Anyone else have aging pets?

  1. I apologize in advance if this sounds disrespectful of people who have lost their pets due to old age, it's certainly not meant to.

    I adopted an 11-lb chihuahua mix about 7 years ago from a local rescue. I don't know exactly how old he is now but I'm guessing he's at least 10. He has always been a calm, good boy, I don't have children but he is like a child to my DH and me.

    In the last few years his age has really taken a toll: he's got so much gray all over (muzzle, chest, stomach, even eyebrows!), he's lost a couple teeth (during cleanings), he's on medication for seizures, etc etc.

    Anyway, the point of this post is that I find myself thinking more often about how much longer he'll be with us. I know I shouldn't worry about it and I should enjoy every minute with him, which I try to do, but I can't help it - I'm just reminded of it every time I notice more grays or he has another seizure. I've had pets before but I am more attached to this little guy than any other pet I've had (I think part of it is my age - I've never felt maternally towards other animals but this one, like I said, is like my child). Why do I do this to myself? Did anyone else with aging pets have feelings/thoughts like this?
  2. I recently had to help my 15.5YO Corgi to the bridge. She had degenerative myelopathy, for the past 5 years. About three years ago she became unable to walk, so we got her a doggie cart ( ). Progressively her front end began to weaken and she started to go downhill quickly in the past three months. We based our decision on whether she enjoyed her life. So, I recommend this. Does your chi still enjoy the things he used to? Greying of the muzzle and a few teeth lost, at least to me, is not a big deal. As long as you can manage the seizures with meds, and he is not suffering, it is also no problem.

    I have gone through the death of a pet 11 times in my life. For some it comes at a young age, unexpectedly. No matter how long he is with you, it will never be long enough. It reminds us of our own mortality and the fragility of life. I also do rescue and don't hesitate to take in elderly dogs. My last elderly dog was 10 when we got her, and very sick. She lasted 3 years, but I'm sure they were her happiest. Just do the best you can and love your boy. He will let you know when he is ready to go.
  3. Yes, yes, yes. I would tell myself not to dwell on "is the end near?" but it was so hard when one of the dogs had a seizure, or seemd confused and not all there, trouble walking, etc. It's so hard, no doubt about it, but treasure every good day they have and when the quality of life isn't very good anymore and there isn't really hope for improvement, we can end their suffering. It's a gift to our pets.

    When our dogs have died, it's been harder on dh than me, tho I cry for days. I find comfort in knowing the time with us were the best years our dogs ever experienced. they were loved every single day.
  4. it sounds like ur preparing yourself bc you fear it'll break your heart..i can totally lil mama is 8 now..i feel like ive raised a child bc she is just like a person...she's a lhasa so hopefully i read they can live to 20..
    i read chis can live that long too...i have a chi also...they are like chi boy is only 2 but he almost died twice on me already..sometime i cant even bear to wake him up in the morning bc im scared he wont wake sorry ur lil angel is getting older..its too aweful to think about...try to just focus on the positive bc there not so much we can do but love them every second and cherish every memory
    i see my lhasa getting older too and it hurts me...i cant imagine when she loses her teeth or omg has seizures..she has other problems but none that serious now thank God... but i know it'll break my heart when it does bc u know time is getting shorter & i cant bear to see her in so sorry..just try to keep strong
  5. my peke is now 11 years old. she has back problems and sometimes can't walk so we bring her to the vet who gives her steroid shots etc. she doesn't move very much unless you're holding treats but she's always been kinda laid-back. every time i think of THAT DAY my eyes tear up so i try to treasure every moment i have with her instead of thinking of the inevitable.

    stay strong.
  6. my dogs are 9 and 10 and I've been thinking about that lately as well, but like everyone else, I'm just trying to keep them as healthy as I can and enjoy the time we have together it's so precious.
  7. I had to put my 12 year old, Kasey, to sleep in June (June 21st, the first day of summer to be exact). At around 10, I started to have thoughts about how limited our time might be together. She was my 7th dog, but my hubby had given her to me on my 30th b-day and I considered her my first born (at least that's what I told my kids). It was devastating, but I wouldn't have given up a day w/ her.

    I got a new puppy in Sept., and though I wasn't sure I could love a dog like I loved Kasey, I find myself madly in love w/ my pup Gucci.

    It's the cycle of life, you know? It is what it just have to be thankful for the time that you have shared and then walk through the pain when the time comes, until it doesn't hurt as bad.
  8. Thanks ladies, you've all made me feel so much better. Whenever I get sad about this DH says, why do you think about that so much?! but I can't help it. I'm glad I'm not the only one who is, in some ways, simultaneously loving their pet to their heart's fullest while at the same time already preparing for the inevitable mourning/grieving part.
  9. A couple of weeks ago, I had to put my baby down due to a freak accident. I didn't want her to suffer. She was 11. I know she would of lived a lot longer which is why it breaks my heart what I had to do.

    My other doggie is approx. 12-13. I rescued him, so I don't know his exact age. Most people don't believe the age he is. He is a min pin and still spry as the day I got him. He has grey around his snout and on his paws now. I still consider him a puppy though cause thats all I see. He has been my rock since the passing of my other dog. I know he is going to be with me for a few more years. He is one stubborn old man and he will fight tooth and nail to stay with me as long as he can. LOL

    Just enjoy the time you have with your babies.
  10. I have three chihuahuas myself. They are 10, 16, and 19 years old. My oldest, Caesar, will be 20 in April. Chihuahuas live to be quite old. My 10 year old doesn't look a day over 2 years old. He thinks he's a puppy, and is always running around. Teddy, the 16 year old, is starting to lose his vision, but he still runs around like a nut. Caesar, on the other hand, isn't doing too good. He's completely blind and deaf, and has a very bad heart murmur. He still somehow knows when I walk in the door, and he can always seem to find his food.

    I hope your dog lives many more happy years with you!:yes:

    Hubba - I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. That must have been heart-breaking for you, and I just feel terrible for you. I hope you find comfort in your other little companion.
  11. I have a 16 year old dog. We have had her since she was 3 months old and she's visually impaired and hard of hearing. She also wets the floor a lot. It's hard to see a dog get old, but that part of life and we enjoy the time we have with her. Please stay strong and just enjoy the time you have with her.
  12. I wasn't allowed to have indoor pets as a child (probably why I became a vet!) My Australian Shepherd (adopted, three legs, smarter than my husband,) is getting older. He's my first dog, and I know exactly what you mean...I look at his muzzle getting greyer, and I just can't imagine life without him. I think these are normal feelings. I always keep these thoughts in mind when I have to give someone bad news about their animal.
  13. I absolutely know what you mean. In July we had to decide to put our cat out of his misery when it was discovered he had a large tumor pressing on his lungs. He was only 12 years old, but in the past couple of years he had stopped jumping as high, moved a little slower, was a little less active, and DH and I guessed he wouldn't be with us longer. The last time it came up we guessed about 2 years, and that was probably last year. Little did I know then how close to the mark we were.
    We still have a cat that's going on 11 and the vet is flabbergasted by him. He knows the cat has been with us for 9 years, but he thinks his condition is that of a 5 year old. Very spry, very active, very muscular and energetic. I can't even imagine him getting old. He's a black cat and he has no white hairs anywhere.
    As someone else mentioned, it's my way of dealing with the inevitable, and I think it helped us to make the hard decision to let go of Cisco when he was in pain when we could have kept him alive hoping he'd get better or the Dr. was wrong.
    Here's hoping you have many more years with your little one. :tup:
  14. My baby EINSTEIN is 12..he is a SHIBA INU.I adore him.He is limping,has thyroid disease issues...and everyday Im scared he wont b around much longer.It breaks my heart to think of him gone.He is such a huge part of my life and so important to me!
  15. We have a labmix that's probably about 14-15 yrs old now. We adopted her 11 years ago and she may have been about 3-4 yrs old then. Anyway, she also has medical issues now...arthritis, weight loss, ongoing eye infection, elevated enzyme count. Yesterday she went to the vet and he said it might be time for us to think about putting her down. I'm really, really sad. I got her when my dad died and she really helped me thru those difficult times so to put her down is just breaking my heart.