Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Brisbane, Australia
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Hi there I would love some advise on this, my old 15 year old dog has chronic arthritis with terrible knees and hip, he requires help to stand and walks in a stumbling and staggering way when he does, he pretty much walks out to wee and poo and back in to eat, drink and sleep. The difficulty is that he become very anxious when he is lying down and barks and yelps non-stop until he is up, sometimes once he is up it seems like he doesnt know what he wants to do now that he is up.
The hardest part though is getting him up, he often becomes aggressive and attempts to bite and snap, today he got me and put two deep punctures in my hand with his canines - was attempting to muzzle him so i could lift him. Once he is up he is fine - no aggression just keen to get out to if he needs to pee or poo.
He still loves his food, but I feel he over drinks and urinates too frequently (every few hours). I can't lift him safely nobody else in my family dares too and now we have the neighbours writing us letters about the noise.
I have bought him some sedation from the vet and honestly its breaking my heart i can see him fighting through it but unable too.. he seems confused about his sedated state and tries to get up but can't... his eyes look dead and he looks so helpless unable to get up he has urinated on himself because he cant get up, but without the sedation he will bark through out the day off an on for sometimes quite a while (10-30 minutes at a time) unless someone sits with him, and even then sometimes that doesn't help either. I have him with a pillow and blanket and take his temp regularly to make sure he isn't over heating or getting too cold.. but I just dont know how to manage him.. we are thinking of euthanasia which is breaking my heart because he is not dying, but he is in pain and his quality of life is compromised but I don't feel like he has given up on life himself.
Someone help me see clearly if you can, I won't take offence he matters more than my ego and I'd love to hear any insight into how I should be approaching him. I am a vet nurse myself and I see dogs being brought in for euthanasia all the time, so you'd think I'd know the answer to this, but often times i feel animals are brought in to be pts well and truly much later than they should be.. when they have been suffering for days on end before being brought in. He is painful but he also loves hugs and eats well, and drinks well.. the issue is his management and anxiety and aggression. Thank you I appreciate your time and advise.