Aging Coton in health decline

I have a Coton that I rescued from a shelter when he was 10 yrs old. Needless to say, I adore him. He is approaching 15 years old.

His health is deteriorating. He is having trouble walking, cannot get up or down stairs. If he falls, he often cannot get back up. At night he pants and had trouble calming down to get to sleep. I have taken him to the vet for a complete physical to see if there is anything internal that may be causing him to suffer. There were were no obvious signs (other than typical aging) of illness or conditions that may be causing his decline.
I am focused on his quality of life and am giving him pain medication to keep him comfortable. I asked my vet to help me decide when it is time to let him go but she, being an animal lover, said this was the hardest advice to give.
He is eating ok.
Has anyone been at this painful crossroads who may be able to offer me some advice?
I don’t want him to suffer but I also can’t imagine life without him. At what point do you make the decision?!

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Aug 29, 2018
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Heartbreaking NEW
by: Pam and Lacey

Your little coton will tell you if he/she needs to go. It is very sad to let go. But you don't want him to suffer. I have a neighbor that had a poodle
to let her go. But it was best. She kept falling over and couldn't eat. It was a hard decision. As long as he is still eating, you will have a little more time. My prayers are with you.

Aug 29, 2018
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Saying goodbye is never easy NEW
by: Gale

Such a heartbreaking decision. Unfortunately, it's something that almost all of us will have to face at some time. I think that your connection to your dog will let your instinct know when it's time. No one knows your dog better than you do, so you'll know when he's suffering. There is no WRONG answer - whatever you decide, it's coming from a place of love.

What a lucky Coton to have someone who gave him a loving home when he needed it most.

My heart goes out to you. Sending love and prayers!

Aug 29, 2018
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Being decisive NEW
by: Anonymous

I've been in this situation many times. I am a stress management coach and have worked with clients regarding the end of life event.

My husband and I were faced with improving quality of life for our son when he was dying at age twelve. So, I unfortunately have a lot of experience with this.

We have put down our black lab, cats, chickens, dogs, etc. I recommend that you go and talk with the spirit of your dog. Get a FEELING for what is right for your dog. That's the hardest thing to do, I know, because we all love our pets as extensions of our family.

Last year when we realized it was time to put one of Mom's cat's down, we first took the cat to the vet. Mom said, "I think I just want nature to take its course." The vet said, "That might cause unnecessary suffering for your cat. Even though your cat can't talk, look at her quality of life now. Do you think its meaningful to your cat?"

Tearfully, we stopped trying to hang on for the cat and put her down. I know that might not be information you want to hear, but it helped us in our decision. So, I encourage you to look at your coton. Is the life he/she living now the type of life YOU would consider to be meaningful to your dog? Only you can answer that question.

Please keep us posted and know that we are here to support you in your decision whatever it will be and as best we can.

Aug 29, 2018
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So sorry NEW
by: Denise

It is a heartbreaking decision. I have had many decision to make. My thought the dog will let you know it’s time, you can see it in his eyes. My thoughts are with you and prayers to help you through thiese hard times.


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