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My 14 yr old lab, Honey, has deteriorated over the last month or two, she sleeps most of the day, and struggles to stand, often getting her back legs tangled and standing on the top of her paw instead of the pads. she is often incontinent of faeces, all of this we cope with as we don’t have carpets, so easily cleaned up, but my main concern is since Christmas she refuses to eat her food, only eating, Fresh cooked chicken or gammon , I am happy for her to remain on this food but I realise this is not fortified with the vitamins and minerals she needs, she has 3 yumove tabs for senior dogs daily, can anyone offer advice on her diet please.
 

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I'm so sorry to read this, I lost my Amy last February at not quite 15. From the way you talk it sounds like Honey is in a very similar state. Amy had lost control of her bowel and was also very unsteady on her legs. I could see the end was near, so all I was interested in was keeping her happy. At this time, because they sleep so much they are not burning up energy, so their food requirements are so much smaller. How is her weight? Loosing weight is always worrying where gaining weight is more normal for a dog spending a lot of time sleeping. Knuckling under, standing on the top of her paw is often a neurological problem, but not a lot you can do about it. As to diet, you might find that a tinned dog food would be better than the complete, or even mix a little tinned in with her complete. It would make it smell so much more attractive.
 

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Thank you for your reply John, I realise that We getting near the time to say goodbye.
its complicated, she has Teeth problems but also has larangeal paralysis So cannot go under GA, she has been having a pate food in the mornings and up until Christmas was managing her evening kibble mixed with sardines in olive or sunflower oil, but since Christmas she is as I said refusing all food except as above. I think She is losing weight, although she has very large fatty lumps so it’s difficult to tell And I have no way of weighing her except taking her to vet. I have her sister , Poppy, too, who is fairing a little better, she is more Agile, but is deaf.
I don’t want to make the wrong decisions, i also have my husband to deal with, who burying his head in the sand and not facing the fact that just because we want them to live forever, we can’t delay making the right decision for Honey.
they are our first dogs and have brought us so much joy, we don’t want it to end.
 

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I know exactly how you feel. I was outside in the garden one day talking to my neighbour when Amy came out. She was walking across the lawn and fell 3 times. It was at that point when I realised I was keeping her alive for my benefit rather than hers. She also had LP towards the end and used to collapse when holding her head down while eating. I started raising her food bowl and that sorted that particular problem. But she also had a form of skin cancer which affected her badly at the end. But as a decision to have to make, it's so hard.
 

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I, too, know just how you feel, MumBen. I have now read quite a few books on the subject and all of them make the same central point: our dogs only have us to look after their interests, their care, happiness and safety. In return for their unconditional love and all that they teach us, we owe it to them to make the right decisions regarding their health and, when the end is approaching, the only criterion is their quality of life. When it is clear that this is not what it should be and they are no longer enjoying their lives, it falls to us to make the right decision and not to continue to keep them alive simply for our own benefit or because we are too weak to grasp the nettle. I feel for you, immensely, as I've been in your position five times. It never becomes any easier but you have to put her interests before your own.
 

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Another one with a 14 year old here, thankfully she is coping pretty well right now and remains continent. I lost her half sister last year in April aged 14 1/2, and the two of them have been through some very trying times with me, keeping me going through some of the hardest times in my life. Indie went downhill very quickly, within 48 hours I knew it was the right time, even though I'd tried to kid myself perhaps if she had some metacam, or some sort of drugs she would be fine for a while again. But I knew in reality it was the right time for her and one of the hardest decisions for me, to let my old companion go. You will know when it's right for her, it will never be right for us as owners, as we don't want to ever lose them, but that's part of having such fabulous companions. I actually bought a little book by an artist called 'The Oatmeal' for myself before Christmas, to cheer me up a bit as it was my first Christmas without Indie for 15 years, I hope it's ok to post the link for people to read it as it really sums up the life we have with our dogs in a humorous yet truthful way.

 

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Do you know, thats weirdly lovely!
I love it John, makes me well up a bit, but also makes me chuckle at how dogs must sometimes perceive us and the things they do. I hate seeing my girls growing older, but at the same time I realise how privileged I am to have them, and to have their companionship.
 
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