Now sometimes we will rationalise ourselves out of saying 'goodbye' because we don't want them to leave us. But when it is clearly obvious the dog is okay in some ways, then maybe the time is not right?
The guidelines we need are "Quality of Life". Now quality of life does not have to mean they behave and move about like 3 year olds. Sometimes they can be crippled yet still have decent quality of life.
But things to consider unselfishly before considering euthanasia are:
*Pain....Is the pain getting to them to such an extent that pain medications are either not working or making them even more sick? We don't want them to be in awful pain without help.
*Eating....are they still eating and enjoying food? (This is also a sign that pain levels are not so bad. A dog often refuses to eat if it is in bad pain.
*Wagging and signs of happiness....are they still expressing this? Sometimes they can't literally tail-wag because of nerve involvement etc, but there are other ways to show happiness, gladness to see an owner, contentment, a sense of pleasure at things they usualy get pleasure from.
*Sleep....are they able to get good restful sleep?
*Pooping/peeing....is that still working okay?
If those things are all "yes's" then it's not really a dog's time to go....yet. Even though crippled or terminally-ill, it is still getting something enjoyable out of life.
And finally....how able or prepared is the owner for giving 'hospice care at home'? Is the owner with them most of the day and all night, or is the dog left for 8,9,10 hours a day alone while the owner has to work and commute? Is the owner willing to do all the nursing care and laundry, and broken sleep which goes with caring for a disabled dog?
It may be that the pain level has become unmanageable. If Tramadol isn't helping, then it must be pretty bad, as Tramadol is a narcotic, and used very often for short periods for post-surgical pain after major surgery.
I would say -from my own point of view, that if the medications are bringing relief from pain, and the signs of "Quality of Life" are there, then maybe it's not time yet?
But that means you have to keep a very watchful eye on her progress, and be willing to change that idea within a short space of time. That is what happens in 'hospice care'. You will have to be brave, for her sake.
My kindest thoughts for you and your girl. Go quiet and peaceful, and 'listen' to her. She will tell you what to do, I think, or your own Heart will.