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Old 01-17-2013, 12:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't put too much stock in a dog "telling you it's time." But I don't consider dogs equals, they are pets and my job it to protect them and make their life as easy as possible. So I would rather put an elderly dog down a year too soon then a week too late. They don't understand the pain, there is not reason to put them through the pain. We are very lucky that we have human euthanasia options.

That said, for entirely selfish reasons, it can be very difficult to accept that it would be best for the dog to end their life. We euthanized our almost 14 yo this spring. He was a 90lb rott mix that had a charmed life. He was healthy and vibrant until the last 6 months. Sure he showed signs of neurological degeneration and arthritis, but he had his vision, hearing, smell and still ran around the backyard. He went down hill very quickly, and one day just stopped eating. We couldn't get him to eat wet food, treats, chicken and rice, he was lethargic and didn't want to get up. Sure we could have dragged him into the vet, put him on an IV and likely extended his life for another 6 months, or a year, but it wouldn't have been for him, it would have been for us. We had our mobile vet come to the house and euthanize him in the comfort of his own bed with no distress on his part.

Our 15 yo Australian Shepherd is going to be much harder. He has been "out" of it for a while, can has vision and hearing loss, but can still get around on his own (slowly) and eats well. I really don't think there is much quality of life there, but he does not appear to be in pain and still enjoys his meals. For him, it will likely be when he just can't get up on his own.

I am sorry they are having to make this decision. It is only the lucky few who's dogs pass naturally and quietly in old age. We now have the technology to do so much to keep them "alive" that we sometimes lose sight of the reasons to do so.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I have heard people say in retrospect that it is aways either two days too soon ("we could have had just a bit longer together") or two days too late ("I wish I had not put her through those final hours..."). I think the key is to talk to the vet - sometimes we assume something is terminal when it is easily treatable - dry poop may just need more liquids and a liver-rich meal. Other times we may be in denial, and really need that professional advice to tell us that it is time to let go ...
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm sorry to hear this. It's such a difficult decision to make. For me, I listen to my vet's advice. I would observe and if s/he shows no interest in his/her favorite food and toy and people for a week or so … then maybe it's time to let go.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default How do you know when its time for the rainbow bridge?

When my Lila dropped dead of a heart attack right in front of all of us we were devastated and surprised. In retrospect she really gave us a wonderful gift as we never had to decide when it was time. Lila always did march to her own drummer so I imagine she wanted to carry the tradition to her grave on her own terms.
Now Omar I am quite sure will go kicking and screaming to the end, as that has always been his personality. His eyesight is going and he has a smokers hack and he should be slowing down but that blasted dog goes outside and acts like a puppy. Oh and he listens about as well as one too. Not at all. Lol.


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Old 01-17-2013, 03:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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With our Patches, she went downhill very fast. We knew in our hearts long before our mind would accept it. She was six pounds her whole life and she started to loose weight. With our vets care, we tried several different options and meds and nothing was working. The next step was exploritory surgery and she would not have lived through it. She had lost almost two pounds and we were not going to have her starve to death. I will say that twice we picked a day after talking to the vet and both times she seemed to rally a bit. It gave us false hope, because again, she was loosing weight and was not eating well at all. I sat on the floor the last night trying to hand feed her her favorite food and she would not eat. We had made an appointment with our vet for the following Monday. Friday morning dh called me at work and told me we could not wait any longer. Our vets office is not open on the weekends and if anything happened over the weekend, it would be with a vet that cared nothing about her, who had not fought with us to try to figure out what was wrong, it would be with strangers. It is never easy.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:27 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I think the vast majority of vets will not tell you that you should put a dog down. People are very emotional about their pets and that would only invite problems for the vet.

I think some situations are easier to make the call on that others. My ex g/f had to put two of her dogs down. One was a case where he collapsed and in the following days, wouldnt eat or drink, so it was pretty obvious. The other dog went deaf, and then blind. She had no quality of life left, but could still eat and drink.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:50 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Whenever I have faced this situation, I have tried to see if my dog seems to have any joy in his/her life. When I have that final trip to the vet, my vet has taken the time to give me all possible plans of treatment. He has also been compassionate enough to tell me that the path to the Rainbow Bridge might be the best way to go. I knew that was true before I ever called. This is never easy.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:32 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Well I am happy to say we got a reprieve with Cujo - the vet said he wasnt worried about the dry poop - to just add more wet food than dry and he said the only thing that hurts him is his hips - which we knew - so my Susie was happy to bring her baby home with her - she spent the day yesterday laying with him in his bed and petting him and loving on him. He still enjoys the little walks she takes him on and she doesnt care that he poops in the house. She also told me when she was walking him yesterday he tried to attack the garbage truck - lol so he is still wanting to have fun. lol
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:23 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Hardest thing I ever had to do, my dog was collapsing. He was on arthritis med, one day he was chewing on himself so bad I thought I'd wake up and find he'd severed his leg. We'd look at him constantly to see if his chest was going up and down when breathing. I was hand feeding him everyday chicken and some rice until one day he wouldn't eat even that anymore. For the first time he wanted to sleep outside on our pool deck over night he never in 131/2 yrs ever did that. I couldn't sleep at all that night, I thought for sure I'd wake up to a dead dog with ants all over him. When he did scratch at the door in the morning my husband was elated. I told him hon "Chase" is not going on to bigger and better things, I can't take seeing him our beloved pooch suffer anymore. We took him to the vet and agreed if the vet said not to prolong this, it would be the day. It's been 2 years now to the day and it still has me in tears right now, but it was my love of him to not let him suffer over the sorrow I knew I'd have over his loss that let me know it was the right time and thing to do.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:26 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spooluvr View Post
Hardest thing I ever had to do, my dog was collapsing. He was on arthritis med, one day he was chewing on himself so bad I thought I'd wake up and find he'd severed his leg. We'd look at him constantly to see if his chest was going up and down when breathing. I was hand feeding him everyday chicken and some rice until one day he wouldn't eat even that anymore. For the first time he wanted to sleep outside on our pool deck over night he never in 131/2 yrs ever did that. I couldn't sleep at all that night, I thought for sure I'd wake up to a dead dog with ants all over him. When he did scratch at the door in the morning my husband was elated. I told him hon "Chase" is not going on to bigger and better things, I can't take seeing him our beloved pooch suffer anymore. We took him to the vet and agreed if the vet said not to prolong this, it would be the day. It's been 2 years now to the day and it still has me in tears right now, but it was my love of him to not let him suffer over the sorrow I knew I'd have over his loss that let me know it was the right time and thing to do.
I meant watching his chest go up and down when sleeping
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