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My 15 1/2 year old black lab has Hypothyroidism. He's taking medication to alleviate the symptoms and his appetite is good. The latest bloodwork shows his thyroid level is now normal.
However, he breaths constantly as if he just ran a marathon. If he wakes in the middle of the night, his breathing is like a locomotive.
He also has some arthritis and takes Previcox. He can't run, but he still swims a little bit in the pool for brief periods ( he used to swim for hours).
He is also deaf. I live on a fairly large property with an electric fence, he's been completely obedient to the property lines his entire life until recently he started to wander, I can't call him back because he just can't hear so now he can't just go outside and bask in the sun like he used to unless I'm outside as well.

Although he appears to be happy, I'm now wondering if he is suffering. The heavy breathing has got to be exhausting. I'm also afraid he may slip down the stairs and break a hip or something. I would feel terrible if that happened.

Am I wrong to consider that it may be time to put my friend to sleep? 16 years ago, I put my other Lab down, but I waited too long and watched him suffer with kidney failure.
Thanks
 

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Have you had him checked to see if it's laryngeal paralysis? It's fairly common in older labs.

We have a 14 1/2 year old rescue lab and he had the surgery for it about 2 1/2 years ago and he's doing great now. I'm not sure that at your boy's age surgery would be an option for you but if you can have him checked to see if he does have it I think that would perhaps help you make a decision about letting him go or not.

They would need to sedate him and watch his throat as he breathes to be sure if that was what he had. If it's not that I'd look into his heart but my first guess would be laryngeal paralysis.

Good Luck with him.
 

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Determining quality of life is always an impossible decision. We've had to make it too many times already. Only you can really determine the minimum quality of life you want for your pup and when it's time to say goodbye because he's at that point. Here's a site that has helped me over the years: www.pet-loss.net

The breathing does sound like it could be laryngeal paralysis. We have a greyhound diagnosed with it, but wasn't a candidate for surgery. We were able to manage it a bit with meds - valium and doxepin. It gave him a couple extra years. Though, we had a terrifying episode where he nearly choked to death before we were able to get him to the hospital...I promised him he would never have to go through that again. He was clearly terrified. We said goodbye shortly after that....

Good luck with your pup...and hugs.
 

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Panting can also be a sign of Cushings.

Or heart problems.
 
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