We got 2 basset hounds 8 years ago, one of them passed 2 years ago. DH is the main caretaker, moreso in recent years after having kids.
Our now 16yo basset has been pooping in the house almost daily for well over a year now. It was not every single day for a while, but now it is and even sometimes 2-3 times a day. He doesn't even get up sometimes, just lays there and poops and I think he even poops in his sleep. Many times his legs are splayed, or I come home and dont' know how long he's been sitting like that.
He can't hear very well and can barely see. He squats different now when he poops (if he happens to be standing), either his back legs are too weak or they hurt. Doesn't go for walks, just lays in the house all day and barks when he needs to get up.
About a month and a half ago, he was outside and somehow hurt his back legs or they got really weak. So now 99% of the time he cannot get up from a laying or sitting position on his own, we have to hoist his back end up. Even sometimes when I do that, his legs are so weak he flops his bottom back down. He can hardly get up or down 1-2 stairs.
Now this last week or two he started having a lot more pee accidents in the house in addition to the every day poop. I've come home and found him in laying in a puddle of his pee, this has happened 4 times now in recent weeks.
I tried what I could for the pooping issue (DH wouldn't do anything about it, so I'm the one that took him to the vet and tried doggie diapers, they didn't work).
50% of what is extremely stressful for me is the constant messes in the house. I cringe at the unsanitary-ness, and DD is 6mo so she is grabbing and dropping a lot of stuff on the floor now. The other 50% is I think he is suffering and DH does not think so.
I talked to a vet tech last week and explained the situation and her opinion was that she would basically not let a dog go on like that. I figured she knows more since she sees sick dogs all the time. The vet says he has arthritis in his legs, but DH does not believe it and doesn't think he is in pain. Yes, we talked about it being natural for animals not to show pain but he doesn't think doggie is in pain to begin with. At his last vet appt, the vet even said she is concerned about his quality of life but it seemed to go in one ear and out the other. This was 2-3 months ago when he had a short lethargic period we don't know what caused it.
I had to watch our other basset suffer with her back legs paralyzed for 2-3 days and bile coming out of her because DH did not want to take her to the vet to put her down when it started.
I can understand he is attached to the dogs (moreso than I), however I feel he is being selfish by letting this go on and on, it's like his opinion is the only one that matters but we all have to deal with the consequences. It's like we have to wait for something really bad to happen, like heart attack or paralysis.
I had a very extremely stressful period of my life in late 2009 to April 2010 that was job-related, and this is coming in a close second as far as my stress level daily.
I'm also getting pretty worried about my own quality of life, if I ever got paralyzed and couldn't communicate. I don't want to end up like Terry Shaivo because he cannot make a decision!! We are having a will drawn up but the lawyer does not do health care directives.
Any advice please?
Edited by Ophelia - 8/18/11 at 8:53am