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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to ask a question about putting a dog down. This has to do with my families pet boxer MAK. He is almost 10 and has started having some major health problems. He has started showing signs of cancer, we haven't done the blood work for it. Also he has a problem that is going to require major surgery.

I don't think he will be able to recover from the surgery, the vet has said the recovery would be very long and hard. My husband and I have decided it would be best for him to just let him go. He has lived a very happy life and we don't want the end of his life filled with pain.

My problem is that I am beyond horrible when it comes to dealing with death. I have never been able to handle it. I don't want to leave him alone in his final moments, but I don't know if I can handle it either. I know if I'm not there they will have to muzzle him, he has gotten cranky in his old age. Does anyone have any words of advice or comfort for how to deal with this?


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I've been on two sides of this. I worked at a vet where numerous people decided not to be with their pets at the time, so I was. This is the reason that I quit that profession. I have always said that I couldn't be there either, but when my black lab was put to sleep..I slept on the floor with him the night before and I laid next to him, hugging him when he passed. I cried hysterically and was told to go out the side door and an invoice would be sent. I couldn't see straight and it was one of the hardest things I had to do, but I did it because I didn't want my dog alone or afraid in his last moments. Its hard, but they give us so much and they deserve that respect.
 

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You will never forgive yourself if you are not there for him. It is tough, but it is even harder thinking of the what ifs.
 

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I wanted to ask a question about putting a dog down. This has to do with my families pet boxer MAK. He is almost 10 and has started having some major health problems. He has started showing signs of cancer, we haven't done the blood work for it. Also he has a problem that is going to require major surgery.

I don't think he will be able to recover from the surgery, the vet has said the recovery would be very long and hard. My husband and I have decided it would be best for him to just let him go. He has lived a very happy life and we don't want the end of his life filled with pain.

My problem is that I am beyond horrible when it comes to dealing with death. I have never been able to handle it. I don't want to leave him alone in his final moments, but I don't know if I can handle it either. I know if I'm not there they will have to muzzle him, he has gotten cranky in his old age. Does anyone have any words of advice or comfort for how to deal with this?

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My family had to put our 12yr. GSD Rocky down alittle over a year ago. We decided to do it together and he wasn't alone at the end. He had went through major surgery in an attempt to keep him around but he just could not recover from it. He couldn't produce enough blood to make it. The last step was to have the vet transfuse blood from another dog to him but there was no guarentee he would make. We decided to let him go, it was the best thing for him.

Writing this brings it all back and now have that funny feeling in my stomach again.

The best advice I can give is if you decide to put him down, be there at the end. He deserves that much, and have as much family present so you can lean on someone. It helps but it's not easy. I'll never regret being there at the end, never, and neither will my or his family. I've had another GSD put down for cancer reasons and was not there at the end, and to this day I feel guilty for not being there. That, hurts much more to me than being present when he goes away.
 

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Like others said you won't forgive yourself. The vet asked me if I wanted him to do it alone without me. I said no way. I must have been in a pretty bad state because a vet tech or someone. I don't know. I didn't turn around was also crying. They all knew Kaos. Any way I just laid down on the floor holding him. The one thing I would do over but I wasn't thinking straight after they recommended putting him down. Call up a vet that does house calls. Then have them give you something to knock him out. You can put him on his favorite couch or something. That way he is already sleeping when the vet comes over. Then the vet can give him the 1st shot so he won't feel anything. Then the other one that makes him go.....I know I won't forgive myself for not getting a vet to come to the house. Even though I was there with him holding him I wasn't in a good state so he had to be scared. Or at the least Kaos who was always friendly to everyone who worked at the vet. He didn't like being there. I don't blame him...
 

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I had thought after my son and I were in the room putting our first schipperke down I would never do it again. ( there is nothing worse than seeing your 6'3 16 year old son crumpled in a pile in the corner sobbing.) But now that we have 2 other dogs..another schipperke ( going on 6 years old) and my GSD...I would have to rethink it. It's a horrible scene. I don't know if anybody else had the rough passing we had but there was NOTHING peaceful about it. Nothing at all. The worst thing I have gone through in my life.

Just be prepared that it might not be a peaceful passing. My heart is with you.
 

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This is very difficult and I am a lot like you. When my last dog was very ill it was time but I could not be there with him. I just couldn't do it. I was so upset that it was truly more stressful for him.

My parents, who he knew and who loved him, made the trip for me. It was not easy for them either, but it was a huge gift for me and him.

I am breaking down writing this, but I disagree that you will never forgive yourself if you are not there. I feel absolutely no regret for not being there at the end. It just was not right for me. It doesn't mean you don't love your dog, because I loved that dog like I will never love another animal. Each person is different and you have to choose what is best for you.
 

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This is very difficult and I am a lot like you. When my last dog was very ill it was time but I could not be there with him. I just couldn't do it. I was so upset that it was truly more stressful for him.

My parents, who he knew and who loved him, made the trip for me. It was not easy for them either, but it was a huge gift for me and him.

I am breaking down writing this, but I disagree that you will never forgive yourself if you are not there. I feel absolutely no regret for not being there at the end. It just was not right for me. It doesn't mean you don't love your dog, because I loved that dog like I will never love another animal. Each person is different and you have to choose what is best for you.
This is very true. When Taz was PTS I was not there for him. I was too torn up to even get in the car to go there where he was kept overnight at the E-vet. So I asked them if they would be there for him and put him down. Well..what they could understand me saying balling my eyes out. A year later I think about him everyday, hoping he forgives me for not being there. I was there for Ginger though, and I can honestly say...I never want to do that again. So you are 100% correct everyone is different on how they handle stuff. I guess I kind of said it wrong. You might not forgive yourself for not being there, but then again It might be better for all involved not being there.
 

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My husband and I have decided it would be best for him to just let him go. He has lived a very happy life and we don't want the end of his life filled with pain.

My problem is that I am beyond horrible when it comes to dealing with death. I have never been able to handle it. I don't want to leave him alone in his final moments, but I don't know if I can handle it either. I know if I'm not there they will have to muzzle him, he has gotten cranky in his old age. Does anyone have any words of advice or comfort for how to deal with this?


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You could have your husband do it then. You don't have to be in there and your Max isn't alone.....
 

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would take fade2blacks advice and get a vet to come to your house. it would soooo be worth the money. we had to take my last dog to the vets and she was really stressed out, being home and with family would make passing much easier on the dog and your family. sorry you have to go thru this, I know how you feel :(
 

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There is no shame in not being there, if you don't think you can handle it. I've worked for vets, and held other people's pets. For my own pets, I can't even be in the building. I tell them that I love them, say goodbye, and leave.

To try and put a guilt trip on someone, saying "You'll never forgive yourself for not being there" is totally unfair.
 

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Our Boxer, 13 1/2 years, if failing as well. We will have the vet come to our house. It's more expensive but she'll be home and we'll be with her.
 

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I have worked as a Tech for a very long time. And have been there when countless animals were put to sleep. It is never easy and I cry all the time.

Do NOT feel bad if you can't be there. One of the most loved dogs I know had an owner that could not be there. This man was the most dedicated and amazing owner. I promised him I would be there and loving his beloved dog the entire time. And I was and the Vet and I took time to cry afterwards because we knew how hard it was on the owner.

Everyone deals with it differently, being there or not does not negate your love or prove it, don't let anyone tell you different.

Some vets will sedate the dog first, we always do, so that the dog is sleeping before the final injection. Maybe you can stay long enough for him to be sedated, say your goodbyes and then leave for the final injection, once he is asleep.

Whatever you decide, it's obvious you love your dog, if you did not then you would not be having a hard time with letting him go.

I wish you the best and I am sorry you are going through this.


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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have thought about having the vet come to the house but I really don't want my kids to deal with death like this just yet.

As far as my husband going I don't think it would be a good idea. Don't get me wrong he is a wonderful man, but he doesn't look at pets the same as most on here. He was never raised with pets and didn't really have one till we were married. Plus MAK has become very attached to me and would be stressed out if he took him.

I think I will try and be there until he is at least sedated and asleep. I keep putting it off but after this weekend and how rough it was on him I don't think I can put it off any longer. I will probably take him in Monday or Tuesday. I really hate this part of owning a pet.


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I have thought about having the vet come to the house but I really don't want my kids to deal with death like this just yet.

As far as my husband going I don't think it would be a good idea. Don't get me wrong he is a wonderful man, but he doesn't look at pets the same as most on here. He was never raised with pets and didn't really have one till we were married. Plus MAK has become very attached to me and would be stressed out if he took him.

I think I will try and be there until he is at least sedated and asleep. I keep putting it off but after this weekend and how rough it was on him I don't think I can put it off any longer. I will probably take him in Monday or Tuesday. I really hate this part of owning a pet.


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This is by far the worst part of owning a pet. The hard part is the sedation and knowing what is next, if you get past that then you will stay the rest of the time. I was going to be the only one in there with my lab, but my son and boyfriend ended up coming in with me. They didn't feel the same way about the dog either, but they both cried. I'm not sure if it was because I was so upset or because of the dog. I got on that floor and talked to him the whole time, telling him that it was okay and he wouldn't be suffering anymore. Afterwards I really fell apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I can not deal with the idea of him being muzzled, he hates muzzles. If me staying means they won't muzzle him then that is what I will do.


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It was the most heartbreaking, gut wrenching and saddest thing I've ever had to do..but I promised Nikko that I would never leave him...and I'm alot like you...can't handle things like that...I wasn't with my girl, Schatzi...but my poor little boy had cancer and it just about killed me too. When the day came I held his paw and petted him telling him how much I loved him and that he was a good boy. It actually was very peaceful...and just to have him sleep in my arms and cross to the bridge made it strangely a little easier.
My heart goes out to you.
 

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OUbrat79 I definitely was not trying to lay a guilt trip on you. I was trying to say from my past experience with it. I regretted not being there for Taz, not when it was done but weeks to months after. Once they give your dog the sedative, the dog will be so out of it I don't think a muzzle will be needed. I am sorry you have to go though this. It is probably the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life. No matter if you are there or not, it is the same outcome in the end. Prayers to you and your family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Loneforce I know you weren't. I'm glad I can come on here and talk to people who know how I feel about what we are going through.

Have to share a few pics of MAK with the family.

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This is MAK with my oldest. We got MAK for his 1st birthday.

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MAK giving our youngest kisses.

He has been each one of the kids' 1st pet, their 1st best friend.


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