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  1. Hi all, I need to bounce this off some fellow dog people (and maybe find a shoulder to cry on...), and this might be a little long. Sometimes it helps to just put it all out there, so here goes. So my big old guy Nikolai, who is a Shepard mix and has been with me over 11 years, and was 3-5 when I adopted him, has CCD. We tried some herbals, which helped for several months, and he's now been on Selegeline/Anipryl for about 6 weeks and using a DAP collar. The vet tried some B-12 and acupunture as well, now that I think of it. Anyway, he's been trending down for over a year. He has become pretty much deaf in that year, and his vision is going as well. The arthritis in his hips is also becoming more pronounced, but the vet recognizes that his body isn't the biggest problem. His symptoms are mostly getting lost in rooms, randomly barking, and getting stuck behind glass doors. He gets frustrated easily, and when he thinks I'm behind a closed door - even if I remind him that I'm not - he barks and barks and claws at the door. He sleeps a lot, and doesn't interact as much... will sometimes "play" for a minute or two when Zoe gets her pre-dinner zoomies, but mostly sleeps. He's been grumpy for years, which is why I had to stop fostering, and my girls avoid him like the plague. He chases the cats. I work a lot of night shifts, and when he wants to be in the bedroom, he won't take "go lie down" for an answer. Then, when I let him in, he roots around the curtains and sometimes doesn't settle down, and I end up throwing him out again and the cycle repeats. So far, I've been managing the sleep fairly well, but it's gradually getting worse. I guess I'm trying to decide at which point the good of the pack outweighs the good of the one. He does seem to enjoy life, and loves going for walks, albeit they are very short these days. He has a good appetite, although doesn't hear the food clinking in the bowl anymore. He is very possessive with space and food, and I've fed him separately for years now. He still loves neck scritches, and actually laid down for a belly rub yesterday for the first time in ages. The cats avoid him, and I know they are stressed. The BCs (Sasha and Zoe) avoid him, and he has attacked Sasha a couple of times - usually when she finds an old bone or something in the yard that he decides he wants. We are having occasional accidents in the house. (although it's always tricky to know who is the culprit). I have looked for any sort of research or literature into how this affects a pack, and can't find anything. My vet is concerned that once Zoe topples him as the dominant dog, the emotional stress might be considerable. We've had "the talk" already, and I'm not really sure that the selegeline is helping. Maybe some, but it's not a profound change. We were going to reassess in a month, and it's been 6 weeks. Yes, I'm stalling. I feel guilty for even considering putting him down as he still seems to enjoy life, but the wear and tear on the pack (and myself) is starting to show. He's lived a darn good life, considering he was lucky enough to end up in a no-kill shelter, and still spent 8 months waiting for me to find him. I think my life would be easier, no - I KNOW my life would be easier, and I am pretty sure the other critters would also benefit. I just don't want to make a rash decision and regret it, nor do I want to wait until he seriously injures one of the others. They're all faster than he is, but he's a lot bigger. The selegeline is expensive, and although I can afford it, it's still a chunk of change, and I can't really tell if it's helping. I suppose I could stop it when I run out again and see what happens. Thoughts? Anyone else out there dealt with anything like this? I know people say that "you know when it's time" but I always figured that applied to injuries, cancer or something else. I just wish I'd find a lump and it would be a hemangiosarcoma, or he'd start limping, or really anything to tip the scales. I feel horrible for admitting that, but it would make this whole situation a lot easier. I also think I'm painting it as worse than it is - I mean, it's not like he keeps me up every day, or chases the cats every day, but it's a progression. Thanks for any advice, Danielle, Nik, Sasha and Zoe
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