Dog Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My elderly parents had a dog, Sherlock which i have had for the last 2 years. My dad passed away 2 years ago and Sherlock would wander the house looking for him. Shortly after, my mom began falling, sometimes with serious injuries. She moved into an assisted living apartment and is unable to have the dog there mainly because she is unable to take him out to potty, feed him, etc... He's been depressed at my house, though i've tried to be good to him. He hasn't eaten as well and has lost a lot of weight. His normal weight when he lived with my parents was about 24 pounds. I've taken him every 6 months for a checkup and each time the weight is down. The vet says each time that it'd be better for him to weigh more, he's a little too thin, but nothing to be too worried over. These last 2 months, however, he's declined very rapidly. He never barks anymore, he paces aimlessly when he's not sleeping. I have to sit with him and coax him to eat, have tried every food you can think of - name brands, store brands, canned (chunky varieties as well as "mush" varieties), semi-moist, dry, prescription food, senior diet, you name it. He'll eat the semi-moist if i coax, but even then i can only get him to eat about a half packet a day. Had him to the vet 6 weeks ago, and his bloodwork is all normal, the vet can't find anything wrong in terms of a disease or anything to explain the lethargy. "healthy" He's lost bowel and bladder control and, while i feel like a bad person for doing it, i've started keeping him outside in desparation. He poops and pees and walks through it back and forth as he wanders and within a short time he has it tracked throughout the house. I literally spent 50 minutes one morning scrubbing the floors trying to get it all cleaned. I tried kenneling and he makes a mess in the kennel with feces in his fur, his ear where he laid in it. I tried confining him to a small area but then the mess is really just in the small area. My house is fairly open so the only areas i can block off that aren't carpeted are the laundry room (pee runs under the washer and dryer, that's a problem) and a short hallway which is my only way out of my bedroom. the mess is so bad sometimes i literally can't get out of my bedroom to clean up the mess without walking through it myself. So, it's outside. I live in Texas and it's already hitting 100, way too hot for this dog given his age and given that he's been an indoor dog all his life. After agonizing what to do for Sherlock, I came to the conclusion that he's so unhappy, doesn't do anything he used to enjoy, is isolated and suffering. I took him to the vet last night with a clear request to have him euthanized. The vet looked at his charts and concluded that he has no medical reason to euthanize and cannot do so in good conscience. this dog weighed in at 14.8 pounds last night, i see his backbone and his hip bones. The vet gave me Tramadol for him, saying that maybe he'd eat better with the pain meds. I can't get the Tramadol down him, have tried hiding it in food (that's a circular problem, I got him to take a bit of wet food but as soon as he tased the pain pill, out it came). I put one in one of those pocket treats, i can't even get Sherlock to take the treat. I tried putting it down his throat. i've owned dogs all my life and have done this wtih a half dozen dogs many times. but there's no way i can do it with Sherlock. This is the one time i see a spark of life, the struggle is surprising and he's bitten me a couple of times in my attempts. So, sorry for the very long post - am i wrong to think it's time to let this old guy go peacefully and with dignity? The vet has me feeling as though i made the request for my own convenience. yes, the dog is outside as a "convenience" i don't think it's sanitary to have feces and urine daily spread around the house. but, the refusal to eat, the weight loss, the aimless wandering, no barking (what daschund doesn't bark at things?), did i mention his hearing and sight are really bad now. i think this dog has no will to live and is miserable. Yes, an elderly dog loses some mobility and spark, but this dog is just a shadow of his former self.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,350 Posts
What does Sherlock get to do for fun outside the home? Has the vet tested him to check why he's lost control of his bowels or is it just a housetraining issue?
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
We've spent over $1,5000 trying to determine what the issue is with the incontinence and lack of bowel control as well as the lack of appetite. He had back surgery years ago when he was 3 or 4 and given that his back legs no longer work properly, the vet thinks it's an issue related to the back combined with age (he's 17). It's not a housetraining issue as this has been an inside dog all his life and the incontinence and lack of bowel control started a few years ago and has gotten much worse over time. There does seem to be a thickening of the stomach wall, but to diagnose this would mean another $800+ and the conversation with our vet was that we didn't know what we'd do with the results once the tests were done. Given his age, treatment options are limited, of course depending on the cause. And, sad to say, reality is that we only have so much to spend at the vet. Seems like a lot of money to spend to get answers that we likely will not be able to address from a feasibility standpoint (his age) and from a financial standpoig.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What does Sherlock get to do for fun outside the home? Has the vet tested him to check why he's lost control of his bowels or is it just a housetraining issue?
Posted via Mobile Device
Forgot the first part of your question. He used to go around the yard, smelling things, chasing bugs, etc... Sherlock doesn't seem interested in doing anything at all, he just wanders/paces and sleeps. With his back legs not working well, he has a very hard time climbing anything, no way can he jump. when i say "climb" keep in mind that he's only about 4 inches off the ground, so even going over a medium sized rock or a curb is a climb for him.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,779 Posts
How long has he been with you?

I have a 17 year old dog, and ANY change of his routine is VERY hard on him. If he lost me, his home, and had to go live with someone else they'd likely find him much like you have your dog. Shadow is completely blind, has some dementia, doesn't do 90% of the things he used to, and only seems to take complete interest in food. He does have a need to know that I'm near.

Here's what I think is going on with your dog. You say he's going blind and death, I think he may also have some dementia going on, and he now has to cope with a new home. All of that is making him very anxious which is why he is pacing so much, it also will make him have less of an interest in food.

PLEASE bring your dog back inside, you are making him much worse by leaving him outside. I do completely understand the sanitary concerns you have, I'd be putting doggy diapers on him, taking him out every couple of hours to see if you can get him to go, and changing him throughout the day.

I do understand your decision to euthanize him. If you can't bring him in, then rather then leave him outside find a different vet and have them put him to sleep. It'll be a lot kinder then his living outside.

Here's a thread about the last time I had to give my old boy a pill (I didn't have anything, that he liked, that night to put the pill in). http://www.dogforum.com/general-dog-discussion/giving-shadow-pill-28022/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Rain, thank you. Taking Sherlock out every couple of hours is not an option. My job is 60% travel. I do work from home when not traveling so this works some days. But, on the days that I travel, no one is home all day to take him out. We've tried the doggy diapers and they help if he only has to be alone for a few hours. But, in an 8+ hour time span, they contain the mess for only so long. True, it's not the colossal mess, but still a big mess. I got a laugh from your pill post, describes the even with Sherlock exactly. I'll keep trying, but fear i'll be out of pills before I can figure out his "doggy crack!" lol As i said, he's got no interest in eating...
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top