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Letting my dog pass on

Updated on August 19, 2016

Help me decide

My dog is 16 years old and I don't know whether to let him go. His legs are very weak, he is blind, deaf and cannot smell. He has trouble negotiating the apartment and is very anxious outside. He paces. He likes to eat and rub his face against a towel; is that enough reason to keep him alive? He coughs a lot; has always coughed but now it's worse. He essentially eats, paces and sleeps. I don't think he is in physical pain. He wears a diaper all the time because he pees a lot and has been drinking more and he has started getting a bit annoyed when I put it on, turning his head to nip at me, but never biting. This just started. He sleeps on my bed but I need to keep a leash on him to make sure he doesn't fall off the edge. There is no interaction between us; he's never been a snuggler bu he did used to play and interact; is very smart. Now, all that is gone. He doesn't even know I'm home unless I'm right next to him. Thankfully, he sleeps peacefully, but he's so weak that when he gets into his bed he sometimes just drops into it with his head draped downward toward the floor (looks like he's very uncomfortable). He was my mom's dog, and she passed away a few years ago, so sometimes I think I'm just keeping him alive for a connection. I've grown to love him, and have always had a real hard time with this decision (had a 16 year old Maltese several years ago I had to put down). I don't think he has any quality of life, but then I see him eat, and hobble back to bed and I say to myself, what's the rush? But then I dread coming home, afraid I'll find him in some distress. If I don't put him down, he'll just get worse, which is what is happening. Do I just watch it happen? Or do I let him go while he is at least not in pain, and I don't have to make an emergency trip to the ER because something horrible has happened. Help!

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