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Old 08-12-2008, 10:51 AM   #21
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I think one of the greatest gifts we can give our pets is a painless passing. They give us so much--and expect nothing in return--and in my view we owe it to them to spare them any suffering that we can. With that said, no-one but you knows if it's time--as someone said, you'll see it in your dog's eyes.

We're having similar discussions about one of our dogs. He's 11 years old, so not ancient (though he is a bigger dog--think lab-sized) and has really started to show his age recently. In addition to a fair bit of joint pain which we treat with anti-inflammatories, he's now lost a ton of weight in the last few months--like around 9 pounds, which when you only weighed 65 to begin with is a huge, huge amount. He gets frequent bouts of stomach upset, and last night I was up with him all night while he was suffering with that.

We're taking him to the vet on Tuesday to find out what's wrong, and I have this feeling of dread that he's really sick. If he is, we decided long ago that we would grant him a painless death. He's given us 11 years of awesome companionship, and I could not bear to watch him suffer just because I'm not ready to let him go. Hopefully he's okay, but I'm not super-hopeful. That much weight loss doesn't seem normal to me.
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:09 AM   #22
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Right after we brought him back from the vet the first time, we started to have the discussion with our kids. As I am sure you can imagine, it wasnt a pleasant conversation but we talk about it fairly regularily so that when the time comes, it wont be a total surprise to them.

We will keep them involved as much as they want to be involved. Ultimately, I know that when the time comes to put him down, I will take that responsibility on myself and take him in. My family will of course be welcomed to come but I wont make them. The process is emotionally draining enough and I would rather they have a good image of our dog rather than a motionless one.
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:16 AM   #23
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Sorry to hear about your doggie. It really is heartbreaking to deal with it. I definitely agree that this time should be used to talk to your kids about it. My parents blindsided me and my brothers when our dog was put down. They told us on a Wednesday morning and when I woke up Thursday morning, my dad was just coming back from having put him down. It was devastating.

Either way though really, your kids are going to be upset by it, whether you put the dog down now or next month or next year. Just keep talking to them and explain to them that it's about the dog and making sure they aren't suffering.
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:19 AM   #24
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Right after we brought him back from the vet the first time, we started to have the discussion with our kids. As I am sure you can imagine, it wasnt a pleasant conversation but we talk about it fairly regularily so that when the time comes, it wont be a total surprise to them.

We will keep them involved as much as they want to be involved. Ultimately, I know that when the time comes to put him down, I will take that responsibility on myself and take him in. My family will of course be welcomed to come but I wont make them. The process is emotionally draining enough and I would rather they have a good image of our dog rather than a motionless one.
Good to hear. Keep the topic "open and non-judgemental".

Our kids had two dogs "pass" before they were adults.

The first one we (parents) decided, at the vet and more or less told them after the fact. A decision that we thought was right at the time.

With the 2nd one, we had more time and the kids were a bit older (about the age of yours). While it was still difficult for all of us; we each were able to go through it in a way we were comfortable.

Me and 2 kids, were with her and my husband and one son stayed at home. They were more comfortable with having "living" memories. They were also comforted by knowing she would not "pass" with strangers.

Everyone and every family is different; only you and yours can know what is best for everyone.

Take care and I hope all goes well.
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:49 AM   #25
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yes, not exactly the most cheeriest of topics but something I was hoping to get some input on from the CP faithful.

Our dog is 15 years old. He's a little dog, poodle to be exact and he's been a good pet for all his 15 years.

recently, our dog was diagnosed with an enlarged heart. The heart is pressing on his trachia and thereby its causing him to cough in fits. This occurs mostly in the evening and night while he is in a resting position. He also has a history of seizures, not sure if they are epileptic or not but they leave him quite disorientated, generally for about 15 minutes or so. Afterwards he seems to recover to his old self. Lately the seizures have been occuring more frequently and coupled with the coughing its made for a few messy nights in bed (vomiting and peeing). Yes, the dog sleeps with us.

throughout the day, he is still fairly spry. Doesnt play quite like he use to but in general still eats well and moves around quite well.

we took him to the vet and the vet prescribed some heart medication for him. The pills run about $70.00 per month. They are made to give him more comfort and even the Vet said that he will most likely require the dosage to be increased to double in a short time. This will take the cost of the medication to approx. $140.00 per month.

My children are still young. 13 and 11 and my son is quite attached to the dog. As he puts it, Louie is his buddy!

which brings me to the point at hand. At what time does one take the pup and have him euthanised. It pulls at the ole heart strings for sure, but is there a right time and then is there a time when you have waited too long and the dog is suffering. I don't want the dog to suffer and I also dont want to break my children's heart. Its quite the quandry.

Anybody have some insight?
Simply put, when you put your own suffering from the loss ahead of the suffering of your pet.

I had to put my beloved Jessie down 4 years ago, she was my little shadow. She was starting to have seizures as well, and one day, she must have had a stroke, as she lost a lot of use of her back legs. I gave her a few days and she had not recovered much. I had always promised her I would give her quality of life and I could see that her quality was severely diminshed at that point. Yes, she would have gone on for me, dogs do that you know, but it would not have been fair to her.

It was the first time I had to deal with that type of situation and it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

In the end, the decision is harder than the actual act. I am at peace with my decision but I still miss her terribly.
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:59 AM   #26
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:40 PM   #27
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I'm probably alone on this, but I don't believe in euthanasia I'm letting nature take its course with my doggy.so you probably wouldn't want to hear my advice.
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:50 PM   #28
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I would put the dog down if it is in pain and this is a terminal illness.

Also, be sure to stay with the dog when this is done.

Your kids will appreciate you for it a lot later in life.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:19 PM   #29
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I would put the dog down if it is in pain and this is a terminal illness.

Also, be sure to stay with the dog when this is done.

Your kids will appreciate you for it a lot later in life.
Absolutely. I had promised Jessie that her life would be full of quality and when it was not and I had to attend to the other matter, I would be with her. And I took my son with me. Jessie started out as his first dog, and while she sort of remained his dog, she was my little shadow and my faithful companion. When we made the final decision, we took her in and we held her and she went to sleep in out arms.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:27 PM   #30
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I think one of the greatest gifts we can give our pets is a painless passing. They give us so much--and expect nothing in return--and in my view we owe it to them to spare them any suffering that we can. With that said, no-one but you knows if it's time--as someone said, you'll see it in your dog's eyes.

We're having similar discussions about one of our dogs. He's 11 years old, so not ancient (though he is a bigger dog--think lab-sized) and has really started to show his age recently. In addition to a fair bit of joint pain which we treat with anti-inflammatories, he's now lost a ton of weight in the last few months--like around 9 pounds, which when you only weighed 65 to begin with is a huge, huge amount. He gets frequent bouts of stomach upset, and last night I was up with him all night while he was suffering with that.

We're taking him to the vet on Tuesday to find out what's wrong, and I have this feeling of dread that he's really sick. If he is, we decided long ago that we would grant him a painless death. He's given us 11 years of awesome companionship, and I could not bear to watch him suffer just because I'm not ready to let him go. Hopefully he's okay, but I'm not super-hopeful. That much weight loss doesn't seem normal to me.
Perfect way to put it. When we love and we lose what we love, we lose a bit of our heart as well. But we do have to let go, we can not keep our loved pets with us forever.

yes, we could let nature take its place, but the thing is, our pets are not living in a natural setting. Now if they were, and they became arthritic and unable to eat normally and the like, it would quickly become survival of the fittest. They would die of exposure or the illness would go untreated, or another animal would do them in. But living in our companionship, nature is quite often not able to take its course because we interfere and we interfere many times because we love them so much and find it so hard to let go.

But yeah, you will know when it is time. I knew my Jessie was going downhill for 2 years. But her mind was so good, her coat was so healthy, she had no other problems except a bit of arthritis... and then the seizures started....and then she had some kind of stroke or something and lost most of the mobility in her hind legs... and then I knew it was time.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:43 PM   #31
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Good to hear. Keep the topic "open and non-judgemental".

Our kids had two dogs "pass" before they were adults.

The first one we (parents) decided, at the vet and more or less told them after the fact. A decision that we thought was right at the time.

With the 2nd one, we had more time and the kids were a bit older (about the age of yours). While it was still difficult for all of us; we each were able to go through it in a way we were comfortable.

Me and 2 kids, were with her and my husband and one son stayed at home. They were more comfortable with having "living" memories. They were also comforted by knowing she would not "pass" with strangers.

Everyone and every family is different; only you and yours can know what is best for everyone.

Take care and I hope all goes well.
Okay, little story here, but my parents put my dog down when I was 12 and I was at school and I was supremely pissed off.

To come home after school and find out your dog is dead is a very unpleasant thing. Keep the kids involved so they can at least say goodbye.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:53 PM   #32
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Been through this several times. If you can afford it keep buying the medication. Also see if you can get some to control the seizures. Be careful because if not dosed right it can produce some strange side effects.

You will know when the time has come to put your dog down.
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:48 PM   #33
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Trying to lighten up a very sad thread, but when my Irish Setter was hit by a car when I was 5, my dad told me he took him to the vet to get fixed. Till I was about 8 I asked when Sammy was coming home, and I would always wave to Sammy when we drove by the nearby vets office. I still wish they would have just told me the truth, but dad didnt have the heart to see me cry.
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:49 PM   #34
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For what it's worth Axel...

My brother-in-law's brother's dog was going through some major health issues, so my B-I-L-B took him into the vet. The vet basically said the same thing to him as what you're discribing what was said to you. "He's uncomfortable for now, and medication won't cure, but will make him more comfortable."

But as stated in this thread, sometimes dogs will let you know when they are done.

Getting back to the vet visit, my B-I-L-B and the vet then looked at the dog, which had been walking on its own on the floor. It was at a plug in socket at the wall, licking it. They took this as a pretty convincing sign, and they made that hard decision.

I'm sure when you're little feller is ready, he'll let you know.
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:44 PM   #35
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thanks for all the input everyone.
Its obviously not time yet, so we will make him comfortable until the day comes that he tells us he is done.
We will keep talking to our children so that when the time comes, it wont be a total shock to them. we will keep them involved.
thanks so much, gang
Its truly appreciated it.
regards
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:59 AM   #36
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Just don't let it go too long. My brother in law and sister in law should have put their dog down in October/November and then ended up waiting until early February so their kids didn't have that bad memory around Christmas. The dog was in pretty bad pain by the time they put him down.
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:33 PM   #37
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Thought I would bump this thread rather than start a new one. I mentioned earlier in the thread that one of my dogs had lost a bunch of weight, seemed listless and so on.

I just got back from the Tufts Veterinary hospital. They did an ultrasound on his abdomen and found a 3X4 cm mass on his liver, along with a number of other, smaller masses. My dad's a pathologist and he says it's highly unlikely that the large mass is anything other than a malignant tumour. The vet wants to do a biopsy to be sure but we're reluctant. We don't think it will change what our next steps will be. He's been having some G.I. upset and we'll treat that and his arthritis and just do our best to keep him comfortable. I know we'll have to make the eventual decision, I just don't know when..or how long to wait.

In some ways this was an easier issue for me before it became a reality for my dog. Now I feel like I'm staring it in the face and I know what I need to do but deciding when to do it seems like the hardest decision in the world. I don't want my dog to suffer but he's also one of my best friends.

Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.
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Old 08-21-2008, 03:07 AM   #38
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I just got back from the Tufts Veterinary hospital.
Name dropper.

But seriously, I think Fotze's got the right idea. My dog was 17 before we had to put her down. She was almost blind, almost deaf, incredibly arthritic and had survived several near death experiences.

There comes a time though, when they can be all those things and still enjoy life and the company of others, only to be a defeated dog the next day. It's a tough decision, I empathize.

I ate a ton of cheese and tomatoes with my dog in her last couple of weeks.
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:23 AM   #39
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Name dropper.

But seriously, I think Fotze's got the right idea. My dog was 17 before we had to put her down. She was almost blind, almost deaf, incredibly arthritic and had survived several near death experiences.

There comes a time though, when they can be all those things and still enjoy life and the company of others, only to be a defeated dog the next day. It's a tough decision, I empathize.

I ate a ton of cheese and tomatoes with my dog in her last couple of weeks.

It's hard to say what stage he's at right now. He's not in pain, I don't think (other than arthritis in his hips) but he's just.... tired all the time. He goes out to do his business maybe once or twice a day, but otherwise is content to lie in bed. He's not interested in walks, or in playing with our other dog, who still has a ton of energy. From reading online, it seems to say that liver cancer is usually advanced by the time it's diagnosed, and then progresses quickly after that. My wife and I were up until 1:00 AM talking about it, and we agreed that we're not going to do anything or decide on anything for at least a week, but I guess I'm starting to feel like the time is coming.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:51 AM   #40
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It's hard to say what stage he's at right now. He's not in pain, I don't think (other than arthritis in his hips) but he's just.... tired all the time. He goes out to do his business maybe once or twice a day, but otherwise is content to lie in bed. He's not interested in walks, or in playing with our other dog, who still has a ton of energy. From reading online, it seems to say that liver cancer is usually advanced by the time it's diagnosed, and then progresses quickly after that. My wife and I were up until 1:00 AM talking about it, and we agreed that we're not going to do anything or decide on anything for at least a week, but I guess I'm starting to feel like the time is coming.
I feel for you. In 2004 our 4 year old Bernese Mountain Dog had to be put down due to some form of cancer, the frustrating thing being that we spent over $2000 in less than a week trying to get a diagnosis after he suddenly lost about 8 lbs in one week and wouldn't eat. One week later he had lost another 20 lbs and was in a coma. The docs never did figure out what was actually wrong but by that point everyone was sure it was a cancer of some sort and we made the decision to put him down since the rapid progression and unknown type didn't bode well for treatment. It was absolutely awful to have to make that decision, but it was the right one.

The reason I brought this up was that liver cancer was thought of as the most likely, even though the tests did not confirm it. I personally think it was a brain tumour that mimiced some of the liver cancer symptoms based on its location in the brain, but we'll never know. The crazy thing is how quickly he deteriorated after the obvious symptoms appeared.
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