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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17079
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My 13 year old Golden Retriever is eating very little anymore.

Resolved Question:

My 13 year old Golden Retriever is eating very little anymore. She sleeps most of the time, and when she does get up she looks "lost" like she's not sure which way to go. She is very difficult to awaken from sleep and at times non-responsive even when awake. She has difficulty with the actions of standing up, sitting down, lying down and when she comes to stairs she just stops and stares at them until we come and assist her. Sometimes she'll bark to ask for assistance, but that seems to be decreasing as well. She pants most of the time when she's awake even if she is not in a hot environment. Is she getting close to the end of her natural life? Is it too soon to consider assisting with euthanasia?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi Sir or Madam,


My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. I will try and help you with your problem this afternoon.


You are faced with one of the hardest decision a pet owner has to make. Our hearts always hurt at the thought of not having our beloved dog with us, but in some cases, it is because of the love we feel for them that we let them go.


If your dog is not in constant pain, still has some activities that is enjoyed even if your dog may move a little slower and seems content to just lay by your feet, then I'd say your dog still has some quality of life. If your dog can no longer do anything that used to be enjoyed and you can see that your dog’s eyes are pain filled and sometimes even your touch doesn't give comfort, then it probably is the right time.


It sounds like your girl at a minimum has arthritis and if she isn't being treated for that, you may want to consider starting treatment so she is more comfortable. In addition, she might also be experiencing Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS). The good news is that there is a drug called L-Selegeline (Anipryl (R)) which has been recently approved for use in the clinical indication of cognitive dysfunction (CDS) in dogs. Please see this site for more information and other causes that may exhibit the same symptoms.

http://www.swiftwaterfarms.com/swiftwater/p22CanineCognitiveDysfunction.htm

http://www.cliniciansbrief.com/column/applied-behavior/house-soiling-cognitive-dysfunction-syndrome?96m5sri9MY

While her quality of life does seem like it has been reduced, it may be improved with some treatment for arthritis and CDS. This is something your vet may be able to determine for you. The best gift you can give your dog when the time comes, is to let her go peacefully. This is always a difficult choice and I hope I have helped in some small way with your decision.



I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .

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Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17079
Experience: Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler
Dog Behaviorist/Trainer/Breeder/Health
14168 Satisfied Customers
Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist