Post # 1
My dog is somewhere between 10-13 years old (found as a stray). I’m starting to worry that she won’t be around much longer. I wish she was completely healthy but I have this gut feeling something is wrong. Took her to the vet & she tested FINE. Vet said she’s just getting old :(. & they’re a GREAT vet too, always have been helpful with any issues.
Over the past few months she’s been:
Peeing in the house, even if let out every 4 hours & tested fine, no infection, etc. Vet says getting older & likely loosing control.
Shaking as though she’s terrified, for “no reason”
Loosing vision – just starting, she can still see as her eyes are only partially cloudy
Whines all the time, for “no reason” – can’t figure this out!
She tries jumping in my car & she falls back (now I lift her in but she doesn’t always wait the few seconds it takes to get to her)
She falls or trips while walking, running, going up stairs.. like her legs give out on her
Will sometimes not eat for 1 or 2 meals in a row but she will eat nasty trash if she gets into it!
However, she still has energy & that’s the part that confuses me. How in the world could I ever think her time is coming when she acts (for the most part) like normal?? And yet, I’m worried her time may be coming. I’ve always believed if a dog can’t control their bladder than its their time. Never had to ever do that. I don’t mind waking up in the middle of the night every night to let her out, or coming home on my work lunch breaks to let her out… but that’s not enough. I don’t want to live in a house that reeks of dog pee. Can’t have friends over & seems like I’m always cleaning up after her. She has so many other issues (which I listed above), yet she has energy. She doesn’t drag along where you feel sorry for her. But I see things like her falling when walking, falling out of my car when trying to jump in & landing on her back or getting stuck. Her whining & shaking makes me worry she’s in pain & hiding it. She doesn’t really look that old either. I don’t think I could put her to sleep, no way!.. but I have to consider it which sounds contradictory but I’m trying to think of everything. Even writing it here makes me tear up. I can’t even believe I’m writing this.
I’m not sure what the point of this post is. Has anyone else been there? What do I do? What can I do? Or what can I look for? I don’t want to talk to anyone “in real life” about this because it will be real. Any advice??
Post # 3
I would agree with your vet. Our dog is around 10 and around a year ago he started having the peeing issue; we have to get up once or twice a night to let him out. He’s starting to have issues with stuff like jumping on the bed (his eye sight is fine though) and is having more issues with stuff like ear infections and a problem with the skin on his back, but with the right medication, diet, and non-strenuous exercise, we really expect to have him around for several more years. He still loves playing and going for car rides and still has energy, we just have to adjust our routine a little. A dog isn’t necssarily going to randomly get cancer and pass within 6 months; it is very possible that your dog could have another five years in her.
Post # 4
I’m so sorry you’re going through this– I know how hard it is. It sounds like you trust your vet– she is probably just aging. The unexplainable whimpering could be due to joint pain. Ask your vet about little chews you can buy to help with the joint pain so common in older dogs. I’ve really seen it help my pets but I can’t remember the name at the moment.
Such a sad situation– I’m sending you lots of good vibes! It will all be okay. Sounds like you’re a wonderful dog mommy and that’s just what your baby needs.
Post # 5
Or does anyone have any ideas on tests I could ask the vet to do? They did x-rays (not her entire body but the lower body) & blood work & urinalysis. I know sometimes things don’t show up in tests. Or, possibly I missed a symptom because I was so nervous last time I was there.
I believe that she’s just getting old. I’m just hoping its something else “wrong” that could be fixed. Or if she is in pain, than its caught early so she doesn’t suffer long.
@ForeverBirds: Thank you, that makes me feel better. I hope your pup lives many, many years :). I am worried because I have a relative who has had pets that acted fine & they ended up having to be put down within a week as they did have cancer & just masked symptoms. & they are an excellent owner & always did the yearly exams & up to date on everything. Its happened to them twice (once a cat, the other a dog).
@SoonToBeSimmons: Thank you! I should probably get her glucosemine (sp?) which are joint meds. She doesn’t limp, but thinking about it, sometimes she has a hard time getting up. Also since she’s having issues jumping & falling/tripping, maybe that would help as well. I’ll talk to my vet about that too. I hate that dogs can’t tell us what, if anything, is wrong.
Post # 6
@canthugallcats: If she is in pain, it could be something that can be easily managed. She’s an old dog, and eventually older dogs get aches and pains. It may be as simple as over the counter pain meds to manage it. If she’s having issues getting up and down, it could be just stiff joints. You could ask your vet.
Post # 7
Assuming if they did blood tests that they tested for cancer? besides possibly being that, I’d say she probably is just going senile. when it IS her time, you will know 100% that she’s had enough. So sorry she’s not doing well!!
Post # 8
All great advice from other bees. Here’s what I have to add, having been through this way too many times. Never pass up an opportunity to give her extra attention. When I knew my cat was sick, I made it a point to stop and give her love, regardless how busy/in a hurry I was. Make arrangements now, because it will hurt even worse if you have to make decisions when she passes. My vet was wonderful, and they do not charge for euthanasia for their patients. If you wanted it to happen at home, which I strongly advise, they only charge $25 for a house call. I hope everyone can find a vet like that. Regardless, pay for everything in advance. We had my kitty cremated and chose a biodegradable urn that you could plant and flowers will grow from it. Also, have someone else pick it up when ready if you can. I’m sorry if this is depressing advice, but hopefully it will help you when that time does come. You’re in my thoughts, and I hope you have many more months/years with your girl. Saying goodbye sucks so bad, but it also helped me to think of it this way; when a pet dies from old age, it’s a true success story. They made it, they lived a long life with you to love them for all of it. They were never abandoned, hit by a car, or any other tragedy. I’m so sorry, big (((hugs)))
Post # 9
Has she been on meds for urinary incontinence? They don’t always help, but it’s worth a try.
Post # 10
I’m sorry you’re going through this.
Personally, I wouldn’t put my dog to sleep due to the issue of it peeing in the house. I would limit what areas he/she was in when I wasn’t home, maybe to a room that had a tile floor and put a bed and toys in there. This coming from someone who keeps a an extremely tidy home.
My dog is almost 15 and he has a lot of the same problems as your dog but at the end of the day he is still a happy dog. He can’t jump on the furniture like he used to, so we got him some extra beds or we pick him up. He does sometimes trip when going up the stairs/walking but it’s not all the time and part of me thinks it’s because his mind wants him to move faster than his little body can. He’s going deaf and and I do think his vision is a little blurry but we just try to use hand signals more and are a little more patient when giving him commands.
I just went with my parents to put the family dog down last month, it was my first time experiencing anything like this. I think when the time comes there will be no question. When my fam’s dog was put to sleep the condition/pain was very sudden and it was very obvious after the vet visit there was nothing that really could be done to help him and his life would have been miserable.
Post # 11
I think you really need to talk to your vet about this, and get their honest opinion on her current quality of life and what medications and routines might make it more likely for her to enjoy a few more years with you.
The falling while walking thing may be a combination of arthritis and a strain of some sort; you may want to ask them to check her for arthritis and you’ll probably need to alter your routines. No more jumping into the car, keep her to shorter walks, etc. Pain medication might help as well.
But really no one can tell for sure and all you can do is get as much detail as possible from your vet.
Post # 12
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@canthugallcats: Shaking as though she’s terrified, for “no reason”
Is this coupled with peeing in the house? Maybe she is having mild strokes or seizures. Those are really difficult and expensive to diagnose though.
It sounds like your dogs quality of life is still pretty high in comparison to her issues and that most are normal age-related problems you would expect from an older dog. I would definitely talk to your vet about anything you can give her as far as medications or supplements that may be able to improve her current quality of life. Glucosamine is a great start!
Post # 13
@canthugallcats: oh man, I know what you mean about the energy level. dogs are incredible creatures and they are resiliant regardless of what their situation is.
My Kaiser, who crossed raindow bridge, had an awful cancer that came quick and affected his vision and breathing…but regardless, you would never know he was in terrible discomfort because he would run, jump, and look happy. He eventually worsened and his quality of life detriorated and I knew it was time.
You baby really just sounds like signs of aging. The incontinence an loosing vision are for sure a pretty common things that happen to older fur babies.
One thing that I thought about that could also help with the whinning (I also think it can be joint pain/arthritis) it investing in 1) a heated blanket to lay on their bed (the heat helps sore joints) and 2) an orthopedic bed …. I had a friend with an old german sheperd and he had trouble getting up when called. he bought his pup a orthopedic bed and his dog would seriously not move. he was sooooo comfortable and relaxed.
Hope this helps.
Post # 14
I worked at a vet for years. We always told people they may need to start thinking about putting their pet down if they arent eating, arent drinking, and are not enjoying life. It sounds like your dog is just aging. Dogs get arthritis, this may be contributing to the “shaking and whining”. Ask your vet what they think about some arhritis meds. Enjoy your time with him.
Post # 15
I would say if she still has a good quality of life, enjoy having her around, but she is getting older, and you might need to start preparing yourself. Dogs tend to be pretty stoic and are good at hiding what ails them. If they have something serious like a brain tumor or cancer, they usually start showing signs when their conditions are seriously advanced. At that point there’s not much you can do except love them and put them down if they’re in too much pain.
I’m sorry you have to think about this right now. Just enjoy the time you have with your wonderful doggy.
Post # 15
UPDATE: Sorry I haven’t posted an update sooner, it just makes me sad facing the reality my dog won’t be around forever so I avoided posting for awhile.
Things are roughly the same. She’s gotten more destructive, she lost a tooth about 2 months ago trying to get out of her crate (OUCH!). Just the other day she chipped other teeth & broke off half a nail trying to get out of her crate again (she’s trying to bite through the metal). Her anxiety has been so high, everything scares her & her eyes always look so sad to me. They don’t seem to be full of life, just dimmed I suppose.
She’s gotten pretty skinny as she’s losing muscle & seems more boney. She has some small growths that the vet says are fine, could be removed but not the “bad” growths. She’s just getting older is what they said. It breaks my heart. She still seems to have some energy, but has slowed down quite a bit & she can’t handle hikes anymore. I have to limit her water, which is going to be tough in the summer as I don’t want her dehydrated, but if I give her full access to all water she pees everywhere. Its going to be a rough summer, I can already tell. Its so hard seeing her slowly going downhill… I’m enjoying all the time I can with her but I have a gut feeling the end is coming soon.
Sorry to write such a depressing update! For now, I think she has a good life but I don’t know for sure. I want it to last forever.