Author Topic: How did you know it was your dog's time?  (Read 4054 times)

Fresh Bread

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How did you know it was your dog's time?
« on: December 19, 2017, 01:30:02 AM »
My little dog is nearly 17. He's acting very old lately and today he threw up and he's not really eating.

In general he seems to be on a downward slide. Every night he'll get up at 3am and pace the floors for an hour. However, today it was also really hot and that can put dogs off eating, and he has a habit of bouncing back the next day after a bad one. I can't be sure he's happy any more, but he usually seems to get excited for food and then the other day he got quite excited to see a friend. He doesn't seem to be in pain but he's not one to show any weakness. I'm thinking if he doesn't perk up tomorrow, it might be time??

How did you know when it was the right time to say goodbye to your old pal?


SnackDog

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2017, 02:14:02 AM »
Each owner has to make this very difficult call.  Dogs don't show pain so you have to decide what constitutes discomfort by their behavior.   Our dog had a cancer in her bottom and eventually was licking it all night and/or feeling like she needed to go out to poop even though she didn't.  She went from normal to being up all night very quickly, so it was a relatively easy call to take her in to the vet so she wouldn't suffer.  Dogs will rollercoaster up and down but at that age they eventually get worse so it is up to you to decide when they have put up with enough.  Making the call early is difficult but will limit their suffering. Best wishes for a terrible situation.  It took us ages to recover from it.

HappierAtHome

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2017, 04:21:30 AM »
I don't know the answer to this, I just want to say that I'm sorry you're facing this difficult question with your sweet dog.

Fresh Bread

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2017, 04:35:08 AM »
Each owner has to make this very difficult call.  Dogs don't show pain so you have to decide what constitutes discomfort by their behavior.   Our dog had a cancer in her bottom and eventually was licking it all night and/or feeling like she needed to go out to poop even though she didn't.  She went from normal to being up all night very quickly, so it was a relatively easy call to take her in to the vet so she wouldn't suffer.  Dogs will rollercoaster up and down but at that age they eventually get worse so it is up to you to decide when they have put up with enough.  Making the call early is difficult but will limit their suffering. Best wishes for a terrible situation.  It took us ages to recover from it.

Thanks. It's so hard when he's not obviously distressed, just sort of lethargic. I don't know how much is just bring an old dog and how much is too much.

Fresh Bread

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2017, 04:36:18 AM »
I don't know the answer to this, I just want to say that I'm sorry you're facing this difficult question with your sweet dog.

Aw ta. He's only been a sweet dog since he got older, he used to be fairly feral, ha ha.

honeybbq

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2017, 10:43:36 AM »
Sorry you are going through this.

When I had to put down my 17 year old dog earlier this year, we made a list of the top 5 things he used to enjoy. When he stopped doing 3 of them, that's when we decided.

In my case, my dog still loved his food, but that was all he would do. Didn't really like being petted, stopped wanting to go on walks, etc. For most dogs though, they stop eating when it is time.

This is one of those situations where you'll never "know" it was right for sure. You just have to make the call and go with it, knowing that you are making that choice because you want what is best for your puppy and because the love and respect you have for him.  No one who ever wonders "is this the right time?" EVER makes the wrong call.

Hugs to you.

Fresh Bread

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2017, 11:41:31 AM »
Thanks honeybbq, the top 5 things list is a great idea. To be honest, it's like we have a different dog to the one we had a few years ago, I guess a couple of his favourite things have already gone e.g tearing up paper and chasing a ball. He still likes a walk/ sniff and seeing his top doggie friends.

badassprof

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2017, 02:05:17 PM »
So sorry to hear about this, Fresh Bread. I agree with others that it is a personal decision, and a very difficult one.

It often can be especially hard when it is an issue of slow decline. With our cat, she had stomach cancer (we think--we never went through with the tests when they found the growths, given her age and the limited options). She was okay for awhile and then stopped eating and while heart-wrenching, the decision was a no brainer.

Harder with our  elderly dog. She was on a slow decline and we knew the time was coming. One day we came home to find that our fastidious dog had defecated on the carpet and was unable to scutch away from it :(. that was that.


My thoughts are with you and your sweet friend.
Dharma
 
The way the dog trots out the front door
every morning
without a hat or an umbrella,
without any money
or the keys to her doghouse
never fails to fill the saucer of my heart
with milky admiration.
 
Who provides a finer example
of a life without encumbrance -
Thoreau in his curtainless hut
with a single plate, a single spoon?
Gandhi with his staff and his holy diapers?
 
Off she goes into the material world
with nothing but her brown coat
and her modest blue collar,
following only her wet nose,
the twin portals of her steady breathing,
followed only by the plume of her tail.
 
If only she did not shove the cat aside
every morning
and eat all his food
what a model of self-containment she
would be,
what a paragon of earthly detachment.
If only she were not so eager
for a rub behind the ears,
so acrobatic in her welcomes,
if only I were not her god.
 
~ Billy Collins ~

Walsh1122

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2017, 02:18:40 PM »
My little dog is nearly 17. He's acting very old lately and today he threw up and he's not really eating.

In general he seems to be on a downward slide. Every night he'll get up at 3am and pace the floors for an hour. However, today it was also really hot and that can put dogs off eating, and he has a habit of bouncing back the next day after a bad one. I can't be sure he's happy any more, but he usually seems to get excited for food and then the other day he got quite excited to see a friend. He doesn't seem to be in pain but he's not one to show any weakness. I'm thinking if he doesn't perk up tomorrow, it might be time??

How did you know when it was the right time to say goodbye to your old pal?

French Bread, so sorry you are having to go through a difficult time with your pet.  A resource here in the states that I typically direct my clients to is below.  Lap of Love specializes in in-home euthanasia and veterinary hospice care.  The quality of life score sheets are really helpful because it gives us a little more objectivity to something that can at times be so subjective. 

I typically have my clients look at trends over days to weeks, depending on the patients condition.  Of course you should also be in contact with your local veterinarian as well.  Wish you all the best. 

https://www.lapoflove.com/Quality-of-Life
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 02:54:32 PM by Walsh1122 »

sjc0816

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2017, 02:26:04 PM »
We just went through this in May, so I completely understand the agony in making this decision. Our guy was 15 1/2 and had been steadily declining for a couple of years. His last 6-9 months he was practically immobile.....only able to walk to his food/water bowl from his dog bed. We carried him everywhere, including down the deck stairs to potty.  It may sound extreme to go to those lengths but we were taking him to see the vet every few months looking for signs of pain or discomfort and the vet didn't think he was in pain.

Finally, he slowly grew disinterested in his food. We tried boiling chicken, canned food...anything to get him to eat. We fed him from the table, literally anything....and he would eat a bite here and there but his appetite was going away. One day, he couldn't hold himself up to go #2....and fell INTO his feces. It was so upsetting and I knew then, that he had lost his dignity as a dog. We took him in the next day and he passed over the rainbow bridge. The most upsetting decision I've ever made to-date.

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I think the feeling that you just KNOW when it's time....is true. When I left the vet the day he was euthanized, I swore that was the last time I would ever have a pet. Too upsetting. Of course now we have a 5 month old mutt puppy we rescued and he is amazing! The joy they bring makes the pain at the end worth it.


meghan88

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2017, 02:44:42 PM »
I'm so sorry you're going through this. I think the feeling that you just KNOW when it's time....is true. When I left the vet the day he was euthanized, I swore that was the last time I would ever have a pet. Too upsetting. Of course now we have a 5 month old mutt puppy we rescued and he is amazing! The joy they bring makes the pain at the end worth it.
Unfortunately, it wasn't true for me - I didn't feel I knew that it was time.  I think I waited a day, maybe two days, too long.  It's been 18 years and it still haunts me that I didn't do the right thing.

Cassie

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2017, 02:47:25 PM »
With my favorite dog it was easy because she was having strokes and screaming.  Through the years most of our dogs did a slow decline and that is much harder.  Recently our 20 yo maltese had a bunch of health issues managed with meds.  But her dementia got much worse and she started to act crazy every night for hours.   Even though she still ate and liked to be petted we knew it was time. Because we rescue old dogs I am getting better at knowing when to let go.  Hugs:))

Fresh Bread

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2017, 03:34:04 PM »
Thanks everyone. Yes, an actual illness would make it easier to feel it's the right thing. Old age is so hard.

I told DH about the top 5 things idea and he started crying because I think it hit him that the dog's no longer happy. It's good though that we are both now considering that it's time as that was my next problem - how to gently explain.

I'll go through that checklist now. I'm just boiling some chicken. If he turns his nose up at that then it could be time.

ETA Last night he did eat some canned food. And he's still taking himself out down the steps to toilet, which makes it so confusing. He needs a lift back up the steps tho.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 03:35:35 PM by Fresh Bread »

badassprof

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2017, 05:27:20 PM »
I'm so sorry you're going through this. I think the feeling that you just KNOW when it's time....is true. When I left the vet the day he was euthanized, I swore that was the last time I would ever have a pet. Too upsetting. Of course now we have a 5 month old mutt puppy we rescued and he is amazing! The joy they bring makes the pain at the end worth it.
Unfortunately, it wasn't true for me - I didn't feel I knew that it was time.  I think I waited a day, maybe two days, too long.  It's been 18 years and it still haunts me that I didn't do the right thing.

Meghan, please be gentle with yourself. It is always easy, retrospectively, to think of what we could have done to make our friends' passing easier. The fact is that animals are built to hide how bad their illness is, so it can be very hard to know what to do and when to do it.

Freshbread, I hope that your dog enjoys the chicken. Loving to eat is a top one on the list of five, for sure.

Fresh Bread

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2017, 12:37:40 AM »
An update:

The Lap of Love articles proved very helpful. E.g. We've come to realise that although he will eat chicken and some treats, he's not showing any *hunger*.

We've decided that his time had come :( It's scheduled for 6.30pm at the vet as all their home visits are booked up. I wish we could have done it at home but it's ok, they are lovely at the vet.

badassprof

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2017, 08:51:58 AM »
I will be thinking good thoughts for you today, Fresh Bread.

honeybbq

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2017, 10:49:13 AM »
hugs to you in this hard time.

HappierAtHome

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2017, 03:47:30 PM »
I'm so sorry for your loss. <3 <3 <3

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2017, 03:59:28 PM »
I'm sorry Fresh Bread. Heart wrenching. They give us such companionship, but the price we pay as the human is having control over their death. It never an easy burden.

meghan88

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2017, 05:33:16 PM »
Take care.  Your dog was very lucky to have you as a kind, compassionate owner.

FIFoFum

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2017, 06:39:22 PM »
I'm sorry that it was time. :( Thinking of you.

katscratch

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2017, 07:31:48 PM »
I'm so sorry. It's never an easy thing. My guy will be 17 in February so this thread is very helpful. My thoughts are with you and your husband.

katscratch

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2017, 07:35:21 PM »
@meghan88 you did do the right thing. Being there for your pup, in the way that made sense to you with the knowledge you had at that time.

Pets don't judge us and if they're ready before we think they are, they certainly don't feel anything but love for us when we hold them at the end.

Let all the years before those one or two days fill you with affection for yourself and the bond you shared. Those are the days that matter.

Fresh Bread

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2017, 11:45:35 PM »
Thanks for all the hugs, appreciate them. I understand how one day can make a difference - we had to bring it forward because he was in a bad way.

Tis done.

Next question: how long before I can be seen without puffy eyes?! I had to buy fuel with sunglasses on today.

DayLight

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2017, 10:46:47 AM »
Sorry to hear that, Fresh Bread. I had to make that decision for my dog last year.  I think your grief will take as long as it takes. I was a bit surprised about how hard it was for me- in my case I definitely felt like I was grieving for a couple of months. (Not sobbing all that time, but it was a difficult adjustment- the loss of a being who was a part of my daily life for 14 years.)

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2017, 11:07:14 AM »
Sorry to hear, Fresh Bread.  Had to put our pug down after many years recently and those emotions are still fresh.  Reading this thread it's clear you wanted the best for your dog and made the call based on compassion.  You did the right thing.  Your dog was lucky to have you.

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"I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives and I am quite satisfied it is in compassion to the human race; for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years, what would it be if they were to live double that time? The misery of keeping a dog is his dying so soon. But, to be sure, if he lived for fifty years and then died, what would become of me?" -Sir Walter Scott

Be at peace.

honeybbq

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2017, 11:55:20 AM »
After the instantaneous grief and pain waned, I felt at peace about my decision. And that's ok - it'll be ok when and if you feel at peace about it, too. I was relieved the decision was made and that I had acted on it and I had acted in the best interest of my pup. It's ok to feel that, too. But right now, keep those sunglasses on.

lexde

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How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2017, 12:45:20 PM »
My SO had a very hard time with this, too, and waited too long. I promised my dog I wouldn’t make the same mistake. My personal criteria are as follows.

1. List your dog’s 5 favorite things to do.
(For me: cuddling on the couch, playing fetch, going for walks, chasing squirrels, and swimming at the lake).
2. When your dog can’t do 3 of their favorite things, it’s time to evaluate their quality of life. If she can’t chase as fast but she’s giving it her all, then she’s okay. But if she doesn’t bother chasing anymore I will know something is wrong.
3. If they seem as though they are in pain at any point which is not treatable, or stop eating or being responsive, it’s time.

Talk to your vet. A lot of them are trained to give options, not brutal honesty. Ask what the options are, quality of life for each option, and ask them very honestly what they would do. They probably won’t give you a straight answer. Ask again. If your best friend is suffering, it’s kinder to be with them when they go and not drag it out even if you aren’t ready.

I am so sorry for your situation.

Edit: I just got through the rest of the replies. I’m so sorry for your loss but am so happy that you spent quality time with your pup before he had to go. It’s always so hard to lose a dog because they’re just so good compared to us.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 12:50:14 PM by lexde »

badassprof

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2017, 08:37:06 PM »
Take care of yourself, Fresh Bread.
Ironically, we just heard today that our retriever's cancer has come back. We knew it was likely, but were hoping for the best.

Fresh Bread

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2017, 10:39:10 PM »
Take care of yourself, Fresh Bread.
Ironically, we just heard today that our retriever's cancer has come back. We knew it was likely, but were hoping for the best.

Oh dear, best of luck.

marshmallowaddict

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Re: How did you know it was your dog's time?
« Reply #30 on: December 24, 2017, 03:45:15 PM »
I'm sorry for your loss - I can't imagine how hard it must be. Hugs!