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I have a very old dog in very bad health. She's an 11 year old German Shepherd / Malamute mix that we adopted about 8 months ago (we have a soft spot for old rescue dogs). She's a sweetheart of a girl and came from a hoarding house, the shelter told us that her muscle deterioration and overall look and feel of a sick, weak dog would improve with regular feedings and exercise, but she's gotten worse. We found out later she is completely deaf, she came to us with a large tumor on her side that was a "fatty deposit" and we also found out she has a heart murmur causing her to pant 24/7. Her heat murmur is getting worse as she is panting more and more and harder and harder lately, also she is getting more of those tumors on her body, she is up to 6 of them now, even one on her eye and one almost the size of a baseball that is rock hard on her chest. The vet wants to remove them but at her age and health I am worried about going through the strokes of doing the surgery and not making it though the recovery, the last time she had surgery (while at the shelter) it took her months to recover properly.
My dad is trying to get me to get her put down, but I don't have the heart for it. But I also feel like the life she's living isn't the greatest anymore.
I guess I am looking for similar stories, advice, ideas, anything. If you have an old timer like her and have gone through something similar, how did you handle it?
 

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If the quality of life is getting worse, then you should consider what is best for the dog, rather than you. For a dog that is terminal, euthanasia when the dog is feeling OK, is much better than during an emergency..... However...

My Lab mix is 11 yo. Altho he's in good health, he has many fatty tumors all over. All are less than one inch, but he does have one that varies in size under his arm. My Vet has never suggested removal. Does your Vet have a specific reason for removing the fatty deposit?

With your dog, is it just a murmur or is it increasing congestive heart failure? I believe that a murmur can be controlled with fairly safe drugs.
 

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A murmur doesn't cause a cough. A murmur is just a sound, not a diagnosis, and there are a lot of different things that can cause murmurs. You should clarify with your vet what exactly is causing the cough and what specifically is causing the murmur before you would pursue any kind of surgery.
 
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