Jimbob 83 Registered User

As of the last few weeks my poor old 14 year old black lab Lucky has not been near his normal happy self.

He has been wetting himself almost nightly
He comes into the house and he stands looking blankly into a corner until myself or someone else gentle guides him to his pillow to lie down
He is having awful trouble after lying down for any length of time getting back on his feet and it literally takes either myself or 2 other family members to help him up.
He also has not wagged his tail in almost six weeks.

I have got him eating a good diet/exercising him as much as is fair considering his age and how wobbly he is on his old legs and he gets all the love and caring for that can be done (he always has someone with him) and is being treated like you would expect an old lodger to be with the dignity befitting his time in life.

But it is breaking my heart to see him like this and we are going to the vet in afew days and if there is anything that can be done for his joint pain/signs of doggy alzheimers i dont care what the medication costs but from a humane point of view i don't think he will be coming home alive.

To anyone who has been in this position i have afew questions as i don't want to give up on him unless i absolutely have to.

What would/did you do when it came to this point ?
Did you continue to try and keep your dog going only for it to cause your loyal old friend more distress ?

Thanks in advance


You're in the situation that pet owners dread yet realise is also inevitable , in 1 sense it's not a difficult decision ; if you can clearly see your pets quality of life has diminished to a point that to your mind is unacceptable then you know the decision to make ( not suggesting it is easy mind ).
BTW I have always considered an animal wetting or soiling themselves to be a ' litmus test ' on quality of life .

That said , there are medications that can do a lot for arthritis etc so without doubt a trip to the vets is advisable - it may be possible to extend a life a while longer while allowing for an acceptable or reasonable quality of life - when that threshold is crossed is a matter for you and your vet to decide .
In the meantime you can do your best to give extra treats or time to your pet - can make you both feel better.

Good luck at this difficult time.

Bixy Registered User

I am in a very similar position at the moment with my 15 year old collie/lab X, fairly blind and confused she is also being bullied by our other dogs. At my last trip to my vet (for her annual check-up) I had been told to consider her quality of life. Like the OP I had noted in the past few weeks her tail never wagged and she seemed miserable. So much so that I psyched myself up to take her to the vet last week, thinking it was going to be the final trip. An infected tooth was diagnosed and a short course of antibiotics later and she is in better form. I know it will be one day soon but I am glad that she has had a few more days of good weather to go stumbling around the garden. OP I think you have to trust your instinct on this, checking out with your vet that there is not a simple infection (our old collie has had bouts of incontinence but they have stopped so that too could have been an infection).
Good luck - this phase is the flip side of all the wonderful things we get from being pet owners.

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Jimbob 83 Registered User

Thsnks for the comments

perri winkles Registered User

Hi op,

I'm so sorry to hear about your poor dog, it really is the worst feeling in the world, seeing a pet deteriorate before your eyes.

I was in your position 2years ago my lovely girl was 17 and acting like your dog is now. We brought her to the vet and were told that basically we had one option. I just wasn't ready for it so I asked for just one more day. The vet gave us strong sleeping tablets in the hope that she would pass in her sleep.

Unfortunately they just weren't strong enough. She deteriorated so badly by the time we got her to the vet the next day she was only half concious I still feel such guilt for being so selfish and keeping her alive. Having said that, from what you've said my pet was at a much worse stage than yours, I just refused to accept it.

If you feel like your dog is in pain then I would suggest the vet route.. However if you feel that he is pottering around fine, just everything is slowing down, then I would maybe put it off. The vet may suggest some pain medication for the arthritis etc which may improve his life, even for a short while. At the end of the day only you yourself will know when it's time.

Best of luck op, to you and lucky

Jimbob 83 Registered User

He is on a liquid anti inflammatory we give him every morning and we give him the odd dog painkiller every few days in a piece of meat along with his daily dose of a cod liver oil capsule, doesn't seem to be doing much.

My dad really doesn't want him put down so it's hard, one thing is for sure though if it comes to it i will get the vet to come out to the house and do it as he is better off with everyone who loves him sititng on the sofa than in a scary vet's surgury even if it will cost alot more.

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dodderangler Registered User

Make him as comfortable as possible it's a grand age and I'm sure the memories will last its heartbreaking but make him comfortable and spend the time with him it's hard we all been there sorry its happening

Oh Hell Oui! Registered User

Hi op

Im very sorry to hear about your poor dog and the difficult decision you and your family face now. Its obvious from your posts that Lucky is much loved and cared for, you know your dog and you'l know when its time to let him go. Keep up what your doing for him and enjoy the time together.

Best of luck

Binka Registered User

Hi OP, my heart goes out to you. It's the time we all dread but definitely check for infection as this could make him very down in himself and as has already been mentioned, a dose of antibiotics and he could really perk up for a while.
Good luck.

prestigio1977 Registered User

So sorry to hear that, it's a tough decision to have to make, had to make it last year, our beautiful golden Labrador who grew up with our kids, got very sick, cancer, which is common enough in labs I believe, my mother had same with hers. Not easy, as they are part of your family, but if they have no quality of life, it's probably the kindest thing you can do for them.
But we have lots of great memories and that's something to hold on to :-).


Hi Jimbob,

Bring him down to the vet and see what they say, there is a plethora of things that can have a dog down in the dumps, particularly if it came on suddenly.

Lucky is very old and appears to have had a good run, but stay optimistic and see what happens.

Best of luck

Jimbob 83 Registered User

Had to put the poor old fella down today and when i brought him to the vet he said reason all this started is because the poor thing had a major stroke, R.I.P. Lucky

We really had no choice, i was reduced to helping him up every time he needed to move/feeding him with a small syringe and having to clean up his wee every morning and coming down to a very sad old doggy, so it was for the best he had lost the will to live and he was not a shadow of the dog he was.

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PurplePrincess Registered User

So sorry for your loss, it's an awful thing to have to do but you know when its the right time and I suppose you could say its the final act of kindness we can do for our beloved animals.
RIP lucky, it sounds like he had a great life with you and I'm sure he has left loads of happy memories.
Take care.

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RoverJames Banned

That's sad. Of course, Lucky was no doubt one of the family and had a great life and was loved up to the last minutes, not too bad a way to go really.

Jimbob 83 Registered User

RoverJames said:
That's sad. Of course, Lucky was no doubt one of the family and had a great life and was loved up to the last minutes, not too bad a way to go really.

He knocked abit of work out of us digging the 4 foot odd hole, soil in east galway is very rocky/hard, he is nearby and im gonna get him a small cross or something and try and get this pictures off my LG Viewty lost the cable and bluetooth wont work so will try get a new cable duting the week, would be nice to have some pics in a digital frame

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