Jakkal (jakkal) wrote,

Aging Dog

So, I have an issue with one of my dogs. Specifically it's Midnite. Yes, she's still alive, and that's kind of the problem. She's a 16 year old Shepherd Mix (She's most likely a Border Collie/Lab kinda breed, though both of her parents were mutts so it's hard to tell). Regardless she's a 70lb dog that's seriously elderly. And unfortunately, she's not giving me a really compelling reason to have her finally put down. See she's actually pretty healthy given her age and situation. But I wouldn't be posting about this if she were entirely healthy.

She has /really/ bad arthritis in her hips and legs, to the point that I don't think she can bend her knees very well anymore. She walks very peg-legged, with her back legs stretched out and doesn't bend them at all. Sometimes she walks on the top of her feet, which makes me think she can't even feel her feet. She also had two 'doggie strokes' last year (Which are not as debilitating as human strokes) but this has left her with a permanent head tilt and she's super dizzy. She's also deaf.

She also cannot hold her waste anymore, and has to wear diapers all the time. She's constantly urinating and defecating on herself. And here's the kicker, because she's so dizzy, I can't put her in the bathtub to wash her. She will drown herself. And there's no hose pipe for us to use here so I can't just take her outside and spray her down. I've had to bucket-wash her in the kitchen which is backbreaking, and I don't think it's good for the floors either.

Suffice to say that despite the fact that she's still somewhat healthy for her age, she's super clumsy. She's constantly falling over things. The only way for her to get up is for me to lift her up. And she's a heavy, heavy dog for just me. For the past few days I've had a really hard time walking her because she keeps falling on the way to the grassy area, and when she falls, she's falling on concrete. Suffice to say I'm really worried about her falling and seriously hurting herself.

When she falls in the apartment, she flails wildly and yelps and squeaks until I get her up. The problem is that she continues to wander around the apartment aimlessly ramming things and falling over more. I cannot get her to just stay down. I don't know if it hurts her to lay down or what, but she just wants to do nothing other than wander around the apartment and slam into every door, wall and piece of furniture here. (She almost shoved my trashcan over the other day and that's another issue between having the two dogs that would love to get into said trash).

With Trakker, it was a difficult, yet logically apt conclusion to put him to sleep. After $1200 trying to help him, they said that his kidneys were just shutting down, there was nothing they could do, there was nothing I could do, and it was very obvious he was in serious pain. So I had to get him put down.

For Midnite, she's just slowly working her way into dementia. I really don't want her to suffer, but at the same time when I see her, it just doesn't seem like there's much wrong with her. I feel like I'm wanting to put her to sleep to make it easier on me - so I don't have to keep picking her up, so I don't have to keep cleaning up after her.

She was also Bow's dog and loved him to death. She still looks out to the parking lot and just stares to see if he's coming home (She used to do this all the time before when it was about time for him to get home from work). She's not been the same.

I guess I need some reassurance that putting her to sleep is the right thing to do, or someone to slap me and tell me I'm being terrible for thinking about it. I think I can safely say that she's not happy. I'm not sure what to do for her.

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