Warning signs a dog is dying

When should I take my dog to the vet?

“You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us!” —Robert Louis Stevenson

Your dog is not acting like herself any more—but is it just the natural slowing down of old age, or is it time to intervene?

The first thing to evaluate is pain, balanced by what you know of your dog’s personality. Some dogs are dramatic and act as if snowflakes are too sharp for their delicate paws; others will go crashing through ice-covered puddles without flinching. Does he moan or whimper when moving? If this is unusual, then it is time for a visit to the vet—but may not mean the end is near. Pain medications for dogs, as with people, can greatly improve quality of life and may mean your dog has several years of life left.

This is what Rob Pasick found out when he took Lucy, his aging and obviously-in-pain Yellow Lab, to the vet. As he describes in his book, Conversations With My Old Dog, Lucy responded so well to the pain medication for her arthritic joints that he called that chapter “Rejuvenated.”

“Fortunately, there is no need to replace your soul—still as sweet as ever,” Rob wrote. “Luckily, scientists haven’t worked out that mystery yet.”

But, Lucy was 13 years old, and eventually she succumbed to old age.

To see how Rob and his family handled Lucy’s final days and eventual passing, read Conversations With My Old Dog, available now through this web site or through Amazon.com.

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