Author Topic: When to euthanize a dog  (Read 7883 times)

jax8

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #50 on: April 27, 2018, 08:04:11 PM »
I'd take the dog to a shelter and drop her off. My parents and in-laws both suffered for over 10 years with asshole dogs--sneaky, untrustworthy, protective of toys, anxious, and aggressive around their food. My in-laws dog was bigger and dangerous to both them and our kids, biting and getting more aggressive each year. Both sets of owners kept the dogs up until death, hating them and wishing they would just die, but feeling saddled with it because, "No one else will want this sick older dog."

Oh, please! People adopt dogs that I wouldn't want each and every day. Problem dogs. Senior dogs. Even dogs who need medication. Shelters run the dogs through tests to see if they would be good with kids or good around other dogs (you may learn your dog is fine around other dogs if her owner isn't around, or if she isn't protecting her property). Don't buy the myth that only YOUR family can take care of the dog, and therefore you have to suffer with it until it dies. You can say goodbye and end your role in her life at the shelter door just like you would have at the vet's. Say goodbye, walk away.

I'm typing this while petting my standard poodle, who's almost eight years old and the BEST dog who's ever lived. I will be inconsolable when she gets sick and frail, and I won't want to let her go. The only dogs I've ever known were assholes (see above stories) and I had problems mustering up any sympathy for them. They were mean, aggressive pains in the butt. My poodle taught me that no, I'm not an unfeeling dog-hater...I just have a low tolerance for asshole pets. Big difference.

I hope you're able to find a clinic or shelter that will work for you, or that your dog will pass on her own and take the burden off you. You guys raised her and took care of her for 10 years, even when you didn't really like her. You've committed enough of your lives to the dog. You have this internet stranger's blessing to move on guilt-free.

*Edit: I saw you mentioned several times that you're not open to re-homing the dog, because you think no one will want her and the dog will be upset to leave you. 1.) She may be a hard sell, but someone will probably take her. There are people who want to step in and rescue senior dogs, because they know they are difficult to place and expensive at end of life. My boss is one of these people. 2.) I think we're too arrogant in our assumptions that our dogs would be miserable without us. They adapt. They survive. They form new bonds. Most owners are thrilled with their adopted shelter dogs--we don't hear many stories of the depressed dog who won't get up. At least, not real stories. I've read quite a few fictionalized stories about the loyal dog missing his master--I think they've been around since the Victorian age. 3.) Trying to rehome and being turned away for health/behavior can only help your case for euthanasia with another vet. It's more documentation that you've done everything you could before arriving at this point. But again--this is your decision, and I'm sorry you're going through it! I support whatever you need to do!
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 09:26:43 PM by jax8 »

TheWifeHalf

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #51 on: April 27, 2018, 08:21:56 PM »
When I was breeding basenjis, when a puppy was sold, it was sold with a contract that stated if FOR ANY REASON, FOR THE LIFE OF THE DOG, it comes back to me.
I got 2 back (out of about 50)

Plus, I made sure the people understood that I could be contacted, at any time of day, to answer any questions, that had anything to do with the dog, I would be there.
As a breeder, these stories are heartbreaking, when they could have been prevented by the person responsible for that dog existing.

Cassie

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #52 on: April 28, 2018, 11:08:17 AM »
Jax, there are not asshole dogs but asshole dog owners that have made the dogs this way.  Healthy young dogs get killed in shelters every year because there are not enough homes yet alone sick, old dogs.  With old dogs such as in this case the kindest thing to do is put it to sleep not to drop it at the shelter. We have adopted a few old, sick hard to deal with dogs because there original owners dropped them at the shelter.  Ours is no kill but that also means a animal can be there for years which is no kind of a life. They would be better off dead.  People get grumpy as they age due to pain etc and so do animals.

frugalnacho

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #53 on: April 28, 2018, 01:21:45 PM »
We made an appointment at the humane society.  We talked with the vet tech and relayed the issues with the dog, and she walked out.  Then the vet walked in, said hi to the dog, and immediately told us they refuse to put a dog down that still has a good quality of life.  I asked how she was able to evaluate that the dog has a good quality of life with only knowing her for literally 10 seconds.  I didn't get a definitive answer, other than they do not euthanize unless it's a terminal illness, regardless of how many non-terminal issues there are, or what the cost of treatment of those illnesses is.  If there is a treatment available it must be done, cost be damned.  Even with a history of aggression and attacking other dogs they won't put an animal down until they do their own evaluation to see if the animal can be socialized with new people and other animals.

So our options were to keep her and attempt to address all her medical issues, relinquish ownership to the shelter immediately, or schedule an appointment next week to have them evaluate her and see if she is a viable candidate for adoption.  Obviously I don't want to pay to address all her issues, and I also don't want to relinquish her and just dump her in a crate.  So we are going back next week to see if she's a viable candidate for adoption. 

I still can't believe anyone would want to adopt this dog with all her issues, when they have tons of young healthy dogs that they currently can't find owners for.  I'm skeptical she will pass the evaluation, but she might.  She does have a good temperament most of the time, and it's likely she might not show signs of aggression during  45 minute evaluation.  It may just be that she particularly dislikes the few dogs shes been around and might be fine around another new dog, but I'm not willing to test that theory out by introducing her to new dogs, so we keep her isolated. If she fails they will euthanize her.  If she passes they will keep her and foot the bill for her medical bills until a new owner is found.   They said they don't have a time limit for how long she can be in limbo, they will keep her indefinitely until she dies of old age or a new owner is found.  That's not particularly comforting to me to know she may spend her last several years in a dog orphanage.


Cgbg

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #54 on: April 28, 2018, 01:43:07 PM »
You are doing the right thing.

Thatís really all that needs to be said.

frugaliknowit

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #55 on: April 28, 2018, 02:02:46 PM »
My $.02:

This is a DOG, an animal (as loving and loyal as these creatures are).

The aggression with bones is normal.  All dogs I have had are like that with bones.  Best not to have bones around dogs who are around children.  The child might pick up the bone and the dog freaks out...

Since this is a dog, not a human, I don't buy that you have to spend thousands per year to keep a very sick pooch alive that you don't enjoy (that's just me).

Find another vet.  Maybe get another assessment, or just euthanize the pooch. 

Cassie

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #56 on: April 28, 2018, 02:04:55 PM »
If you schedule with a vet that does in home euthanasia they will not even ask you why you are putting the dog to sleep. They trust that you know when the right decision is made. The dog is better off dead then spending years in a cage.  We have used the in home vet for the last 2 dogs.

frugalnacho

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #57 on: April 28, 2018, 02:25:59 PM »
If you schedule with a vet that does in home euthanasia they will not even ask you why you are putting the dog to sleep. They trust that you know when the right decision is made. The dog is better off dead then spending years in a cage.  We have used the in home vet for the last 2 dogs.

I thought that about the last 2 euthanasia appointments as well, but the vets disagreed.  I don't understand why they will allow you to make an appointment in the first place without mentioning they won't do it without documentation of an untreatable terminal illness.  It would have saved us a lot grief if they would have just stated that up front rather than letting us make the appointment, shift our lives around to take the dog to the appointment, saying our last good byes to the dog, only to be told we are terrible people for considering putting down a dog without a terminal illness.  It's not even like they take it on a case by case basis, they both flat out said they refuse if there is no terminal illness.  In pain? give them pain meds.  Arthritis? give them anti inflammatories and joint suppliments.  Severe allergies? Give them $500 worth of apoquel.  Incontinence? Give them incontinence medication.  Incontinence medication having the side effect of suppressing appetite of your dog that already eats less than once a day on average, and vomits on your carpet twice a week? Give them probiotics. Don't feel comfortable allowing your dog in the same space as your 6 months old baby? Tough shit asshole, deal with it. Bloody growths on the dogs eyes? Let us sedate your dog and put her through having a surgery to remove it, it will only cost you several hundred dollars each time.   Aggressive towards other dogs? We'll just see about liar, let us do our own evaluation to see if she is actually aggressive. 


lexde

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #58 on: April 28, 2018, 02:38:46 PM »
My method for determining this:

Step one: Write a list of your dog's top 5 favorite things ever. For my dog, for example, this is:
  • Playing fetch
  • Running outside/with bike
  • Going on long walks
  • Riding in the car
  • Hanging out in the yard

Step two: When your dog can no longer do three of those five things, it is time. If my dog was in too much pain to run, or became disinterested in fetch, or couldn't get in the car anymore, then I would take a hard look at her quality of life because those things are the most important to HER.

Step two-B: If your dog has chronic pain, has become aggressive, or had a substantive behavioral change that hasn't had a medical explanation after examination and diagnostics, then consider even earlier.

Step three: Your dog loves you unconditionally. He or she will not be angry at you for making a difficult decision.

lizzzi

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #59 on: April 28, 2018, 04:34:00 PM »
Not sure this fits into the topic, but I've been thinking about your dog in relation to my recent experience with being put to sleep for a bronchoscopy. Now, I was only "under" for five to seven minutes, and I wasn't killed, but as I drifted off with the anesthetist holding my arm and telling me in a soothing voice to just take some long, deep breaths, I couldn't help thinking that this was how a dog would be euthanized. Comfortable, secure, relaxed, drifting off...to peaceful nothingness. Euthanizing a dog is hard for the owners, but so, so humane for the dog.

I think that since your decision is to euthanize--and I'm not arguing with you about it--I would try to find yet another vet. One with some common sense and some mercy.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #60 on: April 28, 2018, 05:35:50 PM »
As an example of how a vet SHOULD euthanize a pet:
Our old girl was 16, had seizures under control with medicine. One day she must have had one outside and it somehow screwed up her equilibrium. She walked in circles, with her head tilted.
We made an appointment that day for euthanasia.
They came into the exam room with the cushiest dog bed imaginable, gave her whatever medicine they give to sedate.
While they gave the euthanasia drug, we told stories of how she was the problem child I never had (and they were a part of that too) I left her to be cremated, picked her up a few weeks later.
IMO, that's how it should be done.
I have a 20 yr relationship with that vet, he respects my opinions on many things, including when it's time to let a dog go.

jeroly

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #61 on: April 28, 2018, 06:05:53 PM »
1. For your next dog, get a different vet. It's outrageous how this one has tried to manipulate you into paying them for expensive and arguably useless treatments.

2. Since they charge for euthanasia based on weight, if it's a large dog, the Mustachian thing to do would be to get a large trash bag and...kidding. Sorry for your struggles.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2018, 09:12:21 PM by jeroly »

Dee

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #62 on: April 28, 2018, 07:35:47 PM »
Ugh, that sounds emotionally draining. You have done right by that dog, Frugal Nacho.

Polaria

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #63 on: April 29, 2018, 01:10:06 AM »
I am sorry to hear about your struggles and the guilt-trips of the vets.

Dogs do not realize that they are going to die, but of course well that they are in pain. This is why I'd rather euthanize a pet a bit too early than a bit too late. That is my biggest regret for one of my cats, I have euthanized her a tad too late and she was in pain at the end.

I can understand the point about not euthanizing an animal if it is not in untreatable, unbearable pain, but that shouldn't be the only point of consideration. For example one of my relatives decided to euthanize her elderly dog when he started to get aggressive towards her grandchildren.

I wish you all the best, that is a very hard decision.

Taran Wanderer

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #64 on: April 29, 2018, 02:38:50 AM »
My theory is that the time to put down a dog is when you know it is time. You know it is time for your dog. Stay the course, and find a new vet.

We had to put down our dog a couple of months ago. She was old and slowing down, but she still ate normally, moved okay, and enjoyed lounging on the porch and watching the world go by. Sometimes she would pant heavily as if either too hot or in pain. Aspirin helped.

Just before Christmas, she went into a steep decline, and we could tell she was miserable. We took her in to be euthanized, and the vet came outside to the back of the car to evaluate her. (Great vet.) He took her temperature and suspected salmon poisoning.  He asked if we wanted to try to treat it - just a couple, of antibiotic shots and then pills for a bit. The shots brought improvement within a day (the second one we administered at home because we couldnít stand to leave her in a kennel at the clinic.). She made it through Christmas and bounced back pretty well, but she was weakened. On a trip to the beach, she gave up on a walk with us because it was too much, but she seemed to be in good spirits overall, and it was a beautiful last trip to the beach for her.

A month or so later, things changed.  She became incontinent, then couldnít walk straight, and she was clearly in a bad way.  She may have had a stroke.  At that point, we just knew it was time. I came home from work early, and we took her in. They sedated her in the back of the car - good thing I brought some old towels... Then we wheeled her into the clinic, and they finished. Her lungs were strong, and unfortunately they had to given a second dose of the paralytic, but she was heavily sedated. It was sad to do, but like I said, when you know itís time, it is time.

Good luck, FrugalNacho.  It must be frustrating to have to argue with the person who is supposed to be helping your dog reach a peaceful end.


dragoncar

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #65 on: April 29, 2018, 04:40:13 AM »
If you schedule with a vet that does in home euthanasia they will not even ask you why you are putting the dog to sleep. They trust that you know when the right decision is made. The dog is better off dead then spending years in a cage.  We have used the in home vet for the last 2 dogs.

I thought that about the last 2 euthanasia appointments as well, but the vets disagreed.  I don't understand why they will allow you to make an appointment in the first place without mentioning they won't do it without documentation of an untreatable terminal illness.  It would have saved us a lot grief if they would have just stated that up front rather than letting us make the appointment, shift our lives around to take the dog to the appointment, saying our last good byes to the dog, only to be told we are terrible people for considering putting down a dog without a terminal illness.  It's not even like they take it on a case by case basis, they both flat out said they refuse if there is no terminal illness.  In pain? give them pain meds.  Arthritis? give them anti inflammatories and joint suppliments.  Severe allergies? Give them $500 worth of apoquel.  Incontinence? Give them incontinence medication.  Incontinence medication having the side effect of suppressing appetite of your dog that already eats less than once a day on average, and vomits on your carpet twice a week? Give them probiotics. Don't feel comfortable allowing your dog in the same space as your 6 months old baby? Tough shit asshole, deal with it. Bloody growths on the dogs eyes? Let us sedate your dog and put her through having a surgery to remove it, it will only cost you several hundred dollars each time.   Aggressive towards other dogs? We'll just see about liar, let us do our own evaluation to see if she is actually aggressive.

The cynic in me thinks they see this as lead generation, since they are trying to sell you expensive services.  An in-home euthanasia vet is less likely to be trying to upsell you?

dragoncar

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #66 on: April 29, 2018, 04:41:29 AM »
My $.02:

This is a DOG, an animal (as loving and loyal as these creatures are).

The aggression with bones is normal.  All dogs I have had are like that with bones. Best not to have bones around dogs who are around children.  The child might pick up the bone and the dog freaks out...

Since this is a dog, not a human, I don't buy that you have to spend thousands per year to keep a very sick pooch alive that you don't enjoy (that's just me).

Find another vet.  Maybe get another assessment, or just euthanize the pooch.

I don't agree with bold.  My dog has no food guarding whatsoever, including bones, his favorite toys, etc.  At least not with members of the family, including small children. 

KBecks

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #67 on: April 29, 2018, 05:08:34 AM »
If you schedule with a vet that does in home euthanasia they will not even ask you why you are putting the dog to sleep. They trust that you know when the right decision is made. The dog is better off dead then spending years in a cage.  We have used the in home vet for the last 2 dogs.

I thought that about the last 2 euthanasia appointments as well, but the vets disagreed.  I don't understand why they will allow you to make an appointment in the first place without mentioning they won't do it without documentation of an untreatable terminal illness.  It would have saved us a lot grief if they would have just stated that up front rather than letting us make the appointment, shift our lives around to take the dog to the appointment, saying our last good byes to the dog, only to be told we are terrible people for considering putting down a dog without a terminal illness.  It's not even like they take it on a case by case basis, they both flat out said they refuse if there is no terminal illness.  In pain? give them pain meds.  Arthritis? give them anti inflammatories and joint suppliments.  Severe allergies? Give them $500 worth of apoquel.  Incontinence? Give them incontinence medication.  Incontinence medication having the side effect of suppressing appetite of your dog that already eats less than once a day on average, and vomits on your carpet twice a week? Give them probiotics. Don't feel comfortable allowing your dog in the same space as your 6 months old baby? Tough shit asshole, deal with it. Bloody growths on the dogs eyes? Let us sedate your dog and put her through having a surgery to remove it, it will only cost you several hundred dollars each time.   Aggressive towards other dogs? We'll just see about liar, let us do our own evaluation to see if she is actually aggressive.

Wow, these vets sound terrible.   Our family vet was very hands off about making any recommendation for our cat.  He listened to my concerns and asked what I wanted to do, and I explained our stress over his kidney disease and incontinence.  Then he explained the procedure, they put a -- port, I guess? in my cat's foreleg and I held my cat in my lap and cuddled him when the vet injected two doses of sedatives. 

Research and find a decent vet. With the rise of pet insurance it sounds like some vets are pushing more and more and more care. 
Good luck.

Cassie

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #68 on: April 29, 2018, 11:14:02 AM »
Terminal illness should not be the only reason. We have had 2 dogs have strokes, one could not walk, had pain and would pee herself. All these dogs were old and we put them to sleep. We recently thought we would have to put our big guy down because the pain medication wasnít helping but they added a second drug which brought back his quality of life. If you can not get your dogs out of pain thatís a valid reason. I have also used our Vetís office too and never did they question my decision. You are dealing with terrible people.  The only time I have heard vets refused s when people want to put down young healthy dogs that they just donít want. Those dogs should go to shelters. I really feel for you.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #69 on: April 29, 2018, 01:15:58 PM »
Until about 8 years ago, our county shelter used an antiquated form of euthanasia. The animal was put in a tank, and the air was sucked out.
Thankfully they now use an injection.

If anyone is contemplating taking their pet to be euthanized at a shelter, please research their method of euthanasia.

Wayward

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #70 on: April 30, 2018, 10:14:52 AM »
The fact that you have done so much for a dog with so many issues, that you didn't want or like in the first place, is highly commendable.  In my opinion, you have done all you could and she is suffering, therefore I would definitely euthanize.  It seems the vet has been absolutely miserable though and has prevented this from happening.  My feeling is that the at home euthanasia might be a better choice because a) it's more comfortable for your dog and b) the vet knows what they are there for, it's not a consultation.  If you are still having issues finding a vet to euthanize her, I would give her to a local shelter or humane society and be done with it. 

On a side note, I really hope your quality of life improves in all regards!

GuitarStv

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #71 on: April 30, 2018, 10:33:09 AM »
I don't own a dog currently, but grew up with dogs and like them.  To me the time to euthanize a pet is when the cost to keep them alive exceeds the cost to replace them. Losing a pet sucks, but you knew you were going to outlive them when you brought them home.

It costs five cents to buy a goldfish, but 10$ to buy a container of goldfish food.  Therefore it's always best practice to buy a goldfish and then slowly starve it to death?  I can get a kitten for 0$ any day of the week, so I guess the same applies to cats?

I'm not sure that your rule of thumb makes any kind of sense for most pet owners.  :P

Cassie

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #72 on: April 30, 2018, 11:04:32 AM »
Why not call a mobile vet and ask to schedule a appointment ?   If they do not ask questions on the phone they won't in person because the place I use does dog cremation to and all their vets do is euthanize.   The thought of your old dog spending years in a kennel is just too cruel. I think your HS employs a bunch of losers.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #73 on: April 30, 2018, 11:07:30 AM »
The aggression with bones is normal.  All dogs I have had are like that with bones. Best not to have bones around dogs who are around children.  The child might pick up the bone and the dog freaks out...

I don't agree with bold.  My dog has no food guarding whatsoever, including bones, his favorite toys, etc.  At least not with members of the family, including small children.

Maybe not all dogs, but I do think it's pretty common.  The only time my dog growled at me was when I gave her a bone for the first time then took it away to make her a break.  It surprised me, but I was fairly confident she wasn't going to bite me, so I ignored the growl and took it anyway.  She never did it again, I assume after realizing it didn't work.  The bone thing is really instinctual.

Wow, these vets sound terrible.   Our family vet was very hands off about making any recommendation for our cat.  He listened to my concerns and asked what I wanted to do.

My vet was the exact same way.  He wasn't going to make the call for me, but I could tell he wasn't going to argue or make me feel bad about whatever decision I made.

The fact that two vets both refused to euthanize would make me take a step back and re-evaluate, but honestly after everything you've said I would lean more towards getting 2 crappy vets in a row.  I agree with going for finding one that will come do it in your home.  Will probably be less likely to question you, plus it's so much less stressful for the dog and everyone else.

AZDude

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #74 on: April 30, 2018, 11:42:03 AM »
Food aggression is common, but it is easy to train out of a dog. Same with toys, etc... It is a form of dominance, and once you train the dog to recognize you as the dominant force in the house, the dog stops being aggressive around food.

honeybbq

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #75 on: April 30, 2018, 12:00:27 PM »
This is so odd to me.

I made an appt at my vet to euthanize my poor pup.
He was old (17?), frail, and mostly blind dog that could hardly walk due to a stoke. I loved him desperately but it was time for him to go.
They never asked me anything. Maybe they could look at him and could tell, I dunno. But it was all over in 10 minutes, no questions asked.

Dicey

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #76 on: April 30, 2018, 12:16:30 PM »
Oh, frugal nacho, I am so sorry you are dealing with this dilemma. It is such a hard decision, and you are not making it flippantly. The haters are just deplorable. This is not their dog. Just remember that generally the easiest thing to do is nothing, yet doing nothing is often the worst decision. Let's not forget that human lives are, by definition, of a higher order than animals. It's fact, even if some people strongly vocalize otherwise. They are wrong. You are responsible for your child's well-being, first, last and always. Suze O says something like "People first, money second." I say "People first, pets second.

How does your wife feel? The discussion you two have on this subject is the one that matters most.

And your vet? find another and report them when this is all over. Beyond the pale. I fourth (or more) the suggestion to euthanize your pet at home in familiar surroundings, if at all possible.

And after all that, I wish you peace, my internet friend.

G-dog

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #77 on: April 30, 2018, 01:21:17 PM »
Another option, drive to a nearby by agricultural small town with a vet (or phone first) - those vets are typically no nonsense around euthanizing.  In the poncey suburbs and big cities, vets count on you loving your pet and being willing to avoid the very hard decision to euthanize.

A vet in an ag area probably thinks you are crazy to have done the treatments youíve done so far.

If need be, tell them you are on a trip and something just happened (aggressive?) and donít think the baby is safe.

dreadmoose

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #78 on: April 30, 2018, 02:09:16 PM »
@frugalnacho

If you have found 2 seperate vets that have seen the dog's medical history and had the stories told to them and they are both refusing to euthanize I think you have your answer. If you don't want the pet what is the difference to letting them rehome it to someone that does?

It is very common for attitudes towards pets to become much less affection-based after the introduction of children. You've admitted a few times here that you are not having an easy time lately (the past 2 years). The extra burden of a hard to train / maintain dog that doesn't get along with your child (or just can't be trusted) may be pushing it over the limit. Vet's are trained to identify these things, and will listen to reason up to a point. They are inundated every day with people that 'just don't want their dog anymore' so you may be getting an unfair shake, or they may be seeing something that you don't.

I would personally be allowing them to rehome my dog at this point, though I would and have spent significantly more money to keep a pet alive and have budgeted money for a pet's entire natural life before I got the pet. [https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/27/how-much-does-it-cost-to-own-a-dog-7-times-more-than-you-expect.html]

I currently have an old pet with multiple ongoing problems, we track his quality of life each day and if he's in pain or not enjoying his normal joys he gets a mark on a calendar. Too many marks in a row will mean it's time, though I live with a vet so it's a lot less guess-work on if he's in pain or unhappy. You have to remove your emotions about it, if you will readily admit you don't like the dog and never have he probably isn't getting a fair shake.

Cassie

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #79 on: April 30, 2018, 02:22:43 PM »
DM: having worked in dog rescue and having friends that do it all over the country death can be better then years spent in a shelter. They get depressed and most people want a healthy young dog. It is a sad ending for man's best friend.  That second vet did not even spend anytime with the dog before making a decision. I love dogs and spend lots of $ on ours but also know when it is time to say goodbye. Pets need quality of life.

sui generis

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #80 on: April 30, 2018, 10:38:25 PM »
Your agony over this shows you care a lot about making a good decision for everyone (your family, the dog, yourself) involved.  Whatever happens, there will still be agony for a while wondering if you did the right thing (whether that be a potential adoption or euthanasia).  When I had to have my boy cat euthanized a few years ago, I was devastated and thought I had done it too soon for a long time.  Now I know that the few extra days or even week I could have stretched his life would not have been kind to him and wouldn't have done much for me.  I still had to go on without him.  So, with a little distance, and having heard many, many stories from people who most often say they realized they waited too long, I think there's often little chance a caring person like you appear to be are doing it too soon.

On the other hand, if the dog does pass the "adoptability test" then someone out there may get some value out of escorting the dog through his last few weeks/months/etc. that you and your family won't get. And that's a fine option, too, if it works out.  It sounds like the dog is very much in a gray area where it may not be too soon to go, but it may not be an abuse for him to stick it out a while longer.  This is the reality of medical care nowadays (for humans and animals, I think). We have so much medicine that we can treat things even when, perhaps, they should not be treated.  I saw this with my father, who I had to watch die slowly for 18 months, instead of having the mercy of being let go earlier.  I think our medical technology has far outpaced our moral abilities right now. 

And I feel for vets, too.  Maybe not your particular vet, but I've heard a lot about the high rate of suicide in this industry lately and can only imagine what an ethical conundrum they must frequently face when they have a medical technology that they can apply that they know outstrips a family's financial resources.  It's more a curse than a blessing.

I lost my girl cat just a couple months ago now, and it sounds very similar to your dog (except I was absolutely in love with her).  I had paid thousands of dollars every year to treat several treatable diseases and when her quality of life was high, and she swallowed her pills like a champ, I had no problem with it.  I never faced quite the home-life ramifications you are facing until the very end.  We spent all our time together poking and pilling and applying medicines and tracking her blood glucose levels in elaborate spreadsheets during the last couple of months. I was starting to break down from the stress of timing all of her meds just perfectly and what damage I might be doing if I didn't.  She had lived almost 4 years past her "expiry date" as given by the original vet and I have to say that no matter how much I loved her, I was a little terrified of how long she might be able to go and whether I would have to become her full time nurse.  Now, I've already gone into more detail than is helpful to you (apologies, it's still raw for me), so I'll get to the point.  When we went to the vet that last time, they told me right away not only all my options for spending thousands of dollars to keep her alive, but they also said, "and it's also completely fair to consider euthanasia at any point as well."  It was so awful to hear those words, but also such a relief.  They knew what she and I were going through and as much as it was my decision, it's important to get that imprimatur, that permission from an authority, as well.  I'm stunned you didn't get that, and I wish for you that your vet would act more in partnership with you rather than telling you some options and walking away.  As hard as it must be for them, a big part of their job is counseling distraught pet owners and it sounds like you haven't gotten the best service from them in that area.

My best wishes to you during this emotionally and financially stressful time.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 10:40:23 PM by sui generis »

dragoncar

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #81 on: May 01, 2018, 12:23:14 AM »
I've heard a lot about the high rate of suicide in this industry lately

Thats a bit ironic

frugalnacho

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #82 on: May 01, 2018, 12:26:46 AM »
The fact that two vets both refused to euthanize would make me take a step back and re-evaluate, but honestly after everything you've said I would lean more towards getting 2 crappy vets in a row.  I agree with going for finding one that will come do it in your home.  Will probably be less likely to question you, plus it's so much less stressful for the dog and everyone else.

It has made us step back and re-evalute.  It's pretty much absorbed our lives for the last week, and we've talked to pretty much everyone we know that knows us and knows the dog.  Two people had reactions of "OMG that's terrible! I would never think of putting her down just for those issues! You are terrible!".  About 8 other people said they agree and it's probably her time, and that it's also very unlikely she can be successfully rehomed.  And about another 8 people had a reaction of "Finally! I don't know how you've lived with this dog for that long!  If she was mine I would have given her up/euthanized her years ago."

That makes me feel a little better about the decision as opposed to the support in this thread, because none of you know the dog and are getting 100% of your information from my point of view.  I try to be accurate and objective, but I am sure there is a vet forum somewhere where my vet has a thread about some horrible person that wanted them to euthanize a relatively healthy dog, and a bunch of other vet forum members rallying around posting support for the vet. "yeah fuck those dog haters!" "ugh, owners like that are the WORST." "rabble rabble rabble terrible person"


If you have found 2 seperate vets that have seen the dog's medical history and had the stories told to them and they are both refusing to euthanize I think you have your answer. If you don't want the pet what is the difference to letting them rehome it to someone that does?

I would personally be allowing them to rehome my dog at this point, though I would and have spent significantly more money to keep a pet alive and have budgeted money for a pet's entire natural life before I got the pet. [https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/27/how-much-does-it-cost-to-own-a-dog-7-times-more-than-you-expect.html]

I currently have an old pet with multiple ongoing problems, we track his quality of life each day and if he's in pain or not enjoying his normal joys he gets a mark on a calendar. Too many marks in a row will mean it's time, though I live with a vet so it's a lot less guess-work on if he's in pain or unhappy. You have to remove your emotions about it, if you will readily admit you don't like the dog and never have he probably isn't getting a fair shake.

The first vet was the clinic we've been going to for 10 years (entire life of the dog), but the actual DMV was one we haven't seen in awhile.  She had none of the records for the dog, and didn't seem familiar with the dog's history (and she has quite a history at this office).  I don't understand how you can knowingly go into a euthanasia appointment for a patient of 10 years, and not even bother to check the records of the animal, like past chronic conditions and current medications. [she wasn't aware the dog has allergy issues.  I have records dating back to 2011 about her allergy issues!  cephalexin, ketoconazole, shampoos, hydrocortizone lotions, allergy testing, sublingual immotherapy, subcutaneous immotherapy, and she was on steroids (prednisoline) for 5 years from 2011-2016 and has been on apoquel from 2016 until present.  We must have had 20 god damn appointments about her allergy issues!] I get that they are busy, but by her own admission she takes euthanizing a dog very seriously.  Seems like you'd want to at least glance at the records and see what's been going on for 10 years so you don't get caught off guard.  Unless she planned to refuse the whole time and just wanted to get us in the office to sell more services?
 
The second clinic was the humane society and had never seen the dog.  The vet was in the room literally less than 10 seconds before she made the determination that the dog as a good quality of life.  I explained a lot more about her actual quality of life, but they flat out refuse to euthanize an animal that doesn't have a terminal condition.  None of my dog's conditions are terminal, she could very well exist for several more years.  They definitely don't seem like they have any ulterior motives aside from the dog's best interest though, and are willing to take her knowing full well she's an asshole with possible aggression issues and thousands of dollars in ongoing medical issues.

My budget for a dog was $0 because I didn't want the expense or responsibility of the dog.  Unfortunately this was more of a step child situation where my wife and her former boyfriend got a dog together then split up, and he bailed on the dog and my wife got stuck with her, and she came as a package deal with my wife.  I've tried to do right by this dog for 9 years, and I've put up with the shit and piss and puke, and dog shit all over my yard, and the awful smell of dog on everything in my house, and the hair everywhere, and the slobber.  And the medical bills and appointments.  I gave her allergy shots for a year.  I carried her up and down the stairs every night for 3 months after she had CCL surgery.  I went through all her medical records and receipts last night, and we are probably $20k deep into this dog.  Her total medical costs are more than I estimated originally too.  All the medication she needs adds up to about $2,400 annually.  Plus with an old dog with this much medication you gotta do the expensive diagnostic blood work, frequently.  Every 6 months according to the vet.

My concern with rehoming her is that she is going to get all the medical care she needs to continue to "exist", and will do so in a crate at the humane society for several more years, because as I mentioned, none of her ailments are technically terminal, they are just expensive and make her uncomfortable and reduce her quality of life.  My secondary concerns are that if she does get adopted it's going to be at the expense of one of the tons of young, healthy dogs they currently have that are up for adoption.  If someone takes my dog, it means they aren't taking one of those other dogs.  The supply of adoptable dogs is always going to outpace demand, so some animal is going to be getting the shaft.


I feel for the vets too.  I'm sure they have people come in and say "I just don't like/want this pet, put it to sleep", and that's gotta be difficult to deal with.  I feel like that's how we are being received, even though I don't feel like that is the case.  It's just a shitty situation all around.

frugalnacho

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #83 on: May 01, 2018, 12:28:23 AM »
I've heard a lot about the high rate of suicide in this industry lately

Thats a bit ironic

haha

Wayward

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #84 on: May 01, 2018, 06:56:59 AM »
My concern with rehoming her is that she is going to get all the medical care she needs to continue to "exist", and will do so in a crate at the humane society for several more years, because as I mentioned, none of her ailments are technically terminal, they are just expensive and make her uncomfortable and reduce her quality of life.  My secondary concerns are that if she does get adopted it's going to be at the expense of one of the tons of young, healthy dogs they currently have that are up for adoption.  If someone takes my dog, it means they aren't taking one of those other dogs.  The supply of adoptable dogs is always going to outpace demand, so some animal is going to be getting the shaft.

Honestly, while I understand your concern, stop agonizing over this - don't let emotions mess with your head.  It's a sad fact that many young, healthy dogs are going to die in shelters, whether your dog is there or not.  Chances are once she displays aggression during testing/training they may put her down. 

frugalnacho

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #85 on: May 01, 2018, 04:10:03 PM »
We took her back to the humane society today to rehome her, and they wouldn't accept her! Said we could take her back home if we wanted, or they would recommend humane euthanasia.  They looked at me like I was crazy to consider adopting out this dog with her health and aggression issues, pretty much the exact opposite of how the vets reacted when we brought her in initially.  The real kicker is that they wouldn't let us be there with her when they euthanized her, unlike when you make an appointment specifically for euthanasia where you can be there to see the dog off.  That bummed us out.  We didn't want to take her back home and schedule another appointment to bring her in just so we could be in the room with her though.  We discussed it, but it's been such a crazy roller coaster, and I feel like this is the third time we've started the grieving process, and we just want it to be over now.  We got to spend a few minutes with her and tell her goodbye, and then they took her off in the back and we left.  I feel such a cocktail of negative emotions.  Sadness, grief, guilt.  I feel angry at the way our original vet treated us, and angry that we had to make the decision 3 separate times before it could happen.  It's been crazy stressful for us.   We attended my wife's grandma's funeral yesterday too.

Thanks for all the input and support everyone.  No need to respond any further, I would prefer to let this thread just die and not have it continue to popup in my unread threads.

Cassie

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #86 on: May 01, 2018, 05:05:15 PM »
You did the right thing.  Hugs:))  I think you can ask mods to delete the entire thread.

dragoncar

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #87 on: May 01, 2018, 07:35:27 PM »
F

GreenEggs

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Re: When to euthanize a dog
« Reply #88 on: June 29, 2018, 11:26:11 AM »
That was an emotional thread....


Glad it's over for you.


A reality TV show could be made about this topic.