I am having a hard time deciding if I should put my Shelby down she is a 13 year old shephard and in the past 6 months has progressivly been going downhill she doesnt hear and has hip problems to the point of yelping in the morning when she gets up. Now withinn the past few days she is limping on her front leg/ she is an inside dog and hasn't had any trauma to her leg just woke up with it. She is in pain and I give her meds for arthritis but I think the time is here that I dread anyone out there with any suggestions ps she still eats well and has no problems with bowels
The first thing I would do is get the dog to the vet, and get a stronger analgesic; so that she can get up with out yelping. That shows that she is in a great deal of pain. If she is eating , drinking and eliminating outside as normal, I would not consider putting her down at all. You just need to control her pain. What is she taking for arthritis?
The main thing to consider in my opinion, is she having more good days, or more bad days. If she is just a little stiff in the morning & evenings - but is happy during the day - she may be okay; if she is painful all day long, then it may be her time.
I know that it is a really hard decision - but usually, they will let you know when they are ready.
I had a similiar situation a few years ago with my dog. I took her to the vet to increase meds as much as I felt was reasonable. She finally got to the point that she would wake me in the middle of the night, wimpering, to go outside, and I had to help her get up, and she had already leaked some from her bladder. When she could no longer hold her bladder, I could tell she was humiliated by it. I just knew she was ready to go, even though I wasn't. I agree, if your dog's pain can be maintained, and can control bodily functions, you may still have valuable time that you can enjoy together. I don't condone making an animal suffer because we need them around, but you will know in your heart when it is time. When we finally did have her put to sleep, I could feel an immense sense of relief that she was no longer suffering, but I think waiting until I had that gut feeling helped. Best of luck.