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


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#21 of 113 Jeff Ulmer

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Posted August 07 2006 - 08:39 AM

Quote:
That right there is usually the exact signal that the dog needs to go.
If there had not been the addition of a child to the house, I would agree that this signals a decline, but dogs will also urinate in the house if they are unhappy, as it is a way of getting attention.

#22 of 113 Malcolm R

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Posted August 07 2006 - 09:58 AM

Very hard decision. My mother just had to put down the family cat, Springs, today (photo at left). Her age was somewhat unknown, but we had her for about 16 years so she was probably somewhere around 18 to 20 years.

Pets leave pawprints on our hearts.
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#23 of 113 TonyD

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Posted August 07 2006 - 10:17 AM

take him to the vet.
he may be having a treatable health issue.

if a dog cannot control his peeing and pooing, doesnt even know he's doing it, then that is a bad sign.
but if he just cant hold it in long enough, might be medical issue, treatment.

we have been using pads and homemade wraps that we put around the midsection to keep from getting pee on the floor.

i wish i new about this practice many years ago as it would have saved several rugs from being pulled up.

and example.
http://www.markout.com/home.htm
they work for male dogs.
we used small baby diapers for the female with diabetes.

as to when the right time to put a dog down.
that is on an individual case by case.

it is not just about you it is about the dog too.

for those that say he is just an animal, well no kidding but guess what,
for many people they are as important as any human and sometimes more so.
these pets may be the only friends or family they have. they are family.

it doesnt really seem nesasary to be pointing out that they are "just animals"
in this thread. thats really NOT going to be helpful advice.

keeping a dog around for too long when you know better is really just for the dog owner and is a bit selfish.

if a dog is in pain and there is nothing to do to comfort and aleviate the pain, it's time.

most of the time a dog will give you signals that it's time.
stop eating stops drinking.
becomes lethargic. doesnt care anymore.

it's time.
but again, go to the vet because the guy might need some healthcare.

my wife and i lost our second dog this year TODAY

she was a yorkie that was diagnosed with cushings about 2 years ago and
diabetes 5 months ago.

we were lucky she lasted in decent health this long.

this past week she started urinating whenever, stopped eating and drinking.

we took her in and the tests showed her kidneys are failing and there really
was nothing we could do.

making it hard was that she was still alert and aware.
but she was so ill from the diabetes that it was time to go.

we could have kept her going alittle longer but it would have been selfish for us to do that.

she was in pain and there was no cure.

For a dog who is walking into walls, stands in corners
appears lost or confused.
stares into space or at walls.
goes to the wrong side of the door for outside
cant remember how to go through an open door.
and even some urinating and defacating problems.

look into a medication called Anipryl.
we have a small sily yorky who has many
of these problems and will be looking into this medicine to see if it helps.
the vet said they have great success with it so far.
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#24 of 113 Paul Padilla

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Posted August 07 2006 - 10:19 AM

Quote:
That right there is usually the exact signal that the dog needs to go. Dogs will not soil their den...
Bowel control is a much more prominent symptom in that regard and even then there are a host of easily treatable conditions that can be the cause...not necessarily the animal's inner sense of impending demise. And the house as a whole is not considered the den for domesticated animals but rather their specific sleeping area.

I'm a big fan of the pack mentality aproach to canine psychology, but I agree that on some fronts
Quote:
they are not in their wild environment, and don't necessarily have to be treated as though they are.
Remember that in our home there is no true "Pack" so not every observation of dogs in the wild translates. Pack psychology is excellent for managing basic behaviors and aggression but these are, after all, pets. Because an old or lame dog would be shunned in the wild does not mean that given the right circumstances they could not have happy (in animal terms) lives. Illness and discomfort (treatable or otherwise) can cause animals to withdraw. Humans are social creatures but don't we curl up in a quiet corner when we're sick? I certainly do. It's a form of self preservation to heal ones self. We really need to wait for Randy's vet to check the dog.
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#25 of 113 Patrick_S

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Posted August 07 2006 - 11:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyD
...
for those that say he is just an animal, well no kidding but guess what,
for many people they are as important as any human and sometimes more so.
these pets may be the only friends or family they have. they are family.

it doesnt really seem nesasary to be pointing out that they are "just animals"
in this thread. thats really NOT going to be helpful advice.

I have a suggestion for you Tony, why not try actually reading what has been posted before commenting.

The "just animals" concept has been mentioned in terms of not being foolish and applying human standards of quality of life when making a decision concerning the pet. It has been accurately pointed out that pets have a far lower standard and what we may consider a crappy quality of life is just fine by their standards.

No one in this thread has been insensitive and commented that it's "just an animal" in terms of getting rid of the pet. In fact from what has been posted it's clear that those who have mentioned that it's an animal are the very ones who would go the extra mile to care for an aging pet.

#26 of 113 Joe Szott

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Posted August 07 2006 - 11:29 AM

Please let's not start an arguement here about the "just an animal" comment. I didn't intend it to mean that you should callously treat your pets like lesser members of a family, just that to you and them family can mean different things. And I'm definitely not suggesting that once an animal is past it's natural prime that it should be destroyed because it would be in nature. What I was getting at there is that the symptoms posted lead me to believe that dog is withdrawing and MAY be dying (or very close to it.) So when he goes to the vet, don't expect that a magic pill can make it all better.

This is never an easy choice for an owner to make, I wish the best for Randy and his dog. Let's not make it harder by arguing while he wrestling with this. If it upsets people, I'll delete my first post and we can move on.

#27 of 113 TonyD

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Posted August 07 2006 - 11:33 AM

i guess i meant the "for those that say just an animal" to be more in general to those that will eventually add it to the topic.

its been a rough day here and i didnt intend on sounding antagonistic.
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#28 of 113 Yee-Ming

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Posted August 07 2006 - 04:33 PM

This reminds me: on vacation in New Zealand, there was a vineyard which had a sign posted at the entrance saying something to the effect that a 20-yr old one-eyed and deaf cat lived there, so drive slowly. Sure enough at the cellar door there was an obviously very elderly cat, just sitting on the counter, minding its own business. After a while I noticed the cat wandered off elsewhere in the shop.

I suppose with a family-owned and operated vineyard, the family pet would of course be a integral part of the place. Nice touch I thought, that warning sign.

#29 of 113 dany

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Posted August 08 2006 - 02:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Tennison
We have a 14 year old dog that we truly love. He was our pseudo child for many years (until last year when our son arrived). Many people have said that when they die, they want to come back as our dog.

But lately, he's just not himself. He has cataracts, is mostly deaf, and really can't smell. He's overweight, and tends to sleep all day, unless he's begging loudly for treats, or crying while we are at the dinner table. He has also lost his potty training, and is urinating all over the house. Even when we are there, he will not scratch to get out, or let us know, he will simply pee on the carpet.

He is just not the same dog. He does not interact with us much, and hates our son, growling at him, or just simply ignoring him. He doesn't sleep with us, or even sit in the same room. He often seems to be out of it, not knowing which side of a door to go to when I open it, bumping into walls, etc.

It's gotten so bad that I find myself always mad at the dog for peeing, or crying at the table, or whining for a treat (he gets plenty of treats, by the way. I figure at 14, what's another Snausage going to hurt).

I've been really wrestling whether to have him put to sleep. I can't say he's ill, or in pain. He simply does not have a quality of life anymore, being mostly blind and deaf. I wrestle with it because I wonder if I'm doing it for his benefit or ours. I hate having to clean the carpets, having the smell in the house, and having my son play where the dog has peed. But, I also don't want him to be suffering.

What have you guys done?

Its time to go to the vet and leave him. I've done it with all my dogs,one after 11 years and another after 13 and its hard but best.
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#30 of 113 TonyD

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Posted August 08 2006 - 02:30 AM

Quote:
He is just not the same dog. He does not interact with us much, and hates our son, growling at him, or just simply ignoring him. He doesn't sleep with us, or even sit in the same room. He often seems to be out of it, not knowing which side of a door to go to when I open it, bumping into walls, etc.

randy, ask your vet about the medicine i posted in one of my previous posts.
we're getting this for our dog and the vet has said it will either work perfectly or do nothng.
there is a 30 day free trial offer that should be available at the vet, if you inquire about it.


one thing that i forgot to say i an earlier post

if you need to have a dog put to sleep, please stay with him/her during the process.
if he was your friend for many years or even a short time he is entitled to your presence during his last moments.

it is very quick and the worst that you should expect is some poo and or pee
to come out.

don't leave him alone when he has his last moments of life. Be there for him.
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#31 of 113 Paul Padilla

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Posted August 08 2006 - 02:58 AM

Amen Tony. It was the most difficult thing I've ever done in my life, but I just had to be there.

A couple of other things. On both occasions we actually had our second dog on hand. They weren't present for the event, itself, but we brought them in afterwards so they could sniff their companion and get a sense that a member of the pack wouldn't be returning. In the first instance the remaining dog was the daughter so they had been together literally all their lives. We felt that we owed it to them to have a clear picture of why the other dog wasn't there. A friend of mine told me that she wishes she had thought of that when they had to let one of their dogs go. Their remaining dog stayed home and when his companion didn't return with the family he was anxious and fidgety for the next couple of days and wouldn't eat. They may not have the same emotions that we do, but they do have them.

Also...if any children in the picture are of so much as speaking age, please don't give them the "...went to live on a farm." routine. Explicit details aren't necessary, but use the opportunity to introduce the concept of the finite nature of life. Heck...even on Sesame Street many years ago the actor who played Mr. Looper (Hooper!! Hooper!!) passed away. Not only did they not try to replace him, but they addressed it directly on the show and explained it to the children and even Big Bird and the other characters. I never thought Sesame Street could make me cry.
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#32 of 113 Randy Tennison

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Posted August 08 2006 - 03:00 PM

Thanks for all the posts, gang. I've read and re-read each one. We have an appointment at the vet for Monday, and I'm going to ask them the questions.

It just seems not to get better. Yesterday, Binkley peed 3 separate times in the house. Even when we let him out, he comes back in and pees. Plus, I tried to put him on the bed, so that I could mess with and love on him, but he wanted none of it, and got down.

As to some of the other comments, Grandpa comes over each day while we are at work, and feeds him and, weather permitting, takes him for a walk to the park. Many days lately, Binkley has not wanted to walk, but eats his food and goes back under the bed. This is so unlike him, it's very sad. He used to live for Grandpa's walks, sitting in the window (on the bed) and watching for Grandpa.

You guys have been very kind in your words. I really appreciate it.
Randy T.
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#33 of 113 JonZ

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Posted August 09 2006 - 12:42 AM

I say when the dog is in pain or doesnt seem to enjoy life anymore its time.

The last dog I owned was a Rotty I had put to sleep at 13 or 14 I forget.She had a large canerous growth on her side, wasnt eating much, and was having alot of toruble getting up and walking, which is no good becuase shes such a large and heavy dog.

One day looking at her, she was lying on her side and wimpering,I just decided it was time.

Like a person you have to wonder whether theyre really "alive" or just breathing you know - and thats not really a life.

#34 of 113 Randy Tennison

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Posted August 18 2006 - 07:10 AM

Just as an update to everyone who was so kind in this thread, we took Binkley to see the vet. The vet has diagnosed him with Cushings disease. Looking at the symptoms on the net, it's very obvious that it's a correct diagnosis.

We are going to do another blood test to determine if it's treatable with medicine, or if it's a surgical issue. Honestly, if it's surgery, I doubt we will go through with it, as it's a specialized surgery, and he's an old dog who might not make it through.

If it can be treated with medicine, we will try that. But, the vet said honestly, we need to start thinking about quality of life issues. The medicine may decrease the symptoms of the Cushings, but the damage is done, and he may not ever recover, and is probably uncomfortable.

So, we are taking a wait and see attitude. Thanks to everyone who was so kind in this thread.
Randy T.
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#35 of 113 dany

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Posted August 18 2006 - 08:12 AM

Tell us about cushings.
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#36 of 113 Randy Tennison

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Posted August 18 2006 - 08:37 AM

From what I read, it's normally caused by an adrenil gland overproducing cortisones. My vet stated that it is like when you are on prednisone or some other steroid. You don't feel good.

It causes him to be thirsty all the time, and always hungry, leading to his frequent urination accidents, as well as his overweight. It gives them a pot-bellied appearance, which binkley definately has. It decreases muscle mass, resulting in limited mobility (which Binkley definitely has).

Depending on which gland is going wonky will tell us what we can do. If the gland is in the brain, surgery is the option (which we won't do). Other ones can be treated medically.

Prognosis isn't great, but we owe it to him to see if it's medically treatable, or not.
Randy T.
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#37 of 113 Joe Szott

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Posted August 18 2006 - 09:13 AM

I think that is a good way to go.

A tenative warning: our last dog had epilepsy (we didn't know this) and went into grand mal seizures last July. Although the dog hospital was able to stop the seizures with enough medicine after 4-5 days, our dog wasn't the same dog afterward. Quality of life was shot: she couldn't walk, would pee where she lay, could barely eat/drink, no tail wagging at all. We kept her home a day and then had her put down. It was way more depressing watching her struggle with basic functions then just letting her go. Would have been nice if the pet hospital had explained this before we spent $900 trying to save her. Plus the kids seeing her in that state was crushing, they talked about Busta for months afterward (not what us grieving parents needed to hear.)

Cushings isn't Epilepsy, but when your vet says the dog will not be the same, take some time to think about what that might mean. I would give the medicine a shot myself, but keep the "quality of life" question in your mind for the dog (and your family).

Best...

#38 of 113 Philip Hamm

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Posted August 21 2006 - 01:31 AM

Unfortunately many vets don't have the guts to say "I'm sorry, your dog needs to be put down".
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#39 of 113 Jordan_E

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Posted August 21 2006 - 05:21 AM

I just read through all of this and reminded me of when I had to take my childhood buddy to be put down after being hit by a car (he was a Runner and one time didn't make it across the street). It took me 30 years before I could stand to get another dog. We got her literally days before 9/11 and has been a joy in my family's life.
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#40 of 113 Mike Frezon

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Posted August 21 2006 - 05:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordan_E
I just read through all of this and reminded me of when I had to take my childhood buddy to be put down after being hit by a car (he was a Runner and one time didn't make it across the street). It literally took me 30 years before I could stand to get another dog. We got her literally days before 9/11 and has been a joy in my family's life.

The relationship between man and canine can be intense. I was reading back through this thread again the other day and came upon the picture I posted back early on Page 1 and started to get emotional.

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


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