At what point do you choose to put your dog down?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Randy Tennison, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Hi Jenny!

    Welcome to the Home Theater Forum. I'm sorry its under these circumstances.

    It is right to cry and feel sad about the loss of your dog. But the sadness should not come from a fear that you might've done the wrong thing.

    We are our dog's caretakers and we need to provide for them. They cannot take care of themselves.

    And, our dogs don't reflect pain and disease the same way us humans do. Our dogs are stoic, strong creatures who don't always show when they are in pain.

    You don't say how old your dog was. But there are times when such sad things need to happen.

    Be sad. Your dog loved you and you loved him. It is only because of these loving, caring relationships in which both sides give a lot to each other that the loss hurts so much.

    The hurt will get better...but it will also take time. And that's normal.

    I am sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing your story.
     
  2. andrew markworthy

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    Just to add to these sensible words one other thing: you should never feel ashamed to mourn the passing of a pet. You are not being silly or over-sentimental in doing so. It is a rational and proper reaction.
     
  3. Sumnernor

    Sumnernor Supporting Actor

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    I believe this has been said above BUT IF the Vet says a pet ought to be put to sleep - one should not be ashamed for having it done.
     
  4. jennyl5

    jennyl5 Auditioning

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    Hello again:) My dogs name was Bailey and he was 12 1/2. He was the love of my life...my best friend!!!! About 1 yr ago he was diagnosed with kidney disease. I started feeding him kd dog food and that seemed to make his kidneys bounce back. However about 8 months ago he went deaf. I started to see a huge change in him over the last several months with numerous appt"s to the vet. They did severals blood test and also tested his urine. The vet believed that Bailey was showing signs of cushings and that his liver was also failing. He had cateraks in both eyes but I dont think his eye sight was bad yet. In the last 6 months he panted all the time,begged for food constantly. I couldnt even cook a meal with out him jumping all over me like he was going to bite me for the food I was cooking. He was always thirsty....drinking from the shower faucetts and out of the toilets. He was so hungry he would drag my groceries out of the bags when I walked in from the store and eat what ever he could! He would knock the trashcans over and eat the trash out of them. You could throw a napkin at him and her would eat it. Along with all this he started urinating all over my house!!! I literally had to follow him around with a baby gate and close him off n every room or he would pee. He would look right at me when he pee'ed. It became so frustrating on me! I was mentally exhausted and on top of that I am raising a baby that just turned one. I tryed doggie diapers and male wraps on him so he would quit ruining our entire house but he started biting me everytime so i gave that up. At his age i didnt feel like treating him for the cushing was worth it. I was told that his monthly meds would cost around 100 a month and the blood panel to find out for sure about the cushings was 100 to 300 dollars, also not even knowing if this was gonna work and that the urinating would probably never stop. I couldnt justify it. Money is kinda tight and i felt like I had given Bailey a wonderful life. All of this became very upsetting to me and it seemed as if I was always in a bad mood. My husband was becoming exhausted with it as much as I was because I was so mean all the time and in a bad mood. I felt like I couldnt do it anymore and on friday august the 3rd I had just let him out and within 10 minutes of being inside he pee"ed...starring straight at me. I tryed to discipline him by grabbing his collar to stick his nose in it and thats when he turned and bit me. He left pretty deep teeth marks but it didnt bleed. Thats when I looked at my beautifull one yr old baby girl and thought...wow!!! that could of been her! I also tryed doggie prozac in the last 4 weeks of his life but that didnt seem to work at all. They then wanted me to try a drug that helped with seperation anxiety but that was 80 a month!!! Ithink they gave up when I called and said I just want to make him comfortable so they called in valium. That sedated him and then he could seem to get his back end of the ground. that was only for the last 48 hrs of his life. I guess I just want some reassurance. I called the vet and asked if I could come in and talk to vet but they gave me a wesite to go to which is like all the other ones I have read. I miss my dog!!!! I have a huge vooid in my life nm now. I cry every day and feel like I robbed his life from him. He was still happy in the mornigs....running to the fridge for his morning piec of turkey and he was so excited when I walked in the door. How could I become so angry with my pet that I truely loved more than anything in this world!!!! I regret it!!!! I want him back!!!! How do I handle this????
     
  5. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Jenny: I don't have any more to add than what I wrote in Post #81.

    From what you write, your dog was obviously in failing health. I think you learned a valuable lesson that you shouldn't discipline a dog who can't control their bladder. Take note of what I wrote about how dogs don't show their pain and health issues the same as people do. They communicate differently, that's all. A trained dog doesn't want to pee in the house, but they can't help themselves.




     
  7. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Jenny,

    Apparently you have so much in life... including a fine young daughter.
    Yes, you recently lost something, but, honestly, that's happening to all of us - now and then. Realizing this doesn't make it less sad, but it should make it something to cope with in the end.

    You owe it to the remembrance of your beloved pet Bailey, to sit up and firmly grab your thoughts and memories of him.

    First of all: you won't get him back. It is impossible, and that's what death is all about. Living beings are born one day, and there will be a day when they die again.
    You can get a new pet, if you like, and (s)he may replace some of the space in your heart you have for Bailey, but it will not be Bailey himself.
    And it's a very good and comforting thing to realize that, if you think about it.

    Secondly: you feel guilty about your anger when he could no longer sustain the social behaviour he wanted so much to do, as any dog would.
    You must realize that your anger wasn't necessarily aimed at Bailey himself, but more at the debilitating illness that made him behave like that.

    This may seem strange to you: but I really believe that a dog looks at his "superiors" when doing something like that to see it is (still) not right. Even if he can no longer avoid it as a result of his illness, he wants to know he is taken seriously.
    Your anger may also partly have been directed at yourself and the sad situation you both were in, because you were not really able to change any of it. It makes us feel useless.

    In the third place: Mike Frezon said it already, you did the right thing. Your dog was very ill. It isn't really important if it was Cushing's (or Cushing's disease alone) that made him ill. From what you are telling us, I don't think he would ever have recovered from the very bad state his body was in, no matter how much money you and your husband had thrown to medication for Cushing's or any other treatment. His life was at the end, he was dying, and painfully so.
    You did everything you could and could afford to shorten and relieve that inevitable suffering.

    I am pretty certain that Bailey, if he could somehow comment on the way you cared for him, would say you did it great.

    So, give him a proper joyful place in your heart and mind and memory. You can always decide one day what you want to do next, pet-wise.



    Cees
     
  8. jennyl5

    jennyl5 Auditioning

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    Thankyou so much for your kind words!!! This is just very hard for me!! I am gonna try my hardest to start to cope with this better!! I am just devestated that I have lost him especially knowing that it was my decision. I just feel like he had life left but obviouslt it wouldnt of been good for any of us under the circustances:( I wont being getting another animal anytime soon. I know that I will never be able to replace him and that is the hardest for me!! He was my baby....and a really good dog!!! Thank you!!!!
     
  9. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I see you've added your dog's picture as your avatar. Beautiful.

    A new dog is never a "replacement" for a prior dog. They simply are "another dog." It is inevitable that we will make comparisons about behaviors, etc. between two dogs...but they each bring their own joys and personality to our lives and we love them all for different reasons...just like children.

    There are LOTS of "really good dogs" out there. When you ar ready, check around with some local adoption groups and find out when they are having some adoption clinics and you can go and meet some of their dogs in need of your love.

    I understand you feel "responsible" for the end of your dog's life. But you aren't. You are responsible--as a caring owner--for bringing your hurting dog some peace. You helped him...just as you did for all the time you had him and just as he helped you for all those years. That's why it hurts so much that he's gone.
     
  10. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    Jenni - Please know you did the right thing. I completely understand how you feel. A few days after my dog died I went through something similar to what you're feeling. Losing him was like losing a child. But I know we did the right thing.

    There are many support groups available to help you. Check out http://www.pet-loss.net. There you will find links to pet loss support websites, and links to pet loss help lines and counselors in your area, if you feel you need them.

    And I agree with Mike. There are many, many dogs out there in need of a home and could benefit from the love Bailey helped grow inside of you. You'll know when it's time.
     
  11. jennyl5

    jennyl5 Auditioning

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    Thanks Paul....I have been to that site.
     
  12. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    For Jenny...and anyone else subscribed to this thread...or for anyone who has lost a dog (as a child or adult)...

    Here's a nice story which my wife, Peggy, helped work on for Guideposts/Angels on Earth magazines:

    Jack in Heaven
     
  13. Lucy2001

    Lucy2001 Auditioning

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    I had to put my Lucy down today, and your story and words have really helped me. I have been crying all day and will probably keep crying for a while. It really is hell.
     
  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Hi Marsha. Welcome to the Home Theater Forum. I just wish it was under better circumstances. I'm glad you found us. As I have said on so many occasions: the only reason the loss of your dog hurts so much is because of the strength of the bond between you. If what the two of you shared wasn't significant, your loss would be less. The intensity of the hurt stands as a testament to how much the two of you cared for each other and took care of each other.
     
  15. Stinkidog

    Stinkidog Auditioning

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    Hello all...I guess I'm at that same point. My 16 year old golden/lab mix Bailey is failing. She struggles to get up and to lay down. Steps are a no go unless you are right there lifting her back end. She's just about deaf and I think has only peripheral vision. She sleeps all day, but if I'm home and in another room, she barks until I go to her. She doesn't seem to want or need anything, just for me to be there. She has never had a problem holding her urine all day while I was at work, but even if she gets let out during the day (as she always does now), she still has accidents in the house. I have not had her to the vet in quite some time even though I've made appointments; when the day comes I can't get her either in or out of the car. I know other people have talked quality of life, and I have to wonder what hers is like. This is so incredibly hard. She has been my best friend for 15 years; my confidant, my baby. But what is her life now? No walks, too painful. No car rides, can't get in or out. Her tail doesn't even wag anymore. Very little seems to make her happy. She roams the house, confused or lost to some extent. I'm sorry if I've rambled. I guess I'm just trying to figure out what to do. I know somehow, I need to get her to the vet. Hopefully, they will give me some direction.
     
  16. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Hi Cheryl. Welcome to the Home Theater Forum. I wish it was under better circumstances. If you haven't already, I'd suggest you read the thread from the beginning. There are an awful lot of people...just in this little community of thread participants...who have gone through this heartbreak. One recurring theme you will see throughout this thread is the need to get advice from your vet. Only a vet will be able to tell you accurately about Bailey's quality of life. A vet will be able to gauge the dog's pain for you. Dogs are stoic creatures who don't react to age infirmities the same way as humans. Get a neighbor, friend or relative to help you get Bailey into the car. You can be sure there will be technicians at the vet's office who will help you get Bailey in to see the doctor. But keep in mind that a vet will also not make such a decision for you...just give you the information you need to make your own decision. And one thing I will always tell people when they reach this milestone is to remember that the only reason being separated from your pet hurts so much is because of the bond between you and the animal. The stronger and better that bond, the greater--unfortunately--the pain. So do your best to celebrate your time together and the closeness you shared. You will never forget it. All the best to you in this difficult time.
     
  17. Stinkidog

    Stinkidog Auditioning

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    Thank you Mike.
     
  18. Jemma

    Jemma New User

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    I have a ten year old cavalier King Charles spaniel, she has diabetes, has one eye removed and is blind in the eye she has left, she sleeps all day but occasionally gets up and wags her tail and seems fine for five minutes then falls back to sleep, she is now having slight fits when she's sat up and lasts for about ten seconds each time, is also bumping into furniture a lot and has now started to loose bladder control and pees in the house and is yelping at four in the morning to be let out, really unsure whether she's in pain or is content?
     
  19. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    It's a tough call that only you can make. I had a cat that I kept alive with a feeding tube down his throat for over four months until I realized how uncomfortable and awful his life had become. Something I'll never do again. I did take him in and get the injections to stop his life, but was there with him the entire time to make it easier.

    Only you and your vet know if her quality of life has diminished so far it's no longer enjoyable and she's not comfortable. It's inevitable at some point you may need to have her put down, but I always base it on the quality of life the animal is experiencing.

    I'm an animal lover and don't put them down for convenience, they take to much maintenance, etc. But if she's not living a normal, enjoyable life, it may be time.
     
  20. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I currently have two happy, blind cats. In the past I have had two blind cats (one was also deaf) that lost their sight late in life. All of these blind cats were happy, despite the blindness. I don't think that that blindness, alone, is enough to say her quality of life is poor.

    You have to assess her overall quality of life.

    Sleeping all day isn't all that bad, older animals are going to do that. The fact that she wants out to pee (despite the 4am part) is a good sign. You can be proactive with the peeing. Take her out to her spot in yard at regular intervals. That may eliminate the indoor peeing.

    Is she eating and drinking? That's also a good sign if she is. I don't know what the fits mean, you should ask your vet about them. From what you wrote it sounds like they are very brief.

    She has diabetes? I presume she's on insulin?

    Only you and your vet can assess her quality of life. I would urge you not to confuse your distress with her distress. I know what it's like to be a distressed pet owner. I have felt the urge just to "get it over with." Just this past week we went thru this with one of our cats. We were close to putting him down, but we tried a different treatment, and now he's in recovery.

    When the time does come to make that final decision, I urge you to stay with your dog all the way. Talk to her, stroke her during the whole procedure. Yes, it's hard to do, but later, you will be able to tell yourself that the last thing your pet heard or felt, was you. You will know you gave her all the comfort you could...and that will give you comfort.
     
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