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Old 11-04-2015, 9:03pm   #1
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Default When is the "right" time? 12y/o dog

So my shepherd is 12 or 13 years old, i adopted her 6 years ago, she's been a good companion for my pitbull, Breakaway. Last October she was diagnosed with liver cancer, which has since spread to her spleen. Due to her age we opted against surgery and have been treating with drugs, pain killers, antibiotics, antinausea, and a few more.

Since the beginning of summer she's been peeing in the house, and it's slowly progressed to multiple times a day. So we hired a dog walker to come every day when we're at work. Now, if you turn your back she'll pee by the back door, even if she's just been outside, if we aren't paying attention to her she'll go and pee. If i'm alone in the house, i can't go study in my office or guaranteed i'll come downstairs to pee.

When we first brought her to the vet for this, eventhough she tested negative for a UTI, we put her on antibiotics to treat a UTI, to no effect. We put her on a special medicated food but she couldn't keep it down, and eventually stopped eating it all together.

Even with a dog walker coming every day, we've adjusted to a regular routine of coming home and mopping the house. We keep two pee pads by the door that help, but not nearly enough, (she's a big dog).

Another issue is she's slow to eat, and sometimes quick to turn her nose up at food, sometimes we have to put warm chicken broth on her food to entice her to eat.

My vet says it's time....but she seems fine and happy besides the peeing. WTF do I do?
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Old 11-04-2015, 9:10pm   #2
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So my shepherd is 12 or 13 years old, i adopted her 6 years ago, she's been a good companion for my pitbull, Breakaway. Last October she was diagnosed with liver cancer, which has since spread to her spleen. Due to her age we opted against surgery and have been treating with drugs, pain killers, antibiotics, antinausea, and a few more.

Since the beginning of summer she's been peeing in the house, and it's slowly progressed to multiple times a day. So we hired a dog walker to come every day when we're at work. Now, if you turn your back she'll pee by the back door, even if she's just been outside, if we aren't paying attention to her she'll go and pee. If i'm alone in the house, i can't go study in my office or guaranteed i'll come downstairs to pee.

When we first brought her to the vet for this, eventhough she tested negative for a UTI, we put her on antibiotics to treat a UTI, to no effect. We put her on a special medicated food but she couldn't keep it down, and eventually stopped eating it all together.

Even with a dog walker coming every day, we've adjusted to a regular routine of coming home and mopping the house. We keep two pee pads by the door that help, but not nearly enough, (she's a big dog).

Another issue is she's slow to eat, and sometimes quick to turn her nose up at food, sometimes we have to put warm chicken broth on her food to entice her to eat.

My vet says it's time....but she seems fine and happy besides the peeing. WTF do I do?
Follow your heart. You will know when it is time.
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Old 11-04-2015, 9:13pm   #3
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Follow your heart. You will know when it is time.
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Old 11-04-2015, 9:13pm   #4
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Is she peeing to gain attention? Maybe she's missing you
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Old 11-04-2015, 9:15pm   #5
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Is she peeing to gain attention? Maybe she's missing you
As far as I can tell this doesn't appear to be a behavioral issue. I really can't keep this up much longer is my problem.
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Old 11-04-2015, 9:18pm   #6
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As far as I can tell this doesn't appear to be a behavioral issue. I really can't keep this up much longer is my problem.
I'm just "grasping at straws" with those questions. The dog is on the tail end of her life span.

Good luck with your decision, it's never easy.
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Old 11-04-2015, 9:26pm   #7
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I went through something similar recently, I want to talk to you man. PM me if you want to and lets talk on the phone.
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Old 11-05-2015, 6:44am   #8
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Pm sent
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Old 11-05-2015, 7:05am   #9
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My vet says it's time....but she seems fine and happy besides the peeing. WTF do I do?
Listen to your vet.

We as owners are the last people to see the unbiased reality where our dogs are concerned. Our last Shepherd got to the point that I had to leave her nails a little long so she could get up on the tile floor by hooking the grout lines. She wobbled, was slow to do anything. She would stand still in the back yard and bark as the other dogs ran past...tail wagging the whole time. I know she wanted to chase them like she always had. I know she felt horrible when she had the occasional accident in the house as she still wanted to do everything to please us.

When we finally made the decision that her quality of life was no longer worthy of the dignified way she had always carried herself, we took her in. The vets office has smooth flooring with very thin grout for easy cleaning. Shelby couldn't even stand up on it; I had to carry her. It crushed my wife and I to see that, and that is when the reality set in that we had waited too long.

We will never let it go that long again. I feel it is our duty as dog owners to consider the dog and it's quality of life first and foremost. It is THE hardest decision I (we) have ever had to make, and I really feel for you being in that position.

Excuse me, I've got something in my eye...
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Old 11-05-2015, 7:17am   #10
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Most Vets would tell you that when she stops eating, her body / organs will start to shut down soon. You will know when its time. It may be sooner than you think.
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:54am   #11
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WTF do I do?
Doggie Diapers?
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Old 11-05-2015, 2:58pm   #12
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When our dog was at her end (she was 13) I asked the vet.....will she and can she get better. She looked me in the eyes and said no......I then told her......it's time.
I held her as she went to sleep,talking to her and told her we loved her. She was the best dog ever and did not deserve to suffer any longer. So sorry and I will be available to talk also if you need to.
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Old 11-05-2015, 3:27pm   #13
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Chris,
Sorry you are having to go through this. I know how tough it is to have to make this decision. I went through it with both of my dalmatians.

I see datawiz already suggested doggie diapers. I had to use those on Apollo his last few months because he had difficulty controlling his bowels sometimes. They do work as a short term solution as long as the dog doesn't chew them off.

As far as knowing when the time has come, I think it should be when the dog no longer has a good quality of life. You will most likely be able to tell by her eyes when the time has come.
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Old 11-05-2015, 3:48pm   #14
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We are in almost the same boat. My 15-yr old Belgian Malionis has ALS and is losing control of his hind end. He's been having "accidents" for a few months, but it's always been #2 and easy to clean up. Now, however, he's starting to #1 in the house. We do have him in boy dog diapers, but he's also a larger dog so they need to be changed frequently. Otherwise, he's super happy. It's heartbreaking.
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Old 11-05-2015, 4:17pm   #15
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I lost my beloved Champ this year (would have been 14 last month), and I made that difficult last ride to the vet, so I understand exactly where you are at. Personally, my decision was not based on accidents in the house, but on when Champ was no longer enjoying life. He gradually stopped wanting to go for walks and car rides, and grew less and less interested in eating, which were his favorite 3 activities. He had several common problems that were age related, but he let me know when it was time.

If your pooch is still enjoying life, the doggie diapers sound like a good option.

If you still have my number, feel free to call, or PM and I'll give it to you again. It's just.....hard.
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Old 11-06-2015, 6:43am   #16
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Thanks guys, I really appreciate the responses. I really haven't had time to sit down and reply to pm's or add thoughtful insight here. Posting from my phone on the train now. Again got home last night to a full kitchen/living room mopping job.

I realized I mentioned in my first post she's been a great companion for breakaway, I left out/ guess I felt it was implied, but she's been a great pup/companion/part of the family to us too.

Because pills have been such a struggle lately the vet had me take her off everything but the digestive medications, just to see how she'd respond. Shes panting a whole lot more, which I guess means the painkillers were doing something, I'll put her back on those tonight.
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Old 11-06-2015, 7:56am   #17
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As far as knowing when the time has come, I think it should be when the dog no longer has a good quality of life. You will most likely be able to tell by her eyes when the time has come.
I couldn't have said it better. We have a cat that in the same state, we watch her closely for any sign that her quality of life has deteriorated
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Old 11-07-2015, 12:20pm   #18
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Is she peeing to gain attention? Maybe she's missing you
So what if it IS behavioral, wtf do I do with an old frail ailing dog? I just locked her outside, she wsa literally downstairs for 10 minutes by herself, and pee all up and down the kitchen, and in the living room. I'm at wits end with this dog.

I think she just became an outside dog. I can't handle this, i'm half way through this CPA exam, next test in 3 weeks and I literally can't study for 30 minutes without a mess.
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Old 11-07-2015, 1:21pm   #19
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So what if it IS behavioral, wtf do I do with an old frail ailing dog? I just locked her outside, she wsa literally downstairs for 10 minutes by herself, and pee all up and down the kitchen, and in the living room. I'm at wits end with this dog.

I think she just became an outside dog. I can't handle this, i'm half way through this CPA exam, next test in 3 weeks and I literally can't study for 30 minutes without a mess.


Has the dog been checked for a UTI?
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Old 11-07-2015, 1:29pm   #20
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Has the dog been checked for a UTI?
yes, twice, they normal test then a more accurate test, she was negative on both, i know the cancer is spreading, and quick, its just frustrating cause the peeing is the only truly obvious tell that something is wrong.
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