How much are you willing to spend on an aging pet?

Hank Flynn's dog Murray is 10 years old, and through that time, he's been great - a good boy, a beloved family friend.

A couple of months back, he started pooping under the bed every day, no warning, no known reason why.

First thing to do is obvious - you take him to the vet. Nobody's getting any younger, and the possibilities are worrisome.

"It's definitely a challenge dealing with older patients," says Dr. Carey Guise of Holland Veterinary Care, who gave Murray a good going over. "Especially when we get a hard diagnosis."

Dr. Guise added that she didn't have a hard diagnosis on Murray. His energy was good, and some basic physical tests she administered showed him to be in relatively good health.

Neurological tests, such as blood tests, could be run, she said, but that's when the cost begins to become a factor.

A friend recommended that I take him to the chiropractor.

Dr. Howard Bloom, of Weather Vane Wellness Center in Southampton, has a strong human clientele, but says he's seeing up to a dozen dogs a week.

"They have spines too, and nervous systems," said Dr. Bloom, as he gently adjusted Murray. "His hip was off," he added, "so the nerves in there… That could be one of the reasons he was doing it in the first place."

Over the week since Murray went to the chiropractor, he's pooped in the house once, and not under the bed. I call that progress.

And we're getting the tests from the vet - we owe him that much. But that's the question - how far are you willing to go? How much are you willing to spend to keep a beloved old dog around?
Dr. Guise says pain management in these years is part of the job - what's yours, as a pet owner?