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My dog is too old...
Old 04-25-2014, 01:44 PM   #1
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My dog is too old...

Here I am again asking for advice.....
My 13 year od dog, who I love dearly, can't negotiate the few steps of the stairs of our first floor flat to the street, despite the special harness we have bought. We are willing, if messy, to clean up its "business" inside the flat if that is the only solution. But I am sure that this would embarrass her to the extreme. It doesn't help that she is almost deaf and blind.
Any ideas? I am sure mine isn't an unusual case. In no way am I considering put the dog down...
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Old 04-25-2014, 01:48 PM   #2
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In no way am I considering put the dog down...
.but you might have to, Vicente. The poor old dog's quality of life can't be good.
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Old 04-25-2014, 01:51 PM   #3
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I take it you have a large dog. Of the four dogs we've shared our lives with (all 30-35 lbs), all four had to be carried up/down stairs for the last few years of their long lives (12 to 16.5 yrs). Two went deaf 2-3 years before they expired (but they learned hand motions). Though none went blind, at least one didn't seem to be able to see more than about 30 feet towards her end. And one had to wear a diaper for the last year of his life, or we'd have been cleaning up after him daily.

No dog I've ever known was capable of being "embarrassed" AFAIK.

I'm not sure what you're asking? All four of ours were sweeter than ever in their old age (despite being deaf with poor vision), and so we'd do anything to accommodate them and maintain their quality of life. Ultimately we had to put two of them down past age 16, both due to (different) cancers. It was horrible for us to face up to, but in both cases it was clearly the right decision. YMMV
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Old 04-25-2014, 01:52 PM   #4
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In no way am I considering put the dog down...
Sadly, I think it's time. As Meadbh says, think about what quality of life the poor animal has left.

A very hard decision all of us who own pets have to face...
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:28 PM   #5
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They make some portable metal ramps if the porch isn't too high.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:32 PM   #6
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When our dogs got to be that age, we put them in the laundry room with linoleum floors and a see through gate in the doorway that opened to the family room. They could still be inside and be next to us, but they lost free roam of the house when they lost control of their bladder and bowel movements.

Then we had a hole cut in the side of the house in the laundry room outer wall and installed a dog door and a ramp. They could be inside in the laundry room and see us through the doorway gate or go out their dog door and down their ramp and be outside.

I had two kids in diapers at the same time and had a bad back back then and was in constant pain. I had a friend come over and see the baby wipes for the dogs, and told me it really was time to have them put down.

Sorry to hear about your dog. It is tough to know what the right thing to do is when they get to be that old.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:38 PM   #7
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I build a wooden 2x12 ramp for a house pig, it wasn't old, just got pig-headed about steps.

I wish you the best in finding that balance that pet owners have to deal with. Is the dog able to take anti inflammatory meds, like Rimadyl? Its not cheap but gave our one dog a couple of extra quality years.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:46 PM   #8
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pet stores sell ramps...I have one I used for a pickup truck I am sure it would work on steps...it has a handle on its side and is easy to move.
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Old 04-25-2014, 03:01 PM   #9
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Our small dogs were paper trained. No need to be embarrassed if it's a spot they know it's OK to go. For a large dog, probably not so hot, but maybe you could work out something you could both agree on.
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:16 PM   #10
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Carried our dog when there were lots of steps. I agree that no pet should be put down if they can have accommodations to enjoy most days. Our 17 year old rat terrier loved life even with some limitations. She'd didn't even seem to mind losing hearing as storms and fire works no longer scared her. Hand signals still worked perfectly. She was happy and a great example to us about how to enjoy each day even if they aren't perfect. Please realize that she did have some "bad", slow days that seemed to happen a little more often but also many more good days. She finally had a major stroke type event which made the decision obvious, easy and immediate. She was romping and happily greeting people even the morning of that day.
Hard to think about even 2 years later but thankful for the years we had with her. I know she was too, right up to her last day.
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:34 PM   #11
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One of our dogs also had arthritis meds that gave us a few more years with her. Without them she had a hard time walking at all and she was too big to carry.
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:07 PM   #12
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Many years ago I was given the task of taking my MIL's toy poodle to the vet to be put to sleep. I have to say that it was an incredibly human process. Sad but necessary. I now have a 14 yr old blind Jack Russell Terrier. We've told ourselves that we would put her down when she could no longer find her way in and out of the house or find her water dish. I would hate to have her suffer if she was trapped outside on a hot day with no water. This is just one type of quality of life issue which is the real risk of suffering.

Last year our other JRT had a bleeding melanoma on his lip. He was leaving blood everywhere around the house. I hated the thought of putting him down because of a decline of our quality of life before he succumbed to the tumor. Fortunately, surgery cured that immediate problem and he seems as healthy as can be . . . for now.

That early experience with my MIL's dog helps me to know that when the time comes to make that fateful decision then it will be a humane death. With two 14 yr old dogs I know that I will face this in the next couple of years.
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:43 AM   #13
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And she has diabetes, needing to be insulin injected everyday. She is such a good, affectionate, mild-mannered and patient dog.... And neat. How can I teach her now how to change her toilet manners?
PS My mom is rotating for the moment. Which annoys her no end. Family decided to set her up indepently and fully assisted in a rented flat once summer is over. Ill believe it when I see it...She doesnt seem to like that idea, either.
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:50 AM   #14
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These days you can have a vet come to your home to euthanize your pet. It's a kind way to say goodbye to a friend in familiar surroundings.
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:34 AM   #15
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Yes, been through this many times; have three dogs now, one a 13 yo lab that was daughter's before she moved to London. Otherwise 1 or 2 is plenty IMO.

Funny story regarding dogs and ramps to lighten things up. Changed our deck to include ~8 steps that older Bassett Hound simply refused to negotiate. Built a ramp for her complete with cleats and a landing at the top. First time I encouraged her to use it, she stepped out on the landing and then looked very concerned as I encouraged her. It was about 3-4 feet off the ground. After a while she looks at me and instead of using the ramp takes a flying leap off the landing to the ground below! Fortunately was not hurt! I then proceeded to build a handrail (paw rail??) to prevent such shortcuts. She eventually learned to use the ramp properly!
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:42 AM   #16
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Have you checked with you local animal shelter? The reason that I mention this is that I recently looked into fostering young animals. They seemed to have many resources/experts to counsel you on how to to make the animals more adoptable.

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Old 04-26-2014, 08:50 AM   #17
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Vicente,

Seize the moment. Solve two problems at once. Set up your dog in Mom's room or suite, and say that it is because Doggie's toilet habits have obliged you to isolate her in one part of the home. Mom doesn't sound like she'd want to share her rooms with your dog....

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PS My mom is rotating for the moment. Which annoys her no end. Family decided to set her up indepently and fully assisted in a rented flat once summer is over. Ill believe it when I see it...She doesnt seem to like that idea, either.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:00 AM   #18
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vicente,

seize the moment. Solve two problems at once. Set up your dog in mom's room or suite, and say that it is because doggie's toilet habits have obliged you to isolate her in one part of the home. Mom doesn't sound like she'd want to share her rooms with your dog.... >:d

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Old 04-26-2014, 06:26 PM   #19
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Not sure how much space you have.... but I saw on the news where they put a place for working dogs to do their business at an airport... I think they had fake grass, but had a small fire hydrant (fake of course) for the dogs...

It looked like the dogs were willing to do what they needed where they needed...
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:07 AM   #20
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There's a huge grey zone on when to put an animal down, but they will enter a red zone, where there's no doubt. Only the owner will know this, and we each have our own red zones where we will not allow our beloved pet to suffer.

Like a previous poster mentioned, the process of putting an animal down is very peaceful when it's time.
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