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Hello, I have a 16 yr old mini dachshund who have had since she was 8 weeks old.... she was my very first dog so senior life is new to me. She went to the vet in march 2020 and I was told she was in good health aside from arthritis trying to set up in her little legs.
Over the year her eyes have gotten very cloudy, weight wont seem to stay on, and she sleeps 95% of the day, barely makes it to the puppy pads on a good day but shes my baby.....

I guess my question is how do you know when to do more for them? I dont feel it's her time to leave me just yet but I don't know what to do to help her see or anything to help... shes ran into a few doors and then it's like she gives up and goes back to her bed

I have her food and water semi close to her bed so she can find it, and she sleeps in my room so I can hear her pitter pat (haha) she has helped me through so much I just wanna help her now....
 

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If she were mine, I'd get a second vet evaluation to make sure that none of what you describe is caused by something easily treatable or potentially painful. A lot can happen with a sixteen year old dog in a few months, and if she were mine I'd want to be sure there isn't an underlying condition I needed to be keeping an eye on - the weight loss would be my biggest concern if she's eating normally, less so if her appetite just isn't as good anymore.

Otherwise, so long as she seems bright and enjoying life, I'd keep doing what you're doing. Make things as easy for her as possible, feed her whatever she'll eat, and cherish every day you have with her. The general rule I've heard when it comes to vision impaired and blind dogs is to try not to move anything in her space as much as possible - chairs always get pushed in the same way when not in use, no putting boxes or other obstacles down where they might confuse her, and no rearranging furniture. This can at least help make it easier for her to mentally map her living space, even if she's not active much anymore.

It sucks to think about, but I'd also start considering at what point you feel is right to make the call for euthanasia. Some people find that making a list of their dog's five favorite things, and when they can no longer do or enjoy at least three, it's time to consider that they no longer have quality of life. It's good to think about this in advance, because it's easier to make clear decisions and not wind up in a position where you feel you waited too long - which is always a horrible thing to experience.
 

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I agree with DaySleepers. I've had four old dogs that lost most of their vision due to cataracts or 'old age,' and for the most part they adapted, enjoyed running outside and playing with friends that weren't too rough. One dog even lost most of his hearing, but he could still smell liver treats (!!!), and could hear a loud, piercing whistle.

BTW, sometimes a dog that is not totally blind can still see motion pretty well, so if something is not moving, he may not see it, but if it is moving, he may be able to come to it or steer clear as needed.

Some people say that incontinence is a signal for end of life, but in my experience, if you stay on top of it, can clean up the mess easily, and can keep the dog clean all the time, it may not be 'an issue' unless the dog is suffering.

I consider that part of the decision - Not 'is it inconvenient' and Not 'is the dog in pain", but is the dog's quality of life declining and is the dog suffering. A dog with minor pain can still love treats, walks, and visiting with friends. If possible, I strongly recommend taking your dog for a walk or a hobble [ ;-) ] everyday or twice a day, if possible, letting him sniff at his speed and for as long is comfortable. I think that extends his life ... rather than prolonging it.

At some point, inconvenience for you may be a decision point, and I think that one reason that incontinence is a decision point, is because the work involved can be too much for some people in some situations. Incontinence for me was not a problem, but if it had been diarrhea, the required care and cleanup would have been too much.

Finally, I made the decision because my dog was "showing" possible symptoms of a nerve degeneration problem that can occur in German Shepherds and other breeds, which starts in the hips and moves forward to vital organs. It is painless, and was difficult to diagnose conclusively, but based on ongoing discussions with my Vet and continuing painless hip collapses during walks, in addition to incontinence in his sleep without waking up, we finally made the decision while the dog was happy and in good spirits.

I don't know if your dog has nerve degeneration as well as arthritis, that may be something to ask the Vet. I don't know if dachshunds get that type of problem. But, as long as she has a good quality of life, which is not in significant decline, keep doing what you've been doing and follow the advice of your Vet.
 
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