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16 yr old. dog going deaf and blind?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My mom just emailed me about her terrier/chihuahua mix of 16 yrs and the fact that he is just getting worse with his eyesight and hearing.

Oscar is his name, cause everyone knows him as a grouch but oh how he loves my mom. Original Oscar was for me and my brother but he got so attached to my mom.

Anyway, Oscar is 16 yrs old now and his hearing and eyesight are getting worse by the day. It's been known that he can't hear people when they walk through the door but now he can't hear things going on right next to him. Also, he can barely see, my mom says.

When she takes him to the bathroom at night, she has to turn on the hall light and walk in front of him. She said it looks like he follows the sound her footsteps instead of just looking where he is going.

She said he sleeps even more now and my parents have to literally touch him to wake him up when they go the bedroom for the night. He usually hears them when they leave the room. Not anymore.

My mom is getting sad. She fears that he may fall asleep and not wake up. I fear that too. Oscars mom (which was my grandmothers dog) lived to be 22 I believe. She recently passed like 2 years ago.

Anyway, just wondering if anyone else has or had an old pooch. How did you cope with the loss of your dogs health. Is there anything that I can do to ease the pain of my moms fears?

Thanks for reading
post #2 of 10
It's always so hard to face the reality of your pet's ailing health. No one lives forever, after all, and it sounds like Oscar had a great life and was well loved.
My friends recently lost their 16 y.o. husky. They shared him with their parents who were hit very hard by his death, and now don't ever want another pet.
I'd say, try to prepare for the inevitable and talk to your mom about Oscar's quality of life. If he's still able to walk around, eat and not be in any pain, then that's fine. But be prepared; elderly pets often deteriorate quickly and you have to accept that the time left with Oscar is limited.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
thank you for your concerns...and your ears. I know sooner or later we will have to let Oscar go, but it's just so hard. Thank you for responding
post #4 of 10
You're welcome!
I hope you have lots of quality time left with him.
post #5 of 10
My dog is around the 13 year old mark and she is pretty much in perfect shape apart from being obese. I'm so worried about when the time comes.
post #6 of 10
It's very very difficult to watch a family member - because that's what a pet is - starting to ail in their later life. My old dog Judy was a golden retriever/collie cross and she was with me from day one of my life. She was always there, always under the dinner table, always on the floor right under the warmest radiator in the house.... she was 14 when we finally had to let her go. As a puppy, her hip had been dislocated and it had led to arthritis in her later life. She was in a lot of pain. One afternoon, she fell off the low doorstep to our home as she was trying to get into the garden, and she coudln't get up. I helped her up - and I was the one who said to mum and dad that it was probably kinder to let her go. There was no way she was going to get better, the medication was getting to be too much for her and she coudln't move comfortably. She had no quality of life left.

I came home from school one afternoon to find that she had been euthanised while I was out... mum had asked the vet to come by after school hours so that we could say our goodbyes. He arrived early. Only my mum was there, and we never got to tell her we loved her and that we'd miss her. Our Judy-pooh was gone. I kicked myself for a good couple of years over that one because I'd felt like it was my fault she'd been put to sleep. It took a long time, but I know it was the right decision. It would have been cruel to keep her alive for the sake of having her around if she was in so much pain all the time. It was just her time to leave us. I still miss her sometimes, she was a really lovely old soul. Very patient and caring. She used to sleep under my cot when I was a baby and snore! She took to sleeping with her eyes open as well because she didn't like to take her eyes off me when she was "on guard"

Enjoy every day you have left with Oscar, but when he has no quality of life left, make the right decision for him. He might be a grouch but he loves ou all... and I know you love him too.

I hope my Judy-pooh the food-hoover is still resting in peace
post #7 of 10
As long as Oscar is enjoying his meals and not experiencing any pain, the loss of sight and hearing can be dealt with (as your mom is doing), and he could still have a few years ahead of him. We had one dog who went blind at 8, and we thought she was a "goner", because her mother had died of heart failure at the same age. Kelly adjusted, and lived another 6 years.
Our boxer was nearly blind for the last two years of his life, and had to be carried up and down the stairs (he refused to sleep downstairs at night, although he had a twin mattress with a down comforter, LOL, in a corner of the living room) for the last year of his life due to arthritis of the hips.
Oscar's death, as anybody's, is inevitable, but it doesn't have to be right around the corner.
Our neighbors' greyhound is totally senile, but still in pretty good health, so they're just making sure he gets to do the things he enjoys (eating, going for frequent, but now short, walks, and playing with Jamie).
post #8 of 10
One of my mother's dogs is about 15 or 16 now and, except for arthritic hips, she's fine. Blondie can no longer jump up onto Mom's bed but, she sleeps right next to it, on the floor. Medication keeps her out of pain and mobile and, except for necessary trips outside, she's strictly an indoor dog.
post #9 of 10
Oh, it is so hard when a beloved pet starts really showing the signs of their age! I guess just let your Mom share her feelings with you! My dog was at the vet all day yesterday, and I was surprised by how much I missed her.

Just encourage her to do what she can to keep Oscar comfortable. Maybe if he gets a vet check, they can do something to help? Best to you and your family at this difficult time!
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
everyone is so kind with their replies. I just about cried when reading Lillekat's story.
I talked to my mom the other day and she is doing better. I told her about what everyone was posting. She is coming to terms with Oscar's aging and she said to me that it was just the sudden change that got to her. She just had to remind herself that Oscar is happy and pain free. He wags his tail when she is around and he still gets excited when its dinner time. Those are the memories that she will always hold on to, we all will. Oscar's sudden decrease in eyesight and hearing was just sort of a reality check for us.
But Oscar is doing just fine. I think she is going to bring him in for his annual vet visit in about a month. I am sure she will feel much better after that when she hears Oscar has a clean bill of health.....he is just aging is all.

Thanks again everyone!
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