dog starts ignoring your movement, hanging its head, or not meeting your eyes, it is saying it is getting ready. You can see it in wildlife, when the animals become with-drawn or go off on their own.

You sound like a wonderful owner and you gave and are giving her a wonderful life. I hope the vet says the tumor isn't too bad and she can finish up her Golden Years happily.
 
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