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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was at the dog park today and this woman came in with her very old misarable dog, she had tumours on the sides of her body, she was barely walking, the lady set down on the bench listening to her music while wearing a headset, I was with my dog on the other side of the park, her dog slowly made it to our side of the park, her dog decided to get herself cooled off and she layed (more like fell) in doggy pool, she was laying there shaking and sipping water.... It was a hot day, the owner was not paying attenting, she was reading and wearing headphones. About a minute passed, the dog tries to get up and get out, but can't she keeps falling, its very slippery and hard for her to move, she is breathing very deep. I wanted to help her up, but tumours were everywhere and I was afraid to cause her even more pain, MY HEART WAS BREAKING watching this misarable creature trying to get out of the pool. It was one of the saddest things I had ever seen, she was so misarable. After she finnaly made it out of the pool she was dragging herself to the grass. Her owner came over, I told her "You know your dog is suffering a lot, she is miserable! She could barely get herself out of that pool, I wanted to help her but I was afraid I would cause her even more misery" The lady said "well she got herself in, that means she wanted it, and she's got bad arthritis" The lady knew what I was hinting at, and she just walked away and left the park... do you think that it was wrong of me to say it to her? I mean I know how hard it is to let our dogs go but isn't watching them to be so MISERABLE is worse? Has anyone ever been in this situation and how to tell the owner its time to let go without offending them?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes... And she brought the dog to dog park, where there is always so much action... all that dog wants is peace and quiet, not finding ways to cool self in a pool thats hard to climb into.. the woman is nothing thinking straight.


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I think I would have gone to the lady and told her that her dog needed help getting out of the pool. Putting a dog down is a personal decision, but I probably would have mentioned what I've found that works for arthritis and pain management on my guys, but I don't think I would have said anything else.
 

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if that's all you said i don't see anything wrong with it and remember
maybe the lady is suffering also knowing her dog's condition.

I was at the dog park today and this woman came in with her very old misarable dog, she had tumours on the sides of her body, she was barely walking, the lady set down on the bench listening to her music while wearing a headset, I was with my dog on the other side of the park, her dog slowly made it to our side of the park, her dog decided to get herself cooled off and she layed (more like fell) in doggy pool, she was laying there shaking and sipping water.... It was a hot day, the owner was not paying attenting, she was reading and wearing headphones. About a minute passed, the dog tries to get up and get out, but can't she keeps falling, its very slippery and hard for her to move, she is breathing very deep. I wanted to help her up, but tumours were everywhere and I was afraid to cause her even more pain, MY HEART WAS BREAKING watching this misarable creature trying to get out of the pool. It was one of the saddest things I had ever seen, she was so misarable. After she finnaly made it out of the pool she was dragging herself to the grass.

>>>>> Her owner came over, I told her "You know your dog is suffering a lot, she is miserable! She could barely get herself out of that pool, I wanted to help her but I was afraid I would cause her even more
misery <<<<<

The lady said "well she got herself in, that means she wanted it, and she's got bad arthritis" The lady knew what I was hinting at, and she just walked away and left the park... do you think that it was wrong of me to say it to her? I mean I know how hard it is to let our dogs go but isn't watching them to be so MISERABLE is worse? Has anyone ever been in this situation and how to tell the owner its time to let go without offending them?
 

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It is never anyone else's place to tell someone it is time to kill their dog. Especially since you don't know the whole story. That is our number one rule in this field. Only if the animal is agonal and dying at the time, or we know there is no cure for the disease at hand and we know for a doubt the animal will never get better or regain normal function. We can help you to realize how your dog REALLY feels, but most vets/techs would never really come out and say "your dog is too old to be happy, it's time to euthanize"

I think the way that lady handled THAT situation was wrong. Obviously the dog shouldn't of been in such a busy area as a dog park, and should of been better supervised. That being said, maybe she does much better at home. Is able to get up, eat, drink, lay out in the shade in the lawn, cuddle with the owner at night. Quality of life is different to different people. Just because my dog couldn't get out of a slippery pool but could reasonably get out of bed, get around the house, and still enjoy simple things, I would have to question if that was REALLY time.

It's easy to point fingers at OTHER dogs and other people. I do it all the time at my clinic. "Oh boy, what are they thinking, they need to euthanize this dog." "Oh geesh, I would NEVER go to this extreme with this case." ETC.... but I have to really stop myself and think. If that was Zeke, or even worse my Mr. Kitty whom I ADORE above all else, how far would I actually, realistically go. Because it's easy to say and judge one thing until it is you in that position. I tell myself all the time I would NEVER do a splenectomy on an older dog with a mass because most of them die within 6 weeks-6 months, and that's not long or fair. But if it came down to it and Zeke was 12 and had a splenic mass, would I really let him go instead of trying for even just a few more days?

To this day I regret euthanizing Luther. I miss him and want him back SO bad. I would honestly trade Berlin to get him back. Which I know is so stupid. Luther had so many aggression and temperament issues. I know deep deep down that it was the right thing. But that doesn't change how I feel. All I can do is tell myself it WAS right, he's no longer anxious or struggling.

I don't mean to sound like I'm insulting or bashing you for saying something, I'm not. I think in this case it's very reasonable to say "Hey lady, watch your dog!" But just try to put yourself in those shoes. If that was your poor geriatric dog that just loved water, wouldn't it break your heart if she just wanted to lay down in it but couldn't get out?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I was thinking about the dog not the owner. And there is a difference between old dog and SICK dog. This dog was not walking, it was dragging self, and it was covered in tumors. How can this dog be happy? She is miserable. If my dog was like that I would put her down instead of thinking of my own self and how I'm gonna miss her. It's a selfish thing to let animal crawl from point a to point b just as long as you get more time with them. I can't even imagine my dog being like that, suffering so much, I love her too much to let her be suffering and slowly dying. This lady is unfair to her dog and only thinking of self.


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julie, there is nothing you can say or should say. BUT, when you saw what was happening, you could have gone over quickly and kindly to the lady, gotten her attention from the headphones and book, and said, "hi, 'scuse me, i think your dog is having trouble, she's gotten herself into something she can't get herself out of, i can help you help her, if you want me to...she's struggling".

your key sentence above is "if MY dog was like that I would put her down, etc, etc." julie, i'm not saying you're wrong, and truth be told, i agree that i'd not ever put any of my dogs thru that, but, in general, it's just not a good practice to judge other people, their motives, their emotions or feelings. it's just not a good practice to judge. a better way is to ask yourself what you can do, in any given situation, to make things better, i.e., bring it to the owner's attention and ask how you can help (never a good idea to just go do something to someone else's animal).
 

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In the many many years of working with vets, I have heard and seen more than you can imagine. There are owners who will spend every last dime to keep their dog alive, and what you consider old and in pain, might not be what the owner feels is old and in pain. The vet will say, "well we can try this and this to give you more time" and the owner will do it, not really thinking of the dog and its life, but thinking of keeping the dog alive for themselves.. I hate seeing dogs that I consider should be euthanized, but it is not my place. I guess I have come to realize that there might be reasons to keep that dog alive: the owner can't bear the thought to PTS the dog because it: belonged to their dead spouse, father, mother, brother, etc. It belonged to their dead child. It helped them get through a horrible phase in their life and they want to keep their best friend as long as possible... Any number of these things have been told to me during vet visits. Do I agree with their thinking and them not really seeing their dog declining before their eyes and not enjoying life anymore? No, but its not my place to tell them that. It is my place to be there for comfort when we DO euthanize their dog.
My first GSD had a brother who was a police dog. When I had her euthanized due to complications and unrelievable pain, I made the choice for her. Yet, the owners of her brother would not euthanize him, even when he could no longer even get up, he dragged himself along on his side by his front feet, they felt he still enjoyed life. It killed me to watch him, I quit going to their house so I didn't have to watch him drag himself around, knowing my girl was out of pain.
It is hard to see and watch others take a different road when their dog is in pain or old or has an incurable disease and decline to euthanize them for whatever reasons.
 

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Well, I was thinking about the dog not the owner. And there is a difference between old dog and SICK dog. This dog was not walking, it was dragging self, and it was covered in tumors. How can this dog be happy? She is miserable. If my dog was like that I would put her down instead of thinking of my own self and how I'm gonna miss her. It's a selfish thing to let animal crawl from point a to point b just as long as you get more time with them. I can't even imagine my dog being like that, suffering so much, I love her too much to let her be suffering and slowly dying. This lady is unfair to her dog and only thinking of self.


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Do you know what KIND of tumors those are? Many old dogs (labs especially) get lipomas all over their body, fatty tumors that cause no pain or discomfort. We have MANY MANY MANY geriatric patients covered in lipomas. And maybe the owner accidently spilled all the dog's rimadyl down the drain and was getting a refill from her vet later that day, so the dog didn't have her daily pain meds and was a little stiffer than normal. But maybe they go to the dog park daily as a ritual and the dog loves to go. Again, we just don't know the full story here.

I'm just trying to play the devil's advocate here. IMO, no it's never anyone's right to tell a complete stranger that it's time to euthanize their geriatric canine. I personally would be very upset and offended. The best you can do, again IMO is just get the owner and point out the dog's trouble at the moment - difficulty getting up out of the pool.
 

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And I'm sorry, I don't mean to come off as sounding like I'm directly criticizing you or insulting you for implying it's time to euthanize a dog. I've been right there with you, I've seen more dogs than I can count where I really think it's time to let them go, but I'm just trying to give the other view point. I've seen people bring in dogs for euthanasia because the dog had a bad couple of days, but come time of the appointment the dog was acting much brighter and happier, and they've reconsidered last minute and I've seen people get a couple more weeks to months with their dog.

It's just such a HARD decision. I've only ever told 1 person that I think they should euthanize, and that was my sister with her husband's dog. He ADORED that dog and had her since she was a puppy but she had rapidly developing mast cell tumors. Even though she was clinically fine at the time she only had weeks left to live, and I told my sister I was scared because of the rapid growth of the tumors that there would be a high amount of histamine released, and if that dog went into anaphylaxis in front of her husband and died that way, it would traumatize him.

He was SO devestated, it was heartbreaking. Diagnosed with mast cell tumors within 2 days, euthanized on the third day. One day she was fine, 3 days later she was dead. Did I cost him valuable days or even weeks with her because I felt it was the better thing to do, even though clinically at that time she was ok? Who knows?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I understand your point of view of course it is incredibly difficult to say good bye and I wasn't even thinking about the owner the only thing I was thinking is how much the dog is suffering and I didn't want to leave her side because i thought the dog might drown....and the owner was far away, I was also making sure big dogs don't bother her while she is laying/shaking/trying to get out... It was such a sad picture it was devastating to watch. I don't know what the lady's reasons were for not putting her down but honestly If I as a human was in her condition I wouldn't want to stick around. Her tumors were different sizes I don't know what sicknesses she has but she was absolutely miserable and helpless... No way I would do this to my dog ... no way....


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, MY HEART WAS BREAKING watching this misarable creature trying to get out of the pool. It was one of the saddest things I had ever seen, she was so misarable. After she finnaly made it out of the pool she was dragging herself to the grass. Her owner came over, I told her "You know your dog is suffering a lot, she is miserable! She could barely get herself out of that pool, I wanted to help her but I was afraid I would cause her even more misery" The lady said "well she got herself in, that means she wanted it, and she's got bad arthritis" The lady knew what I was hinting at, and she just walked away and left the park... do you think that it was wrong of me to say it to her? I mean I know how hard it is to let our dogs go but isn't watching them to be so MISERABLE is worse? Has anyone ever been in this situation and how to tell the owner its time to let go without offending them?
But you didn't tell her it's time to PTS....you simply gave this womans head a shake...the dog was in distress - open your eyes and ears at the dog park and be there for your disabled dog!!!!!! She was out of line...you know what you were thinking, she may have got the hint, not important - she needs her eyes opened to responsible dog ownership - especially if she can fall victim to younger stronger playful or dominant dogs and I mean the anxiety of being helpless, stuck, slipping, struggling in pain...yeah the poor dog deserves to learn a lesson b/c she wanted to cool off...she got herself into that mess, so she can get herself out....rediculous...sheesh:mad:
 

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But you didn't tell her it's time to PTS....you simply gave this womans head a shake...the dog was in distress - open your eyes and ears at the dog park and be there for your disabled dog!!!!!! She was out of line...you know what you were thinking, she may have got the hint, not important - she needs her eyes opened to responsible dog ownership - especially if she can fall victim to younger stronger playful or dominant dogs and I mean the anxiety of being helpless, stuck, slipping, struggling in pain...yeah the poor dog deserves to learn a lesson b/c she wanted to cool off...she got herself into that mess, so she can get herself out....rediculous...sheesh:mad:
yeah im usually a blunt person, but it was very hard for me to say lady you need to let her go... becuase its not a decision made lightly and its such a touchy subject, and Im sure it crossed her mind, my opinion is if the dog can't really walk, more like crawl because of severe pain cmon just be human, don't just think about your own feelings....I was blown away that she brought a pretty small dog to a large dog area when the dog is in that kind of shape. Just heartbreaking to watch... I just wanted to cry right there... :(
 
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