My 11 year old Chow has been yelping in pain every so often for about a day. It is not obvious what is causing this and she seems relatively fine other than her sudden outbursts from time to time. It is 3:45 in the morning right now. I woke up to one of her outbursts and couldn't go back to sleep thinking about what it could be. I know she is old for a Chow and I fear that when I take her to the vet, I may not be bringing her home. I'm sure it's quite possible the vet will give me some medicine for her and send me on my way or suggest surgery or something to "fix" the problem. But I fearfully visualize them saying there is nothing they can do for her and recommending putting her to sleep. Does anyone have a clue what could be causing her pain? Is there a common condition that occurs in older Chows, or dogs in general, that this may be? She does seem to have hip trouble, as is common in Chows, but I don't think this is the source of her sudden yelps. One of my concerns is my kids. I remember coming home when I was about 8 or 9 to find that my mom had taken our beloved cocker spaniel to have her put down due to a painful and incureable skin condition. It was hard not to blame my mom even though I basically understood. I never got to say goodbye, which was sad. But, on the other hand, it may have been even harder to know beforehand what was about to happen. So, basically, whether my Chow has a few days or a few years, I do worry about how "the end" will occur and how my kids will be affected and if they will, for instance, be standing there with me if and when the Dr. says it's time to put her down. Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing? So, basically, this is a two question post. Thank you!