I'm feeling so torn right now and very so please be gentle with me.
I have a 13 yo border collie x Labrador. He is old and getting very creaky. Until now he had been doing well but he has started having real difficulty using the stairs (he only has access to the rear of the house and back yard because we are on a busy road and no front fence. The house is high set, all our living is upstairs, only laundry and storage under). Last week he couldn't get up the last part of stairs and I had to lift him. Now while we are at work we block the stairs of so he can't get stuck on them. Yesterday dh was here and heard him fall down the stairs and yelp (because or neighbour was throwing some food down to him.... Grrrr). Since then he won't use the stairs at all, not even for food. We have to carry down the smaller set of stairs in the morning and help him back up at night.
He has cataracts, is deaf and is just an old, old man. The vet is coming tomorrow. If they say that he needs anything invasive, because I suspect he has injured his pelvis, I feel that is too much for him to bear at his age. But he is happy when he is just sitting with us. My concern is if he can't use the stairs and is relegated to a life downstairs that is no life at all because he will be away from his pack.
I keep thinking that if I wait until the decision is really clear, that I have probably left him go to long. But I don't want to just have him put down Willy nilly (because it is not Willy nilly, it is painful and awful). The vet may be able to help with anti inflammatory meds etc, I'm not sure yet. She also said once a large dog loses the ability to use the stairs they have difficulty getting it back. I keep going on about the stairs but they are a huge hurdle for him.
I would be keen to hear some perspectives