I'm not certain what to do... Job (from the Bible) is experiencing discomfort in his hind legs (right one mostly) and often cries when he goes to lie down; often I have to help him up and have to keep a watchful eye for his bath room times. We have him on pain meds that seem to help off and on, his appetite is good. His hearing is gone, he's been missing one eye most of his life (a fight with a racoon...) and has lost 90% - 95% sight in his existing eye. I keep everything in the house the same so that he that when he walks the perimeter he's safe. It's difficult taking him for walks since he is prone to fall down due to the weakness in his leg. This weekend was the worse for him getting up. His weak cries were painful to hear... When I was in the yard or returning from an errand I would hear his howls because he could not get up. I help him up and guide him walking and then he's down again.
I gave him his meds this morning, and got him up and around in the yard. However, before I got him up he had already pooped where he was laying down. His inability to get up in time to poop or pee happens frequently although there are times he does get up and go (like during the night) without my help then there are are times I have to get up and help. I have the floors lined with matts/blankets for comfort and protection for the accidents. Other than early stages of kidney disease that we're treating with supplements and change of diet (feeding him Blue); ear infections and skin aliments the vet says he's OK. I don't know what to do because this seems to be a sad way for him to exist; some mornings when I approach him I find him trembling like he's cold but then I realize it might be because he's scared... I don't want to leave him home when I go to work but I must... he has the run of the house but...
My vet feels as long as his appetite is good he's OK. But I'm not certain that this is a pleasant way to live...when is it time to let go?... I think that whne the quality of the dog's life has decreased where they can't function without assistance then it's time. But it's hard because he has moments (less frequently) that he is OK – he can be stubborne when he wants to ...but this weekend was really hard...
It's never an easy decision. We had to make the same difficult one for our dog a couple years ago. It was ultimately her legs/arthritis that we could see was making her not really enjoy life. We could see it was a struggle most days, as she fell often during walks and really was to the point that she mostly slept, waking just to eat, and had a very hard time getting up. Pain medications and supplements weren't helping any longer. When you see with your pet the bad days are the majority each week, and they are struggling, without that happy, alert look on their face, then the decision becomes clearer for you. Nonetheless, it's still an difficult one to make. But I loved her so dearly, as I'm sure you do, so I didn't want her to suffer any longer, and have a peaceful exit from this world. Best of luck in your decision.
My ways to choose are....once you can see they are miserable more often than they are happy. Make a list of 5 things they loved the most about life, be it food, chasing a ball....whatever made that dogs life most fun for him.....and once those things are something he can no longer do.....it is time.
Chronic pain that is not controlled by prescription meds is also another indicator I use. I dont think its fair to prolong their pain just because I'm not ready to let them go.
Good luck with your decision and whatever you choose, I know will be whats right for you and you dog.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain.