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OCbowhunter

Deciding when it's time

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I am having the hardest time trying to decide when it is time for my lab.. She turns 13 this December.  We struggled with the idea of putting her down this past winter - she was very slow to get up, could hardly move, slept a lot, and wasn't herself.  Spring time rolls around, and she rejuvenated thanks to the warmer weather.  Now I feel like it is time, she has numerous lumps on her and this past week we noticed a new one near her spine on her back, I just can't bare to see her suffer.  It is very tough though when she walks up wagging her tail.  That being said, she eats OK, is very slow to sit, stand, or walk down stairs which leads me to believe she does have pain and it's time.  She is the best dog anyone can ask for, just struggling with the decision.  She is the first dog my wife and I have had, aside from our family pets when growing up but our dads took care of those decisions back then.  

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It can be a heart wrenching and difficult decision.

Has she been evaluated by a trusted vet? Dogs do get arthritis, and as with people, pain can be manageable. There are new canine NSAIDs, and some folks just give appropriate doses of uncoated aspirin with meals.

What are the lumps? They may be merely lipomas …. normally harmless fatty tumors under the skin. Once a dog gets one, they'll get more. 

A heart to heart discussion between you guys and a trusted vet will give you the answer, I think.

Good luck, and best wishes for your pup.

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I agree that this is one of the hardest decisions a dog owner will ever make.  

As mentioned above, some lipomas or arthritis aren't a real reason to put a dog down  If she is getting up, is not incontinent, eating and drinking  normally, and appears to be doing OK, then I wouldn't rush the decision.  For  me, if the dog can't get up/stand on it's own, isn't' eating or drinking, and unable to hold it's bladder/bowels for more than a few hours, then it's time to have that conversation.  Maybe a little arthritis or pain medication could give her some comfort for the next 6 months to a year or more, until some of those more ominous signs start to pop up.?

Call or stop by your vet's office and have a heart to heart with him/her.  Maybe they will give you some other things to look for or little at-home tests to do in order to judge her pain level.  

Edited by not on the rug
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We are in the same situation. Our Brittany is only 12, but his rear hips are going fast. We took him to the vet and had him thoroughly checked out. He has lipomas which are normal for most older dogs which will do no harm and the doctor has him on pain meds plus glucosamine for his hips as well as CBD oils. All are helping him get around better these days. He is still happy and otherwise healthy. I feared we were going to have to put him down months ago. Now we may have more years left together.


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If she can walk and go outside and do her business, I would guess that she is not in pain.  It is tough when they become old. 

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7 minutes ago, Bucksnbows said:

We are in the same situation. Our Brittany is only 12, but his rear hips are going fast. We took him to the vet and had him thoroughly checked out. He has lipomas which are normal for most older dogs which will do no harm and the doctor has him on pain meds plus glucosamine for his hips as well as CBD oils. All are helping him get around better these days. He is still happy and otherwise healthy. I feared we were going to have to put him down months ago. Now we may have more years left together.


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I forgot about the CBD oils.  They work wonders for humans and dogs alike.  

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My pup Scout is turning 13 in April. Best lab I’ve ever had. Sleeps with my boy every night.  My son turns 12 in Feb.  It’s tough watching him age and it’s gonna be hard to see my kids lose their brother.  As long as he’s got control of his bladder and bowels, he’s living with us.  We recently bought a new home. One of the must haves was fewer stairs for the dog. :) 

As long as he’s happy, he should live.

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As many have said. There are many things a vet can prescrib to help the dog move around easier .

Sometimes even a small dose pill can work wonders adding  years to a dogs life span.

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If she is still getting around, albeit slow, I would wait it out. When she can no longer get up from the pain, that's when it's time

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I have 6 yr old chocolate lab named Emmitt who will be turning 7 on Valentine's day. After reading threads like this, I can't help but feel for you all. I cannot even begin to imagine what I'll be like when my little buddy gets to that point. And it'll be made even worse for my daughter; she calls him her brother.

David


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I have made that very hard decision more times than I care to think about.  However as hard as it may be, be there with her at that time as she has always been by your side. I have held all of mine and they know you are with them.  I'm very sorry.

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One of the hardest decisions to make OC, I feel you pain.  From my experience, if you are not sure, it's not time yet.  When it's time there will be now doubt.  So sorry for you and your girl.  

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This is the absolutely one of the hardest things ever . Lots of great advice already . I lost mine last October. He was back and forth for a long while he would be in bad one day great the next . We also found that stopped when we removed his collar and his flea/ tick collar . He got an extra 5-6 months of good life after that . I knew it was still coming , and dreaded it . After a lot of research those flea and tick collars are bad on the neurological systems especially on an older dog . He decided when it was his time , and I actually got the call he had passed while I was in stand about to let a bolt fly. I wish you the best with her . You'll know when the time is right .

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I feel for ya, Its never easy. My 2 labs are turning 13 in a couple of weeks. Same as yours, sleep, arthritis , no stairs, etc......   Not an easy decision.  Remember is quality of life not quantity.

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