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Old 04-30-2012, 02:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Euthanization

Hi all,

I have two German born shepherds that are 13 years old. My family is currently dealing with a tough situation. Our male shepherd in his old age has grown to have control issues where he urinates and defecates uncontrollably all over the house. Even in his sleep he urinates, and in the morning we often times wake up to find him covered in his own urine. Its become a major hassle to clean....and he just flat out lost his ability to control himself.

Our female shepherd this past January started having major seizures. They started out very minor where they would occur about once a month, but in recent weeks she's been having multiple seizures a week. We took her to the vet, and they prescribed a seizure medication...which has helped...but she still has seizures. She's not the same....very lethargic...and frequently twitches.

Both of the dogs are just not the same. The owner of a dog wash that we go to said its time to put them to sleep. She said that keeping dogs alive at this age that urinate on themselves, and are having seizures is not fair to the animal. I wanted to get some opinions, as this is a very hard thing to do. I always thought you put dogs to sleep for incurable cancers.....I would greatly appreciate any feedback. Thanks.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Euthanization is chosen when the dog no longer has a quality of life, due to any medical or mental problem.
Are your dogs miserable, are they no longer "themselves"? Do they have pain that cannot be controlled?
Have you tried medicine to control the male's urination? Have you ruled out a urinary tract infection and kidney disease in the male?

I'd discuss all these things with a veterinarian who knows your dogs better than do we.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think you are hte only one to judge this. Personally, I look at quality of life. Are they in pain? How frequent are the seizures? How do they interact with you? Each other? Appetite?

We let our collie go at 14 1/2y due to pain from arthritis. He laid there and cried because he was in so much pain.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's your choice, you know your dogs best and you want to do what's best for them

If the quality of life is poor and you've exhausted all means of keeping them comfortable then I'd let them go. If there's means of helping them then I'd look at those options
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ask yourself what their quality of life is right now. If you trust your vet, I would have a serious discussion with him/her about the suggested course of action. I would also have a family discussion to weigh our options and get a consensus about the quality of life. I believe a mutual decision will come out of these discussions. When my family had to put down dogs in the past, we talked about it as a family, discussed it with our vet and arrived at a joint decision. In most cases, we decided the dog no longer had sufficient quality of life and it was time to go. We have not had any dogs die of natural causes. We put them down when we realized they were suffering and the humane option was euthanasia.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Im so sorry you have to go thru this. Two is twice the heart break. Obviously at 13 yrs old they had a wonderful life together with you and your family. Have you spoken to you vet? I usually work closely with my vet when making that decission. It is never easy.
I hope you find the strenght and courage you need. Im so sorry.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What a difficult issue, so many emotions involved it is hard to make objective decisions. When I was a teenager, we euthanized our beagle, he had a stroke and could not walk very well, frequent accidents in the house. He was 13. Then a couple years ago, my dog had cancer, something internally happened and I knew she was in lots of pain and wanted to put her down. However, the vet refused, and gave her pain pills instead, which was not good. She died a prolonged death by aspiration 3 days later. So, as msvette2u advised, have a talk with an understanding vet, if they agree to euthanization, often they have services to come to your home. Sorry you are going through this.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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From what you've described, it's time to let them go. You have to think of their quality of life and not how much it's going to hurt to put them down. You've heard the saying: if you love them, let them go.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This is why I will not get dogs/puppies close in age again, it's bad enough losing one, but when you have two going, it's even more difficult.

Personally, I agree with the above, it's a personal decision, but it sounds like their quality of life is not good, with that I would put them both down together if it were me. Again, it's your choice, terrible situation and really heartbreaking.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It is a very tough decision and you just have to look at them and what is best for their quality of life. Does each day bring them some joy or are they just biding time?

All I can say is I have never beat my self up for putting one to sleep but I have for letting them go too long and wonder about the suffering.

If the time comes and you can find someone to come to your house to do it - so much nicer for all.

I understand your pain. Either decision you make is ok, really. You know your dogs.
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