Old dog in his last days?
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Thread: Old dog in his last days?

  1. #1
    Senior Member rosemaryninja's Avatar
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    Old dog in his last days?

    My boyfriend has a GSD-mix that is 14 years old. He is a really old boy and it shows. His hips are 70% shot, he has bad eczema and he is very skinny despite being fed an extraordinary amount of Solid Gold three times a day.

    He's been in this state for the better part of the last two years and although he has been taken to the vet several times, everything has checked out at normal levels. We've done full check-ups, blood panels, urine tests, looked for worms, parasites, everything and all they can tell him is that "Blazer's old." (Thanks, that's helpful.)

    Lately, Blazer has been starving himself. This is VERY unusual as he's always been extremely food-motivated. He has always scarfed down his food at a worrying speed. In the last month or so he has finished his kibble only halfway, so they started leaving it out all day for him.

    Awhile ago he began throwing up the small amount of kibble he did eat. Finally he stopped eating his kibble altogether. After two skipped kibble meals they tried canned food. He rejected it. They put him on rice and boiled hamburger which he typically loves. Still nothing.

    After he refused the rice and hamburger it marked two full days of him not eating and I told them just give him anything that he will take. In his state he cannot afford to go without nourishment for so long. He will not eat anything at all. Not treats, not a small piece of hot dog, not even his lactose-free milk that he adores. He sniffs it, then turns away. If you try to handfeed him he will keep turning his head away from you until he gets so fed up that he will actually get up and hobble away from you.

    He is going to the vet either tomorrow or Wednesday but I am worried that this is the end for him. I know it's not uncommon for senior dogs to start rejecting food in their last days. I haven't voiced these concerns to my boyfriend because he would be distraught. They rescued Blazer 13 years ago when my boyfriend was 5 years old.

    I don't know what kind of advice you guys could give right now but I'm really worried. It hurts me to see both him and his dog suffering like this. Please, any words at all will be appreciated.
    -Melissa
    Life is never dull with a Beagle

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  3. #2
    Senior Member railNtrailcowgrl's Avatar
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    Re: Old dog in his last days?

    I know it is not what you want to hear but you may need to have "the talk" with your boyfriend. I went through the same thing with a my beloved cat about 5 years ago. He just decided that he was done and gave up on life. It was the hardest decision I ever have had to make(I'm almost crying typing this). In less than a week he went from 12lbs to 4lbs.

    I too was similar to your BF I couldn't remember a time without Razz. Looking back now I feel selfish that I let him suffer as long as I did. It is never easy but it sounds like he is giving up and once they decide it is not fair to them to keep them here. I would say take him to the vet and see if there are any options that you have not yet explored, but the kindest thing for everyone involved would be to make him comfortable and prepare for the worst. Sending thoughts and prayers of strength and love. Good luck and no matter what the decision is it is never easy it is best just to try and remember all the good times they had together and it will help heal the pain.

  4. #3
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    Re: Old dog in his last days?

    Sorry to say but that doesn't look good at all! My cat died and didn't want to eat for several days before he passed away.

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    Senior Member Mdawn's Avatar
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    Re: Old dog in his last days?

    My old dog Dan was about the same before he passed. He had no appetite at all.

    I don't really have any advice for you. I can just tell you that I'm really sorry that you and those you care about are going through this. It is really heartbreaking. The only thing I can tell you, because I know from past experience, is to really be there for your boyfriend because it's going to hurt him badly if this is the end. There really is no other advice to give in that regard.

    My boyfriend had a cat that he'd had since he was a child...we had to have the cat PTS 6 years ago because of stomach cancer. My boyfriend was devastated. He had that cat for 16 or 17 years.. I'd never seen him that upset before or since.

    The Dogs: Eddie the Lab & Uallis the Mastiff
    The Cats: Max, Gus & Lexi

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    Senior Member aero4ever's Avatar
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    Re: Old dog in his last days?

    First off, my heart goes out to you and your boyfriend. I know that this is an extremely difficult time for you both and hope the best. If it is time to make that decision, the words of wisdom I offer you are: It doesn't always feel good to do the right thing. I had to make that decision a couple years ago with one of my dogs. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, but knowing that I could do one last act of kindness for my baby, gives some peace.
    Everything I know, I learned from my dogs!

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    Senior Member Lorina's Avatar
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    Re: Old dog in his last days?

    It's a longshot, but have you tried getting him to eat breaded fishsticks or chicken nuggets (baked in the oven, not deep fried)?

    I know my vet has often recommended fishsticks to dogs that weren't eating. And it worked to kickstart their appetites a number of times. With my own 18 year old kidney and heart failure cat, she'd NEVER turn down a chicken nugget. If she was being fussy about food, I'd microwave her one nugget (6 seconds), rip it up into bite-sized (for a cat) chunks, and she'd gobble it down. Meat flavored baby foods sometimes work, too. Overall, food is the best appetite stimulant, and if you can get something in their bellies, sometimes it kickstarts their desire to eat more.

    I'm so sorry you and your boyfriend are going through this difficult time. *hug*

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    Senior Member CinnamintStick's Avatar
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    Re: Old dog in his last days?

    I have seen this wasting and loss of appetite in several of my dogs and cats as they reached old age. I do belive they are in the process of dieing and organs are shutting down. Makes you wonder why they make most seinor foods low fat when so many of our senior pats have no weight on them. A few died peacefuly at home but most of them we gave the greatest and final gift you can give a pet for the years that they gave to us.

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    Senior Member rosemaryninja's Avatar
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    Re: Old dog in his last days?

    Thank you all for your support. We have tried nuggets -- not fishsticks, though. He's still not eating. Three full days of him starving himself. The earliest vet appointment we can get is for Thursday. If someone cancels today or tomorrow they will call.

    I think my boyfriend already knows that something is dreadfully wrong. Neither of us want to talk about it though. I guess it's because nothing is confirmed yet, and it feels like mentioning it might increase its likelihood. We'll see.
    -Melissa
    Life is never dull with a Beagle

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    Senior Member CinnamintStick's Avatar
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    Re: Old dog in his last days?

    Can you get a tube of Nutri-cal? You can squeeze it in the dogs mouth and hope some goes down. Many vets supplies and even pet stores sell it or a look a like. http://www.bullwrinkle.com/ShoppingP..._nutri-cal.htm

    Is the dog drinking? Is he dehydrated? What does his gums look like? Could he be in shock?

  11. #10
    Senior Member rosemaryninja's Avatar
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    Re: Old dog in his last days?

    Okay, here's an update. He saw the vet yesterday and apparently has worms in his stomach. I wasn't there, so I don't know what kind of worms he had. He was given a deworming tablet and has to be forcefed water with electrolytes every day through a syringe. (He's not very pleased about that.)

    Apparently he's still not touching kibble, but had a bit of meat this morning. Hopefully he'll continue upward.
    -Melissa
    Life is never dull with a Beagle

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