Kit will be 16 in December.
For some months now, getting her to eat has been a challenge, and I have posted about this previously in the Health forum. It is still a daily challenge to find something she will eat, and no matter what she is simply not eating enough these days. I have tried so many things and thrown out so much food.
If I remember correctly, she most often weighed 44 pounds, might have been 45, but she was always lean and muscular. She has not lost that much actual poundage, as she weighs 40 pounds now and has maintained that weight for the past 3 months.
But she is so bony! She has, at this point, lost all her muscle mass in her hindquarters, which used to be savagely strong. Her backbone and hip bones stick out, and if someone saw her now they might think she was starving.
She is weaker, and sometimes stumbles when going up the back steps, or needs encouragement to make it up, but can always get up and walk on her own and will even trot along for the first little bit of her morning walk.
Unfortunately she has to be confined to the kitchen now at night or if I am going to be gone for hours, because I cannot get up every morning or come home every day and clean pee from the carpet. She hates being confined to the kitchen, her least favorite room, and I hate to do it, but feel I must.
When the weather is cooler, I can leave her outside sometimes if I am not going to be gone too long.
When I am home, she can ask to go out and never pees indoors. She is only peeing one time more than she ever did in any given 12 hour period, but if I am not home or am asleep, that one time is the problem.
She still loves to play tug, her favorite game.
When I had her in to see the vet about two months ago her bloodwork and urinalysis came back perfectly clear. She is not ill, she is just old. The vet told me not to wait too long before making the decision. I waited until Jester could not get up on his own any more; the vet told me not to wait that long with Kit.
But if I do not want for that, then what is the indication, I wonder. She still comes to me for petting, seems to enjoy things in her life, even if not food. And she never was a big "foodie".
Of course I adore her and want to do the right thing. I just don't know how to know what that is.
With Jester, people told me "He will let you know when the time is right." But that's really not always true. Jester would never have given up. On his last day he enthusiastically ate a whole cooked chicken breast from my hands and wanted to fetch the frisbee, even though he could no longer get up to do it. I just had to make the decision more or less arbitrarily that it should be today. And then, he was fully engaged and interested in the car ride to the vet, wondering if we were going to a park to play. I hated myself.
It is never an easy decision, I know. But I am having a hard time trying to figure this out. If a dog cannot get up on their own, I figure that the quality of life is too low. But my vet said not to wait for that. Does anyone have an opinion on this?