Worried about my lil' shih tzu

My Shih tzu, Willy, just turned 13 and I am worried about his health.  His hearing is deteriorating, which finally gives him a valid excuse for what was previously "selective hearing" upon those occasions when he just didn't want to listen!  That alone didn't worry me much; however, he had pancreatitis this summer, which is better now.  He is a little beefy at 17 pounds.  When he gets up in the morning, or up from his NUMEROUS naps, he frequently seems to have pain in getting up and around.  He will limp quite a bit.  Frequently I will have to pick him up to bring him back inside because he can't seem to get up the two steps back into the house.  He kind of stumbles.   He has had a few lumps on his shoulders and neck, which seem to be muscle cramps and inflamation.  He is thirsty all the time...He insists on sleeping in my bed and I have to get up 3-4 times a night to take him to the kitchen for a drink.  He drinks like he just can't get enough!  Then he "hyperventilates" because he can't catch his breath.  I know, his short snout makes him hyperventilate but this excessive thirst?  Water is available to him all day long and he is a frequent drinker through out the day too.  I have noticed a few times lately that his breathing is funny, like he can't seem to catch his breath.  Is this just "old age?"  I don't want him to be in constant pain or suffering.  I can't afford excessive medications and treatments, and am not convinced those would be best for him anyway.  Any suggestions?  Any advice?  Do I need to consider putting him down?  I know there are a lot of issues in this "little discussion" but I could really use some direction.

Christy, Willy's mama

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blacklab

In Dogs

Reply To: christyandcrew

Christy, I am so sorry to hear about your dog's condition. Although I am not a vet, I can say that the symptoms you described indicate an underlying disease other than just old age. I know you mentioned money being tight, but before putting him down you may want to consider getting a blood test and making sure it’s a more serious condition.

Regardless, many dog owners face the same issue; when do I put my dog down. Unfortunately you may have to make the decision to put your loved one down, never an easy choice. I have lost one dog before, and it was a very hard thing to go through. What I can say is that in life nothing lasts forever, and to cherish the good memories.

However you decide to move forward, I want to wish you the best of luck and let you know that I am hoping for the best!

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