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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24410
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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He is 14 1/2 years old and is deaf. He has been defecating

Customer Question

He is 14 1/2 years old and is deaf. He has been defecating and urinating in the house and around his bed. He has never done this. He eats OK. He has been moaning and softly howling which he never did before. Should he be put down
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The noise must be worrying. I'll connect you to the Veterinarian. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Riley
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Riley?
Customer: Not really but he sleeps all day and takes very short walks
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

I understand that you're facing a difficult decision. Every day's a gift when your dog has reached 14.5 years. There's little question that he suffers from cognitive dysfunction as evidenced by his loss of "potty training" and pain as evidenced by his vocalizing. The pain may originate in his brain - cognitive dysfunction signs often are related to brain tumor at his age - geriatric osteoarthritis or any number of internal medical disorders. My patient's quality of life is paramount. Whatever the cause of Riley's behavior, if his quality of life has deteriorated to the point that he can't do "dog things" anymore he'll become quite anxious in addition to his maladies.

You have two reasonable ways forward. You can have the final kindness performed. Under the circumstances I would find it reasonable to do so. Instead, you can have Riley's vet perform a thorough physical exam including diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests to see if there's something that can be addressed conservatively - with pain relief, at least, perhaps. Hospicing is the ticket at this time; we're not looking to cure such a patient.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.