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Hi All
The lovely people on here have always been so helpful when we've had concerns about our labs, so turning to you again for any advice. Sorry this is long but just want to cover everything.... Our lovely black lab Daisy is now 14.5 years old and over the last 6 months has really aged.

She was diagnosed with low level liver and kidney disease back in February which seems to be under control with milk thistle supplements and a lower phosphorus/protein/sodium diet.

Around April time though, she started to refuse going out for walks having got progressively slower for a few months...she'd wander a little and then just stand and stare at me. I tried taking her to new and interesting places in the car to just have a wander, sniff around and have a change of scene, but she just wasn't interested and seems to hate being on a lead now. We have quite a large garden, so she'll just take herself off for a little trot around there a few times a day...that's now her only 'exercise'

My main concern now is the weakness in her back legs and hips, which is obviously becoming worse as she's not exercising as much so the muscle loss is significant. She is very wobbly on her back legs, trembles when standing...sometimes her legs will just go from under her and if she's lying down, she often can't get up without a gentle hand under her tummy to raise her. Her legs literally splay like bambi on ice and she sometimes looks like a frog lying down with seeminly no control around her hips. This morning, she was having real trouble standing to eat her breakfast. She also occasionally has accidents on the kitchen floor first thing as she can't get outside quickly enough to do a poo...so some incontinence/muscle waste there too as she can't hold on for long (She's on propalin for urianary incontinence which seems to be working so far,....) Her eyesight also isn't great so I think she sometimes misjudges her step which also makes her stumble.

She's been on Senior Yumove for the last few years. We tried her on metacam last year but it made no difference to her mobility and it actually seemed to upset her stomach. Is there anything else we can do to help her?

She still gets crazy excited for meal times and enjoys visitors coming to the house, but apart from the odd stroll round the garden, she just lies at my feet all day or follows me around the kitchen when preparing meals. The decline is heartbreaking. The mad thing is, when I take her to vet, she behaves like a puppy!! She loves it there (I think it's to do with the treats ;-) )so I don't think they can really appreicate the decline. We've always said that when she goes off her food, we'll know that it's time to say goodbye, but I do worry about what sort of quality of life she is now having. I would love to be able to help with this weakness in her hind quarters so she can get a bit more out of the winter of her life, but don't want to load up her system with more medications when her liver function isn't great and cause further issues there.

Any advice from those who have gone through similar with their senior Labs would be much appreciated!

Many thanks, as always

Emma
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I am in exactly the same situation with my girl of the same age. Now she stays in the kitchen at night and we leave a door open and she does manage to do outside. She still loves her grub and is happy to play lawn snuffle mat with the others. I give her a full dose of Metacam (I’m sure there are alternative pain killers possible), she also has two or three doses of green CBD paste (Sativa based) throughout the day too. At the moment she’s not too bad but she is very wobbly and suffers with the heat a lot. I’ve spoken to my vets about the “E” word, they are ready when we are. You just need to do palliative care until it’s time. It might help to have a chat with your vet and let them know what you want when the time comes.
 

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So sorry to hear your elderly girl is suffering too 😞 Thank you for your reply. You're right, I do need to have a good chat with the vet - I was waiting until I could actually go into the consulting room with her but not sure now WHEN that might be...we currently have to have a quick chat on the doorstep of the practice (due to their covid safety policy,) which isn't an ideal place to talk about it (& I'll probably burst into tears in the street !!!)
 

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Thinking of you. I went through the same thing with my Amy, including the loss of bowel control. You have not lived until you've shampooed carpets at 3am.

I used to take her for walks, but often we only got 3 or 4 houses along the road. I used o let her set the point to turn round and return home.

I did use metacam, but in your case, with impaired liver and kidney function I can well imagine problems arising from that.

It's so hard watching them slowly sinking. This was Amy 14th birthday photo. but sadly she never quite made 15, dying just 2 weeks short. She slipped down so fast come the end and died February this year. Treat every day as the most important day ever, because it is.



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Oh John. 😭😭 She had an amazing life with you!

Betty has suspect kidneys but my vet and I agreed, it’s only a matter of time and it’s more important she’s comfortable. Before long she will have no need of them, much as it breaks my heart to say that.
 

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Thank you for your message, John. Sorry to hear of your loss earlier this year, sounds like you made sure she had a wonderful time in this world.
 
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