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Thread: Family wants to euthanize 14 y/o Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-11-2014 08:54 AM
blackshep I'm really sorry for the situation, it's so hard to make the call sometimes.

I will say this, it's better a day too soon than a day too late. I would not wait until he is having more bad days than good, 14 years is a good long life, that's been filled with love.

I had a cat that was getting terrible nose bleeds that were getting more frequent and more severe, she was only 6 years old. Vet could not figure out what was causing them (figured it was a tumor, they could not find any polyps or anything) and I was going to Germany for 3 weeks. I was torn on what to do, as my sister was going to have to watch her while I was gone, and I didn't want her to have to make the decision for me, if things got worse, so I chose to let her go, when she was feeling good and when I could be there to say goodbye.

It's never easy, it doesn't matter if it's tomorrow, or a month from now. Honestly, if it were me, I would not want to wait until the tumor is such that he can't pass stool, and it sounds like it's getting there. Sometimes thinking about it is worse than the actual deed. On the way home from the vet after putting my cat to sleep, I felt sad, obviously, but I felt oddly at peace too. I think I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do for her.

I'm really sorry you're in this position. 14 years is such a good long life. I think quality is more important than quantity. My one cat passed from an aggressive cancer in his stomach and I wish that I'd seen the signs sooner. I was fighting so hard to save him, he was so sick at the end. I wish I could have spared him those last few days of suffering with the vets doing tests and taking his temperature and him being scared and away from his home.
03-03-2014 11:02 PM
Bridget That is a very good point, Jan. Don't know why I didn't think of that too.
03-03-2014 02:33 PM
Stevenzachsmom I'm looking at this a little differently. I just reread your parents involvement. They are elderly. My mother is elderly. The older she gets, the more she worries. She worries about things she doesn't need to, so give her a "real" problem and it's huge. I can understand the stress this puts on your parents. If it was just you, I'd say, "Do all you can to make sure the dog is as comfortable as possible, for as long as possible. When the dog get's worse and the quality of life is no longer there, let him go. Your dog, your decision."

But, he isn't just your dog. He is also their dog. You have the burden of if/when to put your dog to sleep. Your parents have the added burden that they may make a decision you disagree with. People feel guilty enough about putting a pet to sleep. Add in the guilt of going against the wishes of other family members. Your parents would not want to go against your wishes, even if they feel they are doing the right thing. That is a very unfair position to put your parents in.

From my perspective, you should either send the dog back to your parents. No strings attached. Their decision to put the boy down, when they decide. Or, keep the dog yourself and make all the medical decisions and the final decision when the time comes.
03-03-2014 02:06 PM
Bridget Absolutely if you aren't ready and you don't think your dog is ready, don't euthanize yet. You know your dog, we don't. I do believe that some owners do it too early, while there is still a good chance for quality of life. And as you said, 14 is not ancient for a small dog. Your dog is really cute. Listen to yourself.
03-03-2014 09:58 AM
marbury
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip18 View Post
Who is making the final decision you are you parents? Are do you want to let her go and can't and want your parents help? My response was based on my interpretation that you had to leave, dog was in your parents care and they were just done!
Ultimately, it is my parent's decision. They're taking him back in a week or so and they wanted to explore euthanizing him here instead of transporting him back to Illinois as they usually would. So my part of this process is to say "nope, not yet- not next week" and then put it in their hands.

If it was unclear, I'm an adult. I live on my own across the country from all of my family. I take this dog when they're traveling for long periods, in lieu of boarding him somewhere for 2-3 months. If this dog had stopped eating, was in distress, could not void his bowels... I would end it immediately with no questions. I have no issue euthanizing this dog when its time.

My parents are scared of letting him go on too long. My mom felt horrible that they didn't catch his first round of bladder stones until he was in pain from them. She doesn't trust herself to recognize when he's suffering. I can totally understand her position; I'm in it too. I just have a larger network of vets and fellow 'dog folk' to weigh in on the old man's likely status.

Jean, thanks for your reply! We're going to try stool softeners. We had a couple of prolapse cases at the office, they were pretty gnarly. Especially when the dogs chew on them! I had two of the vets and kennel club members/vet assistants weigh in on him and they all agree... not time yet. He's in a good stretch. He'll probably get into some bad days again and then we'll re-evaluate. I'll pass on the 'adorable'. He's currently running around trying to get at my roommate's bunny. Definitely not one of his 'old man days' today!
03-03-2014 07:32 AM
JeanKBBMMMAAN I was going to send this as a PM - but I would be looking at - are there things you can do with his diet to make defecation easier? Sucrolose was something recommended to me when my GSD had a very small prolapse of her rectum (don't google image). I am using pumpkin to try to keep her stool softer.

Glad you use the scale - I would ask someone else (with similar but not same ideas on end of life issues - I know people who have pulled the plug on diagnosis of something that may have been fixable - so would not be asking them) to rate him as well.

I would also see if I could find information from other people who have had dogs with the tumor - and see what they say. Google, vets, I'd be looking at how this progresses and best practices.

He is adorable!!!!
03-02-2014 02:56 PM
Lauri & The Gang There is a big difference between just living and being alive.
03-02-2014 02:32 PM
Brando & Julietta's Dad Sorry to hear the news. Its a tough decision for sure. I think as long as you feel he has some quality of enjoyment than its tough to let go. You will know when you see a drop in quality of life that is worse than the present. Hope you have some good days to say goodbye
03-02-2014 02:24 PM
Chip18
Quote:
Originally Posted by middleofnowhere View Post
I struggled with this decission with one dog. She let me know that she still enjoyed traveling, she still loved company. In the end I knew when the time was right. She just wasn't happy.

With the late Barker the Elder, she was happy until the end. She didn't get around well, but she still loved going to the barn. So I took her to the barn. I knew that when she no longer enjoyed the horse it would be time. They WILL let you know. They'll loose the spark.
Yes this!

To the OP I am a little confused? So I should have said nothing but hey it's the internet!

Who is making the final decision you are you parents? Are do you want to let her go and can't and want your parents help?

My response was based on my interpretation that you had to leave, dog was in your parents care and they were just done!
03-02-2014 01:20 PM
middleofnowhere I struggled with this decission with one dog. She let me know that she still enjoyed traveling, she still loved company. In the end I knew when the time was right. She just wasn't happy.

With the late Barker the Elder, she was happy until the end. She didn't get around well, but she still loved going to the barn. So I took her to the barn. I knew that when she no longer enjoyed the horse it would be time. They WILL let you know. They'll loose the spark.
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