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Scheduled the final vet visit

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but it is soooo hard to decide when it’s time to make the hard decision. I guess I’m just venting and hoping I’m doing the right thing…

My old-lady dog is almost 14, and for the past couple years, she has had steadily-declining use of one of her hind legs, I suspect due to an old injury when she was younger. She’s always done OK with it up until the last 6 months or so, but lately she’s been getting weaker and weaker on it. She’s lost a lot of weight (she’s always been a picky eater) and that’s only gotten worse; I’ve tried all kinds of canned foods which she’ll enjoy for a week or so and then refuse to eat, then I switch to something else.

For the last month, I’ve actually been cooking meals for her, since she never passes up people food, but she’s started to get finicky even with that, some days are better than others. Although if I’m cooking in the kitchen or she sees ME eating, she always happily eats what I’M having!

She’s mostly deaf, vision is iffy, and doggie dementia kicks in at night sometimes where she wanders and paces around for an hour or more.

She’s been at the vet a few times in the past 6 months, her bloodwork is actually pretty good and she’s on Galliprant for arthritis. But she has eventually turned her nose at every trick I can think of to “sneak” her pill into her. She won’t touch cheese or peanut butter anymore. Pill pockets worked for a while, now she won’t touch them. I tried sneaking the pills into different soft treats, that only worked for a couple days. (Yet she’ll still eat the boring crunchy Milk Bone treats!) So now I have to push a pill down her throat every morning, which can’t be fun for her.

This is not my first rodeo… My usual threshhold is when they go off their food, but this one has always been picky, that’s not new. She still wants food if she thinks it’s mine, but it’s all I can do to get her to eat “her” food every day… And I’m cooking up ground beef with gravy and rice and soft veggies, it’s about as gourmet as I can get for her.

The Galliprant seemed to be helping for the last couple months, but on Friday morning I woke up to find her down in the living room (laminate floor), she couldn’t get her good leg under herself nor had the strength to get up; I had to help her up and help KEEP her up until she got her bearings again. It happened again on Friday afternoon. I decided at that point that it’s time, I would have to schedule the final appointment.

Unfortunately my vet was unexpectedly closed on Saturday due to staffing issues, and they’re normally closed on Sundays and Mondays. But over the weekend she was “fine” again-- eating well, getting up and down OK, etc. I thought maybe we’d make it through Thanksgiving.

This morning around 5am though, I heard her in the kitchen and went out to see what was up. She had an accident in the kitchen and gone down and couldn’t get up, again. :cry: I got her up and cleaned her off, and she’s been fine since.

I called my vet’s second emergency location to see if they could possibly get me an appointment at the regular clinic tomorrow, when they’re open. Normally they can’t schedule for the regular clinic, but thankfully they found a way around it and got me an appointment for the end of the day, tomorrow.

I took tomorrow off work so that I can spend the day at home with her. It’s going to kill me if she’s “fine” again tonight and tomorrow, but I really think it’s going to have to be time… It’s just so hard when she still bugs me for treats and she’s still super happy to see me when I get home.

It’s just so hard, period. :sob:


I’m so sorry. What’s is her name? Can you share a picture of her? She sounds like a lovely dog. Sending you lots of strength during this agonizing decision. :heart:


It’s harder for us than them.
They don’t know “future”, just Now.

My LabX was 17 when he lost the strength to get himself up 4 short stairs from our yard.
If I tried to help, he got mad.
Sight & hearing were iffy, and aspirin for pain (late 80s, before the new drugs) was reaching toxic levels.
Of course, the day we took him for that last ride to the vet, he jumped in the car & was acting sound enough so I nearly cancelled.
But I didn’t & it was the right choice.

{HUGS} to you & your Old Gal.
Know it’s easier for her & be glad you gave her The Best Life.


Her name is Georgie. I adopted her from a shelter when she was about 5 months old.




You know your dog and inside yourself you know when the time has arrived.
I know this is the hardest decision for our beloved pets but any choice you’ll make it’ll be just for her good.
I have a 13 yo dog with similar problems to yours, I can only suggest a couple of things if you’ll decide with the vet that she’s not ready yet. Regarding food, I believe that they also loose their sense of smell a bit, so I choose savory things for my dog. Liver, Heart (both chicken or beef), chicken, sardines ecc. He doesn’t want ground meet but he likes it cut in pieces. He eats mainly meat and a little rice or pasta, I know it’s not perfect but who cares, he arrived at his age I don’t think he needs to eat his vegetables if he does not want to.
Laminate floor is the worse type together with tiles, I put some carpets here and there to avoid him from slipping, he also has a couple of rubber stickers under the feet (I found them on Amazon). And last, your vet can try a different therapy, maybe galliprant is not enough. Maybe she can enjoy some other good months with you.
Georgie is beautiful :heart:


:heart::heart::heart::heart:Georgie is beautiful.

The only carpet in my house is in the bedroom, but there are throw rugs/runners in every room, even the kitchen… Unfortunately she’s gone down in places where she isn’t on, or can’t reach, a throw rug. We’ve also tried other meds besides Galliprant which were disastrous. We’ve tried a few different braces, did not help and seemed to actually limit her even more. There may be other procedures which will buy her some more time, but I don’t have an unlimited budget and am dealing with enough debt as it is.

I also feel like putting her through Thanksgiving will be massively unfair… I go to my parents’ farm every year, on one hand she’s always loved it there because there’s lots of room to run, but since she can’t hear, she doesn’t have a recall anymore, and I don’t trust her off-lead because she wanders (and she never used to). Plus the farm is always rather chaotic with four dogs in the house (my 2 and their 2), the younger ones are rambunctious and Georgie gets knocked down just when they are roughhousing with each other. And the disruption in her normal routine really sets her dementia into a tailspin; the last time I took them up over Labor Day, Georgie was out of sorts for almost a week afterwards.

I’m almost afraid the vet is going to say to try X-Y-Z, but other than me being home 24/7 to keep an eye on her in case she goes down and can’t get up, I don’t know what else to do that’s feasible.


Sending hugs! Such a hard decision. I know you know but will assure you a week early is better than a day late. So hard, :cry:


sending hugs. What you just said about Thanksgiving would do it for me. Know it is the best for her. She doesn’t know why she is going downhill.


The photo of her by the lake is just beautiful. I hope you will be able to remember her that way.


I’ve had to put down two elderly dogs within the last 2 years due to the same kind of mobility issues, when they would otherwise have lived longer. It was a terribly hard decision, and for the first of the two I put it off quite awhile, but based on my experience I think you are doing the right thing. Once they start falling down and can’t get themselves up, it just keeps happening more and more often, and is very distressing for them (and us). Big hugs to you and your beautiful dog.


I’m so sorry your time with lovely Georgie is coming to an end. I agree with you that the Thanksgiving atmosphere would be difficult for her at best. If she became totally incapacitated it would be awful. Be with her and let her know she’s loved.

I’m convinced our beloved animals perk up when it’s time just so we have a link to their better days. They’re trying to remind us of their better selves even though they don’t know what is coming.

Georgie is a lovely girl and you have made her world wonderful by loving her. Thank you so much for sharing her photos.

You know her better than anyone, and you see the writing on the wall. You are doing the right thing by her. And 14!! That is great for a bigger dog, how lucky to have loved her for 13.5 yrs.

This past summer I had to make the decision for my old man Riley. He was 13.5yrs old. I had been watching him closely for a year. Until one day, he fell down the stairs which was the day I knew his body could not handle it anymore. (among other bodily issues).

I could have blocked him from going up the stairs, but that is where we all sleep and being apart from his family would have broken his heart. I didn’t want to put him through another winter. That would have been unfair of me.

Enjoy the day tomorrow as best you can. Go and get some ice cream at DQ or a burger from Micky D’s. Enjoy your friend, you are putting her first.

We are all with you. :heart:


I’m so sorry you are going thru this. It’s the part of pet ownership that is no fun. Hugs

Hugs to you during this difficult decision.

Hugs to you at this very difficult time.

I had an old girl who had similar issues to Georgie. We unfortunately found her fallen on the floor after we were getting back from errands. She hadn’t been able to get up. I won’t go into details, but I never want to have that happen again. You are doing the right thing. :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart:


What a great looking dog. I will tell you that I had a dog and I knew it was time and the vet said they could treat him. It was a terrible end for my good Eric. He suffered and I’ll never forgive myself for not doing what I knew was right.

Vets see what’s going on in the exam room. We are the ones that live with these friends.


Georgie passed as peacefully as i could have hoped. I was not prepared for how to deal with the grief among the rest of the household though… My younger dog Ollie, who has never NOT been with her big sister Georgie, is now sleeping in Georgie’s dog bed, something she never done before. Ugh…


I’m so sorry. You made the right choice. Hugs to you and Ollie. You know this already, but give her extra pets and treats the next few weeks. :heart::heart::heart:

Rest in peace sweet Georgie girl :heart: