In reading the forum about moaning dogs, I see a lot of posts relating to my situation now. My yellow lab turned 12 in april of 2012. We know she had some arthritis and was slowing down. Right after her bd she came inside and was unable to stand on her back legs. Vet came out and said it could be a disc or spinal stenosis and recommended MRI and specialized neurologist. My husband and I decided not to go that route. The avg. life span of a lab is 12-14 and my vet had told me she was on the "older side of 12". My husband is a radiologist and did not want to put her thru any surgury if indeed it even showed a problem. So now it is 1 year and 9 months later. If she were to make it to her BD in April she'll be 14. We have been using a double handled harness to take her to do her business and yes it has been difficult on us. In time I think she adapted to her situation as have we. But in the past few months she has definitely deteriorated..weaker. Although her front legs are able to hold her up, her back end is a lot weaker. She is not parilyzed. We used to hold her up to pee outside but this summer it became difficult so my husband divised a way to put her over a propane tank and she does then squat and pee and we express her to be sure she empties herself. She can no longer deficate outdoors unless we are already outdoors but the weather is too cold now and she sometimes does this in her sleep. I keep her on papers and she always moves out of the way. Never hardly pees in the house, but is uncomfortable when she has to go. It took us awhile to figure this out. She sees and hears but is not eating well anymore. Very picky. won't eat dog food. I make her chicken and rice and giver her vitamans and supplements. She has lost a lot of muscle mass. I really did not think we would get to the snow season, but hear we are. She know has periods of restlessness and in the past week or so whining. Sometimes that means she wants water. Othertimes I am not sure. She prostrates herself like she might be in pain. I'm giving her 1 tramadol when needed but now I am tending to give her 2 prn and at night melatonin. She has a tough time gettng to sleep but usually she is out in the evening and sometimes in the morning. Today in particular was a difficult day. She does have a little protein in her urine and an alkaline ph. I think everything else checked out okay. So for almost 2 years I have pondered whether we need to put her her to sleep --- in that time we have had some good moments with her, but now it is becoming a little more problematic. I read online about a drug to help with doggie dementia, Anipryl. My vet says we can give it a try. How long usually will it take to see a difference? If not, is it time to say goodbye? Is it safe to give this with tramadol? Sometimes I am tempted to give her aspirin when she has these periods of whining and restlessness. Some sites say no, somesay it is okay if done properly and it can be given with trmadol, but she is not eating well so I'm not sure about it.
That is my story..for now.