Should You Put Your Dog to Sleep? A Veterinarian’s Advice

pet euthanasia should we put dog down

This is my dog, Georgie. I know one day we’ll have to make a gut-wrenching decision about her life, and I cherish every day with her.

Deciding if it’s time to put your dog to sleep is heart wrenching. Here’s what a veterinarian says about making this decision for your dog and your family.

These guidelines are from Marie Haynes, a veterinarian who had to put her own dog to sleep. She shares her story, and offers information about pet euthanasia.

“If you can save your dog or cat even one day of discomfort, you must,” says Dr Haynes.

And that’s the number one criteria for deciding if you should put your dog or cat to sleep: if suffering is involved. If your dog is suffering in any way, then it may be time to decide on pet euthanasia.




Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet is Gary Kowalski’s second book on coping with dog death, and it may help you heal after making the heart-wrenching decision to say good-bye.

One of the best ways to cope with your dog’s death is believing that their souls and spirits live on – and you’ll be reunited one day. Read Animals and the Afterlife: True Stories of Our Best Friends’ Journey Beyond Death  to learn how some pet owners experience their beloved animal companions after they’ve passed.

And, here are some guidelines to help you decide if it’s time to say good-bey to your dog or cat to sleep…

Is It Time to Put Your Dog to Sleep?

It’s often difficult to tell whether a dog is in pain or suffering, says Dr Haynes, but there are some general guidelines:

  • Is your dog’s appetite suffering? If so, this is often a sign of pain.
  • Does it seem like your dog is enjoying life?
  • Does your dog still do the things that bring her joy?
  • Are you enjoying having your dog around — or is there more pain than happiness?
  • Does your dog seem happy more often than not?
  • Or, do you find that your dog looks distressed or uncomfortable most of the time?

Pet owners often want to be told what to do about putting their dog to sleep, but it has to be the pet owner’s decision. The vet only sees a snapshot of the pet’s life, while the pet owner has the big perspective.  “I see a scared, sick animal in the hospital,” says Dr Haynes. “I don’t see a pet owner’s beloved dog.”

“You have taken care of your dog or cat all its life,” says Dr Haynes. “This is your final chance to take care of your pet.  If you can spare your dog pain and suffering, then putting it to sleep is the ultimate gift – no matter how hard it is for you.”

The bottom line: when it’s time to put a dog to sleep

There will come a day when it is absolutely clear to you that your dog or cat is not enjoying life.  That day is one day too late.  If you can save your pet even one day of discomfort, you must.

Deciding on euthanasia is difficult, but it could be the most loving thing you do for your dog.

You can be present if you put your dog to sleep. Euthanasia is similar to falling asleep, and you can be with your dog when he or she drifts away. Remember that euthanasia is generally painless, and almost always goes smoothly.

Do you feel guilty about putting your dog to sleep? Read 4 Ways to Cope With Guilt After Pet Loss.

How this veterinarian decided to put her dog to sleep

“My shepherd/cattle dog cross, Eddie, had a multitude of problems and I couldn’t decide if it was time for euthanasia.  Then, one day he tore his cruciate ligament.  He had already previously torn the ligament on the other knee and although it was healed he had severe arthritis in that knee.  With both knees injured, Eddie was unable to walk.  My decision to put my dog to sleep was finally made for me.

I went to my office and collected the supplies I needed for euthanasia.  Eddie was such a good boy as I shaved his front leg and placed the needle in his vein.  I will never forget the look of love and trust he gave me as I made the injection.  Then, the life just went out of him and he was gone.  Once he had passed away, his buddy Joey (my other dog) came in the room but he did not seem to care about or comprehend what was happening.  Then, my two cats came in and I swear they suddenly had a look of glee in their eyes as Eddie was very much a cat tormentor!”

How will you remember your dog? For ideas, read my article about different types of pet memorials.

For help saying good-bye, read Letting Go of an Animal You Love: 75 Ways to Survive Pet Loss. I interviewed veterinarians, grief experts, counselors, and pet owners who survived their dog’s death. Their stories and wisdom can help you cope with the loss of your dog.




If you have any thoughts on putting your dog to sleep, please comment below.

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Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen
Welcome - I'm glad you're here! I can't give advice, but you're welcome to share your experience below. I'm a writer in Vancouver; my degrees are in Psychology, Education, and Social Work. I live with my husband, two dogs, and cat. We are childless, & have made peace with it. It helps to love Jesus :-)

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547 Responses

  1. Mandy says:

    What holds me back is not knowing if something is wrong with Bailey. I would feel like i murdered her if there is nothing wrong . I keep telling myself that it is her age and her breed. Toy poodle,Pomeranian,pekingnese.

  2. Laurie says:

    Dear Amber,

    I’m so sorry that your beloved dog is going through this – and that it’s so hard on you. I don’t think you’re wrong for wanting this to be over, and I don’t think he is enjoying his life like this. Dogs need to be free to romp and play and frolic, and your poor dog is caged inside his own body :-(

    I can’t tell you if you should put your dog to sleep, but I know I wouldn’t want my dogs to continue a life like that. I believe dogs don’t fear death, and that death is a natural part of life. I think of death as resting in peace, and that our dogs’ spirits will remain here with us. I believe our souls will be reunited with theirs when we die.

    I also believe that there are many beautiful, wonderful dogs who are young right here on earth, who need loving homes. My choice has always been to let my dogs go with a sense of peace, and open my heart and home to another dog who needs someone to care for him. I’m not saying you should put your dog to sleep so you can adopt another dog….I’m just sharing my perspective on dogs, euthanasia, and our life without them.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you as you make this difficult decision. Above all, I pray you have a sense of peace with whatever decision you make.

    In sympathy,
    Laurie

  3. Amber says:

    I have a 6 yr old. mini dachshund that had an IVDD episode in June of this year. His hind legs have been paralyzed since. He has mostly been on crate rest since, and has gotten a tiny bit of control in his legs. He can take a couple of steps sometimes. We can’t let him wander around the house because he has not gotten good control of his bowels back. He has a brother that he can’t play with anymore. I thought about a wheelchair, but that won’t help with the messes he makes without potty control. He is my 15 yr old son’s dog and my son thinks we are so mean for wanting to end Scout’s misery. We feel so guilty that we are hurting our son. The dog isn’t in pain, he just has become such a burden to take care of honestly. Last night we were up @ 3 a.m. cleaning up pee and poo that he had dragged himself through all over my laundry room where he stays. He also tears up his legs trying to drag them around outside. Winter will be impossible because he will never be able to go outside to relieve himself. We are still expressing his bladder about 1/2 of the time. Are we wrong to want to end his misery, and honestly ours too. I am so exhausted from the hours and hours of care it takes to just clean him each day. He is like a bird in a cage, he hardly ever comes out of his cart.

  4. Laurie says:

    Dear Mandy,

    I think if your dog Bailey is moody and unhappy and elderly, then maybe it’s time to listen to your husband and your heart. One of the main criteria for deciding if you should put your dog to sleep is her quality of life. If she isn’t enjoying life anymore – and if she’s causing pain and heartache to the family she loves – then I think it might be time to let her rest in peace.

    What is holding you back from putting her to sleep?

  5. Mandy says:

    My dog Bailey is 13 yrs.old and is very very moody. She is 9 lbs.and does not seem to be happy at all. She will even bite me and my husband. She will be loving one minute and then down right hateful the next. My husband is tired of dealing with her. He has brought up putting her to sleep. She has never had much of an appetite. I believe she has mental issues. When you go to pet her, she blinks rapidly and sometimes winces( if she does not bite you). She is a mix breed. We have her sister also and they are nothing alike. I would really appreciate your feelings on what i should do with little Bailey.

  6. Laurie says:

    Dear Leslie,

    It sounds like you’re thinking that it may be Mollie’s time to go. This is a good decision – in the sense that sometimes our beloved dogs are ready to pass on, and we need to walk them through their final steps here on earth. If you’ve made the decision to say good-bye to Mollie because of her old age and she’s ready to go, it’s just a question of whether you want to wait until next week.

    If she’s in pain, then I think saying good-bye at the clinic now is better than waiting until next week to put her down at home. I don’t know how she responds to being at the veterinary clinic – maybe it’s traumatizing for her? If so, then I totally understand wanting to wait until next week. But, it’s sad to think of her in pain for a whole week — and what if she gets worse?

    I know you don’t know for sure if she’s in pain. Often, it’s such a difficult thing to try to figure out. But, if my dogs were whimpering, I think I’d assume they were in distress. Even emotional distress is painful!

    I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful, and that I don’t have any solid answers for you. If I were you, I’d take my dog to the vet now. I wouldn’t wait, because I’d hate to think she was suffering.

    But, that said, you need to trust your heart and your relationship with Molly. You know her better than anyone, and you need to decide how she’d like to spend her last week or month here on earth.

    I wish you all the best, and hope you come back and let me know how it goes.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  7. Leslie Frank says:

    My border collie Mollie is 16. Over the past few months, she has lost weight, seems confused, and has fallen over quite often. In the past few days, she has had a lot of trouble getting up (which leads to her whimpering until we can help her), she pants a lot, and she often walks in circles. However, she’s still eating and once we get her up, she’ll walk around the back yard and interact with us and our other two dogs. I’m just afraid that with her whimpering the other night that she may be in pain. I’ve tried to get our mobile vet to stop by but they’re short staffed and can’t see her until next week. I don’t want to take her to an emergency clinic because I prefer that if we do put her down, we have the vet come to the house to do it. Any advice? Thanks!

  8. Laurie says:

    Dear Linda,

    I am so sorry you’re going through this with your beloved dog. It’s so tragic and heartbreaking….and the worst part is only you can make this decision.

    If your dog is panicked and suffering, what are your reasons for keeping him alive? Are you putting off euthanasia because you want him to pass away in his sleep? I think that’s what I would do, because I wouldn’t want to be the one to make the decision to put him to sleep.

    To me, it sounds like your poor dog is ready to go…but you can’t let him because you love him so much. I think most pet owners would do the same thing, but sometimes it causes our poor pets more pain than we realize.

    What do you think?

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  9. Linda Knapp says:

    I am trying to make the decision of putting my Beloved dog of 15 years to sleep. He started with a rare cancer about 1 1/2 years ago. I had his tumor removed successfuly , but this spring it has grown back and the cancer has spread up his leg to his shoulder. His leg is very swollen below the tumors, and he is having a lot of difficulty walking and can’t get up and down stairs without help. He also trips and falls down often, and I have to help him get back up. I see qustion and panic in his eyes. I am still having a very difficult time trying to make this decision. I have prayed that he would go peacefully in his sleep. My heart is ripping apart even as I write this. It seems the bad days are outweighing the good now, and he paces and can’t even lay down comfortably. Why am I having such a hard time making this decision. He doesn’t want to play anymore or hang out in the yard with me anymore. I am still questioning myself. I just don’t know what to do. I know you can’t tell me what to do, but can you give me some guidelines?

  10. Eileen says:

    Thank you for this article. I made the difficult decision to put my Charlie down this past Monday and have now also been struggling with guilt.

    He was 13. I adopted him back in 2005. I was fortunate enough to be told about a mobile vet service. Charlie was always so afraid of going to the doctor. They observed him on Wed., ran tests – which came back really good. His neurological symptoms just got worse over the course of the next few days. Constant pacing, circuling, his gait got even slower, going into corners or places and it looked like he forgot where he was and couldn’t get out. It was also quite harder for him to get up and down steps. I live on a 1st flr condo, so there’s not many, but he struggled. His balance was also off. Without all kinds of tests, the doctor thought he most likely had a brain tumor.

    I’ve been struggling with “did I give up on him soon”. But although he was eating, he was not enjoying life. At least, that’s the impression I had. And that’s the only thing I can go by.

    Your article has helped. Thank you for posting it. Now, it’s time to process through the grief.

  11. Laurie says:

    Dear Rosie,

    My condolences and sympathies on putting your dog to sleep. She’s been with you so long, and her absence will leave a hole in your heart and in your home.

    I wish you healing and hope as you grieve. May she rest in peace – and may you feel peace after she’s gone.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  12. Rosie says:

    After 18 years of having my doggy, my husband and I decided that the best thing for her is to be put to sleep. She has been suffering for a while now. I have just been too selfish to part from her or have her part from us. We made the decision last night after a lot of crying and talking. We have a 5pm appointment today. We have basically been laying all day with our doggy and crying. The guilt is just consuming us. And even though intelligently we know this is the best, the pain is too much to bare. We just keep talking and trying to put ourselfs in her situation. This is no longer a good life for her. It’s very hard because I’ve had her since I turned 18. Before husband and child came along. She has grown with me and is a huge part of my everyday routine. What will I do without her?The thought of not being able to see her beautiful little face anymore, is killing me. I hate being so selfish. Part of me just wants to skip this appointment and let her pass at her time here at home, but then I see her struggle to do everything, I mean everything and then my heart hurts for that too. I’m do confused and heart broken. I just hope she knows how much we loved her and that we are going this because of love. I will always love you my little bimbi.

  13. Laurie says:

    Dear Liz,

    My sincerest condolences on losing Cody – I know what a huge gaping hole his loss leaves! It’s unbelievable, how much life and love our dogs bring to our lives. But I am so glad you feel God’s presence, and His promise that you’ll be reunited with Cody again someday.

    We’re all energy, and energy never leaves us. It takes different forms, but it’s still part of who we are — and it’s still waiting for us when we leave this world. Cody’s energy is still in your heart and your life.

    It sounds like you, your boyfriend, and Cody had a very special time together. What a wonderful way to say good-bye to Cody, and to release him from the constraints of his physical body. You loved him until the very end, and that meant the world to him.

    Thank you for your kind words, and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  14. Elizabeth N says:

    Dear Laurie,

    I have returned; it is now a full week (July 3rd) since I’ve laid my beloved 13-yr-old husky Cody to sleep.

    First off, I need to extend to you my very heartfelt thanks at your thoughtful and understanding words. You really have found your calling and feel so much so about what you’re doing I’ve shared your site with a few friends and intend to share with many more in the near future.

    I was afraid but yet hopeful last week I was going to ‘chicken’ out of my 620 appointment for Cody, but I did not.

    I tried to give Cody the best send-off a puppy could ask for. He spent the majority of the day in the A/C, though it risked (as did happen) quite a mess on the carpets.

    Though he didn’t eat the KFC chicken I also left for him, for breakfast he did enjoy some Roast beef-au-jus, and then again late afternoon, just before my boyfriend (who had come to be Cody’s other best friend) and I took Cody for a short walk (it had gotten so so hot when the sun came, but Cody surprisingly didn’t seem to mind). And on the way over to his appointment, Cody got to enjoy a little ice cream John held out for him.

    Though the whole visit was upsetting and not necessarily perfect in my eyes, I too was able to feed Cody some ice cream ….. he left behind my favorite part of the ice cream too…. the cookie dough pieces!

    Cody left this world with John and I at his side, telling him we loved him and that we were lucky to have had him in our lives, me for all but 7-8 months of his 13-yr,7-month-old life, and John for over 2 years of his life. We were his most recent best buds….. having played with him, carefully preparing his meals, and walking him every weekend like clockwork after my morning runs, and me during the week in the evenings when energy and time and weather allowed.

    As I kissed and pet Cody, I told him we would see him again sometime, and til then to have fun, even if it was chasing cats…

    I have my good and bad (sad) moments. I still feel a tug to rush home to tend to him, and I still tell him every nite, ‘Good nite baby, Mommy loves you….’

    Earlier tonite, and now as I write this, I am dealing with some profound sadness and guilt and am trying to take solace in the idea that I did the right thing…

    Something I realized the next nite, 4th of July nite, in a weird way seems almost poetic and that is this: Cody came into my life last week 13 years ago, year 2000, my first dog on my own as an adult.

    Since Cody’s passing, there have been many coincidental, almost psychic moments if you will, that cements to me my idea that there is a higher being, or God, watching over us, and of which gives me great hope I will get to see and play and walk with my Cody again someday.

    Cody, good nite, sleep tight, Mommy loves you….

    Laurie, I will be checking back in on your site plenty more in the future. Thank you again for the great work you do.

    And please do continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers over the next few weeks (longer if you like!); I intend to do likewise.

    God bless,

    Liz

  15. Laurie says:

    Hello Ambra,

    I’m so sorry to hear how Trooper is doing – that’s very sad. My heart goes out to you, because he doesn’t seem to be in pain so it’s not clear if it’s time to put him to sleep.

    I honestly don’t know if it’s time to think about putting him to sleep. Falling in your poop is icky….but is it a sign it’s time to say good-bye? Most veterinarians agree that pain is the best sign that it’s time, but I haven’t heard anyone discuss the problem you have.

    Have you talked to your veterinarian? That would be my first step. I’d try to find out if Trooper’s weight and difficult walking and crouching are symptoms of a larger health issue, and if there is pain involved.

    Trooper sounds like a strong, happy dog — which makes it so much more difficult! It’s never an easy decision, but sometimes dogs do tell us when they’re ready. What would Trooper tell you, if he could talk? What is he trying to tell you? Maybe if you got really still and quiet, and lied down with him, you’d be able to intuit what he wants. This may sound woo-woo to you, but some people say it helps them decide.

    I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful, and invite you to keep writing how you feel. You may find the decision within yourself – and you’ll be at peace with it.

    I wish you all the best, and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Let me know how you’re doing.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  16. Laurie says:

    Dear Frank,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing how you feel after putting your dog to sleep. Many loving pet owners feeling very guilty afterwards – you are not alone!

    Here’s an article I wrote, to help people cope with the guilt:

    http://theadventurouswriter.com/blog/guilty-feelings-after-cat-dog-dies-pet-loss-guilt/

    Please take a few minutes to read the article, and look through the comments from readers. You gave your dog the best loving care you could – and it’s too easy to look back and beat ourselves up for things we did or didn’t do! That’s not fair to you — and I know your dog wouldn’t want you to be feeling so guilty, heartbroken, and devastated. You loved your dog all the way to death, and she knows it. You made the best decisions you could to take care of her, and you loved her with all your heart.

    Make your memories of her wonderful and happy by forgiving yourself, and letting your memories and experiences of your dog rest in peace.

    In sympathy,
    Laurie

  17. Laurie says:

    Hello Heidi,

    How are you doing with Jaxson? You’re right; it is a huge, difficult decision to make. And having children adds an extra dimension of complexity. Not only do you not want to see them suffer because the dog is sick, you don’t want your poor dog to be in pain for a moment longer than he has to! It’s a fine balance between making the decision too early, and potentially letting Jaxson suffer.

    I don’t know when the right time is, but a veterinarian once told me that pet owners know. I’m not sure if this is always true. Do you feel a sense either way? Another pet expert told me that your dog will tell you when he’s ready to go….this is another difficult one to determine!

    Writing out your thoughts and feelings is a great way to get to the heart of it and move towards a decision. I welcome you to do that here, or in your private space.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you,
    Laurie

  18. Ambra McQuillan says:

    My boxer, Trooper, is almost 11 years old. He is the love our lives and has given us more joy than imaginable over the years. His legs (primarily his back legs) are giving out on him and he has difficulty walking. He is overweight at nearly 100 lbs. He is now occasionally urinating in the house and has had bowel movements as well in the house. The real issue, however, is now when he squats to have a bowel movement, he cannot hold himself in the necessary position and he falls into his own feces. It is so sad to watch but he is otherwise healthy, eats, drinks, still gives kisses, wags his tail when you give him attention, etc. Are we being selfish. Is it time for us to consider putting Trooper to sleep? Your advise is greatly appreciated.

  19. frank says:

    Hi all i just put my 12 yr old American bulldog to sleep yesterday. I am looking for someway to vent how i feel. Her issues began in 2011 when she had pyometra, we paid $900 to operate her and the guy in the vets office said to remove her then small tumors was another $900. I did not know the severity of mammary tumors nor did i know the importance of neutering a female dog. As the tumors , especially one grew to the size of a pear it began to leak from a teet, so i called a guy i found who does operations under the table , like a guy from the street and he said he would charge $350.00, evantually we were going to do the operation yesterday but my mother said she was tool old and it was best we put her down. so i cancelled the appointment and drove with my wife to the animal shelter, by now lulu was suffering having issues standing up, eating all her food, breathing rapidly, her tumor now tore her skin and discharged fluid. she was lethargic and sad. i kissed her and they took her away to another hall, i broke down in tears, i feel so guilty i wanna tell you guys that it is a totally different feeling when your pet is gone, its is the most horrible feeling and i feel guilty, i feel like i should have paid the $900 in 2011 and i feel i should of fought for her. We will always love you Lulu, thank you, you were the most sweet, protecitve, and humble dog anyone could ever have, thnak you guys for reading this, good bye………..

  20. Heidi Marquis says:

    Struggling with the decision as to when is the right time to put my best friend of 11 years Jaxson down. He started coughing and gagging last Friday, took him to the vet Saturday morning and she said his lungs and heart sounded good for an old dog, but he has just gotten worse since then. No for sure dx as we opted to not have extensive testing done since my old guy wouldn’t tolerate any treatment anyway, but as an 11 year old Boxer it’s fairly obviously he is having heart failure.

    Nights are the worst, he coughs and gags all night long, but then he can be fine during the day. He does mostly just lay on the couch and sleeps- but that’s pretty much been his life for most of his senior years :) He’s still drinking, eating lightly and not having an accidents. He doesn’t seem in pain or else I would not want to prolong his suffering selfishly. I also don’t want to make the decision to say good bye too soon.

    This is so hard! I also have 3 children to think about too, I don’t want to have them see their childhood friend suffer.

  21. Laurie says:

    Dear Elizabeth,

    What a big, sad day for you and Cody. My heart is with you.

    Sometimes people decide to prolong their pet’s life because it makes them (the people, not the pet) feel better. I know how painful it is to lose an animal we love more than almost anything on earth…but sometimes we let our fear of losing them override our ability to make the best decision for them. I don’t if this makes sense — it doesn’t really matter, it’s just me rambling on!

    It’s clear from your comments that your decision about Cody isn’t just about the messing. You are obviously a caring, kind, loving, compassionate, sensitive person, and this decision has been very difficult and painful for you. It’s not as simple as “my dog pooped inside, so I’m putting him down.” That’s not at all what is coming through in your comments.

    It sounds to me like you’re making the right decision. You are doing what’s best for your dog. This is your final act of love, care, and compassion for Cody — you are taking good care of him right until the very end. You love him so much, and you’re making sure he goes peacefully and painlessly.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, tonight and for the next few weeks. Please come back anytime, let me know how you are.

    With sincere sympathy,
    Laurie

  22. Elizabeth N says:

    Laurie,

    I go to the vet tonite…. and have asked already to be counseled as to their opinion, though I am quite sure she’ll say it is up to me…..

    I have asked months ago as to how do I know when the time is right… and she said to consider his favorite things, and that once more than 50% of them either don’t entice or excite him anymore, then that may be a clue.

    I’m not sure what you mean by not basing my decision on what makes me feel better….. what would make me feel best is believing or having hope that he might get better…….

    I hope I didn’t lead you or others to believe my decision is based on the several days-to-a-week daily messing….. a sister of mine had commented to me as to whether I will put her down when she starts messing when she’s older………however, my reasons are cumulative for thinking Cody’s time has come.

    My reasons for thinking his time has come include: loss of appetite, even less interest in eating some of his ‘favorites’….. , steadily losing weight….. only about .4 – .5 lbs a month, but for a dog with no weight issue (he’s always been an active Husky!) I have concerns of his becoming underweight and weak, and finally, his loss of rear-end control and strength, from his muscles needed to walk, to his losing bowel sensation. The other nite I told myself to sleep on it and at 330am I awoke to having heard him, and here I found another mess…. but this mess was unlike others….. I am not sure what end it came out of…. but it was quite strong…. the consistency was more gelatinous than solid…… I plan on asking the vet what may have caused this…. perhaps there are more things going on?

    I ‘ve been preparing myself the last day or two for tonite…. his appointment is at 620pm and before that I hope to spend time with him taking him for one last walk, and feeding him his leftover Roast Beef au jus…..

    I feel I am probably doing the right thing and most everybody around me agrees that the time has come. I just feel so awful and terrible about it because the two biggest reasons for keeping him going are that he is still able to get around……. he’s not as bad as some dogs I’ve seen (but I don’t want him to get to that point either…. that’s not a life worth living) and that to look at my Cody, he still ‘looks’ good…. his eyes look pretty good, his hair (though, being a Husky, going from primarily black-and-white to lighter black-and-white the aging is certainly less noticeable)looks pretty good….. he just overall is still very handsome….!

    Nonetheless, I think my decision has been made, barring my vet offering up some hopeful treatement yet tried, but I think today will be my Cody’s last day on this earth.

    Wish him well…. thank you.

  23. Laurie says:

    Dear Elizabeth,

    What did your vet say about putting Cody to sleep? I can’t tell you if it’s the right thing to keep him alive for another month, that’s a decision that has to come from you.

    But, I do believe that if his quality of life is suffering, then the peaceful rest of eternal sleep is better than a painful existence.

    I don’t think you should make this decision on the basis of what makes you feel better. I think it should be all about your dog. And, if your poor Cody is dragging his paws and ready to say good-bye, then it’s time for you to listen to him.

    It it were me, I would follow his lead, and make a decision that will hurt me deeply but be better in the long – and short – run.

    What happened at the veterinarian?

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  24. Elizabeth N says:

    I have a 13-year old Husky, Cody, whose hind legs for about the past year have weakened greatly (possibly hip dysplasia?) to the point where monthly I take him for Adequan shots. Before that we use Purina’s prescription Joint Mobility food…. to no avail.

    My baby still likes to go for walks…. in fact, that’s probably the only thing that gets him intereseted in anything.

    Lately, the last month or so, he’s been messing an awful lot (#2) in the house, and now, after 5 or so straight days of this, I don’t know if I can handle much more of this. I hope this last statement doesnt make me sound selfish and cruel…. I love him so much and am very upset at this time as tomorrow night is his next appointment, of which I called the vet’s office and asked if instead of the usual Adequan shot if we could do euthanasia instead……

    Trying to consider his quality of life and his perspective, this is where he’s at: he doesn’t care to eat much at all anymore, unless there is ‘really good’ food in there, like burgers, chicken, etc. ….. his regular dog food he has practically no interest in except for when i guess he gets really really hungry. He sleeps most of his time……. rarely plays with me anymore, and though weakened, seems to really only get enjoyment anymore out of a brief, though much slower walk.

    I feel guilty about considering euthanasia for that reason…. he still has some enjoyment in life….

    I would love to keep him around longer and would do so if I knew he wouldn’t stress out about becoming an ‘outside’ dog. And, as far as the vet appointment goes, I REALLY fear I, as well as he, will have a tough time, because he does not (like most dogs) like his visits with the vet, especially moreso as of late. I fear he’s going to go out in a stressed state and I do not want that. …. why don’t vets do house calls for such instances? Cody’s alert enough physically and mentally I REALLY will feel BAD for causing this.

    Am I doing the right thing in wishing to euthanize him? OR, to make myself feel better (again, selfish I know) should I keep him around a little longer, if only for a month, and try to give him a fantastic month to go out on?

    Please helpp…….

  25. Surain Calven says:

    Dear laurie,

    thank you and i appreciate it. yes me n my dad are more at peace that he went away naturally rather than having us to put him to sleep. im really sad because i miss him very much but yes i do know he is in a better place now and i do hope to meet him someday when my time is up. i guess across the rainbow bridge i shall meet him. thanks again n god bless

    regards,
    Surain

  26. Laurie says:

    Dear Surain,

    I’m so sorry that your shih tzu passed away – but so glad it was painless and in his sleep! That’s so much smoother than having to take him to the vet and making the decision to put him to sleep.

    Thank you for being here, for sharing how it went for you and your dog. I know it’s painful and heartbreaking not to have him around — it’s so sad. But, he’s in a better place because he’s not suffering!

    I wish you all the best as you grieve his death.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  27. Surain Calven says:

    its okay. he just passed away this morning in his sleep. i guess he had a heart attack coz he didnt show any signs of pain. im glad he went away peacefully yet i miss him so much.

  28. Surain Calven says:

    hi. i have a shih tzu who is 7yrs old. He has been suffering from lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) for about 2-3months now. His condition has worsen over d week or so. He hasnt eaten anytin in 4days but he drinks plenty of water. I’ve been thinking of putting him to sleep but i cant bring myself to it as he is very much alert. But he is quite weak as he sleeps most of the day. He has bowel problem as his motion is diarrhoe like. I do not know what to do.

  29. Laurie says:

    Dear Cheryl,

    I’ll keep you and your bisenji in my thoughts and prayers. It IS such a difficult decision, isn’t it? But if she’s in pain…the most important thing is to protect her from a painful existence.

    What is the veterinarian’s advice?

    Laurie

  30. Laurie says:

    Dear Kim,

    I’m glad Emmie is still with you — and not in pain! I’m so glad she’s with you still.

    I had to take my dog Georgie to the vet a couple days ago, because she was coughing and sneezing for 3 days. It’s nothing more than allergies, thankfully — but it reminded me to cherish every day with our beloved dogs!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  31. Kim S says:

    Laurie,

    Emmie is still with me. I took her to the vet and after a very thorough exam the vet determined that she was having referred pain. She gets her steroids every other day…and thank the Lord she hasn’t had any more painful episodes. She can walk on concrete, grass, and carpet/rugs….but can’t get good traction on tile or wood floors.

    Thank you for caring enough to ask for me to let you know the outcome. As long as I can keep her pain free SHE WILL BE HERE WITH ME :)

    Thanks, Kim

  32. Cheryl says:

    I am struggling with the decision of putting my bisenji down. She has gone blind now and is suffering from fanconie disease. The decision has been hanging out there in front of me for some time. She now is starting to show signs of renal failure. Dribbling when sleeping, a puddle now and the house. Today a new thing….she has not urinated since 8pm last night and it has now been almost 14 hours. Such a hard decisions.

  33. Laurie says:

    Kim, I appreciate the honesty and authenticity in your message! You shared your true feelings, and I’m glad. I can take it :-) Your message was a good reminder to me that when we’re coping with such huge decisions, we need immediate support.

    Putting your dog to sleep is one of the most painful decisions you’ll ever make, and you have every right to be emotional and even snippy. I really am glad you spoke your mind.

    I wish you all the best at the vet – maybe it is something that can be adjusted? When you mentioned the shoulder/neck area, I thought of a chiropractic adjustment…but of course the problem is that you don’t want to experiment on your dog unless you’re reasonably sure the treatment will be effective!

    I hope you let me know how things are going, and what you decided to do about Emmie.

    All good things,
    Laurie

  34. Kim S says:

    Thank you Laurie….I am sorry I got snippy. The stress is getting to me and I wanted to delete that message as soon as I posted it. We are headed to the vet in just a little bit. I have discovered that it doesn’t appear to be her lower back that is hurting her now. It appears to be her shoulder/neck area. I am guessing that is bothering her because of the extra stress on that area from the rear weakness. Of course, I am just a nurse, so I am leaving it up to the vet to check her over and dx the problem.

  35. Laurie says:

    Dear Kim S,

    I’m sorry I wasn’t able to respond as quickly as you would’ve liked, and hope you were able to find a site that can give you what you need.

    One thing I’d consider is what the veterinarian who examined Emmie said. I know the other vet said she could recover fully, but he didn’t actually examine her in person. Theoretically, dogs can recover from many illnesses…but each individual dog’s illness is different, and requires a personal assessment.

    I think it’s important to tease out the difference between keeping Emmie alive because you’re not ready to say good-bye, and keeping her alive because there’s a strong possibility that she’ll recover fully.

    I totally get it, though. My dog Georgie is 3 years old, and it breaks my heart to think that she could be facing death in a year! But if she was in pain, I’d let her go. I don’t believe there is pain or suffering in death – I believe our animals go to Heaven and live a sweet afterlife.

    I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful. I wish I could give you the answers you’re looking for — as quickly as you want them! :-) All I can do is encourage you to trust your gut instincts, listen objectively to the vet’s advice, and above all trust your dog to tell you if she’s ready to leave our earth.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  36. Kim S says:

    wow….no replies….no sympathy…I guess I am on the wrong site for understanding :(

  37. Kim S says:

    I have a 4 yr old chihuahua that I am wondering if it is time to put her out of her pain. About a month ago I came home from work and could tell something wasn’t right with her. I took her to the vet and found out she had hurt her back. Within an hour she had no use of her two back legs. She has been on prednisone and ultram for a month. She can now stand and walk on carpet or grass….and I am down to giving her steroids every other day, but she still gets the pain medicine twice a day. I can see when the pain is taking over. She stiffens up, pants, and shakes. I feel so guilty for keeping her here in pain…but she is only 4 yrs old and has made such good progress….but the pain is what is killing my heart.

    I have heard from a co-worker whose husband is a retired vet that there is hope for a full recovery since she has come this far….and Lord knows I love this little girl. She is not ur typical chihuahua….even the vet says she has never seen a chi as loving and happy as my Emmie.

    Am I cruel to keep trying? Am I wrong to think of having her put to sleep. I don’t want her to go …. I am not ready; I love her so much, but there is no guarantee that the pain will go away.

    Please pray for my Emmie and for me….right now the pain meds have kicked in and I am going to let her out of her crate (lol….it’s more like a condo) for her to walk around and play with her ball. No running! Just a 2 foot roll for her to stop it and look up at me with those beautiful brown eyes asking me to roll her ball again.

  38. Laurie says:

    Dear Grace,

    I am so sorry that your veterinarian wants to do anything and everything to prolong your dog’s life! I knew a vet like that – he was our only option in a small town – and our community was very upset with him. All he cared about was surgeries, medications, treatments — he refused to let our pets die naturally, when they were ready. We – everyone in the community – had to travel to a different town to get proper veterinary care if we believed our animals were ready to go.

    I encourage you to get a second opinion from another veterinarian.

    More importantly, I urge you to trust your gut instincts!! I recently quoted a veterinarian who said that she thinks it’s terrible that pet owners make vets decide when it’s time to put their dogs or cats to sleep. She said we as pet owners know our pets far better than vets do, and we have a better sense of when it’s time for them to go.

    That said, however, we pet owners don’t want to make the decision to end our pet’s life! It’s horrible to have to decide that it’s time for them to die.

    But, that decision is often the kindest, most loving last thing we do for our pets. Putting an older dog through surgeries, meds, treatments — I think it’s a travesty. I believe there comes a time when it’s far better to say good-bye with peace and love, instead of prolonging life at all costs. But I believe in Heaven for pets, and that makes it easier for me to let them go.

    My heart goes out to you, and I wish you didn’t have to make this decision. I wish your vet was more supportive.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, and hope you’re able to make a decision that makes you feel better about your dog’s life. Please feel free to come back anytime, and update us.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  39. Grace says:

    My at least 15 year old golden (adopted so not sure beyond the 15 years i’ve had him) has been using the restroom indoors several times a day for the last two years–as soon as he was diagnosed with kidney failure. He also has arthritis in his hips and his back legs shake terribly and occasionally he cannot stand up. He sleeps most of the day and is no longer the same dog. My vet continues to tell me it is not time to let him go because he still wants treats and hasn’t lost weight despite the fact that he doesn’t eat for days at a time. Now he has a tumor near his anus and the vet wants to remove it and biopsy which is very expensive. He takes 2 pain pills 3 times a day along with an anti inflammatory and glycoflex and an antinausea pill. The vet tells me he isnt in pain but I don’t believe it. My heart tells me it is time to let him go but the vet makes me feel terrible for even suggesting it. Help!

  40. Laurie says:

    Sparing our dogs pain is the most important reason to put them to sleep. I can’t stand the thought of an animal in pain, and would choose euthanasia in a heartbeat if my Georgie was suffering in any way.

    LisaFaye, I think you’re right — often when we write the facts and feelings about deciding to put our dogs down, we see the answer clearly.

    I hope you’re doing well, and feel like you’ve made the right decision for your dog. But as Jeanette said, it’ll still be heartbreaking when we go home without our dogs :-(

    Doing the right thing isn’t easy.

  41. LisaFaye says:

    Oh how do you know? My Ocho is a mix breed border collie who is 15. We found him abandoned at the river, a tick infested little pup that our vet told us was four or five weeks old. For the past 5,6,7 months, his quality of life is poor to say the best. He hasn’t been able to play for at least a year. Sleeps probably 90% of the time. Recently he can’t get up without help, and often I find him laying in his own poo. His right leg seems to drag behind him, kinda like a stroke. Yesterday he fell outside and was in the heat for I don’t know how long until I found him. I know it’s time but all I can do is cry and my husband won’t even talk about putting him down. I think just by writing this I have my own answer.

  42. Jeanette says:

    @Yeezus
    That is what I keep thinking after 5 months that I put my dog to sleep I had no right. And I still feel sorry for what I did. And I still cry when I think about it. But then I think she had cancer sooner or later she was going to die.She was in a lot of pain at night she used to cry I never heard a dog cry like that.The vet told me from 0 to 10 she is in pain 8. I gave her pain killers and still she cried. If I knew she had any chance of recovering I would have done anything to help her.Maybe your dog doesn’t cry like mine did because for sure you would do anything to take away the pain. And I’m sure that if a person is in a lot of pain and they know that theres no recovery for them thats what they would want to do that someone takes the pain away.

  43. Yeezus says:

    This is the one thing i’m scared of. My GF and I have a pomeranian who’s 7… 8 years left I guess. i don’t know if I can go through with it. If i’m suffering, i don’t want my death in someone else’s hands. i want it on my terms. I know what you’re all thinking, “Dude, it’s a f**king dog! it’s not human, you have to make the decision!” But do i really? Dogs are smart, social creatures. True companions. Do I really have the right? Sure i “own” him, but My dog (Dim Sum, by the way) is his own person. Dude’s like a cat. Independent as all hell. “Won’t play ball with me? F**K you, I’ll bother you til’ you do, or I’ll play with my BLOODCLOT self.” So much personality. So many human traits. So many weird quirks. Truly a friend. How can i reconcile that with Dim Sum’s pending euthanasia looming? I literally think if I could talk to him he’d be like “Are you outside of your cotton pickin’ mind! I WANNA LIVE!” Anyway, compassionate article. I just don’t think we have the right, suffering or not. Convince me.

  44. Peyman says:

    Dear laurie it still somfort me see someone caring.
    I put my beloved dog to sleep 17april, there is some thoughs and exprienses i would like to share with others.
    I was attached to him so much, we shared our bed for 14 years, stared my days with him welcoming me and ended sleeping with me. My words cannot describe love and funs i had with him …
    It was hardest and most painful days of my life since hes gone, 10 days ago i drove out of town every single day where i buried him … I missed him so much when …
    I wish no one face such problem but unfurtunetly its impposible so these are things shouldnt have done:
    As laurie said, dont face it alone, which i did and ithat mich pain alot to be carried alone, i called a vet to come home at evening, i lay down all day talikng to him and knowing he will be gone firever, when vet cane asked me to leave to not see rest often time which i denied, i kissed him for last time and watched him dying in my hands … Wanted to be with him to end as he was with from begging … I find a place out of town start digging ground (in my country there nowhere specsilay for this) and saying goodbye for hour and putting his cold body to the ground … Which there are moment i still see like movie …
    2nd , no matter how old and sick is he like mine, he stoped eating for a week (tried 3 vets to see if they fix the problem) no movements like not knowing me anymore … The guilt will stay with me forever that im sure … I belived i did best for him … But u will never know…
    — something happend i cant understand and keep thinking about that, just about 10 sec to vet arrive when he was still in the street (im in 4th floor) while he was laying down he moved his head and start smelling or looking for someting… After 10 sec vet called my phone tgat he is here … I kissed him and he didnt move even when vet got in … When im thinking about that i feels like he know what was about to happen…
    Sry i took so long, i hope my exprience can help someone at least. Last thing, i remember when sometimes i was tried after work getting home or lazy, he begging me to take him out , i had to deny sometimes . That i regret so much
    Dear thank you, u have been very helpfull and nice i will keep reading and hoping if i can help someone in future.

    Peyman

  45. Laurie says:

    Dear Jeanette,

    Thank you for sharing your video of Lady and Lucky. What a beautiful tribute, memory, and way to say good-bye. It made me cry – and I never knew Lady or Lucky! And, it makes me appreciate my dog Georgie more than ever.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  46. Jeanette says:

    Four months passed since I put Lady to sleep and I still think of her and of Lucky. Sometimes I say to myself I had no right to take her life away. I know that I did the right thing for her because she was in a lot of pain but still the thought that I put her to sleep makes me feel bad.
    I made a video of my two dogs if anyone would like to see it here is the link

    http://youtu.be/rDHsk81VEiM

  47. Laurie says:

    Hello Peyman, it’s been a week since you commented. You don’t have to say anything if you don’t want — I just wanted you to know that I’m thinking about and praying for you and your dog.

    Every night, I say prayers for everyone who sees this article, and especially for those who comment because I know a little about them! It matters. You matter.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  48. Peyman says:

    And yes i wouldnt want to continue if i was in his position,Its unfortunate to say in a society i am that many think ( vets also ) i have to wait and see him suffering and they think its cruel and soon probebly since he eat and show no pain ! Only thing is keeping me from doing that is he still sometimes like to eat but very picky now and the guts probebly to let him go.
    I read sometimes they die in home while we are asleep and it takes maybe hours of suffering. Thats only thing that i dont want to happen to mikee that he is and always been my best friend. I know i already made my mind and wont take me long to get ready for that, i just hoping to find someone to do euthanasia in my home , i dont i can control my self and i want to spend last hours alone …
    Thank you again laurie, you probebly have know idea how much did u help already. (sry posted last comment was miss click)
    Peyman

  49. Peyman says:

    Dear laurie,
    It is so helpful hearing from someone who can understand. difficult decision as you asked, i must say im 30, and trying to make this decision for a month and thinking about that im crying like a baby everyday.

  50. Laurie says:

    Dear Peyman,

    It’s such a difficult decision, isn’t it? And that we have to make it seems so cruel and unfair.

    If you could put yourself in Mikee’s shoes (or paws!), what would you want your human to know? How does it feel to be Mikee right now?

    A few days ago, I wrote another article on putting your pet to sleep – it was from the veterinarian’s perspective. The most important thing in that article is that our beloved pets tell us when it’s time to say good-bye, and we often don’t hear them because of our own pain. We keep them alive for our own sakes, not for their sakes.

    I can’t tell you if it’s time to say good-bye to Mikee, but it sounds like his life is alot different than it was when he was healthy! He is old and sick, and he’s not getting better.

    How will you cope with the pain of losing him? Is that what’s stopping you from making the decision to put him to sleep?

  51. Peyman says:

    Hello everyone,
    Iv read a lot on many sites about right time to putting an old dog to sleep and i have been in a deep pain for a long time seeing my dog like this, i think its time to put him to sleep but i was hoping to get some help . Here is my 14 years old Mixed terriers conditions: his name is mikee, he lost his sight 2 years ago completly but he could find me or his way to his food and water, but he start sleeping all day and moving only he need water, food or pee.
    But its about a month his find problem hearing and smelling and cant find his way easy anymore( he walks slowly ). Had very bad mouth smell and take him to vet but and dr said need a teeth to removed, but after many tests they desided to not and some test results was kidney problem and kidney stone in one dr said. But didnt see him suffering from urinating. Only thing he do is eating and drinking. I just know they hide they pain and i dont want him to suffer.
    Im desperatly looking for help, im sure there are many of u expriense this and the pain i have and its been with me a year.
    Ty all for reading this and wait for ur help.
    Ty – peyman

  52. Vince says:

    Carol Elizabeth,

    I completely sympathize with your difficult decision.

    We rescued our now-17-year-old setter Scooby from a family we know who could no longer take care of him; they had placed him with a pet adoption agency on a Friday evening, and we found out on the following Sunday and brought him home. That was five years ago. He was in bad shape, so we thought we were providing geriatric care for his final month! But his health drastically improved.

    We got a nearly newborn cavalier spaniel Charlie a few months after we got Scooby. They have been best buddies ever since: we believe Scooby thinks we got him a puppy, and Charlie has his own old dog. This may have further contributed to Scooby’s health improvement. He is very clearly “my dog” and still follows me wherever I go in the house, while Charlie has attached himself to my wife.

    We often joke within the family about how Scooby is 17, doesn’t have any plans for college, no driver’s license, no job, and no plans to leave home. All he does is eat and sleep and sit in front of the TV all day, and only grunts and gives you “the look” when you speak to him.

    For several months Scooby has been exhibiting the same problems you describe. He can still get around on flat non-smooth surfaces, but takes a long, long time to get up when his legs go out from under him on the tile floor; this is a very regular event. He is losing control of his bodily functions (so we’re cleaning up after him several times per day), and has mouth cancer, but still loves to eat. Scooby doesn’t see well now, and frequently runs into walls or furniture when turning around. His hearing is also poor (so, if Charlie jumps up, Scooby follows so he doesn’t miss anything).

    Scooby used to climb the stairs each night to sleep in our 10 year-old child’s bedroom near Charlie (pack mentality, no doubt). Now he only comes up sometimes, and struggles due to his hip dysplasia. His breathing is always labored. He also has trouble going down the three back steps into the yard (often falling when he gets to the bottom), and sometimes looks back at me before descending, with that “do I really have to do this” look. More than once I’ve had to assist him up the steps and back into the house because he only gets up two steps, then slides back down again. After multiple attempts, he gives up for a while. He always growls if he is lifted, obviously in pain.

    Although Scooby still thoroughly enjoys eating, he struggles to get around, and is now starting to show signs of uncharacteristic confusion. He was banished to his garage bed last night (he generally sleeps in the house), and didn’t even seem to care about it.

    Given all of these issues, I don’t expect him to last more than another two months without experiencing even more serious loss of quality of life. Furthermore, our family will be traveling over the summer, and it would be unfair to pass this responsibility and burden to our college-aged dogsitter.

    After a great deal of soul searching, I’ve scheduled a final vet’s appointment for him this coming Saturday, the 20th of April, while my wife and child are out of town for the day. This will be easier, and best, for everyone. I’ll miss him for sure.

    I’ve hoped every day that I’d find he had expired overnight, but that is selfish. As many articles suggest, we’ve already intervened by making decisions to extend the lives of our pets, and it is our responsibility to humanely make this decision also. Is this too soon? Is it too late? How will I know? The best decision we can make is the one we won’t regret tomorrow, or next week, or next month.

    The deciding final factor for me was a statement in this article: “There will come a day when it is absolutely clear to you that your dog or cat is not enjoying life. That day is one day too late. If you can save your pet even one day of discomfort, you must.”

    Our pets deserves to go to rest peacefully, without being in excessive pain, fear, and confusion, with at least some dignity and mental faculties, as long as we’re given the responsibility to decide.

  53. julie says:

    To Rick Weggman

    Rick thank you so much for your kind words and for thinking of me and holding me in your prayers – meant so much to read your words – thank you so much and God bless you too.

    I still feel unsure of my decision, always will, but appreciate that it would only have been a matter of time and the truth is there will never be a time we are happy to say goodbye to these joyous souls that share our lives. I miss Taz inconsoleably and I PRAY that I will see him again some day, can only hope so on that one.

    I give thanks for the 15 years of pure joy he brought me, I have put some of my (many) favourite photos on canvas and put them up around the house – mainly to remind me to think of the wonderful fit and active days we had.

    For any of you going through this heart wrenching decision at the moment, know that you are not alone and we all feel for you. I, personally, can only suggest you talk to your vet, talk to your family and loved ones who know the full picture, and truely consider how happy content your beloved pet is – follow your heart and take a real balanced view.

    Julie xxx

  54. Laurie says:

    Dear Carol Elizabeth,

    It’s such a difficult decision, isn’t it? Your dog seems healthy in some ways, and is drifting away in other ways. I read that it’s hard to tell if dogs are in pain because they often don’t show it. They withdraw.

    Have you talked to your veterinarian? I think that’s an important first step in making this decision. A vet can help you figure out if your dog is suffering in any way. If she is, then I believe it’s time to say good-bye. Euthanasia is a final act of love and compassion – it’s not an act of cruelty! It can be the best last thing you do for your dog.

    I think it’s important to tease out the difference between you not wanting to let go of the sweetest dog you’ve ever known, and you wanting to do the right thing for your dog. Sometimes we don’t do the right thing because we want to protect ourselves, not our dogs.

    I wish you all the best as you make this difficult decision, and hope you return to tell me how you’re doing and what you decided.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  55. Carol Elizabeth says:

    I am having a horrible decision about putting my dog down. My husband seems to think its about time but I am just not sure. She is a 16 year old yellow lab. She is the sweetest dog I have ever known. She is peeing (has been for about 6 months) and lately has started pooping all over the house. She doesn’t really pee inside in front of us so I can’t tell if she is ashamed by it but when she poops inside she seems to feel bad about it. She is arthritic and is on pain medicine. It helps her a lot but she sometimes has trouble getting up and walking down the stairs. She can do it, it just sometimes takes her awhile. She is also getting senile. She goes through spells at night where she stands at the bottom of the stairs and stares at us and barks (she is doing it right now) then walks around and lays down and immediately gets up again. I don’t know if this means she is in pain. Sometimes she gets a spacey look in her eyes and I know she isn’t in her right mind. She is very hard of hearing and her vision isn’t that great anymore. The good part is that she has a very good appetite, gets really excited for breakfast and dinner, and besides being a little stiff she can walk around and sometimes even trot. She still loves attention and loves being pet. I am terrified of making the wrong decision. I just feel like I have always thought that the time for a dog to go is when they can’t stand up by themselves and lose their independence. I can’t imagine going in with her all happy and trotting around and putting her to sleep. Please give me some insight!

  56. Rick Wegmann says:

    Julie:

    First know that you are in my prayers! Second know that
    God is with you. He will provide comfort in the days ahead if you allow Him to do so.
    I also truly believe, based on your previous comments, that it
    was exactly the right time. You were in no way too soon! Although you don’t feel that right now, with the passing of time you will.
    The purpose of the sedative was to relax
    your precious Taz. You did not let him down, and Taz knows that.
    You can’t erase the many years of your loving relationship with Taz that
    quickly.
    Know that there are many praying for you in this very difficult time. And although incredibly difficult to understand now, with the passing of time, you will come to realize that your decision was the absolute, right decision for your precious Taz.

    God Bless You Julie.

  57. julie says:

    Thanks for your reply Laurie. The vet came on wednesday evening and put Taz to sleep. The sedative hardly touched him, he didn’t want to go and fought against the canula for the lethal dose. He was frightened and panicky, he didn’t want to go. I went with it because i had cried for a week before in contemplation of the pending day. I had taken time off work the preceeding days to spend with him. The crem was booked and had the Easter weekend to get to stop crying before going back to work on Tuesday. I came home to an empty house with a metal jar yesterday and the empty space where my dog was been. I am destroyed. Feel like I murdered and betrayed the most precious trusting thing in my life, he didn’t want go, I let him down. Now I know the poignance of Rick’s comments below, I now have to life with the guilt of too soon,,,,,,,,

  58. Laurie says:

    Dear Dave,

    I’m sorry about Rowdy; it sounds like his passing will leave a very big hole in your life, as well as the lives of his furry friends.

    I think you are a very brave and wise man for thinking ahead the way you are, and considering how Rowdy’s death will affect your other two dogs. I would talk to the veterinarian or a dog behavior specialist about how to help Andy. I am not a vet, and I can’t give advice like that. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful.

    That said, however, here’s a general article I wrote about helping animals mourn after someone they love dies:
    http://theadventurouswriter.com/blog/animals-mourning-separation-death-helping-your-pet-cope/

    I hope this helps a little, and wish you all the best as you make this difficult decision.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  59. Laurie says:

    Dear Julie,

    As heartbreaking as it is, I think you should take your veterinarian’s advice. I don’t think it’s a betrayal to put your dog to sleep; I believe that it is a final act of love and compassion. If your dog is in pain, then he is suffering needlessly. I understand that he seems content. But what kind of life is he living?

    Death is the great unknown, which makes it scary. But what if it is better than being stuck in a body that has broken down and possibly painful?

    I am sorry you have to experience this. It’s terrible, and you may feel like you’ll never get over the loss. You’ll grieve for a long time, and it won’t be easy.

    That said, however, you need to say good-bye when the time is right for you as well as for your dog. There is no easy answer for when it’s right…you have to trust your heart and your head, and be strong and courageous.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  60. Laurie says:

    Dear Wanda,

    I’m sorry I couldn’t get to your comment before now. Did you go through with the appointment?

  61. Dave Hicks says:

    I am currently in a situation of denial somewhat. Rowdy is my beloved Dalmatian and has been for nearly 14 years. He has survived through quite a lot from the get go. I believe he is the last out if a liter of 15 pups from June 1999.
    My issue comes when I assist him getting up and realize he has not been able to get up on his own for a couple weeks now. He has not needed much assist in walking but now I help him 90% of the time with the aid if a gait belt. He still eats standing without assistance, poops, and barks actively when the other dogs bark. Wags his tail when having assistance walking and seems to wait to go to the bathroom until I assist him outside. My other issue with this is he has a friend who was a rescue. Andy has become dependent on him and has separation anxiety when they are not together. Needless to say they have only been separated once in the last 6 years and have even survived a Hurrucane evac together. I have a third dog who has not bonded as well with Andy and I’m particularly concerned with his well being afterwards. They still clean and lick each other. They also share the same cot together. What can I expect with Andy after Rowdy passes? I have given myself till Friday to make the decision for Rowdy and would appreciate any advice in assisting with the other dogs emotional state durin this time. What to expect? How to handle a grieving pet afterwards? Thank you.

  62. Veronica Brown says:

    I just made the decision of scheduling my beloved Babee to sleep. She has severe and degenerative joint pain, loss hearing, and becoming blind in both eyes. She’s in pain all the time, I know it, and I don’t want to continue her life on medication that really doesn’t work. I read an article about knowing when the time comes, and it stated that when your dog can’t do the things they use to do, such as that joy in their stride, bounce in their step, that glee and happiness in that you see in the sparkle of their eyes and the wagging of their tails. Well if this doesn’t exist anymore, then it is time.

    On April 6th I will lay on the floor next to my beloved Babee, embracing and kissing her as she goes to sleep in my arms, Tearfully I will take her body and bury her next to her father. 15 Wonderful, loving, loyal, humorous and glorious years you’ve given me.THANK YOU my Best friend . No more pain my dear one. I Will See you again.

  63. julie says:

    i would appreciate your help. i feel so torn and am terrified of betraying my dog when he fights so hard to stay with me. he is 15, he has been on tramadol for nearly a year for arthritus; the last 4 months he has been incontenent, i wash him everyday and change his bedding twice a day. this last month he has totally lost the strength / working of his back legs. the vet has told me i should put him to sleep and we have booked the day for 4 days time. my delemour is that he still seems content, loves his cuddles and brushes, eats like a horse, poohs properly etc, i just don’t know what to do…..

  64. Wanda says:

    Hi: I just found out on a Thursday that my 12-year old dog has an aggressive form of cancer. It all started about a year ago with a sore on his front paw that he kept licking. The vet told me that his condition is only going to get worse and I should put him to sleep. If it wasn’t for the tumor on his paw you couldn’t tell that something is wrong. We keep the tumor covered and he has meds. He eats, plays, wags his tail, and waits for someone to rub his belly. How can I put him to sleep when he’s still so active? Today is Friday and I’ve scheduled his appointment for Monday, but I’m seriously thinking about canceling the appointment until I notice a change in his behavior. This is so hard.

  65. Laurie says:

    Thanks for your thoughts, Rick. I appreciate them – and I know other readers do, too!

    I agree that finding the balance between one day too soon and one day too late is so difficult. Maybe impossible, because if you wait one day too late, then your dog suffers. I love my dog so much, I would rather spare her one moment of suffering.

    It helps me to think that death is not bad. I think of death as another way of being, a step into a spiritual world that I know nothing about. But, I do not believe death is something to be feared or avoided. That helps me when I feel overwhelmed by grief at the loss of my pets.

    When you decide to put your dog to sleep, I think you have to trust that you made the right decision. Second-guessing yourself only brings grief. You have to accept that it is time for your dog to leave this world, and wait for you in the next one.

    There is no clear answer, is there? I think we hold on to the beliefs that help us make sense of the world and our lives.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  66. Rick Wegmann says:

    One final, final thought on this.

    Dr. Haynes states the following: “There will come a day when it is absolutely clear to you that your dog or cat is not enjoying life. That day is one day too late. If you can save your pet even one day of discomfort, you must.”

    I would only say that if you decide on euthanasia “one day too soon”, my sense is the grief will be with you forever. Do you see the difference? If you’re one day too late, then sadly your pet would have suffered one day too long, but his/her suffering would have been temporary in nature, sad but temporary. If you’re one day to soon, then the suffering for you will be permanent, you’ll always be grieving over the question of “did I decide too soon?” . . .

  67. Rick Wegmann says:

    Thank you for this blog. I read the posts last night and now would like to add my thoughts in the hope of helping someone else.

    My wife and I made the decision to put our 13 year old Schauzer to sleep this morning. Maggie had multiple health problems, sinus arrythmia, protein spillage from her gall bladder, and after dental work three weeks ago, she went downhill fairly fast. The last few days confirmed in our minds that it was time to do the right thing for Maggie and help her to go to sleep. This morning, at the time, when looking in her eyes for the last time, we knew she understood and trusted us that we were doing the right thing for her. Although the grief today has been incredibly hard, we both knew that our decision was for Maggie not for us.

    A final thought. . . after this experience, and I write this in the hope that perhaps it might help someone else, that the emotions were in three parts. First, the thought of losing our precious Maggie. Second, the loss of Maggie. And finally, the aftermath of losing her to euthanasia. The emotion associated with first part was grief and is past us, but let me just say it was heartwrenching. The emotion associated with the second part is grief and is still with us and may be for awhile. But the emotion associated with the third part is JOY and, quite honestly, counterbalances the second and will stay with much longer until our deaths.

    For believers, we have hope that we will be reunited with Maggie in heaven and that brings us incredible joy. For non-believers, just knowing that you did this for your pet and NOT for yourselves can help with the second part.

    Sorry for such a long post, but hopefully it will be of help to some of you. May God Bless you and your families who are going through this.

  68. Laurie says:

    Dear Mommy,

    It’s one of the most difficult decisions to make! You don’t want to deprive your beloved dog or your family of one day of his life, yet you don’t want him to suffer.

    What does your veterinarian advise? The vet in this article encourages pet owners to put their dogs down before they have even one day of suffering. It’s difficult to predict when suffering will come…but if we pay close attention, we may pick up the signs.

    I don’t know how other people decide…but I would probably err on the side of caution. I would probably put my dog down too soon, for fear of waiting too long.

    I’m not saying you should do this! I can’t tell you when the right time to say good-bye is. I guess I just want you to know that my heart goes out to you as you make this decision.

    There isn’t often an exact right time to put your dog to sleep…you just have to trust your heart, mind, and soul that you’ll know when it’s time.

    I’m sorry I don’t have anything more helpful to give you.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  69. Mommy says:

    Hello- We have an almost 14 year old black lab who we’ve had since he could fit in the palm of our hand. My inlaws own his son. My son owns his son. And we own one of his grandsons. Needless to say, he’s been the best dog ever! About 7 years ago he became hypothyroid. Meds have managed that fine. About 2 years ago he had a passing out spell, and vet told us he has Laryngeal paralysis and that it would eventually take his life. He is on meds for it. He has had a few episodes of this passing out. Its terrible. It usually starts as hacking and before he can get all the way to our bedroom, he will pass out in the hall. His eyes bulge. Its very frightening/horrifying to see him like that. I do not want him to die like that. Suffocation basically. He doesnt deserve that. BUT… some days he bounces around when its food time and seems to be smiling.
    He has lost all of his body fat. He is literally skin and bones, but he eats like a horse. If he got lost someone would think we were abusing him and not feeding him. He really looks that bad :(
    How do people time it? I dont want to rob him or my kids of his last days… and I dont want him to die like that. How do I know when its time? Thank you for this article. Heart-wrenching but needed.

  70. Laurie says:

    Dear Vicki,

    Thank you for sharing your experience, and your dilemma. I can’t tell you what you should do – only you can make this decision. It’s such a difficult thing to have to decide! It’s awful, and I’m sorry you have to go through this.

    If you can’t afford to get the dental work done, then I don’t know what choices you have. Will the veterinarian reduce his or her rates? Does the humane society have any tips or suggestions?

    My friend is getting her dog spayed, and she called around and found a huge array of prices from veterinarians. Some charge as little as $150 (the SPCA), while others charge $600! So it might be worthwhile to call other veterinarians in your area, and see if the prices vary.

    I’m really sorry I can’t be more helpful. But I think that financial concerns are an unfortunate reality, and I understand that they can lead to a decision to put a dog to sleep. And, sometimes it’s better to protect the dog’s health by not putting him through those stressful, potentially dangerous, surgeries. As hard as it is, sometimes euthanasia really is the best decision for a dog.

    In sympathy,
    Laurie

  71. Vicki says:

    We have a 4.5 year old doxie mix, we got her at the humane society not quite a year and a half ago. We love her to bits but were told on our first vets visit that she needed $800 worth of dental work done. This was and to this day is something we cannot afford. Just last week she developed a huge abscess on her left jaw area. Upon taking her to the vet they wanted $600 to put her under and put in a drain plus meds. Again we cannot afford such an amount. We opted for a $200 procedure of lancing the area to allow it to drain and getting some antibiotics. I admit it was totally disgusting bringing her home dripping blood and puss but we thought we would be helping her. Its been 4 days since lancing it, the abscess is smaller but still visible, she has to be kept in a kennel to avoid spreading the mess all over the house and family. She is not eating like she used to and seems depressed. Even when we let her out of the kennel she just goes back in on her own, she is hardly going potty either. We were told it could be her teeth causing the infection, so we would be looking at $1200 at minimum to drain the infection then fix her teeth. We can’t do it and if the meds don’t clear up the abscess I don’t know what to do. I was also told by the vets that it will be slightly risky to put her under at all since she is somewhat overweight. So what to do next? If we can’t afford to fix her up right and she obviously has a lot of discomfort and is not her normal self?

  72. Laurie says:

    Dear Amanda,

    I’ll keep you and Cocoa in my thoughts and prayers. Let us know how things go on Thursday…and remember that sometimes putting your beloved dog to sleep is the most loving and compassionate thing you can do. I know how painful and heartbreaking it is for us.

    It helps me to tell myself that after our pets pass, they are happier, lighter, and more free than they were here on earth – especially if they have health or age issues. And, our souls will reunite again one day. We’ll immediately recognize each other and our bond will be stronger than it ever was on earth.

  73. Amanda says:

    Well, I googled ‘putting your dog to sleep’ and this article came up and I just about cried the whole time I read it. On Saturday morning I woke up to blood sprayed walls and blood smeared wood floors. My 10 year old Chocolate Lab, Cocoa, had blood trickling from one of her nostrils and had snorted blood all over the house overnight. I called our vet immediately but for some reason they had no emergency number on their machine (this is not the first time I have had to ring them in an emergency but it turns out they had a conference over the weekend). I called a different vet and they informed us that as long as she was running around and eating and drinking and going potty, that it would be best to wait until Monday and go see our regular vet because they have past X-rays of Cocoa (she’s had a lot of health problems in the last year) Well it is Monday evening, poor Cocoa had a bloody nose all weekend and spent all day at the vet getting tests done. After sedation, exploration, and X-rays the vet has no answers other than she is slightly anemic from blood loss. The vet thinks a mass or tumor is located above the nasal passage and is hemorrhaging. They tried everything they can do to stop the bleeding. Her only recommendation is that we go see a specialist and get a ct scan which would run us between $1500 & $2000, and that is just for a diagnosis, and from her colleage she was told that the prognosis doesnt look promising, so we might have to make a decision. Now I have no idea what to do, we scheduled an Appt for her for Thursday and if her bleeding hasn’t stopped we might have to put her down. I have no idea what to do, this is so hard. I am 28 and I know that is not exactly ‘young’ but I have never had to make this kind of decision. What is especially hard is the fact she is still acting okay, except for the blood coming out of her nose, she’s looking up at me with her big dopey Labrador grin and wagging her tail. I feel like my heart is breaking. :*(

  74. Laurie says:

    Dear Patty, if your dog is biting you, then maybe she isn’t “in her right mind” anymore. She may not know better because her brain isn’t sending her the right signals. I don’t know if that makes sense…have you talked to a veterinarian? I think that’s the best way to decide if you should put your dog to sleep. A vet can help you figure out if your dog is ready to leave this world.

    Dear Sandra, it sounds like you know that it’s time to put your dog to sleep because his quality of life is so low. It’s very sad, especially since he bonded with you and your family so quickly! But I agree with you that it’s horrible to see him suffer so much in his life. It doesn’t sound like he has a good quality of life now, which may mean it’s time to let him go. Sometimes, putting your dog to sleep is the most loving thing you can do.

    Dear Kristina, I’ve read that it’s very difficult to tell if a dog is in pain. They often withdraw to “lick their wounds” (even if their wounds aren’t ones we can see). If your dog is in pain when he goes outside, and if he’s not eating much, then maybe it is time to let him go.

    I don’t think it’s always true that we know when it’s time to put our dogs down. We don’t know what they feel, or what their quality of life really is! But, if you suspect your dog is in pain, then I believe it’s time to say good-bye.

  75. Kristina says:

    I don’t know if its time to let my Patches go or not. He has had large tumors for quite some time. I had them biopsied and they aren’t cancerous. They are getting quite large and it is difficult for him to walk. I give him an anti-flammatory every morning and occasionally a pain pill at night. He has really bad arthritis and he is in pain when he has to go outside. He only has diarrhea now and poops in the house a lot (fortunately, I have hardwood floors and its easy to clean. Its so cold that I can’t make him sleep outside). He eats 1 out of two meals per day. He never cries. I think he is around 15 years old (he was a rescue). I will be devastated when he goes. My problem….I don’t know when to put him to sleep. People say I will know but my Patches never complains. I don’t know if he would “tell” me. Any advice?

  76. sandra says:

    i am fighting with this same decision for my 15+ year old collie retriever mix. we adopted him over a year ago knowing our time with him would be limited but wanted to give him a good home until his time comes.over this short time he has grown to be part of our family and i am finding it hard to let him go and more importantly i want to know it will be the right decision. we have never known him to be a puppy and act like one but even since we have been with him his health has gotten worse. the only thing he has always done and still does is follow me around the house….except he gets confused now, he is deaf, blind, and has trouble walking because of his hind legs. he does cry alot and wont take his pain meds, he seems to be getting thinner and gets stuck when walking unable to get up at times. i have been told by the vet he can no longer take walks however it was one of the few things he had left to make him happy besides following me around. i feel so horrible for him and every time i see him now it makes me want to cry seeing how much trouble he has just getting to his food bowl or getting to the area he goes potty. even when following me i have to help him get unstuck because his hind legs get stuck. i know after even seeing his day to day life in writing i think i do know the right decision but it is still hard to pick up the phone to the vet.

  77. Patty says:

    I have a 14 year old rescue Pom and she is like our family baby. When we got her she oly had one eye. The other had been taken out by a bigger animal

    My question is, since I am the one who doesw all her bathe, food,,,but she bites me. I can sweetly talk to her and slowiing mve down to pet her and she bites me hard…………….

    Thank you
    Patty

  78. danual ulin says:

    hi just wanted to say thanks to all that post and it helped me alot!!!! i have a 17yr old pit bull her name is zean vet told me she has breast cancer see has a big tumor on her belly the size of a baseball i think she is in alot of pain she cant stand up to go to the bathroom so its tuff for me and her dont want to put her down she is like family hell she is family keep thinking who am i to take a life when she keeps fighting to live!!!!!!

  79. Laurie says:

    Dear Shawna,

    My dog has similar problems. Three or four times a week, she refuses to eat, throws up bile, and is lethargic. The medicine that used to work doesn’t work anymore, and we don’t want to pay for expensive tests to determine exactly what she has.

    I can’t tell you if you should put your dog to sleep – but a veterinarian may be able to help you decide. But often the “problem” with vets is that they will move heaven and earth to diagnose and keep animals alive — and it’s the owners who have to pay for the expensive tests and treatments! Often the veterinarian will say keep trying different medications, and won’t advise euthanasia.

    But, a vet can tell you if your dog is suffering and what the chances are that he’ll survive or be healed by a particular treatment. I think it’s worth asking a vet what he or she thinks about putting your dog to sleep.

    Yesterday, a fellow dog owner told me to give my dog Pepto Bismol. I gave her a teaspoon-full, and a couple hours later she ate her food! I was so happy, but I’m not sure if it was the Pepto. I’ll try it again, though. I don’t know if it’ll help a hernia, unfortunately.

    Your dog is becoming aggressive, which may be a sign of pain or even chronic pain. He’s biting your family members…which for some people is a surefire reason to put a dog to sleep.

    It sounds like your dog is suffering a great deal, and you have tried everything you can to help him. Sometimes the final act of love and compassion we show our beloved pets is a release into the hereafter.

    Death isn’t necessarily a bad thing! It’s just that we’ll miss our dogs SO MUCH after they’re gone. Sometimes we fight death for selfish reasons.

    I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful. If I were you, I’d probably put my dog to sleep :-( but I am not telling you that you should do it. I’m just sharing my thoughts, based on your comments.

    Let me know what you decide to do. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  80. Laurie says:

    Dear Jeanette,

    Thank you for sharing how difficult it was to put your dog to sleep. You did the right thing – your dog was in a lot of pain, and needed to be released into the sweet hereafter. It was time for her to go.

    You’re mourning your loss – and maybe you will for the rest of your life. I’ve had to put pets to sleep many years ago, and the pain is almost as fresh today as it was then. It’s just a grief I live with.

    I know I did the right thing by putting those pets to sleep, but it still hurts.

    In sympathy,
    Laurie

  81. Shawna says:

    I have a 5 yr old pomchi, who is a rescue dog. He was found with a severe hernia, which was operated on before I got him. He has always had an issue with throwing up- every day. I don’t know if it is related to his prior surgery or not. Sometimes he vomits up to 5 times a day. We have tried everything from buying special bowls, food, and medicine. We have been trying different methods to stop him from vomiting for the past four years. He is still having this issue. Last night he had a seizure, very scary! He has also started biting my kids, friends, and husband. They are not seriously injured from his bites, he is only a little 8 pound dog. I really don’t have the money to keep bringing him to the vet. We have not found a remedy in all these years. We are thinking with the latest seizure problem, that this poor dog is suffering too much, no quality of life. We are discussing having him put to sleep. We are torn,I don’t know if putting him to sleep is the right thing. I feel bad that he is so young to have all of these issues, but I don’t know if I can keep living like this. I feel like a bad mom, some advice please?

  82. Jeanette says:

    We have just put our dog to sleep about a month ago and I still think about it.We had a pointer and she was almost 11 years old and in a lot of pain in her shoulders.We took her to the vet and she told us it was artrites.We gave her medicine but still she was in pain.I took her to the vet again and she told me she had bone cancer.I didn’t want to put her to sleep especially because she was very special to my father.But she was in big pain.Another vet told us to give her pain killers and to give her anesthesia but when the affect of the pills went away she would cry a lot.I never heard a dog cry like that.Finally my father told me lets take her to the vet and get her to sleep.When I asked the vet if I’m doing the right thing he agreed with me.I still feel very sorry for what I did but I think that was the best thing to do.

  83. Laurie says:

    Dear babsbabi,

    I’m not a veterinarian, so I can’t give advice on when it’s time to put your dog to sleep. My heart goes out to you, though. It’s such a difficult decision.

    “There will come a day when it is absolutely clear to you that your dog or cat is not enjoying life. That day is one day too late. If you can save your pet even one day of discomfort, you must,” says Dr Marie in this article.

    If your dog isn’t enjoying life most of the time, then maybe it’s time to say good-bye. Sometimes we prolong our beloved animals’ lives for our own reasons, not for their well-being. We love them too much to let them go!

    Have you had your dog examined in person, by a veterinarian?

  84. babsbabi says:

    Hi we have a 13yr old german shepherd dobie mix. In the last 6 months we have found out that he has tumors on his hips. His back leg shakes and is getting stiffer but he is too old for surgery. He still eats and drinks but looses his bowl when he sleeps and urinates just thinking about going outside. But he is still really protective of us and tries to play with our other dog. And that is the reason it is throwing us off. What would be your advice???

  85. Laurie says:

    Dear Michelle84,

    I am so sorry I didn’t respond sooner – sometimes I can’t keep up online, because of my offline life!

    You commented a week ago. Are you still struggling with the decision to put your dog to sleep?

  86. Michelle84 says:

    Hi all, i have a 10 year old shi tzu cross mini fox terrier. My first dog ever, not a family pet either, solely my best friend. Im here because i am unsure if it is time for her to go to sleep..I gave her a bath the other day and i noticed her back legs felt SO SMALL, almost brittle, like a chicken bone, i can feel her spine in her back, although she eats well, and have noticed her shrinking in size a little, Also although it doesnt sound too nice, her poos have dropped dramatically in size, no matter what she eats. She has had a tumour on one of her nipples for 2 years now, the vet was unsure if it was cancerous or not but doesnt seem to bother my dog. She doesn’t do anything but sleep these days, unless someone walks past our fence, then she goes beserk ( a big reason i second guess putting her to sleep.. just that tiny bit of life in her )when she looks at me, she almost looks sad. I think i know that putting her to sleep is the ideal choice for her, but i am unsure if i am doing the right thing? I also don’t know if i can bring myself to actually act on my instincts. Which is why i am posting this.. Should i put her to sleep? Somebody please reply, i am so so so unsure of what i should do.

  87. Holly says:

    hi

    my gandma has an 18 year old sharpei she has had since she was a puppy who is rather ragged looking and has gone deaf. She has staarted having trouble getting around and is getting rather stiff when standing and laying down. I have trouble admitting that she really looks pretty terrible around the house and has an occasional urinary incontinence. However this old lady dog still seems to have some spunk when she goes outside its like a completely different dog. she sprints off the porch to the yard and makes her rounds around the back yard and still shows my small dog whos boss when shes feeling irritable. As far as I can tell she eats pretty well, we wet the dog food, she is still drinking and follows us around the house. she paws our feet when she wants out stilll follows hand signals despite being deaf. she has some large fluid like filled lumps in her groin area but does not seem to be in any pain she just seems old. my grandma is considering putting her down soon im just wondering if this is the right choice. Being a sharpei part of the ragged looking thing is she has bare spots where her hair has fallen out of course. I just dont see her as miserable and i guess am looking for outside advice as to whether its time or if we should wait she really does still have some spunk she just looks old. I just have a feeling like when she is truly ready she will just pass.

    thanks

  88. Suzy says:

    I have a 13 year old Boston Terrier that we have had since she was 9 weeks old. I am tormented with the thought of putting her down. She has Cushings, she is blind and can not hear well at all. She wimpers quite a bit with no reason. She does have a tumor on her back side that the vet no suspects in cancerous. I think it is coming time but I can not bear the thought of taking her life.
    Stuggling
    Suzy

  89. Laurie says:

    Dear Mel4,

    Maybe the best way to talk to your dad is to help him see that putting his dog down is an act of love and compassion. Prolonging his dog’s life isn’t the best thing for the dog. Somehow, your dad has to realize that his dog is suffering…but I don’t know how to get him to see that.

    Sometimes, people respond well to a professional opinion, such as from a veterinarian. Would your dad listen to a vet? That may be one one to help him see that euthanasia is the best option.

    Another possibility is to talk about death with your dad. This is difficult — I know my parents do NOT like to discuss death! But, maybe if you and your dad can have an honest conversation about death, maybe it’ll help him see that death isn’t necessarily the worst thing for his dog.

    Finally, maybe your dad is scared of his own death. I don’t know how old he is, but maybe he associates his dog’s death with his own mortality. I don’t know how to help him get comfortable with the idea of dying, other than to share information about death. Death isn’t necessarily a horrible, tragic end to life!

    I hope this helps a little. I’d start with getting a professional opinion from a veterinarian, I think. That seems the least difficult, and the most practical way to get your dad to see that his poor dog is suffering.

  90. mel4 says:

    I am in need of advice my dad lives with us he is recently disabled and unable to work, he has 15 year Cocker Spaniel. We got this dog after we had our other Cocker Spaniel ran over, my dad took loosing him very badly and quickly got a new dog. He has always given the dog the best care possible. For 6 months the dog has had a dislocated hip, the vet was unable to correct as the other leg was too weak to support. He cannot walk more than a few steps without fallingand getting up is extremely hard. He is coughing constantly and has trouble settling in to fall asleep. He has recently started to pant and goes in circles. He eats well and drinks (he is a overweight dog, has a thyroid problem.) He no longer plays or barks and has not been able to hear for a long time, I think he is also close to blind. His poop this week has become very loose and he is having accidents in the house. I realize it is time to go and I hate to see the poor dog suffer, but my dad said he cant put him to sleep. What can I saw or do to help get my dad through this? I dont want the poor dog to keep suffering.

  91. Ashley says:

    I’m so torn apart about my dog. I have a 9 year old male chihuahua. I’ve had him since he was 3. He has had a heart murmur since he has been born. Within the past six months, it has started to take a toll on him. We have been to the vet many, many times. He is having a hard time breathing. He sounds wheezy, and you can hear the fluid in his lungs. The vet says he has chronic heart failure, and today he had an episode, putting him into acute heart failure. Every time he has an episode we take him to the vet to get an inter venous diuretic to drain the fluid from his lungs. His heart is enlarging at a rapid rate pushing on his wind pipe making it hard for him to breathe. He is on two medications, the diuretic and a heart medicine. Our family is in love with Buddy (Boo Boo). The doctor says there’s not much more we can do (because we cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars on heart surgery), but to wait this out and see if the medication will help. I just cant stand to see him go through these episodes and our family is talking about putting him to sleep. The thought of it gives me chills, makes me sick, brings tears to my eyes. I don’t know if I’m over-reacting, but this little guy has been with me through many many many hard times in my life. I absolutely love him to pieces. I don’t know what to do. :( Please any professional suggestions…

  92. Laurie says:

    Dear Anne,

    It might be good to get an objective professional opinion about your sister’s dog. Putting him down will be very painful for her, and if you’re the one to make the decision then you’re the “bad guy.” If I were you, I’d take Rolfie to the veterinarian,and get him or her to make the decision.

    The other consideration is that you can’t take care of him anymore! He is an old dog, and his quality of life has gone downhill. From what you say, it sounds like his life is naturally winding down.

    Putting a dog to sleep is a final act of love and compassion, and can save a dog so much stress and pain.

    The problem is getting your sister to see this…which is why I think a veterinarian’s opinion on your dog would be really helpful.

    Let me know how it goes…I hope you’re doing okay.

  93. Laurie says:

    Dear Cameron,

    I am sorry Ralphy isn’t doing so good these days. Have you made a decision? It sounds like he’s not enjoying his life anymore – especially if he’s not eating or enjoying his treats. The odour is a concern, because healthy dogs don’t smell that strongly.

    What is happening with him – has anything changed since you wrote?

  94. Laurie says:

    Hello Larissa,

    I’m so sorry to hear that Tasha is going through this! And I’m sorry for you, too – it’s such a difficult position to be in. I dread the day I have to decide if I should put Georgie to sleep.

    It sounds like putting her down would be more difficult for you than for her. I think putting a dog to sleep is a final act of love and compassion, not a “bad” thing to do. The end of a dog’s life can be painful and difficult, and death can bring freedom, peace, and lightness.

    I know that losing her is heartbreaking. But, if she’s in pain and not having a good quality of life, then I think it’s important to put her needs before yours. It’s awful, I know. You’ll never forget her and you’ll never really get over her death…but you don’t want to make her suffer longer than necessary.

    Have you taken her to the veterinarian? That may help you make this difficult decision.

    I wish you all the best. Let me know how it goes.

  95. Laurie says:

    Dear Aidanzmom,

    If I were you, I would let Bubba go. I’m sorry to say this because I have a dog that I love more than anything, but I know I couldn’t afford to spend $5,000 for surgery. More importantly, I wouldn’t want to put her through the pain and discomfort of the internal bleeding. And what if the surgery wasn’t successful, or needed to be re-done for some reason?

    That’s just my two cents…I know this is an incredibly difficult decision, especially if you’re unprepared.

    Another option is to ask family if they want to help pay for the surgery, as an early Christmas gift.

    Some pet owners would pay anything and go through anything to save their dogs. I’m not in that camp…I think it’s better to let an older, sick dog go, and open my heart and home to another dog in need.

    That’s just me, though! You need to make the decision that’s best for you and your family. I wish you all the best, and hope you come back and let me know how you’re doing.

  96. Laurie says:

    Steve,

    It might be good to take your dog to a veterinarian, to get his/her opinion on whether it’s time to put her to sleep. Nobody but you can make this difficult decision. Objectively speaking, however, I wonder if her body is doing what she’s naturally ready to do? It sounds like her body is winding down, and she is slowing down.

    I don’t know – I can’t say if you should put her to sleep – but I think that if you think it may be time…then you need to trust your instincts. Putting your dog to sleep may be your final act of love and compassion.

  97. Steve says:

    I have a 14-15 year old bweagle terrier mix. She is now pretty much blind, she no longer has interest in doing things. She’s losing weight, but still eating, all she wants to do is sleep and no longer wants to be petted or cuddle. She no longer tells me when she needs to go outside and is constantly having accidents in the house. I can’t tell if she is in pain or not and I’m not sure what to do. How do I know when it’s time to put her to sleep?

  98. aidanzmom says:

    Hi , my dad has an 11 year old beagle who is his best friend , Bubba !! Bubba has always been such a good loyal boy , a lover of life . 3 days ago he wasnt acting right , he wouldnt eat his food , however he was eating the cats food and drinking , but he couldnt walk down the porch steps . When he did walk , he woukd take a couple steps and gasp for air . Today he acts like he is struggling very much to breathe and can barely walk . He is still eating though . I took him to the vet and she said he has internal bleeding and is filled with fluid .My options are drive from NY to NJ (3 HRS_) and have surgery done on him that could cost 5000 or more (i cant afford that ) and the vet said there was a good chance Bubba wouldnt make it on the ride . The thing thats killing me is this was so sudden , a shock and hes still eating and still alert . I am torn and dont know what to do , I asked the vet if he was suffering and she said truthfully she couldnt answer me . I dont want to lose my dear friend but I caant afford surgery and I dont want him to stay how he is because what iff he is suffering ? What do I do ??

  99. Larissa says:

    I have a 13, almost 14 year old german shepard/Golden Retriever mix named Tasha. She got Vestibular disease (old dog disease) about a month ago and recovered fairly quickly from it, but now i’m worried that she’s having a stroke. She has that head tilt and she can hardly stand on her own without falling over. She also has arthiritis in her back legs, so she has difficulty going to the bathroom on her own, i have to brace her so she won’t fall over. She just recently started eating less and drinking less, but she still does both.
    She still plays with a tennis ball sometimes, but only while she’s lying down. She licks my hand all the time while i pet her, and she still seems like she knows what’s going on around her, but i think she’s in pain. I’ve had her since i was 6 years old and the thought of putting her down breaks my heart. I don’t know what to do and I would love some good, honest advice.

  100. fran says:

    I am right now waiting for my vet to come. My big boy Damien was 13 yesterday. I got Damien when I was working part-time at a vet. He was about 2 months old and in terrible shape. He had frost bite on his face and a skin infection from trying to keep warm in the winter by burrowing into the dirt. The kid that brought him in was trying to sell him saying he was a full rottie (he is part rotie part chow). I convinced this kid that I should take him because he would not be able to afford the meds. Everyone in my house freaked out because I was bringing yet another dog home. Of course, after they saw him, that was it! Few months face cleared up and he was a happy puppy! And a happy doggie! Very well behaved, no accidents, no begging, didn’t even leave the yard when we opened the gate! Yesterday started out o.k. but as the day went into the night, he couldn’t even get up. His hind legs just stopped moving. I see him right now, and he looks so sad. I know Damien has to be put to sleep, but it is breaking my heart. He will be my fourth pet that I have to put to sleep in less than 2 years and it does not get any easier. I know that he is suffering and I know what I have to do, but that does not make the decision any better. I just hope that he will forgive me.

  101. Cameron says:

    I am struggling. I am sooo sad. My mini poodle, Ralphy, is 13 years and 9 months old. He has had diabetes since he was 7 years old. I give him two shots a day. He is blind. He had always been active. Just this past September he still enjoyed his 2 mile walk. Something changed in October. He no longer goes for walks. He just stops and won’t budge. His appetite has been declining. I had to hand feed him and even that did not guarantee he would finish his meal. This is a problem because if he doesn’t eat he will have a low blood sugar level. This has happened a couple of times over the past two weeks and I have had to give him honey to lick off my finger. He has to have his insulin even if he doesn’t eat because his blood sugar will just keep elevating. He sleeps all day and night. He does not play with his toys or his chewy bones. He won’t eat treats. I have made him eggs for breakfast and chicken for dinner because he will starve before he eats his dog food and I really need him to eat. He has developed a very strong odor. It smell like feces but he is not breaking wind and this smell stays with him even right after a bath. This odor can fill the room. I am not sure if the odor is an indicator.
    I am struggling because I love him so much that I am thinking he could live to 15 or 16 like some poodles and maybe this is just a phase and he will bounce back. i am so torn. I really need help. A part of me has begun to acknowledge that he may be done with this world and then he will get up and walk to his water bowl maybe wag a tail (but that doesn’t happen daily anymore) and then I think maybe he will bounce back.
    I am sorry this is so long. I am feeling so helpless. I don’t know how to make the decision or when.

  102. Doug says:

    For Rosemarie – As you can see from my earlier post I also had a Pekingese that I put to sleep on September 14th. She also displayed many of the same simptoms that your dog is experienceing; slept all the time was deaf and could no longer walk or even stand. I had to feed her by hand like a person who is bed ridden. I knew it was time when she peed right where she layed. You are doing the right thing…may your grieving be short.

  103. Kim A says:

    thank you for all your stories….today we are putting our 15 yr old beloved springer spaniel, Lady, to sleep. I think with anyone close to you who is dying…you have to go through a grieving process. It has taken me hours of tears, reading and reflection to come to this decision. I know it is the right one for her…not me BUT HER….and that is what you have to come to terms with. 2 days ago, I didn’t quite see it but if you ask them to just let you know if they are ready…I truly believe they will let you know. Lady did that for me today….she just looked me straight in the eyes and said with those sad eyes…I have had enough.
    We went for our last “little” walk , took lots of pics and a short video, and now I know I have done all I can do for her. we have countless memories and she watched my children go up….I have been blessed to have the most loving, loyal, sweetest dog in the world…and I thank God for allowing us great joy these past 15 years. I wish you all the strength and love you need for making probably one of the most difficult decisions but know you are not alone….thank you again for sharing….

  104. Rosemarie says:

    I have a 15 year old Pekinese name Chloe. She has been an amazing dog for such a long time but now she can’t see or walk very well. She sleeps all the time. I have to wake her to take her outside. then I bring her in and she goes back to sleep. I have another Pekinese she is 8 years old. When she is around Chloe she gets freaked out and goes out of her way not to walk by her. She (my younger dog) won’t lay in the dogs bed because Chloe sleeps there. For the last 10 days she has this strong odor that is smelling my whole house. I been struggling for a long time and I did make an appointment to put her down this Monday. SHe does eat and drink. .She constantly licks the floor. She does not play or climb steps . Sometimes she wets her bed. I just need to make sure I am making the right decision.

  105. Anne Pettus says:

    Dear Laurie,
    I think it is time to put a dog I care for, my sister’s medium-large size 15 year old dog, a mixed breed, “Rolfie,” down, but my 64 year old sister wants to keep him going. About two years ago she became unable to care for the dog. She had moved to a shared apartment that did not allow dogs. The dog barked incessantly, my sister worked odd hours, and the apartment complex told her the dog had to leave. He came to live with me, and I have given him Cadillac care and love him, but I can not manage him any longer. He has these signs – what do you think? My sister seems delusional. I think she is delusional. I am with him 24/7. He is:
    1) Mostly deaf and blind, can not hear whistles, claps or see objects in front of him
    2) Severely arthritic, can hardly negotiate two steps, often unable to get up. Sometimes unable to go for short walk. Spends most of his time lying on his bed. I try to give him nice walks, but he is often too tired.
    3) Often defecates in the house. Usually he barks to go out, but now often fails to bark.
    4) Seems to have bowel problems, alternating between acute straining and constipation and diarrhea. I carefully feed him pumpkin, special food, chicken and rice.
    5) Becomes agitated and irritable at night, seems disoriented, barks off and on for hours some nights when he seems constipated or has bowel problems.
    6) Seems very depressed, sometimes moans.
    7) Has become nocturnal, sleeping all day, and then barking, agitated at night. Can’t decide to go in or out. Disoriented and runs into doors and furniture.

    He still feels OK somedays and likes his walk, but generally is becoming weaker. I have another wonderful 8 year old Lab who needs attention, but this older dog absorbs everything I’ve got. I just can’t cope anymore.

  106. Laurie says:

    Dear Jessica,

    Keela sounds like such a wonderful dog! She loves you so much, and the thought of putting her to sleep is heartbreaking.

    Your upcoming move may force you to make a decision before you’re ready, but maybe it’s for the best? I’m not saying it’s time to put Keela to sleep because only you can make that decision. But, the move may be hard on her — even if there wasn’t the flight of stairs. And her life seems to be naturally coming to an end. She’s getting old, and her body isn’t holding up.

    In reading your comment, part of me thinks you have already made the decision…it’s just the carrying out with it that’s left. But you have to remember that putting your dog to sleep doesn’t mean you don’t love her. You choose to say good-bye because you love her so much, and you want to spare her unnecessary pain and suffering. You want her to leave this earth before she experiences the pain and suffering old age can bring.

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. But if she’s already in pain, maybe the move would cause her worse suffering than she’s already experiencing.

    I wish you all the best as you make this terrible decision. But remember that she is going to a better place – she’ll be happy, light, and free of the encumbrances of her physical body!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  107. Laurie says:

    Dear Nina,

    I’m so sorry – Sam sounds like he’s having a hard time, and so are you. I think you need to take him to see a veterinarian, who can help you decide if it’s time to put your dog to sleep.

    From what you said, it sounds like his life isn’t as good as it was. And, he may be in pain because he’s barking more. The poor thing — I feel bad for him! I can’t tell you if it’s time to put him to sleep, but I know that if dogs are in pain, then it’s time to say good-bye.

    Take him to the vet, and get a professional opinion. And, remember that euthanasia is a final act of love and kindness! Most of the time, it’s way more painful for the owner than the dog, because we don’t want to lose our beloved animal.

    I guess the thing to ask yourself is, are you keeping him alive for his sake, or yours?

    Let me know what you think, and what the veterinarian says.

    Blessings and sympathies,
    Laurie

  108. Jason says:

    Selfish,
    This sounds a lot like my 5 year old cocka-poo. He had an endoscopy done and the biopsy came back gastrointestinal lymphoma. :(

  109. Jessica says:

    I have a 12 year old American staffordshire terrier, Keela. I’m am so torn to wether or not I should put her to sleep. She has had hip displaysia for many years, and we have been giving her pain pills for a long time. She has trouble getting up and sitting down. She has been going to the bathroom in the house for a couple years now, and she does not know when it’s coming most of the time. I come home and clean poop a couple tomes a week, on the floors and in her bed that she is still laying in. She is partially going deaf. The vet did not tell me that, but I know. She used to bark at everything, and now she sometimes does not even hear the doorbell. I look at her sometimes and it looks like she is going blind in one eye…she just stares at nothing. She still eats her food and will always take a treat. She still shows signs of wanting to play with my 2 and 4 year old kids, but it only lasts a couple minutes before she hurts herself moving to quickly. She has numerous moles and fluid filled bubbles other body. She is always licking her back legs, front legs, etc. Even though it is difficult for her to get up and down,she follows me from room to room, even if its just for a second. Even though i hate it, I am used to cleaning up after her, but I know it’s not sanitary for my kids. We are moving into a 2 story house in a couple weeks, and I was sure I would feel comfortable doing it by this point. She is clearly in pain and nowhere near the dog she used to be, but I love her dearly and still see how happy she is to be with us. The decision is killing me. I know she will never make it up and down 25 stairs everyday, all day. I know she will not be able to handle not sleeping with us upstairs. She has slept by my side since she was 3.5 months old. I need help please!

  110. Juanita says:

    Hi,
    I feel i want to put my 6 month old puppie/dog foxi (looks like mixed – because owners can lie about their type) with short leg to sleep. As I feel I can’t give him away to anyone. It is really hard. And he is not the dog anymore I wanted. Just tell me what to do really. I missed my another dog standard foxi Billy, he was my great guard dog that can protect me from anyone. I didn’t learn the dog, only to sit.Because i’m hard of hearing. We moved and i wasn’t sure if we are doing the right thing. My parents took him to put out.
    I have no more words.

  111. Nina Bukovac says:

    I have a wonderful beagle named Sam, who I adopted 10 years ago. Although high maintenance at times, he has been my baby and my best friend every second of every day. He is approximately 13 years old and has arthritis in his back legs. He has always slept a lot and has always barked but now he barks as if he is confused or in pain. He does take an arthritis pill but I don’t know how he is feeling. Lately he has begun to smell badly and I fear he may have some bad teeth bye only has 12 left as the others were removed 2 years ago due to severe decay. He still sleeps a lot, and eats fine – loves human food and dog biscuits! He likes to be near me all the time but his barking is getting out of control and I can’t seem to calm him down at times. He does have some trouble walking and sometimes wobbles over.

    Can someone please tell me if he sounds like he is suffering? I need help with this, I can’t even think of saying goodbye to him, but I can’t deal with the barking. I don’t know what to do!!! Can someone help me and even guide me to a decision?

    How do I schedule the day he will die? I just can’t do this, please help

  112. Laurie says:

    Dear Selfish (but I don’t think you’re being selfish!),

    I’m so sorry that your dog is going through this. It’s so hard on both you and her. She’s probably not absorbing nutrients, and is probably feeling less and less energetic all the time. With blood loss comes iron deficiencies!

    My dog has irritable bowel syndrome, which means she loses blood and has diarrhea. The veterinarian said he could do a scope to confirm the diagnosis, or give our dog a powder (prescription medication) to sprinkle on her food twice a day. We chose the powder and gave it to her for 3 months, and she hasn’t had a bout of diarrhea or blood since then.

    I started feeding our dog chicken soup and white rice, along with half a cup of dry seafood kibble. The chicken soup I make myself – I just boil either a whole chicken carcass (we have roast chicken once every couple of weeks), or a couple of drumsticks or thighs, bone in. I don’t season the soup at all – it’s just plain broth. I give her about 1/2 cup every meal, along with a couple tablespoons of white rice and her dry seafood kibble (for nutrients).

    Is it possible to take your dog to a different veterinarian, and try a different medication? I don’t know anything about drugs for dogs, and I can’t even remember the name of the med my vet gave our dog. But I think a different vet may be able to help you find the right medication. Maybe the veterinarian you have doesn’t have enough experience in intestinal disorders in dogs.

    Medications take time to work. I have ulcerative colitis, which is an intestinal disease (that’s how I knew my dog has an intestinal disorder! The symptoms are the same). We gave our dog the powder 2 times a day for 3 months. I don’t know how long your veterinarian tried the different medications, but maybe it needs to be longer.

    I hope this helps a little. I’m really sorry I don’t have any solid answers for you. If I were you, I’d try the chicken soup/white rice/dry seafood kibble combination, and get a second opinion from a different veterinarian.

    I think you’ll find the right way to get your dog healthy and diarrhea-less again – it’ll just take time and effort. Hopefully, the next thing you try will work!

    Let me know how it goes.

    Sincerely,
    Laurie

  113. Bob says:

    My 11 year old lab has had diabetes/cushings disease for about a year and a half now. We have had him on meds and insulin for the whole time, and he seemed to be doing ok.

    The last week or so, he stopped eating almost anything. He is still hungry, since he will eat easy things like chicken. But he also does nothing but lay around. And he has lost almost all muscle in his hind legs.

    I keep telling myself I will do the right thing when the time is right. But I am having a hard time knowing. He will still eat certain things, so I know he has an appitite. He drinks water, does his business outside still, no accidents. He never whines or shows signs that he is in pain.

    But he does not seem happy. He just lays around. He does not walk up to me to be petted anymore. He does not seem to enjoy when I do pet him. This is going to be hard to make this decision.

  114. Selfish in KC? says:

    I need some advice. I have a 5 (yes, only 5 y/o) Shih-poo. She has been the best dog anyone could ask for and our first ‘baby’. Now that we have 2 children, she may have gone down the totem pole a bit, but still HUGE part of family.

    She has had chronic diarrhea for the past 8/9 months now. This has got to be extremely bad over the past month, where it is to the point where she needs to go outside every 45 minutes to an hour all day and night. Most of the time it is just liquid, but mainly blood. We have been trying for months now, every diet known to man. And at least 5 different steroids and medications. Nothing has worked. We keep paying for blood work, sonograms, etc. and are told that minus this issue she is a healthy dog. But she definitely has abnormalities in the small intestine/colon. They want to do a scope now costing yet another $1-2K….my husband says that we are being selfish and we have to let her go. As she is obviously not herself, she is barely eating, and has lost over 30% of her body weight. But these ‘specialists’ lead me to believe that this next test may be the one that they find something and come up with the right dosage, etc. to treat her. Which makes me feel like I am giving up on her if I don’t. (Which I don’t think my husband would even consider it at this point).

    We are exhausted (and not just from the newborn at home), as Marley causes us to wake up way more than her. And really don’t want to keep throwing money down the drain but I don’t want to end her young life too soon either. I expected her to be part of our family for another 10 years.

    Am I being selfish, cheap, what? I feel at such a loss…..

  115. Tracy says:

    I had a Yorkshire Terrier who I owned for 11 and a half years. I am sending this as I have been through the terrible ordeal of making a decision to have my pet put to sleep and want to share my feelings about what happened. First of all his breathing was very shallow and I had to rush him to the vets as I was very concerned about him. They took an X-ray and informed me that my dog had an onset of heart disease, I remember being very distraught but still not realising that this was terminal, in my head he would get better. I unfortunately had to take him back a couple of times to have steriod injections to keep him going as the shallow breathing came back, still I thought he would be ok for a long time but I remember crying my eyes out at the vets thinking I had lost him, the vet said he gave him an injection and he was fine. Before all this he had to have his teeth extacted – quite a few but not all. He was kept alive with steroids etc for a year, so I feel I prolonged his life when I should have let him go when his illness was diagnosed so he did not suffer.

    I had to nurse him morning and night with tablets and make sure he took them by crushing his food, he was a fussy eater so this made me worried sick that he might reject the tablets and food. A year later he did, he stopped eating the food with the crushed tablets. He would sit in his bed looking frail and his eye looked misted over. I could not bear to see him like this so when I returned from work I scooped him up and took him to the vet to ask what was wrong with him, still I thought he would live a long time. The vet said he did not look good, his muscle was wasting, his eye sight was going. I had to make a decision there and then whether to keep him going with a steroid injection – the vet said he may go back to normal again but could not promise for how long, he did say though the kindest thing to do would be to have him put to sleep. I asked him three times for reassurance if it was the best thing to have him put to sleep and the vet said yes. I then agreed to have him put to sleep there and then. I remember just before my dog was put to sleep my dad said a big dog came over to my Pepe and licked his face, Pepe just let the dog lick his face which was unusal as he was quite feisty even though he was little.

    I stayed with Pepe whilst he was put to sleep, the vet saying to him how he was a brave boy. He went out like a puff of smoke, that quick, he must have been waiting to go. I had to put my dog before myself and I am so glad I did, I have no regrets and this is why I have shared this with others on here as I no longer get upset about Pepe cause I know he is at peace. I did say to him I will not let you suffer if you are in pain and I kept my promise. I hope this helps others as Pepe was my world and I could not imagine being without him. I have his picture with his collar hanging on the frame in my room and know he is safe and at peace. I am thinking of your dogs too and my love and thoughts go to you and them.

  116. Rose says:

    My dads, dog is suffering Hes been with my dad and mom seens 2001 he has a skin diease and is whinng and crying all night long. My dad is not capiable of taking care of him. My dad will be lost without him as my mom passed away in 2008. The dog also wont go outside to go potty only in the summer. It is unhealthy for all of us. I cant say anything about putting him down because my dad goes off the handle when it comes to that dog..does anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with this. I feel for the dog its time to put the dog to rest please reply thank you Rose

  117. Carla Reinecke says:

    Hi there,
    I am in a very confused state and need advice. I have two old dogs one 15 years a miniature pincher male called Archie and the other 14 years mix bread that I got from the SPCA female called Phoebe. Archie at this stage is losing teeth and his hearing and sight is almost gone. But I take him regularly to the vet and we cannot visibly see that he is in pain. He does sleep most of the time and does not really socialize with the other dogs anymore. He fell off the bed the other night just because I guess he couldn’t see or judge the distance (the bed is not high at all) He fell a tooth out.
    Phoebe she is struggling and we visit the vet often. She’s on hart tablets and Triumph (not sure of the spelling but it does contain cortisone) because she does have a constant runny and blocked nose and throat. Then we also give her an actual horse sinus relieve gel that I tried because I have a horse and I was desperate my vet later said it can do no harm only improve if possible. We have tried everything else and the last was the final resort. She has lost weight and her skin is looking very strange almost dry/leathery and her hair is not growing anymore. I have noticed this the last 2 weeks. I feel she cannot get more and more medication causing other problems again like liver or kidney failure.
    I am now at the point where I decided it is time to put them down. It hurts me to look at how they deteriorate and they are not the same dogs anymore. I do wonder if I am selfish in that reasoning and also I want to put them down together. I don’t think it is fair to leave one behind. I also feel that I would rather want to hold them when they are put to sleep but I do not know how on this earth to do one and then still be calm for the other. Am I wrong in putting both down at the same time
    Carla

  118. Laurie says:

    Dear Frustrated and Guilty,

    I’m sorry that your dog isn’t doing well. It sounds like it’s hard on you and your husband. She’s been with you for so long!

    Have you talked to your veterinarian? That’s one way to know if it’s the right time to put her to sleep. Vets are often good sources of support and guidance.

    And, remember that the “quality of life” that the vet was talking about in this article isn’t just about pain. Dogs are good at hiding pain (a veterinarian told me that), and we don’t always know if they’re suffering. But, quality of life is also about feeling uncomfortable, confused, and unhappy.

    If I were you, I’d talk to a veterinarian with my husband present. Prolonging your dog’s life because you’re not ready to say good-bye isn’t good for her, you, your marriage, or your dog.

    Putting your dog to sleep is heartbreaking, which is why your husband is reluctant. But he needs to put his dog first, over his own feelings of grief and loss.

    This is all easier said than done! It’s so difficult to accept. Sometimes people need to hear an objective perspective from an external person, such as a veterinarian. That might help with the process of saying good-bye.

    I like to think of death as a release and freedom from the confines of this world, and of painful physical bodies. I hope your husband and you can see euthanasia as the final act of love for your dog, not an act of betrayal. It’s sometimes the most compassionate, loving thing you can do for your best friend.

    I hope this helps a little, and wish you all the best in this difficult time. Come back and let us know how you’re doing.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  119. Frustrated and Guilty says:

    Please, someone help. I have an 18 year old black lab mix, who has literally been the best dog in the world. She has been incontinent for several years, and lately, when she has to poop, she will just pace relentlessly rather than tell us, then will poop in the house. She also paces when she is hungry, thirsty, or just for no reason, so it is so difficult to tell. I am picking up poop now daily. She has arthritis in her back hips, can barely see or hear. But, she still plays with our younger dog once in awhile and seeks out attention. I find myself resenting her now, and that just seems so wrong, as she was such a great dog. But, she is more my husband’s dog then mine, and whenever I bring up the possibility of putting her to sleep, he goes ballistic. Do I just keep waiting for her to show signs of pain? Do I push it? How do I convince my husband it is time if it is, in fact, time? I am torn between thinking putting her down is best for her, or best for me? I am frustrated at not having a clean house… now for at least three years with pee on the carpet… and guilty for thinking this is about me… someone please help….

  120. Diane says:

    We had a 12-yr-old black lab that was diagnosed with prostate cancer only 3 weeks ago. It had spread to his lungs and he had lost the function of one kidney. His decline was steady. It became a trick to try to get him to take his pills and he started refusing food. He had to go out to relieve himself all the time and he constantly leaked blood and urine. On Wednesday Oct 3, 2012 something seemed even worse about him. We didn’t want him to suffer and feel constant pain. We took him to the vet to be put to sleep. I think he knew if was time. The vet gave me a comforter for him to lay down on which he did so immediately and went to sleep. The vet then gave him the injection and it was very peaceful. I truly believe that my dog was thanking me for giving him peace. My husband and I have shed a lot of tears because he was a wonderful companion. He will be truly missed by all.

  121. Luka says:

    @Teri and @Ilene:

    Teri, I completely understand what you’ve been through. We have Gordon Setter, he was great until he was 1.5 old. Then, he started getting the skin condition. As we had no kids back then, we spent really a gazillion of money to find out what’s the problem, tried everything + more than you listed. Nothing seemed to help. We sent skin and blood samples more than once to Germany (we’re in Croatia) via DHL to get it inspected by top vet labs. In the end, it appeared that he was born with genetic malformation, missing some skin cells (not sure which, I can’t recall, it was years ago) + he has had hypothyroidism.

    His condition detoriated, but then got better (never visually, though, just the licking/chewing/biting part), we did everything we could. He’s 9, his fur/coat is so awful, it’s really horrible. But, when he’s not licking/biting/scratching, he’s amazing dog. We noticed it has to do with humidity: when days get more humid (or when it rains, but just humidity is much worse), it gets horrible for him. And since autumn is starting, he’s starting to feel much worse… we’ve thought of putting him to sleep many times, but it’s so hard for us. Yet, this year, it seems to be the worst, he even got some bump(s) randomly and at moments it drains a bit of blood (due to scratching or biting, but can’t be sure).

    I feel horrible, but that’s best for him, I guess? :(

  122. Sharon M. Leigh says:

    A little over 2 years ago, my husband and I had to let go to not one but two of our beloved pet family members. It was so awful and we miss them dearly. I didn’t think I could go through that before or after ,the pain was so great. I decided to write a journal, and that journal turned into a book called -Our Pugs’ Journey-which was recently published on LuLu.com- I wanted everyone to know how beautiful our lives were because of these two pugs and how our lives after were so different. I want other pet owners out there to know they are not alone,saying good-bye to a precious pet member can feel so lonely. I wrote this book to honor them,but to also keep their memories alive. So please as you go through your journeys, read my book and keep not only my pugs memories alive ,but your precious pet family too! God bless you all as you go through your own journeys…Sharon M. Leigh–author

  123. Elizabeth says:

    My dog was mauled by two others a few years ago. He survived, but had a tear in his hip muscle, a hernia and multiple puncture wounds. He had multiple surgeries and has done pretty good, until recently. Now the tear in his muscle is growing more and more visible, and he sometimes makes these “ouch, ouch, ouch sounds”. The last few nights he’s been sleeping on the sofa, instead of with me. He still plays and makes his little happy faces, but I know the hip is getting worse and the vet said there’s no real fixing it. I don’t want him to suffer, but he seems to enjoy most of his time still. He’s been such a wonderful little dog. I can’t imagine what it would be like to not have him around. I’m going to see if his hip will get better if I restrict his activity and use the meds for pain. Maybe the acuity will lessen. He’s only 6 years old. I love my dog, but his little cries and trembling, pained expressions let me know the pain he feels, although intermittent, are very extreme. I’m hoping he does ok for at least a few months-we’re moving to a place with ducks and a dog park-both of which he’ll love. Either way, he nearly died on 6FEB2011 and he’s been on an extension. Thank God for other pet owners, all who understand the love for our four legged family members.

  124. Greg says:

    @Jamie

    I posted a comment a few weeks ago and haven’t been back since that time. Making that final decision is the hardest thing I have ever had to do even though in my dog’s case it was the correct decision, I still fought it to literally the very end.

    He had stopped eating, only drinking water and panting heavily during his waking hours. Your lovely dog Sophie although deaf and blind seems to be in much better shape than my dog Lucky was.

    Have you considered using baby gates and limiting her travel around the house?

    Ultimately nobody can make that decision for you but trust me you will know when it’s time.

    I wish you and your family the best you all have been blessed with her for these 15 years.

  125. Jamie says:

    My Italian Greyhound, Sophie, is 15 years old. She is completely blind and deaf, and I’m not sure if it’s time for her to go. She walks fine, she begs for food at the table, but all day she runs into things, very restless, constantly walking in circles running into furniture, walls, etc. We wrapped all our chair, table legs, etc., in bubble wrap but we can’t wrap everything. But right now she’s standing at the edge of the bed with her front feet up, so obviously she’s still fairly nimble, still goes for walks, etc., but I can’t imagine what it must be like for her to be blindly stumbling into furniture and walls all day. I don’t want her to suffer.

    Can someone please give me advice? Should I put her down?

  126. Ilene says:

    To Teri
    I read your post regarding your dog with skin problems. How horrible. Just a thought – maybe you can take him to a dog dermatologist. Also, if it hasnt been done, have him checked for scabbies. There ia a medication and it changed by rescue dogs life.

  127. christi says:

    I am glad to see I am not alone…My boy Jack is not doing so well..He has many issues..He has survived so many things..Cancer, Congestive heart failure, life threatening allergies…At 12 and a half, he is losing his ability to walk. He goes in the house sometimes. Other times he goes outside..He throws his food up…I was ready to put him down yesterday but then he seemed to improve. This morning, he wakes me at 5am to go outside, A GOOD THING, HE KNEW HE HAD TO GO….then he threw up all his food, NOT A GOOD THING…He has a brother, Rusty….they are stuck like GLUE…..I was so alone in this world..I had no family of my own..then Rusty was born and I picked HIM..Jack came next and he picked ME…He saw me through so many things, Jack did..now I must see him through to peace. My heart goes out to all suffering the loss of a pet, they are our children…No parent should have to say goodbye to their children. Yet, we took them on, knowing it was only for a while and we must understand that we owe them peace.

  128. Babs says:

    I have only had this foster dog, Beau, for a week. I volunteer at a shelter and he was dumped here as they said they couldn’t afford them. He had obviously been neglected for a long time. I have 3 dogs already – the legal limit in my county, but Beau is now our 4th. He is at least 11 the vet thinks and has bad arthritis and bad hips. He’s a yellow lab/shepherd mix and I love him as much as the dogs I’ve had for 7, 5, and 4 years. He’s on Tramadol, a spinal drug, Rimadyl and something else to help with his incontinence. He had another big “accident” tonight and my husband is not too sympathetic. I cannot let this dog go back to the shelter; he’s bonded with me and I want to give him a few last happy weeks. He’s eating okay, loves treats, and loves to go outside with my 3 rambunctious able bodied dogs. I can’t reach for the leash without Beau getting as excited as he can without falling down. His legs go out from under him pretty often and the stairs are nearly impossible, but he does it once a day to come sleep in my room with me. How can I possibly love this dog so much after a week?

  129. Laura says:

    I am the owner of a 17 year old Chuhuahua who I think is at the end of her time with us. She was originally owned by my in-laws and I took care of her whenever they travelled. She came to me perminently after 5 or 6 years when my in laws passed away. Tessa was willed to me. She has had a very peaceful life, never going for a walk – she hated walks. She had her favorite food almost every day – Chicken and lots of soft comfy bedding. I am the owner of a large sheep dog cross and a tabby cat who Tessa completely ignores. She is very much a grumpy old lady. She has been incontinent most of her life. She decides when she will go, thank you very much. The past 2 years she rarely will go outside, or will go out to pee and come in and do the rest on the floor. She is mostly blind and deaf now. She took a wrong turn about a month ago and nearly leaped down a flight of stairs that I was coming up. I have come to the decision today to finally put her to rest. I feel terrible crying so hard reading these stories. I can’t say she has been loved as much as my own pets. I have always taken care of her the best I can but she has always been like a visitor. Do you think it is time to let her go? Why do I feel so bad? I wonder what my Father in law would want me to do?
    Thank you for allowing me to ramble.

  130. Dan says:

    How do I bring to a close the life of my friend, my shadow and my bed buddy. She was a gift from my boys to their mother for her birthday, but Abby attached herself to me…she became my dog. I think I just was more patient with her and her behaviour. Abby is a mix breed chow/doberman I think, and a challenging one at that. She has always been aggressive, the big “B”. But, in the face of all that, I loved her. I would lay on the couch with her body curled up in my legs and her head across my legs and just pet her, soothing that anxious, high-strung “personality”. She did not play well with other dogs, but we had four other dogs, so that to was a challenge…always refereeing. She was my “problem” child, not to be trusted around other dogs…had to watch her like a hawk. She was a bright rust color, but as the years have passed her muzzle is white and her head, ears and front legs have white in them also and that high-strung “personality” has waned. She has lost her sight and her hips are a mess. So much so, that it’s difficult for her to walk. She has difficulty getting up, so that has led to “many” accidents of both varieties. I have to help her outside as she has trouble stepping off the porch. I keep her steady as she steps off and walks to the grass. Early in the morning, when I take my dogs out, she will walk slowly and unsteadily out the sidewalk and thrust her nose into the air smelling the cool morning breeze and looking around…she can’t see anything, but she looks just the same and she will turn and look back my direction with those empty eyes as if to say, “You’re still there aren’t you?” I miss my rambunctuous, fiesty Abby. I will take her to the vet today and have her put to sleep. She has suffered enough and needs release from her frail age-worn body. I will miss her.

  131. Rob says:

    It looks as though the time has come for my best friend to move on to another journey. Darth entered my life in summer of 1998, and for 14 years everyone has been blessed to be in his company. I picked him at a animal shelter and he stood out from all the other dogs. He jumped over the 6 foot fence, just to see me and tell me “get me out of here” As a large gentle black pit-lab mix, he was with me when I was shot at as police officer, divorced, re-married 5 years later,my son was born and my father died. How can a person repay something as magical as the unconditional love of a dog.He is now in constant pain and cannot walk and has been on meds for years. Its too much to ask of him to handle, even as tough a breed as he is the pain is too much now. We were able to have 4 wonderful pain free years with the help of his medicine. As tonight winds down and we have our last meal, I will give him steak and hugs and cry while I sleep besides him. I thank God that I was blessed to have him in my life, and indeed the name dog reversed shows the name of our creator. Thank you for sending him to me and my family, and now he will return as we all will one day. Take care of my best friend, I will see you on the other side…one day.

  132. sherrie says:

    We have had my rottwoller for almost nine years. He was an aggressive dog but not with my family. We have had him since he was four weeks old. My nine yr old daughter was raised with him along with several other children for over half their live. The sad time has come for us to put him down tomorrow at 11am. He had surgery to remove a large tumor and the vet discovered it was already threw his body. My family including me an my husband are just heart broken. This is one of the hardest things i will have to do. But, like i told my husband, I am his mother on earth and he will die in my arms. I will not let him die alone. God help me tomorrow. none of us are dealing well with this.

  133. Greg says:

    My dog Lucky a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel ended his journey yesterday morning in the vet’s office. He had been going downhill slowly for a few months but recently stopped eating and would drink water incessantly. It was the hardest decision I have ever made and the grief I am trying to deal with is as difficult as the loss of my father.

    I never took my time with Lucky for granted, for life whether human or animal, is finite and must come to a close at some point. He was in so many ways spoken and unspoken, my best friend,my companion, who would lay with me and comfort me when things were bad and enjoy the fun times as well with our walks and inline skates through the neighborhood.

    He possessed that rarest of love, unconditional love, and even though my heart is breaking now, what he has given me cannot be measured nor can it be taken away and I am so lucky to have had Lucky in my life for these 13 years.

    Seems like only yesterday waiting at LAX on a long descending conveyor belt with three dog carrying cages from Dallas, Texas (Lucky had two siblings who were also finding their new homes that day) I instinctively grabbed one of them not being able to see what was inside, and sure enough it was Lucky and was greeted with kisses instantly.

    That warm spring day in 1999 he entered my heart and will remain until my days are complete.

    To Lucky the best friend I’ve ever had with heavy heart I say goodbye this September day with hope we meet again some day.

  134. Noreen says:

    Thank you all for sharing your heartfelt stories of not just a dog but and absolute member of “your family!” My dog, Kobe, a Welsh Terrier, is 14 years old and “my baby.” I just look at him lately and I cry; thinking back to the “good old days.” Kobe has gone through so much with me and my family. I’m searching the web right now for some miracle answer on “what should I do?” I KNOW my dog is in pain, in my heart I can tell. Kobe has been suffering for quite a long time, but when I took him to the vet 9 mos ago, she told me that if I can name five things that make Kobe happy, then keep him alive. If not, then I’m doing it for me. Well, I can name five things: #1.he likes to eat (but I have to hand feed him ALL the time)he has trouble figuring out how to stand by the bowl and eat, it’s crazy, he runs around as if the food is going to bite him. If I hold on to him, my arm around his belly, put my hand up to his mouth, he will eat all his food. He begs for bones, but my husband believes it’s just an old habit; because once he gets the bone, he cannot eat it. He just licks at it. #2 He loves when I come home from work. Rain, snow, whatever, we go for a walk. He isn’t as interested once we get outside, he just stands panting and looking around; maybe pee on a bush or two. #3 He loves for me to pet him, standing there for hours I can just pamper him right now. #4 He still gets excited when I come home from the store, thinking he is going to get a “present.” #5….. well there really isn’t a number 5… I just realized this as I’m typing. In fact, #3 and #4 really don’t count either. Kobe, trembles often, wimpers/whines many times during the day, he paws at his face, he lays wherever anymore (on his side always), he has trouble standing and will fall over easily if he gets a little off balance, and he is peeing everywhere (my diningroom is carpeted in puppy pads – I never had a problem with Kobe he was very good about going outside). You were right, it does help to share your story. I’m keeping Kobe alive for my own selfish reasons. I just wish I did’t have to even make this kind of a call. He’s in pain and I don’t know where or why. The vet put him on Tramadol approximately 9 mos ago and he takes it faithfully, I’m sure it’s getting to his organs. I think I’m going to spend some “alone” time with my puppy and then take him to go to sleep… and may he live in pain no more. Thank you for letting me share my heart. My best friend… who always loves me, never judges me, and always happy to see me… may we all be with our beloved pets again in heaven.

  135. Kathy says:

    We put our beloved 14 year old dog to sleep last Thursday. It was agonising wondering if it was time to let her go. So many times we asked people ‘How can you tell when it is time’? The answer was always ‘You will know’. So, we did know in the end. We had an amazing vet come to our home and she passed away so peacefully in her own warm bed. We feel empty and bereft but at the same time, we know we did the right thing. What a difficult journey, but what a wonderful dog who did not deserve to suffer.

  136. Dottie says:

    I have a yellow lab/retriever mix that is 13 yrs old he has spinal arthritis and has lost mobility in his front and back legs at one time or another and is on prednisone and tramadol for the last couple of years but now he seems to be having the same problems of tripping over his front paws and sometimes falling down to where I have to help him up. And he has a hard time sleeping at nitetime he is constantly up and down and panting really hard. I think he is in pain and I want to have him put down but he is all I have in the world! Do I not be selfish and go ahead and put him down and how do I deal with it ????

  137. Doug Gallagher says:

    Yesterday I put my dog to sleep. This really huts…but I know it was the correct thing to do.

  138. Doug Gallagher says:

    Missey is a 16 year old Pikingese. She has arthritis her entire life. She is now deaf and is unable to walk or stand with out help. She still drinks and eats and does not appear to be in any pain. She spends all of her time sleeping. My thoughts are to continue to nurse her until it becomes obvious that she is suffering.

    Any thoughts? Do you think it’s time?

  139. Laurie says:

    I wrote this for Brenda, who is struggling with putting her dog to sleep:

    My Dog Has Cancer – How Do I Say Goodbye?

    If you have any experience with this type of loss, please feel free to share your thoughts.

  140. Brenda says:

    Hello,

    I have a beautiful 8 year old male bernese mountain dog named Benas. I rescued him when he was a pup and when he was just 7 years old, he was diagnoswed with lyphoma-Stage IVA. His disposition was great and we decided for him to receive chemo treatmets. Within the first treatment, he went into remission. He finished the protocol and did not receive any chemo for almost 8 months. Then it happened, I had taken Beans to his oncologist and the discovered that Bean’s lymphoma had returned. Becuase Beans had such great success with the first round of chemo, we diceided to do a “rescue protocol”. The first 0 treatments were great and again Beans tolerated it and went into remission. Then he had to start a pill called Lomustine or CCMU. After the third dose, Beans began to fail and his appetite was completely lost. His white blood cells went down and he developed pneumonia. Beans has lost a great amount of muscle mass and I am getting him fluids almost evey night at my local vet because he isn’t eating or drinking. I feel it’s time but I can’t tell you the agony I feel inside. I never felt this way before and I am so scared to say “goodbye”. If you could provide me with some advice I would really appreciate it. Thanks so much. Brenda

  141. Bud dog says:

    To CC,

    My dog also suffered a vestibular attach in January, having him in the hospital over a week. After a month of rehab, he was able to walk on his own without falling down and his head has straighten significantly. He has begun to exhibit previous signs of excitement and playfulness prior to his attach. I never gave up on his recovery, however I have medical bills exceeding $10,000. My dog currently is suffering from an ulcer which requires special meals of either chicken, pork, rice, potatoes; choice is decided by his food desire for that day. It is very tough watching him age and have signs of the disease, however I do not and will not regret allowing him all the time he needs. I know he will tell me when it is time… Good Luck with your friend..

  142. Teri says:

    I am feeling very guily of even thinking of having my dog put down. He isn’t even 3 years old, but has had a horrible skin condition for the past 1 1/2 years. I have taken him to the vet, and tried antibiotics, and medicated shampoos, tried changing his diet, tried fish oil, and tea tree oil, and almost everything else anyone has suggested. But, nothing seems to help. He scratches almost constantly, or licks and bites at himself. He has lost almost all his fur from his rib-cage down to his tail from scratching and chewing on himself.He used to love going to the dog park, and he still gets excited about going, but once we are there, he lays by my side and barely even pays attention to the other dogs. So, last night I just broke down and told my son that I think I might have to have Dusty put to sleep. Why? Because he started scratching his head, and when I noticed the scratching didn’t stop… I went to stop him, and he had scratched so much and so hard that his head was bleeding (and I don’t know when or if he would have stopped on his own). And this is not the first time he has made himself bleed. I am not rich, and cannot afford to keep returning to the vet, because I have my kids to think of first, and I just feel I am out of options and money, and I think that is why I am feeling guilty. Because I wish I could give him more medical care… that something, someday may help. I am just lost……

  143. Lorie says:

    I’m pretty sure it’s time for our schnauzer. He’s at least 15 and possibly a bit older. I adopted him from a shelter 14 years ago, They told me he’d been on the euthanasia list in their sister shelter but someone tried to give him another chance & sent him to the one where I found him. He is a purebred dog and they thought he was only 1 or 2 years old. He was shaved to the skin and had ticks. He became a hearing dog for my young deaf dog and was her companion until her death 3 years ago. Now he’s nearly unable to keep his legs under hm to walk, he’s deaf and nearly blind. He sleeps all day lik he in a coma the wakes up at night and paces relentlessly all night long. He slips and slides because of his legs. He eats but I think it’s just habit. He seems confused and agitated whenever he’s awake. e’s been soiling inside for the past 2 weeks because he forgetswhere the dog door is or how to use it. The last 2 nights have been he worst and convinced me it’s time. He has pooped in the laundry room where the dog door is & where sleeps at night nd then slid and slipped in it covering himself and the room in poo. The past 2 mornings have been awful for me to find him like that and then have to scrub the room and him. There is nothing good left in his life, only confusion. This is awful to know I have to take him to the vet tomorrow – I’ve been through it many times as we keep multiple pets- and it breaks my heart. He’s been with me through my children growing up, my divorce and me recent remarriage. He’s always been my dog and tomorrow I’ll do the last thin I can to take care of him.

  144. CC says:

    This is so painful, such a complicated issue. I had an appointment scheduled a week ago but then my dog seemed to improve after I stopped her meds for dizziness and nausea. She has vestibular disease. It can come and go, lessen and worsen but she has not enjoyed life much at all in a month, only eating. She doesn’t seem to be in pain but I know it is horrible for her to feel like she’s on a roller coaster constantly. She can’t walk straight or, at the moment, at all. She is suffering but I absolutely cannot take her right now to end her life. The issue is more complex because in the wild, she’d be gone for sure, without someone to help her away from ant hills outside, hand feed her, and give her water. I feel right now I’d be letting her go just because it is painful for me to watch her suffer, not because I’m sure she is ready to go. I hear a lot about guilt from those who have euthanized their dog, but I’d like to hear from someone who waited it out and saw their dog go naturally in some way. This is so painful, but it’s about her, not me. I want to hear both sides of the issue, if there’s anyone out there willing to share. Thank you.

  145. MJ says:

    Michelle, when we put Sparkie down yesterday our 17 yr old son was at school. he knew what was going on but just because of the type of person he is, he didn’t get emotional about it (at least not in front of me) I’d only suggest that since your daughters are old enough that you ask them if they’d like to be present. The first dog we put down almost 12 years ago went more peacefully than Sparkie did. I was crushed to see Sparkie agitate when the first sedative was given and then the poor sweet thing was unable to keep her tongue in her mouth. This actually made me very angry and sad all at once. IDK, no matter what, its traumatizing. but this last time with dear Sparkie, I was a bit caught off guard as I’d witnessed a euthanasia before and it was more peaceful. Maybe because the dog was further gone. The vet was wonderful, it was just her last few moments which I’m agonizing about as I write this, seemed less than peacful. So sorry for your sweet doggie and you and your family having to go through this. It is just the hardest thing.

  146. MJ says:

    So, it’s done – my sweet little 11 year old wheaten terrier with fur as soft as bunny ears was put to sleep this morning in our home. Our vet first gave her a sedative to calm her. I could tell she was fighting it- her poor little body immobilized but her head switching back and forth. I don’t think she was ready to go… the guilt I have over that is the worst. But she hadn’t eaten in almost 3 days and her little belly was hard and distended. Her breathing very labored…. I just couldn’t stand to see her suffer another day. She’s survived by her litter mate brother who so far seems oblivious to her death–If only some of that would rub off on me. I’ve had horrible anxiety to the point of feeling panic because of her death. I miss her so much it physically hurts-not eaten all day. I know this will all pass, I know the memories of how special she was, how spunky and funny she was, and how much I absolutely crave petting and scratching her furry head will fade. But right now it’s there front and center all the emotions piling up sometimes feeling insurmountable. For anyone else going thru this gut-wrenching process my heart goes out to you.

  147. Michelle says:

    This is so hard. We Are putting our 12 year boxer down this weekend. I can’t stop crying and I lay down next to her every night. I want to spend every moment I can with her. Should I have my 8 and 10 year old daughters go when we put her down?

  148. MJ says:

    so finally I’ve made the decision. Tomorrow will be my dear sweet “Sparkie-pants” last day here on earth. I write thru tears but know that I’m making the right decision. She’s not eating (2 days now) and her little belly is so bloated and hard. She’s having trouble breathing- very shallow rapid breathing. I don’t think she’s in severe pain, but I know that’s she’s very uncomfortable. She no long jumps up on the couch to lay her little head on the pillow or is wanting to go out, even for a short walk with her brother and me. yesterday I took her with me to the pet store and she seemed energized, sniffing everything in sight. But I know that she’s not going to get better and I know the best thing is to stop her from suffering even more than she is already. What I don’t know for sure is if it’s the absolute right time to do this… Am I doing it for me or for her? I can’t bear to see her as a shell of her former self. She was always so full of life and spunk. I’m so very sad and only hope that I’m doing the right thing. I love her so very much.

  149. DJ says:

    Today is another day I look at my beatuiful Purbread Shepard name Helga. I call woo woo for short. She turned 13 this pass August the 08th 2012.I read the stories and had tears I know how much everyone that has posted something love there pets and when you need to make that decision it is always the haredest thing to do. I lost my 2 dogs last year Daja January 09th then Mack Feb 14th I still have not recovered from that ordeal.Now here I am faced with Helga I am not ready an I don’t think she is she may have trouble getting up and is confused but she is still able to do her girly business out side and still eats like a horse despite loosing some weight. She loves to goes for walks even tho we don’t do the long ones anymore she will drag her legs.But she is still alert barts when someone comes in the yard.She is teaching Lucy the new pup (rotti) the ropes. Still I worry if I have just put the blinders on and she is ready but I am not.I too have been told you will know when it’s time they have a way of letting you know.Really? is my dog going to say hey mom I am ready to died??? I don’t think so everyones sisuation is different every dog or cat has something different that may or may not contruibute to the problem. I beleive when I see for myself that Helga is just not happy or when she has a change that is very different from her normal self I can only belive this will be the time. I think that for all who struggle with this painful decision look at the sisuation write the pro an cons of the sisuation. like is my pet eating?? is my pet in any pain?? basicly the quialty of life is it the same as before?? if no then maybe it is time but if you animal is still able to do the bathroom thing on it’s own and is eating an you don’t belive there in pain all is good. let them live when they can’t do anything like go on there own that is a sign something is wrong an it could be time to say good bye as much as that sucks.
    Take care to all going though this tough time and my condolance to all that have lost that special family memeber.

  150. Jenn says:

    I put my best friend to sleep this morning. I am missing him horribly right now, but I know I made the right decision. I just wanted to say that reading this article and all of the comments really helped me do what I needed to do. The statement from the article “If you can save your dog or cat even one day of discomfort, you must” went through my head all morning. My baby was not the same dog I have shared my life with for almost 11 years. And he wasn’t going to get better. He wasn’t in pain, and I didn’t want it to get to that point. Thank you for all of your comments and wisdom, that came from the same difficult experience that I went through this morning. I’ll leave you with something a man said to me while I was sitting with my dog just before he was put to sleep: “Life is a series of dogs.” Take what you will from that. I am taking it as a positive, meaning we will give love to many in our lifetimes and each and every one brings us joy, learning experiences, and that never ending unconditional love that we can only get from a dog. RIP buddy! You will never be forgotten, but forever loved.

  151. Jan says:

    Hi Amy & Cheri.

    I had my Golden Retriver Molly who would have been 16 in one month put to sleep today. It was not my decision but rather the vet who said, “I don’t want you to leave this office with Molly. She needs to be put down now.”

    Her heart rate was 120 beats per minute and she was lying down. She had not eaten for three days.

    We also have hardwood floors and Molly had a hard time getting up off the floot. She would pee sometime during the last 3 months because she could not get up fast enough. I even bought her Pawz rubber boots which did help her as long as she didn’t pull them off.

    I should also say she seemed to be almost blind and had a 90% hearing loss. Two years ago her weight was 61 pounds. Last February she was 46.5. I assume she was about 35 pounds today. You could see her ribs. Her hips were very boney.

    Two weeks ago she seemed like she would rather sleep or be outside on the deck. I went to bring her inside that night and opened the door and she started to come in than she backed out. It is carpeted so she had traction to get up off the floor and could go down three steps to the yard. So I let her. I figured she thought that was better than to ware the rubber boots.

    Last Friday she had poop in the diaper I put on her but I didn’t get all of it off her. On Sunday I washed her ahd found maggots under her butt. The next day she would not eat. I called the vet yesterday to go in today at 12:00.

    This morning I decided to give her another shower. As I was cutting some mats from her hair on her back I saw it was infested with maggots again. She even had small hols in her skin from them.

    I guess that what happens when you leave a dog outside if your not careful. That is why I thought she stoped eating and thus my reason to take her to the vet. Thinking the vet could give me something to help Molly if the maggots were a issie.

    So for the last week she had much more trouble with standing up and staying up. I could see it was difficult for her to walk on the hardwood floor. When she would walk she would walk into a corner or go behind something and not be able to get out.

    I promised Molly when I got her I would never have her put to sleep unless I knew she was in a lot of pain.

    The vet said by looking at her that it was time to let her go. It would be the best for Molly. So I said yes.

  152. MJ says:

    It just seems like so many of us are agonizing over the same decision. it’s so so hard. my 11 yr. old wheaten terrier with cancer, no cure (already lost one leg to amputation), eating less each day, practically nothing yesterday. Then today she’s up wanting to go for a ride in the car – so excited. Definitely moving slower, sleeping lots, shallow breathing – but loves to be petted, wants to be with us, tail ever-wagging. I won’t put her down until she’s unable to walk or control her bladder. Is that cruel? I just can’t see snuffing the life out of her while she’s still enjoying some of life. She’s on Metacam and appetite stimulant…. they are less and less effective as the days wear on.

  153. Jenny says:

    I have a 14 year 8 mo old yellow lab who has been with us from the early months of marriage. She has been there through the birth of both our children and has always been a loving constant presence in our home. We could not have asked for a better dog. I have never posted before but am in agony over the decision to put her down. She has arthritis making it difficult for her to get up and down. She can no longer do stairs without assistance which means she takes 3 steps outside to go to the bathroom on the deck and then comes back inside. She sleeps alot but would expect this for an old dog. She is eating well and always has. She drinks alot of water which is new in the past 6 months. She has been having more frequent accidents in the house which has been frustrating for all of us. Her vision and hearing have also deteriorated. As I have read in other posts, she too pants alot along with pacing at night and I wasn’t sure what this meant. Is she having trouble breathing? is she hot? Is it anxiety/dementia? What makes this so hard is that she still takes pleasure in seeing us. Her tail always wags when we are near and she almost always makes an attempt to come to the door when we come home (once she is able to hear and see us come in). She knows when we are packing for the lake and follows us around making sure we don’t leave without her. The hard part is that once we get to the lake all she does now is sleep in the cottage and go to the bathroom on the deck. This was a dog who would spend endless hours in the water fetching a stick. We have made an appointment tomorrow to put her down and are having doubts whether we are making the right decision. Should we wait for more obvious signs of illness or should we spare her any more suffering no longer living the life she once enjoyed? I can’t imagine life without her but knew that this day would come. I just feel like we are killing her? Oh if she could only go peacefully in her sleep! What to do!!

  154. Natalie says:

    Hi there,

    Reassuring to know there are many others facing the same difficult decision. I have a 14yr old Norfolk terrier who we’ve had since she was a puppy. After major surgery to have mammary tumours removed last week, the stitches have now come apart and we are now making trips to the vet daily to have the open wound cleaned and covered. The cancer will grow back at some stage we are told but I’m the meantime, despite all she’s going through, she continues to wag her tail, follow my every move and enjoy my company. It is breaking my heart just to look at her.

    Is it too soon to consider euthanasia as she is still with it, has an appetite etc or do we wait until it gets worse whilst visiting the cry every day which is both unrealistic time and money wise.

    Any advice/support out there would be warmly welcomed at this very difficult time.

    Thank you.

  155. Jas says:

    I have a German Shepard which my parents got me at the age of 5, he is now 12 years old and is losing the life in the back of his legs. He literally has to drag himself and he falls over whenever he attempts to walk. It’s heartbreaking to watch and I think it’s time to out him down because he seems like he’s in pain but he is still playful and eating all of his food. What do you think would be the best thing to do?

  156. Stacy says:

    My 11.5 year old lab-shepherd mix Cinders was diagnosed with lymphoma about a three weeks ago. I had found swollen lymph nodes a couple of weeks before that. The vet said that often dogs have about two months without treatment. I do not believe in chemo for dogs (and after seeing what it did to a good friend and my own father who both ulitimately passed, I wonder if it is good for people (only somewhat kidding here). So I was hopeful for more “good” time with Cinders without pumping her full of drugs. She has begun to eat less – refuses to eat her kibble but eats small amounts of cooked chicken sausage – and she has lost quite a bit of weight. Her back legs are weak and just this morning, she struggled to have her first bowel movement in several days. It was thin and ribbon-like (the vet warned me of this). So it is time. And I feel incredibly guilty about stopping her life if she has any good days left in her. But she can’t tell me if she is happy, if she feels pain, if she is ready. I have made the decision to take her after work to the vet and I feel guilty that her last day on earth is home alone. Yup – guilt.

  157. MJ says:

    Kym
    I completely hear that you’re stressing about your situation- I couldn’t sympathize more. My dog is 11 with cancer and every day I think will be “the day” ….. IDK- I try to go by how well I think my dog is adjusting… In other words, my dog isn’t nearly as active as before, but still enjoys very short walks, tummy rubs and just being with me. It’s so hard to know when to do the deed- I’m waiting for the bad to outweigh the good. In your case, maybe the dr. bills wouldn’t be much more than before after she gets over the kennel cough? I know people who’ve been in similar circumstances and just put a time limit on how long they’d wait to see if the dog improved. Say after 3 or 6 mos. you could re-evaluate and then make a decision. Don’t pressure yourself to come to a quick decision- if it were me, the move alone would be making me crazy! Good luck

  158. Kym says:

    To add to my above “please help” – two months ago she was hospitalized with pancreatitis for 4 days and put on medication for an additional 7.

  159. Kym says:

    I have an 11 year old Pug, Mulan. She has been diagnosed with diabetes for 5 years now, which she is managed with caninsulin. She also has a skin condition which is managed with an antibiotic called Atopica – which causes dry eye, which is managed with prescription eye drops. It has just been confirmed by the vet that she is 98% blind in both eyes. About three weeks ago she was diagnosed with Kennel cough and after being treated by medication for two weeks she is still coughing which the vet says to “wait it out and if it doesn’t go away in another 14 days to bring her back in”. On top of all of this distress, we have just moved homes and she is learning the map of the new house by being lead on a leash and coached for directions but it is obvious how worried she is about each step. It breaks my heart to think of putting her down, because I know all of the above mentioned things are “manageable” with the financial burden of the vet, and on one hand I wonder if I am being selfish because of the financial responsbilities and on the other I wonder if I am being selfish by keeping her with me. Please help.

  160. Jerry says:

    My Minpin has diabetes. I cannot afford the expense of daily shots and have decided to let her live as long as she does not suffer any. She has progressed to the point that she is very thin showing all her ribs and weighs hardly nothing. She is also blind. She does however still eat a healthy meal and finds her way around the yard, up and down the deck with no problem. She still perks up when she hears my voice and attacks my foot when I play with her. I can’t decide what to do and how long to let her go. Anyone else have this type of problem? I would like to hear how others have handled it.

  161. dee says:

    I don’t ever write to blogs, but I am going to now because I have been helped here, and would like to do the same. We have a 16.5 year old cocker who has been our loved family pet from the beginning. I too have been wondering if it’s time, was I rushing it, should we keep going…and reading your questions, which are the same as mine, describing the same issues, I realize that it IS time and I’m going to prepare everyone and make the appt. Yes, he still eats and wags his tail if he knows it is me (he’s deaf and just about blind), and yes, it will be so hard….but there is no purpose to his life anymore, the panting and pacing at night, the accidents which are frustrating for us all, the sleeping all the time, the falling down. Really? It’s enough. As someone said, I don’t want to wait until he has a bad fall and is in terrible pain on the way to the vets – just so the decision is made for me. And also, with winter coming, it will be so difficult for him. It’s time. Thank you all for your thoughts and I hope you each find your answer.

  162. MJ says:

    One more thing for Chris… I was trying to decide too, when the time came, should I go to the vet or have my dear doggy put to sleep at home. I’ve decided I will have it done here at home, the place she knows and loves best. I will be with her to the end.
    Her brother will know she’s gone and it will be devastating but I just feel I have to do what is best and most comfortable for her.

  163. MJ says:

    I agree with recent post re: medication for pain. A week ago I posted about my wheaton terrier being near the end…. luckily I ended up starting her on Metacam (for pain)and Metazapine(to increase her appetite). Knowing this dog, I truly believe I would’ve had to put her to sleep last week had I not started her on these meds. Still she’s not long for this life –and that is very hard accept. At least at this time she’s eating a tiny bit more and has a bit of her energy back. I’ve had to adjust and learn to take it one day at a time. Now my other dog has a serious ear infection and is showing more signs of distress than my cancer ridden one. My heart goes out to any of you dealing with the loss of your pet or a sick or disabled pet. It truly breaks your heart. I love that this web site gives us a chance to air our grief to people who really understand how it feels to go through this very difficult experience.

  164. Julie says:

    I noticed that several people who have left comments say that their dogs have issues with legs and hips and have problems walking, running, or falling over. I just wanted to suggest talking to your vet about giving your dog arthritis or joint medication (if they’re not already on medication) instead of putting your pet down. Our elderly dog has shown a huge improvement on medication and you can definitely tell a difference if he goes just a few days without. Along with pain medication, it has greatly extended his quality of life.

  165. Chris says:

    Mike and I are taking Sam to the doctor tomorrow for ultrasound, and possible biopsy.. Already preparing for worst.. Sam’s only 9, went blind with SARDS 3 months ago and has been going downhill ever since.. Liver count is over 1400 which is bad. In May it was 200. He is a miserable baby, and I know what we need to do. I truly believe he will be so much better off, and that I will see him again. But as everyone on here knows, it is the worst feeling for us. Should we have the vet come to our house, and allow our other dogs to be there with him, or should it just be Mommy and Daddy? so freaking sad right now….

  166. cassie says:

    as I begain to write this with tears in my eyes trying to decide what I should do about my 17 year old yorkie Abraham,it eased my pain a little reading the other articles seeing that I’m not alone in trying to make this decision.Had Abe(short name)since 8 mos,from a breeder.He’s been a joy all these many years,Love Him.Lately he’s been licking himself like crazy on both sides of his stomach just before his legs (all the hair is gone),his sight and hearing is gone & when we’ll walking and I’m ahead of him and I call him it’s as if he thinks I’m in the opposite direction.His back legs I’m sure has arthrites,he can’t jump on the sofa/bed now without missing and falling,even has fallen a little ways down the steps.this morning really got to me,he was really confused,like he did’nt know where he was,could’nt do anything,very jumpy.You are right,I’m the only one to make the decision on what to do.It’s a hard choice to make. Do I want to continue to see Him suffer?? and or smile as I remember the good times we have shared for 17 years

  167. MJ says:

    I’m currently in the throes of deciding whether or not to put my sweet dog to sleep. 1 year and 3 mos ago she was diagnosed with hystiocytic sarcoma in the rear knee. Her leg was amputated to the hip and she underwent chemo (lomustine) every 3 weeks. The cancer has come back in her chest. Chemo is really not an option – neither is surgery, this is a super aggressive cancer. I’m AGONIZING over this decision and obsessing like never before about how long to let her live. She is not really eating, only certain foods, maybe 1/2 cup per day. She’s an 11 year old wheaton terrier weighs about 28 lbs. The worst of it is she just stands and looks aimlessly around, unless she’s lying down sleeping. She will go on quick walks just to relieve herself, but has pretty bad diahrreah-got to be painful. Is see a lot of posts where the dogs/cats are no longer able to walk and the owners are carrying them around. I just don’t want her to get to that point. 12 years ago I put down my golden retreiver on the morning when he became unable to walk and was having accidents. With him it was more sudden and I didn’t have more than a few weeks before he was gone. This time I’ve been stressing for months about her condition and worried that she’s in pain. IDK, thanks for listening…. this is just the hardest thing to go through. Wouldn’t wish it on anyone and yet here we all are experiencing very much the same agony.

  168. Joan says:

    Amy…. you’re dilemma sounds almost exactly like mine. My Border Collie/Lab is 14yr 8 months.

    The wandering in circles aimlessly day & night, hips give out and falls down or sinks down when he’s standing, sleeps, pants excessively – this is in part due to a liver issue that has improved in the last year with samE pills. He still eats ok, also not a big eater but has lost 2.5 lbs in a month. We have him sleeping outside on the deck now because he’s had a few accidents indoors. I’ve noticed his wet bed 3 times in 2 weeks.

    As I re-read what I have just wrote it sounds like what a life that is? It’s just so damn hard to make that final decision because some days are good. He still follows me everywhere, tries to run to keep up but then pays for it the next day. I think at this point I’m looking for support or more information to let me know it’s ok to let him go. I’ve joke for years about “When Boomer goes away to college then we can go to Europe” – except the time is getting closer and it’s not so funny anymore.

    Yes, it’s a roller coast from hell but we’ve had a good 14.5 year run and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.

  169. John says:

    I have a 14 yr old lab shepherd husky mix who is 14 plus. We got Barney from the humane society. Over the years we have replaced both rear knees and were glad to do it. Barney suffers from hip displatia and the past few months have been difficult. He has a hard time standing and walking even with daily medication. Yesterday Barney stumbled down the steps going outside and fell again today. I realized that he could seriously injure himself which would lead to a painful wait while I made arrangements to put him to sleep. I have decided to spare Barney the possibility of more pain and suffering. Tomorrow I will call the vet and take him in. It will be hard bit it is now the right time. I will miss him but this is best.

  170. Cue McCollister says:

    I have a 14 yr old dachshund mix, his name is Lizzard…Lizzy for short! When we rescued him 14 yrs ago he looked just like the dog on the Taco Bell commercial…and “here Lizzard, Lizzard, Lizzard” was the first thing that came to my mind…his pointed ears were bigger than his whole body! I think he may be mixed with Chihuahua.
    Lizzy has suffered from seizures for years. He does have daily meds and for the most part they work but when he does have a seizure they are are longer and worse each time. He also has a ruptured disc in his back and steroids seem to help for a week or two after the shot….but in the last few months he can’t seem to control his potty habits, he has completely converted back to before he was house trained. I have taken all rugs up and have potty pads every where in my home.
    He has always been my shadow and that has not changed but now he just follows and stares at me, like he is looking right through me, he almost cowers down. I know he doesn’t hear well if at all but all of this was ok…he still seemed ok but the last few days he has gotten worse. Walks crooked, can’t seem to set comfortable, trembles all the time and whimpers….I think it’s time but feel so bad, I don’t want to take his life if it’s not….I just don’t know what to do!

  171. Amy says:

    Hi Cherie,

    I empathize completely.

    I have a greyhound pitbull cross named Jack that I agonize over everyday. He was so hyper at age 12 that strangers were still telling me that he’d ‘get over his puppy stage’ I loved the look on their face when I told them how old he was :)

    Now at 14 and 9 mths he sleeps all day and pants and paces all night (I am told this is a sign of dementia) I’ve gone days with out sleep as we have hardwood floors and if he falls down he does not have the traction to get himself back up so my nights are full of anxiety and worry.

    He absolutely LOVES other dogs but when my neighbour’s puppies come over to play with him, there are days when he doesn’t lift his head off his pillow and other days when he gets all excited and **tries** to run around the backyard with them as he weaves back and forth and his back legs about 60% of the time give out on him.

    Is the fact that he still tries enough of a sign that it’s not time? I had him x-rayed about 18 months ago looking for arthritis but they found no inflammation in the joints (I’m sure there is now) and told me that he was in no pain…he has some sort of muscle degenerative disease that comes with age.

    He usually eats with no issues (which is important because he never was a big eater) but I look in his eyes some days and I don’t know if he’s ‘there’ anymore.

    I’m so sick and tired of everyone telling me “Oh, don’t worry. You’ll know. He’ll tell you.” What the hell is that suppose to mean?? Am I to wait until my dog begs me to die? Should I stop being a coward and do what needs to be done now instead of waiting for him to suffer?

    This is a roller coaster ride from hell.

  172. Cheri says:

    I have a 15 year old shepherd, lab, husky mix named Raff. We adopted him and his brother Riff when they were just about a year old. After fortifying the yard numerous times, we finally got them to stay home. ( labs are notorious for taking off on their own). unless of course someone left the gate open and then they were gone in a shot! Flash ahead to now. Riff had to be put down due to a tumor in his liver.All I can say is devastating. That was four months ago. Now Raffy is unable to control his bowels, he has the typical shepherd back legs, so we have to carry him up the stairs (he weighs over 100 lbs). He still eats, minimally, and wags his tail sometimes. But even when he’s laying down, he is short of breath and panting. We leave the air on for him when it’s hot but he’s constantly panting. The gate was left open today and he “walked off” this time. Came back panting harder than ever, but i have to think that he got in a good adventure. (it was only about 10 minutes till we found him waiting at the front door).my question is,does he seem sick enough to be put down? He poops and is not even aware, he can’t stand up on his own, but he still wags his tail. I know his legs give him pain, but when do we know when enough is enough? Opinions please! From people who love their best friends!

  173. Steve & Helen Hagen says:

    Today we have made the heart wrenching decision to have our beloved “Rudy” put to rest tommorrow. We found Rudy tied to a street sign during a snow storm. We kept coming back thinking that perhaps someone had ran in the store across the parking lot and would return soon. No one did, after an hour or so we lured him in the car with some treats, he so happy to be out of the cold and snow. Oh we made the attempt to locate his owner but no one claimed him. Rudy is a 13-14 year old Lab mix, we guess he may have been a year or two old when he adopted us. He is everything a loyal, loving pet can be. He has given us years and years of joy. We will keep his ashes and along with “Carlos” our 15 year old who passed just 2 weeks before we found Rudy will be lovingly placed beneath a tree we will plant this fall. Together they will feel the sunshine, the rain, and yes the snow as we gaze out at that living tree and remember how much they are missed and one day soon another critter will start the cycle all over again.

  174. Cliff says:

    So I have 3 pets that I need advice on 2 cats and a dog.

    The cats are sisters and have come to a ripe age of 16yrs old we saved them when they were about a year old from the animal shelter, they have always lived with digestive issues, one a vet called bulimic (Sheeba) and the other has anxiety issues (Mocha). Well both cats at this point still eat and drink just fine, however they stay in the same place by their food except to go potty. Which they will do now where ever they feel like it. At times they make it to the litter box to do #2 but we find pee spray on everything and in the stool we commonly find blood and have had it tested and the vets find nothing yet its there, the other issue is they are both now eating and vomiting there food up almost daily, one of them is so skinny you would think we starve it and she sheds like mad, however her sister is big and healthy looking. They also meow this dreadfully loud meow during the night almost as if they were in pain, but if we pick them up and take them to sit and hold them they still purr and enjoy the touch the bigger girl more often than the skinnier one she is a touch me only when I ask cat (the one with the anxiety issue) She was actually on “kittie prozac” that we rubbed in her ear for a while and it worked she came out more and played, this was years ago but we just can’t afford the special diet and the destruction of furniture and clean up. This is my first dilemma is it time or what do I look for?

    Next we have Charlie (Beautiful, friendliest Black Lab you will ever meet) He is like another kid to me, he is part of our family and we are dreading the day, I feel like I am going to have to do it soon though. Charlie was a puppy when we got him on Christmas Eve I was getting last minute groceries and outside was a Dad and his two kids giving away these labs. My kids were with me at the time 3 and 5 both yelling and screaming to get one dad get one. We went to the car and I loaded it up and put the kids in their car seats and were gonna leave, I stopped and told the kids I forgot something and went and got our first family dog, there were 3 to choose from and Charlie wasn’t barking or fussing like the other two so I asked to see him. The moment I held him I knew he was ours. Well sorry went on a bit there. Charlie will be 14 in October, he has been the best lab you could ever have except one issue, I had to build a fence because he was a runner and no chain would hold him he even broke a metal pipe off the house we had him chained to (I needed a fence anyways :)) Well at 8yrs Charlie started having a few issue with Joint Arthritis I guess common in labs, we started a supplement and pain reliever from the vet and it was doing great he was running and playing and happy as ever, then at 10yrs he tore his I believe they said ACL in his rear right leg and had to have surgery. He came back but not quite the runner anymore but still happy as can be, he still try’s to jump up in my recliner and lay with me, he is a heavy boy. However most recently his Arthritis is flaring all over, both rear legs and his back. He is happy and eating and drinking, but he is losing weight, you would think the opposite would happen. It is becoming painful to watch him try to lay down or get up, we have doubled the supplements tried other pain med’s we are currently trying (SOD Injections) but nothing seems to work, sadly I see the pain when he is moving he favors the leg that he had surgery on when he walks it is slow and with a limp, his breathing has become heavy and fast. He is still happy and wants to play he just can’t anymore. I see the pain but I also see my best friend in him I know when he is happy and I can see when he is not. He cannot hold his leg up to pee anymore, he even looks in pain when he is doing a number 2, but what do I do? If is happy yet in pain, eating and drinking. I feel like soon this is going to be a “Charlie and me” moment at the vet, and my family has all made this my call and responsibility. I don’t know what to do, do I wait till he can’t walk anymore, will he show me its time? I really need help, please give me some good advice the current vet says oh this (SOD) will keep him good for years. Its been almost a month and I don’t see a change maybe his back is straighter but nothing else is any better. Sad and worried and want to make the right decision for my “family members” my pets.

  175. Jessica says:

    It’s my falt. I waited to long. Today he is sick. I should have taken him in to the vet a few weeks ago. I’m sure sorry Ruben you have been a good friend. He is still eating and drinking water. But all he does is sleep. Is there joy? I don’t think so. Not sure what to do. How can I end his life?

  176. Avaclue says:

    I am. In the midst of ‘the decision’ having very conflicting ideas. Reading through some of the entries I thought I could add something for others if not myself.

    Firstly, years ago our quite elderly Persian cat died. I wanted our golden retriever to know it had happened, so I showed her his body. He had died on our neighbour’s doorstep. She was so stricken with grief, she went to every house in our small culdesac street and marked her territory and as she returned she had drewel hanging from her mouth. An animal’s love is so far reaching for all things around them.

    Then, on the psychic line. I had a dog from when I was 11 who was awesome. He was hit by a car when I was 14 and I was there. Years later I went to a psychic and she told me about a dog, described him and he was showing her a cream couch. The couch was his. We three sisters would sit there and one by one he would kick us to the floor! Then he warned of my red dog’s tooth, whom he played with. Sure enough Jake my ridgeback, had a broken canine that I had missed. Another psychic years after that, described my Jake and his love for me and another dog that looked similar with him which was one of his puppies (we had given to a friend) that had died only months before. The golden retriever turned up too. They do go on. They love, so therefore they have a soul.

    So now, my old girl ridgeback, diagnosed with haemangio sarchoma eight months ago and now about 105 in dog years. She can’t walk at all. She’s dropped masses of weight. And tonight she has a big infection on her shoulder. It’s my father-in-law’s funeral in two days and my son’s 12th birthday today. I wish she would go by herself and I hoped she would tell me it was time like Jake did, but this is all she knows. If the infection doesn’t let up, I will have to do it, because it looks that bad. She has had puppies and looked after me while I had my four, very maternal. She has been the insane dog that scared everyone off and then loved us to bits. But it is time. So hard to say goodbye to a pure friend. I do feel like a natural death is better, that they have some say, and maybe help them along when it’s close. I thought the cancer would have taken her months ago and quickly, but she is fighting. She still looks to me each time I go out to her with eyes saying “How you doing Mum?” with big ears pushed forward, still bumps her head to me for a pat. She might not walk, but she is still with us and her daughter who she loves. The hard part of owning a pet that becomes your friend.

    I wish you all the best.

  177. VIctoria says:

    Today I think I will be putting my 15.5 year old golden down. Think because I am in such turmoil about the thought of not having her anymore but she is in pain, can’t walk, won’t eat her food but will eat bread. She has been getting worse and worse over the past few months – walking crooked, slow getting up. Got home from work yesterday to her spread eagle in the kitchen and lethargic, heavily panting. Got her back to her bed where she laid and panted without moving her head. I got a Rymidal down her, she took it but nothing else. This morning I got her outside with a lot of help and she did her potty thing but won’t stand on her own and has no coordination. She drank some water, and is a bit more alert which makes it so darn hard to make the call and drive. I know what I must do but to do it is so hard….

  178. chris says:

    @Brittany it sounds like you were a loving presence in your dog’s life. And when you are grown you will likely be a wonderful pet owner again.
    I am going to do some random act of dog kindness in your pet’s memory. Maybe we can all play it forward to celebrate the love of a deceased pet.

  179. Brittany says:

    My dog shilo is like a brother to me, he is a loving and caring shitzu with a little bit of terrier,he is also 10. Today my father took shilo to the vet after seeing him moving slow not e ating and parcially in pain my dad tells me shilos bodie is not producing enough red blood cells. He is suppost to have 40 or more Red blood cells in his body but only has 16. Since I am only a middle child of my family of 6 including shilo I don’t have to really make the desion but it still hurts inside to hav him taken away from me by a simple little needle that’s injected into his blood stream. I don’t like seeing him in pain and weak but I don’t want to live my life without my shilo beside me licking my hand with joy and understanding. Is there anyway to get rid of the pain growwing in my heart with dispare? I would greatly injoy a answer.

  180. kathy and LEO maguire says:

    I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face. Finally, I just got the idea to bring the box of tissue and throw it on my bed instead of numerous trips to the bath. I am scrambling to experience every possible emotion I can now, before LEO is gone, so as not to have any regrets: I hate regrets. I’d prefer to make a jackass out of myself than experience regret. For me, it never fully goes away. It’s 1:59pm. The vet will be here at 5pm. Should I cancel? Very tempting. If so, then what? Can I get a few more good days out of him? What does LEO want? I’m feeling frantic, sick, my chest hurts. LEO is our 17year old darling friend. We found him on the street before we were married. Maybe to let him go is to equate the loss with my marriage. My darling husband and I are together however, I’m sure the longevity is synonymous with my marriage has alot to do with it: I AM losing a part of my union. Afterall, I’ve been married to two men all this time. Im having a hard time closing this book, for the last time, on 17 chapers of companionship; friendship, true doggie/human love. I’m terrified I’m forgetting something. With just one call I can alleviate this uncertainty. For what? Maybe I’m missing something. I could be too hasty. Tick Tock. Look at him. He’s comfortable right now, laying on his side where hes most comfy. Oh no, its my husband calling. He said his good byes yesterday before leaving for work…lots of tears there. He drives chemicals for a living, I dont want to cause him anymore undue grief so I told him I put it off. HIs response: “You made my heart smile” Yes, I do believe that was the right action to take. My husband always puts himself second to the safety of the public on roadways and I too feel a commitment as well. There’s LEO, when he’s at his most relaxed state..on his side. Otherwise, he lays in a contorted state and it’s distrubing to me: his back legs dont curl under properly for laying anymore which affects his front legs which affects the position of his head. I notice every little detail about this guy. Fortunately, I am home to take care of his every need. He barks and I jump. Lately, I’ve been needing to hoist him up, he lost the mobility and flexiabilty in his rear legs. I awake every morning to a LEO egg. Or lately, that egg wakes me up at 2am for attention. I joked to my husband “If LEO makes it outside THATS THE ACCIDENT!!! ” LOL. If thats all it was though I could most certainly postpone today. I’m like Rosie the Robot from the Jetsons. LOL. Or the Quicker Picker Upper gal commerical from the 70’s. Who was she? Wasnt that Rosie too? But its more than his regular irregular bowels. He’s been falling outside for the past week. It’s hard for him to pick up his front paws too. And as of late hes been a little damp when I pick him up. Cant help but to wonder how much longer he would have if his frequent seizures werent a factor. For every seizure he had myself or my husband sat with him, laid with him, cuddled him. Never once did he go thru one alone. Tick Tock. Another hour has gone by. So am I saying then I have 2 hours left with my friend????? Oh My Gosh. 17years reduced to 2 hours. It cant be!!! Yes, I think I would postpone if I didnt think I’d piss the vet off. I’ll call… maybe there was a clerical error. Think Kathy Think. Check list: We took 50 pics, my husband did a sketch of LEO and his friend Jimmy, I took his tag off for use in LEO art later. More hugs? Of course. I’m washing his rug so I can lay down next to him and more pics. If I were in a restaurant, I’d order a cup of hot water and 2 tea bags FOR MY EYES!!!!! I’m in/past menopause and yet I just got a visitor. ACKKKKKKKKKK. Where is the justice? Hes stretching. Since I’ve been noticing his hearing and eyesight diminishing I walk by him ALWAYS placing one foot close to his nose and rubbing his snout so he can smell me as I go by. I know he appreciates that. Deep breaths Kathy even though I feel a degree of hyperventilating starting. Yes, regret. I sure in the hell dont want to experience: “If I had only known” moments. “What if…..” neither. LEO is a big boy too. Maybe just his breed…a mixed breed of some sorts: Yellow lab/Old Yeller, tall. ……lalalala “and dont you make my brown eyes blue…..I’ll miss you LEO. One of the few things that brings us solace is that we will see you again. We get to see each other again in heaven. Yes, God cares. Hes sees and is aware of every sparrow. LEO will be united with us some day. But thats for later. That will help me in the grieving process later. Right now, I feel panic. And why dont someone invent a nose guard to prevent unwanted drips on the keyboard!!!!! We got everything else. LOL. How is it I can cry and laugh at the same time. Humor IS coping. Rug is in dryer: check. Put on lipstick for more pics. Honey, lipstick cant help this face now. But since I’m gonna be in denial anyway……….everything looks better in denial.
    WE picked LEO up from the road in 1997 in CALIF, moved to Alabama, moved to Florida, to Virgina, moved to North Carolina and now back where it all began only a few short miles from the beginning in 1997.
    Drip. Drip. Tick Tock. ONe more hour left. It just feels wrong to be able to preplan something of this magnitude; preplan sadness?
    Oh, I gotta go…someones at the door. Goodbye.

  181. Carol says:

    We really have not been able to discuss putting down our dog as a family. No one wants to say that we should put our dear boy down. When we rescued him 9 years ago, the vet told us he was about 9, which means he might be as old as 18 – seems hard to believe! But he is really suffering and that is why I googled this discussion. He really cannot walk properly, he cannot see or hear, and he is not interested in eating. Several times we had to go into the woods to find him – we think he went there to die. We have to carry him around, and we try to keep him clean, but he is covered with excrement a lot of time from being unable to stand. He has been the world’s best pet. Just the cutest, best personality. The kids have grown up with him. I keep thinking he will just go to sleep on his own, it seems unnatural to end his life with artificial means…?

  182. Dan says:

    My girl Dixie, a 14 year old Black Lab. She indeed is a hunting dog. She is now limping, she tore ligament’s in her back right leg, she put’s little to no pressure on it. She is so kind hearted, I know it’s time, saying good bye too such a beauty, it’s very difficult. With all of her hunting she has did, I would say she has about 3,000 mile’s underneath her and I know she would keep going if asked, that would be so selfish of me.

  183. Pansy says:

    I have a beautiful American cockerspaniel about 11 years of age, we found her cause her previous owner abandoned her, yes she is blind, partially deaf and had a lost in appititte, couldnt really walk anymore as her leg joints were starting get weak, she was nearly runned down by a car after escaping from our house and she no longer did active activities with the family.. She was a good dog but her time has come when we decided that she was suffering and so we put her to sleep— couldn’t be selfish and kept her there for our own sake.

    Leila my lovely will always be remembered and missed. Peace.

  184. Heather says:

    Im sitting here beside our elderly dog. He won’t eat or drink and he just keeps crying in pain. We should have him put down but my mother is too selfish to realize that he’s no living he’s just existing and barely that.

  185. loretta says:

    i’m trying to make a decision for my beloved billie. she’s a 12 yr old yellow lab. i adopted her at 2 1/2. i knew she had an enlarged heart but couldn’t let anyone put her down. her cardiologist expected her to live only 7 years. she recently developed diabetes which has taken her sight quickly. she is also deaf. i look at her everyday and wonder will i know when it’s time. she eats but is still losing weight. she doesn’t seem to be in pain. she still enjoys rolling around in the yard. she pants constantly and seems to be distressed more often than not. i just don’t know what to do.
    will she let me know?

  186. Rachel says:

    @ Debbie and Jason

    Jason, knowing that your beloved Lucy is sick has to be heartbreaking, and I am truly sorry. Enjoy every single minute you have with her! She will appreciate that you are there with her. It is hard without our pets, but you will find the strength to go on. Believe in yourself and know that Lucy wuld want you to live a long and happy life.

    Debbie, I am sorry for what you are going through and know how hard it is. It will be one month on the 22nd that I had my Sherman put out of his pain. I miss him every single day. Just know that is does get easier. It was the hardest decision that I have ever made, but know it was the right one. Just put your dog’s best interest at heart and you will know what is the right thing to do. I wish you all the best.

    Rachel

  187. Jason Patchett says:

    I was told yesterday (18/07/2012) that my dog Lucy has a tumor growing up her spinal cord. She is only six and the most amazing Golden Labrador you could ever wish to have as your companion. The VET has told me that she has between 3 to 12 weeks left using chemotherapy. These next few weeks are going to be joyous yet very painful. I really will lose my best friend, we walk everywhere together and has had so much fun. She is loving, adoring and full of youth. My heart breaks knowing that soon, I will have to put her to rest. I’m not sure that I even want to go on and I’m 43! I may be a coward but it’s pure and utter pain. I just hope that one day, we will meet again in heaven.

  188. Debbie says:

    Hello, I have been sitting here, reading all of your stories and agonizing over having to make this very same decision. My Seamus is 15 years old and has hip displasia, he poops and doesn’t even realize he is laying in it. We have been dealing with this for about a year now, he still eats and drinks and once he is up he still gets around. I wish there was no “choice” to be made. I wish God would step in and it wouldn’t be left up to me-my husband’s family think I am being selfish for not putting him down, but he has been a part of my family since he was 6 weeks old and it’s such a hard decision. Sorry if some of this doesn’t make sense, tears are streaming as I am typing.

  189. cgmckeever says:

    There is an awesome article here:
    NEARING THE END page 36
    http://angeltales.org/2011-winter.pdf

    Excerpt:

    Anticipatory Grief
    When a terminal diagnosis is given, or
    if it is becoming evident that a pet does
    not have much time left, family members
    may begin to feel a great deal of sadness,
    anger, or a myriad of other emotions.
    These feelings, known as anticipatory
    grief, are a form of grief that occurs prior
    to the loss. If these feelings become debilitating, the best course of action is to
    seek out a professional therapist, or to
    find a local or online support group. The
    emotions that accompany anticipatory
    grief are often confusing and isolating.
    Talking through them in a professional
    setting may not alleviate these feelings
    entirely, but they may ease some of the
    secondary discomforts that often spring
    from these emotions.
    With this in mind, it is essential that
    families take the appropriate actions in
    the anticipatory stages to minimize the
    potential for feelings such as self loathing, uncertainty, and guilt after the death
    occurs. Many times family members will
    say, “What if we had done this,” or “We
    should have tried that.” A good way to
    defend against this is to have an end of
    life plan in place before it is needed. If
    possible, start by thinking about what
    you would do if you were given a terminal diagnosis and start gathering facts in
    order to be aware of all of your options.
    End of life care is continually changing
    and, if desired, euthanasia can be your
    family’s last resort rather than the only
    option. This may ultimately reduce the
    level of stress and guilt that is felt after
    the pet passes away.

  190. Barbara and Joe Svoboda says:

    We decided yesterday(July 3,2012) to put Pepper, our 12 yr. old Lab to sleep. It was so sad for us, but I knew that day was coming. I whispered in her ear as I was petting her for the last time that she was going to a better place and she would be greeted by my little sister and my sisters-in-law whom they loved her alot, and one day we would see her again in the Heavens. I am so tearful as I am typing this, I miss her terribly. One minute I feel like I did the wrong thing and then the next minute I am relieved she is no longer in pain. So I pray to God we did the right thing for our beloved Pepper. She was a good dog through out her life with unconditional love and she will always be in our hearts. We love you,Pepper,and miss you very much.

  191. Laurie says:

    Hi Aiden,

    I’m not a veterinarian, and I don’t know if your dog was in pain before he died. I’m sorry you had to experience that – I know it would have been very difficult for me to hear my dog make a noise like that.

    Here’s a link to a really good article about euthanasia in dogs:

    http://gvdt57.home.xs4all.nl/usa/doc_euthanasia.html

    In it, Mo says that dogs may twitch and vocalize as they are being euthanized. This doesn’t mean they’re in pain – it’s just the drug kicking in and affecting their bodies.

    I believe that dogs are not in pain when they are put to sleep. I think your dog reacted to the drug, but didn’t experience pain. Those drugs are powerful and effective, and work really fast.

    I hope this helps, and I wish you all the best as you heal from saying good-bye.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  192. Aiden says:

    Hi I’m sorry to hear of your loss :( I just have a question about Euthanasia, today(now yesterday) at 6 at night, I had my beloved 10 year old bunny put to sleep as a result of a bad eye infection. The vet gave him a muscle relaxer that soon caused him to fall asleep, once asleep the vet gave him the injection to his kidney, after waiting a while is heart had not stopped. She then pulled him out of the box, shaved his ear and gave him the injection to his ear (still asleep), as she began to push the needle and the fluid came out, he tried to move his head and he kicked his leg, then let off this horrible squeal that I will never forget, to me it sounded like a scream of horrific pain. But I haven’t got a lot of knowledge on this topic so I was wondering, as a vet could you please give me an honest answer? Would you be able to tell if he was in pain right before he passed, or was that simply just a muscle convulsion and a nerve twitch?
    Thank you for your time, your answer will be very appreciated :)

  193. cgmckeever says:

    @walter — here are my thoughts

    you’ll want to work up to a place where you feel internally good that you made your pups last fews days full of love and him knowing how amazing he has been in your life. Be it a week from today or 6 months today. Heck .. this is how we should treat them all the time, its so easy just to let life get in the way

    as much as you contemplate the issue, come to grips that there is always a time where you will need to say goodbye .. and that it is truly the most humane and selfless thing you can do – to help usher them in.

    DONT let the descision get in the way of you making them feel and know how much they are loved as the time nears. This is one of my greatest regrets is that a lot of the weekend I spent in my own turmoil … and then, one day she was gone.

    Decide if your decision to keep them is for you or them. You’ll know when it becomes more for you than them, and just keep in mind that its (unfortuantely) how things are ..we need to say goodbye to our most loyal and loved friends

  194. cgmckeever says:

    @walter — if you (or anyone) wants someone to bounce things off of – feel free …. its the username above @gmail.com

  195. Walter says:

    I have a golden retreaver that is over 84 dog years old,His hip hurt some times but not all the time.he seems to have no energy and some times I have to help him get up from laying around so much cause of stiffness.He dosent play any more all he does is eat and lay on his side pressed up aginst the wall.This dog has been the love of my life for a pet and I have so many fun memorys I dont know if I should send him off to rain bow bridge where pets wait for their owners to pass over also to meet them.Can any one give me insite or advise I am to week.And the worst thing is I am a man and I guess I should be stronger.

  196. cgmckeever says:

    Yesterday I had a 30 minute phone call with a animal psychic. Let me put it this way. I am a very analytical person, but there is a piece of me that strongly hopes that there is really more than the daily grind leading into the inevitable.

    He told me what I needed (wanted?) to hear in a way that I needed to hear it. Nothing that I havent already heard, but said in a way (and maybe perspective) that just resonated.

    Yes, he said some things that I didnt tell him, but nothing that some creative googling possibly couldnt find. He touched on the psychological/emotional turmoil I was having and talked me through it.

    There were a lot of coincidental circumstances that lead up to our good bye. Two weeks prior, I received a phone call from someone that was once extremely connected to my baby girl, in which I havent spoken to in close to 10 years. What was the subject line? ‘How is my baby’

    The week prior, I took her to the vet. It was a routine visit – one that I didnt feel was needed, but maybe there was an anti-inflammatory for her arthritis. That Friday I got a reality check from the blood work, which pushed me into spending a strong loving weekend with her. One that was unfortunately wrought with contemplation and turmoil.

    I started to notice (coincidentally) that when Karma would walk under the CO2 detector it would beep. The beep of a low battery – but it would be once and then never again – unlike the continual beep to get you to replace the battery (keep this in your head, its gonna shock you in 1 paragraph)

    On Sunday, I learned about a new local ER. 2 hours later, I found myself at that ER – whose bedside manner and facility for saying goodbye was unparalleled. It wasnt an exam room – it was a peace room. A room set up so both parties were comfortable and can spend the last few minutes in embrace and love.

    Throughout the week, as I was waking, I would hear the CO2 detector beep. The mornings have been the hardest, knowing that there isnt a little princess to take out or feed. The beep would shock me, again — only happens randomly (again – dont think I am nuts — its just the little things that I am trying to connect with to make this transition easier).

    Yesterday — one week after learning the reality I started to tremble and needed a quick walk. 30 minutes later, I got a call from the vet that Karma’s ashes have arrived.

    Coincidental or not – I received them 40 minutes before my Animal Guide call. 30 seconds before the call … What happened? The CO2 detector beeped, then the phone rang.

    (preface some of this can be found via creative googling, some of it even within the blog commentary)

    I am 100% positive that all I told him was that her name was Karma.

    He knew her breed and that her ears were floppy (not indicative of the breed). He nailed her age. He asked if the end was quick, but planned.

    The one thing that I wanted to know – was if something during that weekend was a tipping point. The response was that it was time.

    She was still processing it all, but was happy and knew that everything that led up to it was needed.

    A parting comments was ‘one of her favorite moments was the ice cream’. Well who doesnt give their pup some ice cream 😉 ? … Regardless, I had just given her some over that weekend — so it resonated.

    He spoke to me directly about just the loss and mourning period. It was good, it was needed. I appreciate the talk – it was different than a friend, it was different than a therapist – it was simply what I needed to hear and how I needed to hear it.

    In addition – this blog has been a tremendous inspiration for me – not only to get my thoughts out, but to bond with the others on here.

    Thank you

  197. Rachel says:

    @cgmckeever and @gerry I so know what you are ging through. Yesterday we put our beloved Beagle to sleep. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It was time, he was in pain and suffering. I feel so guilty for the decision that I made for him. I haven’t stopped crying much since then. I miss him so much already. We have a 3 year old Golden Retriever that seemed fine yesterday, I don’t think he realized he was really gone. This morning is a different story, he seems very sad. This is all breaking my heart, and I hope it gets easier very soon.

  198. cgmckeever says:

    @gerry – I am going through a similar thing right now. I feel empty, and that I made a decision which resulted in me saying goodbye to my best friend.

    I know deep down that she was going to (and quite possibly already begun to) suffer. It just is surreal that one moment she was here, and the next she wasnt, and it was all based on a decision.

    But as someone said earlier, the best gift we can ever give them is the humanity to not have them suffer, and the selflessness to not keep them around for our own.

    Let us cherish the thoughts and unconditional love that they bestowed on us, and know that they are in a better place.

  199. Gerry says:

    Hi, this is so difficult- My wife and I had our beloved German Shepherd, Tara, put to sleep on Monday 18th. I feel so guilty about it. I took her to the Vet 18 months ago as she was starting to be a bit unsteady on her feet. The vet said she had hip displasia, and said she would probably go off her back legs in 6- 12 months. We were obviously devastated at this- Tara was 9 at the time- and was otherwise fit and healthy. 6 months went by, and her unsteadiness got worse… after 12 months she had gone off her back legs completely (Christmas 2011) and we invested in a dog mobility trolley for her so she could still go for walks(which she really enjoyed). She would go on her trolley and pull herself along quite happily with her front legs with the wheels doing the job of her back legs. At home, she was like a seal- pulling herself along across the carpet…but she managed OK and still had a good appetite and played with her toys. By the beginning of June there was no feeling or movement in her back legs at all, and she had slowed down considerably on her trolley. Whereas before, we couldn’t keep up with her, it was now taking an eternity to get round the field. Her front legs also seemed to be weaker, and she would sometimes slip in the kitchen, landing flat on her stomach. My wife and I decided on Monday that it wasn’t fair any more… she couldn’t toilet herself, she was semi incontinent and needed help to be fed and have a drink. It just seemed that she had little quality of life. In the last week, she also cried after coming back from the field. So we made the difficult decision on Monday to put her to sleep. The thing that made it all the more difficult was that she was still alert and had a good appetite…it was her body that let her down. I still feel guilty, although I know she was deteriorating and was likely to be in pain. She was on pain killers already with anti inflammatories, but that obviously wasn’t enough. We shall never forget her.
    Gerry

  200. Carolyn says:

    My 12 year old chihuahua seems to be in ok health. He eat well, drinks alot and now has problems with peeing and pooping in the house multiple times a day. He has also become very intolerant of my two kids and nips and growls at them all the time. I am at a loss! I am contemplating putting him down because I feel he is not happy and I don’t want him to hurt my kids, is that wrong?

  201. Debbie says:

    I am so grateful for everyone’s post on this message board. This sick feeling I have doesn’t seem quite so unbearable now.
    I’ve decided to take my 14 year old maltese, Kittie Lu to the vet tomorrow and have her put to sleep. I keep telling myself she has good days still, but the fact remains that she’s in pain every day from arthritis. She can barely see and her hearing is going as well.
    Having your messages to read is helping me with the agony of taking her in. She will be relieved from the pain she is in and the frustration she must feel when she falls off the steps or bumps into things.
    Kittie Lu has seen me through 3 solid years of bad health and spent endless hours laying next to me in bed. Her constant comfort and companionship also got me through a very sad divorce. Now that I am strong again, I have to be good to her and let her go before her suffering is constant and void of good times.
    We had a good day today working in the garden. She laid in the sun for a bit and then watched me from the porch. We went for a ride and she’s had some yummy cheese. She’s dirty from the outdoors and is laying on the bed between the cat and me. I’ll give her a nice warm bath tonight, put a pretty, pink bow in her hair and snuggle one last night… she deserves endless sweet dreams.
    Peace be with you all during this difficult time.

  202. Renee says:

    Hi Rachel, I just have to say after reading your comment it is as if I wrote it myself. Your scenario is so similar to mine. I think if you really read what you wrote that is all the assurance you need. You will see that you are saying your poor baby’s quality of life is just not there. I know we get side tracked from our decision when we see a sign of their tail wagging or them eating but the reality is they lived a long happy life and just need for us to do right by them and take them to their next life. I know it is so hard and it just would be easier if we had a vet tell us what to do. :) We have to be strong for our babies! I know it is hard. I am going this Saturday with my little Allie monster. waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah..but I know it is the right thing to do. I can’t watch her discomfort anymore. :(

  203. cgmckeever says:

    @rachel — you explained my situation to a tee. Spend some amazing time with him and let him know what a wonderful part of the family and your life he has been.

  204. Rachel says:

    I am having a horrible time deciding to put my dog to sleep. He is a 12 year old Beagle. He’s had arthritis, and it just seems to be getting worse. He is very unsteady on his feet, gets knocked down very easily and has a very hard time getting back up. We had to buy him a ramp to go up and down the 4 stairs to get outside, this is now very difficult for him. His eyesight and hearing are going, and his belly appears fatter than normal. It takes him a long time to even sit or lay down. He sleeps all the time, and now snaps at people if he gets nervous that he may get hurt. The poor thing just doesn’t seem happy, I don’t know the last time his tail wagged, and he has stopped barking at passerbys in the past week. Some days his breathing is faster than others, and he has started coughing the past couple days. I guess I just need assurance that I am doing the right thing, probably cause he still eats, but he has always had food agression so it doesn’t surprise me that much. The last time I took him to the vet, his pulse was very weak and so was he. They had know idea what was wrong with him, and in a couple days he perked back up. This time is different, he just seems to be in pain and not happy. God, I hope I am doing the right thing! :(

  205. cgmckeever says:

    @Renee and @Lisa — I just read both your messages. The first thing that I will say to you is change the mind set from ‘putting down’ to saying goodbye and ushering them into a better place.

    Your gut knows its time, your heart wants more time. Enjoy the moments. Cherish the memories. I am finally getting to a place where I can clearly see that keeping her around would have only been for me, and she would have started to suffer. Maybe I was in denial for a little while, but I honestly and truly know that there was still love in her heart and wagger in her tail … but it was going to leave quick.

    Things I wish I knew then that I realize now … If it is 1 minute or 10 minutes, enjoy the time – and dont contemplate the decision. Let them know that they are loved. Rub their belly Tell them how special they are and how they changed you forever.

    I was there with her as she moved on. I couldnt encourage this more so. Giving them comfort and knowing they you are with them now and forever. My only realization was, I wish I could have kept my composure. She was calm, but I wish I could have reciprocated and made it as peaceful as possible.

    Keep their love in your hearts … and feel their imprint on you forever.

  206. Lisa says:

    15 years ago I was having a difficult time after a break up with my boyfriend when my mom showed up on my doorstep with a gift, a cocker spaniel puppy. The best gift Ive ever been given! I named her Muffin & she has been my most loyal friend and constant companion as I am now 40 & never married. I worked for an animal hospital for many years & was lucky enough to always be able to give her the highest quality of care but now its getting very close to time to put her to sleep, she was at the vet about a month ago for a dental cleaning & while under anesthesia they discovered a large mass in her abdomen, they said at her age they didnt recommend surgery so take her home & enjoy the time you have left with her. That time is here and I am not sure how Im going to do this. I am sitting here at 4:30 am writing this because Muffin woke me up by wandering into the kitchen bumping into walls & not being able to find her way back out, I got up to let her out & it was just now that I realized its “time”. I was just at the vets last pm picking up meds for her & while there I scheduled an appt for this monday to discuss putting her down & now I fear it will be the day I have to say goodbye……..Im heartbroken:-(

  207. Cindy says:

    Vee, I am so sorry. We had to put our little yourkie down two days ago.
    Out of the blue she went into kidney failer at 13 years old and the vet said she was dying and her organs were shutting down and that to spare here suffering we need to. No treatment could help her at the stage she was in. It is so hard. But we have to remember that we keep them alive for us. Dogs to not have a sense of time and future. They know now..this moment, which is part of the reason they come with so much to teach us. If you could save your dog one day of suffering when the outlook of every getting better again is not possible, you should. We are heart broken but every pet owner knows when they bring that puppy home that the day will come to face the goodbye. When my other youkie was put down 8 months ago and we held him..all I could say was thank you, and I love you. Life is about change…sometimes it hurts. Sometimes love is making the hard choice. Read the book if you have not already..The Art of Racing in the Rain. It is told from a dogs point of view. When a dog can not longer have the joy of being a dog..it is time. It is humane, it can be a final act of love when a dog is suffering. God bless you. I know how much it hurts. We have been crying non stop to not have her any longer. We cry because for now life is not as sweet without her. It will be sweet again when when the reason for change shows itself. For now we greive we cry we remember but we do not have to watch her suffer which wold hurt even more. Thank you for loving you animal so much. Love is the only thing that lasts forever and you will be forever together in that love. I promise..The story of the Velvetine Rabbit….you do not become “real” until you have loved and been loved has so much truth to it. You both are now real in love and love is forever.

  208. Renee says:

    I have read everyone’s heart wrenching stories and although it makes me sad, it really puts in perspective we need to do what is best for our furry family members. Today I have decided it is time to end my 15 year old cocker spaniel, Allie’s life. I seriously do not know how I will find the strength to physically get her to the vet and actually go through with it. She is deaf and blind, bad arthritis and in pain. Her quality of life consists of sleeping and banging in to things all day. I look at her and when she lays down her head does not even hit the floor, I just know her eye pressure is high and she is walking around with the equivalent to a migraine. I have her on three medications and am getting recommendations to take her to eye specialist. At some point we have to ask ourselves, what is next? If I take her to specialist then what? She remains blind, deaf, bad arthritis and has a large fatty tumor about the size of her head on her shoulder. In a way I almost feel ashamed for selfishly keeping her around only to make myself feel better. I guess we should have known when we made a member of our family, this day would come and we almost don’t have a choice. It is the utlimate selfless act to make sure our little buddy is no longer living in pain. I hope you all find comfort with this decision and their absence gets easier.

  209. cgmckeever says:

    This article helped me with one of the hardest decisions I have ever faced. My baby girl – Karma had been losing mobility for a few months – and it may have been longer, I was just in denial.

    Last summer, at the beach – one her most favorite places on this planet – she didnt have the spunk, and her legs started to shake. She was 13 at the time. Playing fetch, she would, on a good day, maybe retrieve the ball twice before laying down.

    Then, as I said, the last few months her mobility worsened. She resisted walking, and we had to handle her potty situation as best we could.

    She still had happiness in her eyes, but I know with each passing day and her lying around that it was leaving her.

    Then last week, I took her to the vet – hoping for a miracle arthritis pill. Based on her history and age, the vet didnt think that was an option. A few days later the blood work came back.

    She had history of a liver issue that could never be isolated, and the results were now off the chart. The vet said testing would just lead to information for an informed decision, she is too old to treat.

    Now – I dont know if this was straight talk (most likely) or just BS .. but it was what I needed to hear. I left early from work and we went to the beach. I could tell she wanted to be there, but she realized she didnt have it in her.

    The rest of the weekend, I spent in turnmoil – but also surrounded her with love. I got her favorite McDonalds fries, and I remember her finding them in her bowl during the middle of the night.

    On Sunday we went to the park and chilled in the shade. She had little energy. My gut told me it was near, my brain said that she is no sicker than before the vet visit. I swore to myself that when she is definitively suffering — I wont debate, and I will usher her into a new life.

    When we got back from the park, we took a nap — when she woke up – she came looking for me. Not something that she has recently done. When I took her out – she pee’d dark brown almost red. I knew it was time.

    We went to the ER where I was told that she had a fever and dehydration. I could put her into 24hr ICU/IV .. but I knew what was needed.

    I spent a few minutes alone with her – holding her as close as I could and then helped usher her into the next phase of her eternal life.

    I have many questions – did I over exert her during the weekend, or was she happy that we got to spend time together. Was the decision and time too quick near the end.

    All I know is that in retrospect, her quality of life was starting to (if not minimized) by just existing.

    Was she happy? Her tail was wagging, her eyes had life … but was it consistent? Was she suffering? I dont think she was in pain, but her struggle with mobility was getting worse.

    Im dealing with this the best I can – and I miss her extremely .. but I know that if she was still here today, it would have crossed the lateral to be more for me than her. This doesnt detract from how much I miss her. I will never stop. I love her — she was and always will be my baby girl

  210. TorontoLady says:

    We have a 12 year old American Eskimo. We adopted her when she was 2 and I was not even old enough to drive now 10 years later she cant walk, poos and pees her self dosent eat, has diabetes and is just not enjoying life. It is very hard to say goodbye since its my parents decision.
    But it just really hurts my heart. I wish she passed naturally in her sleep vs. us making the conscious decision to end her life. That is what I was struggling with:(
    healing light and love to us all.
    Hope to see them again some day.

  211. Laurie says:

    I’m so sorry you have to face this – it’s a terrible, terrible thing to have to put your dog to sleep. I’ve only had my dog for one year, and a couple nights ago I dreamed that she died. I woke up crying and hyperventilating, and will never forget how much pain I felt at her death.

    I think the best way to cope with putting your dog to sleep is to keep reminding yourself that if your dog stayed alive, she’d be in pain. Her life is winding down, and it’s not humane or healthy to keep her alive no matter what.

    And, who’s to say that death is bad or unhappier than life? What if death is peaceful or even joyous? We’re very scared of death, but we don’t know why we’re so scared of it.

    The worst part of losing your dog is facing life without her, after she’s been your constant companion. She has loved you unconditionally, and has relied on you for her very life. Now you feel like you’re betraying her by putting her down…but I don’t see it as a betrayal. I see it as a final act of love and care.

    It’s facing life without her that’s the most painful part. And I don’t know what to say to make it better. I wish I had words of wisdom or healing, but all I can say is that you’re not alone…and it will get better. In time you’ll remember your dog with love, peace, and joy. And, maybe you’ll open your heart and home to another dog who needs love, who will be devoted and loyal to you.

    In sympathy,
    Laurie

  212. Vee says:

    I can’t let go… It’s hurting… My goirgeous sammie Ursa has been with me for 14 gorgeous years and I know the time has come. She has an evolving case or paralysis and the cortisone shots no longer seem to be doing the trick. This morning she went out for her morning pee and fell down on top of it. The look of stress and anguish in her face was terrible. For the past five months we’ve been giving her shots of cortisone and she always bounces back to a certain extent.But now she’s not doing it any more. She hasn’t had a bite for 2 days and she just lies there… she pooped herself too and she just looks mortified. I hate to admit that she has to cross the raimbow bridge now, I just can’t seem to find it in me. I’m killing my best friend! We’re so strongly against doing it to humans, why should we do it to our pets who are sometimes ten times as loyal and kind as any human being?? Why is eutrhanaisa on an animal “kindness” but on human beings its “murder”? I can’t seem to find the strength, I know I should, I know she’s no longer happy here, but she’s been my best friend for 14 years,how am I supposed to do this?? (Can’t stop crying as I type this… god it hurts…) Please help me.

  213. Nick says:

    This morning we had to make the decision to let our beloved Dalmatian Rex go, just four weeks after losing our sweetpea Roo also a Dalmatian. Both were fourteen years old when they passed and both times we knew that we had to put our selfish feelings aside and let them go, because keeping them going just one more day would have been selfish. Why should they suffer just because we need to keep them with us? Now they are gone, the most instinctive reaction is to break down crying, which we are doing constantly, but once again this is only thinking of ourselves and the loss we are feeling. It brings a smile to our faces and a warm feeling inside our hearts when we think of the love there was between us and that no longer are they in pain.

    We know it is hard to think about doing what must be done, but when you are faced with this decision, look into their eyes and you will know when it is time and when it happens, however hard it is, be there with them and let your face be the last thing they see.

    XXX

  214. Tracey says:

    Hi I HAVE A POODLE CALLED CURLEY, AND CURLEY IS 14 years old… Curley is a charming gental little sole. But for about 6 months now he has started to poop,pee, and vomit inside, when he is outside or letf inside by himself he howls all the time and dosent stop..this has been stressful for all… I am getting told it time to put him down, he follows me every where , now he is deaf and dosent see to well , we have him on medication the vet says he is very well in all other ways ,healthy… I just don’t know what is best he has been apart of the family for so long and given so much love to us all, I don’t want to say good bye.

  215. sue Tucker says:

    I have a 16 year old dog called socks. Today I’m making the hardest dicision of my life.

    Socks has a heart condition, breathing problems, back legs are going and she doen’t eat every day. She sits all day and paces last thing at night. She can’t walk outside for more than 10 minutes. She still has a play with me at night (some times). I don’t think she is in pain but 80% she seems very unhappy. She is settled as long as she knows where i am. When I’m at work she sits by the front door and waits.

    I don’t want her to go! She means everything to our family. Deep in my heart with all my pain and guilt I know she needs to be helped on her way.

    Help Me I don’t know what to do.

    I can’t stop crying

  216. Rose says:

    I Have on the 29th May 2012 had to have my Best friend & sole mate boxer dog Tigger put to sleep he would be 10yrs old on July 18th 2012.

    Daddy had taken him his usual morning walk on the field behind where we live it was only a small walk as he had been diagnosed with an enlarged heart twelve months ago and was on heart medication , as he was coming off the field Tigger collapsed, after a few minutes he made it back to the house Tigger walked through the house onto the decking outside the back garden vomited drank out of his water dish I had just filled then lay down totally exhausted. I knew he wasn’t right so I called the emergency vet who asked us to take him in ,when we arrived the vet picked him up and carried him to his room and gave Tigger a thorough examination, He looked up at me and said he was very anaemic and he could take bloods but we would still be here until 6pm and he would still be saying the best thing we could do was to let him go !! I cried so much and kissed him and talked to Tigger until he fell asleep I had Tigger cremated and have now had his ashes back, I also requested a cutting of his hair for a keepsake and have now found a site who are at this minute making a necklace with a forget me not flower inside with some of Tiggers hair placed inside and engraved on the back some wonderful words so I can keep him next to my heart forever I am devastated and miss him until I ache ,but I couldn’t let him suffer ,I have made a photo album from when Tigger was a puppy to the day before he fell asleep I was always taking pictures of him, I have a huge canvas of Tigger in the livingroom and a huge framed picture over our bed infact his pic is in every room , He will be in my thoughts forever,
    It is a big decision to make but don’t let him suffer! speak to your vet take care god bless .

  217. Dianne says:

    My Pumpkins was just 7 WHEN I PUT HER TO SLEEP TWO WEEKS AGO TODAY. SHE GOT TO WHERE SHE COULD NOT STAND OR WALK. WITHOUT FALLING. I CARRIED HER AROUND WITH ME. FINALLY I KNEW IT WAS TIME IN HER EYES WHEN SHE LOOKED AT ME. SHE WAS COMFORTING ME BECAJSE SHE KNEW I DID NOT WANT TO LOSE JER. SHE WAS A POM AND MY HEART. I CRY EVERYDAY AND FEEL SO LONELY WITHOUT HER I WILL NEVER GET ANOTHER ONE BECAUSE THE HURT IS TO BAD TO GO THROUGH IT AGAIN.

  218. Sara says:

    I put my 10 year old cat down a few months ago. He had lyphoma. One night at 130am I looked at him and just knew it was time. My heart still breaks when I think of him. But I know that he was in severe pain, not eating, drinking and had lost more than half his body weight in 6 months. He was my baby, he Will always have a place in my heart. Sometimes I wonder if I did the right thing. Then I remember the look on his face that night when the decision was instantly made. He is in a better place now with no more pain and suffering. My boyfriend has a dog that is past his time. I wish he would put him down. I don’t say anything because the choice needs to come from him. I have learned 1 thing from the years tragic events. When your best friend who can’t tell you what’s wrong is no longer enjoying life and is suffering its much kinder to put them down then watch their days go by in misery.

  219. Beth Barbaro says:

    I’m sitting here reading your article with tears running down my face. My beloved boxer Cleo who is 8 has suddenly taken a turn for the worst. She developed swollen lymph nodes in her neck about a month ago and was treated with anti-biotics and anti-inflammitories, and did great until one week ago. She had continued to eat and play with no issues, then very suddenly she started loosing weight very quickly, I think her sister was eating her cleo’s share of the food. We changed her to soft food smaller portions more often but is now vomiting. They think that the swollen lymph nodes where actually an enlarged thyroid which almost always means cancer. I can’t bare nor afford to put her through a long drawn out battle with cancer. We are going to the vet in the morning for a recheck and I think the only thing left to do is put her out of her suffering. I am afraid that her sister our almost 11 year old boxer will be so heart broken that she will closely follow her to doggie heaven. I will loose my girls very close together and it breaks my heart. Thank you for putting this in such a caring and heart felt light. I was feeling like going to vet tomorrow and saying I think it’s end for her that they would think I was a horrible person, but being her doggie mom I know what decision I need to make. Thanks! Beth (sad doggie mom)

  220. Miranda says:

    I have a Border Collie mix named Bella who is just under 9 years old. Long story short, she’s been having several problems recently such as loss of appetite, dramatic weight loss, arthritis in her back legs, and incontinence. She doesn’t seem to be in much pain, but it’s obvious she’s in severe discomfort. We’ve been debating on whether or not to put her down for a few days now. And based on her condition, I certainly think it’s the right decision. But what’s tearing me apart is the fact that she seems somewhat young to be put down. I honestly don’t know if we’ve done everything we can to save her. I still think she might have some fight left in her, and I couldn’t live with myself if we euthanized her prematurely. I know it’s kinder to put her down. But I just don’t want to give up on her if there’s a chance we could improve her quality of life for just a little bit longer. If there are no improvements within a certain period of time, chances are good that we’ll put her down regardless.

    We’ve had to put a couple of animals to sleep in the past, and it felt like they pretty much told us that they were ready to go. But it’s completely the opposite with Bella. It’s so hard to decipher whether or not she’s telling us she’s ready to go. Man, it’s times like these I wish animals could directly speak to us.

  221. Ann Obrzut says:

    hi, this is so hard for me, clancy has been with me for 16 years. im crying like a baby right now. i dont want to let him go. he has been having difficulty getting around, his back end is shot. but he got around. his appetite is super. but now, we go to help him up when he falls and now he cant stay up. he doesnt cry at all. i am taking him to the vet tomorrow and kind of leave it up to a professional opinion. Just put my 15 year old cat down a month ago. this is such an awful feeling.

  222. Natalie says:

    Ellen, I am so sorry you are going through this. I think it would be best to gather the whole family around and have an honest talk about this situation once and for all. This is going to be one of the most important events in your childrens life, therefore you have to handel it diplomatically yet honestly. If your dog is not doing better, you are just prolonging the discomfort for him and you know that sooner or later, you will have to face that final day. It is going to be very hard, but know for sure that you will be given the strength to go on and one day smile again, and maybe one day re-open your hearts and home to a doggy who needs your love. God bless you.

  223. Ellen says:

    Hello. I am in the same spot most of you are too…. My (was 165lb…now130lb) American Bulldog Duke is looking not so hot these days. He has been diagnosed with cancer and heartworm recently. I brought him in for a very swollen paw and we found out that is was most likely due to the cancer. He seems happy most days still, but his paw is still swollen. It is pitting edema and weeps fluid daily. Yesterday I noticed a small puddle of fluid under his paw as he was laying on my floor. I decided right then and there i couldnt let this go on. I fear it getting infected from constant moisture paired with this heat wave we are having in Michigan. My husband is already so upset with me talking about putting him to sleep so i feel like im in a very tough spot. We also have a 3 year old and 2 year old twin girls thgat are OBSESSED with their dogs. Any advice for me? Im so sad to see him changing like this but I have to be rational. How should I approach this? any advice would help. Thanks! Ellen.

  224. Samantha says:

    My sweet baby girl, best friend, soulmate, and love of my life hasn’t been herself the past 4 days. It seems to get slightly worse each day. She does have happy moments. The outdoors, short walks, hard boiled eggs and lots of lovin’ seem to pep her up which makes this decision even harder. About 6 months ago she got very sick, we took her to the vet and discovered a very large tumor in her abdomen and were told we should think about euthanizing her in the next few days. My family and I was absolutely devastated. I cried for several days even though she was feeling better. I changed her diet to 100% organic vegetarian, made sure she got lots of exercise and attention and she was better than ever. She had the energy of a puppy and lost 10 lbs! (she was slightly overweight before). I am so grateful for the extra 6 months I got with her that I thought I would not have. Although it is extremely devastating, and a very difficult decision, with an unclear answer, I know in my heart it’s her time to go. I cannot stand to see her in discomfort any longer, and I know she doesn’t like to see me cry all the time. I haven’t left her side for more than a few minutes these past few days, in fact she’s right next to me. Sleeping like an angel :) I love you so much, Georgia. I’ll be missing you more than you know. We’ll be together again very soon.

  225. Jeff says:

    Dear Laurie and all

    Thank you for the support last month regarding my child.

    She passed in her sleep on her own terms last week. Thanks God I didn’t have to do that horrid vet scene.
    She was eating/drinking the last night but passed while I was asleep. She didn’t want me to witness this.

    Was quite a shock to see her gone but I’m happy she went in her own warm bed.
    Had her nearly 18 years and being a large dog, that is a long time. A blessing. 17 very good years. The last 6 months were a challenge but I wanted her to go when she wanted to. As per the vet the last week, she didn’t appear to be in pain otherwise I would have done the horrendous E word.

    I firmly believe (in the absence of pain and unhappiness in their eyes) pets should pass naturally on their terms even if their health places a burden on the owner.
    Would you carry your Mother out of her bed to be terminated against her wishes?
    I know some will say they are animals, people are people. Sorry I don’t buy it.
    Some will say the animal can’t make decisions to pass on their own, I disagree, they will give up when THEY want to, naturally.

    I will go on a personal crusade against that horrible unnatural euthanasia. Its just not natural.
    Yes yes do it if the pet is in pain or has given up food water and that spark is gone in their eyes.

    You will know by the pets eyes when they are ready to check out.

    Had a wonderful wake and service for her at a beautiful chapel/cemetery. Watched her go into the ground hysterical saying goodbye.

  226. Kathi says:

    I found this webpage while I was searching for the answer of how not to have to put my girl down. I dont think I can handle it without an enormous amount of crying and hysteria. Princess is 13 (March 7th) German Shepard, she is my girl.She has had the hip issues for awhile and though she has been on glycosame for years and now on steroids from the vet she is still getting worse. She is doing her business in the house almost everyday.She is eating the diaper off and the poop,she ate the bootie off her foot(she has been dragging her feet and the knuckles are bleeding. She still gets her stick when we go out and always want to run for it-she loves her stick! I am beside myself but my house is really starting to hold the smells and my back porch looks like a crime scene with all the streaks of blood from her toes. I dont think she feels it because I wash them and she doesnt flinch plus her leg has almost no resistance. I bought her a wheel chair but its no good, she cant lay down in it and she cant use it in the house. 3 nights ago she woke me up barking/howling because she couldnt get up of the wood floor. I want her to have a natural death but I dont want her to die without me being here. OMG I am a wreck, my neighbor thought I should bring her to the vet a month ago but I cant, she still wants to play with her stick! I appreciate a place I can put this down. Thanks

  227. pearllb says:

    I realize the choice is a personal one which no one can make for you but I do feel I need support in even contemplating this agonizing decision. My dog has just turned 14, he is a cockapoo we has since a puppy that has been given an amazing life. About 9 months ago he was diagnosed with prostate cancer which was discovered from tests following increased urination in the house. We chose to do chemotherapy that is now being followed up with chemo we give him in the form of pills and were told that the tumor did decrease. We never expected him to be cured but rather increase his quality of life and give him the opportunity to die of old age as opposed to the severe pain symptoms associated with prostate cancer. We were hoping that he would urinate less as his tumor shrunk but it has only increased over the past few months. Needless to say we have spent thousands of dollars, prob close to 7 or more right now so I can honestly say we have done everything possible to extend his life. He still eats, begs for food, needs to be lifted often, wags his tail when we get home and doesn’t appear to be in pain except for arthritis that he takes meds for. The biggest problem for us is that he urinates and deficates in the house all day and I mean sometimes every 15 min. I am cleaning up from him all day long from morning until night, he does hold it at night when he’s sleeping but usually that’s no more then 6 hrs at best. We started to put down wee wee pads that I thought was such a great idea, he was going on them about 50 percent of the time but now its probably more like 25%, maybe. It has gotten to the point where I hate being home sometimes because of the constant cleaning that is required and I am not exaggerating when I report that it can be every 30 mins, esp urination but I also think the chemo has contributed toward stomach issues as well. I know his quality of life is not the same, he sleeps more, the side of his face around the mouth has begun to droop, not sure what that is yet. What i do know is that our quality of life has suffered from all of this, not to mention the environment of the our house. We can not really get the oder out and as much as we all adore him there is part of me that doesn’t want him around due to the constant cleaning. I could go on here and I thank anyone that takes the time to read all of this rambling. It feels good to write it so even if someone doesn’t respond it has been a helpful activity. I know I’ve been an incredible dog owner, almost always putting my dogs needs first but I just don’t how much more I can take of this, my husband feels the same but I can’t even imagine putting our dog to sleep. Any words of advice or support would be so appreciated.

  228. Kannan says:

    Dear Kristin, it is the same with most of us. It is not at all an easy decision to put your so loved pet to sleep. Though our pet might be going through a lot of pain, they would not let us know it. Probably they don’t want to see us put into agony seeing them suffering. So, neither the pet is interested to bid good bye to us. But, unfortunately and definitely no one else could decide on it. It is you and you alone would be taking this unpleasant decision. It is how cruel of Him (the Almighty)to let this be decided by us! You wouldn’t be able to forgive yourself if you decide it wrongly, in a hurry. So, don’t decide it on a hurry. Judge on the pet’s condition watching / observing closely and decide if you are convinced -considering the quality of his life and the sufferings he is enduring everyday – that it would be definitely better for Samson to bid good bye. Talk to him. Definitely our pets understand our language and feelings better than we understand theirs.

  229. Kristin says:

    My puppy is now 18 years/3 months. Samson pre-dates my husband and 3 children coming into my life!!!! He has been the perfect dog. I’m struggling, as I see so many of you are to, to find the “time” to put him to sleep! I’ve prayed fervently that he would tell me he was done by dying in his sleep or just refusing to eat. Though his hearing is mostly gone, he sees fine and eats twice a day. But he can no longer lift himself to a standing position, and falls regularly because his back legs don’t work well. He now poops and pees in his sleep…but still pees outside too when we get him up and out. How do you live with the guilt of deciding the time for your pet to die!!! I don’t know that he has quality of life. But he obviously has the will to live with his eating/drinking. Wish someone would take the decision out of my hands. Samson will for sure be in heaven, but I don’t want to “kill” him because he’s an inconvience or sleeps all day! What to do!

  230. Sarah says:

    Our beloved Yorkie/Spitz is 16 years old, is deaf and almost completely blind. She has a heart murmer that the vet says is a 5 out of 5 in severity. The murmur is causing congestive heart failure and ultimately renal (kidney) failure. She has lost weight and is not able to be an active ranch dog anymore. She sleeps and coughs due to the heart failure. She passes out or has seizures if she gets excited. The renal failure causes her to drink large amounts of water and then urinate large amounts anywhere at any time. Her deafness and blindness make her very vulnerable outdoors on. She is stuck indoors unless we are there to watch her every move.
    My husband will not let her go. He just can’t. He keeps delaying the inevitable. My poor husband has had this little dog by his side day and night for 15 years. She was so tough and sooo smart. A real true hero of a dog. One of a kind. She knows everything about us and how to run the ranch. It won’t be the same without her. We tried medications. I feel that putting her down and burying her on the ranch will be our last gift to her for being so wonderful and loyal for her whole life. I am ready because she is ready.
    Oh dear we also have a 20 year old cat.

  231. Elaine says:

    We have a Bichon named Jon Benet, sounds weird I know.. We bought the puppy for our daughter for Christmas in 1996 and she was not named so when we saw the news of Jon Benet Ramsey’s death my 6 year old daughter named her Jon Benet. Funny thing is we found out later that Jon Benet had a Bichon dog as well..Getting to the heart of the story is that J.B. is now 16 years old in human years so that makes her between 77 to 80 in doggie years. We love her so much, but she is almost totally deaf and really hard to see, she sleeps most of every day. However when she goes out to potty she runs around. She comes back inside all excited and runs through the house and sometimes runs into things and hits herself really hard. It is those times I just want to sit down and cry my eyes out.. Her dental condition is bad, but she does eat ok. I am just torn and I know at her age she is probably in some pain, just don’t know for sure. When she starts to walk it is like she has to warm up before her back legs start working well. She gets groomed once a month and she really enjoys feeling pretty and seems to get a little spunk at those times. However for the most part she is just sleeping the remainder of her life away (22) hours a day…She poops when she is walking through the house and she does not even realize it. We just go behind and pick it up..Am I being selfish keeping her on this earth this way??? It is just really hard to put her down.

  232. Kris says:

    Hello, As I read your responses I am sitting listening to my springer/dalmation mix sit at the back door and cry. She is wanting to get outside with my lab/chow mix. Gabi (the lab) has been in our family since she was old enough to leave her mother. Sadie(the springer) was rescued from the side of a back road about 3 and a half years ago. When we brought her home she submitted to the lab. However, recently she has been attacking the lab and we can no longer leave them in the same room together. Our lab suffers from pain in her back legs and she has recentlt started lossing patchs of hair, leaving behind white patches of flaky skin.We have tried the various meds for her pain and her skin and nothing is working. I know that in the wild the other pack members kill the leader when they can no longer function. Gabi has trouble getting up, she no longer plays like she used to and she didn’t eat last night.She is 10 and a half. We have had her in the house all week and she doesn’t really like it as she is normally an indoor/outdoor dog. We have a huge fenced in yard with large dog houses that we let the dogs stay in when we are not home.She still loves attention and wages her tail weakly but I am wondering if putting her to sleep would be more merciful than what we are doing. The dogs whimper for the other since we have separated them permanently. If we do put them together the srpinger attacks and Gabi submits. Is this a sign that she is ready to go? We love our dogs very much and it is hurting all of us to see this take place. Any advice would be great. I have talked to trainers, vets etc. but we still can’t decide. Thanks

  233. michael says:

    Im in bits, absolute bits. Megan my GSP has been by my side for 16 and half years. She has had the best life ever possible for a dog i feel, but now as i write this she is lay on her bed at my feet not a happy dog. She sleeps most of the day and her one back leg has now overnight given up on her. When she walks she drags her foot which needs constant care as the claw is wearing down i have to carry her to the grass so she can go to toilet, sometimes she has accidents in her bed overnight i feel so distressed to see her like this. I know she isnt happy and cries quite abit, i know now that i should take her to the vets so she can pass over but i hate the thought of not ever seeing her again. This is the worst feeling in the world….why cant they live forever. I love you MEG XX

  234. Christine Carrig says:

    Hi everyone, I am reading, with great sadness, and a lot of tears, your stories. We had to put down our darling Boxer, Lily, last year, as she had become paralysed and couldn’t walk.
    Of course I cried for months, and still cry,but in the end, and this is the part I want you to all read, it’s out of our OWN SELFISHNESS that we keep our dogs alive when they should be euthanased. It’s kinder to put them to sleep than to let them suffer. If a dog can’t walk properly, can’t run around and enjoy life (even if it IS wagging its tail) then it’s time to say goodbye, for YOUR DOG’S SAKE. So, if you truly love your furry babies, and I know you do, then PLEASE. I am begging you, be kind to them and let them go. Letting them go is the best gift you could give them, even if it does upset you. You will get over the grief eventually, and that’s not to say you’ll ever forget your babies. I am always adopting dogs – special needs dogs, unwanted dogs, strays etc. and I love them all equally, but I know now that when the time comes, I will do the right thing by THEM. Just because your dog “smiles and you and wags its tail” is no reason to prolong their poor quality of life, after all, as I said before, that’s just to keep YOU happy.
    I wish you all well, and my heart goes out to you, as I shed tears reading all your stories.
    Chris from Australia
    ps: one way of overcoming your grief is to adopt another doggie (or cat) that needs your love. it helps!

  235. Suzanne says:

    Brian,

    Your chihuahua sound like he has IVDD, intervertebral disk disease. Put him on crate rest right away and go to the website called dodgerslist.com and read about thise terrible disease.

  236. Jim A says:

    Kannan…I am living your same nightmare..

    We put our loving Fox Terrier down Mar 6..Not a single day has went by that I haven’t cried from guilt, thinking she might have made it a few more days..And like you..2 months have went by and I don’t think I will ever get over it.

    She was the most loved family member I have ever had… (13 1/2 years)..YES including humans!..

    Thanks and I am sharing your hurt….

    Jim A.

  237. Kannan says:

    We had a German Shepherd called Tuffy. She was the darling of my home and the housing society we lived in. She was friendly with all the children around. She was about 15 1/2 years old. For the last one month she had problem in walking and started falling. She developed anal infection too and it was not curing. For the last 10 days she became immobile as her hind legs got paralysed. She was urinating and defecating at home. Her hind legs were getting swollen every day. The vet told us that her heart is not pumping enough. Though the doctor had advised us to put her to sleep, we could not make up our mind for almost 3 to 4 weeks as still she was full of life and responding to us and still there was brilliance in her face and she was eating well too. Finally, we fixed up the date for 6th May 2012 and gave her all the food she loved, spoked to her and we all took photographs with her and then took her to the vet. There she started shivering and it gave us a feeling that she was not still ready to give up. But, still we happened to put her to sleep and since then we all lost our sleep. Everyone at home is in tears and there is a huge sense of guilt, as it appears to us that she wanted to live a few more days. My daughter was very close to her and she had been taking care of her so dearly. Today is my daughter’s birth day and she still cries. I wonder whether we would be able to recover fully as we might carry this feeling of guilt throughout.

  238. Lee cairns says:

    It’s Been a little over 24hrs since we had to have our
    15yr old boxer dog “BEAU” put to sleep! We had
    Him since he was just 6 weeks old and he was everything to us! beaus health declined in in the last 12 months. His hearing went, he had tumors in his eyes, his back legs were going, he had a large lump on his bum, his hair was falling out due to advanced kidney failure. He also had dementia which made him bark all of the time and his kidney failure was making him wee all over the place including in his bed!! We are struggling to come to terms with the loss. Our 3 children have grown up with him. I had to be strong and take him! The worst part was that I couldn’t handle being there with him so I left him with the vet which is killing me for doing this. I feel totally guilty about it. I feel as though he is still here! We loved him so much and will miss him.

  239. Jody says:

    In response to Cathy’s comment of her dog Winston:
    I have been wondering what to do about my miniature schnauzer, Jazz. He’s 16 now and sometimes shakes, don’t think he is in pain though as when I bend his legs and stretch them he doesn’t even flinch, but he has had trouble straightening his back legs sometimes. When he has this though he can’t walk at all to drag them like your dog. He does have his good days but shows some discomfort. Thing is though he’s not off his food, in fact he’s very greedy. Likes his walks but are beginning to get difficult. I need to hold him up when he has a poo, otherwise he just will fall on it. He often leans to one side and can fall when doing this, our laminate doesn’t help! I do try to make his life as comfortable as I can but as I work I do worry about him when leaving him and make sure he is in bed when I go and cover everything hard that he could fall on with cushions. I am struggling with the decision as some days he seems ok and others he can seem quite bad. But also at the same time think how long can I let him go on having these days where he’s bad. I will be taking him to the vets soon for his booster and will ask for some advice. But any advice & comments are much appreciated.

  240. Cathy says:

    I am trying to decide (with great difficulty) if it is time to put my precious Winston down. Winston is 17 years old a sheltie/lab mix and I have had him since he was 6 weeks old. He used to shake with pain from arthritis and we started a regimen of two baby aspirin a day and the shaking stopped so I really don’t believe he is in pain anymore. He sees very well but is quite deaf at this point. His nose has taken over for his loss of hearing since he can smell a cracked egg from two rooms away.

    Anyway, he has started dragging his left rear leg and sometimes his right leg as well. Even just a few minutes ago he went outside and did not go potty but went for a simple walk around the yard dragging his leg but a smile on his face. I think he was just happy to enjoy the outside. This is what makes my decision so hard.

    Enjoys spending time with me in the living room otherwise he just sleeps on his cushioned bed. He eats and drinks normally. So what is the right thing to do?

  241. Dona says:

    I lost my Grand puppy Beau just under a month ago. A beautiful vibrant Weimaraner /Border Collie mix and only 4-1/2 years old. Out of the blue he suffered 3 major seizures on Easter Sunday. Each one destroyed this beautiful animal’s personality, memory, and physical appearance. After 10-15 minutes after the seizure’s ended he would gain his eye sight again and most of the paralysis would go away but he became extremely aggressive. He spent the day at the hospital and we picked him up in the evening and brought him home. Within the hour he suffered the third and worse seizure. We took him back to the hospital. They kept him overnight locked in a small cage ( he was 70lb dog) in a dark corner of the hospital and drugged him with propofol to stop the incessive barking & pacing. The next morning the Vet declared it was most likely a brain tumor or lesions with the aggressive behavior, and deemed him as untreatable, as well as a ticking time bomb. We had a decision to make and it was excruciating but one that needed to be made. We brought him home to Grandmas( my house) where he had run the perimeter and been spoiled much of his 4 years…his favorite place on earth. We feed him well and loved him for the entire day, all though he did not even acknowledge any of us….he was not my grand puppy at all. He allowed us to touch him and watch him walk about the yard. We brought over his partner in crime Buddy ( 4 yr old Coon Hound )to play. He didn’t play. He paced…..drank excessively and every once in a while there would be a glimpse of Beau in his actions but very short lived….They took him to be put down at 4:00 p.m. I said my goodbyes to this beautiful creature in my front room. He allowed me to hug him and kiss him and not once did he react, he just sat there and let me do and say what I wanted and then quickly jumped up as it was time to go….. The kids kissed him and stroked him telling him how much he was loved as he went to sleep…I thank God they did so their last memory of Beau was him going to a peaceful sleep. ( When he would lay down to sleep is when the seizure’s happened and I didn’t want that to be what they remembered)….We don’t know for sure if he was untreatable or if there was a treatment to cure him, or if the next seizure would kill him, if he would attack anyone…what we do know is our beloved Beau was not the same and would never be the same happy healthy loving energetic dog again. There were signs of trouble and we missed those signs. I am totally grief stricken with the loss of him and cannot seem to get passed it…as here I am telling my story, wiping away the tears a month later…We made the right decision for Beau …I am a bit angry now and asking why??? Why my beautiful grand-puppy and why he was so young? 2 days later I found out my kids are expecting my first grandchild. If I were asked to give up my grand-puppy to get a grand-baby I couldn’t have made that choice….Beau made that choice for me….RIP Beaudacious 4/09/12 Grandma loves you and misses you !!!!!

  242. Brian says:

    My wife and I rescued 2 chihuahuas from going to the shelter this past september by agreeing to take them both together. We were told that the male that we recieved was 7 and the female is 4. About a week ago, the male started to yelp at times for no reason, and the past day and a half, anytime he walks or anyone touches certain parts of his body he yelps and snips. We have only had him a short time, but he is one of the family. But my wife and I were talking tonight and think that he may need to be put down, but i cannt imagine coming home from work and not seeing his wagging tail. What should i do? Please Help

  243. pam says:

    I Have A Bichon And Have Only Had Hem For 4 Years Since The Day He Was Born, But The Vet Said He Was An Old Dog Who Was 14 So i Guess He Was Talking About Dog Years Or something. The Vet Says He Has Worms But He doesnt Say What Kind. my Dog Hasnt Eaten For 5 Days. Any Thing He Eats He’ll Just Throw it back Up. The Vet Doesnt Help Much Because He Hasnt recommended Anything On How To get Some food In Him. He Gives Us Some Pills But They Dont Work. My Dog Cant Really Walk Much. He’ll Stumble Or wobble When He trys To walk. It Looks Like a Lot Of Effort for Him To Even get Up. He Doesnt Respond To anyone. He Wont even Bark. The Vet Said That The Best Thing To Do If He Doesnt Get Better Is To Put Him To Sleep But i Cant Imajine Life With Him! Isn’t There Another Way?! I Thought Worms Were Curable! I Need Help.

  244. jessica says:

    I have a 4yr old cocker spaniel that have skin problems, a horrible condition on her left ear, cherry eyes on both eyes and she is going a lil blind. I don’t have the money to help her I’m losing my apartment and won’t have a place to live and no one to take care of her while I go to work. I feel that she is really not enjoying her life I mean she gets happy wen she sees me and eats well and drinks lots of water I can’t afford taking her to the vet , I know if I take her to a shelter they will put her to sleep so I just need to know if it will be more convinient that we put her to sleep because she is my brother’s dog and he is moving out of state and can’t take her with him. I don’t have anyone to take her pls help me I don’t want to make the wrong choice,, she is always scratching,biting her legs Cus they itch I love her so much but j can’t keep her because I just recently lost a very gd job and now I’m working 12 hrs part time at under 8$ an hr that’s why I can’t afford rent or nothing help!!!

    Jessica

  245. Amy says:

    I have an almost 10 year old rat terrier. He has been an awesome dog and I love him. But for the last year we have been dealing with his health. He has been to several doctors and they all just put him on antibiotics and shampoo’s to help him. Nothing help’s my dog and he is constantly scratching, licking and bleeding. He still eats and drinks, just not as much as he used to. He is not as active as he was, but once in a while I can still get him very excited and he will play for a bit, and then goes right to bed. What should I do with him? Our vet bills are outrages now and we just can’t afford to continue taking him, especially when nothing is helping.

    Please help.

  246. Sarah says:

    I have an 18 year old beagle springer spaniel mix, and I’ve been debating for a little while whether or not to put her to sleep. I had to start crating her in the house about a year ago, because she would defecate and urinate everywhere despite going outside regularly. For the last few months she has started defecating and urinating in her crate as well; I’ve had to clean her crate at least once every 2 days. She has just recently started eating the feces immediately after defecating. She has tumors and growths all over her body and severe arthritis. Her hearing, sight, and sense of smell have all diminished to the point of being nearly non-existent. But she still wags her tail and is happy when she sees me. She also eats and drinks very well. I feel terrible even contemplating putting her to sleep…

  247. Maggie says:

    I’ve just read so many of your posts.. and yesterday we put my Mom’s beloved doggie an almost 18 year old bichon the cutest little baby and wonderful loving personality with a blessed soul.. we put her to sleep yesterday… She lost usage of her back legs they stuck straight out and seemed paralyzed.. she wasn’t eating.. and she would now and then yelp and a little bit of crying.. it was time…we loved her so very much and she gave us so many great years.. but I layed down on the floor with her and I talked to her.. I told her that she gave us beautiful years and if she wanted to go that it was up to her and if she wanted to stay and could rally we’d be right here behind her. She actually raised her tail.. she seems ready and happy that I told her it was okay to go… they say not to cry in front of your dog and to seem happy so that her/his last days are happy, talk to her or him and thank her or him for the time she/he gave you. My dog/ (Mom’s dog) was not eating.. and she did not go to the bathroom…she was very ill and though her upper body sometimes perked up and we could feel like she was okay.. only half of her was okay.. but she needed all of her body to be okay.. she was old and ready.. and we knew that the merciful thing was to have her not suffer and to give her the gift of her dignity and a peaceful passing. I’m hearing from so many that it’s hard to do this and some saying that they fear doing this alone. I understand, I bought a beautiful blanket pink and fluffy, I bought a medal from the local people hospital that said “remember I’ll always be with you” with a cross on the back, you could use whatever religion you believe in or even just a wonderful saying. We brought her to the vet my Mother holding her and my Step Dad and myself. I was in the room and made sure that she was treated with the utmost of care, on top of the beautiful comfortable new pink blanket that I bought for her and the vet was kind and caring.. they easily put her under sedation so she was completely peaceful.. I knew this was the right thing and the most merciful thing and loving act and she was fine with it.I stood and kept my hand on her head and my other hand on her body.. the vet tech was also petting her and I asked the vet to let me know when she had passed and he checked and said that she had..We bought a little bouquet of flowers and she was wrapped in the blanket and I made sure that her final resting was with that blanket. Flowers and another family member came to the house and we had a ceremony and put stones and flowers outside. and we said a prayer.. there is no question in my mind that this was the right thing to do for the pet that I loved. A routine and a formal procedure of how you would like to honor your pet either with a friend or a pet bereivent group is fine but if the beloved pet is suffering at all it is time to show the ultimate care. When the pet is old and is suffering any day more is a day too long.. it’s time now not time to wait.. The vet gave us a paw print made of plaster of paris. we took her things and put them in the garage.. they can be donated to the shelter for another pet to enjoy. If you have no family then have a routine set in advance of how you will spend that day and the next day in honoring your pet. A friend of mine goes once a week to the shelter to walk the pets that are there and to clean out their cages as a donation of her time. You could also go a few times a week to help the shelters. Paws-a-while I think is the name of one organization. I hope this has helped. I know that I’m at peace my pet is and my Mom is. I hope this helps anyone who just doesn’t know what to do. God bless.

  248. jennifer says:

    i have a 3 yr old coker spaniel chiuaua mix she is my 4 yr old daughters best friend their personalities are almost identical. well a few days ago some kids in the neighbor hood thought they would let her out and then threw her over my back fence which is about 5 ft tall well needless to say she messed up her back and now we just waiting to see if anti inflammitories will work for her we had a good day yesterday but today she starting to show the signs of losing feeling in her hind legs we already knew it was a possiblity but now we are goint to start having to think of letting her go because she is in sever amounts of pain and can barely walk she perks up when my daughter comes around but to see her suffer is hard and having to explain to a 4 yr old that her dog may die is even harder these next few day will only tell

  249. Akhila says:

    An hour ago my cookie decided to leave this world and terrorize doggy heaven. I just want to say i love you so much ad i want to thank god for blessing me with so much time with cookie and so many wonderful memories to cherish and remember always. i know i will meet her again until then i love you my baby and you take care of yourself.

  250. Akhila says:

    Dear Laurie,

    Cookie has been with us for 17 years and we’ve had a great time together. She has literally never been sick a single day, 2 years ago she developed a cataract in her left eye which left her blind but did not reduce her naughtiness one bit. Since the last 2 weeks she is been quite ill, she has no appetite, unable to walk, she usually lets us know when she needs to use the bathroom, now we find puddles all around the house. she loves going for a walk but now is even not able to change her position. i love her so much and feel so guilty even thinking anout euthanasia. i feel she is in pain and everytime i think of her i can’t stop my tears. i was reading through everyones experience and wanted to share my own.

  251. Lisa says:

    I’m crying my eyes right now with even the thought of putting my fur baby to sleep.

    But I’ve searched everywhere to see why my dog, Wicked, border collie/akita mix, cries so much. He just turned 15 and it seems his whole year of being 14 years old took toll on him. Also, he almost died and had to get flushed out inpatient for almost 5 days at the vet’s because he had a bad reaction to rimadyl. Right now he has been on Tramadol for almost 1 year. We’ve decided if it helps with the pain we will keep him on it til he passes. But lately, it doesn’t seem that the meds work very much. He whines and cries a lot. He can barely get up, half the time we have to help him up by picking his hind legs up for him. (kind of hard to do because it causes him some pain and he’s about 80-85 pounds) I love my furbaby. He’s been with me through thick and thin and even though he is a dog he’s my first baby. My 3 year old is gentle with him and loves him. He even asks me if Wicked will be going to doggie heaven soon because he is old. He really does not want his ‘puppy’ to go to heaven yet. I don’t either. But I really hate hearing him cry especially that I don’t know what is making him do it. I don’t make much money enough to take him to get him completely checked out. I used what I had in savings to save his life when he was 14 years old. I know he has bad allergies and bad arthritis. I just don’t know what to do. He stopped crying now but it goes on and off all night. And it hurts my heart. He can’t walk very far but even on the short walks he drags all his legs on the way back. but I know if he doesn’t get out for a walk, it would hurt him more.

    I love my Wicked dog.

  252. Karry says:

    Hello, I have a 15 yo Bichon-poodle mix. He is my baby and I love him dearly! He has been paralyzed for the last 9 years utilizing a wheelchair most of the time. Now he is leaking urine and pooping all the time all over the house. He has not been able to play like a normal dog in 9 years. He drags his lower half around the house and uses the wheels outside. He has cataracts pretty bad in both eyes. His eats well. I have done the very best that I can for him, but now I don’t think I am being fair to him anymore. Please I heed suggestions and help.

  253. Steve Lynch says:

    Vet came around on thursday April 19,said that my only love and friend 14yo staffy cross, TIP, had massive tumor in his abdomin and said he should be put to sleep….and the next day friday April 20 2.38pm as we lay looking into each others eyes he passed away…have cried ever since.TIP was a very good doggie and i love him very much,i hardly ever worked and lived in poverty struggling with mortgage payments just to be with him.We walked every day 2-4Ks never missing a day until the last 3 days we just went to the park…I wish the vet had some more of that stuff for me and i would have gladly gone with him.Went on our walk this morning(Mon) with the lead over my shoulder as usual and just broke down every 20 meters…..I love TIP and cant get over this…but i suppose i will.My heart felt feelings are with all who are in this situation,thank’s

  254. monica says:

    i remember when i had to put my two dogs to sleep. my first dog which i had putted on sleep was suffering from the serious aggression , even he was kept together with family he didnt enjoy the love with gave to him and he was so much aggressive on the kids even he had bitten my sons cheek. my son got a serious injury being biten on his cheeks and i didnt had choice but to put my dog to sleep for the family safety. it was hard for me to see my dog being on sleep but it was for his own good , he didnt enjoy to be with people and with other pets as he always was to much aggressive, and he didnt enjoy his life at all. but i think i did a good thing to put him on sleep he maybe having a better happy life in heaven with god and he is happy in there as a all death dogs should be. i know someday one day i will meet him and my other dog which i had to put on sleep too because the reason was why she cannot have puppies , she was pregnant and she didnt give a birth propoly because all the puppies were death inside her because she was no capable to have a birth. i took her to the vet with the hope that the vet will be able to take the death puppies from her tummy, he did take off two puppies of her budy but there was other puppies who were stock in here tummy. she was suffering very horrible pain and the vet had told me if i want her to be her a life and take other death puppies from her tummy she needs a operation/surgery but there is a chance she might not survive and it cost lot of money. for me it was hard decision to put her on sleep even the tears come up from my eyes by seeing her suffering from the pain and not being able have her own baby puppies,. i didnt had enough money for her to afford the surgery at that time. the only choice i made to not to see her in pain i decided with all family to pet her on sleep for her own good, my daughter cried alot and she tried to tell me not to put the our dog to sleep because she loved her so much. but i told her if she will be alive she wont be able to enjoy her life by not having her own puppies and being in pain, if we want her to be happy again we must do the right thing which we can put her on sleep , and i told her that our dog will be going to a better place and it will be healthy and happy again with a god and with other dog which i had putted on sleep too. it was painful for me to do this decision but i know that my dog will be happy and thank full that i did something good for her , and i hope someday i will meet them both in the other world and we will be happy once again. i never forget my two those dogs because they always will stay in my heart until i will meet them again.

  255. Michele says:

    Please help I am in a very stressful situation. I have a 12 year old Dapple Doxie, he is a pure bred and has a lot of the issues that come with being a Doxie. He also has epilepsy though he hasn’t had a seizure in years. Over the last few months, I have noticed that his vision is getting worse and he is starting to walk with his left rear tilting to the side. Along with the vision loss he has become “cranky” is someone walks in to a dark room and he cannot smell them or hear them right away he become very aggressive. The same occurs if you get to close to him with out making yourself known. In all though he is not showing any signs of pain. His appetite is fine. If I’d let him he would eat until his belly exploded. When he is near you and recognizes you his tail wags and loves to give kisses. However, it is getting to the point that I cannot kennel him with the other dogs because he starts to become aggressive if they frighten him. There have been no injuries from his aggressiveness, just a lot of barking and bickering between them. Am I just tempting fate with not putting him down yet?

  256. Susan says:

    Wow I understand the saying “mans best friend”…yesterday I said goodbye to my best friend Lacee, a 13 yr old chocolate lab. She had cushings and thyroid and high blood pressure and arthritist and …but she was my everything. She too Adam had an appetite but we could tell she was not happy anymore. Don’t get me wrong she would have done anything for us to make us happy even if she wasn’t but I could tell her body was not cooperating with her anymore so we said goodbye…Adam 2 years earlier on April 1 we lost her sister Cagnee unexpectantly. Lacee and Cagnee were litter mates we, as a family did everything together….I mean everything! So when we loss Cagnee I too was worried about Lacee because Cagnee was her sister and best buddy. I can tell you what we did to help Lacee deal with her sisters loss…we became Lacee’s pack….Lacee went everywhere with us even to Starbucks..we kept Lacee occupied with us…I think keeping her busy and occupied with our lives help the transition plus we think Lacee secretly enjoyed all the attention too. It’s not easy to see your animal heartbroken but you can grieve together now is the time to put all your love and energy into your 9 year old…..it’s time for you all to keep each other busy….in my situation another puppy was not an option due to Lacee’s issues but I can tell you being there for your 9 year old and both of you all keeping each other busy will help tremendously at least it did in my case. I am so sorry for your loss. Today was the first day in a long time I didn’t have to wake up at 5 am to feed my Lacee girl… Gosh how I miss her she and her sister were truly my best friends and I am loss without them I know they are together now running around and sniffing each others you know …I am so thankful to have known Cagnee and Lacee…I miss them so much it hurts. This site was the first site I went to this morning and reading all the stories has helped and lets me know I am not alone in my love for my doggies….my furry kids. My life is empty today and my eyes are swollen closed from crying but my heart will always be filled with the love and memories of my Cagnee and Lacee….until one has loved an animal a part of ones soul remains unawakend….

  257. Adam says:

    So many touching stories :( We put our 14 year old dog down yesterday and I’m pretty much a wreck. She wasn’t well, she had arthritis and had to take 5 pills a day for other conditions and allergies. She still had a healthy appetite though but unfortunately she just wasn’t comfortable. She couldn’t sleep properly, she couldn’t walk properly, her hearing was poor and over the past few weeks we’d been thinking about her sight. So it was certainly the best thing to do for her – does not make it any easier though. Now our focus shifts to our other younger dog, who is 9 and does not know life without Molly. She has been looking around the house for her and seems depressed. I am struggling to find any information on the internet about how to handle a dog grieving over their friend, so if anyone has any help it would be much appreciated. RIP Molly.

  258. Laurie says:

    Dear Haley,

    I’m sorry that your dog is causing so much stress to you and your neighbors. It sounds like you’re at your wits’ end – you don’t know what to do next!

    But no, I don’t think you should put your dog to sleep just because he’s difficult to handle. I totally understand how hard it is to cope with a demanding dog, but euthanasia isn’t a solution.

    What do your parents say? I think putting your dog up for adoption is better than putting him to sleep, but it depends on his health, how old he is, and if he has other behavioral issues.

    Maybe your dog would be happier on a farm or with a family who can give him lots of exercise. Dogs need to run and play with other dogs, otherwise their energy builds up and they cause problems at home.

    Or maybe your dog just needs more exercise, to romp with other dogs and burn off that hyper-ness? Another option is you and your dog taking dog obedience classes together, to learn how he should be behaving.

    If you haven’t talked to your veterinarian, that may be a good thing to do. The vet assistant or vet herself may have some ideas on how to calm your dog down, without putting him to sleep.

    I hope this helps. Let me know how it goes!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  259. Haley says:

    My dog is getting really hyper and barking and the neighbor is complaining too much screaming “Shut your dog up lady” and “put your dog away and shut it up” and I am sick of it. I am only 12 years old and I cry a lot because of that . I know I am over reacting but getting him quite is starting to interfere with my school work and I am sick of it! I don’t think I could put up with it anymore. So I just want to ask if you think I should put him to sleep or put him for adoption?

  260. Conni says:

    I have an 8 yr old mastiff whos name is B.B and she is now blind, old, has a broken leg, has hip problems, and might have joint problems. I have tried to hang on to her gor as long as i could but i now understand that everyday my baby suffers is one day lost of her life i dont want her to be miserable forever, i think it is the right thing to do by putting her down i dont want to but i belive i have to. My sorrow should not be the reason i chose to do this but it is her sorrow and the looks of pain i know she is tired of giving ne because i am tired of seeing her make the faces just to tell me she is done. I was reading your comments crying and am doing the same writing mine. I will miss B.B for she was and is so beautiful and full of life and now i understand that she will be in a better place and we will meet again someday. B.B love allways and forever.

  261. Allen says:

    Had to put my golden mix to sleep April 9. She was 12 yrs and had a large tumor on back leg which had split open and was infected. She had arthritis taking 1.5 aspirin a day. She could not climb the couple of steps to the back door and bark for treats. She would just lay in the front yard. She resisted going to the animal clinic. One option we had was take a round of antibiotics and come back in 2 weeks. She went peacefully and rested her head on my foot at the end. Me and my wife have been crying off and on. We will get over it though.

  262. sam says:

    i cried my eyes out reading everyones comments yesterday, we have a 9yr old samoyed who has bladder cancer and was getting worse. Today i took him to the vets and hes severely anemic and was very close to needing a blood transfusion. I made the hardest decision of my life and asked the vet to let him go. I know in my heart it was the right thing to do however sad it makes me. Thank you buster for the wonderfull times you’ve given me, love you forever xxxx

  263. Laurie says:

    Dear Jeff,

    I did overlook your main question – I apologize! I got caught up in the idea of living without your dog, and lost sight of your question.

    I’m afraid I don’t know offhand of any organizations that help pet owners through the process of euthanization. Different cities will have different resources, though. I’d call my local SPCA or other dog rescue societies, and ask if they have any ideas.

    Have you considered switching to a different veterinarian? I know it’s difficult, especially when your vet knows your dog, the symptoms, prognosis, etc…but it may be worthwhile to call another veterinarian. Not for a second opinion as much as for support for when you’re ready to put your dog to sleep.

    Some vets even travel to your home, to put your dog to sleep at home. I don’t know how common this is or how much it costs, but I’ve heard this from several dog owners.

    I’m really sorry I don’t have any concrete answers for you. If you do call the SPCA or other humane societies, let me know what they say. I don’t think you’re alone – many pet owners would be grateful for support when they have to put their dogs down, especially from people who know what they’re going through.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  264. Liz says:

    Hi Jeff
    I feel so desperately sad for you. In the end I had my darling Ruby put to sleep yesterday at 1pm. I have to say, the agony of watching her deteriorate and wondering when to make the painful decision was actually much worse than finally letting her go. I already miss her and feel sad but I also feel at peace knowng she is at peace and knowing I wont have to make that horrible decision again. I have found great comfort in a company called Treasured Friends. I actually contacted them to cremate Ruby and return her ashes. They have been so kind and reassuring and it has helped me. The number is 01843 808288 and they have a website. You can email if you are too upset to speak over the phone. I would also advise you to get another dog asap. Of course you will never replace the one you have lost but it will give you a focus and a purpose to keep strong. Remember, you are not alone. So many people feel like you do but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
    Liz x

  265. Jane says:

    We are in the process of making this decision with our 14 year old rescue dog. We adopted him five years ago at the age of 9 and subsequently realized he had endured significant abuse. He cannot have toys because they make him aggressive; he only plays with blankets. We cannot take him to the vet – and don’t suggest sedation – we’ve tried it – because he snaps. His breath is fetid and he has recently started eating rocks. Google searches indicate that this could easily lead to an intestinal bleed – very painful. We are of the mindset that especially given the agony he endured prior to coming here, we must not allow him to suffer any more pain and would rather put him down 2 months too soon than 2 seconds too late.

  266. Jeff says:

    Hi Laurie
    Thank you for your reply.

    I did read the article and it had very good info.

    I’m trying to reach out to people so my dog isn’t my entire life, however this is a slow and lengthy process but really not the number one issue at this moment.

    The #1 issue is that I was really just asking here if there were recommendations for organizations or support groups that can come with me and be with me at the vets during this process.

    I can’t do it alone; I need support at the vet. The vet and their staff are not supportive, they see this frequently and its routine to them.

    Thanks, Jeff

  267. Laurie says:

    Dear Jeff,

    I’m sorry to hear that putting your dog to sleep will have such a deep, heartbreaking effect on you. I think euthanasia is much more difficult to deal with if we don’t have other sources of love in our lives.

    I wrote this article for you:

    Can’t Live Without Your Dog? How to Survive Your Pet’s Death

    Please find ways to reach out to people in your life, so you can experience connection. I love my dog, but I can’t make her my whole life. She is a big part of my life – a huge part! – but she’s not everything to me.

    Can you find a way to make other parts of your life meaningful, so putting your dog to sleep won’t devastate you?

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  268. Jeff says:

    I have no family, divorced, and no friends, very depressed and my dog is the only friend I know.
    She needs to go to heaven but what about me after this is over?
    Who can be with me to do this, are there any organizations to help?
    I don’t think have the courage to do this alone and I fear for myself when its over.

  269. Julie says:

    I need some advice, I have an 18 year old Border Collie. About 2 years ago her hips started giving out on her, her hearing is going and now she has begun wetting in the house, and she doesn’t even realize. She has big hump on the side of her neck which the vet has said is not cancer and not painful for her, and her stomach is bloated. We have 2 other younger dogs which I believe has kept her feeling younger. She will occasionally run across the yard like she is a puppy and it makes me think she has a lot of life left in her, then I watch her walk up the steps and she looks like she is in pain. I am taking her to the vet this week for his advice, but will welcome any advice as we struggle to make this decision.

  270. jackie says:

    i had my 14 ols schitzu put to sleep las fri .he lost an ongoin battle at xmas after months of trying to save it but cdnt .so then other eye started we went through weeks of treatment the last fri he as booked in for yet anotherop to try and remove ulcer just like last one .also he cd hardly walk i ended up carring him lol took him 2 mins to sit down and always slept .. and his spine was curving .. i was goin to give it a chance but vet said it was time … i ran out and let husband stay ..i feel so guilty what if i and vet was wrong and i killed my baby xx i cry every day hes been cremated and i keep telling him how sorry i am and if will forgive me xx ive his brother of nearly 16 here and i feel awful and selfish xx did i make right choice ?

  271. Liz says:

    I think its time to put my beloved staffordshire bull terrier Ruby to sleep. She is almost 12 and has cancer of the stomach lining. She is not managing to keep food down and is vomiting every day. We have medication but she is getting weaker. I know I am being incredibly selfish but I just cant let her go. Every time I think about phoning the vet I fall to pieces and cant do it. She is my best friend and the pain is unbearable. I know what I have to do but it is so painful :(

  272. Chloe says:

    I read that when a dog is most sick when being euthanized the heavy breathing will go on for longer…I believed that my dog was very sick and she just went to seep. Did i do the right thing??

  273. Joanne says:

    I posted in January shortly after we put our precious Alabama to sleep. I have not regretted it since. At the time it was a hard decision. I know she is at peace. I miss her terribly. It is just not normal to not have dog hair on the house. We do have two other dogs, but they don’t shed. Too think I would miss the dog hair… Odd. Basically all I can say is that it is your job as a parent to make health care decisions for your pet. We keep them safe and happy all of their lives. We have to continue to do that on their last breaths. It’s our responsibility. I didn’t want it to be an awful emergency. It was time and we had the vet come to our house to put her to sleep peacefully on her couch. I made the choice out of love for her. We do treat animals better than humans. I let her die with peace, dignity and respect. In my arms. You will know when the time is right.

  274. Jim Armstrong says:

    This board is like a support group for us..My wife and I (vet also) finally made the decision on putting down our 13 yr and 5 mo old Fox Terrier..She was with us 24/7 all of her life…This is absolutely the hardest thing I have went through in my entire life!…Its been 3 weeks now and being a grown man, I have cried every day. She had a bloated belly and was on insulin twice a day for high blood sugar for 11 months..Vet said she possibly had a tumor.(High liver count).I couldn’t keep her glucose level down as I was giving her 18 units twice a day…Finally Mar. 6 she was throwing up, wouldn’t eat, had diarrhea, and gave me that look of “Take me home”…I called the vet, and she said bring her in…She took us in a private room so we could kiss her and tell her goodbye..She gave her a relaxing shot and a couple minutes later gave her the shot to end her life..We cried and took her to the car wrapped in her blanket and back home to bury her in the back yard with my other 4 babies…Needless to say, I loved them all, but this was the hardest….RIP My baby Terry..We love and miss you!

  275. D Mack says:

    I am sitting here reading everyone’s post crying my eyes out. Me and my husband have decided to put our 13 year old shepard hound mix to sleep. She has Degenerate Myopathy. At first, the vets thought it was arthritis, but she is slowly getting paralyzed in her hine legs and realized it’s much worse. She walks on both rear knuckles and she always has to be lifted to get up off the floor. She cannot climb the stairs up or down, so we carry her and she cannot squat to urinate. Sometimes she falls and we have to hold her up. All she does is eat, sleep and drink. She will chew a bone, but we cannot take her to the dog park anymore. When we call her name she doesn’t hear us and now in the past two days her right eye has started to point in different direction than her left eye. I really don’t want to play god and I wish he would take her. It’s the hardest decision that I could ever make.

  276. Deb says:

    I am struggling terribly with the decision all of those who have written on this site have already made. I have a 14 year old Jack Russell who I utterly love. Two years ago he became completely blind. He now is totally deaf. He gets around a bit but sleeps mostly and wets himself in his sleep. He still eats most days and is seems happy to be held. He is scared when left alone for too long but is, for some reason, terrified in the car so we can’t take him with us. His little body is still strong but I worry so much about his Jack Russell spirit – My kids, now all grown, all think he would want to go – that he isn’t the same. I just don’t know. Miserable and sad – hard to know what is right.

  277. Judy R. says:

    I am writing because this is a place where people understand. About 14 or 15 years ago my teenage daughter “rescued” a stray chocolate lab she named Tucker. Tucker was running around Oakland CA loose in a park nearby, and was about 6 months old we think. We’ll never know Tucker’s early story. Only that she is a very skittish and nervous dog, and we can’t tell if it is her nature or if it is the result of abuse. My daughter didn’t live with me at the time. She had rejected me due to a divorce and chose to live with her dad.

    About 2 years later my daughter, Tucker, and her other pets, a dog and a cat all came to live with me involuntarily. Her dad and new stepmom had “kicked her out” because she got bad grades in community college! Now I was rescuing them all.

    Since then my daughter has grown up and left home, the other 2 pets have passed to the Rainbow Bridge, and now it may be time for Tucker. I had moved a year ago and couldn’t take Tucker with me, but luckily another relative stepped up and gave Tucker a home. But now she can’t do it any longer. So I am going back to get Tucker this Sunday (Easter) and bring her back home with me and my husband. My daughter isn’t in the picture; she is refusing to talk to me (again). Why, I don’t truly understand. I consider Tucker my dog; I’ve provided her a home all these years.

    Our first step is to love her and treat her like “the queen” that she is. Then to the vet’s for a full assessment, then whatever decision we need to make. My heart is breaking because I know euthanasia is a strong possibility. There are no adoptive homes for 14-15 year old Labs (we’ve tried). I will be home from work next week to take care of Tucker and figure out what we can do. I want to observe her closely (no one has done this over the past year). All I want is to give her a nice home for whatever time she has left. I have no idea what her health is like; the relative was not very observant and only comments that Tucker is urinary incontinent at night. But there is no doggie door so we can’t really tell what is happening.

    Where I live, a senior mobile home, I figure if we don’t put Tucker down right away, I will keep her home until my hand is forced. Once they know I’ve got another dog, it’ll all be finished. It all depends. We have a wonderful vet who I know will shoot straight with us and it will help us greatly.

    Not that I won’t cry for a week. I’ve done this before and it hurts to let them go.

  278. Monica says:

    I have pitt/lab mix dog that will turn 13 in August. He injured one of his back paws on February 2011, it took him about a month to completely heal from it. We took him to the vet and she gave him some pain pills that would also help with the swelling. I wasn’t content with the way she dealt with the situation since I was hoping there was a shot or something more she could do. For about 2weeks straight he was on his bed and got a pretty bad bed sore on the same paw. We would clean it and apply antibiotic ointment on it a few times a day until he finally went back to normal. Now again on Monday he woke up with a swollen back paw, looks even worse than last time. He’s not eating well, wants to be outside all day, he’s pooped on his bed the last 2 days and this morning also threw up. As I mentioned before he’ll be turning 13 in 5 months…. is it time to let go? Should I take him to another ver that perhaps can take an x-ray or provide an injection that will help? I don’t want to make a quick decision if he still has a few months or years left but I don’t want him to keep suffering. I have sat there and looked into his eyes hoping he understands me. I tell him to find a way to let me know if he’s ready to go…or even better if he is to just fall asleep and not wake up. I really don’t know what to do, I don’t want to make this decision but as his owner I know I have to. My sister makes me feel sooooo guilty for thinking this. How can I make her understand? I’m pregnant and my husband supports what ever decision I make but leaves it all up to me. :-(

  279. janet carter says:

    i my dog as had inreguarler fits since i have had her last month two about 20mins each now all i can think is when the next one will come tryed tablets but changed her so much not for her, its is like living with a time bomb, since her last ones she is not the same she is 8yrears old i think it is time to let her go as the next one good be very bad and i don’t want that for me or her

  280. Scott says:

    Here it is, the day I had to put my german short haired pointer to rest. Sebastian was his name. Best dog I have had in my life, we did everything together. Besides his failing sight, his back legs were going out, and last month he fell down the stairs trying to go up them. Since then, he had not been himself, and for the past week, he wouldn’t eat, and when it was time to go out, he’d just lay there. He wasn’t himself, he didn’t act anything like he normally would, As painful as it was to make the decision,I knew in my heart it was time. I brought him home, and buried him the backyard so I’ll always be near him. To quote:
    “If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness.” (Marjorie Garber)
    I’ll miss you pal..

  281. Wolfen says:

    Just put my collie Angus down yesterday. I embarrassed myself by crying in front of my wife. I couldn’t stop myself. I got him 13 years ago and he has been a loyal friend and gave me unconditional love. I regret not spending more time with him, especial the past year, because I knew he was deteriorating. He just trusted me and I watched him fade away in the vet’s office. Unlike the silly picture at the top of the page that says, “believe that you will see your dog again one day”, I know that he is gone and that’s that. No need for nonsense, just looking to get over the pain. I will have his ashes for the rest of my life and am glad about that.

  282. Gregg says:

    Hi Everyone. Today is the day for my beloved blue heeler Tampa to be put down. She is only 8 years old, but has declined so much in the last year. She is attacking our other dog that she grew up with and now she is just throwing up when she eats. She is tired all the time and doesnt move like she used to. She started developing cataracts a year ago and the weight has just been adding on, even with a diet and her getting sick. The vet has been checking for everything and cant find an answer on what is going on. It is like she has just quit……Her and I have been through so much together. She is developing tumors on her body. I love her so much.

    Montana

  283. Tracy says:

    I am struggling today, as our vet recommended our 7 year-old Toy Poodle, Chi Chi, should be put down due to kidney failure. She has battled this condition since late last fall. Recently she has begun to have seizures (brought on by excitement), she’s lost a lot of weight, walks with a hunch in her back, vomits off and on, and only occassionally leaves her bed to move around. I am so conflicted between what the vet has told us and watching her face light up and her tail wag furiously when we enter the room. My mind does not see a sick animal, yet I know it will only get worse. The kicker is that we are leaving to go out of town in a little more than a week, and I feel forced into making this decision faster than I’d like to. I think if we left her at this point, the stress alone would cause her to pass. I’m in desperate need of a sign from God…..

  284. nicole lincoln says:

    We have a mixed breed who is suffering from advanced hip issues, and no longer can take meds for the hips because of bleeding. Now he can barely get up sometimes without assistance. He whines all the time, has teeth issues, the list goes on. He is 13 my son does not want to put him down and I think it is beyond time. I don’t have the financial resourced to put into a dog that is not happy and has a very poor prognosis. He also has lost control of his bladder and is now urinating all over our house. It has gone well beyond the point of putting him down in my opinion. I’m hoping someone can help me with the right words to explain to my adult son that it’s time to let go of his beloved first pet.

  285. flo says:

    I just came home from the vet where my sweet rosebud,a 15 year old maltese was put to sleep…i feel so guilty but,i know she is ok now..lately all she wanted to do is sleep even though she still ate with the lack od teeth…i know she was no longer happy and someday i will see her again,i love her so much

  286. erika says:

    R.I.P. Sasha. We love you.
    September 9, 2002-March 22, 2012

  287. Ellen says:

    Pam, this is a suggestion: Ask a vet to come to your house to put your dog to sleep. I think it is time and he has lived a wonderful life and is loved by you. You have given him your love all these years and he loves you. Now, his quality of life is compromised and he is suffering. I put my dog, Violet, to sleep today. I think I made the right decision. Violet’s days were spent sleeping and when she got up to go to the bathroom or eat/drink, her breathing was labored. Sometimes her legs would give and I would have to lift her to help her upstairs. This is what I did: I called the vet in advance and asked if I could have Violet put to sleep outside on the lawn outside the vet hospital. I felt there are too many animal and antiseptic smells which sometimes overwhelm a dog’s senses and the animal patient rooms are cold and small. So, Violet took her last breath outside on the lawn instead. I asked my vet to first administer medication to make her sleepy and comfortable and then when I kissed her goodbye, the vet gave her medicine to rest and while I still held her, 30 seconds passed and she was gone. When you are ready, call a vet that has been recommended to you from a friend and tell him/her that you wish to put your dog down at home and tell the vet that he is very protective and may bite. Be sure to reassure your dog and remain calm when the vet arrives. A muzzle may be uncomfortable for a moment until your dog receives the sleepy medicine and then you and your friend can spend a few minutes together saying goodbye. Then the vet can put your dog down without stress or worry. It is not easy to let go but our pets rely on us to do what’s best for them. Remember all the wonderful moments you had with your dog and now it is time for him/her to rest, without any pain or anxiety. I am truly sorry that this time has come but it is really for the best for your dog. I am missing my dog now and will for sometime to come but I am relieved she is not in pain any longer.

  288. Pam says:

    I’m faced with the prospect of having to have my 13 year old Blue Heeler put to sleep, but I don’t know if it’s time now or if I should wait. He has heartworms and it’s progressed, in spite of treatment, to the point where he can barely breathe. I was up all night with him last night because the only way he could rest was if I was rubbing his neck. The reason I’m torn about timing is that he still eats and drinks well, can still get around, but getting up brings on horrible coughing spasms and he keeps looking at me with these sad eyes, like he’s begging me to do something.

    I can’t take him to the vet because he’s too big for me to carry, but he can’t get into the van on his own. Also, he’s extremely protective and they have to muzzle him to treat him. If I muzzle him in his current condition, he’ll suffocate.

    Should I wait and let nature take its course, or try to find someone who will come out to the house? We live in the country, 50 miles from a town of any real size. I’ve never had to put a pet down before, so I don’t know what to do.

  289. Ellen says:

    Tomorrow I am taking my Violet to the vet to be put to sleep. Sixteen years ago, my son and I saw her sleeping in a basket at an adoption event at a local pet supply store. We fell in love with this black, sleepy, fuzzy and very large puppy. Before agreeing to buy Violet, my son and I walked around the shopping center discussing what it means to be responsible for a pet and what a commitment it is. I told him that the puppy would be part of the family and that she will need love, care, and training. I made him sign a make shift contract on the back of an envelope to seal the deal. That was sixteen years ago. Violet lives well beyond what is estimated for large breed dogs. She is a newfy/lab mix and has been our constant companion and loyal friend all these years. We named her Violet because my son said she was as sweet and beautiful as the flower. About three years ago, she was diagnosed as having an enlarged heart and the vet told me then she was not expected to live long. Well, she has and until the last few weeks held fast. Her condition worsened last night, and as I held her and comforted her in my arms, I decided it was time, at last. My friend never told me she was in any pain and always wags her tail. I believe it is just as difficult for her to say “Goodbye”. It is very difficult for me to lose my friend and constant shadow. She always seemed to know my feelings and was happy when I was happy and when I was sad she would lick my tears. Violet was the peacemaker for me and my children when they were teenagers, often putting herself between them as they argued about what teenagers argue. She loved to swim and go for walks in the woods and yes, loved the smell of dead fish. She sometimes would bury things in my garden and loved to eat bees. She loved to eat the New York Times and chase the cats and open all the Christmas presents under the tree. Her favorite games were hide-n-seek, fetch of course and find the treat under the tupperware bowl. I will miss my girl–all of us will. My son is working in L.A. and I called him this morning. I asked him if I was doing the right thing — there was a groan and then silence and a softening in the tone of his voice. I know he will miss her too. Tomorrow, Violet and I are going for a car ride with all the windows open (fav thing to do) and eat a plain hamburger and visit my daughter at her hobby farm. She will rest on my daughter’s lawn and drink water from the hose. Then Violet has an appointment to keep and finally go to sleep, undisturbed and rest peacefully–dreaming the dreams dogs do.

  290. Cecelia says:

    Our Max is an 11 year old very big yellow lab. We adopted him at 7 months old. He had been abused when he was 3 months old and care was sadly not provided for him for 3 weeks after his leg (or the middle part of the leg where the joint is supported) was broken. Max was always an active, loving, goober of a dog that everyone feel in love with.. big head, big heart! We also have a 5 year old lab mix that I think has kept Max alive longer. Chloe never gave Max a chance to sit down. It was always run run run and play play play, and even now, she grabs him by the ears as he goes to leave the house. His back leg no longer bears weight, and the other leg is having trouble holding him up. I give him the glucosomin, coated aspirin, and fish oil pills that the doctor advised us to give him. He is barely eating, but drinks a lot. Luckily we have a ramp or he would never be able to leave or enter the house. He fell tonight coming up the ramp. For the past two days he takes about an hour before he sits down from coming inside. He is only out 2 times a day to go to the bathroom. Nights are harder than mornings. He pants loudly and seems almost like he is panicked. I try to gently help him to sit down and he cries. Once he is down, he calms down and the panting subsides. Not only that… he has cataracts and it seems to really be affecting his sight. He has a vet appointment tomorrow. I know you can’t give advice, but your thoughts on the quality of his life would be appreciated.

  291. Jalynn says:

    @ Michelle I understand your situation, my maltese is eight 1/2 and she is havind difficulty hearing, skin problems, doesnt eat, sleeps all the time, and shes having seasures now. She also has stopped going outside and is getting very irritable with the family. Today my neighbor is coming to take her to have her put to sleep. It has been very difficult today, but she is suffering and so is everyone else. We are in the process of moving and its just not in her best interest, this has been her only home. It is so hard to say goodbye, but I have to believe its what is best no matter how much it hurts.

  292. unselfish says:

    My almost 15 year old Maltese who is just like a child to me has gone downhills pretty fast since the begining of the year. I noticed blood in his stool for the first time in the early January, rushed him to the vet, all kinds of test was done. She was given medications and the problem cleared up. A few days after the medication was finished, the bleeding came back again, back to the vets again, same thing happened, again to the vets. I am at the vet 2 to 3 times a week for whatever symptoms I see. Today I saw blood again rushed her back to the vet, she got more injections, her arthiritis is acting up to. Because of her cusions desease she cant take steroids either. I just dont know what to do. I love her so much that I dont want her to be in any kind of pain anymore. Going to the vet all the time is making her very uncomfortable and nervous. I am a single girl living with her and all the decision is ultimately on me. She still eats and drinks but she is not happy anymore. I have prayed and prayed. I just dont know what to do.

  293. Pam says:

    I know that we have to make a decision on our Snuggles real soon. Snuggles had both knee replacements. First the left knee within 1 week she blew out the other knee. She had surgery on both her knees. This was in Oct. she tried to walk but now she does not even try. The hard part is that my husband carries her outside and she sits to do her business and lays to have bowel movement, then he carries her back into the house. She acts like she still wants to play, she eats and drinks but will not walk. This to be is no life for her, she is 9 years old. I feel we are not doing her any favors but trying to convince my husband is not going so well, he just feels she will get better which she will not. I hope that you can give me some suggestions.
    Thank you
    Pam

  294. michele says:

    i need some really good advice… I own an 8 yr old maltese that has been my baby since he was 4 months old… he will be 9 this year. he use to be a happy go lucky puppy now he aint.. i dont know if it is his way of telling me mommy its ok for me to go. please dont hold onto me anymore.. its that look he gives me everyday.. he dont eat like he use to or play like he use to.. all he does is sleep… i does have a few small lumps on his head. but i was told they were zits… please some one help me is raggy telling its time for him to go to doggy heaven now?

  295. michele says:

    hello all i have a 8 yr old maltese who sees not to be happy and playful anymore all he does is sleep and when it is his feeding time he dont eat like he use to.. does this mean its time to go to sleep? i really need advce.. i have tried new toys, playing wih him and nothing!! please help me

  296. Cathy Eastwood says:

    Britzz
    I do feel for you I think about and cry for my gorgeous chocolate lab my sweet sweet sasky every single day it’s going on for 6 weeks and the house feels so empty like you I love her so very very much and the empty feeling I now have is very hard to bear she was my best friend I told her things I would never say to anyone else, she was never judgmental and didn’t care what I looked like. I miss her desperately but at least she isn’t in pain anymore

    I am so thankful for this forum as I know other people understand what I feel as we all feel the same

  297. Britzzz says:

    I am going through the same pain you are feeling for the loss of my dog Cutie.. just today at 4:30 pm i was so sad and i can’t move on i Love her very Much She is my Bestfriend… But i nid to say Goodbye to her coz i know she is tired :(

  298. Jan says:

    Hi Cathy,
    Yes, I am going through the same pain you are feeling for the loss of my dog Cody. I can still hear him, smell him and some times I feel like he is still next to me. The pain is so real it feels it will never go away. I put him to sleep after 15 1/2 years of life on Monday. He had advanced stages of Cushings disease and malignant tumors on his legs. He could not see or hear any more. I worried about him constantly and took care of him as if he were an infant. I feel this added to my grief because he was always being attended to and like you I still thought I needed to take care of him after he was gone. Everyday is better than the last but there will never be a day I wont miss my Cody.

  299. Courtney says:

    Hi,

    I am busy trying to decided if it is time to put my dog to sleep. She is 13years old and she is a staffy so she has had a great life. I got told about 4/5 years ago that there was a very high chance that she has cancer as she had a few lumps and I have one removed. I told the vet that when the time came that she was in pain I would have her put down. However I think she is starting to be in a lot of pain. Mainly I am worried that I am going to make the wrong decision. While she seems happy she is distracted most of the time. She whines all night long and yesterday she had her first seizure. I really just want someone to make the decision for me as I don’t seem able to make it. Then I feel guilty for not being able to make this choice which would save her from pain that she might be in. Today she didn’t eat all of breakfast which she has never done before.

    She plays with my one year old puppy but you can see he hurts her sometimes and she runs off. She still has good days but lately it seems more like bad days than good.

    Any advise would be good. Although I know what I need to do I’m just so scared that I am going to make the wrong choice and put her to sleep and she didn’t need it in the end.

    Thank you for your words and support I advance.

  300. Cathy Eastwood says:

    It has ben 5 weeks since my precious sasky went peacefully to sleep I still cry every day I miss her so very very much I was really upset reading the post from that person who said we should not play god and putour precious babies out of their miseries I have felt terrible since reading that post and have prayed for forgiveness
    I miss my gorgeous sasky so so much

    Is there anyone else feeling as desperately sad as me ?

    I miss getting her meals I miss walking her I miss absolutely everything but most of all I miss coming home to an empty house oh god where is she she should be greeting me

  301. Joanne says:

    Amber….
    You will let go of the collar when you are ready. After our beloved pets are gone….things we grieve are sometimes things we didn’t know we would. It has been 4 days since Alabama was put to sleep and I have cried every day. I cried when there was no dog hair in the vacuum canister. I cried when there was no nose prints to clean off the glass door. I cried realizing…that I will never have another time in my life where I will be a girl and a dog. Where there would be a bond with just me and a dog. I have too many people and other animals in my life now, that will not be possible. I didn’t even realize I would grieve these things until after she was gone. It hits us in different ways, but in the end, we are at peace knowing that our dog is not suffering or scared. Imagine, walking around, maybe not even recognizing the people you live with sometimes, not being able to hear, feeling pain, and hoping these creatures on two legs are going to take care of you. Scary. Knowing Alabama is not afraid anymore or in pain….gives me peace, but I am still grieving for me. I miss her, always will. I made the right decision for her and for me. I do not regret it, 4 days later.

  302. Amber says:

    My dog Sporty was put to sleep today at 9:00 am. She would’ve been 17 on her birthday in May. She was a small poodle X terrier mutt, even though she was a mutt there could not have abeen any dog more pure in heart and soul than her <3 I'm only a year older than her, so she's been such an important aspect of my life.
    For the past year she had slight trouble walking but still bounced around when we showed her some treats, her hearing was fading away along with her eyesight but these past months she began to pee around the house, which she never had done since she was about 1 or 2, and my parents said it was a sign of kidney failure. We started noticing lumps on her chest and private area and on her back leg. My parents started talking to me about what would have to be done soon. Although Sporty had all these things going on with her, she never showed any pain so I had trouble justifying them having her put down. But today when my dad came home with tears in his eyes he told me that the vet checked her out a bit before they put her to sleep. The vet told my dad that Sporty had many tumors on her body, that she's lived a good long life and now seems to be the appropriate time to put her to sleep before she's in any more agony. I finally realized that it was the right thing for us to do. She may not have showed the pain, but it was obviously there. God, i miss her so much. My dad brought back the collar and I haven't let go of it since this morning. I'll miss you Sporty and I'll always remember you. It's hard to lose you when you've been with me practically since birth <3

  303. EM from Midwest says:

    I put my dog Chase to sleep today. It was probably the hardest decision that I have ever had to make, despite being the best decision for my pet. I got my lovedog when he was about 10 weeks old and I was in my mid-twenties. As a puppy, he hopped. No walking, no running, just hopping. And that is the dog that I will always try to remember.

    To those that believe that euthanasia is horrible, let me make a point – dogs hide pain really well. Part of the social order of a pack is that the needs of the pack outweigh the needs of the individual member. Accordingly, sick dogs, old dogs, hurt dogs, or dogs that are not capable will eventually be left to die so that (1) they will not slow down the pack or (2) so that no one else in the pack will get sick.

    We did not know how many problems that our dog was hiding until we brought him to the vet to specifically look at why he changed habits. What we found:

    * Kidney Stones
    * Gallstones
    * Super Huge – Enlarged Spleen
    * Minor Internal Bleeding

    Our dog was walking around (alas, he hadn’t hopped for years), wagging his tail, going to the bathroom, giving love to the family, and showing NOTHING which suggested such widespread trouble.

    Who knew?

    We spoke with the vet, and he gave us options to potentially keep our pet alive. We did not believe that surgery (non-specific – x-rays only tell you so much) would provide our dog with a quality of life which was worth living. Additionally, as an older dog, he would have gone through a lot of trouble to get a few extra months.

    I watched my pet of almost 15 years die today. I sat with him as the needle was put in, the poison was administered, and the vet proclaimed that his heart had stopped.

    * * Sniff * *

    I loved my dog. And I believe, no matter how much it hurt me emotionally, that I did the absolute best thing for him. And I would make the same decision if I had to.

    I wish you all my best and pass on a bit of the love that I keep to you – to make the right decision when that decision needs to be made – for the sake of your lovedog.

  304. jacq salamone says:

    I need some advice about my dog. My boxer molly shes 10 years old. It seems such a young age to even think of putting her to sleep. She has liver disease, brain cancer, and thyroid disease. Shes been living with this for years. For the past 2 years i clean up her pee all over the house cause she doesnt even notice its coming out. Shes had 2 horrible seizures and almost died but always seemed to bounce back to her old self again. This time around, not so much. She eats normal, over drinks (liver problem) she still gets excited when i come home and all that. She cries from pain every day from walking or random things. the side of her head is sunken in from the cancer eating all her muscle. But today was different. she kept crying and crying. She wont walk she stands stiff in pain. I had to carry her so she could use the bathroom and then she tried to get on my bed with me and fell backwards and hurt herself. she walks into things and almost comes off drunk. she does not want to move. What should i do? please help me. im missing many days of school and work in terror to leave her and something happen with me not being here

  305. Jodi P says:

    Debbie M,
    Are you serious?! Why are you even ON this post if you’re not using it for its sole purpose?! To CONSOLE people and feel better about what they had to do?! You don’t even realize what you may have just done to some people. READ THE COMMENTS! People follow this thread and it helps to see what other people go through. I had to put my dog to sleep last month after 14 years with her! It was very painful and still is to this day. Don’t you DARE tell me what my pet wants or how i should have handled it. She was suffering beyond belief. I cannot believe you let your animals live like that! That’s selfish and should be illegal. Instead of letting them die peacefully with you holding then at the vet you let them lie there day after day and just die! That’s cruelty.  You’re entitled to your opinion but did you really have to express it here?! Rudely, shoving it in their faces?!? They’re hurt! That’s just uncalled for. 
    Did you really just say a vet doesn’t have the ability to tell you when it’s time?! You’re joking right…did you go to school for 6-10 years to be able to say that!!?

    Those of you who have made or trying to make this painful decision…
    Please do not let this selfish and heartless woman get to you. I have personally been through this and can say Im at peace with it. She’s preaching god and choices but NO ONE knows your animal like you and yes a vet.

  306. Joanne says:

    I made the decision to put my dog to sleep. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. I found Alabama at the pound 16 years ago. I was looking for a black lab, a dog to go to the lake with me. What I found was a border collie crossed with black lab. She was beautiful, laying amongst her litter mates, the only black one with a white cross on her chest. Beautiful. I was going on vacation at the end of the week, a vacation to bring a puppy home. I said, if she is here on Friday, she is mine and it is meant to be. I went on Friday, and not only was she still there, she was the only one left. She had ticks on her…diarrhea was in her kennel, she was sick. I didn’t care, I was going to take her home and love her all the same. I took her home. I took her to the lake. She would ride my jet ski with me. She was my beloved dog for 16 years. I did marry and have a son along with three step daughters. She accepted every person I brought into my life…and every animal. I have Tiger and Daisy in my life now. She was the only constant thing in my life for 16 years. The house that I made a home for me and Alabama has been sold. The truck that we drove to the lake, gone. The jet ski was sold for baby furniture, a new one was bought later…along with a house with a pool. Life has blessed me. I was lucky to have Alabama in my life…along with all the people that I love, my husband, son and daughters. Even these little ankle biters, Tiger and Daisy. So, for 2 years Alabama’s health has been declining. She had geriatric vestibular syndrome x 3. I would wake to find her walking like a drunken sailor and nauseous. The first time, I thought she had a stroke, but my son…who was my rock that day, googled it, and diagnosed her. I took her to the vet, once I had hope, that they would not tell me they were going to put her down….a little anti nausea meds and anti dizziness meds took care of her. I would like to say she bounced back, but she never fully recovered. She was not the same after this. The dog that loved to cuddle next to us, now wanted to lay by herself. I was never sure why, but always gave her the space she needed. Over the next 2 years, her health continued to decline. She couldn’t hear. Her sight was failing. She became incontinent. She had doggie dementia. I kept loving her. I did not love the mopping every days, sometimes 3 x a day. Thank God for tile floors. She became thin, frail. I cooked for her every morning, rice, chicken broth and her dog food. Sometimes chicken would be in there. Two years of not wanting the part of me that belong to me, before I became an “us” to leave me. I held on to that part of me for dear life. December came, along with the preparation for the holidays. I told my husband, it’s time. He told me he was not ready. I respected that. A month past and she deteriorated more. I became afraid that she would fall and break a hip. I became fearful that putting her to sleep would become an emergency. I did not want that for her. I am somewhat of a control freak. I wanted to control this, for her. For her. It was a selfless decision and a selfish one. The care that it takes for an elderly dog is immense. I spent an hour to two hours every morning and an hour to two hours every night. That is what was hard…knowing that I was doing this not only for her, but for me…Until, I said, why? Why should we not do this for ourselves as well as for our beloved pet. It broke my heart to see her skinny, frail, unbalanced, incontinent…living in a decrepit body. Broke my heart every day. I said, it’s okay to do something for me. Society tells us that we should not give to ourselves, but when we care for us, we care for others. In order for me to continue to care for her…I had to care for me….This was between me and Alabama. I called the home vet. I scheduled him to come to the house. Her last morning I made her chicken noodle soup. I spent the day with her…rubbing her ears, and telling her stories of her puppy hood. I cried, I held her…we were at peace. Just the two of us. My husband came home. The vet came and she calmly and peacefully went to sleep in my arms. I kept her safe for 16 years. I kept her safe on her death bed. It was not on a cold steel table but in the comfort of her home. Where she loved to lay, on her love seat with her favorite blanket. She was at peace, You could see it in her face. I feel relieved and empty. The hardest part was letting go of the last constant thing in my life…the part of me that belong to me before I became an “us.” She is still with me, I can feel her….and she is running through the grass with St. Francis. It will be okay in time, but I will never, love a dog like her. She was my best friend…the one I loved when I had no one. She was and always will be my baby Alabama. It’s a personal choice, you will all know when it is time, your dog will tell you in their eyes…and you will know in your heart. It is okay to take care of you…and it is your job to take care of them…to keep them safe. Why wait for it to be emergent?

  307. ginie says:

    I had a wonderful pet for 17 and 1/2 years. she was old, blind, barely could run, but she still could find her dish full of water or food, and she could still walk to the back door when she needed to go party, she would wait all day for me to come home to take her outside. everyone would recomend to put her to sleep, and deep in my heart i would pray that whenever it was time to put her to sleep that God would show me when. and it was just like that. seem she had a stroke and that was the signe i waited for. No regrets, of course some sadnes and tears, but I was ready. You would know in your heart. if you are googling when is time, that means to me that you know the time is getting near and you are not sure if it is right now, Believe me, You WILL KNOW. God Bless

  308. Debbie M. says:

    Please don’t fall victim to this mentality that we’re doing our beloved pets any favors by cutting short their lives. Euthanasia helps the people who kill their companions justify the action. It’s God’s decision alone when a life begins and ends, not yours, not a vet.’s, and not other people’s. I’ve been through two prolonged deaths with ill pets, one a cat and one a dog, both diabetic. It was painful, took a lot of time and effort and expense to be with them, and was easily one of the most difficult periods in my life each time–as it was when I spent a year caring for my elderly grandmother before she passed, also at home, in her bed, and surrounded by loved ones, which is how she wanted to go. Each time involved cleaning up messes, giving daily medication, and just being there to soothe my loved one. If you truly love your pets, then it’s what you do. You DON’T take the “esay way out” for you. Shame on any medical practitioner who advocates ending a life!

    If it tells you something about my commitment, I am a single mom who was pregnant when my dog passed and lifted his then 75-lb. body daily when his legs went out due to the arthritis and helped him find his food and water bowls because he was blind from the diabetes. Some of my family swore he’d never walk again and would just be miserable. After eight weeks of being in this condition, he suddenly stood up one day, started walking around, would take long naps in his favorte spots, and even managed to go outdoors to relieve himself. He enjoyed an extra 2.5 months in fairly good shape with me and his sweet cat, who walked before him and meowed to help him move around the house. When his legs went out again, less than two weeks later, he passed on his doggie bed, with me holding him and his cat curled up against his head. That is an ending of love and respect, not the cowardly act of killing a loyal friend.

  309. Kym says:

    Hi ..
    My dog has Cruciate Ligament, shes had it for a few years now.

    Ive been really careful with her having it, Im not sure if its too late for surgery but shes so happy and always wants to play etc..

    She also has Hip Dysplasia ..

    I dont know what to do ..

  310. Mike says:

    I really need some help right now …

    After 14 years, my wife and I decided to have out two dogs put down. We got them form they same litter .. they were brothers.

    One had trouble getting around a fair bit, getting in and out of the house, he was messing and I don’t think he even realized. He would often whimper when I was to pet him or even try to lift him onto my lap.

    The other has had issues with his teeth since forever and they were to the point where I am not even sure if he could eat or not.

    Both were blind and deaf to a very large degree. I would say they only had about 20% ability in both.

    So even with all that said, after having them put down I fell sooooooo terrible and guilty. I have been sobbing like a child for over 12 hours now. I actually had no idea I was so close to them. Up to about 3 years ago they were still pretty active and would play around … but especially over the past 6 months I noticed that neither would do much other than sleep, eat and drink a bit, ask to go out only to ask to come back in within a minute or two.

    I just keep saying to myself … “Could you not have done something else” .. “They did not pass away, YOU put them down”

    This is really ripping me apart inside. These dogs were my kids before I had kids. We did everything together (camp, travel, cottage, drives, walks, play, slept with us, etc, etc, etc)

    I also think back to when I had my first child … and the dogs became second. Not that we didn’t love them, but the priority was more on the children.

    I keep beating myself up for not spending as much time with them over the past few years since the kids came into the picture

    I don’t know … I just feel really really messed up and confused right now

    I understand if a dog has cancer or has some sort of untreatable illness …. but my dogs didn’t … they were just old.

    As sick as it may sound, I would have felt soooo much better to wake up on morning and see them both passed away, in there own home.

    I also question if I should have had them both put down. I know they were both old and having issues, but I seen it more as them being comfortable going together as they came to me .. “together”

    Any help would be very much appreciated ….. Or am I alone

    This sorrow and guilt is really WAY MORE than I could have ever expected.

    RIP “Cape” and “Breton”
    I love you very much and you are missed very much !!

  311. leone says:

    My dog has a skin condition that is getting worse everyday. She is losing her hair and her ears are so swollen that she cannot hear anymore and there is brown puss coming out of it.she also scratches so bad the whole day and night. She doesn’t seem to enjoy her life anymore. I had to put my other dog to sleep because she was so old but this dog is only 5 years old. Everyone seems to tell me to let her go but I cannot even think about it. I feel so selfish but how do you put your young dog to sleep !??

  312. Natalie says:

    I am going through the same situation with my pug of 11 years. He lost a dramatic amount of weight in the past two months. His eyes have gone out on him and it’s hard for him to walk around, drink water, and go to the bathroom. His breathing has increased an become more short. He doesn’t act like the pug I know anymore. Almost like he barely recognizes me. I think That is the hardest part for me. When my family goes to bed I lay with him and pet him and think of how he used to act. Today was the first day he wouldn’t eat his dinner. Crying daily has become routine for me. I see my pug as a human and I’m watchig him slowly pass away. I miss when he would follow me eveywhere or wait for me in the same spot I left him. I miss takin him on car rides and laying with him watching a Movie. Mostly takig him every where and creating memories. Just writing this reminds me of how I miss the way he was which was only a couple months ago. I regret everytime I didn’t feel like taking him on a car ride or bringing him up in my room to sleep. I’m mostly scared of what life will be like without my pug. Lonely? Quiet? Boring? Sad? I will know when it is time to set that last and final vet appointment. Part of me hopes he will die naturally and peacfully in his home of 11 years surroundEd by the noises, love, and other pet brothers. Before I thought I coul be strong about this, but recently pugs condition now has proven me wrong. I hope I am strong through this but doubts fill my mind and morale. I never took much thought to the sayig that a dog is a man’s bet friend unroll know. The saying holds it’s reputation.

  313. Paige says:

    I am struggling very much right now.
    Everything going on with my Qiji(almost 8 yr old Shih-Poo)started in March. Came home from shopping all day (prom) and she had an accident in her crate. I bathed her & she wouldn’t stop shaking. Took her temp, it was 104. She went through 6 months of on & off high fevers, test after test, several rounds of antibiotics (oral & IV) and ultimately only pain meds. Well 3 weeks ago, she started hemorrhaging from the pain meds. Her platelet count was low (she has an immune disease that causes this-diagnosed 6 years ago). She received IV meds and the bleeding stopped. The pain returned. A week ago she got IV pain meds. They have worn off.
    Qiji does not cooperate with oral medication well, especially tablets, so we took her off meds to treat her immune disease almost 2 years ago. While I can recognize she is in pain a lot of the time, she also is playful & does not appear to be in pain at times as well…like for days at a time. Then she hurts again. Because I know there are still other pain meds to try, I don’t want to give up. Therein lies my quandary.

  314. Dave says:

    Put my 13 yr. old black lab Monroe down today. Had not got to the point of not eating or going outside to bathroom but he was tired, ear infections, chewing the top of his back paw, hiding after eating and going out, struggling to walk and steps, it was time. Just as D. Saurer said, sedative to relax and then the shot, I held him and petted him the whole time, told him I loved him and that we would meet again. It was the right thing to do. Thanks for all the posts; reading them makes me feel better.

  315. Michael says:

    I have had my dog Sparky for about 5 years. He is a beagle. He runs around outside for ten minutes and comes back in limping, everytime.
    I can see something is wrong in his spine, because he can’t even get on the couch. I AM WORRIED! What should I do?

  316. Alex Wilmot says:

    Today I’ve decided is the day that Tia gets her first and last home visit from the vet.

    She has been suffering with arthritis and I suspect degenerative myelopathy for well over a year now, with the last 12 months seeing her dragging herself around most of the time. For the last 4 months we have had to assist her outside 4-5 times a day, using a sling under her back end, to help her go to the toilet. Although many would say that this should’ve been the time for her to be put to sleep, she would still drag herself at speed to the front door when I got home, get all excited and nudge me to play with her, play for hours with the puppy, be it tug-of-war with a rope, or just play fighting, enjoyed her food, looked perky, etc, etc, etc i.e. just couldn’t walk properly on her hind legs anymore.

    She has always been able to walk along with a bit of support, but the night before last I noticed that she was dragging her back legs UNDER herself, as opposed to the side and pushing herself along on them. I also noticed that she is having a lot of trouble pushing herself up into a sitting position and is crying whilst she’s trying to do it.

    Last night I took her out to do her business and she couldn’t put any weight on her back legs whatsoever. She couldn’t even squat, so I had to position her legs for her to which she had a pooh.

    It’s 24 hours since she had a wee, and although this morning was a repeat of last night, and culminated in a pooh, the fact she hasn’t had a wee confirms for me that the time has come.

    I have been absolutely sobbing my heart out all morning. I’ve been trying not to because, in the past, any time she’s seen me cry, she’s come over to comfort me. I can see it in her eyes that she just doesn’t have the strength to come to me now. She looks tired… an old dog.

    I’m just waiting for my partner to come home and then we’ll call the vet. This is breaking my heart. I don’t know how our 6 month old pup is going to cope; he absolutely dotes on Tia.

  317. Teresa says:

    We adopted a dog from a family friend this summer. My friend was going through a difficult time and could no longer take care of her. Shortly after we adopted her, she developed a mammary mass and had surgery. We felt good about it because the doctor said it could be a couple of years before anything came back. We found out a couple of weeks ago that it has come back, aggressively, and that she only has a few weeks. The next day we found out that my friend, her previous owner, had died. I’m struggling with what to do — and I think I know but I don’t want to. For the first time today, she wouldn’t eat. Her cancer is inoperable. Any treatments would be hard on her and would not cure the cancer. It’s just so sad. She is such a beautiful, sweet standard poodle. Her personality is still there. She is happy, but I know she is in pain.

  318. Kristy says:

    I have a dog that was limping several moths ago we took him to the vet where they xrayed and said that there was minor disfiguration on his elbow. He was put on a 4 week course of cartroohan injections and muscle relaxing tablets. However we stopped the tablets and keept with the corse of injections to see what was going to work. Now 2 months later he is wimpering with pain from being patted. Back to the vet and a referal to a specialists. We have the choice of spending 1200 on exploration of the hips legs and shoulders to find out whats going on. This is heaps of money as we dont have money lying around. But there is no real treatment for him as a long term fix. So he will only detoriate over a sghort time as the cartophan took only a few months to where off.

    I cant look at him knowing that he may not be beating by the end of the week. But my other dog is looking for him and scared as he has only know his friend. He is strugling to walk wimpers when patted and wont settle down. I cant handle watching him detiorate over the next possible 6 -12 months to have all of this heart break all over again.

    We rescued him almost 2 years ago and i know those 2 years have been the most enjoyable of my life having him so excited to see me each afternoon after work always there to say good bye in the mornings and the laughter watching run and bark. Never needed a door bell he did well to notify us of visitors.

    I have decided to let him go as his pain now is my pain later. My dear little loki. Forever remembered and never forgotten. Jensen and i loved you the day we saw you at the awlqld. And will love you for ever. My roki boy. I miss you !!! Love alwasy mummy & daddy.

  319. Petrina L. says:

    We just put our dog of 13 years asleep today :( We also felt guilty having to make the decision but the vet said it was best. Too many people wait to long and it makes it worse on the dog. We were trying to get through the holidays, but she fell down the stairs the other day and then my husband had to carry her up and down. My heart is broken, but I know she is not suffering anymore. R.I.P Mara Jade..you were a part of our family and will always be a part of our hearts…

  320. Juan Martinez says:

    We have a beautiful 7 year old chocolate lab and he has been, by far, the best K9 friend anyone could ask for. A year ago he tore is ACL chasing a rabit and of course we took him in to get surgery. 45 days and $5000 later he was up and walking. Recently he tore his other ACL, leaving him with a sever limp. My heart is broken and torn at the thought of putting him down. This injury pretty much seals it for him in my mind; he wont be living like a hunting dog, he’ll be living like a broken athlete. Also, doing a little research, large breeds that have this type of surgery on both knees WILL develope painful arthritis in both legs in a matter of years. I dont know if I can subject him to that kind of life. Please help

  321. Trisha says:

    Like many of the posts I have read, I am facing the heartwrenching decision of whether to put my dog to sleep or whether to keep trying to make her eat, drink, walk, go to the bathroom… and I am making her at this point, she has no desire on her own. It’s hard because I keep hoping she can get better, but in her case, her problem is inoperable and the only “treatment” is pain medication that will not fix her condition but will mask it, that is, if it worked which it does not. But she went from happy and seemingly very healthy to very sick in 2 months, and so it is hard to accept that this is where she is now. It has helped me a lot to read others’ posts, in that I feel for the dogs I read about and think, many of them sound like they are really suffering, and putting them to sleep is the most humane decision. Which helped me to realize that I DO know what I need to do for my girl, just have been unable to do so. Quality of life scales also helped, though I love her and will miss her, I need to think of her instead of myself now. She is suffering, like so many others on these posts. I thank you all for your emotional honesty, this is an incredibly hard decision. Clinging to unrealistic hope is not helping her, when there are no treatment options, the best way to help is to not let her suffer any worse or longer than she already has. I see that now. My heart goes out to all of you.

  322. Jackie says:

    @Shelly…..

    Not sure if this will help you or not, but I recently had to face the same choice about surgery. My 3 year old dog is paralyzed in the hind legs. When questioned if we wanted to do surgery, I was leaning towards putting him down but then my 10 year old daugther said something to me that changed my mind. She told me about a poster in her classroom that says “It’s better to try and fail, then never try at all”. That was all I needed to hear to give my dog a chance. Sadly, the surgery did not work and he is still paralyzed but at least I know I tried. And, he is the happiest little dog and gets around however he can. So, aside finanical worries, if you can try I say do it. Good luck with your decide.

  323. Cathy Eastwood says:

    6 days ago my beautiful chocolate Labrador Sasky aged 11 3/4 died in my arms for months she has been suffering liver disease and arthritis suddenly the arthritis got much worse mainly because the liver disease meant the pain relief was restricted we then decided that quality of life was now the most important thing so proper anti inflammatory treatment started, but was too late to stop the pain then she started to drag one of her front legs and then couldn’t walk on the front leg it was heartbreaking seeing her try to get around, so decision time how could we let our beautiful,loyal, faithful baby suffer anymore’. Oh baby I love you I will always love you I will always miss you and I feel so so guilty for making that decision especially as you still ate your breakfast and lunch. Forgive me poppet oh god have I done the right thing?

  324. Shelly says:

    How do I know what to do?? Please help!!! I have a 9 yr old mixed dog that has very bad bowed back legs and requires her to have a very expensive and extensive surgery on both back legs. Her knee caps are slipping off. She is in a lot of pain not eating or active. She is normally 12 lbs and has already lost a lb in Two weeks. Surgery may work. How do u decide to TRY the surgery or put them to sleep?? I feel so bad that I know she is in pain and i do not know where to turn!! Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas????

  325. BBD says:

    My wonderful Jack Russell Molly i have had to put to sleep after 4 days of taking her back and forth to our vets only 10/00 per cent of her kidneys were working when i took her in and she was getting worse on the third night at home she was very sick and vomiting violently i then decided if she did not improve at all on the introvenous drip for her kidneys i would let her go.The vet said there was no chance of her improving so i let him put her to sleep.It was the hardest thing i have done in my life.

    The vet said he had never known so many people crying for so long.That was sunday the 11th 2011.We buried her yesterday in the garden with letters,Ribbons,Blankets,And her favourite toys she was like a daughter to me.We made a coffin for her it was agony but i wanted to give her the best send off possible i will see her regularly.

  326. M Joe says:

    My dog Jed is 13 and I have appt. Tomorrow to put him down, I have canceled three appt before this, I know
    He is failing but can’t seem to bring myself to follow thru every now and then I see my old Jed and think it’s as bad as I think but he is hurting….. He is a 148 llb ( in his youth) down to 98ilbs yellow lab dudley only goes out if I go with him…pees in the house without knowing and smells like rot, my vet told me I will know the right time but he’ll I still see my dog of thirteen years …….any one out there deal with this

  327. Melissa says:

    Leya is a 14.5 y/o 40 lbd mixed breed dog. She’s been my baby for a long time always good trained and happy. Now she’s been peeing and pooping in the house and can’t hold it past 4-5 hrs. She’s also thirsty all the time because she has Cushings which she takes medicine for but also makes her per more. She gets UTI’s since she poops I’m her sleep sometimes and lays on it for prolonged periods of time. I never thought I would even consider putting her down but having to come home from work to a hot mess and having to give her frequent baths put me at wits end. It’s also causing issues withy husband since he feels bad for her and often doesn’t confine he to tiled areas and the wood for of our rental is getting ruined. I feel horrible and selfish to even have these thoughts and don’t know what to do. She still randomly gets excited and rambunctious but not often. Don’t know what to do :( please share your thoughts.

  328. M@l@thy says:

    i had a dog, shih tzu breed, female. i boughtit at the one of the famous dog shop here. after 1 week her stay with me, i found one of her eye sight almost like blind ppl.i rush her to the clinic and the doc said tht since her hair is too long that makes her hair to poke her eyes upto there was asmall little hole. so, the doc have asked me to giive her drops almost for 3 weeks every 2 hrs. just imagine with gt no enough sleep, every 2 hrs i was keep continuing give her the eye drop as recommende. than, i have been transfered to my hometown, i bring her together with me. during that period i was having some hectic job, cant really play with her. what happened was, 1 weekend she refused to eat, and she start to vommit. i feel starneg coz she is hyper active dog i ever seen. when i brought to clinic the doc stop her and she was been admitted. after 3dys, the doc call me and said she is being suffered by parvo bacteria, and be prepared to loose her. after 2 days she was bleeding and she loose all her energy and past away in the clinic. i cried like baby. i grab her, i hold her in my arms, cant watch her lying on my arms, without breathing. It tooks me moths for me to accept the reality tht she has been away from me. It’s difficult to accept the reality sometimes but its nature. she was my best companion, she was my best baby gal i had never experience with. im so lonely upto now w/ouut having her in me. i prayed for her peaceness, and i each day prayed to god to forgive me for nt to take care of her well.. it was me and my mistake.. i responsible fr her death

  329. Mr B Dobson says:

    My beautiful jack russell Molly has been diagnosed with only 10 per cent of her kidneys working(chronic kidney disease)She has had 3 days on an introvenous drip for 8 hrs each day she does not seem to be in any pain just sleeps here but the vet says she keeps vomiting there should i let her go or hope she will recover a little and mabe give her a little more time.Thanks all.

  330. Yani says:

    So, I’m 16 yrs old and I have had my dog/ best friend since I was one year old . He is npw 15 almost 16 . He can still see but far away, he has a bit problem hearing now. I walked him everyday until these last few days where he has problems going to the bathroom. He cant digest his food like before and shakes when he tries and just does little but with diariah .He is urinating everywhere now and a bit of blood in it, he even has peed on his leg today :( . He had surgery for hip replacement 5 months ago and got better not like before but still loved walking . Although,, recently he doesnt want to go to walk doesnt seem to get excited for anything. He has trouble getting up most of the time. He barely eats , I’m giving him just canned food now but he doesnt want it all the time though just depends on the flavors maybe? Im considering putting him to sleep because it hurts seeing him in so much pain, but I get a feeling that maybe he is just ill? We took him to the vet and they wanted to do exams since I thought he was conatipated but they assured me he wasnt . He is old and could be getting ill? And if thats the case I want to have him get surgery anuthing without killing him :( But sometimes I,get the feeling thats the right thing to do but,others I,feel like he says “How can you kill me” and then times when he says “Help me, Im,no longer happy”,): Any suggeations?? I dont,know what to do :((

  331. Laurie says:

    Heidi,
    Your post really helped me. All of the comments on here did. I realize what has to be done. It is just so hard. Sorry for your loss. It is really tough thou right before Christmas, but there always is some excuse! Everyone is praying that their dogs and pets pass in their sleep, but I see sometimes we need to be a responsible owner & help them. Thank you everyone for your posts.

  332. Vicky says:

    I just talked to the vet about putting down my 17 year old shep/terrier mix named Runt, she said the simplest thing that helped me make the decision. I told her I was just waiting for Runt to die naturally, but she said, dogs rarely die on their own because they are so loyal to their owners… now it’s up to us to be loyal to them and help them let go.

  333. Julie says:

    I am struggling with the decision to put my 14 1/2 yr old golden retriever, Sadey, to sleep. I don’t want to be selfish and I am beginning to think that is what I am doing because like a few of the other posts I find myself making excuse after excuse….wait until summer is over, wait until the Holidays are over…but the truth is, there is never really the right time when you love your pet so much. She had a great life and we had another male Golden, Bailey, who we had to put down June 2010 because he had a tumor that burst by his heart and his organs were failing. That happened all within 24 hrs and the decision was made for us. This is a more difficult decision b/c Sadey still wags her tail, gets excited to see us, our family, our friends….just in the past few days she has had trouble balancing when she gets up and so we took her to the vet yesterday. Her bloodwork came back fine except for a high level of bun, and the xray showed us that she had a really full bladder and of course arthritis. So, it seems she has been having trouble peeing in the last couple days and we didn’t know this. The doctor gave us some medicine to try and said if she isn’t noticeably better by Saturday then it will be time for us to make a decision.
    I guess for me it helps to read some of your posts on this site and others. I never really thought of putting a pet to sleep as “the last thing you do for them to protect them and be there for them”….that is true and I have to keep that in my mind to help me through this. She sleeps all day…once in awhile she will still grab a toy but not as often as before. It is the most heart wrenching few days I have been through. I am not able to go to work b/c I want to spend these last few moments with her. I cannot imagine my life without her…she has been my rock and my best friend since I was 20…we have been through so many ups and downs together and she has always been there for me. I love her so much and it is so hard to make this decision. I hope she doesn’t realize what is going to happen & can run free & meet up with Bailey again soon! :'(

  334. Jodi says:

    Lindsey,
    I know exactly how you feel. My story is two comments down but I couldn’t go into detail as it hurts too much. My dog Dollie did the exact same thing. She broke her back trying to jump on my bed and after that she couldn’t walk, could barely sleep from the pain. Couldn’t eat. And was constantly shaking. The vet told me it was because she was in so much pain, that’s all she could do. Does your dog have a tight or tense abdomen? That was also a sign of severe pain. I KNOW this is one of the hardest decisions you will ever make but I thought a quote would help that I saw “If you can spare your friend even one day of suffering, you must.” I put her down 2 days ago and I am still extremely devastated. But I’m beginning to realize, it was the ultimate act of love I had for her. I was being selfish in keeping her here so I wouldn’t suffer myself. I’m here if you need to talk. I know you’re feelings completely and talking may help. Hope I helped you Lindsey. Best wishes and I’m terribly sorry about your friend :(. -Jodi

  335. Lindsey says:

    Our China Mae is 13, nearly blind now and can no longer jump up onto the bed or sofa. She only tolerates her treats and a few bites of food. She still wags her tail and will even try to do her tricks. She growls at us now if we try to groom her and that never happened in all the years we’ve had her. She’s drinking excessive amounts of water and urinating often. She sleeps most of the time but wants to be near where we are. She’s very cold natured although she has a thick coat and shivers if not covered with her favorite blankie. We think it’s time but I would like some feedback from others. This is so hard.

  336. Heidi says:

    My family and I decided to put our 12 year old lab Penny to sleep about 2 months ago.It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. The house isn’t the same, I had to remove her old toys and bowls. It’s hard for me to even type…let alone talk about Penny without wanting to cry. A few months before, she had been running around, playing with our smaller dog and being her normal happy self. One day we noticed she had trouble walking and it went down hill from there. We were told some time ago that eventually her lower back would go out and it did very quickly. She was still our loving, loyal dog but her appetite decreased and she was eventually unable to walk. At that point you realize that the quality of life isn’t there and though it seemed obvious that she needed to be put down…we struggled with the decision. Her personality, intelligence and life in her eyes were still present but her body was gone. Penny loved to run and chase cats outside and she couldn’t, she loved to catch her squeaky toy and return it proudly to us and she couldn’t. I struggled with the guilt of putting her down but I now believe it was the right thing to do. I realized that I was holding on to Penny for so long because I didn’t want to experience the pain of losing her and it was selfish. Her greatest joy I believe was just to be near us and we were with her until the very end. We loved Penny very much and will miss her greatly. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to all of you who have or will lose a beloved pet.

  337. Jodi says:

    I have had my little dog Dollie for 13 years. Shes been my rock and my best friend. I think somewhere in the last week, she fractured her back or something along those lines. Every day, she pet out the most painful, saddening yelps. She couldn’t walk or follow me like usual and it just killed me. Today, I put her to sleep. I have not stopped crying all day long. Some people just don’t understand how much we can love a pet. But now I feel guilty..she could still wag her tail and I felt as if she looked to me for answers and like I let her down. I wish so badly I could believe I ended her suffering. Even after the vet told me there was virtually nothing we could do. I feel like I betrayed her after she’s been with me so many wonderful years. This pain inside of me is like nothing I’ve ever felt before. I feel broken and lost. This lastnight before bed, I naturally waited for her to come into my room. I was expecting her to scratch at my door. Then I broke down. I just don’t know what to do…
    I love you Dollie. Forever and always <3

  338. Laurie says:

    I pray every night that god takes my dog. I am having a very hard time with this. I promised her I wouldn’t do that to her, but she started peeing in the house, I keep making excuses & take her out every half hour or so, but the last few nights she has been peeing in her bed upstairs. We have to take her up and down the stairs now, she is still eating and that tail wags when she sees her food. My husband says this isn’t fair to her and not healthy for us. I am steam cleaning every two days. I just feel so guilty. I don’t know what to do, my daughter is so sad also. I am crying like a baby everyday now.I keep saying, well let’s wait til past thanksgiving, then its christmas, i keep putting it off. I don’t know when is the right time. Just keep praying that god takes her. But its just getting worse. I read where you said if theres more pain than happiness, but I don’t know when it is the right time.I just cry and make more excuses and feel sick to my stomach everyday. She is 14 & I know she lived a long life for a dog, but I just don’t know what to do.

  339. Mike S. says:

    My black lab Newman has been having more bad days than good. I don’t think he is in a lot of pain but something inside me tells me that the time has come to let him go. I don’t want to be selfish by keeping him around for my needs and my children are suffering because they also can see the end is coming. What makes this particularly hard is that three years ago, I was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor that would likely take my life. I had partial paralysis on my left side and persistent double vision. I remember early on in my diagnosis laying in bed terrified about my potential outcome and not being able to sleep. Newman would come into bed and snuggle against me for the entire night. I laid there with Newman each and every night slowly petting him. He was my rock and I owe him a debt that can never be repaid. Today, I’m in remission and 100% healthy. Looking back, I don’t know how I could have made it through the darkest time of my life without my best friend in the world. We’re planning on putting him to sleep Friday afternoon. That way the kids can say their goodbyes and my wife and I can take him to the vet’s office. Prayers for Newman and my family are much appreciated.

  340. POLLY says:

    I wake up in the night to see if God will let my little girl die in her sleep, because I dont want/can’t make that decision. And for a momement I panic, because I want to say goodbye one more time. It has been like this for about six months now.

  341. miko says:

    its been a year and almost 3 months since i had to say goodbye to my mousey. i suffered in every way when she was gone and losing another pet and a cousin i didnt even get to say goodbye to that summer did not help at all..i even contiplated taking my own life at this time. then i heared..or rather felt this voice(i couldnt hear it but somehow i knew somebody was saying something to me) it said “you are needed in this world” and “you”ll be letting the whole world down”,”its time to leave the past behind”.

    to this day i believe that to be the voice of god,not a god of any religion,i believe god to be neither male nor female,not vengeful or thinking about sending you to a boiling pit of fire for having dirty thoughts about your neighbor’s wife or whatever,and just loves me and everyone and thing unconditionaly. so one day when i was praying i was shown an image of my dog mousey…she looked like a completely different dog was just beautiful. then i felt like she was saying “the only thing i want you to know is that i love you”. she told me everything i needed to hear.

    my point is dont feel guilty for setting your pet free. you did the best you could to take care of your pet and make him/her happy and he/she will never fogot that and never hold anything against you,nor be angry with you. remember your pet and the love and memories you shared. and who knowse one day you just might be reunitied <3

  342. Maximo Murrey says:

    Very sad a loss of your pet they become a part of your family. You did the right they arent suffering or in pain now and thats what you need to remember. Stay strong

  343. Wow Laurie – that was a great post. I am a veterinarian who specializes in In-Home Euthanasia’s and that is always the biggest dilemma my clients have.. ‘Knowing when is time’. I just posted this blog today to help them a little. Maybe it will help some of your readers:

    http://lapoflove.blogspot.com/2011/11/when-to-put-your-dog-down.html

    More people need to realize that it is not ok to let your pet just ‘pass naturally’ if there is any suffering they are experiencing. That includes not eating. Starvation is not ‘not-painful’.

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.
    Dr. Mary Gardner
    http://www.lapoflove.com

    We are a group of 18 vets in 3 states that provide veterinary In Home Hospice and Euthanasia services.

  344. Jasper says:

    I’m struggling with the guilt of it all. Foxie, my best friend these last 9 years, died in my arms this Saturday, 19th November at 4:20pm.

    She’s been my rock and inspiration, seeing me through a cheating fiancee and last year being diagnosed with clinical depression. She saw me through both the darkest times of my life. She is a survivor of 2 major operations on herself. A true fighter.

    Now, i’m swamped with the guilt in her passing, she had been very sick and has been at the vet hospital this past week, with the head vet saying she was getting better. But he called me Saturday morning and said my Foxie’s organs have shut down and her heart beat was barely there. She had to be put to sleep.

    I wasn’t allowed to visit her whilst she was at the hospital for the vets fear it was not good for her condition to see me just for me to leave her there again. But the guilt that’s killing me now was that she had to be put to sleep, without seeing her family until her last 30 minutes sof life, and without her being at her home. I told her repeatedly that she was a good girl as she fell asleep in my arms for the last time, but i feel SO guilty that she wasn’t at home, with her family, during her last days.

    I love you Foxie, always and forever. Please don’t hate me.

  345. Randy says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like your life was greatly enriched by your friendship. Remember the good times and how you were able to say good bye. Not everyone gets this chance.

  346. Pattie M. says:

    I know what you’re going through and feel your pain. I had to put my 13yr old poodle to sleep on November 8th, 2011. My other dog misses her even tho she picked on him. I let the one dog go out and still call for the other. My house isn’t the same either. I was with her when they gave her the shot, talking to her and telling her I love her and I’ll miss her terribly. Buy, like you, I did the right thing!!!

  347. D. Sauer says:

    I had a wonderful 12 year old choc lab leave my life at 3:39 p.m. This afternoon, and I’m devastated, Justus was the 4th generation, I had his great grandpa down to my dog. I love this dog so much, working partners for 11 years, been home for a year, too hard at my age to get him into the truck anymore, and I think he liked staying home with my wife. He started having probes getting up, finally in the last few weeks, only one leg was lifting, the other a balance tool. In the last few days, he would loose balance, struggle to get his good leg underneath him, I made the decision, with my family that the time had come, and today was the day…I would preface this by, I’m 65 and I have cried and sobbed for two days, I had a a ranged for my vet to come over to my house, and I watched the clock for hours, scared for ,e and my dog the last hour, and ready to pass out at the minute he pulled up. I looked at my dog, who wagged his tail, and I wanted to die!!!,!,!,!,!, I got my Bud into my office, a sedative was given, enough to make my dog very sleepy, then I hugged him, and told him how much I loved him as the shot was administered, and two breaths later, heart stopped. I’m so lonely at the moment, the house isn’t the same, the breathing I could hear, isn’t there, the guy that would ask to go out isn’t here, it stinks!!!,! But I did the right thing!!!

  348. Dear Jackie,

    Awwww – your poor dog!! But I’m not surprised to hear that he’s happy.

    We met a dog in a doggy wheelchair the other day, and that guy happily did his best to keep up with the rest of the dogs in the dog park. His wheelchair even got knocked over and he was stuck flailing on his side for a few seconds. My heart broke for him, but his owner just set him right back up again and off he went.

    I suspect your dog will be happy as long as you’re nearby to keep him company and love him. You make him happy.

    That said, however, dogs do need to run and play and interact with other dogs. They love us to pieces, but they also need to have a life.

    I can’t tell you if you should put your dog to sleep, but I can tell you what I’d do if it were my dog. I’d let her go. She loves to run, play, jump, and even twirl in the air (like a circus dog!) – and I’d hate to see her become an invalid. She’d be happy with me around, no doubt about it, but her quality of life would be so low.

    That’s just what I think. Many dog owners would (and do) keep their dogs alive no matter what. I’d rather let my dog go (it breaks my heart to even think of it), and then give a home to a healthy dog who needs it. I got my dog from the SPCA, and I know there are hundreds of dogs at rescue shelters who are desperate for good homes.

    I’m not saying you can just go out and replace your dog, like getting a new sofa or pair of shoes! I just think that if my dog isn’t enjoying a good quality of life, then I would let her go. And I’d honor her memory by opening my heart and home to another dog from the same SPCA that I got mine from.

    I wish you all the best as you decide what’s best for your dog. Let me know what you decide – I know that the other dog owners who are struggling with similar decisions will find comfort and support in your decision, regardless of what it is. Sometimes just knowing that other people have been in the same boat helps immensely.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  349. Dear Nancy,

    I’m sorry you had to sell your home, and that your new place isn’t a good fit for your dog. He sounds like an old man who just wants the comforts of his home and hearth nearby!

    I’ve been looking into options for my dog – she’s only 1 1/2 years old, but I may be taking a full-time job out of the house (I’ve been writing full-time from home since we got her, so she’s very used to having me around constantly). I’ve talked to dog walkers who can come in once a day to walk her while I’m gone…have you considered that? A dog walker can let your dog out for a piddle and short walk up the block.

    Another option is doggy daycare, but I don’t think your dog would like that.

    A third option is to talk to your veterinarian, and ask if it’s time to put your dog to sleep (which I think is what you’re already considering, right?). He’s an old guy, and he won’t enjoy being cooped up alone all day in your new place.

    The basic question is: will he have the same quality of life in the new place? That is, will he be happy and healthy? If not, maybe it is time to say good-bye. Or, maybe you need to try a dog walker for a couple of weeks — knowing that your dog may take time to get used to it.

    I hope this helps a little. There are no easy answers…you have to try to think objectively about your dog’s life, and trust yourself to make the right decision for him. His quality of life and happiness is the most important thing to consider.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  350. Dear Abigail,

    I’m sorry to hear your dog can’t walk very well. He’s an old timer, and a survivor! But no matter how much he fights, he can’t escape one of the most natural parts of life: death.

    Nobody can tell you if you should put your dog to sleep, or keep fighting for his life. But, I want you to remember that there are things worse than death! Living in pain is worse than death – especially if you’re living in pain because your family doesn’t want to live without you.

    Not being able to walk is a sign that your dog is slowing down. It’s great that he’s happy when your mom comes home, but that may not be enough to make up for the possible pain he is in.

    You and your mom need to talk to your veterinarian about if it’s time to say good-bye to him. Living in pain is worse than slipping away peacefully.

    I believe in doggy heaven, and I believe that we will meet up with our lost loved ones after we die. I don’t know for sure if it’s true, but I believe it! It comforts me to think that my lost cats, dog, and loved ones are waiting for me in Somewhere Far Better than here.

    Let me know what you decide, and how it goes.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  351. Dear Elvin,

    Yes, I think you made the right decision to put your dog to sleep. He may have been strong, tough, and courageous, but not many dogs can survive lymphoma. Chemotherapy is an awful experience – very painful and poisonous. I love my dog, but I don’t think I’d put her through chemo treatments. My best friend (not my dog, a woman!) went through chemotherapy, and it was terrible.

    So yes, I think you made the right decision to say good-bye to your dog. I would have made the same decision – I would want her to have a shorter life if it means less pain for her. Plus, there is no guarantee that chemo treatments would save your dog or eradicate the cancer.

    I wish you all the best as you mourn your dog’s death, and I hope you find peace with your decision.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  352. Jackie says:

    Please help me make a very hard decision. My 3 year old peke was recently paralyzed. He had a $5,000 spine surgery that doesn’t appear to have done any good. His surgery was almost a month ago. He has no use of his rear legs nor can he control his bladder or bowel movements. We tried the wheelchair route but because he was born with a birth defect in his front legs, the wheelchair is not an option for him. He really is only down to one semi-decent leg. I know that sounds terrible but he is a very happy dog. Outside of the paralysis he is ususal self. He seems content. He plays (however he can), eats, drinks, etc. I am just questioning if this is any kind of life for him. I cannot imagine bringing him in to be put down when he is in no pain but is this a life for a dog???? Please help. Thank you.

  353. Nancy says:

    I recently had to sell my home and will be moving into a rental unit. My dog is 17 years old and gets very nervous whenever he is away from the house for even a few minutes. He cries and whines and paces until he gets home again. Also he has his own doggie door here and can come and go outside whenever he wants. We won’t have that at our new home. He is having trouble controlling his bladder and has accidents, so I’m worried that it will get much worse when he can’t go outside whenever he needs to. He can’t see or hear well anymore, so when I am away from the house, he howls the entire time until I walk back in the door. In a condominium complex that will cause a big problem, but I can’t be with him 24 hours a day. What are my options? Please help!

  354. Abigail says:

    My family’s 14 year old dog has been having leg and joint problems. It’s hard for him to walk and we can’t really find anything that helps him. He comes up to me very often during the day giving me the puppy-dog eyes like he’s in pain, but I think he just wants to be pet. He seems happy and all especially when my mom comes home. It doesn’t seem to bother him much except when he walks. Is it time that I put him down or keep fighting for his life along beside him?

  355. Elvin Gomez says:

    I just had to put my old English bulldog to sleep. He was only 6 years old
    the doctor said he has Lymphoma. My dog (Tyson) was not eating much and he usually has a big appetite. He also had some diarrhea and was very weak. He also had a fever the vet said he was pretty swollen. He said he would need chemotherapy. So I had to make a decision Tyson was a strong dog in my mind I was thinking he could tough it out. But my heart was saying I have to do whats right. I feel real guilty for putting him to sleep. Do you think I did the right thing?

  356. craig says:

    My 13 year old Lab Ben started getting very weak on his back end in March of this year,i took him to the vets he was almost to weak to stand.
    I thought it was the end for him but the vet prescribed him Rymadyl and two weeks later the improvement was incredible.

    Everything was fine until yesterday when he was rushing to get out the door,he suddenly slipped but seemed ok.

    He got up this morning and did his business,later that day i came home from work but when i walked in he did not get up.
    Eventually he struggled a little then walked up to me,but suddenly his back end gave way and as he tried in vain his left foot also gave away.

    He did not yelp or seem distressed,i carried him outside but he just could not get up.

    I phoned my wife who came straight home from work.
    I called the vet and we took him straight away.Two vets examined him for over half a hour but said he probably slipped a disc.My wife and i made the heart renching decision to have him put to sleep.

    We were both extremely upset but to process of letting him go was quite peaceful.The biggest problem is how we are going to tell our eight year old son, who loved Ben so much.

  357. Rob says:

    I found a lab mutt at a few weeks old. She is now 13 and having trouble standing / walking. With the snow and ice coming I know an accident is imminent. I travel on business quite a bit and do not want to be out of town when it happens. I have a great adult life with a wonderful wife and kids but grew up in a house with no love. I learned what love is from a childhood dog that I had saved paper route money for and rescued from the shelter. I know it’s time, but it feels like not only am I killing my best friend, I’m killing a part of me as well. She’s lying at my feet as always. Looking at me like I’m a god. This is killing me.

  358. fiona says:

    My mam has a 7yr old rotweiler nd he has been diagnosed wiv dry eye syndrome nd diabietes nd its very sad as she can not afford the medication to keep him alive. So she has decided to put him to sleep tommorow but it is killing my mam as she thinks she is murderin him. Its so sad that he has lost loads of weight :'(

  359. Dear Anca ~ thank you for sharing how the last week went. It sounds like it was a rich, deep time of love, caring, and letting go. I hope you’re feeling better, and that you’re adjusting to life without your dog :-(

    Dear Donna ~ I’m sorry you had to put your dog to sleep, and that you feel so much guilt. You have to remember that you made the best decision at the time – and it was probably the right one. You didn’t know how surgery would work, and surgery is stressful on both dogs and their owners!

    You did the right thing – you made the right decision to put your dog to sleep. Now, you must let go and say good-bye, grieve your loss, and remember that one day you will remember your dog with love, peace and joy. And, you will meet your beloved dog across the Rainbow Bridge and in a much happier world! I like to think that, anyway.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  360. Donna Fitton says:

    Ive been reading all the experiences of other people and what they have gone through when they have had to have their pet put down. I had to have my darling max put down just over a month ago. He fell off the bed and couldnt walk and wasnt able to wee on his own and in couldnt feel when he went to the toilet. The first vet said it was a temporary paralysis and a disc problem. In the middle of the night the morphine wore off and he was screaming out in pain. he was so scared and didnt know what was happening. we took him to an out of hours vets and she said that we could take him to liverpool where he could have scans and see if an operation would work but it wasnt a foregone conclusion if anything would work. I couldnt put him through it. He was a lakeland red crossed with a jack russell. he was five and a half years old. I just couldnt put him through all the pain all I could see was a very scared little man. The vet did say it would be kinder but she could just give him more morphine if we wished. I decided on the putting to sleep i thought it was kinder. she sedated him he was even crying out when she put a catherta in. He died in my arms very peacefully. I miss him so much and keep on wondering if I would have said yes to liverpool to see if he would ever walk again. He felt pain but there was nothing. Im in complete torment and feel so guilty. I couldnt have him suffer because that would be for me and not for him. he was so agile and not be able to move would have been a nightmare for him. Your site has helped me and the comments people have put on. I just cant help feeling guilty for not giving him a chance. he didnt suffer for too long. I just feel that he has been snatched from me. We were inseperable and we knew one another inside out. I wish he would have been older but to just be five and a half makes its worse. He was such a lovely character and lived life to the full. I supposed I just want to be told if I have done the right thing. I found it hard one vet saying one thing, but i chose to listen to the second vet she was only young but i coud tell she didnt want him to be in any more pain and she told me the truth what he had to face if we didnt end hs precious life. thankyou for your time you are giving to read this.

  361. Anca says:

    Hello,

    Thank you again for your help.

    The last week with my dog had it’s bad and good parts,good cause we had a chance to say goodbye and make him happy and bad cause it hurt so much knowing that with every second passing we get closer to his last day.

    I gave him the best food and sweets ,sometimes I used to chew them myself cause it was the only way he could eat them and he was getting worse, beside the jaw fracture. He was drinking a lot of water and urinating every hour or sometimes every half an hour ,he would wake up from his sleep and would go fast to drink and then to let it out,he was incontinent before but this time not even his diapers couldn’t help,his tummy got hard a little bit.The last day was awful I didn’t know what to expect but I tried to stay calm for him then the veterinarian called and said she will be there in 10 minutes and she did.

    She gave him something to relax ,he always hated injections ,that time I hold him in my arms and he wanted down,I let him down and when he was calm I took him up again ,the veterinarian wanted to make him sleep first by injecting him in the muscle and said that it my burn a little.but I told her not to inject him in the muscle cause the last time he cried so much I got really scared and I didn’t wanted to remember him like that ,then we decided to give him directly in the vein.

    She said that the injection will put his body in a total sleep and then go directly to the heart and stop it,he let a small cry out when he fell asleep and he pushed his tinny head in me then a few seconds later I felt no more heart beat, his muscles contracted twice making a weird noise and he was gone. It all happened so fast ,I felt relieved and at the same time I could not believe that this was it ,he was gone I can’t bring him back no matter what.After a few minutes I put him down on a blanket and told my boyfriend to let our husky free,she came directly to him smelled him and than sat next to him looking at all of us then she kissed us all even the veterinarian and gave her the paw ,she made us all smile for a while ,after that she never looked for him again ,she understood what happened.

    Next day my dad and sister came and we drive to my parents house 3 hours away and buried him in their front yard next to a tree.I folded him in one of my favourite cloth an my boyfriend gave me also one of his .I miss him every day ,I was so used to take care of him ,I feel guilt the same time but I think that’s normal ,I know I did the right thing cause he didn’t got better and I got to a point where I felt guilty every time he was in pain like when he ate and he was in pain I was telling myself that its my fault,the food was to hard or cause he was blind he was bumping into something I blamed myself every time.he could still live longer maybe but I comfort myself when I think that to keep him alive longer would have meant more pain and stress for him ,a lot of medicine and dangerous operations through witch he could have died so I feel better that he died in my arms feeling safe and loved.

    I kept his favorite blanket that smells like him and I hug it every time I miss him.He was and always will be my best friend the strongest dog .he was never ill untill the last one and half year ,my baby with whom I grew up.

    I had him since the day he was born cause we had his mom also and my dad told me and my sister to choose each of us one of the four puppies,I choose him cause he was a fighter ,he could not see yet or walk but every time we use to find him in the middle of the room wandering around.he gave me unconditional love ,he loved me more than anything no matter what.the most loyal dog I’ve ever seen.I was lucky to have him, he was a gift from God and now he is happy with his mom and brother and I cant wait for the day when I can hold him in my arms again…

  362. Dear Anca,

    I’m so sorry to hear that you’re putting your dog to sleep on Friday! What an awful time of waiting it must be.

    On the other hand, maybe this can be a time of healthy emotional healing and saying good-bye? Sort of like when a loved one is sick in the hospital, and the family members come in to tell stories, say good-bye, and release their loved one into the next world. Maybe this can be a week of release and blessing, of sending your dog to Heaven with love, peace, joy, and release.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers as you say good-bye to your beloved dog.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  363. Dear Danielle,

    I’m sorry to hear that your dog isn’t doing well….it’s been 3 days since you left your comment. How is she doing now? Is she eating, playing, and being more vocal?

    Also, what does the veterinarian say about whether or not you should put her to sleep? Some vets think dog owners should do all they can to prolong their dogs’ life for as long as possible, while other veterinarians believe that surgery may be too much (depending on the health and age of the dog).

    I know it’s hard to determine what a “good quality of life” is, but it definitely involves eating, being active (even just walking once or twice a day), and being alert. You know your dog better than anyone…and if she isn’t the same as she was, then maybe she is suffering.

    It’s an awful decision to have to make, but it can be the best one for your dog. I don’t know if you should put her to sleep, but I do think you need to remember that though saying good-bye is heartbreaking, it may be the best thing.

    I’m really sorry I can’t give you better advice. I hope your dog is feeling better today, and you don’t need to be faced with this decision right now!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  364. leslee cowling says:

    Every time i put my dogs to sleep. I say to my self and them i am doing this because I love you. mybe this will help other.

  365. Anca says:

    Thank you very much for your answer. I took my dog to the veterinarian on friday, she said that in my dogs case maybe it’s better for him to be put to sleep,there’s no real quality of life he’s blind, his jaw still hurts ,he’s incontinent from a while ,now he drinks a lot of water and urinates even more, sleeps most of the time.

    The veterinarian thinks it may be also diabetes and that his eyes may hurt also. He cant really stop eating even though it bothers him when he does,I read it could be because of the diabetes. Sometimes when I watch him sleep I hear him cry ,not loud I don’t think its pain…I think he is sad .He will be put to sleep on next friday,the veterinarian is coming home ,He’s now on pain killers .I will enjoy the last days with him,try to make him happy.

    It hurts more and more as the day approaches .Even though we know this day will come no matter what we do it still hurts.Its so sad I cant even cry anymore even though I want to because I feel better after. cant fall asleep,can’t really eat but I know its the right thing to do so he won’t suffer anymore.If he could talk he would wish the same, a pain free end in my arms in the comfort of his home.

    Thank you again for your advice it helped me a lot.

  366. Danielle says:

    Last thing (I promise) my mind is just reeling here.
    I feel it important to mention that she DOES wag her tail when we approach her…

  367. Danielle says:

    ALSO….shes not vocal anymore at all! no cries, barks, whimpers, nothing. Just totally silent.
    My family is just devastated & I dont know what move to make.
    Thanks in advance for your help!

  368. Danielle says:

    Please help! =(
    I have an 11 y/o mixed breed dog whom I love SOO very much!
    Up until this week, she was her rambunctious self. As of Tuesday, she can barely move, lift her head, stan, etc. She will not eat & we have to place her water under her mouth for her to drink.
    We brought her to the vet & they dont know whats wrong. They THINK it may be a disease that un-spayed dogs get in their adult years but she couldnt be sure w/o running several tests we cant afford. Even if we had proof this is what her ailment is; it would require surgery which could be dangerous for her age. I dont want her to suffer but I dont know if shes suffering. I dont know whether or not to put her down. I need help deciding what to do for her. I have a hard time taking her life if its something rectifiable but right now this is not quality life for her. Its been going on for 4 days now. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  369. Dear Anca,

    I don’t know if a mandibulectomy will help your dog, or if he’ll recover from the surgery. Have you asked your veterinarian about that particular operation? His heart may be strong enough, but it’s hard to say if the rest of his body will recover.

    Sometimes the best, most loving thing we can do for our aging dogs is to say good-bye in peace and comfort — before they get too sick or are in too much pain. I’m not telling you to put your dog to sleep, though! I can’t make that decision.

    I think the bottom line is his quality of life. If he’s happy, healthy, and seems to be in no pain, then there doesn’t seem to be a need to put him to sleep. But if he’s not doing well, then maybe it’s time to say good-bye.

    I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful. I know how hard it is to make this decision, especially since you’ve loved your dog for so many years.

    I wish you all the best as you make this difficult decision.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  370. Dear Jo Anna,

    I’m sorry to hear that your dog broke her back, and has other health problems. It’s heartbreaking to see our loved ones get old, isn’t it?

    I think the best way to decide if you should put your dog to sleep is to look at her quality of life. Is she happy, healthy, and able to move freely without pain? I understand how awful it is to consider life without her, especially since you’ve had her for so long.

    Sometimes the most loving, kindest thing we can do is let our loved ones go. I’m not telling you to put your dog to sleep; only you can decide that. I’m just saying that her quality of life should be your first consideration. Your love for her is so strong, but it can’t bring her health back.

    I wish you all the best as you make this difficult decision. Remember that she loves you, and she knows that everything you do is for her own good.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  371. Anca says:

    Hello,I have a 14 years old pekingese male,blind since about 3 years .Almost 7 weeks ago he got bitten by my other dog, a female husky while she was in heat and I think he tried to bite her back cause there was no external bleeding but he lost two teeth and he got a jaw fracture(mandibular).The veterinarian said she can’t make an operation cause the bone is ill due to bad teeth and she sewed it somehow together hoping that it will heal.I thought about putting him to sleep then cause i really don’t want him to be in pain but the veterinarian said he has a really good heart for his age and he doesn’t need a major operation.I feed him since then with baby food and he didn’t seem to have big pain cause he was eating really good and was always happy to see me ,the only problem was that he was making some weird head movements but now 3 days ago those movements got worse and often and he seems to be in pain but he still eats good and is still happy to see me and there is no swelling in that area or any changes.Its killing me to see him suffer and I don’t know what to do ,a part of me wants to let him sleep and rest to heal ,the other part is afraid that he wont heal and I wanna enjoy the last moments with him . Every time I go in the room he wakes up fast looking for me ,he cries sometimes cause he wants outside.If he wont heal like this I read something about mandibulectomy ,could this work ?Is it worth the pain ?Should I still wait or should I put him to sleep?It’s really killing me ,he seams to be a healthy dog but what quality of life is it to be a blind dog not able to sleep in the bed with your owner to be free and how to take care that he doesn’t hit himself anymore cause he’s blind.I cry every night cause I just wanna make him happy , I have him since I was nine years old and we have such a strong bond.I know I will have to let him go one day but I don’t know if that day is close and if I will put him to sleep I will always question myself what if he got better if I didn’t.Please Help .Thank you

  372. Jo Anna says:

    I have a dog (Austrailian Shepherd) who is 15 years old. She fell down the back steps and landed on her back on the ground. We took her to the vet and they said that she may have broken her back to give it a few days for the swelling to go down and see how she is. SHe has no use of her right leg at all. She cannot stand on her own so therefore we have to hold her up to go to the bathroom also. She has developed a rather large knot on her stomach. We took her back to the vet and was told that she has herniated her abdomen and see if it goes down over night. She is no better today, her stomach has actually gotten larger. We cannot afford the surgery for her back. We were told today that we need to decide what quality of life we want for our dog. This is such a hard decision to make. We have had her since she was a puppy. Do we put her down or wait a few more days to see if she gets better? Any suggestions would be most greatful.

  373. Dear Alison,

    I’m sorry to hear your dog sounds like he’s in pain. Have you taken him to see a veterinarian? The best way to find out if he needs help (or if it’s time to put him to sleep) is to talk to a doctor. Get him examined in person, by a vet.

    If your dad doesn’t want to take your dog to the vet, you could call the vet yourself. Describe your dog’s symptoms, and see what the vet (or the vet tech) thinks you should do. There may be some simple solutions or natural home remedies that they suggest — you never know! Sometimes it’s easier than you think to help your dog get healthy…hopefully this is one of those times.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  374. Alison says:

    My dog is 14/15 and I dont know what to do. My dad says its just a cold. But he has been making these noises that sound like hes in so much pain, What should i do?

  375. Dear Louise,

    I’m sorry, but I believe the best way to find out how to help your dog is to take him to the veterinarian. I don’t think the only solution is to put your dog to sleep — the vet may have prescription medications or natural remedies that can ease his discomfort.

    The danger of trying to get specific advice over the internet is that it doesn’t take into account your dog’s whole health. My dog had an eye infection, and I did a ton of internet research…only to realize that a veterinarian is the only person who can properly diagnose and treat my dog.

    I encourage you to take your dog to the vet, and let me know how it goes…

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  376. Louise says:

    Hi I have a 15 year old staff who’s constantly biting himself he has been treated for worms and we use flee control shampoo but he has now been biting his tail badly which he now has a big lump and is constantly bleeding he don’t stop biting his anal area too , I have noticed hes being sick every so often aswell, he’s back legs shake abit too it’s really sad because we love him so much and dnt no what to do does anyone have Any suggestions I’m scared to take him vet incase they tell me the worst we have had him since he was 3
    Many thanks
    Louise

  377. Tracy says:

    Thank you so much Laurie! That is what my daughter keeps telling me. It was nice to hear it from someone else. It was a very hard decision I don’t wish upon anyone…I know she is running and jumping with the pack of other angel dogs, pain free! With depression you have good days and bad days, unfortunately guilt is a nasty side effect. Thank you again :)

  378. Dear Tracy,

    You did the right thing by putting your dog to sleep. You had no other choice because 1) your dog was in a great deal of pain; and 2) you couldn’t afford the expensive surgery to fix her hips. Plus, there’s no guarantee that the surgery would work!

    You have to stop beating yourself up over your decision. You made the best decision you could – it was the right decision for you and your family.

    Now, you must replace those guilty, sad feelings with gratitude and love that your dog is happy and healthy…and waiting for you on the other side of the rainbow bridge.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  379. Dear Traci,

    I’m sorry to hear about your dog’s diagnosis of diabetes. Giving him a daily needle is stressful for both you and him – especially when he yelps like that!

    Our dog was spayed the day before we adopted her from the SPCA; she yelped a couple times an hour and tried to chew at her stitches. The SPCA veterinarian said some dogs are more sensitive and “princess-like” than others. He said some are more physically sensitive to things like stitches and shots, and others aren’t. So, it may be that your dog is simply reacting to the insulin. Not a pain reaction, but a “what the heck is this??” reaction.

    I encourage you to take him to the vet and ask him or her to administer a shot of insulin in your presence. Maybe the vet can give you a better idea if your dog is in pain, or if he’s just being a baby (which my dog is – a big baby!).

    What does concern me is that he was fine with the shots at first, and seems to find them more uncomfortable now. I really think the best thing to do is talk to your veterinarian again, and see if the diabetes is getting worse. Or maybe other health issues are making the shots more painful.

    I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful – I wish I had all the answers!

    Let me know how you and your dog are doing these days…

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  380. Tracy says:

    I am feeling so guilty and I am wondering if you can help me! I had a one year old rottie/mastiff named Shylo, sweet girl. I miss her terribly! I am a dog lover, I have large breed dogs :) I spade her at 5 months and was told her hips were real bad. She bunny hopped all the time getting down from 1/2 foot height. She could not go on walks with all the dogs, as she could not make it home. She would cry when we left her at home. It was progressively getting worse. I have a rottie/shep, so I know how they are (the large breeds). Her backside was so rounded, not square. The kind of last episode, help me make the decision. The dogs had escaped…not very often but it happens. All the dogs took off running as dogs do, but Shylo made it about 30 feet and limped/hopped back (at one year). I with my kids made the decision to have her euthanized. We stayed with her as she went and I have the ashes. The problem is I feel so guilty, my 16 year old daughter said we did the right thing. I am on my own with my kids, I am on disablity for depression (probably does not help), but I was a nurse for 12 years. I take my dogs for routine vet checks etc., but there was no way I could afford to do the surgery on her hips and was told if they were this bad now, in even one year they would be even worse. I had to scrounge everything I had for her euthanisia and her cremation/ashes. I could not bare to have her cremated with others. Please this may sound stupid, but tell me I did the right thing. I read about people getting surgery for their dogs, but I could not :( People will tell me I should not have my dogs, but they have helped me so much with my depression I owe them my life. Thank you for your time…
    Tracy

  381. Traci says:

    I am struggling with the decision to put my Miniture American Eskimo to sleep. He is 11 and was diagnosed in July with diabetes. He also has thyroid issues, hip joint pain and bad teeth. I started giving insulin shots and things were going well. We had a couple set backs with blood sugars going high and he’s had urine accidents in the house during those times. In the past few weeks, he has started yelping loudly. Sometimes it’s when I’m injecting the needle and sometimes when I push the solution in. It makes my anxiety go through the roof and I’m scared to keep giving shots. I somehow manage to bring myself to do it again because it’s whats best for him. Sometimes it goes smoothly and then the next he’ll yelp again. I know his teeth are bad and I’ve been adding water to his dry food to make it easier to chew. I’ve spent over a 1000.00 on this dog since May and I can’t justify much more. I feel terrible because I look at him and see a dog who doesn’t seem sick. But, when he doesn’t get the insulin, I can tell right away that it affects him negatively. Any advice would be comforting….kinda at my wits end. Thanks

  382. Dear Bekki,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dog, it sounds like he’s really going through a lot. And, so are you and your family!

    It’s such a difficult decision. Expensive medical treatments and surgeries don’t guarantee more healthy years in a dog’s life. I know a woman who spent $15,000 on brain surgery for her dog, only to have him die a few weeks later. Was it worth it? I guess every pet lover must decide for herself.

    The veterinarian I interviewed for this article is adamant that a dog’s quality of life is first and foremost. If your dog had surgery – and you had all the money in the world to pay for it – would he be better off? Of course, you can’t predict the future. But if your dog is unwell, then the chances that he’ll bounce back after surgery are fairly small.

    I knew of a veterinarian who would move heaven and earth to keep animals alive. No matter what the cost emotionally, financially, or physically – he would always insist that longer life is better. But I don’t agree. I think there’s a lot to be said for letting an animal go.

    I’m not trying to convince you to put your dog to sleep. I’m just giving you a few thoughts.

    I’m not sure what to suggest about your husband and child’s response to putting your dog to sleep. Of course, your husband is angry because he’s heartbroken. He’s putting his own feelings ahead of your dog’s quality of life. I don’t know if you can help him see that, but it might help if he sees that death isn’t always the worst thing that can happen to a dog.

    Sooner or later, you will have to say good-bye to your dog. The question is, when? I don’t know the answer to that. I think you have to trust your gut.

    Here’s what the veterinarian says, in my article above:

    “There will come a day when it is absolutely clear to you that your dog or cat is not enjoying life. That day is one day too late. If you can save your pet even one day of discomfort, you must. Pet euthanasia is difficult, but it could be the most loving thing you do for your dog.

    “You have taken care of your dog or cat all its life,” says Dr Haynes. “This is your final chance to take care of your pet. If you can spare your dog pain and suffering, then putting it to sleep is the ultimate gift, no matter how hard it is for you.”

    I hope this helps, and that you come back and let me know what you decide and how you’re doing.

    In sympathy,
    Laurie

  383. Dear Sarah,

    I’m sorry I missed your comment — did you have to put your dog to sleep? If the veterinarian said it’s the right thing to do, then maybe it was.

    How are you doing?

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  384. Bekki says:

    I have looked everywhere for some sort of help with my dog. Hes a 9 year old pure bred staffy. Hes got many problems at the moment, he lost a lot of weight and no matter how hard we try he hasnt put on any and has lost more, even though he still seems to eat. He just lays around the house now, just doesnt want to do much at all. He has a very enlarged prostate with a number of cysts too. Hes lost hair from his ears and tail and is now more attractive to fleas which he rarely got before. Ive mentioned putting him to sleep to my husband but he just gets angry and my 3 year old is very attached to Sid and even missed him when I took him to have his ultrasound. And the other day my brother said that Sids bark wasnt quite right, hes always had a rough bark that sounds more like a cough as he has never been a loud dog and he has never been ill. But he was a rescue pup which seems to have had a very bad start to life. The vet we saw just says that he wants to castrate Sid (costing hundreds) and put him on pills (more money), but that will only deal with one problem and is not guaranteed to work, or if he will even come through a castration in his state. I get the feeling the vet just wants money we dont have.

  385. sarah says:

    my jack russle marley keeps attacking other people and other dogs all they do is walk past im not sure what to do anymore ive tryed everything and he just has a one track mind i cant keep him under controll i love my boy to bits but nothing is working please help me he has pdsa appointment on tuesday to have him put down because he bitten 3 people already please help me.

    miss sarah luckhurst.

  386. Dear Anabel,

    Have you talked to a veterinarian about whether it’s time to put your dog to sleep? I can’t tell you what you should do…and I know that this decision is SO difficult to make.

    But, veterinarians say that if your dog isn’t living a good life, then maybe it’s time to put her to sleep. If she’s not enjoying her life, not eating, and seems to be in pain…then maybe euthanasia is the answer.

    I encourage you to talk to your veterinarian, and get your dog checked out. Let me know what you decide.

    Blessings and sympathy,
    Laurie

  387. Anabel says:

    My dog is twelve years old and she is skin and bones she seems sad and she walks slow and she isnt energetic anymore and her hair doesn’t grow back should I put her to sleep

  388. Dear Kerry,

    I’m so sorry to hear about Nikki. I can’t tell you if you should put her to sleep…that’s a painful decision that you, unfortunately, have to make. I know it’d be easier if someone could just tell you if it’s time to put your dog to sleep, but I can’t be that person.

    Our dogs mean the world to us. They need us, love us, and are always overjoyed to just sit with us. You love your dog…and I’m so sorry that she’s winding down.

    The only thing I can say is to take a good, objective look at Nikki’s quality of life. If she’s not enjoying a good quality of life, then maybe it’s time to make the difficult decision to say goodbye. You don’t want her to be in pain, and you don’t want her to suffer one minute longer than necessary.

    A veterinarian just told me on Sunday that dogs and cats are very good at hiding pain. That made me sad to hear, because then how do we know if they’re in pain? She said it depends on whether they’re eating, sleeping, interacting, playing, etc.

    My best advice is to ask your veterinarian what he or she thinks about Nikki. Your vet knows your dog well, and should be the one to support and guide you as you make this decision.

    My gut feeling is that you know what you should do, but you’re putting it off because you love Nikki so much. But, you have to remember that true love sometimes means letting go.

    My heart goes out to you. Let me know how it goes.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  389. Kerry Hughes says:

    I have a 16 almost 17 year old pom. named Nikki. I have had her since she has been 3-4 weeks old. She is the best thing God has blessed us with. Nikki has had a pretty healthy life with no major issues. A year ago she lost an eye from it rupturing, but we never knew she had a problem with it. She was fairly resilant through this. But 6 months after her surgery she has started showing steady decline in her age. We took her in for a senior exam and she has renal failure. The vet took her off prescription id food and told us to just give her whatever we can to make her happy and gain weight.( she is 4# ) She ate the people food which I tried to give her healthy things like rice, eggs, oatmeal, chicken, baby food veggies, ect. and liked it at 1st. But now she is snubbing her nose and losing interest in alot. She still is drinking water and eating some things but it is stressful keeping her interest. My vet also has her on new meds baby 120 MI aspirin, enalapril maleate, a chinese herb called rehmannia 8 combo(kidney support), pepcid. and anti acid. We also gave her fluids for dehydration. Since these changes with all the meds she is not the same. I do not know if she is really going down or if this is too much for her. I feel she is resistant to all the meds and tries to run away when I need to give her all these. Nikki has also had two severe incidents in which she cries out stiffens up and is out of it for 30 min. or so. She loses her bowels, and her breathing is irregular. We thought she was dying, but then she will come out of it and get up the next morning, eat, drink, and be ok. We had the vet run more tests and they said her kidneys were tiny, she had fluid around her heart and they think she may have pssed some blood clots. We no longer give her fluid iv due to some fluid in her lungs which is better. My long awaited question is I do not know if she would be better off w/out all this stuff. I want to give her the old id food (which she will not want cuz she has had something better tasting) but if she’s hungary enough she will probably eat it. But she can’t afford to lose much more weight. And the meds have changed her. She is not interested in walks, and not as interactive with us. But she will follow me around seems interested in me in the kitchen, but snubs almost all food she begs crazy for. I am very sad and frusterated not knowing what to do. I do not even know if she is suffering. It is hard to make such a decision when she seems like she is hanging on hard to life. Please help me with any advice. I am so sad because I love he so much. I know everyone feels like me, but I cannot let you know how much this little baby has meant to me. Your reply is appreciated.

    Kerry

  390. Dear Kiki,

    I’m sorry to hear about your dog, and I know how hard it is to decide if you should put her down. It’s a very painful, personal decision…and nobody can tell you what you should do.

    In my article, the veterinarian’s guidelines for putting dogs (and cats) to sleep is their quality of life. If your dog isn’t enjoying life, isn’t playing or eating like he used to — or even walking — then maybe it’s time to let her go.

    I think you should take her to the vet, and see what he/she advises. An in-person physical examination by a veterinarian and a discussion in-person would be the best way to decide what you should do.

    I hope this helps a bit. My heart goes out to you. Let me know how it goes.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  391. Kiki says:

    I have a 16 year old Shitzu. She is completely blind now. She sleeps all the time. She has a hard time going up stairs now. Sometimes she has accidents in my home. I tried to take her for a walk yesterday and she could not even make it 500 feet before be exhausted. I have know idea if she is suffering or is ready to be put down.

    Please provide me with some advise.

    Thank you.

  392. Dear Christal,

    I’m sorry for your dog’s skin problems – that’s so frustrating for both you and her! The poor thing.

    Two things come to my mind:

    1) Have you taken her to a naturopathic veterinarian, or a holistic health veterinarian? Sometimes they have other ways – natural remedies – for dogs and cats. Including acupuncture! I realize this must be expensive, and am only encouraging you to consider it.

    2) Does your dog meet our veterinarian’s criteria for the whole “should I put my dog to sleep?” question? That is, Dr Hayes said that if a pet is in discomfort, putting her to sleep may be the best decision.

    You have such a difficult decision to make, and my heart goes out to you! Your dog seems so young, but she’s so uncomfortable and there doesn’t seem to be a solution in sight.

    Another thought: what happened 2 years ago to cause this skin condition? Maybe she’s allergic to something in the air or her food? I know you took her for lots of tests, and I’m sure they considered that…but it just occurred to me.

    I can’t tell you what to do. I wish there was an easy answer, but there isn’t one. That’s why your veterinarian is also going back and forth…because it’s such a difficult decision.

    If I was in your shoes, I’d probably take her to another vet for a second opinion.

    Let me know how it goes…I wish I could be more helpful!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  393. christal says:

    I have a 5 year old lhasa apso. she has had skin problems for two years now, i took her for many tests, shampooed her with medicated shampoo she has been on 4 different meds, none helped, chaged her diet a couple times nothing. All she does is eat sleep and scratch. She doesnt really play i have to drag her outside to pee. She dont have much hair, and her skin is black. they said about taking her to a dirmatloist but that isnt saying they can find the problem and if she has allergies she will have to be on shots the rest of her life. She just doesnt seem happy and she isnt herself she looks so uncomfortable. Family members that she how she is are saying to put her dowm to stop her suffering. But the vet says one time yes and the nest she is young and i should try more but they also said it is a life long condition and even if under control can flare up at anytime (summer is the worse for her to) i dont want to but i feel she is suffering and not happy, and i also dont have tons of money to contiue to go through tests that might not show anything. What should i do its making me sick trying to decide what best for her?

  394. Dear Grace,

    I missed your comment, and I’m sorry.

    Have you made a decision about your Jack Russell X? I hope the article about putting your dog to sleep helped…again, I’m sorry I didn’t see your comment until now!

    Sincerely,
    Laurie

  395. Grace says:

    Hi my Jack Russell X Fox Terrier is 14 this year. He has a severe heart murmur (the worst the vet ha seen) He has lost a lot of his energy and is receiving arthritis injections and has also torn a cruciate ligament. He whimpers quite a lot at night like he’s in pain but the Vet doesn’t think he’s in much pain. I have thought about euthanasia but just can’t make a strong decision either way. I guess I need an opinion (without worrying people) on whether it would be the right time to put him to sleep. I guess I feel selfish either way.

  396. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Jessie,

    I think you should immediately call to your veterinarian, or a dog obedience trainer. A dog who is randomly biting or snapping at people or other animals is a disaster waiting to happen!

    It seems likely that the disease or the antiobiotics altered your dog’s chemistry and personality, making him impulsive and aggressive. It’s unlikely that this behavior will just disappear on its own…but there may be some way to calm him down. I really think you should talk to a vet or dog trainer, and figure out if there is anything you can do to prevent his snapping, or reduce his aggressive tendencies.

    You might also consider talking to a holistic health veterinarian, who specializes in natural ways to calm aggression in dogs.

    I hope this helps, and wish you all the best.

    Laurie

  397. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear heart broken,

    Have you talked to a dog trainer or obedience handler? They can be very helpful in identifying the root cause of the problem, and suggesting ways to fix it.

    A dog who bites is a cause for concern. Have you consulted a veterinarian? It sounds like your fiance has, since the dog has been on medications and had training over the years…but there may be a new physical cause of your dog’s behavior.

    I encourage you to call a dog trainer and a veterinarian, and see what they say about the best option for your dog. You might even call the humane society or SPCA, and see what they say.

    I wish you all the best,
    Laurie

  398. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Linda,

    I don’t think you’re being the “bad guy” by making the decision to put your dog to sleep…sometimes, it’s the best and only way to truly love our animals. I know it seems cruel, but letting an animal go can be the kindest, most compassionate thing we do for them.

    I can’t tell you it’s time to make that decision…but I do think you should listen to your gut instincts. If your dog isn’t enjoying a good quality of life, then maybe it is time to say goodbye. If he’s sick, tired, and helpless, you need to ask yourself if you’re prolonging his life for his sake, or your own sake. If you’re keeping him alive to keep yourself happy (though tired and torn!), then maybe you’re not doing it for the right reason.

    I hope this helps, and wish you all the best.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

    P.S. In Letting Go of an Animal You Love, I interviewed pet loss grief experts, veterinarians, and people who were devastaed after losing their pets. They share dozens of helpful, inspiring, strength-building, and sometimes surprising tips for coping with pet loss – none of which are here on Quips and Tips.

  399. Jessie says:

    My husky was diagnosed with Lyme Disease earlier this year. We put him on antibiotics and he seemed to recover most of the way, though not completely. Since then, he has thrown up a lot, often has diarrhea, and he becomes irritable and attacks the other dogs. There have been occasions where he has also snapped at my children. When he snapped at my daughter, she had grabbed him by the collar and was trying to get him to enter the computer room where we keep our dogs. He’s snapped at me once when I grabbed him by the collar and tried to lead him to his crate when he didn’t want to go in it. A few months ago, he badly injured a 3 lb. Chihuahua that was living with us. Her entire stomach was badly bruised and bleeding in some places. It took one to two weeks for her to recover from it, much longer for her to trust the other dogs enough to come out from under my computer desk. I don’t know what provoked that encounter. Tonight, my other Chihuahua (who is a treasure to me and I will be devastated the day he’s no longer around) was attacked by my husky. They were both at the food dish and my Chihuahua was doing his normal territorial growl around the food dish. Normally, my husky just ignores him. Tonight, though, he attacked. I jumped up and got him off my Chihuahua, then put him in his crate. My Chihuahua was limping around and whimpering for awhile, but seems to be okay otherwise. The randomness of my husky’s attacks scares me. Something that has never set him off before will suddenly cause this kind of reaction. It happens once every month or so. I’m concerned about someone getting seriously hurt one of these times and I’m not sure what to do about it. Can you advise me?

  400. heart broken says:

    My Fiance has had his pup from age 6mths he was a rescue he is now five years old and in fairly good health. i have only been a part of the pups life for 2 years. from the start, he was openly defiant as my fiance was the ‘alpha’ however over time i became unemployed and was left with him for longer periods of time. he started to obey me and what not. however over the last 6 mths we have had increasingly more problems with his behaviors. when being ‘reprimanded’ [taken by the collar and held still ans a smack across the nose and sent to go lay down he would pee occasionally but not often. over the last two months this has increased to where it is a rarity that he does not pee when being taken by the collar and no other reprimands done.] i personally have been holding his snout and making him look me in the eyes and then showing what he has done wrong [getting in the trash, getting food on the tables, eating paper, getting in the kitty box, potting occasionally in the house, etc.] he has high anxiety from separation issues that were never addressed properly when he was a pup. my fiance has sought many options over the years and hasen’t been able to find anything that works [like training and medications] we recently had a instance where he had bit me because i ruffled his ears playfully as i do often and from there it went down hill. when i could not gain control my fiance stepped in and got him to the floor and held still he was shown the bite mark smack across the nose and ran, my fiance then told him to go to his kennel he did not do as my fiance commanded and ran in the opposite direction, however i was standing there so he ran to the sofa table and would not come out from under so i put my foot towards him to coax him to the back room where his kennel is and instead of getting movement i got bit again. this is highly unusual behavior and has only bitten successfully once before out of agitation. he has nipped a ton though, which is cause for concern. we are uncomfortable with keep him as we are looking to start a family and have other smaller animals however we don’t want to ‘rehome’ him because of the increasing behavioral issues and biting. we are at loss to put him down as he is a beloved family pet and usually isn’t a “aggressive” dog however he has bitten one too many times and it will no longer be tolerated. we have tried training but cannot afford a professional, unfortunately. what can we do? advice would be wonderful.

    thanks.
    -heart broken

  401. Linda says:

    My 15 year old schnauzer had a “spell” almost a week ago. He had just come inside from being out in the cold and was standing in the dining room. He let out a yelp, fell on the floor and seemed unconsious for maybe a minute or two. He eventually snapped out of it, got up and went about his business. This happened three more times over the the next several days and always seemed to happen after he came in from being outside. Our vet said his heart was bad but everything else seemed alright except for his liver enzymes being high and subscribed meds for that. A few days later I came home from work and found him with an arched back, couldn’t raise his head and his front leg seemed weak and he wouldn’t put weight on it. Another vet said he had a heart murmur and severe arthritis or disc degeneration and put him on tramadol for the pain. He sleeps most of the time but is still eating and drinking, even though we have to lift the bowls up to him. We have to carry him to do his business outside. I think it’s time, but my daughter says he’s doing better. I’m torn, I’m tired and I don’t want to be the bad guy. Is it too soon to make such a decision or should we wait to see if he does get better?

  402. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Paula,

    Eleven months is so young! Poor Kilo.

    I think “quality of life” is determined by if and how much a dog eats, how well and how long he sleeps, if he can walk around outside, if he plays, and how happy he seems to be. I think we can judge how happy our pets are, especially if we’ve had them for awhile.

    Such a tough decision…if he’s not in discomfort and you have the means, ability, and willingness to take care of him as he is, then maybe his quality of life is good. But as soon as he shows signs of discomfort or pain, then maybe it’s time to think seriously about saying goodbye.

    I hope this helps — I wish I had a better, more concrete answer for you! A veterinarian may be able to shed more light on the “quality of life” question, because it’s a good one.

    Let me know how it goes…

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  403. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Megan,

    Deciding if it’s time to put your dog to sleep is one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever make…as you already know!

    From what you’ve said, it sounds like your beloved lab isn’t enjoying life the way she used to. Her quality of life seems poor. I don’t know if she’s in pain, but the fact that she’s pulling away from you may mean something. She’s definitely uncomfortable.

    It pains my heart to say this, but I agree with your parents and husband. I’m sorry.

    Let me know how it goes, okay?

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  404. Paula says:

    I have a 11 month old Boxer named Kilo. He was diagnosed with Pulmonic Stenosis at 2-1/2 months of age and at 5 months of age he underwent a balloon valvuloplasty to correct his problem. The surgery was a success or so we were told. 2 weeks later we were in the ER with him and found out that during his procedure the tricuspid valve in his heart was torn. So now he is in heart failure and is on 5 different pills a day for a total of about 15 per day to help his heart work harder so fluid dont build up in his abdomen as quickly. he has to be taken in atleast once per month to have his belly tapped and drained of the excess fluid building up. Those days he is at his best, he is more active and seems happier. We are torn right now not knowing if it would be best for him to have him put down. He is such a lovable boy lately he has become more aggressice towards the other dogs in the home and i think its because he is uncomfortable. i know as his abdomen fills its uncomfortable for him as you can see he isnt as active. he never acts miserable he still plays but mostly while laying down, he sleeps quite a bit and of course has frequent urinary accidents due to the diurectics he is on. The cost of the medicine and the tapping is a bit straining on us financially but the love we have for him outweighs any cost. My heart breaks seeing him when he is uncomfortable and i do not know if its time. How do i know if his quality of life is suffering?

  405. Megan says:

    Looking for advice. I have a 13 year old lab. She has arthritis and has difficulty getting around. She still does the stairs up to our bedroom at night but it takes her five minutes to get up or down them and almost every other day she slips and slides down them on her belly. She falls alot or slips. We have a young lab as well and the slightest bump from her knocks the older one over. I am afraid she is going to hurt herself. She has a cloudy covering on her eye so she cannot see well. She also gets constant ear infections. She has had deep cleanings and various types of medicines. Usually she lets me clean them but recentlly she fights me and pulls away. It is not aggressive but I can tell that it is painfull. She has accidents in the house both poop and urine. This happens almost every other day if not every day. I have had her for such a long time and I do not want her to suffer. My parents and my husband all say that it is time to put her down, but I do not want to do it prematurely. I have talked to the vet and he says its a decision I have to make which really doesn’t help. Any ideas?

  406. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Thanks Michael ~ I’m really glad you shared your story, and that this article about when to put your dog to sleep helped.

    Annette ~ What a difficult decision to have to make! While I can’t tell you if you should put your dog down or not, I do encourage you to think about the possible consequences of her attacking another dog…or even a person. You may have been able to control her until now, but what if she breaks away from you or escapes from the yard? I don’t like to live in the land of “what if’s”, but do wonder if your dog’s aggression may get worse over time.

    I’m a big fan of Judge Marilyn Milian, and she often hears cases of people suing dog owners when dogs get loose and hurt other animals or people. Milian’s lawsuits are all less than $5,000 because it’s small claims court…but I know that dog owners get sued for much, much more if their dogs cause serious harm to people or other animals.

    Pet euthanasia is heartbreaking to consider, especially when the dog is as young as yours. But sometimes it’s the best, kindest decision to make. Like I said, I can’t tell you if you should put your dog to sleep, but I do think you should take your vet’s advice very seriously.

    I’m very sorry — my heart goes out to you.

    Let me know how it goes, and what you decide.

    Sincerely,
    Laurie

  407. Annette says:

    I have a 6 year old Doberman named Roxie. I’m struggling with the idea of whether or not to put her to sleep. She has become a very aggressive dog, to the point of biting anyone that comes into my home and if she encounters another dog, she wants to fight it. I have to muzzle her just to get her to the vet, due to her aggressiveness.

    I also have a male Doberman, they have been together since they were 6 weeks old but they can no longer be fed alone because she will attack him. If we don’t stand between them Roxie will go after the male. She has always been protective but never at this level. I should also mention she has killed a skunk and raccoon and has become more aggressive since then. I’ve spoke with my vet and he has suggested I put her down, she is fine with me and has never shown any aggressiveness. I would appreciate your thoughts.

    Thank you,
    Annette

  408. Michael Baker says:

    Thanks for this blog. I read it a few days ago and it was very helpful for me to decide to put my baby Rileydog to sleep. I have had Riley for 11 years. His body was fairly healthy actually, but he had cognitive decline. This made it really really hard to decide because it was his behavior and mind that were getting worse, not his health. This really effected MY quality of life, and his. Two different vets gave two different suggestions to help things get better, but neither one seemed all that supportive of my decision. The Humane Society vet however was willing to talk to me about Riley realistically. One thing she told me that really helped was, “If you were selfish, this would be an easy decision. Obviously, you love your dog very much, so I don’t think you’d want to put him down unless it was the right time.”

    I am hoping that my post here will be helpful to someone else that might be in a position like I was in. Many people talk about putting down dogs because of an illness, but I could find much about cognitive decline.

    I will admit, this experience was MUCH harder on me than I ever expected it to be… the day I put him down was full of tears, and the last three days have been better, but it has still been awful. i miss my little Rileydog, so so so much…. but I know that at least he was put down at a time when he wasn’t in too much pain and all the memories of his life are ones that he enjoyed.

    If you are struggling to put your dog down, honestly, that probably just really means it is time. There is always something you COULD do, no matter how sick your dog gets…. so there is never going to be a time when you can tell yourself you did all you can… let go of that feeling. Instead, focus on the fact that you loved your dog very much and enjoyed life together. Then, do something in his memory. I took Riley’s paw prints in clay, took lots of pictures, and made a donation to the humane society. These things helped, reading this blog before I made my decision helped, and writing this post afterwords has helped too.

    You will get through it… and your dog will know that you loved him.

    Michael (& and Riley)

  409. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Helena,

    What a dilemma you’re facing! I don’t know all the details, but from what you’ve said, I think there’s nothing wrong with letting your relatives who can afford your dog’s treatments to take care of her.

    I’m curious why you’re hesitating to let your relatives help out? Is it because your dog’s kidneys will eventually fail? I know you have good reasons for your hesitation, and it may help if you write down those reasons. You may gain more clarity and insight, which may help you make your decision.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  410. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Shelley ~ I’m so sorry I missed your comment! I’m also very sorry about your dog’s health issues and the cost of surgery….have you made a decision yet? Are you still struggling with what to do? If you let me know where you’re at, I’d be happy to give you my thoughts…

    Amanda ~ One of the most important questions is how your dog is affecting your physical and emotional health. You need to stay as balanced and healthy as you can. It sounds like you know what you need to do, and maybe like you’ve already made your decision. But, knowing it in your head is different than accepting it in your heart and following through with it! This may sound heartless, but I think it’s more important to put your needs and your baby’s needs ahead of your dog’s needs….but I’m not in love with Bailey like you are. I KNOW how heartbreaking it is, and how much guilt people feel after they put their dogs to sleep. It’s horrible. It’s important to know that you may struggle with guilt and remorse after your dog is gone, and to start dealing with that now.

    Of course, I can’t tell you what you should do…the final decision is completely, totally up to you and your husband. Maybe you need to talk to a vet, for some professional feedback. But I think there’s nothing wrong with putting your needs first.

    I hope this helps a little. I’m very sorry you have to make this decision, and hope that something comes up to make it an easier one!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  411. Amanda says:

    I can’t believe I am writing on a message board about this, but here goes. I have a 14, almost 15, year old lab, Bailey. At a healthy weight, when she was young, Bailey was about 90 lbs. She hovers around 80 now. Her health issues: defecates frequently in the house and in her bed in her sleep (and I cannot keep her clean); urinates in the house occasionally, but this seems to be getting a bit more frequent and has also happened a couple of times in her bed in her sleep; she goes through phases of having a cough or sort of hack which often results in her coughing up food (she will doe this a few times a day for about a week and then it goes away for a few days and then comes back) due to laryngeal paralysis; she has difficulty standing on her own and standing without moving for any period of time; she can walk, but sometimes loses control of her back legs and falls (however, she’s usually alright as long as she’s moving) and she also drags her hind feet a bit more (I was told she has a progressive neurological condition that causes this). I have to help Bailey stand up and help her up the 3 steps to get into the house. Her bowel issues are completely unpredictable. I have her out as much as I can, but I simply cannot plan for it as it can happen at any time. Bailey’s attitude toward life seems to be generally good. She enjoys going out, still very interested in food, and very interested in me and anything I am doing.
    I, however, am losing my mind. I can’t leave her for any period of time. I am up several times in the middle of the night taking her out because when I hear her get up, I get up with her in case she needs to go to the bathroom. I clean dog feces off the floor ever day, sometimes 3-4x/day. I honestly don’t know what to do. Everyone in my life is worried about me and my level of stress and the fact that I can’t really do anything away from home. People have started telling me I need to consider my own needs at least a little bit in this situation. I just always felt that my role in Bailey’s life was to make the best decision for HER, no matter if it was best for me or not. This has been going on for over a year. I never ever thought I would be in this place with her, but sometimes I just feel like it’s never going to end. She’s declining for sure, but at a very very slow pace. If she were at all suffering or sick, I would absolutely do what was best for her.
    I feel like a horrible person and horrible pet owner wishing daily that something would just happen that would make euthanasia an easier option for me. How much do I consider my own needs in this situation? My quality of life has declined greatly. Hers has probably declined slightly (she’s always been an incredibly happy dog). I should also add that I am 4 months pregnant and while my husband is very supportive of the dog situation (she’s my dog), he is not comfortable with the amount of fecal matter I deal with on a day to day basis as well as the lack of sleep and lifting of my 80 lb dog off the floor or up the stairs. Not to mention he has to also live in the filth and deal with her. He has started telling me it’s time in less and less subtle ways. The baby thing also sort of puts a deadline on the whole situation as there is no way I will be able to care for a newborn and care for Bailey. I will probably not be able to care for Bailey as I get bigger and as the weather gets more severe. What do I do?? (I apologize for to novel, but I must admit it was cathartic to some extent).

  412. Helena says:

    I was wondering if someone could give me their opinion on what I should do with my dog at this point. She is in the close to final stages of renal failure. We’ve brought her to the vet and her numbers are very high, but she has responded well to treatment. She is back to barking, jumping around, gaining weight and playing with people. The vet says with treatments she could live longer, and because she’s still eating and responding to people she isn’t suffering at this point or in any pain. It’s a lot of money to do these treatments at home, and there’s obviously no guarantee of how long I can keep my dog through this. I’m considering putting her to sleep so as not to drag out the process, but I have quite a few family members with the funds available that want to take the dog home and allow her to be with her family until it’s no longer possible. Is it cruel of me to not want to allow this and rather end her life now? I’ve been told that it’s a form of animal cruelty because she still has viable quality of life. Please let me know the answers to my questions.

  413. Shelley says:

    Hi there I have a question. I adopted a 2 year old Rotti this summer and recently found out he has hip issues but not as bad as the vet was expecting. About 4 days ago he was playing with our other dog in the backyard and started screaming and when i got to the door he was limping with his right leg off the ground. We waited till the next day to take him in just to make sure it wasn’t something little. When I took him in I was told he had torn is CCL. He is a 115lb dog. Although in the last four days has lost about 10 pounds. We are stationed in Alaska where everything seems to cost more. Are quote is 2800 to 3200 for his surgery. But also just a quote. He will not eat or drink. I have to bring it to him and force him too and even then he won’t. I was giving nerve pain meds for him. We can’t not afford the surgery! Its not that I don’t want to do it but we literally just don’t have that kind of money plus I we have three young children. I am torn on what to do. He is losing weight and I know without him getting his walks and runs like normal that he is going to go down hill. I was told they don’t suggest at home recovery for him because of his size. But he is only 2! That is where I feel like such a bad person. I just don’t know what to do. Any advice would be wonderful I just fear the worest and don’t want to make him suffer. I understand most would see me as a bad pet owner becuase of his age and us not getting the surgery but its just not possible, and I already feel like a bad pet owner for not being able to give him the proper care he needs at his time in need. Thank you for reading. Shelley

  414. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Cassandra,

    Have you talked to a dog trainer, or dog obedience handler? We found a terrific dog trainer in our city; she came over to our place and did a home assessment and gave us all sorts of great advice.

    You might also talk to a couple of veterinarians about if you should put your dog to sleep. I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do, but an experienced vet might be able to give you some guidance.

    I wish you all the best, and invite you to come back and let me know what you decide…

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  415. cassandra says:

    hi i have a dog with really bad separation anxiety she drives my neighbors nuts. she also is very aggressive to anyone who is not a child. i am afraid she is going to bite someone. she is constantly peeing and pooping in her kennel no matter how many times she is outside. even if i sit outside with her all day she comes inside and does it again… if i give her a bath she does it instantly. she also snips at my daughter whenever i am not right there. we recently rescued a blood hound and she we are not sure what she is but she looks like a miniture lab. i know that when she was abused as a puppy but i have tried to work with her to no luck she whines all night i just don’t know what to do. im not sure if i should get her put to sleep or what i don’t think that i could find a family that could take her due to her aggression and the anxiety.. any suggestions ?

  416. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Viktoria,

    I’m sorry to hear about your dog — how sad. Losing a pet is unbelievable hard, especially if he’s been a constant source of love, trust, and happiness.

    He sounds like he’s not enjoying the same quality of life that he used to…which is one of the things vets ask pet owners to consider when they’re thinking about putting their beloved animals to sleep. If your poor dog isn’t happy…it may be time to talk to your vet about making a hard decision.

    You don’t have to decide today, and when you call the vet, it’s only to talk it through. As you describe his symptoms and behaviors, the answer may become clear to you.

    I wish you all the best in this time.

    In sympathy,
    Laurie

  417. Viktoria says:

    I have an almost 11 year-old Bolognese. He’s been with me since he was 8 weeks old. For the past ten years, during which all three people I’d known since birth – my Mother, and both of my grandparents – passed away, he’s been the only constant thing in my life, and I’ve gotten used to organizing my entire life around him.
    He is a victim of inbreeding, and he’s had problems since he was a puppy: seizures, separation anxiety, stage 4 dental disease by the age of 7, allergies, back knee problems.
    The past few months, his separation anxiety has gotten completely out of control for no apparent reason, and nothing seems to help. He “outbarks” the citronella anti-bark collar (which had worked great in the past,) ClomiCalm gave him daily seizures, and regular anti-anxiety medication isn’t doing anything: my neighbors tell me that when I leave for work, he starts crying obsessively and doesn’t stop. I work six days a week so that I can work shorter days at a time, but he apparently starts maybe 15 minutes after I’m out the door. Even though he’s on anti-seizure medication, which used to make him overeat, he’s been eating less and less recently. He is suffering, and medication doesn’t seem to help anymore.
    I’m at a point when I feel like I need to discuss the possibility of putting him to sleep with his vet, but the thought is killing me. I really don’t know what I should do. :(

  418. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Amber,

    I’m sorry to hear about Zelda — it sounds like she’s quite sick. Have you taken her to a veterinarian? I think you should take her in right away, and get her checked out. She may only need some medicine or something — I don’t know.

    Take her to the vet, and let me know how it goes. If you’ve already taken her to one vet, I encourage you to get a second opinion. Some times vets don’t recognize problems right away, and it’s always to good to get a second opinion!

    Laurie

  419. Amber says:

    I have a 10-12 year old German Shepherd named Zelda that I adopted almost 2 years ago from a shelter. When I first brought her home and for the first year she was doing well. She would run around outside and be very playful. I had to move into a small apartment a year ago and my mom agreed to let Zelda live with her until I was able to find somewhere bigger. A couple months ago Zelda has not been able to hold her bowel movements inside of the house and has also begun urinating all over the floors as well. Now she begun throwing up her food whenever she eats. It’s not her diet, she doesn’t eat trash so those were ruled out. She also will not leave my mother’s side or mine when I am over there. She whines and pants constantly and I know panting is a sign of pain. When she is outside she falls down and slips on the rocks. I know her sight is going as well. Her eyes are cloudy and she runs into things sometimes. I don’t know what to do. I know she must not be happy and in pain and I hate how I make myself believe she is happy and full of life. Please advise. I’m tearing myself apart.

  420. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Madeleine ~ Poor Andy — it sounds like he’s healthy enough to live, but sick enough to be sufering a bit! I encourage you to take him to the vet, or get a vet’s opinion via telephone. Another option is to talk to a holistic animal care provider — they sometimes have remedies that work for big and little health issues. It might be good to remember and talk to your mom about the fact that he probably won’t get healthier. Keeping him alive until he’s on his deathbed may not be the best way to spend his remaining days. I’m not saying you should put your dog to sleep, but just giving you a few thoughts! It’s an impossibly sad decision to make, and we dog owners often have to say goodbye long before we’re ready.

    Emily ~ It sounds like your mastiff has had a good life, and may be ready to go….it’s often us owners who want to keep our dogs alive even if it’s time for them to leave. It’s a very hard decision, but it sounds like you know in your head what the right thing to do is. It’s just your heart that is having trouble accepting it. I wish you all the best.

    Alison ~ I’m so sorry to hear that your dog is so sick — and so young! Our black lab is only one year old, and we’ve been told that she’ll still be a puppy for at least another year…which means your dog is still a puppy in many ways. It’s heartbreaking. Sometimes the animals we love just aren’t meant to live long lives – just like some people. But, as much as you love your dog, you can’t put your financial future or home at risk. Every pet owner has to decide for herself if and when it’s time to put their dog to sleep…and if you can’t afford to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars trying to figure out why your dog is sick, then you have every right to make the hard decision to put her to sleep. I hope you can make this decision without feeling too much guilt or heartbreak….though I know it’s easier said than done! This is one of those impossible life decisions. Even though your dog is so young, her quality of life is one of the most important determining factors…and it sounds like she’s not doing well. Another thing to consider is how she’ll be in six months, or two years. Will she always have health issues? I guess nobody can answer that for sure.

    I hope you return and let me know how thing go.

    Wishing you all the best, and giving you all my sympathy,
    Laurie

  421. Alison says:

    I have a 2 year old black lab/rotti mix. She has had medical issues since I adopted her as pup. Severe allergies which I think I have controlled at times, though she usually miserable with them. More recently she’s developed an intestinal problem. She’s obviously in discomfort. She is pacing the house and whining most of the night. I’ve been to 2 vets and spent close to $1,000 and they still don’t know what is wrong. Now she has bloody diareah and isn’t eating regularly. One day she eats fine, the next nothing. She is the most gentle good natured dog and I want to help. They want to do exploratory surgery and I just can’t continue to spend this amount of money. I feel so cold hearted and guilty but there are no guarantees the surgery will even show anything. She’s had 4 xrays which do not show anything wrong. Several meds, several trips back. I’m so torn on what to do. I’ve spent close to $3000 in her short 2 years and now this. I can’t get in a position that I have to choose between my mortgage and my dogs health. Back to the vet today to see what else he can possibly do for her. I’m heartbroken over this especially since she is only 2. I’m just sick over it.

  422. emily says:

    My family has a 10 year old female neapolitan mastiff. Over the past few years we have noticed some minor problems with her hips and back legs, which is to be expected for her breed. However over the past month or so, her hips/back legs have deteriorated to the point where she can barely walk anymore, and she gets around by dragging her body with her front legs. She is mainly an outside dog but we have been letting her come in the house so she doesnt scrape up her legs. In the past, she has been able to walk up the step into the house but about a week ago it became impossible to do that, so my father and my brother have been carrying her into the house (she weighs about 120 lbs)
    Another problem she has, because it takes her a lot of energy to move, is that she will just urinate or defecate wherever she is laying, which usually means on her bed. Then she will just lie in her pee until someone notices and cleans her up. Her problems have been getting worse and worse and the reality of the situation is that she needs someone attending to her most of the time, and in our busy family we just can’t do it. My father has been suggesting putting her to sleep and my mother has spoken to our veterinarian who has told us that she’s never going to get better. However, my brother and I are having trouble coming to terms with this because outside of her health issues, her “personality” has remained the same. It just doesnt seem right to us because she seems like the same dog she was five years ago, just less mobile. I have to admit, writing everything out like this has sort of helped me see that maybe putting her to sleep is the right thing to do but I guess i just need some outside validatio

  423. Heather says:

    My stepdog is a 17 year old Boston Terrier. He’s nearly deaf, fairly well blind and has gotten so thin he’s literally skin on bones. He still comes out to greet me most days when I come home and he has an appetite. He has been peeing in the house for a while now and he’s pooping in our garage. He’s got a blocked out area where he can be but he still manages to get his mess all over himself. I’ve had to put animals to sleep before (and I worked in an animal shelter myself for many years) but I can’t tell if we’re at that point with him. He was in the vet recently for a swollen neck, but the vet said his heart and lungs sound good. His urine is thick and stinky and he’s drinking a lot so I suspect some kind of kidney failure. We have young kids, a 6 month old Lab pup and 2 cats. I don’t know if I’m thinking he needs to be put down mainly for our own quality of life or for his. Any thoughts?

  424. Madeleine says:

    Hi everyone. I have a 14 year old Labrador named Andy. He has arthritis and thus has some trouble moving around and can’t go on walks anymore. He has been prescribed pain killers but the side effects eventually became to severe to continue using them daily. He now only has a painkiller when his joints appear to be really stiff and sore. He’s also lost control of his bowels. He still wees outside but very often poos inside by accident. When this happens he seems very upset and/or ashamed. He dislikes being outside and barks until he is let in. He also barks sometimes if there’s no one in the same room as him. However, he still has a good appetite and enjoys company. He seems happy spending his day sleeping on his bed or in my room.

    These problems make me wonder if it’s time to consider putting him to sleep. My Mum flatly refuses to consider it but our last dog had dog dementia and was not put down until there was absolutely no choice. It would be the most heart-breaking decision ever to put Andy down but I don’t want to keep him alive for our sake if that’s not in his best interests.

    Please tell me what you think.

  425. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Bill,

    What a dilemma — I’m so sorry to hear about your lab! A week ago, we brought a black lab home from the SPCA, and were warned that most dogs do things that surprise their owners, no matter how old the dog/owner relationship is. It sounds like your dog pulled one of those surprises out of his hat.

    I can’t tell you if you should put your dog to sleep, but I did have a similar experience with my cat. She had a run in with a bike that smashed her leg up; my choices were to amputate the leg ($1,000 plus meds) or put her to sleep. I chose euthanasia. That was 10 years ago, and I still feel guilty and sad today. I know I made the right decision, but my feelings of guilt and sadness about putting her to sleep haven’t gone away.

    You’ll get different advice about whether you should put your dog to sleep from different people…but ultimately you have to answer to yourself. I chose euthanasia because it made the most sense at the time, despite my heartache. And I suspect I’d make the same decision today.

    I think the pain and discomfort of putting animals through surgeries that may or may not be successful isn’t worth it — I think it’s stressful for both the animal and us. Prolonging life isn’t always the best solution.

    But as I said; everyone has different opinions on when to put a pet to sleep! Some pet owners move heaven and earth — even going into debt — to keep their pets alive for another month or two. You need to make the best decision for you, regardless of what other people say or think.

    I wish you all the best, and hope you come back and let me know how it goes.

    Blessings and sympathies,
    Laurie

  426. Bill says:

    I have a difficult dilemma with my nearly 7 year old chocolate lab. About two months ago he chewed and ingested one of his chew toys. This was extremely out of character for him as he has plenty of similar toys and has never destroyed a quality rubber toy. We thought that he was able to vomit the toy parts in his stomach and pass the other pieces with the vets help. We thought we avoided an expensive surgery.

    Last weekend he developed some vomiting that we initially attributed to a new antibiotic he started for his seasonal ear infection. We discontinued the treatment and obtained an anti-nausea medication to soothe his stomach. He did not improve and his condition degraded to the point where he would not eat or drink (lost 10 lbs in one week). He was in severe discomfort when I took him to the vet yesterday evening. They diagnosed the problem as a bowel obstruction and performed the surgery Friday night. The doctor removed about a foot of intestine and stitched him back up. He is now at an emergency clinic for after care this weekend to monitor his condition. He was recovering well today but started to take a turn for the worse this evening. It looks like he has some complications that may lead to further surgery. We have already spent over $4k on this surgery and after care, and we cannot afford another surgery. My thought is that if the initial surgery did not work then there is a chance the second try would also fail. I feel terrible assigning a dollar limit to his life, but I see no other choice in this economy. Another surgery would likely prolong his agony in exchange for a chance at curing his condition. There could also be further complications leading to even more cost. Has anyone encountered a similar issue? Is this the right decision?

  427. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Stefanie – I’m so sorry I missed your comment! But, I couldn’t tell you if it’s time to put your dog to sleep. Only a veterinarian or animal specialist can help you make the decision. Euthanizing your dog is such a huge decision — you really need to talk to a specialist about your dog’s symptoms and behaviors. I wish you all the best, and hope you come back and let me know how it goes.

    Paris – That’s a tough position to be in! I encourage you to apologize to your boyfriend — because it really isn’t your place to tell him what to do with the family dog. I totally understand that you want the best for his dog, your boyfriend, and his family….and I hope your boyfriend understands that. You don’t want anyone to suffer more than they have to…..but you also have to find the balance between being honest and supportive of what he thinks is right. Now that you’ve said your piece, he knows what you think — and maybe now’s the time to support whatever decision he and his family will make.

    I wish you all the best,
    Laurie

  428. Paris says:

    My boyfriends dog is a bassethound of 13 years. For the past three and a half years i’ve seen this dog go from good to bad.

    His parents sleep downstairs as it can’t get up the stairs or down them. Its a lovely dog but it has started taking fits over the past couple of months and it pees on the floor randomly. It keeps his parents up most nights. It has recently started howling when his parents go away and its just me and my boyfriend. Its walking in an angle slightly and struggles to get off the couch and also struggles to get its legs over the door step sometimes.

    Everytime i’m at his place he tells me she’s getting worse and in my eyes i feel she’ll go at any moment and i can completely understand with any pet owner that they don’t ever want to put a dog down but the question i’d ask them if i could without hurting them is – would you wish to be put down if you were a dog in the condition that its in?

    i need advice for what to do/say. I feel sorry for his family and the dog but i don’t know what to say or do to make it sound like it may be its time to go because its not her fault for whats going on at the moment.

    I lashed out at my boyfriend over it and completely regret it as its not my place to say she’s had her life :( any advice would be appreciated so much. thank you <3 xx

  429. Stefanie says:

    I have an 11 year old Golden Retriever mix who has pretty severe hip displaysia. He’s on Rimadyl and Phycox (supplement) but they are not very effective. He’s also tried Metacam and that also was ineffective. He cannot sit comfortably and mostly stands with his back legs sort of buckling in slo-mo. He poos like a horse – walks and it comes out because he can no longer do the poo crouch. He’s had a couple of accidents in the house already. He sleeps most of the day and then is up a lot at night and has a high-pitched whining that he does. He will sometimes stand at the dog door and stare at it as if wondering why he is there. If I tell him “go on out” he will but if I do not – he will stand there for a really long time before making a decision. He still loves food and greets me at the door when I come home and for some inexplicable reason – can even manage to jump onto the couch. He doesn’t play anymore and I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen him wag his tail – usually he is only using his tail to balance himself. Is it time to put him down? I’m concerned that it is too soon and also for my other dog that is 13 that is pretty used to having him around and how would she cope with him being gone?

  430. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dog — and I’m sorry I didn’t have a chance to respond to you earlier, Kathy!

    Often, we need a vet to help us figure out if it’s time to say goodbye to our beloved pets. We can’t figure out how the dog is feeling or if she’s in pain….but a vet might be able to read the signs better.

    Again, I am so very sorry I didn’t get to your comment sooner. If you’re still around, please let me know how things are going with your beloved dog.

    Sincerely,
    Laurie

  431. Kathy says:

    I have a schnauzer mix, she is 15 1/2 yrs old. She was diagnosed two years ago with spindle cell on her left back hip. I had it removed. It grew back in the same place last Oct 2009, this time it grew much faster than the first tumor. Its quite large right now and I’ve found what I believe to be a fatty tumor growing on the opposite side of her body around her ribs. She was doing well until this past August she lost her balance and fell off a wall in my back yard. From that moment on her health has seemed to go down hill. She was hacking,vomiting and just acting like she wasn’t feeling well. I took her to the vet and they put her on prednisone and tramdol for the pain. The thing is she still eats and drinks, and never seems to complain about being in pain except when you try to pick her up. She has since started having diarrhea it has lasted 5 days so far. She’s been having alot of gas. She’s always letting me know when she needs to go out but has been having accidents 1 and 2 in the house. My vet told me I should think about putting her to sleep, its so painful to think about it. But I don’t want her to suffer. But even looking at the questions from this article I can’t seem to determine if she is in pain, like I said she doesn’t complain. She is moving slower than she use to and her breathing is loud when she does rest. She seems to just lay around now. If I mention to her a walk though she is right there waiting to go out. I’m so confused. I was going to take her back to see the vet tomorrow but would like all the input I can get. Please help.
    Thank you,

  432. carrie taylor says:

    im sorry for your unfortunated situation, i had to reply to this as i had a 6 year old chiuhahuha called peanut who was put to rest on saturday & i am absolutly devistated.
    peanut had the exact problems, out of nowhere his back legs stated to buckle & not do what the front ones do & soon after coudlnt get up & down the stair as he was small i carried him everywhere, then he had two fits i was beside myself, then the front legs started to go & he couldnt control his front paws it was awfull but the vet told me he had a brain tumour & there was nothing i could do, i tried to keep him at home & tend to his every need by taking for a wee & to the food & water bowl but then on the friday night he tried to follow me everywhere, even when i laid him in his bed he would follow me with his eyes to make sure i wasnt leaving him then started with diarrhea with blood init & seemed to pant alot & just couldnt get comfortable so i stayed up with all night hugging him & telling him how much i loved him, he was just like one of my children, i was devistated but we made the decision that we would let him rest in the morning as i couldnt watch him suffer anymore, that was nearly a week ago & ive cried every day , ive felt anger, ive felt guilt & most of all feel empty & want my baby back but i know i done the kinest thing for peanut i think he was fedup, frustrated & most of all in pain & now he is free from pain & no doubt still sitting next to me making sure i dont leave him, bless him x

  433. gavin says:

    My 11 year old germanshepard zac has an appointment at the vet to day to be put to sleep and i dont know if i am doing the right thing.It was about 5 months ago when he had a fit and ever since then he has not been the same.2weeks ago i think he had another one when we were out and ever since then his back legs have buckelled and he can not walk propperly but he does get his good days when he looks his normal self.this is the hardest decision ever because before this happend he used to sleep upstairs on my mams bed but now he cant get up the stairs so we have leave him down stairs by himself and it is heart breaking.

  434. Cameron says:

    My 3 yr Gordon Setter mixer was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. He has lost weight and has been sneezing and seems very congested. I can hear him wheezing when he breathes. Yesterday he had a bloody nose. On a good day he will eat a small handful of kibble. We have to feed him while he’s laying down on the floor because his legs don’t seem to be able to hold his body weight anymore (he only weighs 26lbs.) I have to carry him up and down our stairs because it’s very hard for him to walk. I know what I need to do but it’s such a hard decision. He’s just a pup and my family is so sad.

  435. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Elizabeth,

    How sad, for your Greyhound and your family. A brain tumor and radiation is a huge decision to grapple with, especially without your vet’s guidance!

    I think you need to trust your gut instincts on this. I don’t know if it’s better to put her to sleep or have her go through radiation treatments to prolong her life. There are so many questions, such as for how long does she go for treatment? What is her expected life span? Will the treatments reduce her quality of life? How expensive are they? Will she live for another month without pain, or another ten years?

    The difficult thing is that the vet probably won’t have any definite answers for you.

    All I can do is say that I don’t believe euthanasia is a cruel thing to do in most cases. It’s often a very kind thing to do for a dog you love, because it may end her pain and suffering.

    I have a cat, and have had many cats that I loved so much throughout the years — but we’re getting a dog next week! But, as painful as it was, I often chose euthanasia over prolonging my cats’ lives. When they were old and sick, I thought it would be better if I just let them go.

    Often, putting your pet to sleep is the final act of love, kindness, and compassion — especially their lives have lost their luster.

    I’m sorry there aren’t any easy answers, and hope you come back and let me know how things are going.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  436. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Gill,

    I’m so sorry to hear about Rascal. It sounds like he’s in rough shape, and nearing the end of a good long life!

    My best advice is to take him to the vet, and get him checked out. I don’t know if it’s time to put him to sleep.

    But, I do know that euthanasia is NOT a cruel thing to do in most cases. It’s often a very kind thing to do for a dog you love, because it may end his pain and suffering.

    Often, putting your dog to sleep is the final act of love, kindness, and compassion — especially if life has lost its luster.

    Please take Rascal to the doctor, and get a professional, in-person opinion. I’d love to know how it goes; please do come back and update me.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  437. Elizabeth says:

    We have an 11-year-old Italian Greyhound. She has always been really healthy and active, but about two weeks ago she had a massive seizure and was diagnosed with a large brain tumor. We have been going back and forth about whether to get radiation treatment (the local vet is on vacation so we couldn’t start yet anyway). She has been on steroids for the last two weeks and seemed to react really well. She stopped the problematic behavior she had right after the seizure (head pressing, pacing, loss of balance). She seemed almost back to normal the last day or two, but this morning she started having seizures. She had 4 seizures (one to two minutes each) about 30 minutes apart. My mom got her some seizure medicine, but she doesn’t seem right. It could be my imagination, but I feel like her nose and eyes are really twitchy. She has also been very lethargic from the steroids. We definitely don’t want her to suffer, but a lot of websites say dogs don’t remember having seizures or really suffer from them. That seems hard to believe, though! She seems to know she isn’t quite right because she isn’t eating normally, and she just stares at us in a weird way like she’s trying to tell us something. We don’t know what to do. We greatly appreciate any advice!

  438. gill says:

    Hi i have a much loved jr called rascal he’s 18 yrs old ive had him since he was 8wks hes been my life long companion throught school leaving home and gettin married and having my kids hes my baby boy and im unsure of what to do he still eats well and enjoys a walk around our garden but he cannot see or hear anymore and hes has growths all over his body which he wont stop chewing and hes making them really big he falls over sometimes cause his bk legs are weak im struggling to make the decision if im keeping him alive for me and im being cruel do u have any advice for me i would really appreciate it

  439. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Brenda,

    I’m so sorry to hear that you lost your dog. It must have been so sad to hold him as he left this earth….especially after all you’ve through together.

    I totally agree; it doesn’t seem fair that our dogs, cats, and other beloved pets live such short lives. They come and go, like a shooting star through our lives.

    In sympathy,
    Laurie

  440. Brenda says:

    This past Thursday I had to put my beloved 8-1/2 year old Westie, Kasper, to sleep. His troubles started in July when I noticed he hadn’t been eating his dog food. Then my parents returned from a two week vacation and commented that he looked really skinny. He started vomiting and I took him to an emergency vet clinic. They said he might have Cushing’s disease from too many cortisone shots (he had to take shots occasionally to combat his numerous allergies). They gave him an anti-nausea shot and a hydration pack and sent us home. He still wasn’t eating, so I would take him each day to my parent’s house so they could hand feed him. He liked cut up hot dogs and chicken the best. He refused to go on walks. He started moving around less and less and I would pick him up to take him outside to go to the bathroom. Then he started urinating inside the house, which he never did before. A neighbor of my parents, who is also a vet, thought Kasper had a urinary tract infection and gave us a 10-day supply of antibiotics. He seemed to get better, then one Saturday, he got really bad. He started backing up and yelping occasionally. He would sit there and shake like he was cold. Then we noticed he wasn’t urinating. Took him to the vet he has seen his entire life. At first the vet thought he had an infection of the prostate gland. He admitted Kasper to the hospital for a couple of days and gave him IV antibiotics and pain medication. He inserted a catheter to relieve his bladder. He let me take Kasper home for a day while we waited on lab tests to come back. Kasper quit urinating again. So we put him back in the hospital to be catheterized again. Tests came back…..invasive cancer. His weight went from 25 pounds to 17 pounds. I made the decision to put Kasper to sleep that afternoon and I held him and comforted him while the doctor injected him. He had been the best dog in the whole wide world and I wanted to be with him at the end, like he was there for me through my divorce, my kids growing up, and sicknesses. I didn’t want him to suffer. I know it was the right thing to do, but I still feel like I have been hit by a Mack truck. I miss him so…. I think it is terrible that dogs are such wonderful companions and live such short lives!! It doesn’t seem fair.

  441. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Claire,

    It sounds like you’re dealing with the exact same thing Shawn is! Her story is right above yours.

    Your boyfriend doesn’t want to lose his dog, who is a huge part of his childhood. It’s almost like taking that final step into adulthood and closing the door on who he was before….and he’s not willing to take that step.

    I’m not sure how you can help him realize that putting his dog to sleep isn’t cruel — it’s often a very loving, compassionate thing for a pet lover to do. But after you point out that his dog is not enjoying a good quality of life, there’s not much you can do. He knows how you feel; he may even know that putting his dog down is the best decision.

    He’s just not ready to make that decision — and there’s not much you can do to convince him that putting his dog to sleep is a final act of love and kindness.

    This may be a decision your boyfriend has to make on his own, without you trying to convince him of anything. I know you love him and want the best for him, but you can’t force him to see things your way (or see reality!). He’s not ready to let his dog go yet…and I don’t know how you can convince him to be ready. He’ll have to come to that decision on his own.

    I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful; I wish you all the best.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  442. Claire says:

    Me and my boyfriend have a 18 year old mongrel and over the past year or so he has deteriorated quite a bit. He’s a lovely dog and he still likes to eat his food and play about from time to time however he constantly poos and wees in his bed and on the floor, we can’t leave him for longer than 4-5 hours. His back legs are very weak, he’ll still get out of bed but he can’t stand around for long and will drag his back feet until they bleed if he walks about outside. he doesn’t go on walks anymore and can only make it to the back yard/ garden.

    I think it’s time to say goodbye to him but my boyfriend (who has had him since he was 1rs) can’t bear to see him go and won’t even take him to the vets. It has caused big arguements between us and i feel that he’s had a good life. I don;t know if he’s in pain or not and i’m at a loose end.

    Any comments are welcome

  443. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Shawn,

    I’m not sure what to say…it sounds like your husband is putting his own pain and denial ahead of what’s best for your dog — and for your family. I totally understand why he’s doing it; it’s SO hard to decide to put your dog to sleep! But, it sounds like he’s not facing reality.

    He might be afraid of the grief he’ll feel when your dog is gone. Indeed, it’s a very painful thing, to lose a pet. Sometimes men don’t express their emotions well; your husband might be doing everything he can to avoid those emotions.

    You need to convince him that putting your dog to sleep is a final act of love and kindness, and the best thing for your whole family. How do you do that? It depends on your husband’s personality. Some people accept professional opinions without argument, so you might ask your vet to talk to him. Other people need difficult decisions to be made for them, and are grateful if their partners just put their foot down. Others might be swayed by the effect the dog’s existence is having on the kids……

    How you convince your husband that it’s time depends on him, on you, and on your relationship. I wish I could give you the words to say, but it really depends on how he responds to persuasion.

    Another possibility is to talk to him about why he’s so determined to keep your dog alive. Has he lost a dog in the past? I know a man who lost his dog 25 years ago, and refused to get another pet. He said it was so painful, he could never get another dog again. That’s what I was talking about earlier, about men and expressing pain. If my friend could mourn and express his pain, maybe he could love a new dog.

    Anyway — it might be worthwhile to ask your husband what his reasons are (besides the obvious “the dog is still getting something out of life” reason). Maybe ask him to give you 3 reasons, and maybe the deep reason will come out.

    I hope this helps…and wish you all the best.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  444. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Linda,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your toy poodle…the poor little guy was a senior citizen! He lived a long, happy life. He was ready to go; it was his time.

    Putting your dog to sleep is often a final act of love. It’s a way to show him that you care, and send him gently into his final rest. You did the right thing. His quality of life wasn’t nearly as good as it was even a few months ago…his poor body just couldn’t keep up with this world.

    I hope you’ve found peace in your decision.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  445. Shawn says:

    I was hoping for some advice. We have a 15 yr old Welsh Pembroke Corgi that cannot walk. He is on heart, pain and liver meds. He is having chronic bladder infections. He pees and poops and gets covered and stinks. He so getting snappy. I know it is time to let him go but the problem is my husband. He is convinced that he is getting something out of life. He refuses to put him down. I was hoping for some advice as I am getting concerned for my children. So far we have kept them separated and my husband does everything to reduce the dogs impact on the family including daily bathing him ect. I need for this to be over. Any advice to help someone would let go of their best friend would be helpful. I am out of ideas.

  446. Linda says:

    We have had to let our little sixteen year old toy poodle be put to sleep. most faithful little companion ever we all loved him so much. he was suffering from severe chronic separation anxiety scratching the door till his paws bleed. he also started messing in the house. he was taking medication for his back legs as muscle wasting. he had a large boil on his bottom that would grow then burst then fill back up again the said he had to many hormones the vet fitted hormone replacement in his neck which seemed to be working. We then noticed a foul smell coming from his mouth took him to vets he found very large tumour in his mouth I have never smelt any thing like that smell. did we do the right thing. we all crying all the time. Can you tell me if the smell coming from his mouth was the smell of cancer. He also lost lots of weight. Miss him so much.

  447. sarah says:

    Thankyou so much Laurie,
    Well i did it!! Havent stopped crying since but i feel so relieved.
    My vet sedated her so she fell fast asleep and didnt know at all what was going on.
    Myself and my 12 year old son held her while she fell asleep, my son was so brave and i am so proud of him.
    My other boxer Floyd is a bit quiet and off his food but its understandable. He has never had so many walks!!We take him 4 times a day now to keep him occupied.
    I am so happy i made the right decision, and i dont dread coming down stairs in the morning anymore.
    She was a very special dog and she will never be forgotton.
    Thankyou so much for helping me make the right decision.
    Thanks again
    sarah

  448. Janette says:

    I spoke to the vet and he is going to review the chart and determain what he thinks her quality of life will be if she has the surgery. Because of the arthritis she will have to be on meds to help with pain. We are willing to relinquish Lady to another family if they want to do the surgery and try to help with the arthritis. Try to give her a better life.

    If the Dr comes back and says that it would be better to put her to sleep, that is what we will do. We don’t want her to suffer anymore.

    thanks
    Janette

  449. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Janette,

    It’s such a difficult decision, weighing the feelings of your children with the thought that your dog is suffering.

    But, we can’t keep our animals alive for our own reasons. Love can be very selfish in this sense — we put our own happiness before the happiness and comfort of our creatures. And, though some pet owners will spend as much money as it takes to keep their dogs or cats alive, it may not be in the best interests of the pet.

    Of course each situation is different. Sometimes a dog or cat can live for years after a surgery, and other times it only gives the pet another few weeks or months. You as a pet owner have to decide if this is the wisest way to spend your money.

    Sooner or later, your kids will have to let go of your dog. It may seem “better” to let the dog die naturally instead of putting it to sleep, but that natural death may be long and painful. Putting your dog to sleep is often a final act of love — the last time you make sure your dog is cared for, peaceful, and free of pain.

    I hope this helps, and wish you all the best as you make your decision.

    Laurie

  450. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Sarah,

    I’m sorry to hear that you have to put your dog to sleep…but it sounds like you’re making the right decision. The poor thing is in pain, and her brain tumors may finally be taking over.

    I wish you all the best as you say good-bye. It’s so difficult, but it is your finaly act of love.

    In sympathy,
    Laurie

  451. Janette says:

    I have a 7 year old female Beagle who has arthritis and has just been diognosed with a severe case of bladder stones. He says she will need surgery and the cost is about $1000. The vet was shocked at the amount of stones that she has. She is over 37 pounds and when we try to walk her to help get some weight off, she limps even more than she normally does. She sleeps a lot and seems depressed. I have 2 kids and they are very upset at the thought of putting her to sleep. I, however think she is suffering. If anyone out there has any advice, please help!

  452. sarah says:

    Hi,
    Today is going to be the worse day of my life! My 10year old puppy boxer sasha is very poorly. She has two tumors but hasnt really been suffering with them untill recently. Lately she is showing all the signs of a brain tumor. My vet has offered to send her for a scan but i refused as she is no longer insured and it was cost hundreds.
    Just lately she isnt her usual happy loving self. She no longer wants to go for a walk and every time myself or my children touch her head she yelps and shows signs of pain.
    She was booked in to be put to sleep 4 months ago but the vet talked me out of it and prescribed her strong pain killers.
    I cant see her in pain any more. I have made the decision after reading all the comments on here that i am going to ring my vet today.
    I feel so guilty, i dont know what to do!
    My other boxer is 5 and im so scared for him, dont want him to be lonely.
    I love sasha so much im not going to be selfish and im going to stop all her pain. Thanks fo helping me make my mind up
    sarah

  453. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear D & J,

    That must be so difficult, to see your dog in such pain. And how helpless you must feel!

    Have you identified the source of the allergies? I don’t know if vets can do allergy tests, but it may help to deal with what’s causing the allergies. Maybe it’s something simple that he’s allergic to. Healing the source might be more effective than trying to stop him from chewing.

    I suggest taking him to a different vet for a second opinion, and asking about allergy testing.

    Another option is to talk to a holistic veterinarian — perhaps there’s a natural treatment for allergies. I believe prednisone is an anti-inflammatory (I think humans take it, too), and there are natural anti-inflammatories and soothing ointments that may help.

    I hope this helps….I also encourage you to go to the “Ask a Vet” website — those vets offer free advice. You may have to try a few different things until you find what works. But hopefully, the first thing you try will do the trick!

    Wishing you the best,
    Laurie

  454. D& J says:

    We have a ten year old Bichon who has really bad skin allergies. He chews himself down to the bone and has open sores most of the time. This has been going on for the past five or more years. It has gotten worse with age. We have had to use a cone around his neck for the past five months steadily to get him to heal.( we take the cone off and he chews so we put it back on until he has healed then it just repeats) When he wears the cone he is okay but as soon as we take it off he chews somewhere on his body until it is a raw open sore. He has been on predisone for the past five years from June until around December. This year he still continued to chew …… hence why he wore the cone for so many months. We feel so bad for him when he chews as his leg or the spot he has chewed just shakes and he can’t eat or drink for a couple days until he starts healing. We just don’t know what to do for him. Everyone that comes to see us acts like we are being cruel to the dog for having him wear the cone. He is in a chewing bout right now well actually this time he just used his back paw to scratch himself until he had a huge gash in his neck. The cone was off this time for four days. We feel guilty at the thought of putting him down. He is a healthy dog other then the chewing. Right now he is in the closet where he has been spending most days ( as his sore is still open) He is not in good spirits when he has chewed. Do you have any suggestions for us? Thanks D&J

  455. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Jacquie,

    Thank you for your comment, and I wish you all the best with Miss Molly as the days go by.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  456. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Bec,

    I’m sorry to hear about your dog, so sick at such a young age! And you’re dealing with your own life, which is quite demanding. It’s a lot for one family to cope with.

    Have you talked to a vet about the possibility of putting him to sleep? I think that might be a good first step. The vet might be able to suggest other options or other organizations to contact. The vet might also be able to tell you if this disease can improve, or if it’ll just get worse and worse.

    Your family and your health has to come before your dog’s. You can’t put your family in financial or emotional dire straits because of a pet….I know how beloved our dogs and cats are, and how important they are to our lives. But sometimes we have to make the difficult decision to put our own health and families above our pets.

    I wish you all the best, and encourage you to talk to your vet about putting your dog to sleep — as well as the other options. Hopefully, there are other possibilities!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  457. jacqui says:

    Hi there

    Our beautiful 5 year old black ‘humadoodle’ (standard poodle)Miss Molly was diagnosed in Feb this year with a very rare salivary carcinoma. At the time we were advised to prepare for the worst (4-6 wkks). we decided against surgery as it came with no garantees and felt that quality rather than quantity would be best for our girl. No other options were offered and so we treat her with love and positive thoughts, a good diet and loads of exercise. Her stamina is amazing and after 5 months her energy levels are better than ever. The lump in her neck however continues to grow and is now larger than a golf ball. Each day with our girl is a bonus and we treasure them all. I just stumbled across this site whilst searching for answers and how to’s, to save Miss Mol from this oh so unfair situation. I have book marked it ‘just in case’ I need someone to talk to in weeks/months to come. My heart goes out to all the people who’s stories appear here and I thank the creator of this site for the opportunity to share the load. Jacqui.

  458. bec says:

    Hi, I have 16month old cavalier king charles spaniel named Toby!
    he was fine until about 4 or 5 months of age then he started scratching and losing fur so we took him to the vet and they put him on prednisone and ibervectim i think he seemed to improve till that ran out so we had a spray the vet gave us to help but he just became more and more severe. we took him back and they have check for mites and done skin scrapings but still nothing has shown. Hes been whimpering somedays and he bleeds and is red raw some days iv cried just looking at him i think if it upsets me so much what must it be like for him. occasionally hes thrown up or wet his bed as well he is on zd science diet hypoallergic food and prednisine at the moment but hes still itchy and harrdly got any fur on his legs paws and top of his head. i was worried about syringomyeliria or mvd as he somites yelps when we pick him up or even hypothyroidism but the vet said he is too young.
    my partner and I have a 12 month old baby and I have Rheumatoid arthritis and am on methotrexate for it so i can not work full time and have alot of expenses with me being unwell and having a baby.
    its breaking my heart seeing how he is and upsetting my partner too hes due to go back to the vet in 2weeks i dont know what to do as they said they will run more tests.
    my partner and i thought maybe its a grass allergy but since moving to our new home about 2months ago he hasnt got any better and we have no plants here either.
    i hate to think it but sometimes i think hed better to be put out of his misery and be put down but then i think how young and beautiful he is too and would a vet do that to him but my partner and i really cant afford all the tests and vet bills it will cost and would there really be someone out there prepared to have him and get him better
    i really dont know what to do i love him so much but i hate seeing him suffer!

  459. Holly Shelton says:

    Ginger, my 10 year old chiwawa yelps when she barks, is limping, hanging her head low and not eating more than a bite or two lately. I fear that it may be time to let her go, or should I wait.

  460. Jill says:

    Hi there. I have a 6yr old black lab. She started have seizures last November (that we know of). She was having as many as 5 seizures in a 4 hour time frame. We brought her to the vet and of course she diagnosed Canine Epilepsy. She has been on Phenobarbitol since then. The problem is this. I am not sure if the seizures have caused brain damage. She is messing everywhere in my house. We have had to rip up carpet and she has destroyed our hardwood floors. We have 3 children, ages 13,9 &3.5. She is constantly going to the bathroom in their rooms and anywhere else in the house. It’s to the point of it being a nightly thing. She goes outside and hates being there. She jumps the fence- and frantically scratches at the front door to get back in. She has also started running away. We do have a 12X12 kennel but she just jumps on top of the doghouse and jumps over the kennel. I love her to death but I just don’t know what to do anymore. She even has figured out how to open cupboard and freezer doors and eat anything she can get her paws on. I try to put her in the garage when we leave for the day, it’s cool in there for her and not confining her to a small space but she literally overpowered me the other day to get out. I am afraid she might snap mentally on one of us. Her eyes get really wild and crazy and just doesn’t look like my Koda anymore. Please help..I don’t know if the humane thing to do is put her to sleep. She can’t be happy if she’s acting like this. She also has allergies that we have gotten under control, but it’s just one thing after another. Please give me some advice…..Jill

  461. Jen says:

    I am struggling as to what to do with our 11 year old lab/german shephard mix. Her hips are totally shot, she stuggles getting up and down plus really struggles with stairs and has fallen a few times.

    Today is what makes me nervous. My 3 year old was teasing the dog, grabbed the dogs ear and the dog snipped at her cheek. No blood but a big mark was left. Is it time to put the dog down? I know that she is in pain and in discomfort. It makes me nervous that she is now snipping, even though it was provoked, its not acceptable. My kids are my kids.
    I LOVE MY DOG as she was my first baby but don’t know what to do? Any advice?

  462. Celeste says:

    THANKS I JUST REALIZED I DID THAT !! LOL THANK YOU

  463. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Celeste,

    I’ve moved your comment and question to this article (it doesn’t really fit on a doggy post!).

    10 Types of Relationship Problems

    And, I’ll answer as soon as I can — I’ve recently moved and it’s taking awhile to catch up!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  464. Celeste says:

    I have been with bf for 7years and just 2wks ago we had a disagreement i was upset by something he had did….

  465. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Nick,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dog. I’m also sad to say that I think you need to put your love and hope that he stays alive aside…and think about what’s best for him. That may mean putting him to sleep.

    Saying good-bye to our pets is our final act of love towards them. It’s our last way of saying “I love you, and I have to do what’s best for you.” Your poor dog sounds like he’s really sick, which means he may be suffering. Maybe be the best thing you could do for him is to say good-bye.

    I know it’s been four days since you wrote your comment, and I’m sorry it took me so long to respond. I don’t know if you’ve already decided to put your dog to sleep, or if you’re trying the new drug. But no matter what’s going on, I want you to know that putting your own feelings aside to do what’s best for your dog is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. It’s normal and healthy to cry and mourn your loss…our pets are our sources of unconditional love and affection.

    My thoughts and sympathies are with you — I know how heartbreaking it is.

    Blesings,
    Laurie

  466. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Alison,

    I’m sorry I missed your comment and question — I’ve recently moved to a new house, and was swamped with home stuff!

    Your boxer Knuckles sounds lovely…and it’s so sad that he’s gotten so old. I think the best way to decide if it’s time to put your dog to sleep is if his quality of life is low. If he’s not suffering, then maybe he has a few months left in him.

    But it’s not just about suffering as in “pain”; a good quality of life is about being able to move around easily, jump on and off furniture when necessary, keep food down, go to the bathroom outside, and so on. If he can’t uphold a regular healthy happy life, then maybe it’s time to say good-bye.

    It may be worth taking Knuckles to another vet for a second opinion. Sometimes, talking it through with a new vet gives you a whole different perspective, and makes the decision easier. Maybe Knuckles would be perfectly happy living out his life until he dies naturally…or maybe it’s better to say good-bye now, before he gets really sick.

    There are no easy answers….but I encourage you to do some research on boxers and old age, and see another vet. You may learn something that helps you know if now’s the time to be proactive about saying good-bye to your dog.

    I’m sorry I don’t have more concrete answers for you, but I wish you all the best as you decide what to do with your beloved pet.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  467. Nick says:

    My almost 6 year old AmStaff terrier is the best dog I’ve ever had. (I have had 5 others). He had been sleeping a lot lately, but I thought nothing of it because he was eating and playing whenever I roused him. A week ago, he was staggering when he got up and colapsed. Me and my wife rushed him to the vet. We found out he
    had chronic ehrlichiosis, and was suffering from severe anemia and needed a blood transfusion immediatly. It cost us $700. Including the medicines. He had to stay at the vet in observation. On day 3 they did another CBC and found out he had went through the blood too fast and his reb blood cell count was no better than the first day. We were told they only way to save him was a 2nd blood transfusion. That cost us $400 more for the vet bill. Two days later they did another CBC and found out je already went through the blood again, and his pallate count was low. We were told to take him home to be with the family (to die). Today I took him to the vet for another CBC and miraculously his blood count was a little better. From a .7 red
    count to 1.2. That gave me a lot of hope, but he has not wanted to eat any food since yesterday. I have been force feeding him through a syringe. Now he dosent want to drink water anymore and has nuroligical problems
    in one of his back feet ( probably from the second blood transfusion.). I don’t think he can handle a 3rd
    transfusion. He seems very tired and sleepy all the time was has difficulty walking now. I have tried everything and have consulted with at least 10 different vets. I think I may have to put him to sleep, but I am just not ready. He has been such a loyal friend to me, and I love him so much. I think he may be telling me he can’t take anymore. One doctor has suggested another treatment of a drug called EPO as his last hope, but it costs $150 per injection. I don’t know what to do. This is so hard for me, and I feel like a wimp because I have been crying about it almost every day this last week. I really want to save him so bad , but maybe I’m being selfish at this point and I need to give up. I just wish I had caught this disease earlier because it is not deadly if caught on time, so I feel very guilty. He is the best dog, and the thought of loosing him is like a knife in my heart.

  468. Alison says:

    I have a 13 yr old boxer named Knuckles, he’s the sweetest boy ever! I hate the thought of putting him to sleep but I think he is deteriorating & I’m just not sure if it’s the right time to do it. I don’t want my love for him to overshadow the reality of his condition. He has very bad arthritis in both hips, he takes Previcox for that, but it’s hard to know if that’s helping. He’s been having more and more urinary incontinence despite taking Proin for that. He has a very hard time going up or down steps, he wakes up during the night to go out…it’s like having a newborn again! He’s also started dragging his right back leg when he walks. While he’s standing his hind quarters just start sinking down like he can’t hold himself up. He’s fallen a few times and has had a few seizures in the past few months. He sleeps most of the time and just when I think, “ok, it’s time” he perks up a little and has a good day and plays some. He’s also lost almost all of his hearing, but that doesn’t seem to bother him that much. He is under my feet all day, almost like he’s afraid to be alone or just wants to be near me all day. He’s never lost his sweet nature, never yelps or lashes out in pain. It’s so hard to know what to do! Our vet feels that most of his issues are just from old age, he is healthy (no diseases) otherwise. The vet remarks that he is very old for a boxer and basically warns us that he doesn’t have much more time, but we’ve never really talked about putting him to sleep.

    Any advice would be much appreciated!

    Alison

  469. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Chrissy,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dog…it’s always sad to hear when a pet has lost control like that. It’s common for them not to realize they’ve lost bowel function, especially if they have other health problems.

    I encourage you to take her to the vet. She may have some health condition that’s easily remedied — I don’t know. The only way to find out is to get her checked out.

    Hopefully, you won’t have to make the decision to put her to sleep…but if you do, please do come back. So many pet lovers had to make the same decision, and it’s not an easy one.

    Good luck with the vet — let me know how it goes!

    Laurie

  470. chrissy says:

    I do not know what to do. I have a 7 year old English mastiff and for the past few months she has been going #2 in the house. It only happens at night time when we are sleeping. I do not think she even knows she is doing it cause she does not move. It just comes out. Alot of times we lift up her tail and it is there. She also has arthritis and has a hard time walking. What do I do?

  471. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Cheryl,

    I’m sorry to hear about your dog…and I understand your husband’s reluctance to put her to sleep. A natural death seems kinder and, well, more “natural.”

    But, sometimes it’s more important to consider your dog’s quality of life, rather than let her forge ahead until her heart gives out. And, it’s even MORE important to make sure the people around her stay safe and healthy (such as your granddaughter, and even you and your husband). It’d be a shame if something happened — especially since you’re getting warning signals from your dog.

    I think you need to trust your gut on this, Cheryl. If you think it’s time to say good-bye — you, who love her and only want the best for her — then maybe it is time.

    Also, I suggest calling or visiting two vets and talking it through with them. They can read a pet’s behavior and help you decide if you’re doing the right thing. Sometimes talking it through in person (or even in writing, like you’ve done here) can help with even the most difficult decisions.

    And remember: putting your dog to sleep is often a final act of love. It’s a way to say good-bye with compassion and gentleness, and sometimes it’s better if it happens before the worst case scenario does.

    I wish you all the best.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  472. Cheryl says:

    Hi, My dog is 16 years old.. She had a stroke last year but she gets around ok now. She stays in her doghouse most of the day. We check to make sure she is not dead some days. Yesterday my husband put another dogs food on the table so they wouldn’t fight over it. After he turned around our dog bit him on the leg. She has become mean and nobody wants to be around her because they are scared of her. I worry that she may bite my granddaughters or anyone else that comes into the fence. I told my husband I thoght it was time to put her to sleep but he feels like she should die from sickness or on her own.
    Please give me your feelings on this situation. I love her to but I think it is time.

  473. Della says:

    Sophie, I am so sorry to hear about your precious dog bobby. I had my beautiful Chocolate Labrador “Nature” put to sleep yesterday so i know the pain & heartache you are feeling right now. My girl would of been 13 years old in September. Two years ago she was diagnosed a diabetic & from there she went slowly downhill. I managed the best I could to control it with 2 shots of insulin a day but it eventually robbed her of her sight & her hearing. As well she developed a large tumour in her hind leg & she was full of lumpy masses throughout her whole belly. We had two needle biopsies to determine whether or not she had cancer but both came back inconsistant & further testing would have to be done. We opted not to put her through any further testing because if the outcome had of been cancer, treatments would only have made the rest of her days miserable anyway & we didn’t want that for her. In a matter of just a few months, she could no longer stand on her own without our help & at times it was painful for her & she would cry out in pain. Once she was up on her feet, she managed to get to her bowls or go do her business. She never complained but you could tell that it was taking a toll on her…her spark had all but gone from her beautiful face & she looked mostly sad but always managed to wrap her tail on the floor when we came home letting us know she was happy to see us..she also suffered alot from really bad ear infections & she would get startled & frightened if we reached to pet her. It wasn’t an easy decision to make having her euthanized but I believe it was the best one. I will miss her immensely but someday I believe that we will meet again & she will be as happy to see me as I will be to see her. Same thing with you & your sweet bobby…all you have to do is believe !

  474. Sophie Najarian says:

    Hi.. i have a precious black labrador named ” bobby” He has been with me for more then half of my life im only 17 and he is 13. He is the most loveing caring dog i have ever known even people who just meet him walk up and say what a sweet heart or wow what a good dog. I really dont consider him i dog i consider him as my baby brother since ive know him for so long. He so sweet i would be lying on the carpet watching tv and he would walk over to me and fall flat on top of me with a ruged “huuu” like he was waiting for me to scratch him. His fur wasnt the type that was very stringy it was the kind that was black and thick and soo fluffy you wouldnt belive. so sleeping with him and cuddeling with him is the best he like a big teddy bear. I have gone through so much with him my parents divorce, deaths in the family, bullying in middle school and other things . But through all that trouble i always new thier was someone waiting for me and excited to see me everyday someone thier to smile and wag his tail and someone i always new who loved me and i loved him.
    Bobby is 13 now and recentley has been starting to seem more quiet and peeing in the house and at first drinking tons of water but now non at all and he most definatley wont eat .. we took him to the vet yesterday and she said he had diabetes which is the result of his catorac eyes and kidney failure which is why he isnt eating or drinking thats the main reason he is doing so bad he also has a really bad back leg from arthritis so he can barley get up…. i couldnt take the pain of the doctor saying that so while my mom stayed with him i ran out crying it was terrible i know we are probally going to put him down today and it will be the hardest thing i will ever have to do but i am going to be strong because if something like that where happening to me he would stay with me to. i left school today early because i couldnt consentrate and i started crying when my friends came up asking what was wwrong. I hope that some day my bobby will be in my dreams and someday i will see him again and that its not a good by forever its just a see you later.
    i only have about a couple hours left with him until we leave. Thank you all for your amazing stories it has helped me soo much
    Thank You.

  475. Karon says:

    My Yorkie, Remy, is 15/1/2 yo. He has terrible skin allergies, arthritis, and now an ulcerated eye from no tear production. We have tried meds, but they haven’t worked. Today I am saying goodbye to Remy. We have an appointment to put him down tonight. He has not had a good day in a long time. I feel badly that I’ve let it get this bad, but it has been so hard to let go. I raised my son with this pup and dad was out to sea often. Thank you for your thoughts on euthenasia. It has given me some peace about my decision.

  476. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Sheri,

    It’s so touching that your friend’s dogs are so attached to each other, but sad that #2 will miss #1 so much!

    I don’t know if taking them both when the first one has to be put down will help #2….but I don’t think it could hurt. I suspect #2 won’t really understand how serious the trip to the vet is…even taking a child to a hospital to say good-bye can be confusing and not as effective as people would like! But, it could work — depending on the child (or the dog) and the situation.

    Asking the vet how to help #2 cope with her friend’s death might be helpful….because different dogs mourn and heal in different ways. Perhaps getting another doberman — a puppy, maybe — would distract #2, and help her move on.

    You’re a good friend, Sheri…I wish you all the best as your friend and #2 survive this ordeal!

    Blessings,
    Laurie
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post …Smart Ways to Save Money – 5 Tips for Financial Growth =-.

  477. sheri says:

    My friend has two dobermans. Dog one is now dying of heart disease, dog #2 is so attached to #1 that when he was gone for a day at the vet’s, she whined looked everywherefor him and couldn’t settle down. My question is would it be a better idea to bring dog #2 with when he has to be put down so she can see and say goodbye and would she get that he would not be coming back? Or is there a better way?

  478. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Noel,

    I’m sorry to hear about your basset hound…that’s very troubling. While I can’t give any recommendations for her diet — only a vet who has examined her should do that — I can remind you to keep watching out for her quality of life. As soon as it decreases, you might want to think about saying good-bye.

    Her not being able to eat for 12 hours may indicate a low quality of life. I’m not saying you should put her to sleep…but it’s awful to think of her being hungry. I’m really sorry.

    My friend’s cat is 17 years old, and has numerous health issues. My friend is just taking it one day at a time — she doesn’t want to put her cat down, and can’t live in the “what if this happens” or “what if that happens” zone. So, she’s literally thankful for every healthy day the cat has, and is prepared to have to put her to sleep at any time.

    It’s an uncertain way to live, but it teaches us alot about living in the present! If your dog isn’t in pain — and if she goes hungry once in awhile — then maybe you don’t need to worry about putting her to sleep right now. Maybe tomorrow will be different…but maybe you could just live in today.

    I hope this helps, and I wish you all the best.

    Blessings,
    Laurie
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post …Pay Off Your Mortgage – 5 Ways to Make Mortgage Payments Go Away =-.

  479. Noel says:

    My basset hound “Samantha” has been diagnosed with a large tumor on her pancreas as of this morning. The Drs. have all agreed surgery isn’t a real choice. Sammy is 10 and a half years old and has been the precious center piece of our family for over 10 years. She is an extremely fit dog, perfect wieght etc. Today she didn’t hold down her food and now we arn’t supposed to feed her for 12 hours. Well she is very hungry and I wonder whats killing her, me or the cancer? If you were to come into our home, you would have no idea she was sick and this is very toubling. She has always been on limited diets, but starting today we have her basically on a vegi diet (which she loves – go figure!) She has always been a fruit and vegi girl her whole life. Pasta is one of her favorites as well. What are your thoughts or recommendations on this? I wonder if she’ll live very long or will this typically jump out of control real quick and we will have no choice but to put her to sleep soon. Our vet was noticably upset along with us, though she hid it well, and told us to try to keep the pancreas “quiet” with limited diet etc. and that this was hospice care from here on and quality of life was now the issue. She had a anal duct removed last summer and there was no sign of tumors at that time when they checked prior to surgery.

  480. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Jane,

    I’m sorry to hear about your dalmation — I know how hard it is to contemplate that it could be time to say good-bye.

    Many people — both pet owners and non-pet owners — believe that having a dog that could potentially harm a child is an immediate decision to put the dog to sleep. That’s just something to consider. I know you board him when your grandkids are around, but what if other kids come into contact with him? What if the kids make a surprise visit? Again, just something to think about.

    I suggest talking to a vet, and maybe even getting a second vet’s opinion. If your dog isn’t in pain and has good quality of life, then they may suggest loving him up a bit longer! But, if he’s not “enjoying” life, is sleeping alot, and is losing mobility…then maybe it’s time to consider saying good-bye.

    This is an extremely difficult decision to make, and I think the best way to make it is to talk to your vet. You don’t necessarily have to take your vet’s advice! But, talking it through and listing the pros and cons may help you feel more comfortable with whatever you decide.

    I wish you all the best, and encourage you to do what’s best not just for your dog, but for the whole family.

    Blessings,
    Laurie
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post blog ..Help Sticking to Your Budget – 5 Steps to Achieving Financial Freedom =-.

  481. Jane says:

    I have a 12 year old dalmation. He’s actually pretty healthy but there are several problems. We can’t have him around our grandchildren because he will attack them. It means boarding him often. He has arthritis in both back hips and has a hard time getting up and down. Sometimes, we have to help him up. He has recently starting losing his hearing and he has begun sleeping constantly. He will go outside if we go in the evenings. I love this dog with all my heart but am wondering how far I should let it go for his sake. I hate boarding him and I hate that his hips are so painful. What do you think?

  482. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Katie,

    I’m sorry to hear about Cindy…that’s so sad. And, I’m sorry I haven’t responded to your comment until now, because you may already have said good-bye to your dog.

    I’m not a vet, and I wouldn’t never tell any dog lover it’s time to put her down….but your poor Cindy sounds like she’s not enjoying her life anymore. She may not be in pain, but is she living a “good” life? I guess it depends on how you define a good life for a dog…but dogs in general love to run, play, eat, sleep, and go for walks.

    I know that putting your dog to sleep seems cruel, but it’s often the best, most loving thing you can do for your pet.

    You might want to talk to your vet, and ask for a professional assessment of Cindy’s health and lifestyle. A vet might help you see if Cindy still has a few good years left in her, or if it’s time to let her go.

    I wish you all the best, and hope you come back to let me know how things go…

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  483. Katie M says:

    I am like most people on here. I don’t know when the right time is for me to put my dog down. Cindy is a dalmation that is almost 15 years old. At one point we were told she has cognitive dysfunction because when we are not home and at night she will bark for no reason. When it’s really bad it will be for hours. She doesn’t do so well holding in her bowels as we have to clean it off the floor a bit, sometimes she doesn’t even know she goes. She has been on proin for a few years now because of urinary incontenence. She likes to go for walks but on a bad day can only make it around the block. Her hips are getting bad as when she stands for prolong periods it almost looks as if she is kneeling because she squats so bad. She will sometimes play outside with her ball but I think her eye sight may be going because she can’t always find it. But her typical day is sleeping on her doggie bed in front of the tv. I have never had to make the decision to put a dog down and am finding it (like others) one of the hardest decisions of my life. She does still eat and drink, we have to soften her food with water. I have been thinking about putting her down more because my neighbor is deciding to put his dog down and she is definately in a lot better shape than my cindy is. I don’t want her to be in pain and suffer but I don’t know if she is or not. She does have the start of osteoprosis in the back of her spine above her hips so that probably doesn’t help the standing part. Typing this, I think deep down has probably made my decision but i would still like your opnion because i really don’t know what to do.

    Thanks,
    Katie

  484. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Jill,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your koda. It’s such a hard and heartbreaking thing, to lose your dog…especially if you have to make the decision to end her life.

    When you’re deciding if you should put your dog to sleep, you really need to look at her quality of life. Is she suffering from the seizures? Is she in pain? Is she enjoying her life? Is she eating, sleeping, playing?

    Another thing to consider is your reason for not putting her down. Are you keeping her alive because you’ll be too sad to say good-bye, or because you’re afraid to make the decision? It’s such a heartbreaking decision — few pet owners make it lightly. But, it may not be in your dog’s best interest to prolong her life.

    I’m not saying you should put her to sleep, because I can’t make that decision! I’m just giving you a few things to think about.

    It might be a good idea to talk it through with your vet. You may even want to call another vet, for a second opinion. Maybe the dosage of the medication isn’t high enough, or maybe it’s the wrong type of medication….I don’t know. But, it can be helpful to get another vet’s perspective.

    Let me know how it goes…my thoughts and prayers are with you…

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  485. Jill says:

    My koda is almost 7 yrs old and started having seizures about 9 months ago. We took her to the vet and got the medication prescribed. Unfortunatly, the pheno does not seem to be helping. She had 5 more seizures last night. I worry so much about her when we are not home, that she is going through this alone with nobody there. I am concerned that she is having more when we’re not home. I am so torn. Is the most humane thing to put her to sleep? Or do we wait for the day that the seizures just take her. I have been reading some of the posts here and I am just so saddened by all of the stories. Please let me know what your thoughts are on this

  486. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Renee,

    I think your best bet is to take Dixie to the vet, and get a medical opinion about her physical health now and in the future. It’s important to get advice about her from a qualified doctor — because even if rottis live for 12 or more years, she might be different because of her genetics or experiences before you.

    Plus, a vet might be able to give your husband a more solid idea of what you should do with Dixie…and your hubby might be more willing to accept a vet’s opinion over yours (or a stranger’s on the internet!).

    Call your vet, and discuss whether or not you should take Dixie in for a physical exam. The vet might be able to give you some guidance on the phone — it just depends on the vet.

    Wishing you all the best,
    Laurir

  487. Renee Wilson says:

    Hi I have a 12 year old rotti named Dixie that we adopted from the pound in 2001. She has been the love of our lives ever since. We brought her back literally from the brink of death she was in such bad health and she has paid us back ten fold. We adopted 2 children in 2004 and she would let them ride her lay on her she has always been here for us but she has always had the normal hip problems also so when it gets cold weather she gets pretty sore but this past year she has been going down hill. She is really having trouble walking and I don’t think she can see or hear that well anymore and we have a pretty big yard and she can’t even make it across the whole yard without laying down to rest. My husband has had to pick her up several times and bring her up the 4 steps unto the house because she cant do it. She has started loosing weight and she don’t want to be left alone if someone goes downstairs she will follow but then she can’t get back up and now this morning I couldnt even get her to go outside she peed on the back porch. She keeps making the sound like shes choking also but she is eating and she will wag her little nub at you if you talk to her when she is awake but I don’t know what to do. I feel its time but I can’t get my husband to grasp the idea. What do think? How long do rottis usually live?

  488. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Debbie,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dachshund…it sounds like she’s so sad and in pain. That’s just heartbreaking — and round-the-clock care is alot to give to a dog, not matter how much you love her!

    Have you talked to your vet about putting her to sleep? Even if you don’t have a regular veterinarian, I think it’s important to get an expert’s opinion on your dog’s separation anxiety…and whether putting her to sleep is the best option. Her quality of life is the most important indicator of whether it’s time to say good-bye to her…and if she’s suffering, then it might be right to let her go. But of course, only you can decide that.

    Another option is to try to find a volunteer dog sitter. This would require a lot of luck, but there might be someone in your neighborhood who is lonely or bored all day, and who wouldn’t mind a companion! I know this is a long shot…but boy wouldn’t it be great? You could try posting notices at the library or grocery store, or even calling a neighborhood senior care home or residential facility and asking them.

    I wish I could think of more options, but that’s all that comes to mind….also, you could call more than one vet. Different vets have different contacts with animal lovers and pet organizations, which could be very helpful.

    Let me know how it goes —

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  489. Debbie Parker says:

    I have a 12 year old mini dachshund who suffers from severe chronic seperation anxiety. I had been taking her to work but am no longer allowed to as we have moved premises.I now have to leave her at home by herself and she is very depressed and runs and runs all day on my outside paving and her paws are raw and bleeding – she can enter the house through a cat flap but has developed this behaviour pattern which I cannot break. I cannot shut her in the house as she will make a mess. I have tried everything DAP infuser, rescue remedy, zylkene – nothing helps. She is not interested in other dogs all she wants is 24/7 human company. I cannot afford a dog sitter.
    I have thought of rehoming her but am so worried that she will be passed from home to home with this problem. It is not easy to deal with. I love her dearly but wonder if the kinder option would be to have her put to sleep?

  490. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Elissa,

    Thank you for sharing about Bo…it sounds like he had a happy life, and his passing was as loving and sweet as it could be. Euthanasia IS a very difficult decision, but I know that your thoughts on how your beloved dog passed will help other pet lovers make — and be comfortable with — the right decision for them.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  491. Elssa says:

    I adopted Bo in june of 1990. He was the last of a litter of kittens whom a man was drowning after killing their mother. He somehow escaped as his siblings had perished in a 5 gallon bucket, and hid behind a leg of a heavy immovable desk where this man could not reach him with the broom handle he was trying to ram him with. I rescued him that day… And that man for those interested in knowing, I heard later died a wretched death of advanced cancer.
    Bo and I lived all over the country from MA, RI, VA, FL, MD, CA, TX and HI. He grew with me from a single woman and helped me find my husband and become a wife, he watched me go through 3 pregnancies and watched and helped me become a mom, he saw me through a horrible bout of breast cancer staying by may side as I rested. I lived with him longer than my parents.He hated people and distrusted other cats but found dogs and goldfish to be amusing and acceptable. He was my best friend. With that said, He was strictly a house cat with outings with me ,gardening in my various yards.
    He last visit to the vet was at 15 and almost had a stroke being brought in for an examination. I was moving back to the mainland form HI. His feralness had never been tamed even after all those years and yes he was socialized. My vets advice was that he not be brought in for exams any more because of the anxiety he had and his advanced age and being a housecat. He had never experienced abuse since I adopted him bit he literally tore up the vets, vet techs every time he had a visit. scaling walls and acting like a wild cat. I couldn’t have agreed more.
    Bo started having petit mal seizures last summer at 19 yrs old and I contemplated euthanasia. I searched my soul for the right answer and decided to wait. He lived until Feb 22. just 3 months shy of his 20th birthday. He grew weak and his appetite grew less. I decided against euthanasia thinking that I would rather die in my home in the arms of my loved ones smelling smells that are familiar. I believe Bo passed away just as he wanted to, faintly purring on my chest covered in his favorite fluffy warm blanket being gently stroked as he looked in my face.
    I know euthanasia is a decision to avoid pain and is a difficult one to make also. I guess my ramblings are for those who choose not to euthanise and how I came to make my decision. I have his ashes beside me as I work and that brings me a sense of comfort.
    If there are such things as soul mates.. I think he was mine. I was lucky to have been a part of his life.
    ~Elissa

  492. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Anna,

    Thanks for letting me know how it went…and I’m sorry you had to put Al down. I think you’ll probably always get sad sometimes. I know I still miss my beloved cat Zoey, and I lost her ten years ago. It makes me sad sometimes, but I try to focus on how much I loved her, and how happy she made me.

    Anyway, thanks for coming back! It’s great to hear from you again.

    Take care,
    Laurie

  493. Anna says:

    I had to put my beloved best friend Al to sleep on December 29th. He went peacefully, I stayed in the room the entire time. Even the staff at the vets office were crying. Al was a really special guy. I just wanted to thank you again for your kind words….I think of Al every day most of the time I’m remembering the good times but from time to time I get very sad – we had him cremated and I keep the urn with a picture of Al right by my bed. I think this site is great

  494. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Morgan,

    I’m sorry to hear about your dog. Have you talked to a vet about putting him to sleep? If not, I encourage you to call right away. Most vets are very helpful when it comes to saying good-bye to our pets…and they might be better able to recognize if it’s indeed the right time to put your dog to sleep.

    Remember, your dog’s quality of life needs to come first. If he’s not happy, if he’s suffering with seizures and anxiety, then it may be best to put his happiness first. As one vet said, sometimes putting our pets to sleep is the final act of love we can do for them.

    I’m not saying you should put him to sleep — I can’t make that call! But, I encourage you to talk to a vet in person.

    My sympathies, thoughts, and prayers are with you…I know how hard this is.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  495. Morgan says:

    I have a 13 year old beagle. He has always had seizures and anxiety, but they seem to be getting worse. I recently moved out and the dog remained in the house with my father. He has started peeing on carpets, and sometimes when he is outside he will bark to come in, but then run away, and wont let you get near him. My father decided to crate him, but he gets very upset about it. I dont know what to do, my dad wants to put him down, and in some ways I agree..i mean how much quality can he have if he is always walking around the hopuse crying, even when we are there, are getting upset when we leave? But, he still enjoys walks……Im just torn and it is making me an emotional, stressed out wreck!

  496. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Julie,

    Deciding if you should put your dog to sleep is SUCH a difficult decision…my friend was recently in the exact same position, but her dog died before she had to decide between surgery and putting him down. That was a blessing, but it was still very sad.

    I encourage you to talk it through with your vet, if you can. Sometimes multiple surgeries aren’t in the best interests of our animals or us as pet owners…sometimes it’s better to say good-bye and not put our dogs or cats through the pain of surgery, healing, and possibly getting sick again.

    Losing a beloved pet is one of the most traumatic things a human being can face; I encourage you to go for counseling to help process your grief. You’ll feel better if you have someone to talk to about it, especially if it’s a counselor who has lost his or her own pet (many people have survived this heartache, so you might not have a hard time finding a counselor who can relate to your pain).

    I’m sorry you have to make this decision. I hope you come back and let me know how it goes.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  497. JulieB says:

    Hi. I am 23 years old and I have a 15 and half year old dalmation whippet named Jodi. I’ve had her the whole time so since I was about 7 years old. I’m going through the hardest thing I could ever go through right now because I need to make a decision on what to do with her life. About two months ago one of her “growths/bumps” grew rapidly and she licked it and that was what started it to bleed constantly. I took her to the vet and without even getting blood tests done they knew that she had cancer problems. Basically a viscious cycle happens where it bleeds out and the toxins make her extremely sick the vet says so she doesn’t eat and throws up a lot of bile. Eventually it began to rott :( My uncle David was nice enough after a couple times of her getting sick to give me money to get rid of that tumor. Now she had a second one right above it under her armpit. This one has started to bleed and this has happened all within two months so it seems like no matter what they will just keep coming and doing the same thing. I’m so scared I dont know what to do :( I dont feel like she wants to be put to sleep because she is always happy to see me and hang out with me and at the moment she is eating and drinking and pottying just fine outside. But in the passed two days this second tumor has become super itchy. And like I said before it is bleeding a lot now like the last one was. It hasnt started rotting but I know from the last one that it should start soon since it is already bleeding like this. How do I know when it is her time? Would another surgery help her or will this just keep happening like it is. I feel like I’m giving up on her by putting her down if shes not ready to leave me. She’s been there for me through everything, childhood, teenager problems, ex boyfriends, moved out with me away from my family and now we actually just moved back in ( were even in the house that we first ever got her at). I just wish I had enough strength to do the right thing for her. I just can’t figure out if I’m in over my head getting multiple sugeries done. Or maybe I really need to have her put to sleep. I just wish she would pass on her own. Last tumor when she was sick I made a fort in the kitchen with the table and chairs like we did when we were younger and put blankets all over to cover us up like its a tent. I read her so many poems and stories about dogs and their owners. I thought I was ready then the surgery happened and she pulled through and now I just want to keep on getting surgery done but I dont know if I truely should or if its just cruel to keep pushing her to live week by week at her age. She’s my everything <3 I feel like I'm going to need counceling after she passes away is how close she's been with me throughout well most of my life :(

  498. Liz says:

    I have a 15 1/2 year old Bichon. He has been a wonderful faithful family pet to my three now grown daughters. He had a great holiday season with them all home since they mostly sat around and he could sleep beside them.
    He spends most days sleeping or pacing. He is almost completely blind and deaf. Having lost those senses makes him afraid of everything around him. I have to be careful just reaching down to pet him because jumps back in fear of what is coming at him. He has for well over a year had bowel movements in the house, about 5 times a week and I don’t think he even knows, they just kind of slip out. He recently has started peeing, again not all the time but maybe twice a week that I know of (we have dark carpet so it does not show you have to step in it barefoot)
    His body is covered with sores from warts that he has had for years but he chews them and makes them larger and bleeding. I used to be able to treat them and use an Elizabethan collar to give them time to heal but at this point I just have to let him be because he just freaks out if you even try to groom him. So he smells a bit like decaying flesh.
    He suffers from separation anxiety terribly!! He follows me from room to room. If I am busy in that room he will fall asleep, when he wakes he runs around the house until he finds me. When I leave the house I have a younger dog I have to crate him with. I tried crating him alone once and he made his paws bloody trying to dig out.
    He is the oldest of 3 dogs. He used to be the pack leader. Now both dogs have gone after him. I especially have a hard time with my min pin but I pay careful attention so my older dog is not hurt. Honestly at this point he is becoming a chore.
    My biggest problem is I am going away for two weeks. I have very good boarding but it is not home. I know my Bichon will have a very hard time and the kennel will not be able to be attentive to his needs and he will be very scared.
    I know he does not have much more time. I know it’s getting close to time to put him to sleep. The messing in the house, his sores, his blindness and deafness, his own inner constant anxiety those are all reasons. If I were not going away I would wait a bit longer and hope one day he would simple not wake up. But I am going away and I feel like boarding him will be the worse thing for him.
    So, my question…am I being selfish considering putting him to sleep because I am going away? This guilt is terrible. He has been such a loyal faithful family friend it just hurts to think about this everyday.

  499. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Sheri,

    How did the visit with the vet go? Are you struggling to decide if you should put your dog to sleep, or is it a clear cut decision?

    Sometimes the decision is “easy” — still very painful and sad to lose your pet, but clear because his quality of life is suffering. And, as you said, families can’t live in houses that have doggy messes in them!

    I hope all is well.

    Laurie

  500. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Krista,

    I’m very sorry to hear about your lab/pit mix, and that you have this incredibly difficult decision to make. It sounds like most factors point to letting her go (the surgery is so expensive, the pain medications aren’t staying down, the recovery time might not be effective to help her heal).

    I know you love her so much and want her with you as long as possible. Your love for her definitely makes the decision more difficult!

    Ten years ago, I was in a similar boat with my cat: a bike or something crushed her hind leg, and it would cost over $1,000 to remove it. I decided to put her down instead of going through with the surgery, for all sorts of reasons. I don’t regret it, but still feel sad that she’s gone after all these years.

    I can’t tell you if you should put her down. Some people spend everything they have to extend their pet’s life as long as possible, while others (more practical ones, like me!) don’t go that route. Some people think living on pain medication is fine, while others try more natural options. I don’t think one person can make a “one size fits all” decision about stuff like this.

    The way I see it, you have several options to think about. You could ask a different vet for a second opinion on the ACL tear. You could take her to a more holistic vet, who focuses on natural paths to healing. Your dog’s pain may not allow for this; it’s just something to consider.

    My best advice is to sit down with your husband and go through the pros and cons of surgery versus putting her to sleep. Your feelings of love, pain, and heartache will make the decision more difficult…but I encourage you to make and stick with the decision that seems most right to you, that you feel in your gut is the best way to go.

    And, remember your dog’s quality of life at all stages of the surgery. If it doesn’t heal properly, she may be worse off than she is now…and getting an active dog to heal isn’t easy! If you go this route, you might consider asking a friend with a quiet house to look after her, or put her in a kennel for the recovery period.

    I’m sorry I don’t have any easy answers for you, and wish you all the best in this. Let me know how it goes.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  501. Krista says:

    Our very active lab/pit mix has torn the ACL in her knee. The sugery she needs is over $3000 (which we can’t afford). This will fix her IF she is able to rest for 8-12 weeks (which is impossible). We have a 7 yr old daughter, a young and active yorkie mix, and two cats. This is not to mention all the deer, bunnies, birds, and wildlife that she chases non stop. I know in my heart that she will not be able to recover from the surgery because this is not a quiet house to rest in. She is throwing up the pain medicine and getting worse with pain. When is it time to consider putting her down….or should I try other medicine? Is it fair for her to live on pain medicine? I need some advice please : (.

  502. Sheri says:

    My 16 year old Border collie started to poop in the house. I thought it might of been an isolated event. Then noticed he also urinated and pooped several days in a row. I know he is old, and can’t hear very well. Yet at times he seems just like a puppy happy to see us.
    I am struggling is it really time to put him down? He sparks to life and seems young but the loss of his bowels and urination tells another story.
    I don’t think he would do well in diapers. And its too cold to leave him outdoors. If it was during better season I would just leave him outside longer. My husband doesn’t believe in extraordinary measures for a pet.
    As of today, we are looking into it. I feel horrible…this is our pet…and he has been wonderful to us.
    I wish The good Lord would take him in his sleep…
    I will call our vet tomorrow, to discus our options. Its not healthy to allow a dog to use your home as a bathroom either….especially when you have children.

  503. Bruce says:

    John,

    Sorry you are faced with difficult decisions here. I had a beagle from the time I was five until I was twenty. He was a great dog! Everyone in the community who hunted rabbits always wanted to hunt with him, and he never disappointed them! If we ever wanted to call him, all that was needed was to fire a shotgun and he’d come running and baying all the way. he had a great life except at the end, he developed tumors that plagued him. He slept a lot and had “nightmares” would kick, and whimper. We reluctantly decided that he wasn’t having fun anymore, so we ended his life. That was tough to do, but it was the right thing for me, my brothers, my Dad, my grandfather, and all the hunters who also loved this fine animal. I think it was also right for him.

    That was 26 years ago, and as you can see, I still have very fond memories of my first pet.

    I don’t know if there might be an alternative treatment for the seizures your pet endures, but if the answer is no, I’d ask yourself if you honestly believe your pet is enjoying life. When you know what you believe on this point, your path forward will likely clear up.

    No matter what, you’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  504. John says:

    Laurie,

    Thank you so much for your input. The seizures are so horrible for him, and heartbreaking to watch. There is nothing you can do about it. thanks again

  505. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    John, I’m so sorry to hear about your beagle. It sounds like his quality of life is definitely declining, and he won’t enjoy life if he’s having seizures all the time!

    I know a vet exactly like yours: he is so pro-life, he guilts pet owners into spending tons of money and stretching out their pets’ lives for as long as possible. Is it worth it to spend thousands of dollars and put everyone through extra pain and suffering for a few extra weeks or months of life for a dog or cat? Not to me…but each PET OWNER must make his or her own decision.

    If I were you, I’d take my dog to another vet. Explain the situation, and ask for a second opinion. Tell him or her how difficult the “Should I put my dog to sleep?” decision is for you — I have no doubt he or she will understand. Most vets listen to the pet owners very carefully, and try to do what’s best for the dog.

    I hope this helps — let me know how it goes!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  506. John says:

    Hello,

    I have a 10 year old beagle who suffers from horrible seizures. He has had them almost all of his life and has been medicated for it. Now that his liver is going bad from the medication, the doctor has decided it’s time to stop medicating. With the medication he could have seizures several times a week. I can not imagine how bad its going to get when he runs out. Knowing, this I suggested putting him down, but the vet refused and said I need to take him to a neurologist. There is no way I can afford that. What am I supposed to do when my dog has hour long seizures, can no longer take the medication, and his vet will not put him down?

  507. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Alizabeth,

    I’m sorry about Scruffy…and I think the part of you that thinks maybe it’s not time to put her down is the part that wants her to be with you forever! That’s totally normal — it’s part of being a loving pet owner. It’s the hardest part of loving our animals.

    It’s a difficult decision to make because you have to use your heart and your head. You have to put your own emotions and love aside to objectively look at your dog and decide if it’s time to say good-bye for good…and trust that you’re making the best decision for her as you can.

    I encourage you to talk to your vet. He or she may help you make the right decision with as few doubts as possible. Also, if you think Scruffy’s quality of life is low, then you may need to put your own feelings of loss and sorrow aside and seriously consider putting her to sleep….it may be the best thing for her and, ultimately, for you.

    Wishing you all the best — and sympathizing with you deeply,

    Laurie

  508. Anna says:

    Thank you for your kind words about Al. He’s being put down tomorrow…because I could not get an earlier appointment. I have one more day with him….I believe he’s ready to go – he keeps staring at me like he knows whats about to happen – its really strange – its almost like he’s trying to tell me its okay – he’s ready to go now – I’m so sad about this but there’s no other option –

  509. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Anna,

    I understand how heartbreaking it is to put your cat to sleep…but as hard as it is for you, you have to remember that his life isn’t good anymore. He needs to let go of this world, to move on. He’s ready to leave — his poor kitty cat body has had enough.

    You’re giving him one last final act of love, by putting him to sleep. It hurts so much, you’ll feel like your heart is breaking, and you’ll cry for a long time…but eventually you’ll remember him with love and happy memories. You’ll feel alot less heartache, and alot more love and happiness.

    I hope everything goes well when you say your final good-byes…and I welcome you to come back and let me know how it went.

    And — remember Al will be so much happier where he’s going! He’ll be watching you and his last earthly home with love and fondness.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  510. Anna says:

    I forgot to mention his kidneys are shutting down, all he is is skin and bones with a water belly.

  511. Anna says:

    I have to put my 16 year old cat Alex down possibly later today if I can get an appointment with my vet. He was diagnosed with a mouth tumor about a year and a half ago which is very big right now. The doctors cannot remove it as it is a part of his tongue. I love Al so much and this is going to be so hard for me but I know I have to do this – he has no quality of life left all he does is sleep, drink, eat and stare at the ground. He’s started to bleed from his mouth and although he uses the litter box sometimes, its almost a full time job cleaning up after him, he pees on my couch, he goes number 2 I just can’t have him living like this – I want him to die with a little dignity – I feel like I owe him that – Ohhhh, I really don’t want to do this!!!

  512. Alizabeth says:

    I’m trying to decide if its time to say good bye to my little girl, a 12 year old Standar Schnauzer Mix, Scruffy. She still has a bottomless tummy, :) but she dosent realy play anymore. She mainly sleeps, I expected this, she is getting older. However she just dosent seem to have even a glimmer of the spark she once had.

    She messes in the house offten. Half the time she cant seem to make it to the door, and the rest of the time see seems to be just as surprised at her mess as I am. Almost like she dosent realize she is doing it untill its to late. Tonight she went to lay on the couch, but then pottyed.
    She shivers alot, even when its warm in the house. She has trouble going up and down the stairs to the yard. If she goes out at night we have to go outside with her or she gets lost.
    She dosent seem to hear very well, she dosent respond to my husband or myself much; and her eye sight seems to be going, if she dose hear soemthing she dosent seem to know where its comming from.
    The messes my husband and I can handle, she is our baby after all. We have already decided to tear out the carpet and put in flooring so all we have to do is mop if she has an accedent. But are we doing this for us or for her? Is she trying to tell me its time to let her go? I just cant decide, I dont want to decide. But I know I have too.
    Writing this, part of me feels I know the answer, but the other part screams that maybe I’m wrong. I wont beable to take it back. Her and I have been through alot of hard years together, but she was always there for me. To site in my lap and just love me….
    Another thing I worrie about is Deisle, our 7year old Sheperd Mix, how will tis effect him, if we say good bye to our little girl? She is his only friend.

  513. Laurie PK says:

    Dear Robert,

    I’m so sorry you had to put your dog to sleep…that’s such a difficult thing to live through.

    You may feel like you acted too hastily because you miss her and love her so much! But, if the vet — your dog’s DOCTOR — advised putting her down, then I think you can rest assured you did the right thing.

    And, since she wasn’t eating or drinking, her quality of life would not be good. Prologing her life would just prolong her suffering. You don’t want her to suffer…but you do wish she was here with you.

    I think your grief that you lost Maggie is complicated by guilt that you may have let her go too early. I’ve written two articles on dealing with guilt after you put your pet to sleep; here’s the link to one of them:

    4 Ways to Deal With Guilty Feelings After Your Pet Dies

    The pain in your heart WILL go away…but it takes time to heal. It may never go away completely; I know I still mourn the loss of my past, passed pets! But, hearts heal and fond memories remain…and we learn to live with the love we had and lost.

    Let yourself grieve and mourn your pet loss. You could do that by writing down all your memories of Maggie, pulling together a small photo album, or setting up a small “place of memory” in your yard or home (where she slept, perhaps). It’s important to grieve your pain for a little while.

    Then, eventually, you’ll feel better! Your heart will feel lighter, and you may even start thinking about getting a new companion.

    I hope this helps a little, and encourage you to read the articles about dealing with guilt.

    In sympathy,
    Laurie

  514. Robert says:

    I put my cocker spaniel to sleep this week. This was a very hard decision I had to make. For the last 3 weeks I had to feed my dog Maggie soft food. She had dificulty swallowing, she was diagnosed with cancer in the salivary gland and possibly in the lungs. She did not seem to be in pain; she just could not eat or drink.I was feeding her very small chunks of soft meat by hand. On that dreadful day that I put her to sleep, she was breathing heavily. My vet advised me that it was time to let her go. I do not know if I acted too hastily. Can you help me with the pain I have in my heart?

  515. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Amanda,

    Thank you for writing in about Inka…I’m very sorry for your loss. Saying good-bye to a beloved pet is one of the most difficult things we’ll ever do, I think.

    My condolences,
    Laurie

  516. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    That IS amazing that your English Lab tells you when your older Lab mix has to go out! Animals are just incredible, I love them so much. If I wasn’t a writer, I’d be a vet :-)

    Have you asked — and answered — the vet’s questions above? That is, if she’s not suffering and if she’s still enjoying her life, then it might be too early to put her down.

    That said, I think I’m with you on this one: if her only problem is that she can’t hold her poop and her legs are old and tired, then I’d hesitate to put her down. She sounds healthy, just elderly…

    I suggest calling your vet and perhaps even taking your Lab mix in for a physical. And, ask what you can do about the bathroom breaks — it might help to take her out to go number two even when she doesn’t have to.

    I hope this helps, and I hope you and your dogs (and fiance!) have several more happy, healthy years together.

    Laurie

  517. amanda bonner says:

    my beutiful girl inka out german shepherd dog, a loyal sensitive and the most gradhious and caring dog you could ever meet, was put to sleep yesterday, she had been going down hill for a few months as she was just comming up to her 13th birthday, but the last 3 days were so uncomftable for her, he leggs were tripping themselves over as she was a very large german shepherd she would fall harder than was fair to her, she jutst would look at me with her eyes as if to say mum it hurts but i was selfish and hoped the next few hours she would improove but yesterday she was moaning with a loud but deep grumble each time she mooved, the guilt and phisicle and mental pain that im suffering over this less than 24 hours after her passing is tairing me appart, she trusted me unjugmentaly and i feel i have let her down and she should still be here at my side as she had been since 7 weeks old, your post is inspiring, but the pain for myself and girls (teenagers) who all grew up with inka as a sister, mum, freind, matriach, and loyal loyal soulmate, is so raw and painfull i can not compriehend life without her right now, but one thing may help somwhat is she will come back end of the week as were having her cremated and her ashes will come home,(witch are going with me when i leave this world one day) but above and beyond everything she has marked our herts with love and humanity if that makes sence, she will live onn within our herts and souls, R.I.P M y darling girl.

  518. Jennifer says:

    I have a 14 year old lab/beagle/terrier mix. She still can get up the stairs into the house. She still eats, still let me know when she needs to go out, she still plays. The problem is that her legs are getting shakey and weak. When she needs to the bathroom she does let us know she has to go outside about 75% of the time. The other 25% of the time is our 2 year old English Lab who tells us when the 14 year old needs to go out. It’s amazing. Anyway, when she goes out to have a bowel movement, she starts pooping as she walking down the stairs or in the walkway. I don’t think she realizes she’s doing this and she doesn’t seem to be able to control it. My fiance keeps telling me to put her down. I don’t want her to suffer. But I’m not sure I should just because she’s old. The way I look at it is, I wouldn’t put my mother in a nursing home just because she has arthritis or can’t control her bladder. I’d greatly appreciate any thoughts. I hate to see her suffer, but would hate to put her down if she’s still functional.

  519. Luvmylab says:

    Hi Laurie,,thanks so much for the sound advice.
    At this point I cant lift her without hurting her.. I am trying to find someone that will come to the house.

  520. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Luvmylab,

    I’m sorry that Angus is doing so poorly right now. There’s no doubt that she doesn’t want to leave you — she loves you very much, and she’s loyal ’til the end.

    Whether she wants to leave you or not is secondary to the quality of life she’s having now. I can’t tell you if you should put your dog to sleep, but I think you might want to take her to the vet, or at least talk to the vet.

    If Angus is suffering, not eating, unable to move well by herself….then it might be time to let go. If she’s not enjoying her life, it’s difficult to justify prolonging her life. Letting her go might be the final, most loving thing you could do for her.

    I’m so sorry for you and her. It’s one of the most difficult things in the world, to say good-bye to our beloved animal.

    Please talk to the vet, and let me know how it goes. Maybe there’s something Angus can take to make her feel better? It might be worth checking into.

    Laurie

  521. Luvmylab says:

    Hi there
    I have a black lag named Angus…she is about 12 years old…was recently diagones with acute leukemia…this waas about 2 months ago…

    She now refuses to eat or drink…..ANYTHING. She wont go outside (she really cant anyways…too weak)
    I made chicken and rice, beef and noddles, hot dogs, and even tried cheese and turkey…she wont eat or drink anything now… its been 3 days…she is very weak, restless, and sometimes when I am with her fixing her a new bed, she will do her best to get to her feet and she will come and stand beside me…
    I dont know what she is trying to tell me….
    I keep her in her area of about 8 x 10 and have a gate so she cant wander and hurt herself by falling down the basement, or hide under the bed…
    I go home from work, make sure she is okay, get a clean bed for her, clean her up (she pees a tad), and try to get her on the bed the best I can with minimal movement. then I lay down on the floor next to her and hug her and stoke her head and chest….I take quietly to her,she takes her paw and wraps them around my arm that is hugging her….
    I try to stay with her until she is sleeping comfortable again…however there are times when I get up,, she will struggle to her feet and stand beside me….she just stands there…
    sometimes she will nip at me when I try to move her, not sure if she is in pain…
    She seems very restless at times, seems like she is stuggeling to get comfortable.
    I dont know if she is in pain….has anyone had there dying dog do this to them…just stand beside them….????
    At times i think I should have her put down..them at times it seems like she doesnt want to leave me…..My heart is very heavy…..HELP!

  522. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Brandy,

    I think you’ll know when it’s time to put her down…you’ll see that she’s not eating, or is sleeping too much, or seems depressed or listless. It’s good that you’re thinking about whether you’re being selfish by keeping her with you! That shows that you’re a loving pet owner, and that you want what’s best for her.

    How is she now?

    And, Kim, welcome to Quips & Tips! I’m sorry that your pugs’ health is deteriorating. You ARE mourning an era of your life by saying good-bye to Jake and Elwood. They’ve been with you a long time, and have been very happy with you. Let me know how it goes with them…it’s such a hard decision, to put your dogs to sleep and say good-bye.

    Best wishes to both of you…you’re not alone!

    Laurie

  523. Kim says:

    I have two 12 year old pugs with diabetes who I’ve been treating with insulin shots for almost two years. Their health has been deteroraiting. One is blind, the other almost blind. Their skin has become full of sores, some infected, and no matter what we treat them with they cannot seem to heal fast enough. I had my first baby 3 months ago, and I feel the dogs, are creating unsanitary conditions in our house. Especially because one of the dogs eats its own poop – I cannot even imagine him licking my baby. On occassion they drink excessive amounts of water and urinate all over themselves in their bed. They’re constantly itching their sores, making them seem miserable. They’re from the same litter with equally diminshed quality of life. They just don’t get the attention they once did because the demands of caring for a newborn. It’s breaking my heart to have to make the call to have to put them down. I’ve never had to do that before with a dog, as mine all died naturally. I’ve been through so much with these two dogs, Jake and Elwood – the Blues Brothers, I feel I’m mourning an era of my life.

  524. brandymac says:

    my dog is getting bad a gain they gave her prednizone and aint working she looks a little better…. i dont wanna be selfish i think i will know when its time. don’t yall????I knda wanna wait and c she fooled me b4. hope i can tell and want let her suffer. Brandy

  525. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Lily,

    I’m sorry to hear about your dog. My friend was in the exact same position with the “presents” all over the house and a baby who was crawling around. Her dog was was half blind and but not suffering too much…it was a very difficult decision, but my friend did decide to put her down.

    I think you need to follow your gut, which is telling you it’s time to let your dog go. It’s not healthy or safe to have dog presents around, and you’ll soon be consumed with a brand new baby! I understand your veterinarian’s reluctance — my local vet is VERY pro-life and people have to practically beg him to put their animals to sleep — but you need to put your own needs first.

    Remember the vet’s advice in the above article: veterinarians only see a snapshot of the pet’s life, so they can’t make the same informed decision you can. You know your dog’s life, you know your own lifestyle, and you’ll know in your heart when it’s time to put your dog to sleep.

    This doesn’t mean it won’t hurt awful bad…it’ll still be heartbreaking to say good-bye. Even when you know it’s the right thing to do, it’s still a sad, difficult decision.

    I hope this helps a little, and that you find the courage you need to do what you think is right for your family and your dog.

    Take care — and let me know how it goes.

    Laurie

  526. Lily says:

    I think I may have to have my dog put to sleep. She is 9 and has been suffering from arthritus for a few years now, she has been on constant medication since I adopted her two years ago and is much healther than she was when I collected her from the kennels, however she has started to leave no.2’s in the house regularly due to the arthritus along her spine apparently. I am now expecting my first child and do not feel I can cope with the presents she leaves around the house any longer. I feel terrible at the thought of having to consider this option but due to the fact she is in pain from the arthritus, has numerous lumps over her body (vet has checked these but they do not look pretty) and that she has developed some form of incontinence I do not think that she should go back to a animal rescue center, she has suffered enough. My vet is reluctant to consider the option of putting her down, but financially I cannot afford to keep trying different medications and ideas that the vet suggests, I feel that there is a time when you really have to start to think about how all these things are affecting the animal on the inside and consider the option that in the long run is going to cause the least pain. I need to find the courage and belief that I am doing the right thing.

  527. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Nancy,

    I’m sorry that you had to put your dog to sleep…it’s hard, isn’t it? Especially after 15 years.

    I’m glad your vet was so good about it. I don’t know why your dog went so quickly, but I’d take it as a sign that you did the right thing. I don’t think the sedative would be too strong; after 18 years, your vet probably knows how much to administer.

    Maybe your dog — and his heart — was simply ready to go. It was time. I’m glad he went peacefully.

    I hope you’re doing well, and aren’t finding it too lonely at home now. Homes sure do change after pet loss.

    Best wishes,
    Laurie

  528. Nancy says:

    I had to put or 15 yr. old lab to sleep yesterday. The Vet was wonderful and thoroughly explained everything to me about the process. The first step being the injection of a sedative and then the 2nd one being the actual euthenasia shot to stop the heart.
    However, it ended up that our dog quickly went after the first sedative shot was given. The vet said he had never seen this happen in his 18 yrs. of practice. Is this because his heart was so sick that is all it took to stop it or that the sedative was to strong? He went peacefully but I was surprised at how it happened.

  529. brandymac says:

    well i didnt give up and she lookks better i still havent took my beautiful girl to vet but she’s much much better i think it was her back as soon as possible i will take her. i love her so much. but this did make me c she want be here forever…. i feel terrible i couldnt take her to vet cuz i wouldnt let my children hurt but the er has to see them not girl. thank u all for your thoughts and prayers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!OXOXOXO

  530. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    I’m sorry you’re going through this, Brandymac. I don’t know what to say, other than my thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Such a difficult decision, especially when you don’t have the means to pay for vet health care. My heart goes out to you.

  531. brandymac says:

    I DIDNT EVEN HAVE THE OFFICE VISIT LET ALONE ANY OTHER THING THEY WANTED TO DO. I SCRAPED UP THE MONEY FOR FRONT LINE A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO. I AM NOT SURE ANY ONE KNOWS HOW IT FEELS TO GO FROM 22 AN HOUR TO 300 A WEEK WITH 3 KIDS. MY HUSBAND IS DEPRESSED HE DOES CONSRTUCTION AND WE LIVE IN TENNESEE NOT MUCH GOING ON FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION IN COMMERIAL HOPE IT PICKS UP VERY SOON CAUSE WE FEEL HELPLESS FOR OUR BELOVED DOG. I HOPE THE MONEY FROM THE RING IS ENOUGH.

  532. brandymac says:

    thank you… i kinda knew thaT I HAD 2 TAKE HER 2 VET AND I KNEW I CUOLD NOT JUST PUT HER TO SLEEP WITHOUT CHECKIN BUT THE EXTRA EXPENSE IS REALLY HARD RIGHT NOW I AM UPSET THAT THE LAST THING MY HUSBAND HAS OF HIS MOM IS NOW PAWNED. WHO DOES THAT?? BUT WE LOVE HER DEARLY! my husband had to pawn his mom’s ring his mom died whan he was 7 YRS, OLD to pay to take her to vet first thing monday i will let u know how it goes.

  533. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Brandymac,

    I’m so sorry about your situation — and about Little Girl. Seeing your beloved dog in pain is so difficult, especially when you can’t afford to pay for treatment. And, treatments may help your dog in the short-term, but perhaps not for long.

    In the article above, the vet says that one of the ways to decide if you should put your dog to sleep is if she’s in pain…and it sounds like Little Girl is.

    Perhaps if you take her to the vet, he or she won’t want to run expensive tests. It is possible that the vet can help you decide what to do without expensive diagnostics….but I know that even a vet visit can cost a fair amount of money.

    I’m sorry — I wish I could help. I suggest you take Little Girl to the vet, explain your financial problems, and see what he or she says. Maybe there’s a payment plan or something, which won’t require you to pay alot of money right now — but still get health care for your dog.

    Best wishes, let me know how it goes,
    Laurie

  534. brandymac says:

    oh i did say reasurance not insurance… i am so upset!!!!!!!! :(

  535. brandymac says:

    I have a 12 year old cogi named Little girl has been fir a couple years of looking like she has artheritis but just thursday it’s saturday she starting waliking funny and falling and yelping when she moves she is eating and drinking but the pain is terrible i can c her pain in her beauitful face.I wanna take her to vet and run every test she needs but my husband is laid off and if i pay more than a little i cant pay my morgage I have 3 boys who adore her…..how do i put her to sleep without trying harder?????? i dont want her to be this misrible….any advice—–I wish a vet could tell me there advice without wanting to do 300 hundred buck worth of tests i need reasurance.

  536. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Cheryll,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with Rocky. What a beautiful, heartbreaking story — I’m so sorry you had to put him to sleep. Your vet clinic sounds very caring and compassionate.

    I know your story will help other people who are struggling with the decision to put their dog or cat to sleep. It’s sad. As pet owners, we very often struggle with guilt over our decision — but we have to remember that letting go and saying good-bye for good is often the best decision we can make for our beloved dog or cat.

    When I think of pet loss, I’m always reminded of the phrase “with deep love comes deep pain.”

    Take care, and my heart goes out to you,

    Laurie

  537. Cheryll says:

    I hope this helps anyone that is wondering if they should put their pet to sleep or not.

    Rocky was my faithful friend for almost 12 years. My husband & I live out in the country and he was a dump dog. A little black puppy left out in the cold on a February day by our mailbox. He stayed and played and was very well welcomed.

    This January he was diagnosed with diabetes. Yes, I gladly gave him the shots he needed twice a day, but the diabetes eventually took his eyesight away and he went blind. He became afraid of roaming and stayed under the bushes in the yard till I came home. He wouldn’t even go look for the water dish because he was afraid he would get lost. Me too. I tried putting the water bowl by the bushes but he wouldn’t use.

    Not being used to blindness he would whole heartedly run into my car, the trees and everything else, causing a small bare spot on his nose and a “yelp” from him. He ended up just standing in the yard waiting for my voice to tell him it was OK to come to me. I knew he wouldn’t make it through the winter so I thought for his best he should go to sleep before he got ran over, possibly paralyzed and in a lot of pain or worse.

    I made the appointment, cried, paid the day ahead of time, cried. Two hours before I was to take Rocky to the vet we drove around together. I talked to him, he didn’t speak much but seemed to love it. He hung his head out the window and took in all the smells he could. I cried.

    He was the very last appointment of the day. Rocky was nervous. He always was when we went to the vet. We put him on the table. The vet was very helpful, she told me what was going to happen. Rocky was going to get a shot, and it would be like having an overdose of anestesia and he would go into a deep sleep,
    then everything would slowly shut down and he would pass away. She gave him a little tranquilizer to calm him. We talked to him, told him he was a good boy, massaged him, tried to make him feel not so nervous. He did calm down.

    I asked the vet’s helper if she ever had to do this. She said, ” both of my dogs”. We cried together. They shaved one of his legs. The vet gave him the shot, he immediately went into a deep sleep. The vet monitered his heart with a stethoscope. I petted him, cried and told him how much I loved him. His fur was so soft and warm.

    After a few minutes, I think it was five but seemed like forever, the vet softly told me “he’s gone”. The vet carried him out to my car. Her helper & I cried. I thanked them for their kindness. My husband dug Rocky’s grave that evening. He cried.

    The guilt I feel for doing this to my friend & companion still haunts me and I see his grave everyday, in our yard.

    I hope the guilt goes away. I received a very nice card from the vet clinic yesterday. Everyone signed it. I cried.

    The crying goes on and I miss Rocky very much but I do not regret putting Rocky to sleep. His future would have been very scary. For him and for me. I highly recommend being there with your loved one when they go to sleep. You know they would be there for you.

    I want to thank everyone at the Vet Clinic. The kindness and thoughtfullness they showed me was overwhelming.

    If you are confused or wondering if you need to put your pet to sleep keep searching and reading. Someone will have the right answer for you.

    God Bless

  538. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Mary Kay,

    I’m sorry to hear about your cats….it’s such a hard decision to make.

    Though I can’t tell you if it’s best to put them down, I do see that their quality of life isn’t as good as it once was. It doesn’t seem like they’re happy more often than not, or that they’re enjoying their lives.

    And of course, you have to put your grandchildren’s safety and well-being at the top of the list! It’s important that they don’t suffer harm from animals when they’re young, because that could make them afraid of dogs and cats.

    As you said, it may be time to let them go. This will be the last act of love, kindness, and compassion you give them, to just let them drift off to their next world. And, you may even be there as they fall asleep, to send them off…

    I wish you all the best with your cats. May it be a peaceful, calm ending — whether it’s now, or in a few months’ time.

    If you’d like to let me know how it goes or what you decide, I’m here for you! As well, it might help other readers to see what you decided and how you feel.

    Best wishes,
    Laurie

  539. Mary Kay Moser says:

    I have two male cats, 14 & 15 years old. They both are slightly incontinent and very rarely use the litter box even though I clean it out every day. Sam is blind in one eye and was rescued from a drug house and still has flashbacks from drugs he was given. They are getting grouchy and sometimes will bite or try to scratch anyone within reach. I have three small grandchildren who visit quite frequently and I am afraid one of them will be bitten/scratched. I love the cats but I feel its time. Any comments??

  540. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Vicki,

    I’m sorry to hear about Roxy — that’s very sad. I encourage you to read Dr Potts’ responses to the other dog lovers who are faced with the same decision…sometimes it’s just time to let go. It’s the hardest thing ever, but it may be the right thing.

    And, I encourage you not to think of it as “assassination”! Putting your dog to sleep isn’t cruel or violent. In fact, letting her go may be the last and most loving act you do for Roxy. She’s old, tired, and not living the same happy life she’s had for 16 years.

    Sometimes we hold on to our pets for longer than we should, for our own reasons….not what’s best for our pets.

    I also suggest taking her to a new vet, regardless of your bond with him or her, and asking about doggy dementia (yes, their brains can definitely be affected by old age and disease!).

    And remember that a good, long age span of a Yorkie is 10-15 years. She’s outlived most of her peers!

    I wish you all the best as you make this decision.

    Laurie

  541. Vicki Drillick says:

    I have a 16 year old yorkie, Roxy.
    The problems that she had over the years are exasperated due to her old age. She has a collapsed trachia, degenerative disk disease, chronic kidney problems, 100% incontinent and she is losing her vision and hearing. Last night, she had a hard time catching her breath and she tried to get up but fell on her back and could not turn over. She was distressed. My husband picked her up and she fell down. He carried her to the living room to get water and she sneezed about 40 times and was shaking her head. My husband stayed up and watched her until she fell asleep. She slept most of the day but seems okay now. She is walking better but there are times she walks so slow and almost looks likes she is limping with her head bobbling up and down (that’s new). She often walks around the house like she is confused. When I put her in the grass, she will sometimes go, but she often looks up at the sky dazed. I wonder if she has doggie dementia? The question is that I do not know if she is suffering and if she is not, and is just old, I don’t want to assasinate her and have to live with that. She eats more on some days than others, today, not so much. My vet of 12 years is no longer practicing and I have used the same animal hospital, but different doctors so I have not bonded with a new vet since my old vet left. I don’t know who to talk to about this and I certainly don’t want Roxy to suffer and I know her problems will only get worse but I don’t want to put her down before her time is up. What do you suggest?

  542. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    I’m sorry about your dog, Georgette. It’s so sad — deciding to put your dog to sleep is such a hard decision.

    But, he might be in more pain alive than if he could pass over into his next life…he’ll just fall asleep and stay sleeping.

    I wish you all the best,
    Laurie

  543. Dr. Loretta Potts says:

    Georgette,

    I am so sorry for the what has happened to your precious Austin. I know how difficult this can be and I would like to help you through this very tough situation.

    The thing I want you to think about is the quality of life that Austin has now. He is in pain and obviously not happy. It is not fair to him if there is nothing else that can be done for him, to have him suffer. He is your best friend and I know how much you love him. If he has lost that luster in his eyes and his zest for life that you have seen for many years, his quality of life is not good.

    Be kind to your old friend and do the right thing for him. The euthanasia process is very humane. We give a tranquilizer and then an injection that literally puts him to sleep. There is no pain and this is the kindest thing you can do for Austin.

    I just want you to think about these things I have said. This is your decision and I cannot make this decision for you. Only you can decide when the time is right. I know you love Austin very much and I know you will do the best for your old friend!!

    If you have any other questions, I can be reached through justanswer.com and ask for Dr. Loretta.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and your precious Austin!!!

  544. Georgette Ohala says:

    I need help. I have had my dog austin(full blooded syberian husky) for severall years now, he is almost 9years old. He use to be full of life and have a healthy appetite. Well he gets bad ear infections and we have treated him for them at least 3 times now. Well he has another ear infection and it is really bad. No matter how many times we take him to the vet and give him meds they keep comming back and he is in a lot of pain. Now he will not eat it takes him 2 weeks to finish one bowl of dog food, and he does not like to go outside anymore and also he can not hold his bowels anymore. I am considering putting him to sleep just dont know if it is the right decision. I am afraid it will hurt him. I dont want him to suffer more then he already is.

  545. Dr. Loretta Potts says:

    I understand how difficult this can be for you and your family. This guy has been your best friend for many years. He has stumbled onto hard times and I know this breaks your heart.

    I want you to consider a couple things. One is that your old friend needs and deserves a good quality of life. It appears to me that he does not have this. He may eat and drink but he has lost that luster in his face that you know so well. The other thing to consider is the safety of your family. It sounds as if he is putting your little ones in danger through no fault of his own. It would be terrible for you if one of your children were inadvertently hurt.

    I cannot make this horrible decision for you but you have to take your family’s interest first and their safety. Also, you have to think of your old friends well being first. Because of his blindness, he may hurt himself. He is now just existing and, unless you can still feel that happy glimmer in his face, his quality of life has diminished to a point that the best thing for all concerned is to alleviate his suffering.

    Again, this is your decision and I know, after careful consideration, you will do the best thing for your old friend.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and your old friend!!

    Dr Loretta Potts
    JustAnswer Pet Care Veterinarian

  546. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Jen,

    I’m sorry about your dog — what a tough decision to make!

    Honestly, I’d put the health and wellness of my kids above the dog. I feel bad because I LOVE animals and still mourn my dog’s death from over 20 years ago, but…if your dog is peeing and defecating in the house, then I think he might be better off elsewhere — especially since you have small kids! I don’t know if they can get diseases from the stuff that comes out of dogs, but it can’t be good. And you can’t always be there to clean it up before the kids stumble onto it.

    It’d be awfully hard to find him a new home; not many people would take a pet who comes with potty problems! I’d call the vet and the nearest animal shelter, and ask if they have any suggestions for a new home…or if they recommend putting your dog to sleep.

    I know how guilty you must feel. This is a hard, heart-breaking decision. But, sometimes you have to put other priorities or needs above your pet’s….and it seems like this is one of those times.

    I wish you all the best. Also — I’ve sent a message to Dr Haynes (the vet who shared her experience of putting her dog to sleep above). She might have some other words of wisdom for you, since she’s a vet with personal experience with pet euthanasia.

    Take care,
    Laurie

  547. Jen says:

    I have a 5 year old bull dog who no longer gets up when I come into the house. He can’t navigate my new landscaping ( he has glocoma and has had 2 eye surgeries) and so, he’s peeing on my couches and going # 2 all over my kitchen. I have two small children and he has stepped on the baby several times because he hasn’t seen her. He also runs into walls and has taken some bad falls outside because he can’t seen where he is going. I’m so torn. Do you think it’s time to put him to sleep?
    On the flip side, he does eat and drink and sometimes will still play outside ( as long as I’m there to give him commands) Please give me some thoughts! I don’t know what to do!

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