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Ask Dr. Drew Your Own Question
Dr. Drew
Dr. Drew, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16846
Experience:  Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
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14 year old german shepherd

Customer Question

Hello, We have a 14 year old german shepherd who has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia and arthiritus not sure with arthiritus is effecting the spine. She stumbles and falls everyday has difficulty rising and lying down comfortably. Sleeps most of the day and does'nt interact with the family like she used to. She also on occasion gets desorintated when asked to go out for a toilet needs help being led. She will have the odd day where she is more lively. Short car journeys and any situations of stress i.e grooming and ear cleaning becomes incontinent. As a family we are not sure whether we are being kind or cruel for prolonging her life. She is a well love family member and want to do right by her. We know its a personal decision but would like some professional advice. Thank you in advance for your help. Regards, Kelly & Darren Webb

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Drew replied 4 years ago.

Drew :

Hello, thanks for your question today! I am Dr. Drew, and I am a licensed veterinarian. I'll be happy to help you in any way I can.

Drew :

I'm sorry there was a delay in receiving a response this morning.

Drew :

The situation that you're describing, seems to indicate to me that Gem's quality of life is not very good, unfortunately.

Drew :

Stumbling and falling may indicate that there's more going on than just arthritis,

Drew :

such as a neurological condition where the spinal cord isn't functioning properly.

Drew :

IN either case, the lack of interaction and sleeping most of the day are indications that Gem probably is not getting much enjoyment out of her days,

Drew :

and I would support the choice to consider humane euthanasia in a case like this.

Drew :

We must ask ourselves if we're keeping such a pet with us for OUR benefit, or for theirs --

Drew :

once that question is honestly answered, the choice often becomes quite clear.

Drew :

if further information is needed, please feel free to reply and I'll try to do my best to help!

Drew :

I know this is a very tough time for you all, but I am sure you will do what is best for Gem.