Please help me with my decision - Old disabled dog - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-09-2008, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Please help me with my decision - Old disabled dog

Hello to all

I have a 10 years old German Shepherd male named Buddy. He is having difficulties in walking because his back legs are very weak. This started about 1 year ago after he was run over by a car. One of his legs had to be amputated and I have made a special shoe for him to help him keep his height and balance. He was nursed carefully for 6 months after the accident and he got better to a stage where he could walk again but not very far. He seemed fine for the past 6 months. About 4 days ago he looked very sick and would not get up. He is urinating on himslef and has not gotten up since. He lost his appetite for a few days but has started eating again (but very little). He seems alert but looks sad and depressed. His gums are very white and his back legs are swollen. Some time ago he had blood in his urine and we gave him antibiotics and it cleared up. He has been on multi-vitamins and a balanced diet since the accident.

It breaks my heart to look at him in this condition. We are trying everything to keep him happy and alive. My vet has advised me to put him down, but I dont feel right because he has been such a loving and loyal dog for so long. Can anyone help me with this difficult decision? I feel like a traitor if I put him down. Should I keep trying my best and let nature take him or should I ease his suffering and have him put down? Does anyone know if the dog feels any pain when they are put to sleep?

Thank you to all who reply.

Sincerely

John Burnett
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-09-2008, 02:09 PM
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Re: Please help me with my decision - Old disabled dog

John, Sorry to hear you are going through this. It is a difficult thing but for me, if I know it is the end of the road for my dog, I would put him to sleep to end his suffering. Based on your description of Buddy it sounds like he is not enjoying life too much these days.

I have unfortunately put down quite a few dogs and all of them have been very peaceful with no suffering at all.

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-09-2008, 02:11 PM
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Re: Please help me with my decision - Old disabled dog

John, I'm not sure anyone can help you with this decision. It is a decision we all dread.

The one thing I think you can ask yourself is what is his quality of life? Does he still express happiness? Are there still things that bring him joy, whether it is a favourite toy or the touch of your hand?

I believe you love your dog and you will know in your heart when it is time to let him go.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-09-2008, 02:19 PM
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Re: Please help me with my decision - Old disabled dog

The problem with nature is it can take so long... we have
the ability to ease the way for the old ones, so I think we
should do that.

You aren't a traitor. You wouldn't be here if you didn't really
care and want to do what's best for him. It's one of the
hardest decisions you'll ever make but like you said, he's been
a loving and loyal dog for so long, now you have to give that
back to him.

They might feel a slight needle stick but it should otherwise
be peaceful.

I am very sorry you are facing this.

<<hugs>>

Valerie

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-09-2008, 02:29 PM
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Re: Please help me with my decision - Old disabled dog

I agree that if the dog is clearly suffering the kind thing to do is let him go and put him down. Painful for you to lose him, no doubt, but if you do decide the time is right to put him down know that you are preventing his continued suffering. You will not be letting him down. Your efforts on his behalf have been heroic, and you are to be commended for being such a loving and loyal owner. Nobody in their right mind would think otherwise.

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-09-2008, 02:36 PM
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Re: Please help me with my decision - Old disabled dog

The best way to return his years of love and loyalty is to end his suffering. You would not be a traitor in doing so. Rather, when animals are suffering and there is no way to end it or ease it, the treacherous thing is to keep them around for our own selfish reasons.

It is a very difficult decision to make and one every pet owner will face at some point. Putting the dog's welfare above our own feelings is often the last, greatest gift we can give them.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: JohnPro Does anyone know if the dog feels any pain when they are put to sleep?
No, they don't. The term "put to sleep" is a very accurate descriptor as that is pretty much exactly what happens. It is very peaceful and very quick.


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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-09-2008, 02:46 PM
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Re: Please help me with my decision - Old disabled dog

I am wondering if this is a temporary condition that is treatable. If he would improve after treatment, I would consider treatment. The diagnostic tests might be quite expensive.

I went through something similar with my 12.5yo recently. He suddenly stopped eating, we did a bunch of test and would have needed much more. Three days after he stopped eating he would not lift his head or get up when I got home. He could still walk when I made him get up, but he did not want to get up on his own. At this point I decided to stop dragging him from vet to vet for biopsies. For the best case scenario he would have needed weeks of hospitalization and he was very stressed out when he was away from me and was afraid of vets and new places. I decided to let him go - even with the best of scenarios the outcome was uncertain.

Again, the key is for you to decide if this sad condition is temporary and treatable to a level that there is hope for significant improvement. If not, I would probably not let him go on like this. But again, you know your dog best. They tend to tell us when they had enough.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-09-2008, 02:50 PM
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Re: Please help me with my decision - Old disabled dog

I am so sorry to hear about Buddy. It's tough when a beloved pet gets to that stage. We had a Chow Chow for 13 years and the hardest decision I ever had to make it when we had him put to sleep last September, it was beyond heartbreaking. He had such a full life and in the end, his quality of life greatly diminished. It's been seven months and we still miss him . Anyways, ((((hugs)))) to you and to your dear Buddy.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-09-2008, 03:19 PM
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Re: Please help me with my decision - Old disabled dog

I agree with Momto. Make sure it's not something temporary. The vet could've just thought since he's old and such, it's the best way but didn't really look into it. I've heard those stories way too often.

Good luck John.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-09-2008, 03:33 PM
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Re: Please help me with my decision - Old disabled dog

I am so sorry you are going through this. I have never had to make that decision yet, but I hope if I ever have to that I have the strength to make the right decision.

I do agree with everyone else though. If it is not treatable, I would consider letting him go. I would hate to think of Rocky suffering. I am sure it is very tough on your and your family, but it isnt fair to him to keep him in the same condition he is in.

I will keep my fingers cross for you and Buddy that this is just a temporary thing, and that he will recover and still be with you for years to come.

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