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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30041
Experience:  UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
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My 15 year old XXXXX XXXXX has renal failure. We took him

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My 15 year old XXXXX XXXXX has renal failure. We took him to the vet the other day because he has lost a lot of weight and hardly drinks and doesn't eat.....not even a dog biscuit. His legs are weak, but he can still use the doggie door slowly and make it down the stairs. It breaks my heart to see him hunched over and barely able to move. His bun is 130, crea is 8.8 and phos 16.1. We contacted a vet to possibly come to our house tomorrow morning to put him down. The guilt is killing me and I keep thinking maybe he is doing better, but I know in the end he will just get worse and there is nothing we can do. At what point is it time? If it were your own dog what would you do?
Welcome! My name isXXXXX am a UC Davis graduate, and currently, a Medical Director of a veterinary hospital.

I am sorry to hear about this concern for Hunter.

Often, I will not answer that final question, what would I do if it were my own dog. Why? Well, there are financial implications, resources I may have available that you do not that can affect decisions.

But, you wrote the perfect information for me to answer that question.
The BUN is well over 100, which can easily cause nausea and uremic ulcers in the stomach.
The phosphorous level is very high, easily also contributing to nausea.

But, its not just about the numbers. Hunter is clearly not feeling well, with both poor appetite and thirst.

Without hesitation, I would absolutely support euthanasia. Certainly, you could hospitalize him for intravenous fluid therapy which may bring the values down for a short period of time. But, the question is whether the values will ever drop enough to be able to manage him at home, as well as, how quickly will they rise after therapy.

In this situation, unless he was to be immediately hospitalized and kept on a high fluid rate for at least 48-72 hours, euthanasia is the right decision. No question.

I never assume everyone has the financial resources to try hospitalizing to bring down kidney values, and again, even if they drop some it will either be not enough, or he will have to be maintained getting fluids under the skin every day thereafter.

I think Hunter has lived a wonderful long life as a result of your care, and I would not disagree at all if you elected to do euthanasia.

Please let me know if there is anything I did not cover for you. I hope that information has been helpful.
Please remember to select Reply to Expert, if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer. DO NOT rate if you are not satisfied yet or have any other questions. My goal is to try and provide you the best answer possible.
Dr. Andy

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Do you think at his age it is worth hospitalizing him and putting him through the stress of the treatment? He also has glaucoma and list sight in one eye, cataracts on the other, some hearing loss and he also has a tumor sore on his leg that keeps breaking open and bleeding. We can pay for treatment, just not sure if it's worth the stress to him.
Hi Shannon,
If cost were no object, and it greatly depends on your vet as well, you could try.
That's where things are tough for me. My wife would likely want me to try.
I would say that if you did hospitalization, unless there is a dramatic decrease in the values based on a recheck blood test after 2-3 days, I would not go any further.

But, would I disagree with not hospitalizing? Absolutely not. I would only say that if not hospitalizing, euthanasia should be done soon.

With the concurrent issues as well, I think your vet would absolutely support if you didn't hospitalize.

Dr. Andy
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