I know there are no easy answers to this, but I'd appreciate some feedback. And spelling things out in writing might help me think. It's about Tiva, our nearly 18 year old (!) pit bull. She's had quite the life since we rescued her 16 years ago, and we're not sure if it's her time or not.
Her condition now:
-she loves to eat! she has no loss of appetite at all. Her weight is good.
-pain: pretty minimal, the vet thinks. She's on low dose novox, and increasing the dose doesn't seem to make a difference
-mobility: she can still trot or amble around the farm, even though she stumbles a fair bit. She still takes pleasure from sniffing
-social engagement: most of the time, she still seems very happy to see us and our guests (we have a farm guesthouse, and visiting with people has been her greatest pleasure over the years)
-the heat and humidity are horrible for her, but she refuses to stay inside in the air conditioning. She gets very anxious and stressed inside if we're not right next to her. She really wants to be outside, but she can't handle the heat
-senile confusion: she's increasingly senile, says the vet, and she's on prozac to control anxiety. (She can't go on the senility drug because of kidney disease). The hotter it is, the more confused and checked out she seems to be.
-continence: she still has complete fecal continence, which is great. Once or twice a week she has urinary incontinence, but if we keep reminding her to pee, she's ok.
-seizures: she had a seizure 2 weeks ago, but no recurrence.
-over her lifetime, she's had MCT twice, she now has kidney disease, she's been hit by a car, abandoned by lord knows who in NYC, fallen off a waterfall....yet she keeps chugging along. Health-wise, the kidney disease is the only current issue, and it's not really progressing very quickly, according to her bimonthly blood work
I guess if you go by the "five favorite things" scale, she's still doing pretty well:
-eating: yep, she still loves that
-sniffing and exploring: yes, unless it gets too hot
-socializing; hanging out with people: yes, unless it gets too hot, then she mentally checks out
-exploring: she's stumbling a lot, so this is harder for her, but when it cools down, she can still explore with us very slowly
-car drives: she still loves to go for drives, but we keep them short
How do others make this decision?