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DrRalston, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2205
Experience:  Over twelve years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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My dog is a 14 year old chocolate lab. She has not eaten

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My dog is a 14 year old chocolate lab. She has not eaten her dog food since Sunday. She has only eaten a little each day, our scraps. She is incontinent and has been on medication for years (10 Years). On Tuesday she wet herself every time she slept so I increased her dosage so that has helped. Last night she vomited and then had the dry heaves. I gave her little bit of cooked rice and chicken, knowing she hasn't eaten much and she kept it down. She has now kind of collapsed twice when she is trying to lay down, it looks like her legs give out beneath her. Her legs look like they go stiff. She lays there and eventually falls asleep. She is able to walk once she wakes up. She is still drinking water. Not sure what I should do other than make her comfortable.
I am sorry to hear about Kylie.

Unfortunately, it definitely sounds like she is in a bad spot. She hasn't eaten her food for a week, how often do Labs do that? Not often at all. She probably feels terrible and doesn't want to eat because of it. She will still eat the scraps because these are really great treats to her and a reward. Also, it is special because it is coming from you and she wouldn't want to let you down.

She is vomiting, but nothing is coming up because she isn't eating. It is likely that she is really really feeling sick, and she isn't comfortable at all. Her legs are giving out on her, she is weak.

There is nothing left for you to do at home. To make her comfortable you are going to need to visit the hospital. Doesn't that seem like the right thing to do? I realize that she is old. Average lifespan for these guys based on my experience is 12-16 years, and most fall at that eariler number.

There could be so much going on with her causing the nausea, vomiting, weakness, lack of appetite that it isn't worth me noting it here. Diabetes, liver disease, kidney issues, infections, heart problems, severe arthritis, all on my list. But, nothing can be diagnosed if tests aren't done.

Truly, it sounds like it might be getting time to let her go?

It is always hard to decide what is best for the pet. I think often pet parents, especially after the death of another pet, are concerned about waiting too long to make the decision. I think people fear often that they are being selfish about their decision.

I don't think that is the case. I think that it is VERY difficult decision to make. WE understand as Vets that it is the hardest thing for an owner to do. Consequently, it is also the hardest for us as well. Sometimes it is the best answer, and truthfully, only you can know for sure.

But I am sure that you know her better than ANYONE, and you will know if it is time for her or not.

The decision to euthanize is based on these questions: Is she still happy to see everyone. Is she interacting with the family or would she rather be left alone. Can she get up? Can she urinate and defecate on her own, or is she soiling herself? Is she eating, and holding food down? Does she seem herself?

One thing is certain, that she will continue to feel worse as her time nears. Sometimes it is better to let them go before they feel worse.
DrRalston and 3 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Marla,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Kylie. How is everything going?