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. 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.