My elderly basset is on the decline...how to decide when "it's time"

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My elderly basset is on the decline...how to decide when "it's time"

Post  Paradox on Mon 01 Aug 2011, 10:17 am

We usually adopt our dogs when they are considered "seniors" 6-10 years old. I'm a sucker for the ones who have a hard time getting adopted.

We've had Big Boy for close to ten years. He is 16, ancient for his size and breed.

In his prime he was a powerful specimen. People can't believe a 100 pound basset that isn't fat, but he was so big, he didn't seem fat. Watching him with his tail straight out baying in to the woods was a sight to see.

He's down to 65 pounds, which is good for his joints, those bowed front legs make it hard to carry weight.

But I believe he is starting congestive heart failure. Even in the air conditioning he is panting constantly. (and I keep it at 70 degrees). He goes to the vet tomorrow. I'm hoping there is a pill that will make him more comfortable, if not I'll need to put him down.

Our last senior, I waited too long....he couldn't lay down and breathe, I woke up and he had been up all night sitting, head and neck outstretched struggling to breathe. I won't let one of my babies go that way again.

I know many of you have been in the same situation. How do you decide when "it's time"?
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Re: My elderly basset is on the decline...how to decide when "it's time"

Post  milo on Mon 01 Aug 2011, 12:09 pm

Indeed a tough call. For me it was when my guy got a nose bleed. He had already lost so much weight, but he was still wagging his tail and didn't appear to be in any pain. But the nose bleed was when we called the vet.
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Re: My elderly basset is on the decline...how to decide when "it's time"

Post  Paradox on Tue 02 Aug 2011, 9:32 am

The vet said it seems to be a pain issue. His heart and lungs are fine. She said his heart was a little slow but didn't have a murmur. So he was put on a arthitis medicine and tramadol. Hopefully it will help. If not I will have to put him down. Its hard watching him pace and pant.

She said we "could" run tests, on liver and kidneys, but to consider carefully his age. I think she's telling me something there.
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Sympathy

Post  KimbaK on Tue 02 Aug 2011, 4:12 pm

I'm sorry your dog isn't doing so well. I have to put my cats down several years ago and it was heartbreaking. In my case, the cat was listless and couldn't eat. The vet said it was age-related renal failure. I could have let them go on, but I couldn't let them suffer.

For me, its time when the animals are physically miserable and in terrible pain. If not for pain, I would have kept going as long as they could. Crying or Very sad

I hope your dog has many good years left and that you can enjoy him for as long as possible.

Kim

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Re: My elderly basset is on the decline...how to decide when "it's time"

Post  Cluelesskitty on Fri 05 Aug 2011, 2:17 am

You'll know sweetie, your heart and guts always will tell you. And the look in their eyes Sad
But as long as they enjoy their food, and seem to be interested in their surroundings, I think they hang in there OK.

It's such a hard, dreaded time. I am so sorry you'll have to go thru this again. maybe not yet for awhile, though ?....
Big Boy is such a toughie! :]

lots of hugs!

Risa

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