DogsCatsFish & AquariumsReptiles & AmphibiansRodentsRabbitsExotic PetsBirdsFarm Animals as Pets

When to put a dog to sleep

Updated on February 05, 2016

A dog owner's toughest decision revealed

Working at a veterinarian hospital, I inevitably received those dreadful phone calls from owners asking if it was time to put their beloved dog to sleep. Unfortunately, I was never able to give them that straight heart-aching, black or white answer they were ultimately craving for. As I listened to them compassionately, in the midst of their sobbing for help, I always faithfully stuck to my personal opinion that as owners, it was their ultimate choice since they knew their dog best, having lived and rejoiced with him or her for so many years. I always advised the "It's all about quality of life" philosophy and suggested them to rationally check if their dog had more bad days than good.

These were those compassionate owners truly concerned about their dog's over all wellbeing. They were trying their best to cope with the idea that their dog's life was coming shortly to an end and were gathering their emotional forces to be prepared for their final day.

These were clients dealing with their pet's chronic diseases for years and willing to do all that could have been possibly done to help their pet manage sickness as comfortably as possible. When their dog's days were getting close to an end, as veterinary staff, we suffered as well, since we have seen these dogs for many years and grew emotionally attached to them. We found ourselves in tears many times, hugging the owners as the pain and sorrow seemed to seep deep into the animal clinic...

Vet explains when to put pet to sleep

When to Put Dog to Sleep?

As dog owners, we all would love if our dogs could live much longer lives. For some occult reason, when dogs turn geriatric, it just feels as if their lives have come to an end too soon, and way too too abruptly. The years spent together seem to have passed much too quickly and in such a merciless manner, that it just seems yesterday when they were prancing around in their early puppy-hood stage...

We all as well would wish our dogs would pass peacefully in their sleep as they put their head down on their favorite pillow for the last time. Unfortunately, many pets suffer as they age, either being crippled by arthritis or even worse, debilitating diseases such as cancer. As we work our best on relieving most of the pain through the miracles of modern medicine, there comes a specific moment where we can clearly see our pet's bodies turn frail and eventually give up.

If dogs could talk, the process of putting a pet to sleep would be much easier, but since dog's have been spared the gift of voice, we must read into more subtle signs depicting physical deterioration. Here comes into place my personal advice of ''owners only knowing their pets best.''

Only owners are ultimately capable of knowing how their dog copes with physical pain and how they respond to everyday life. It is in my belief, that at a certain point, the dog itself will express it is time to go. There is just that something in their behavior, (that perhaps only owners may perceive) that will suggest they are ready for the Rainbow bridge. It could either be a look in their eyes, an expression on their face or the simple lack of a tail wagging.

However, regardless of personal opinion on when to put a dog to sleep, I must admit that as a veterinary assistant, I have seen some cases where the euthanasia procedure seemed to be done at a too premature stage or at a too advanced stage.

I have seen owners go for the procedure right upon diagnosis of cancer or kidney failure. In these cases, the dogs may still have had a few good weeks or even probably months. Yet, owners may have not been able to afford the financial burden that comes along these diseases or may have not been able to withstand viewing the physical deterioration of their best friend. Some perhaps simply wished to spare their dog from any suffering at all...

In other cases, the dog seemed to have gone way over the stage of "admissible deterioration", in an unnecessary spiral of mental and physical pain. In these cases, I know the owners very likely were unable to "let go" and tried their hardest to hold on to their pet as long as they possibly could until their dog was only a lifeless shadow.

The way in between is in my opinion, "the golden way to go". If you are debating over whether it is time to put your dog to sleep remember to cherish every day and every moment with your dog, because those very last days will always be in your heart.

When your dog's time comes, he or she will let you know it is time to cross the Rainbow Bridge in a leap of faith. Dogs unlike humans do not fear death because they live in the moment. Do not worry for your dog, he /she will be in a better place and best of all, will be eternally pain free.

Very likely, if you stay for the euthanesia procedure, you may see your dog look into your eyes for a last time almost to say: "Thank you owner for loving me so much" then she will take a deep breath and peacefully drift into better life, looking over you for many years to come..

What Happens When a Pet Dies

The Rainbow Bridge Poem

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

Was it easy for you to determine when your pet was ready to put to sleep?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Having just had to make this decision (Sunday), and personally raised the vein to allow the euthanasia, I know how hard this is, but knew it was the right decision to make for our beloved greyhound Lady.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 8 years ago from USA

      So sorry to hear that Misty. I hope we really will get to see our beloved pets again in an afterlife. My most sincere condolences.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thank you alexadry. I have dedicated a hub to my experience of losing 'Lady' and what a great dog she was. If you get the chance I hope you will read it. The link is:

      I too believe they go to an afterlife, and we shall be reunited with them there. :)

    • 8 years ago

      thank you so much alexadry. it is sunday nov 16 ' 08 and i am strugggling with this decision

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 8 years ago from USA

      Whichever decision you make,, I wish the best for both of you, kind regards,

    • Janet D./Butch 10 8 years ago

      Thanks for the comments. I am dealing with the decision to have Butch put to sleep. He is suffering with an enlarged gland in his neck and is 15 years old. The vet suggested surgery to remove it but also said at the same time he could die in surgery because it is close to main veins in his neck. We oppted not to do surgery and put him on medicine instead. It seemed to work for about 2 weeks. Then he started throeing ueverything he ate all the time. Took him back to the vet and he put him on some different meds.,but the same thing has happened again. Now he has lost a lot of weight and you can see his ribs and backbones, plus his stomache keeps making loud popping noises. I am so distrought as to what to do for him and our family's opinions and different friends tell me i am being crule. Any comments would be appreciated.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 8 years ago from USA

      I know this is a very hard decision... what can I say? You really know your dog best, does he still show any care for life? Like is he still wagging his tail and walking around ok? How is his appetite? What did the vet say? I am sorry but I really cannot make this tough decision for you. All I can say is that you may try your best and see if he sends you any clues that he is ready. If he seems to be in lots of pain, is deteriorating and really nothing seems to help, then I guess freeing him from the pain may be the best option.  If done at the right time there is no cruelty, it is an unselfish act of love. I will give you a link that may help;

      My best wishes for what ever choice you make.

    • jamila 7 years ago

      I put my baby Papaya to sleep Jan 14 09. She was at the end stage of breast cancer her lung s were filling with fluid. Shes had 2 surgeries to remove tumors and chemo and threw all that she was fine. The Chemo slowed down the rate of speed of the cancer, but not the cancer itself. Finally I had to make the devestating decision to put her to sleep and I held her threw it all. Papaya was 12yrs old and I gave her all the love I had in my heart. But the look in her eyes said she was tired and I painfully dreaded the day that was to come. I pray to GOD everynight that I did the right decision because I've never killed anything in my life. If you make the choice remember to love them more, feed them all the good food and pray with them to hope that one day you'll be reunited with them. Papaya lives forever in my heart and a team of amazing people took good care of her. My house is quiet, I have two other dogs and they know something is different. I shed a tear everyday for my beloved Papaya and know in my heart if there is a GOD he loves are Doggies and Cats to......She is in a place where pain is no more.......

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 7 years ago from USA

      Very sorry you had to go through all that. 12 years old is a very good age for a dog with cancer or not. You did a LOT. Having worked at a vet hospital, I can tell you that many owners would have given up earlier because of the costs involved in providing care for pets with cancer. You DID NOT kill your pet, you let her go in a pain free and unselfish matter. She did give you signs of getting tired of her aching body and as a sensitive owner, you were able to read the cues. I am sure Papaya is watching you from the above with loving eyes and thanking you for providing her with a great life.

      My best wishes.

    • Amanda 7 years ago

      I had to go through putting my dauschand Doby under it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. He was only 6 years old but he had broken his back and he only had three legs when it happened. I took one look at him though and knew it was the right thing to do. I had to call my mom who was in Oregon at the time to tell her I had to put her dog asleep she loved that dog more than anything pretty much but she knew it was the right time and she didn't want her dog in pain it had to be one of the hardest decisions of my life

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 7 years ago from USA

      Sorry to hear about Doby. I am sure he had a great life with you and your mom. It looks like he was ready to go. You gave him freedom from pain and from being crippled, which is the most compassionate and unselfish thing an owner can do. Yet the decision is always so hard. My deepest condolences.

    • Ashley Joy profile image

      Ashley Joy 7 years ago

      I had to put my best friend to sleep in Jan when bone cancer was discovered in her leg. It had already begun to travel in her body and I was told that getting it all with treatment would be next to impossible. Driving to the office that day was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but I know that she did not have to suffer the pain from her cancer any longer.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 7 years ago from USA

      Bone cancer is a mean disease, with a very pooor prognosis. It never gets better, only worse. Euthanesia may be the hardest thing to do but it ultimately is also the kindest especially when pain becomes a daily companion.

    • Jeanne 7 years ago

      My dog is 16 1/2 and she has been losing so much weight, and her legs don't want to go anymore, the vet said her spine is deteriorating, but her blood and everything came out good, but he put her on meds for two weeks to make her comfortable, then its my decision to put her down, because she is only going to get worse, I feel like I would be a horrible person to put her down, she is my world and it breaks my heart to even thinking about making this decision.....any advice.....

    • Cookie's Dad 7 years ago

      I just made this very hard decision myself last week. It is literally the hardest thing I have ever done, but I feel it was in the best interest of my dog, who was a very proud chihuahua. She was about 21 years old, and I had her for 16 years. While she was mostly blind and deaf, there is no one thing physically that I can point to (no cancer, diabetes, etc.) and say was the reason for my decision, but there were many signs that she was ready to leave this world. Her spirit was gone. A very social dog when younger, she had no interest in petting or people or other dogs anymore, would not go for walks anymore, no kisses were given anymore (she was a very generous kisser in her younger years). She stopped using peepads and just went wherever she happened to be. The thing that made the decision the hardest was that she looked physically to be okay - so much so that people would mistake her for the younger dog in comparison to her 8 year old sister. However, I know my dog, and knew that at some point, her body began to outlive her mind and she stopped enjoying any part of this life, and quite possibly had learned to live with ongoing pain in her old bones and joints. So I took the step to preserve the dignity that she had throughout her life, as hard as it was. I think that's what people in this situation need to look at: does my dog want to live this way, or do I want my dog to continue to live this way for my needs?

      The one thing I have to hold onto from this process is that when I held her as the initial sedative kicked in, but she was still awake, she relaxed in my arms in a way that she hadn't been able to for the last few years, which I believe was a wonderful feeling for both of us.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 7 years ago from USA

      Your experience is very touching and I am sure it will help out many other pet owners out there debating on this tough decision. Thank you for contributing.

    • mouse and cheryl 7 years ago

      this was the weekend we had to put TYCO to sleep,14 years of loyal service and we would not let him go thru this alone.he was always by our sides so he at least deserved not to be alone,I think he was ready,he was old and tired,he tryed his best everyday to be TYCO but he sure slowed down,we struggled for a year with this decision,but he finnaly made up his mind,heart breaking,yes.but its gotta happen,we miss him,

    • Apepperson profile image

      Apepperson 7 years ago from Texas

      This is an unpleasant topic, but one that is important to bring up so many dog owners (and other Pets for that matter) know when it's time to say goodbye. Thanks for sharing good information on this heart tugging topic.

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America

      Re: Your second -to-last paragraph.

      I stayed. She did. She knew I loved her, and I knew she loved me.

      Thank you for sharing your experience and caring words.

    • SafariWoman profile image

      SafariWoman 7 years ago from Hawaii, Florida or Somewhere Inbetween

      My dog is othewise in fairly good health except for the beginning stageof kidney and liver disease. We just adopted or 15 yr old in Nov 08. He began losing balnace and vestibular syndrone was tenatively diagnosed but now he is paralyzed in both front legs. Parethesis (sp?) is what a new vet told us. We are giving him massage and accuppunture but if he doesn't get over this soon I fear we will otherwise have to put him to sleep because we aren't able to keep up with the needs he has and I never get any sleep. We will try this for another week or two but then I fear this difficult decision will come. He is otherwise alert, happy and in no pain. He remains in all other ways the same dog he was the day before this happened to him. Reading your article helps. I am about to read your next article about what happens because we are debating if it should come down to this whether to do it at home or in an office. We rescued him from months of being in a shelter and he doesn't like institutional type locations such as vets. I really need to understand this process better. Our last dog died peacefully in her sleep at age nineteen so I have never been through this before. Thanks for the article.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 7 years ago from USA

      I am so sorry to hear that. Bless your heart for taking so much care of him! It does not sound like your vet came with a clear diagnosis as of yet, right? .I wonder if there may be some issue with the spinal cord, like a nerve being affected from a lesion ( ie possible tumor) or some sort of trauma. Has this been ruled out? Are there ticks in your area? Sometimes ticks cause symptoms of paralysis but they are usually short term. Any racoons in your area? Just wondering...

      Did the vet prescribe any meclizine for the dizziness? did it help? does your dog's condition sound like this?

      Sometimes the above condition is caused by chronic kidney failure. I really hope that something can be found to help him even though he doesn't sound like he is in any pain. But I can imagine the trouble of him not being able to move about. I really hope he could somehow get better, and if worse comes to worse, I can tell he really has a loving caring owner, that will be close to him until the end. My best wishes, and keep me updated if you wish.

    • Dog Bedding USA 7 years ago

      I have a swedish vallhund and he is now 16 years old and you can tell that in the past few years that he has gotten slower and he has lost most of his hair. Its a sad thing but as long as he is of good health he will be will us. I would hate to think if he did develop something and I had to make that decision. It would be heart breaking

    • blue dog profile image

      blue dog 7 years ago from texas hill country

      A dog is a dog, so the saying goes. Yet they come into our lives, entering a place in our souls where few people are allowed. The experience those of you here have gone through must be heart-wrenching. As my 16 y.o. Blue marches toward that curtain call, we both remain active participants in what is surely the greatest dog's life i've known. Thank you, alexadry, for this great piece.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 7 years ago from USA

      And thank you blue dog for the beautiful words. We often forget that dogs live in the moment and do not think of death in the same way we do. They seem to have their own philosophy of life and therefore live life to the fullest. Great examples for all us humans indeed!

    • Honey Girl profile image

      Honey Girl 7 years ago from Heaven

      Whn my dog was dieing, I did not have her put down, even though I knew she was not long for this world. She is the reason I started to write about things we did together threw her eyes. Honey Girl had Stomach Cancer and some kind of Cancer that gave the tumers all over her body. I will tell you other than having to take care of her so long, like cleaning up after her,and the hip displacia, where I had to take her in and out of the house to do her job outside she was a Chocolet Lab, and I will tell you other than the time I spent with her with the cancer and the time she was dieing I would not change a second I spent with her. I am glad I took care of her to the end, granted there are some ligetament reasons to put down they are few and far between, most of the people are trying to take the easy way out because they can not handle the fact there beloved pet is dieing. I say if you loved your pet you would not put it down. My dog died with her eyes closed and a smile on her face with her mouth closed. I have been topd by a pathologest not even people die this peacifully. This is why I choose to name my writeing site after her, because of the great love I had and still have for her, she died a few days before I started to write of our adventures together, and you should be ashamed of you even sugesting to the public to youthenize their pets. If you love them you would take care of them to the very end like I did, but it all adds up to the money factor, you said you work for a vetenarian, this is why you suggested this it keeps you working and food shame on you again. Do the right thing and recant this article, what kind of a murder are you that you would kill off your pet like this, I guess if your parents or Grandparents were terminally ill you would kill them off like this also

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 7 years ago from USA

      Dear Honey girl,

      I really am sorry about what happened to your girl and I admire your willingness to keep her with you to until the end. Not many owners indeed are willing to take care of their pets in the compassionate way you did. If you read my article carefully I do not tell people to ''go and kill their dogs'' I simply help owners figure out if their dogs have given up in life.

      However, it is unfortunate that pets often cannot be given the same medical care as humans. So to answer your question, no of course, I would not kill my grand parents simply because diseases in humans are much more manageable.

      In veterinary care, sometimes owners cannot afford their pet's care which is very sad, but in most euthanesia cases the level of their pets suffering is unacceptable.

      Pets are unable to talk, and I am sure that at times if they were gifted with words, they would ask to be spared from any more suffering.

      I have seen terrible things in my years working at the vet. Dogs suffering in unimaginable ways, moaning, unable to eat, skinny as skeletons, simply shadows of themselves. These dogs have given clear signs of given up, and in these cases the most loving act of humans is to simply let them go...These dogs have died peacefully as well and have left the world among their human owner's embrace.

      Imagining myself in the same scenario, with a terrible sickness where there is no pain relief, I would as well want to be deprived from the pains of this physical word. My aunt had cancer and she repeatedly was asking God to let her die. The day she died was the biggest relief. We all wished though she was spared those last days of suffering as only strong drugs could give her relief and they were becoming less and less effective. There are times where pain is unbearable and no human person would like to see their pet or themselves suffer this way..

      I really thought the same way you did many years ago, but after working for a vet, I changed my mind completely. This was after seeing the ways many pets suffered. However, sometimes I do get very sad, when I see pets that could perhaps have enjoyed another week or two...

      You were fortunate that your pet left this world in such a peaceful way, but this is not the standard. There are also horrible sufferings where the dog appears listless and unwilling to live. These are the cases, where putting a dog to sleep is the most compassionate thing to do even if it ultimately is the toughest choice..

    • Random Person profile image

      Random Person 7 years ago from San Diego, California

      A very nice hub! I can't bare to think of ever putting my little girl down...I love her so much! It's amazing how much your dogs can change your life, for the better!

      - Random

    • Cookie's Dad 7 years ago

      Honey Girl: You make a good point: If my parents or grandparents were terminally ill, in great never-ending pain and discomfort, with no quality of life, and they verbalized to me that they wish to leave this world, I would do everything within my power to grant them that wish and to end their misery. Dogs, obviously, do not have the thought processes or verbalization to relay this to us, so, as dog owners, it is our responsibility to make sure that our best friends never have to suffer and lead a miserable existence. It would be nice if life ended exactly when it should, before the body and mind make their descent into disrepair - but unfortunately, this rarely happens.

      I take great offense to your comments, as the act of putting my dog down, for me and I'm sure for most of us, was one done out the greatest of loves - and one that still, and always will, hurt me in my heart. Your situation cannot be generalized to apply to everyone else.

      P.S. As a writer - you should always run spellcheck before posting.

    • john 7 years ago

      Very well written hub .....

      very much informative ......

      Thank you very much for your great hub, for good advice, good wishes and support. Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us.

    • HHanson profile image

      HHanson 7 years ago from Spokane, WA

      I had to put my dog that I had since he was a puppy down about two years ago. He had diabetes for the last three years of his life and it was so far the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my 31 years. I have another dog now who is 10yrs old and I always pray that when its his time that he will just fall asleep. I was told when the dog loses their interest in their favorite everyday things and if they are just not themselves anymore that that is the time because they are now suffering. I didn't want my dog to suffer so I was with him the entire time and the vet did everything in her power to help him while he was sick and I still go to her when my dog or cat are sick. Im sorry to everyone who had to go through that and I know how you feel. Bless you all and your beloved pets.

    • ciidoctor profile image

      ciidoctor 7 years ago

      And thank you blue dog for the beautiful words. We often forget that dogs live in the moment and do not think of death in the same way we do. They seem to have their own philosophy of life and therefore live life to the fullest. Great examples for all us humans indeed!

    • beccas90 profile image

      beccas90 7 years ago from New York

      "Toughest decision a pet owner has to make" - ain't that the truth. But your comments provided support for a decision we had to make recently with our golden.

    • pam 7 years ago

      No, no matter what decision is made the end result still hurts. I have had my "Yeller" dog, for 12 years and she has suffered with seizures for about 9 out of those 12 years. She is to the point where she has lost most of her teeth and can barely eat. She has a rotten oder to her. I can see her slowly slipping away. Every day I do my best to make her eat and lead her where she needs to go. Then I find myself pondering what the best decision is for her. She I put her down and keep her from suffering any longer or should I just let her die naturally. Reguardless the decision is not easy. The end result is still the same. It still gets the eyes flowing and lumps in the throat. I have seen my childhood dog die when I was a teenager and the pain is all the same. You bring the pet in your family and give them love and attention and it is not nearly long enough. They are no different then a family member. Its all hard...

    • Free God Of War 7 years ago

      I love pets... and several times I have already considered getting one... One of the reason because I still didn't do it, it's related to the fear of facing the situation mentioned in your hub!

    • Camas Articuladas 7 years ago

      Sad... but very informative hub!

    • Richard Armen profile image

      Richard Armen 7 years ago

      Very nice hub. Makes me miss my dogs.

    • TnFlash profile image

      TnFlash 7 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Great Hub. I have a yellow Lab that is getting near the end of his life. I really dread having to make the decision but I love him to much to ask him to continue living in such great pain.

    • roxy 7 years ago

      i have a 10+ yr old boxer that recently developed a tumor near her anus and i think its getting bigger. I took her to the vet and they said she needed surgery to remove it because it might get so big that it will block her anus and she wont be able to poop. The surgery is going to cost $2000+

      I can not afford a surgery like that right now. $2000 is not a small amount, besides that the vet said she is very health and she is still very active and playful. But when the time comes and the tumor ends up becoming too big... what should i do? Should i put her to sleep? because i really can not afford the surgery.

      what would you do?

      Please i need some advice. thanks

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 7 years ago from USA

      I am very sorry to hear you are in such a situation. I think however, that the vets are right that it could enlarge and cause an obstruction. 2000 dollars however is sure a lot especially during a financial crisis and times like these.

      If she were my dog, I would start asking if your vet accepts payment plans. Many do, especially if you have been a long term client. Do not be afraid to ask, they are used to such questions. They may be able to split the 2000 in smaller payments spread throughout a few months. If they do not, I would call around and check other vets and shelters.

      Not sure if this can be an option... but I also have a hub about several financial institutions that at times can help out. Care credit is a good one. This hub may be helpful to you:

      Another important consideration however is what will the dog's prognosis be after the surgery? Do you know if the vet suspects it may be a malignant tumor? Is this an anal gland adenoma or anal gland adenocarcinoma? How old is your dog? If the prognosis is grim even after the surgery, putting her to sleep once she appears to be uncomfortable can be ultimately the choice in her best interest.

      I would discuss her prognosis with the vet, tell them about your financial difficulties and then go by what he or she suggests.

      Here is an article about anal gland carcinomas.

      Really wish I had more options and that caring for pets would not be that expensive. Sometimes you can organize a garage sale in her name (remember to say it is for your dog's surgery so to attract compassion from charitable people and let her be the star of the day) and collect a good amount of money. My very best wishes for both of you..

    • Annonomous 7 years ago

      I fell like a made the wrong decision putting him down. He didn't want to walk much during the nights or mornings but in the afternoon he would still attempt to go down the stairs out the door. He wouldn't eat much food. But i feel like i might of made the wrong decision because the last time i saw him he was standing up looking right at my eyes. I didn't no what i he was saying but i went over to pet him. He didn't have cancer or anything just a hard time in the morning and nights. Did i make the right decision, please your honest oppinion

    • Tummie 7 years ago

      I put my dog down last night. He was a 10yr old yorkie. He was full of life. He was my bestfriend. I feel so sad. I also feel guilty, like I should of done more. The last few months he seem like he was losing the joy out of his life. He got so skinny and wasn't even walking much. He had difficulties keeping himself up and always wanted to just sit or lay down. He started to cough a lot and every time I held him he would cry in pain. I came home last night and he wouldn't come to his leash for a walk. So I gave him some time and the next thing I know he fell down and I picked him up but he couldn't walk. His head kept tilting forward, swaying side to side and kept losing his balance. I rushed him to the emergency hospital and they said he had polynea? Blue gums and that he seem to be in a lot of pain. I knew he was getting old but I didn't know it was his time to go. The vet asked me what I wanted to do and I told him I just don't want him to suffer if he has been. He told me it might be best to put him down but that it was my decisiong. So I just told him yes. I wish I could of just asked him for some kind of pain medicatipn so that I could of spoiled him a few more days and said my full goodbyes. But I didn't want to be selfish. I been crying all day. I hope I made the right decision. I couldn't even say my goodbyes last night. I just kept petting him and giving him kisses. It was a hard thing to do and so hard to deal with. He just looked into my eyes but I felt he was just too tired to enjoy life. I miss him a lot. I'm so sorry for everyone out there that had to lose their bestfriends.

    • drmarvdvm 7 years ago

      Thanks for addressing such a difficult subject. I too see owners that make the decision too early or too late. I ask the owner to consider the quality of life issues that they and especially their pet face. But one more very important question that can help clients assess their answer to the quality of life question is to ask themselves "who am I making this decision for?" Many owners keep animals alive too long because they feel guilty about making a decision at all, or because they will miss their pets so much. In other words, the decision is made in consideration of their feelings not the dog's state. Conversely, some people choose euthanasia too soon in my oppinion, based on their apprehension of care requirements or rate at which the disease or changes will progress.

      My quality of life questions might include:

      Does your dog eat well?

      Does your dog greet you?

      Does your dog enjoy attention?

      Can your dog do the things he enjoyed as a healthy adult, such as playing with his toys, fetching a ball or stick, going for walks with you? If not does he or she spend a lot of time alone at home?

      It is not supposed to be an easy decision. You chose to add this member to your family and love and care for them. If it were an easy decision you wouldn't deserve their unconditional love and adoration.

      Dr. Marv DVM

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 7 years ago from USA

      Very wise words that will help dog owners debating on this difficult decision, thank you for sharing!

    • Don 7 years ago

      i chose to put my dog to rest on monday b4 thanksgiving , he was diag, with lymhpoma, it truly was the hardest thing i had done , i sat up with him all night the night before, he laid his head on my lap as i told him over and over how much i loved him, and he was the best dog ever to me ,I've been told by others who dont know me that i made a selfish decsion because i didn't go thru or i should say put MAX thru all the chemo and other treatments , But i couldn't see doing that to someone that loved me more then anyone ever has , Would i do it over again im sure ,The vet was very helpful, but very real , he told me , you will know .

      i agree with the vet that posted some do put their kids to sleep to soon , i almost did on the first visit when i found out , but im glad i didn't , WE had the best 12 days ever and in the end he knew i was there for him and that i loved him more then anything .. im sorry for everyones loss

      it doesn't help the fact but it does help the heart

    • Paid Surveys Online 7 years ago

      I think the time is approaching where I will have to lay my dog to rest. As sad as it is, this hub definitely helped me.

    • helen 7 years ago

      I was not prepared for the terrible feeling of grief Im feeling,the empytyiness, the feeling of sadness. my dog doesn't know how much i miss her

    • jennifer 7 years ago

      My dog is 14 years old. She currently takes rymadal, glucosamine, phenobabatol, and tramadol hydrochloride. She still eats, goes up the stairs (one time a day) and down (one time a day). She goes to the bathroom outside. My concern is her vocalizing. She cries often. Many times her crying begins at 2:30 in the morning, waking up my children. I am agonizing on wether we should be putting her down. My mind says not yet, but I don't know if she is in pain or has "dimentia". She does seem to get louder when she sits/lies. Once she is comfotable she doesn't cry at all. I wish she could talk and tell me what I should do. I don't want to put her down too soon, but I don't know if keeping her alive is the right decision either. I wish vets made housecalls so they can see her personality at home rather than in the office. She never was a good patient, so I don't believe they are getting a true reading on how she is. Any help would be appreciated.

    • dave 7 years ago

      I had to put my dog down last Saturday night. She had some trouble getting around (arthritis) especially after going for a long walk. That was about a year ago. She had been housebound since with no real bad problems until about a month ago she came up limping. I put her on Arthrix. I was only a month or so into this and occasionally she still would limp. I had some Rimadyl left over from when she had a couple of teeth taken out and it worked great. So I went to the vet if I could get some more Rimadyl on days when she needed a little extra something. We did blood work and urinalysis tests. Later that evening, she had swelling around the anus and her anal gland had an abscess. Came to a head quickly. Didn't notice anything earlier in day when I took her temperature. Back to the vet the same day after hours. The emergency vet gave me Tramadol and Amoxicillin (antibiotic) for the abscess and Tramadol for the pain. Giving her the Tramadol made her legs like rubber. Later the next day we find her blood tests and urinalysis didn't go good and the numbers were off. Another antibiotic to fight the urinary tract infection. Within a week's time, my dog went from walking around to lethargic, to not eating, to finally not drinking, and vomiting yellow bile. I had to put her down. I think those antibiotics hastened her death. She didn't want anything to do with those pills. I had to force them down her throat. Her teeth were like a vise not wanting the pills. Trying to give some type of ham or something with the pills wrapped up was futile. She found the pills. Well I was done with the Amoxicillin and had one week left with the Baytril. That is when she stopped eating, and one day later drinking. She was vomitting yellow bile a few times a day. I called earlier to ask the vet whether to stop with the Baytril, he wanted to proceed to make sure infection was truly gone. Long story short, those antibiotics or combination thereoff, really took a toll on my dog I feel. I think they hastened her death. I had her on Baytril before, but not with two antibiotics at the same time. I had to say goodbye to my friend of 4 1/2 years (I adopted her). A beautiful dog. It really hurts the pain that you feel.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 7 years ago from USA

      Jennifer, sorry it took a bit to get back to you. Can you perhaps tape the vocalization periods and show them to the vet? It could indeed be a case of canine Alzheimers or as you refer to dementia. In some cases, when caught early, a medication known as Anipryl may be helpful. If it occurs when she is laying down it could also be simply some joint pain, just as some elderly people may say ''ouch'' as they bend to sit down. I know she is on Rimadyl and glucosamine but some times some pain still may remain there. It perhaps would be good to look for a vet that does house calls (more and more vets do this now) so they can see her in her home settings. Best wishes

    • dave 7 years ago

      alexandry, I think you posted dog's don't know they are going to die (their own mortality) and they live in the moment. Have to disagree with you, they do know something is very wrong. You see increased restlessness the night before many times, possible isolation from family members, shaking. They see their owner's sadness, tears. I once had a dog raise it's head (he was on a cart) in acknowledgement to say thanks to our family for taking care of him right before he was wheeled off at the University dog care to be put to sleep. He knew.

    • george p webster 7 years ago

      My ex-wife called to tell me the oldest dog was sick and she couldn't afford to take her to the vet. She thought the dog was in pain, so she gave her an adult ibuprofen.. Yeah, I knew better. I picked up my daughter (12) at school and we drove the 20 miles to her mother's. Shadow was glad to see us, but obviously in trouble. She was almost rigid. We drove back to town to my old vet (best vet I've ever known, (ranks with God in knowledge and compassion). He quickly diagnosed kidney failure (from the ibuprofen), and recommended I take her to an emergency clinic which was equipped for the 24 hour care the dog would require. I told my daughter that we might end up spending a small fortune just to make the dog comfortable before putting her down. A week at the emergency clinic. Every time I (or we) visited, Shadow's tail would start thumping before we entered the sick ward; and she would try unsuccessfully to stand. Her kidneys returned to full function, but she was very weak. We took her to our home (duplex no yard). She needed help negotiating steps; mostly kept to her bed, tail thumping. We drove her out to my ex's house in the country, hoping familiar surroundings , the two other dogs, misc. cats and the open spaces would perk her up. Had to carry her up the steps...she went to her bed, and remained there. Took her back to town to my old vet. the lungs.

      Too great an infestation to treat. (I'd thought my ex was giving heartworm pills..) After another day, the vet set out a blanket in some grass on the south side of the clinic. I carried Shadow out, laid her down. My daughter and I stroked her and talked to her for about an hour. She still had her IV port from the emergency clinic. I told the vet it was time and one of the younger vets came outside. I told my daughter to keep petting her Shadow and look in her eyes and keep talking. It was a two shot combination into the IV port. When the sedative was injected, my daughter started crying: "She's afraid". The second injection quickly followed and it was over. Shadow's eyes were still open, and my daughter was crying. We stayed outside on the blanket for a while longer, and then I carried Shadow inside. I cannot hear "good dog" without thinking of that dog, and tears well up. The dog didn't come with my daughter (then 5) and I when we moved, because Shadow was used to the country, and the companionship of one of her daughters. They were always together. We could've handled one but not two; and separating them would've broken their hearts. Her pregnancy was accidental and we were unsure of the due date. My daughter at about two, messed her diapers, and dropped them in the yard. Shadow cleaned her up, and I knew then the due date was close. Shadow would stick with my daughter and her friend from next door, sort of riding herd on them. Once the girls headed in different directions, and Shadow, looking very anxious, ran a bit back and forth, before following my daughter. When the puppies came, she let the girls sit close by and handle the pups; but when anyone else came into the room , every hair on her back stood up, and she snarled and growled like a wolf. All the while letting only the little girls (and me) handle the pups. Once when Shadow was wriggling on her back, a kitten ran out and swatted her tail. I swear the dog grinned, and lay very still on her back and just thumped her tail until the kitten made another run. I came home once to see this tiny kitten fleeing down the hall from Shadow's much larger daughter, Jasmine. A few moments later Jasmine came running back with the tiny kitten in pursuit. A very good dog.

      Which brings me to now. My mother was diagnosed with a poor prognosis cancer in late spring, and was gone before autumn.

      Her 13 year old mostly cocker spaniel has had many cocker "ailments" (benign sebaceous gland tumors, skin and ear infections). A month ago she went off her feed, and then there was blood in her saliva. Ugly evil looking black melanoma at the back of her mouth on the palate. I've been feeding her a gruel of all the things she wasn't supposed to eat (chicken fajita). Mostly she sleeps, paws me when she wants me to keep rubbing her. I've been sleeping on the floor.

      She's eating less the past several days, The tumor is bleeding again, growing. Her breathing is sometimes noisy, and I wake her to change her position. When she's out in the front yard, she still wants to explore the neighborhood, but just a short uphill walk and she's panting. I'll fix her food and she'll circuit the house several times, still looking for my mother, or maybe my daughter, who's at her mother's for the holidays. Then she sniffs for scraps on the floor before coming to the bowl.. sometimes I have to spoon feed her to get her "primed". The food has to be soupy. I've even ground up Milk Bones to powder to add to the soup. She can't chew them anymore. The chunks must hurt going down.

      She's mostly deaf, but if I say her name or "good dog" next to her ear, she raises a paw for me to pet her more. I'm having all those mixed emotions everyone else has written about; plus I feel like I'm losing my mother again, in almost the same way...a difficult to diagnose, usually caught too late, fast growing cancer, more prevalent and deadly among the elderly.

      I celebrated Thanksgiving and Xmas alone with the dog, because I don't want her to die alone. The vet boards. but no one stays overnight. On good days, she eats a can of dog food, mashed and nuked with most of a can of water. She doesn't drink water any more. Bad days, she gets most of the water but only half the food. It won't be long, even with a younger dog and $1000 experimental vaccine, six or seven months is about it; but as long as she's getting up to go outside, eating, and raising her eyebrow and paw when I quit petting her, I'll wait. But when any of those signs cease, it will be time. I already checked that the current vet uses only a heavy sedative to put down animals. And because of the holidays, I got acquainted with the closest 24/7 emergency clinic as well. Watching a loved one die is difficult, but it['s easier than thinking about them dying alone.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 7 years ago from USA

      Dave, I really never said they do not know,actually, I think they know very well when it is time to go, here are my quoted words 'When your dog's time comes, he or she will let you know it is time to cross the Rainbow Bridge in a leap of faith. Dogs unlike humans do not fear death because they live in the moment. Do not worry for your dog, he /she will be in a better place and best of all, will be eternally pain free. ''

    • dave 7 years ago

      One of the last symptoms my dog showed was a difficulty in swallowing. She wasn't eating or drinking anything. She was just trying to swallow. She did it repeatedly. I didn't know it at the time but that is one of the symtoms of a dying dog. I got this off a web page. It may help others.

      Symptoms of a dying dog:

      •Excessive sleeping

      •Limited movement

      •Decrease in appetite

      •Slower heartbeat


      •Difficulty in swallowing

      •Runny eyes



      •Tail between his legs


      •Less coordinated than usual

      •Shaking or twitching

      And from another web page:

      runny eyes

      panting when the weather is not hot



      tail between legs

      behaviour change

      lethargic and lays down for long periods of time


      low energy level

      cannot get up

      unable to eat any food

      unable to drink water from a bowl

      lose the ability to control bowels and bladder (excretory functions)

      body temperature drop

      spasmodic and gasping breathing

      white and lifeless gum


    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 7 years ago from USA

      Thank you for sharing, the list may indeed be very helpful for other dog owners.

    • Dan Carson profile image

      Dan Carson 7 years ago

      This is a really hard process and thanks for sharing. My black lab is getting up there and she has some issues with her hips. It's sad.

    • rusty4ever 7 years ago

      I am so glad I happened across this "hub" tonite. My best friend Rusty (17 year old doxie) was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney failure just a little over 3 days ago. I received the news from his vet over the phone and was too emotional and stunned to ask the right questions in that moment. The vet gave me 2 options... to think about putting him down in a few days or to do 3 or 4 days of inpatient IV therapy. At that moment the thought of leaving him alone at the vet's office for 4 days seemed out of the question. The next day I cried and cried and read up as much as I could on the internet about kidney failure in dogs. That same day rusty perked up and seemed to feel a little better and have a little more strength. I started to think that maybe I needed to look into the IV therapy. Rusty has always been a fighter. So being it was a friday night my only option was to take him to the local 24 emergency vet. I am so glad i decided to do this. The vet spent over an hour talking with me and answering my questions, and I decided that I would give Rusty a round of the IV therapy which meant leaving him there. The thing that really helped me to be ok with leaving him was that they said I could come to the hospital every 8 hours and hand feed him myself. This has been so great and I can't imagine it any other way. Rusty has been at the hospital for exactly 48 hours at this point. He is on the IV fluids, aluminum hydroxide, tagamet, and i am feeding him small amounts of the Hill's KD mixed with water. He is also receiving B complex at my request. We have not retested his blood levels at this point, but it is obvious he feels better than he did 2 days ago when he went in. Even the vet agrees he seems to be feeling better than he did. Right now the symptoms he is experiencing are.... no appetite (having to force him to eat), not drinking water, and diarhea (which looks way better than it did 2 days ago). He is urinating often and in large amounts, is more alert and aware of his surrounding (he was alert before but seems to be even more so now), is walking much better than he could 2 days ago (tonite the vet let me take him outside and he walked all around and as fast as he does normally, and although he has diarhea it looks much more like "poop" than it did 2 days ago. I keep reading about dogs with end stage kidney failure experiencing horrible vomiting and Rusty has not vomited even once so far. When i agreed to start the treatment I went into it knowing very well that he could be worse off at the end of it (blood levels even higher), or that if it does bring them down once he is home they will become elevated in a matter of days, weeks, or months. I know that there is no cure and that it will kill him eventually. I know the tough part will come eventually (and could be soon) when I have to determine if his quality of life has deteriorated to the point where I should have him put to sleep. Just typing those words knots my stomach up and makes it hard to breathe. Right now it is obvious that although he will not eat or drink on his accord that he is still enjoying life and is not in pain or suffering considerably. I am wondering if anyone else has expirienced their dog visibly improving as a result of treatment but still not wanting to eat or drink? The vet says he may not want to eat or drink because of nausea. What can I do? In 5 hours I will be going back to the vet to check him out because they close in the morning (they are only 24 hours friday 6pm-monday 7am) and I will drive him up the road to his regular vets office to check him in for at least 1 more day of IV therapy. I'm told to do it for at least 3 days before re-checking his blood levels. His vet is also going to allow me to feed him myself. The only part I don't like is that there will be 7 hours tomorrow night when the inpatient animals are left unattended. I am sure he will be fine though and will appreciate 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep as the hospital he is at now checks his vitals often so he gets woken up often. He is very much used to getting lots of uninterrupted "beauty" sleep at home. I keep questioning my decision to go ahead with the treatment, but then when i see that he has improved I feel ok about my decision. Even if his blood work comes back and it is not what we had hoped for at least I can take comfort in knowing that I gave him a chance. Can anyone relate to the expirience I am going through? Also if his blood work comes back and it shows that his blood levels have decreased considerably should I even consider continuing him on SubQ fluids at home. The vet has mentioned this? Would doing so be cruel to Rusty? I have no expirience with SubQ fluids but from what I have read and heard from people it seems to be well tolerated by animals and relatively simple to do. People keep bringing up the fact that Rusty is 17 and has lived a long time. In so much as to mean that I should just put him to sleep and not try anything. Yes he is an old dog but I do not believe that means that trying to make him feel better or attempting to extend his life by non-invasive means is unfair or pointless. What are others opinions on this? It is so difficult and the ultimate responsibility to make decisions for someone you love who cannot tell you in words exactly how they feel or what they wish. I find myself one minute knowing with every inch of my being that I am making the right decisions for Rusty and for me, and the next moment questioning my decisions. It's an emotional rollercoaster. Thankfully that moments that I feel ok with my decisions far outweigh that moments I doubt myself. Staying positive!!!

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 7 years ago from USA

      I am totally with you! If you can afford it financially and want to try the most you can then go for it! Your dog sounds like a fighter and seems to be improving so why not? You also know your dog best so really only you can tell if he is still happy to see you and giving you signs of wanting to be around for more. I really hope things turn around for the best and that you can have Rusty back at home with you. I have known of many clients giving fluids at home. Sending best wishes your way!

    • Blonde1921 7 years ago

      Having read all these stories, I am once again in tears after helping my beautiful girl end her life the day before yesterday.

      Skye was a rescue GSD, that came to us at the age of 3 yrs old. She was timid, cowered in the corner and wet herself everytime you went near her. It took me two years of love and care towards her before she started to trust me, and once she did that, she became the most loving, affectionate dog that you could ever have wished for.

      We were together 24/7, I even took her to work with me and never left her alone. She slept at the end of my bed, ate when i ate, and we were never apart.

      10 yrs later, at the age of 13 she suddenly became poorly.

      Firstly, I noticed she was having trouble going up the stairs to bed, and would stop half way, turning her head round to look at me, and say 'Mum, i cant do this'. A gentle shove of her bottom gave her the extra she needed and this went on for about 3 days. As she was an old lady, and had already had hip problems, I just presumed that where it had been so cold with all the snow lately that her arthritis was giving her some jip.

      A day later, she went off of her food. The dog that used to run into the kitchen every night when i picked her bowl up

      to see what goodies were going into that night wasn't there anymore. I called her in for her food, and as always she came, but merely sniffed it, picked a few bits of it out , then went to lay down on her rug again.

      The next day she started to pant, heavily, and when laying on her side, she would wheeze as well, and it was obvious that she was uncomfortable. She lost all energy, and just going outside for a wee, was a massive effort for her.

      Thinking again that the panting could have been due to pain from her arthritis i immediately took her to the vets.

      It transpired that she had heart failure, with a pulse of 170, and was in effect, slowly burning herself out.

      The vet gave me some medication to try and slow her heart rate, and also took some blood tests to see if there was any damage to her kidneys etc due to the poor circulation she was having to deal with. Her circulation was so bad that it took him what seemed an inevitable period just to find her vein.

      2 days later, the tablets had not lowered her heart rate and she was becoming weaker and weaker, still panting rapidly day and night.

      I stayed up most of the night, praying she would get better, stroking her, talking to her, and she just gazed at me with her beautiful brown eyes.

      On the sunday morning, i realised that she wasn't going to get any better, you somehow know? She tried to sit comfortably, gazing at me with her ears back, panting for breath and was very distressed.

      We took her to our vets, who said she had not got any better, she hadn't eaten anything for nearly a week now and was getting thinner and thinner.

      I asked the vet to put her out of her misery, and

      We held her as the vet put the needle in, we said goodbye, told her we loved her and she gently slipped away.

      The guilt i am having now is tearing me apart........she trusted me, but i put her to sleep, she loved me, but i let her go, should i have taken her to another vet? Could she have got alternative treatment?

      Would like to hear what any of you have to say as this is destroyin me now and i cry all the time

    • Cookie's Dad 7 years ago

      Blonde1921 - Your post brought tears to my eyes because it made me remember what I had to go through with my Cookie this past summer. All that I can say to you is that as time passes, you will begin to remember all of the happy and good times with Skye, and this recent event will become just a part of Skye's long and happy life that you remember, rather than the only part of it that you can probably see right now. I know this through my own experience, and it does take awhile to get past it. You have no reason to feel guilt. You posted that she trusted you, and she did. That unconditional trust includes trusting you to not let her suffer, and to make the tough decision that you did, in HER best interest. If you knew that it was the right thing for HER, then you have nothing to feel guilt for. Feel the sadness and mourn her, but do it without those guilty feelings. It took strength to do what was right for her, even though it hurts like hell.

    • dave 6 years ago

      The last gift of kindness you can do for your dog is to put her to sleep. It never gets any easier saying goodbye to your best friend. It's alright to cry. You loved her. If your dog is anything like mine was, she gave you the best years of your life and you gave her a life to cherish.

      It's one of the joys of adopting a dog, turning a life around. When they turn around, they end up just licking you so much that they won't stop. As they have been given a second chance and they know it. They can be the most lovable dogs, rewarding in so many ways. The bad thing is, time can go too quickly when that day comes and you have to say your goodbyes. I think over time you will remember the good times instead of the sadness you are feeling now. Remember your friend. You were good for each other. You gave each other joy.

    • JOHN 6 years ago

      My chow/lab Mad Max has been vomiting his dog food for several years. Last fall Max began having grand mall seizures and losing weight. his ribs are sticking out now and almost looks anerexic. He has a sad look on his face and he lowers his ears when I try to take a picture of him. If he makes to spring I'll take him up the hill one last time and put my .22 to the back of his head and bury him where he loved to hunt with me. Max is an alpha male that is no longer the alpha male. His son Vegeta now imposes his will on Max. I would love to breed max to another chow/lab, for he is truly a magnificent beast and loyal to the end. he inspires caution and obediance from strangers and fellowship and companionship to friends and family.

    • Nancy R 6 years ago

      My 5 yr old beagle was diagnosed with lymphoma in October - I declined chemo, and treated with a combo of holistic meds, and traditional. The time is very near to put her down - her breathing is labored - but regular - which is why I'm leaning toward it being her time - the thing that makes me wait is she still greets me when I come home, eats as soon as I put her food down - but what is her quality of life now? she would still go for a ride if I asked, and likes to go outside - this morning she barked at the trash men. I am so confused, I don't want to prolong her pain, but I don't want to put her down to soon. I am so confused.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      Perhaps this hub may be helpful in determining her quality of life, there ia also a link for the HHHHHMM test :

    • zorba 6 years ago

      As a child, some 50 yrs back, I had read a poem, in Soviet Land, a magazine published in earstwhile USSR.While I dont remember the exact words, the theme was--"My mother is dead.Every one consoles me by saying that she was very old.However, I always found her of age, suitable for a mother". All the pet lovers realise that pet is a love at all ages. There is none who has unflinching and unalloyed love for you like your pet.When he/she goes one has to live with pain, which lingers on.That is the truth.

    • Blue1234 6 years ago from Wales, United Kingdom

      My dog is a healthy puppy, a cross between a springer spaniel and a sheepdog. He is almost three now and will always be a puppy in our eyes anyway.

      There is a few problems though. He is incredibly hostile and vicous.

      He refuses to go for walks and goes for anyone who comes near him with a lead and when we first got him, he pulled like crazy on the lead and a hartness didn't help. Also, if you mentioned walk to him he would run away and hide.

      He has made my Dad bleed many times for different reasons. I also have a few scars from him although he has bit me a lot more times than I have scars. Most recently though I have a huge bitemark on my leg, all bruised and partly bleeding (all I did was run out the backdoor and he ran after me in the garden.)

      We have a garden and he always wants to go out there. He HATES cats! We have a few from neighbours too which don't help.

      Out of my Mum, Dad, me and sister it feels that it is me he hates the most. We have a proch and I'm only through the front door before he is growling and sometimes even snarling, baring his teeth at me. He growls when I pass him sometimes too and to my sister. I don't know what I've down wrong, I've only ever shown him love.

      He snaps at my sister too. They were both sitting on the stairs and she stroking him and talking to him and he just went for her like crazy, completely ripping the back of her jumper/jacket/whatever it was she was wearing.

      The thing is he doesn't just bite lightly once and then leaves it. He keeps on going for you, growling and snarling biting really hard and another famliy member has to come and tear him off you or try and stand between you.

      It's not just a nip to warn you off. Sometimes when I see him go for another family member, I get the feeling he is really trying to hurt them.

      He is also very-horny. That's the only word I can think for it. He was fixed not long after we first got him (from a farm) but still regularly "mounts" whoever comes to my house more than once when they're there and occasionally my sister and I too.

      He's barker at us when he hasn't got his own way.

      My concern is, last night, one of nmy best friends who my dog has always loved to mount (his favourite actually) came over. When she was leaving she turned to my dog and didn't do anything to him-just said "bye bye" to him and he immediately started growling at her.

      We have my baby cousins who are three round to stay and we keep him away form them. We love having them but whenever they are here, we are all in constant fear of him biting them. All it takes is one stroke, one word or if you want it really bad, walk near one of his bones and he'll try (and usually succeed) to bite you really badly.

      We took him to dog training classes when he was younger, he used to leave the house to go for dreaded walks then but since he started going to those classes, he rufeses to leave the house except to go out into the garden.

      We've had numerous trainers come to him and he shows respect to them for five minutes but completely obey them and forgtes it all as soon as they are gone. He has even bit one trainer who afterwards after wtaching his general behaviour said we should have him out down he if carries on like this.

      Well it's over a year later and he's just got worse.

      He loves my Mum the most and even lets her take a toy out fo his mouth whereas is me, my Dad or my sister tried to we couldn't. But he even growls at her occasionally and has tried to bite her when she tries to get a lead on him. She has succeeded to get him outside with a lead on a few occasions but trying to walk him is a different story.

      A few weeks ago we were all in the living room and he was sat near me and I started to stroke him on his head where he likes to stroked. He lay down and roll onto his back and we cooed over him while I stroked his beely. Then all of a sudden he went for me, growling, ripped the sleeve from my top and gave me two new scars.

      He's vicous and moody to all of us and everyone else for no reason. He used to love being fussed and now after a thirty seconds he gets that look on his face and his eyes which we've all come to recognise but unfortunaetly other people don't until it's too late that he is going to bite you if you carry on.

      He can be payful when he wants to be and is always extremely cute! The game he likes to play is "tug of war" with his toys.

      We still love him. We have put up with his bad behaviour for so long because he ahs his good side, we all love him dearly and couldn't bare to have him out down. We can't take him to a kennel or anywhwere because none of them will accept him because he bites a lot but we wouldn't want to send him away anyway.

      But it's getting to be too much. Sone fo us can't go near him although he's usually alright with my Mum when she tries to stroke him.

      I don't know what to do, I've always been against having animals put to sleep, I always seen it as murder but I don't know if there's any other options. Please someone reply soon because we're looking to act fast.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      Sorry to hear you are going through such an ordeal, it seems like a very heart breaking situation. I see you have contacted some trainers, but the only professional that can help in these cases is a dog behaviorist.

      Look for one that has good references and that deal with aggression. Only by looking at your dog he can assess your dog's problems and offer a solution if any.

      It seems that he bites unprovoked which is a serious issue. He may be genetically wired badly or it could be he is extremely fearful and feels the need to bite to defend himself from a threatening world. He may also be extremely dominant.

      I would contact a dog behaviorist and in the meanwhile try to ignore him totally for a few days and see if this changes a bit his behavior. No attention, no petting, no talking to him. Do not allow him on the bed. Expect him to wait before you exit doors. Let him sit before eating.

      I wish I could help you more, but it seems like he may be a big liability, I am afraid this dog may do serious damage one day. Please keep him away from children people and other pets for now until a dog behaviorist can give you advice. My best wishes.

    • Kathy 6 years ago

      I put my precious little dog Toby to sleep 4 weeks ago tommorrow! In Nov 2008 he had a liver tumor removed - they were able to successful remove 90% of it. So many wonderful times followed after that - then in Nov on 2009 while taking him for a walk his legs gave away - his vet thought he had a stoke - by some miracle the next day he was fine - but developed a choking cough for several days rights after this - that too cleared up.

      Right before Christmas he started to not really eat much - this went on for 2-3 weeks and they were giving him med's but he got to the point - of not wanting to take the medicine anymore - I was told the first week of January that he had kidney failure - WE TRIED EVERYTHING possible - I would bring him in each day for fluid injections to try to clean out the kidney's - he was not eating at all those last 40 hrs and he was losing 1/2 to 1 lb each day all week and by the end of the week I was told the second blood work did not show any improvement! There he was asleep in my arms while we waited for the results on the second bloodwork and the technican said he could hardly stand while she gave him the injection that Friday! The next day after not eating for many hrs he vomited! This dog was the love on my life - I am a widow and my husband passed away suddenly 3 years ago and I threw all my love into this precious little dog!! I know I gave him a great life - he always came first - but I am struggling because I feel like I killed me - and that I should have let him die in my arms - like many people say - but I did not want to let it get to that point for my own selfish reasons - there is no right answer I guess - the pain is so awful



    • festersporling1 profile image

      Daniel Christian 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I think that this is quite possibly the most touching video I have ever watched about a guy who had to put his dog (named Oden) down. Heart jerking if you have a moment!

    • jonathan 6 years ago

      hi my dog is 15 years old and has recently deteriorated he has a large lump in his gum that bleeds and looks nasty. it doesn't hurt him to touch but we took him to the vets around 6 months ago and hey said they could operate but he might not survive the surgery so we opted for him to stay as he is and live out his life, the lump is getting bigger and i have recently lost my father (who was my dogs main owner) since tis he has started to go thin you can feel his spine which you never could before, he is all out of sorts not making a fuss staring into space, and has started pooing stood up without realising. we are thinking about have him put down on monday for his own good. are we making the right decision?

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      This is really ultimately your decision. Please read my article ''How to Determine a Dog's Quality of Life''. This may help you make an informed decision.

      Hope this helps. It is really a tough decision but again only owners know their dogs best and can determine their dog's quality of life.

    • Ashley 6 years ago

      I am going through I tough time right now on the decision of putting my dog down. She is a golden retriever and only 9 years old. She has and is suffering with Glycoma and we have already removed one eye. Now her good eye is badly infected and will have to be removed. Knowing that her quality of life will not be the same we are not sure how she will handle it. We live a very active lifestyle where she is use to running around with us, swimming, going on the boat.... I don't believe she is sick enough to be put down. But at the same time I don't want to see her struggle being blind and not being happy.

      Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

      Thank you.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      It is tough for owners when dogs are no longer capable of seeing well, however, often dogs surprise owners with their inner strength and capabilities of overcoming handicaps as such. I am referring you to a great website about blind dogs, here you will find support, stories and forums.Best wishes!

    • Maria Cecilia profile image

      Maria Cecilia 6 years ago from Philippines

      I dont want to be in the same situation, I put one dog to sleep because of severe distemper, but it took me years to recover the lost.. dont want to experience the same with my present dog

    • AnimeDivaDog 6 years ago

      Here are some tips on telling your kids about putting the dog to sleep:

      0-2 Years: "Doggie go bye-bye." This will probably be the best answer, if they even answer. They probably won't understand.

      3-5 Years: "He/she has gone to a very magical place, and he's staying. He wanted me to tell you he loved you very much, but he is in a wonderful place now and thinking of you every minute." You should tell them after because it will work and your child(ren) will be thrilled your dog is having the most fun he's ever had. Why not help your child(ren) make a postcard saying that you miss him/her. Maybe that night make a postcard yourself that's from the dog when the kid(s) is/are asleep and show it to them the next day.

      6-8 Years: "The dog has gone to heaven and he/she is in a better place now, and he/she is watching over you and comforting you." Your child(ren) will most probably cry. Mabye a hug might do. Tell your chid(ren) the dog is still right there beside them.

      9-11 Years: "Our dog is very sick and he is not enjoying the last years of his life. I think it would be the right thing if we put her out of her misery. I hope you understand." You may all of a sudden become the worst parent in the world, but let your child(ren)know you are putting the dog down because you love him/her. Take your kid(s) to see the dog when he/she gets uthinized. This will be a chance to say a last good-bye.

    • puppy576 profile image

      puppy576 6 years ago

      It's tough to do this, good info. Dog lover, too.

    • ericsomething profile image

      Eric Pulsifer 6 years ago from Charleston, SC and Riverside, CA

      I just had Hoodoo put down yesterday; she was an integral part of my life for 15 years. I pretty much realized it was time when she herself lost her will to continue. She'd take a few steps, fall down, and stay right there until I picked her up. She stopped eating, and couldn't drink water on her own -- I'd give her some from a coffee cup or sports bottle. Definitely time.

      But as strongly as I feel this was the right thing to do, I will continue to second-guess myself ...

    • Suzyq 6 years ago

      My baby is 13 yrs old. We've had to have an eye removed due to infections, she has a large tumor on her side (benign). Now she can barely stand and her tail doesn't move at all. The vet says there is severe arthritis and lower spinal damage. There is a surgery but she might not make it thru it. She struggles to get up, falls a lot, and is now starting to lose control of her bladder and bowels. I have had to put down animals before but they were obviously ready. My Two Socks, while in pain and struggling, still has a spark in her eyes. She may not be able to get up and chase the squirrels but she still enjoys barking at them. We have tried multiple medications over the last two years. I don't think it's time yet but I don't want to wait too long and make her suffer. I just don't know yet.

    • Tracy 6 years ago

      I have a chow/retriever is name is koby, he is 13 yrs old. he falls down alot, his back legs cant hold him up any more, he is going deaf and blind in one eye. I give him pain medicine, but I dont know what do, I dont want him to suffer but I dont want to put him down early either. he eats every day he going outside to the bathroom, some times he even plays with my other dogs. but mostly he sleeps alot and when he falls down he tried to bite when you help him up, he still gives kisses and wants to be around me and my family, can some one help me with this. can you tell me when is it the time to help him.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      Perhaps this other hub I wrote may be helpful to you, best wishes which ever decision you make.

    • Humanculi 6 years ago

      Right now my wife and I are trying to determine if this is what we need to do with our 10 year old White German Shepherd, whom we have had since he was 5 weeks old. It turns out he has been suffering from a BAD case of diabetes for some time and we did not know. We cannot stand to see him suffer,but at the same time the idea of watching him go is killing us. Thank you for this hub. This has helped us look at the situation in a different light

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      Sorry to hear your dog has been going through such an ordeal, he sure must have touched your lives since you had him from such a young age. It's the toughest decision because it puts your love for your dog against the pain of seeing him suffer. For this reason, it is also said to be the ''the kindest thing you can do for a pet that is extremely ill''. Sending virtual hugs your way for this tough time of your lives..

    • Marista 6 years ago

      Just wanted to say thanks for your articles and your patience. People naturally get emotional about matters like this. My girl's time is coming soon and reading all of this has helped me.

    • Ellen 6 years ago

      We had to say good-bye to our beloved Cassie 2 hours ago. Our lives will never be the same but we needed to let her go. We buried her next to her Mom who we put to sleep 3 1/2 years ago.It is such a difficult decision but it would be selfish on our part to keep her going. She was a yellow lab with severe arthritis but up to the end she was eating & of course wagging that happy tail.

      As we lowered her into final resting place a beautiful butterfly flew over her as if to say to us that now she will be at peace & free from any pain. We know we did the right thing but it is definitely one of the hardest decisions you will ever make. Cassie we love you & you will always be in our hearts.

    • COnnor Gee 6 years ago

      My dog is one of the best parts of my life and hes gone from merely having a bloody nose to not being able to move and not eating or going to the bathroom. Im only 15 i dont know what to do with myself just looking at him makes me want to cry. The sparkle in his eye is gone but i cant kill him just the thought of him dead makes me burst in to tears. I dont know what to do.

    • chardee42 profile image

      chardee42 6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Over the years I've watched a number of dogs pass of natural causes and a few from accidents. Its never easy. I truly appreciate your comment about dogs not fearing death because they live in the moment. I believe its true, but I've never thought of it that way before.

    • jack kennedy 6 years ago


    • Alex 6 years ago

      I'm considering putting my pitbulls to sleep. I have 2 and they very friendly to people, except Mexican kids. How they tell the difference, is beyond me. These neighbor's children come over and just throw rocks at my poor dogs. I had to get a restraining order against them for animal cruelty, but since these are unsupervised 8 yr olds, no criminal charges could be filed.

      The reasons why I want to put them both to sleep is the mischief they cause and they are stubborn. They lure friendly cats with their high pitch whistle and literally eat them. I really don't blame them because of when they were young, my older cats would beat them up for the food, but now it's at a point where they dig holes to catch them. I've hired 2 trainers and they listen for awhile and then go back to their old self. I tolerated and tried to educate them both but to no avail. They are no longer pups, 4 1/2 years old, and do not want to learn any new discipline. So, should I put them to sleep? I think it's time. I'm not the type who believes that dogs, let alone people, go to Heaven or Hell. They will be in God's memory by the actions I do to them, not what they have done. I just hope God can forgive me if I do decide to put them down.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      If they changed upon being seen by the dog trainers I think there is hope. It may just mean you may have to do everything as the dog trainers suggest and follow their instructions to a ''T''. This may be difficult to accomplish if you have to work a full time job.

      If you really want to try one last step, perhaps you may want to search a dog aggression rehabilitation program. One for example is in Colorado:

      Since there is a pattern, have your dog trainers worked on having Mexican kids toss treats to your safely constrained and muzzled dogs? I would also try to find a pitbull rescue and ask their opinion. If they are a menace to society with no hope of rehabilitation, then putting them to sleep would be best since they sound like a big liability.

    • Always Believe 6 years ago

      I am in one of 'those' situations right now.

      My Qiji (Key-chee) is a 6-1/2 year old female Shih-Tzu/Poodle mix. She was diagnosed with Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia when she was almost 2 years old in December 2005. She has been on meds to get her through low counts and bounced back up...only to have her platelets drop again a few months/weeks later. Her first vet started her on a daily medication to help prevent her platelet drops. When we moved, the new vet didn't want her on it, so she stopped taking it in August 2006.

      She had roughly 3-4 low platelet cycles in 2007, and another 4-5 in 2008. In March 2009, all hell broke loose. Her platelets dropped again...only this time, it became evident while she was being groomed. Her back was quickly covered in dark purple bruises as soon as the groomer ran the clippers on her. Her count was 13,000 (should be 150,00-300,000). She had been as low as 8,000 before, so I was concerned, but not overly. We knew the routine: no hard food or hard chews; no jumping; no stairs. Only this time we had to add: no collar. Her neck was so severely bruised. She was put back on the maintenance meds. Her count came up at first...then back down.

      No amount of meds was working. We did a bone marrow aspirate and it showed her marrow was damaged from the meds and no longer producing the platelets her body was attacking. Then, she stopped taking her meds. She would either refuse, or eat around whatever we put them in and spit the pills out. If we made it liquid and put it on her food, she wouldn't eat.

      We don't take her for counts on any scheduled basis, but I monitor her bruising, so I know by symptoms when her count is low. She has bruising roughly ever 2-3 weeks (more or less) since March 2009.

      This time, it has progressed to petechiae (little superficial bleeds). I took her to the vet on Saturday. Her count was 20,000 and she was running 103 temp. He gave her an injection he wants to repeat in 1 week.

      I am beginning to ask myself why? Why are we going to repeat this injection? She we help her across the bridge? Will she bounce back enough to be her 'new normal' self again? Is her 'new normal' with all her restrictions invading her quality of life? She jumps to greet me when I come home, but is laying down sleeping 10 minutes later. She sleeps a lot. She's slow. She moans when I pick her up (vet says 'then don't pick her up').

      I think as long as there's a chance, I am going to feel like a murderer, but at the same time, I feel like I am making her live a life she shouldn't have to by continuing.

      Any thoughts?

    • waquokka profile image

      waquokka 6 years ago

      It really is the hardest decision a pet owner has to make. To this day I keep wondering whether I put my first dog to sleep too soon...I got a new dog after a year, and she helped me get over the loss. I'm glad I read this article so I'll be more prepared in case I have to make that decision again (knocking on wood that it won't be in the near future).

    • mouse and cheryl 6 years ago

      13 months later and we are still crying,I will never go tru this again,its gold fish for me for now sorrows to all of you.

    • ruth1972 6 years ago

      I made the decision today before I took Sam to the vet, that it was time for him to find endless peace. Sam is a collie cross and is aged 15 years. I rescued him when he was 1 years old and he was constant companion.

      I love him so much, but i knew listening to him last night crying out in pain and stumbling that it was time to say goodbye.

      I was firm in my decision, and I asked the vet to examine him this afternoon, she was excellent and she gave me options such as operations and medication but the eventual diagnosis was my beloved Sam would continue to be in pain.

      I held Sam as the vet administered the injection, I spoke to Sam, softly and cuddled him, I felt life leaving my wonderful dog and I cried then, but now a few hours later I have peace of mind, Sam is no longer in pain, he is free!

      Of course, I will miss him and will always love him but I know I made the right decision in the end.

    • Bart My Love 6 years ago

      I have come here to look for some answers and I am just sobbing reading these and so sorry to all that lost your best friend. Cookie's Dad realy hit home. I am faced with my Jack Russell Terrier who is 19 yrs old and just does not seem too thrilled he lost his sign completely this morning might have had a stroke last night. Just like Cookie's dad little one he is in great shape but the quality is going away slowly, not yet but its near and I am trying to figure out when it would be the best time. I want that in between time and its near. I have contacted two mobile vets this morning so I have one ready to go for that day. Bart just paces up and down and is bumping into everything and I have to hand feed him his mouth is very sensitive, his appetite was not good this boring and it maybe he is adjusting to the blindness. I am with him most of the time I do not want to waste any precious moments. But I noticed he is not kissing me anymore. I will see how he does in the next day, as you all know things can get better fast or worst fast. I am glad I found this site it is giving me clarity. I've had to put two dogs to sleep and it was a easy choice because they were sick and did not want them to suffer for they were at bad stages.. Bart is a very smart dog and I think he is becoming bored with old age and not thrilled with his situation.

    • susan 6 years ago

      just put buddy my son at peace,,,,he was more thann a pet,he was my 17 year old,who gave us all the love and loved everyone..hardest decision to make..he had kidney cancer...for 1 year he lasted for,everything was going downhulll.......he loved to eat,,and always be around people,,,,,when buddy,bub-ba could not eat, there was something wrong,then he would hardly take a few licks of water,he wanted to eat but could not,,he was our human vacuum,who never did anything wrong,then he had internal bleeding,through bowels and mouth,he had lost about 30 pouns..yes, we had him on meds, but he was going down hill,very heartbreaking....buddy my son,was a pointer-mix,never growled or anything,,,,,,did not know how to,he was just so loving and loved to be be loved also.aug. 14th,2010 we had him put to rest,after he started internally bleeding,as i mentioned,i am so sick losing him after 17 years,what is life all about..we had him cremated, and r waiting for his return to and miss him,more than anyone would know,

    • Joyce 6 years ago

      Please HELP me make a good decision. We have a 7 yr old Golden Retreiver mix. She is the best & most loving dog we could ask for with everyone that comes to our house, that is when we're home. About 2 years ago while my husband was deployed overseas she passed what the vets think was a blood clot which caused her paralysis of her hind legs. When this happened the vets weren't sure if she'd walk again, well she still has no use of her hinds legs the only thing she can do is occasionally she can wag her tail. My husband and I constantly go back and forth about putting her down. She tries to play but she can't and we can tell she gets upset. My kids love her, she used to be a VERY active dog. She's still appears somewhat happy, eats good, plays a little mostly lies around. Biggest problem is her bladder control and the vets can't tell us if she'll ever get control back. She urinates in the house and poops. We clean up after her, use diapers but it still gets on the floors since she drags her butt around the house. We feel SOOO guilty even thinking about putting her down but we also feel very guilty keeping her alive. She still smiles at us but she also looks so sad when she can't play tag with her kids. I know you can't tell us what to do but we also know that after almost 2 years we think shes improved all she's going to. We have a wheelchair for her that she uses but she won't run with it I really don't think she like's it. When we put it on her she looks for our feet when we're not watching her and she'll run the wheels over our toes.

      This is such a hard decision, just found your website and thought you might be able to give a different point of view. I keep thinking you wouldn't put a person to sleep for being paralysised but then I think about her quality of life. Even after 2 years of dealing with this it's just as hard as day one.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      Oh my, this sounds like a really tough decision. You will have to carefully figure out if she has more bad days than good, or more happy hours than sad in one day... perhaps this hub may help you a bit out:

      This quality of life scale may also be helpful,

      Best wishes whichever choice you make...

    • SMD 6 years ago

      Last year we had to have our beloved Butch put to sleep. I can truly say that was the hardest decision I've ever made. All of our other animals passed of natural causes.

      But not Butch. He started going downhill a few months after his 13th birthday. I watched him being born. We also had his mom, dad, and sister. They all passed before him, and I think he never got over it. But we made his life as full as we could with and without his dog family. Towards the end I knew he wasn't getting better, but I didn't want to let him go. So please before you have to have a beloved pet put to sleep, make sure there is nothing else that can be done for them. This was the hardest thing I've ever been through. But Butch is in a better place running and playing with his animal family.

    • CG 6 years ago

      Finding this page was a godsend for me having just had my best friend of 14 put to sleep. I knew deep in my heart I had done the right thing but the pain has at times been almost unbearable with wave upon wave of grief hitting me. I am more able to keep control of it now, having found sites like this one. I didn't have his ashes back, I always thought I would, but suddenly it came to me that he was already with me and an urn of ash was not my dog. Rather a money maker on the back of our grief and loss. Memories are precious as are photographs and my own drawings/paintings. My dog licked the vet and me, looked up at my husband, then lay his head in my hands as I leant my head against his and told him how much I loved him and that it was ok to go to sleep. I thanked him for being an angel with our children and that I would never forget him, that he was the best dog in the world and such a good boy. I feel he went with dignity whilst he was still a dog within our pack.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      Bless your heart for loving a dog so much and allowing him the dignity and respect he deserved. He sounds like he had an amazing life with you. My deepest condolences....

    • Amy 6 years ago

      Of course since I`m looking at this site and tearing up, I`m having thoughts about my old furry daughter Maggie....She`s a yellow lab who will be 16 in November....Incontinent sometimes now....very thin despite eating (not like she used to) and wobbly when walking....Hard time getting up sometimes.....Deaf, but still can see and when she see`s me she runs towards me with her brother (Golden retriever 6 years old)....Sometimes I think it`s time, but she still seems to have her spirit and I can`t do it right now! I`ve had 2 different doggie kids put to sleep in the past (may or may not have waited too long).....I just want to thank you for this website....I`m a nurse and see people suffer for unreasonably long periods of time with no quality of life.....I should know better, but when she runs towards me, I think she wants to live a little more....Am I crazy? Probably-haha! Anyway, I love my Maggie and I guess I have to trust my gut to know when it`s time...Thanks again...

    • Robyn 6 years ago

      I am having a really hard time. Our 14 1/2 year old dog Beuk had a bleeding heart tumor and Pericardial Effusion. Poor guy was doing great until about 2 months ago, or at least he seem to be, with the exception of some wobbling in his back legs. After his diagnosis, he was tired all the time. We had the pericardial sac cut to release the blood, he underwent two fluid drains, a blood transfusion and we had him on Yunnan Baiyao to stop the bleeding. After 4 days on the Yunnan, my husband said it was not working and that our Big Boy was breathing very heavily and he actually laid down in the middle of walks from exhaustion. I question our decision because I wonder if we should have had him checked again before putting him to sleep. I miss him so and hope the decision we made was in his best interest. The vet did tell us he had the worst and most aggressive tumor he ever saw. I just need to make peace with letting our old boy go. He looked great for his age and I cannot believe he is gone. All I kepe thinking is how he wagged his tail a little that last day when we all petted him while he was lying down...

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      I am sorry to hear about your loss. I have seen dogs who became a lifeless shadow and yet their tail was still able to wag as if to say ''I love you'' to their owners one last time. You have spared your dog from further suffering and I am sure your dog understands wherever he is now. Your vet already told you this tumor was extremely aggressive and you have tried what you could.

      Let your dog rest in peace and embrace all the great memories you have of each other.. I am sure Beuk would like you to accept his departure and celebrate his life instead of regretting it and staying stuck in the past.

      Dogs are wonderful creatures who live in the present and accept death as a natural process. His body was tired and aching, he had to let go. He had a long life with you and I am sure full of joy and happiness...

      Now filter all the good memories and keep them tight, I am sure your dog would rather see tranquil and not in sorrow. Take care.

    • NJ2010 6 years ago

      I put my dog down last weekend and I am now second guessing myself. He was 14 1/2 years old. In the last two years he has had two major operations for fatty tumor removal. The vet said that he had a lot of issues with his back legs and a slightly enlarged heart when examined last year. He was doing well after the operations until last week. He started lapping out of one side of the bowl when drinking water and seem very disoriented. I took him back to the vet and the vet said that he probably had a stroke. The vet suggested that he had been through enough and thought the best thing to do was to put him down. My husband and I took his advice but now I am not so sure we did the right thing. I have been crying for three days straight and I feel so guilty that I didn't opt for treatment instead of euthanasia. How can we be sure when it is the right time. I am so sad.

    • ann6467 6 years ago

      I am sorry NJ. I am struggling now with puttin down my lab with a breathing problem. Watching every labored breath scares me. Our vet says she is still ok if her gums have some pink, but not to let her get excited because that could kill her. I want her with me as long as possible, we love her so much.... but I don't want her to go into distress and suffacate. Not sure where the line is and it scares me

    • Kathy 6 years ago

      I have no idea if this is the right time to have my 17 year old shit-zu to be taken down. He cries when I'm not near him, only eats or drinks water when I sit by him. He has trouble walking but doess't seem to be in pain. I need to carry him up and down stairs. I don't want to play God. I am sooo sad.----Kathy

    • Ty 6 years ago

      Thanx for the beautiful article.

      I just got the phonecall from my mum to say that my 6 year old Doberman is in pain. She has been to the vet on and off for the past four weeks. They think that its mastitus. Lots of growths around her teets. They also think it may be cancerous.

      She has had this previously, and had the growths removed. But its a year later, the growths are back, and she can barely walk. The vet feels that they can remove the growths, but it will return! (and they dont want to keep cutting out pieces from her).

      I'm at a crossroad. I really love her. But tomorrow we will be phoning the vet for another opinion.

      She is still eating, and craves the attention. (She was always a drama queen). But she is in pain, and can barely lift her body off her bed.

      I am hoping that the vet gives us good news.

      Please wish me luck!

      I wont deny that I couldn't hold back the tears reading through the article and peoples cherished moments with their pets.

      Hoping and praying


    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      You did well to call another vet for a second opinion. I have seen vets who often decided to put down dogs whereas others disagreed and treated the dog and the dog lived up for many more years...If you are dealing with something serious such as cancer or inflammatory mammary carcinoma (quite rare though) it would be best to consult with an oncologist. Best wishes and hoping for the best, the wait for biopsy results to come in can be really frustrating. In the meanwhile ,any chances the vet can give something for the pain?

    • Ty 6 years ago

      She is currently on pain killers. Vet thinks it is cancer though.

      We also have an appointment tomorrow to do the biopsy.

      I'm hoping for the best.

      Previous blood tests show that her organs are ok.

      But she is in pain still.

      Just hoping and praying

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      I hope every thing goes well. If it is cancer I hope it was caught early enough that treatment is effective. She is still quite young which is a big advantage. Sending best wishes your way and hoping for the best.

    • Summer Wolf profile image

      Summer Wolf 6 years ago from Cashmere, Washington

      Another great hub issue. My 9year old female pug died a few years ago shortly after i was told she had cancer. She just wasn't eating or herself. When she did die, though i thought I was ready, I really wasn't. I cried for months and it's been three years and I still get teary eyed when I think of it. She had a habit of waking me up for work in the morning before the alarm. The night she died, she tried to wake me up. It was the middle of the night and I told her it was ok and to go back to sleep. I woke up later and realized she was gone. I have an older dog, rot/lab mix, he's 12 years old, but seems older with is hip dysplasia and arthritis. My sister asked me when I was going to put him down and I truly believe that he will let me know when it's time. And of course if I am able to, I will be there with him.

    • Tirzah Laughs profile image

      Tirzah Laughs 6 years ago from USA

      My old Pom, Katie (aka BlackDog) had congestive heart failure. For her, I did medication. She had two more good years even with her heart in pretty bad shape. The meds had to be adjusted weekly. But she had more good days than bad. Just after her 17th birthday, she took a bad turn and I was going to put her down but she died in her sleep.

      After she passed on, I eventually adopted 5 year old Lolly. Lolly ended up having two tumor surgeries then having acute disc issues (herniation with no cause). Then she developed neurological problems, spasms, and off and on paralysis. After three vets and a neurologist, I decided to put Lolly down. I had only had her in my home for five months. She was a puppy mill rescue and mentally she was a bit off. With her mounting physical problems, she lived in utter misery. None of the meds worked or even helped. Surgery had less than a 50% chance of giving her any relief (at 4 grand). I felt sick putting her down. I just wanted someone to say "Yes, putting her down is the right thing."

      I resent my vet for not helping me. I asked them point blank if they would put her down if it were their dog and got the same wishy washy answer.

      I still don't know if I could have saved her. I put her to sleep and I'll never know if it was the right thing. I'm still so angry at the vet for not givin me any guidance.

      But I suppose that's the world we live in.

    • animal lover 6 years ago

      My dear dog Juno, a 17yr old husky/retriever mix, is dying of cancer. He stopped eating, constantly tired & is emaciated. I sensed that his time has come, and today the vet confirmed it. My parents left it up to me to decide if I wish Juno to pass on naturally, or be euthanized, because Juno and I are like siblings. I'm starting to think that euthanasia might be best, because he's growing weaker by the day...but I can't bare it if I witness the euthanasia process. The last thing I'd rather see, is to see my friend alive, not a lifeless expression because I know I'll get extreme depression. Is it wrong if I'm not there in that last moment? I don't know what to do, and I have to decide by tomorrow. I'm so stressed out right now...I'm going to loose my canine brother.

    • zuzer 6 years ago

      animal lover - Go with Juno to your vet and hold him as the medication is given to him. It will help both of you with the process. One of the greatest responsibilities we have as pet keepers is deciding when to let them go. It's an incredible power and too often we keep them much longer than we should because we aren't ready for the pain of their loss.

      You know it's time now. He has THAT look in his eyes, and you have the opportunity to relieve his pain and suffering. When you are there to hold Juno's head in your arms as he calmly relaxes into sleep - a sleep that brings him to a place of no pain, no struggle, no fatigue - you will find know you have made the right choice for your loved canine brother. You will cry while it happens, and for days after. But having loved Juno so much, you are going to find you will love many more animals in the future that will be entrusted to your temporary care by God. He brings animals to us for a time, and each is in our lives to teach us a lesson. You will eventually know what Juno has taught you.

      I'm an "old" lady who had to let my first cat go right after I'd moved away from home to go to college. I'd had her since I was 5, and I swore I'd never have another again, it just hurt too much. Thirty-five years later I've enjoyed the company of seven cats and four dogs.

      We just went through this on Saturday with Honey. She had spent only 4 years with us, a rescued Golden/Great Pyrenees who was seven when she came here. She had Lupus and lots of medical problems in the last few weeks. She trusted us to care for her. We held her head as her vet gave her medicine that stopped her suffering.

      Since that first cat I've held each one of them. It's a peaceful going, and they know that I'm with them and there's nothing to fear, the person they trust is still caring for them in the most loving way possible. Pain is part of love, you can do this, it's all part of growing up. And you'll be amazed at the animals God will bring to you throughout your life to prepare you for your future.

      When we lost our first dog, Prince, to cancer, we were so devastated. Three months later I took our cat to the vet for a checkup and the receptionist there told me she had someone she'd like me to meet. Bear, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever had been left by his family the week Prince had been put down, and they'd talked about how we were the right family for him. Our cat loved him, he loved us and was with us for many years. We had to let him go because of cancer, we got Honey; our cat, Zuzu had to be let go because of a tumor; a descendent of hers, Jessica came to live with us; and six months ago, at our vet while I was there with a friend to pick up her cat, a 7 month old lab/retriever mix puppy needed a home, so now another Bear (we don't name them, we adopt them!), has come to live with us. We know they won't be with us forever, we live longer than they do. But we can't imagine a life without animals, can't stand the thought of coming in our door and not being greeted by a furry animal with four feet.

      You and Juno go to the vet this morning. Go into the room with him, hold his head. It's a very peaceful thing. Have him cremated so you can have him at your home and scatter/bury his ashes (we have our pets ash boxes as bookends, it's a small family joke). The vet will give you time with him, time to gather yourself afterwards, tissues, and probably cry some with you. You will feel right about doing this, and have no regrets. And I'll stand with my arms around you the whole time. DG

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      Animal Lover, I am so sorry about Juno. It really sounds like you have a strong bond together. If you cannot bear seeing him go to sleep, you can always say your good byes at the vet's office in the room and leave before they give the injection. At the vet office I worked at many people did this. There is no right or wrong approach just do what makes you feel better. Big hug and best wishes.

    • Summer Wolf profile image

      Summer Wolf 6 years ago from Cashmere, Washington

      Animal Lover; you need to do what is right for you emotionally. Either way you will wonder if you did the right thing, this is normal. But the right thing always happens, it just may not happen the way us humans think it should. If you are not with Juno at that last moment, that's the way it was suppose to be. Juno will not be alone if you are not with him. Do not beat yourself up over it. Juno will always love you and you him and your bond will never be broken as long as you love him. Be at peace.

      Tirza Laughs: You did the right thing for Lolly. It takes courage and strength to decide what would be the right thing to do in your situation. Lolly was given to you because a greater power decided you were strong enough to make that decision. Be at peace.

    • Holly Crews 6 years ago

      This was in fact the hardest thing I've ever done!! My thirteen week old puppy Zoey, was outside playing and a rabbid raccoon bit her and I saved her from the raccoon anyways the raccoon tested positive and since it was more than likely she had been exposed the health dept made me put her down, I didn't want to but I thought about the consequences! I loved her more than anything so sweet, beautiful and playful! Always with me every step of the way and now I miss her dearly! I feel so guilty also!!

    • ChrissieM 6 years ago

      My dog Nounous (meaning teddy in french) has recently been getting worse. The vet said it was a type of stomach olcer or lump that was cancer of the bowel and gave her some medication but she eventually got worse, started to bleed internally and now tomorrow we are going to put her to sleep so she can rest in peace. The decision came when she was eating a large tin a day of food but not putting on the weight.

      This is the hardest decision that I have ever had to make with my mother. She wasn't just the first and only dog i ever had as a kid. She used to lay on the floor next to my keyboard when I was learning piano, run into my room to see if I was there, play with me in the backyard but slowly, the older she got, the less active she became. I will miss her when she is gone but know that it is better to put her to sleep then to watch her die or fade before my eyes. I know its the right thing to do, for everyone, but that never makes it any easier. I hope that I can go through with it and look her in the eye as she dies so she knows that I was with her from the start to the end. But dont know if I can watch them put her down.

      Thank You for this article and I hope to see her in Heaven one day.

    • lizzy 6 years ago

      my dog has a lot of tumors barley eats or walks she is 14 and she has been with me from 6 weeks old. i have to take her to be put down today ive been postponning it out of my own selfishness. i want her forever but she has lived a great life! she will enter doggie heaven today and i will miss my noni so very much!

    • ELeeH profile image

      ELeeH 6 years ago

      As soon as I started reading this, I started crying, remembering when we had to put down our 8 y.o. boxer, Abby.

      Luckily for us, we had friends who had to put down their pet a few months earlier and told us they found a vet who would come to your home to perform the euthanasia. It was the best thing in the world! Abby was laying on her favorite blanket, with her head on my lap. The vet gave the shot and she just drifted off, her head in my lap, just like the many nights she would jump on the couch next to me and doze off.

      I'm so thankful to the vet, and to my friends for telling me about this option. It made the decision we had been putting off for too long much easier. Abby was calm, at home, laying on the people who loved her.

      If you know putting your pet to sleep is what you SHOULD do, but just can't bring yourself to do it, take a look around to see if there are any vets in your area that will do this (and it was not much more expensive either - I would have paid double just because she was so calm).

    • schoolmarm profile image

      schoolmarm 6 years ago from Florida

      I cried when I read this hub and the many comments form dog parents that had to face this. I am so grateful not to be facing this decision at this time and my heart goes out to all of you that are.

    • frank and beth 6 years ago

      cooper the airedale sadly had to be put down 3 hours ago age 12. Famous for eating 6 lb's of raw doe a number of years ago and was written about in dogs in canada magazine and readers digest He gave us so much joy I am still crying Frank

    • Autumns Dad 6 years ago

      We put my Shih Tzu Autumn to sleep yesterday. Autumn was about 16. We got her from the pound when she was around 2 years old. Over the past year we noticed Autumn lost her eyesight as well as her hearing. She frequently had accidents around the house and just about stopped barking completely. Over this passed weekend,Autumn began vomiting white foam throughout the house. We stopped her food with the hope she would be well in about 24 hours. During this time, Autumn collapsed and wouldn't stand at all. She stared into nothing and didn't even flinch. She began pooping what looked like black tar. Again, we hung in there, tried giving her water which she refused to drink for over 24 hours and was almost unresponsive exscept a stand up and wobbled walk to poop then she would collapse again. We took her to the vet who said there wasn't anything she could do and she reccomended we put her to sleep. Without any type of blood work or testing she said Autumns condition was grave. Her body was quitting on her and her spirit was hanging on. I asked her if she was sure. And she said she was. We made the decision there since all of us were by her side to say good bye. Im very sad over this and am having a hard time saying goodbye. I know time will ease the pain but I miss her so much already and its only been 17 hours.

    • Tony 6 years ago

      It has been less than six hours since we had Rustie, our 15 year old chow, put down. It still doesn't seem real yet. The vet came out to the car to examine her one last time and confirmed our decision. Rustie's arthitis was getting worse and she had problems getting up. She was losing control of bladder and bowel movements. In spite of all her pain she never complained. I am at peace with our decision knowing that Rustie is no longer suffering.

    • Laura 6 years ago

      I'm so sad as I write this. I don't think our Golden Retriever of almost 9 years is going to make it through the holidays. He has mast cell tumors that have spread to his spleen and one of his lymph nodes. Chemo would only give him about 6 months more and his quality of life would suffer. We have 2 small kids so we're trying to prepare them as best we can. But it's so hard. Not only to explain but to determine when it's time to say goodbye. He still eats/drinks and pees/poops but just doesn't have that same spunk that he used to and just seems sad as well. To the author's point at the beginning of this it's hard to know when it's too soon versus too late. I'm hoping that somehow in his own way he lets us know when the time is right so that we can thank him for loving us so much before he moves on to the rainbow bridge. Pets are with us for such a short time but make an impact that lasts forever.

    • JoeJoeBean 6 years ago

      I am currently dealing with decision. My lab mix was diagnosed with oral melanoma 4 weeks ago. He has always been my little man. He was a stray running around in a neighborhood. Rescued him and he hasn't left my side. He isn't a dog that lets on that anything is wrong. He doesn't wimper or cry. I never knew anything was wrong until the tumor in his mouth ruptured. It developed so quickly. Literally overnight. So after rushing to the vet and having a biopsy I found out its the worst form of cancer. Very aggressive. My options all seem terrible. I have my first appt. with the oncologist tomorrow. Reading all these post helps so much. Knowing I'm not alone. I lost my GSD 3yrs ago. He had a large tumor pressing on his lungs and his stomach. That was such an easy decision compared to this. I don't want my little man to suffer.

    • Flashydog 6 years ago

      I am also being forced to deal with this decision, I have a Bassett hound that back legs are starting to give out on her. I have had to carry her in from outside, carry here home on short walks because she could not make it on her own. She is sleeping through my husband coming home from work(she used to do a "Flash-Dance" around the house). She is a sleepy kind of breed but she is up about 1/8 the time she used to be. Her slight heart murmur of youth is a #4 and her lungs are filling with fluid and her heart is starting to strangle her when she gets excited! I have her on heart pills, and am trying to keep her not excited at all(not easy). Flash still has moments of youth like abandon but she then sleeps for hours after hacking and coughing, and is lethargic for days after. Weather is also a major factor it is winter, and my vet wants me to"limp her through till spring and get one more year". (his words) I just don't know if that is good for her or not.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      You must determine if she has more bad days than good and act accordingly. Your vet seems quite optimistic, which is nice, but what kind of supportive care is he providing to buy her time? I am linking one of my articles on determining a dog's quality of life for future reference if you have any doubts. If she were to meet your vet's expectations that would be great, sending my very best wishes your way!

    • Laura 6 years ago

      As a follow-up to my earlier post--I'm saddened to say that a week ago we ended up putting down our beloved Bailey of almost 9 years. He was 'fine' through Christmas and gave me a great gift by walking with me one last time on Christmas night. The day after was the beginning of the end and he slowly declined for the next few days until his last. My husband and I miss him terribly and continue to wonder if we did everything we could. Rationally we know we did, but emotionally we feel guilty. We were there with him when he took his last breath which was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I miss him so very much and while I'm sad for everyone on this blog to have to face these circumstances I'm glad to know we're not alone and there are others who love their pets as much as we do. I hope you all find peace in the new year.

    • Joanne 6 years ago

      I have a 7 year old german shepherd who has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor my husband and myself are know going through the agonising stage of deciding wether or not to have her put to sleep or to see if an operation will work.

      When we spoke to the vet he said there is a high posibility the operation might not work. there is a possibility she will not come out of the op alive. there is also a posibility she might never be able to walk properly on her front legs cause of where the tumor is.

      It is hard for us to make this decision as both of our children have grew up with the dog and i no they will miss her terribly.

    • Craig and Becky 5 years ago

      We are also currently facing this impossible decision. Buddy is 10 years old and in may last year had a giant swelling on his anus. We took him to the vets and they took a sample of the fluid and it came back clear. The vets drained off some of the fluid and he has been fine since. Last week he started yelping when getting up and the swelling had got very large again. He was struggling to go to the toilet so we took him to the vets again. This time they did and xray and found that the fluid mass was hiding a boney mass behind it. The options were not great we were told they could attempt to remove it but because of its position and the difficulty in getting to it it was unlikely they would be able to remove. They said they could also send to a specialist but it was their opinion they would have the same problems. The third option was to put him to sleep while he was there. We decided we wanted him home for as long as he was happy even if it was just a couple of weeks, the vets gave us rimadyl which they said would help with the pain. To our dismay 2 days later he seems to be already taking a turn for the worse. He is restless, yelping more often, has difficulty getting comfortable, has difficulty getting up and down stairs, does not look his usual happy self although he still wags his tail and likes to be petted, and our main worry that the vet warned us of is that he is having trouble going to the toilet and sometimes a water discharge comes out. We just dont know when the best time to have him put to sleep is. We dont want to leave it too long to the point where he is in a lot of pain but then again we dont want it to be too early and we lose precious days or maybe even weeks with him. Im sure the quality of life guide will help but we just wish there was an easy answer.

    • lindatymensky profile image

      lindatymensky 5 years ago

      A thoughtful and informative article. Thanks. Linda

    • tiffany 5 years ago

      My dog is 15 years old, I have had her since I was 9 and she has been such an amazing girl. Her age is beginning to show more and more but I'm not sure if it's the "right time" she has a lot of gum problems but she also has a heart murmur so my vet doesn't want to risk any kind of surgery. She has some major anxiety issues, and if I'm not arround she can't be calm. She won't eat or drink without me around, which makes it really hard for me to go on any kind of trip. She's such a good girl and sometimes (though rarely) she seems so happy. I don't know what to do, I feel like either decision is selfish. Any advice from someone with an unbiased opinion?

    • imissyou 5 years ago

      i had to put my dog down today after ten years.

      she had liver disease, bone cancer, heart disease and arthritis .

      i miss her more then anything in this world, i know it was best for her, but its so hard to let go, she was part of the family.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      Well thank you :) No, I have never had a dog put down, knock on wood, my dogs are still young. But as a vet assistant and shelter helper I have seen countless dogs put down, and when I saw the owners in tears it was like if I could feel their pain and it never got easier. I do not have a Facebook account, but am working on building a group and website for my dog training business. Will keep you updated.

    • martina 5 years ago

      We had our dog put to sleep this past Wednesday. She had severe arthritis, and could no longer get up. She was uncomfortable. She seemed liked she did not want to eat anymore, either. She was 16 years old and I still cry every day. Did I morally have that right to end her life. My husband and I miss her dearly.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      Well, 16 years old is a remarkable age! It sounds like she was giving you strong signs it was her time.. Please cherish her memories, I am sure if she could talk she would thank you for giving her such a fulfilled life and ask you to celebrate her life instead of mourning. Remember dogs live in the present! Make a nice scrap book about her, write a memoir, but most of all, cherish her memories dearly..we will all reunite with our loved pets over the rainbow bridge one day!

    • Susanne62 5 years ago

      Reading your article and everyone's comments has been very helpful to me. I too am being faced with the fact that my Maggie is nearing the end. She is 11 and a half years old and was diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart). She's been on a heart medication since last June and now requires a diuretic (water pill) to remove fluid from her heart and lungs. She has been coughing for several years due to her condition. But now the coughing is much worse and she pants constantly and wheezy in the night when trying to sleep. She can't get comfortable and is constantly getting up and moving around. I've had Maggie since she was 9 weeks old and she is my everything. I don't go anywhere without her. We do alot of boating and she is always with us and has always loved "The Boat" Now for the past 8 months she has no interest in coming to the boat and will sit on the grass and refuse to come. I have to pick her up and carry her to the boat. I love her so much and can't bear the thought of her not being there anymore. At the house she follows me everywhere, never leaves my side. This is so painful for me because in one way I don't want to be without her and on the other I don't want her to be suffering. I can clearly see that she is not the same dog that she once was. Yet she is still happy to see me when I come home from work, wagging her tail. Still loves special treats. I cook all her food by the way, have been for about 7 years. She does not eat commercial dogfood. I cook beef, chicken breast, chicken livers, lean ground mixed with rice. She has always loved her food and has a beautiful coat to show for it. She is Llasa Apso x Pekinese. She is very pretty and anyone who has ever met Maggie has said she looks like "Lady" from Lady and the Tramp. Her personality is that of a person, she is so sweet, loving and gentle. This is where I struggle with this decision. I keep hoping she will pass on her own in her sleep. By God's will. I am so torn :(

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      Stories like yours are so heart breaking I can feel the pain. It would be nice if pets could pass peacefully in their sleep. But more often than not, it is unfortunately the owner's task to decide. Best wishes whichever decision you make about Maggie. She sure sounds like a wonderful dog!

    • Kathy  5 years ago

      we are in the stage of trying to make a humane decision. Our pug Bruno is 14. He is bling from cateracs and his hearing is going. His back legs are giving out and now one of the front ones is starting. He still eats, drinks, barks (a lot now). Some barks are to go out, some are to say (we think) help me find my water bowl, and some are just where is everyone. I left the vet today after he had a steroid injection and given 14 predisone pills to possibly start tomorrow. The question we are given is "the quality of life"? He just doesn't seem ill enough for me to end his life. He can't use a sling or wheels because the front leg is starting to go. Should we wait for him to show signs of illness or weakness ? Am I being selfish? I've said goodbye to pets in the past and it was time but this just isn't the same.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      If you are seeing signs of him not being ready and if he still seems to appreciate some little joys of life you are not being selfish. There is really no right or wrong answer here it is all about assessing quality of life and grasping what are your feelings about your boy. Nobody knows your dog better than you and if you believe your dog is not ill enough to end its life give him some time. If it doesn't feel right better wait some time than regret the lost chances of spending still some quality time together. I am providing a link about quality of life in dogs, I hope it helps. My very best wishes,

    • Jerry 5 years ago

      I put my best friend down today it was so very hard but I know I did my very best for over 16 years to make sure she knew she was loved, even till the end when I held her and I told her how much I would miss her. With tears flowing I held her little face and kissed her.

      I'm sitting here not wanting to go bed because she has slept next to me in bed for 16 years. My heart is breaking, I love and miss you Baby.

    • Sally 5 years ago

      Your hub brings back so many painful memories. I have lost a few of my best friends over the years and the loss never really goes away. It's a cruel irony, that Man's best friend has such a short life span. The only thing I can figure is they are angels that walk among us for a little while, until their assignment with us is done. Thank God there are so many more just waiting to be adopted and loved. Life would a much lonelier place with out so many great canine companions. I love and miss you my pups, sleep well, someday we will all be running and playing together again in heaven.

    • dianneshr1 5 years ago

      I have a white German Sheperd, she is 12 years old. Her back legs give out all the time then she is afraid to move. she is having a hard time going up and down the stairs. I love her so much and I think that it is time? she is on pain killers and thyroid medicine. My husband wants to wait, what should I do?

    • Mama of Jak Blak 5 years ago

      This last month has been unbearable. One minute happy to see my best friend eating, the next devasted that he hasn't eaten in two days. Jak best friend! WE have been together since he was 4 months old. Jak was an 11 year boxer lab mix, that was so full of life! He has experienced many different stages of life with me, some not as honest as others, but loved me all the same. He was an outstanding dog and the most loyal friend that i have ever known. Today I had to put my buddy down. It has been excruiating. I just hope that I made the right decision for him. One minute i feel as if what i have done was the right thing and the next like i have made the biggest mistake of my life! I just couldn't stand to watch him another day unable to move...just laying there on pain meds. His back legs officially gave out last night. I will miss my buddy and know that we will meet up again down the road.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      Dianne, this is one of the most difficult decisions, you have to think what is best for the dog, is she giving signs of giving up or is she still happy? Here is a helpful guide:

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      Mama of Jak Blak, I almost feel your pain! I am sure Jak Blak is watching you from the above and telling you not to let those painful thoughts cross your mind! Dogs live in the present, if he could talk I am sure he would tell you to celebrate his life instead of mourning and to cherish all the good times you had together!

    • AmeliaKat profile image

      AmeliaKat 5 years ago

      My human has had to do this with 3 of our canine family members over the years. Fortunately all of them were "ladies who knew it was time to leave" and made it clear that it was time.

      They made it easier on her but it was still so very very painful for all of us to lose our friends.

    • Susanne62 5 years ago

      I thought I would update you to my last comment of 2 months ago. Our Maggie did pass away on her own on June 11th 2011. She knew I struggled with euthanasia and I'm glad things went the natural way. It was a very difficult day and I haven't stopped crying since. I miss her terribly. She is buried in our backyard and we have made a beautiful memorial for her. So I am able to visit her everyday. The pain of losing your best furry friend is unreal yet I look back at all the fun and love we shared together in her short 11 years and 9 months and I am so grateful to have had her in my life.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      So sorry to hear that, my deepest condolences. I am sure Maggie appreciates your gratefulness for having her. It is when dogs make so much impact in our lives that simply cherishing the fact of having had them makes their lives and our lives so worthy and full of meaning.

    • georgeco 5 years ago

      i am in a combative struggle with myself on what to do my dog Ajax a big teady bear of a german shephard was diagnosed with kidney failure last tuesday and it has seemed to hit him very hard the vet gave him iv fluids till yesterday morning and we brought him home the vet told us it is all up to him at this point he just needs to eat to get stronger and healthier. yesterday looked very promising he was up and about weak mind you but none the less up i had to force feed him and he was able to take it and keep it down. this morning we woke up at around 1030 in the morning and he stayed in the same place till 300 in the afternoon. he wasn't able to stand or sit up and completely rejected the food i gave him didn't even swallow just spit it up there was hope today when he got up wobblier than ever and went outside. he seems to be doing worse today then any other day since last tuesday. we are thinking of taking him tomm to end his suffering but don't know if it is too premature.

    • Dog Crate 5 years ago

      my heart sinks if i get thru articles like these

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      This sounds like a very difficult decision to make, I am posting my hub on a dog's quality of life best wishes whichever decision you make.

    • Angela  5 years ago

      I too am struggling with evaluating my dog. My 14 1/2 year old blue heeler/border collie began to stagger and was unable to walk. Went to the vet and she needed fluids and support came home with the hopes she would improve. Then developed nystagnus

      which was constant without reprieve the next day. Unable to walk eat. Fortunately I was able to give her fluids at home and went back to the vet two days later. The vet suspects she may have a central process causing the vertigo and placed her on steroids. Now the nystagnus s resolved. She is eating (only the can cat food and pork roast sometimes) No interest in many other foods she loved. No tail wagging, no herding behavior no interest in toys, and no interest in me. Prior to this she would stalk me and is obsessed with retrieving. Now she just lays on the floor only gets up to go outside to urinate.

      The struggle for me is how long to I give her to improve. I am not afraid of euthanasia. My last dog had untreatable cancer and began having untreatable pain and euthanasia ended his suffering. I am blessed to have a vet who will help me with this decision but it is difficult. Ultimately I would rather make the decision to early than too late.

    • fashion 5 years ago

      Very informative and useful hub.

      Well done.

    • Clucy profile image

      Kristin Tamke 5 years ago from Frederick, MD

      It is a hard decision we all must make. I truly believe your dog will let you know when it is time. By their behavior, their moods, and their personality. I know they will be waiting for us on the other side and speak of our character and how we treated them.

    • Regrets 5 years ago

      I wish i could have known to take my darling beautiful little girl to the vet. She had been vomiting but then seemed okay, so i put off taking her to the vet. I will always regret my stupid decision. By the time i realised she wasn't okay, she went downhill very quickly (a matter of minutes) it was too late to take her to the vet. She died in my arms last night in alot of pain. I still don't know why. To all those people trying to decide whether to have their dogs put to sleep, please, please don't delay it like i did. My Nahla was the most beautiful, gentle girl in the world and she didn't deserve to go that way. No doggie deserves that. I will have to live with the knowledge that my best friend in the world suffered terribly at the end and had i have known the signs i could have prevented it.

    • christy 5 years ago

      I have a 13 and a half year old westie mix. I got him when he was 3 weeks old. He truly has been my little buddy. When I got him I was 3 months pregnant and he was there with me the whole way. He has watched my daughter grow up. He has helped me through two divorces and many other hardships. We have had a lot of fun together from car rides ans trips to swimming and lots of cuddling. Through the years his skin took a turn for the worst. He scratches constantly to the point he bleeds. Most of his hair is gone and his skin is raw. I have tries shots, treatments, meds, special shampoos, and more. Nothing helps. He is pretty much deaf and has a hematoma on his ear. His back hips have arthritis and he hobbles around. He can't jump or climb steps anymore without you lifting him up then he yelps when you touch his back legs. He has a big fatty tumor on his side and 3 other small ones on other parts of his body. He has black skin disease and most of his white skin is now black. He lays around all day and only gets up to go to the bathroom. He has a hard time holding pee and throws up sometimes after eating. Lately he looks at me with the saddest eyes half drooped down like he is miserable. He hobbles when he does walk and can only walk. He can't run anymore and he used to run so fast everywhere. He was always very excited to see everyone and wanted to jump in your arms and lick you to death. Now you are lucky if he even looks up at you. I feel sad for him but I just can't say goodbye. Everyone in my family thinks I am wrong for letting him suffer. That he would be better off but I have had him so long I just don't know what to do. I do not have a ton of money to keep taking him back to the vet and he is quite old. I just feel like if i put him to sleep I am giving up. We have had a lot of good happy years together and he has lived a good happy life but I know the spark in him is gone. Does this mean its time for me to let go? Your opinions please...........

    • Lynzee 5 years ago

      I had to put my best friend, Biscuit down alittle over a year ago, She was indeed the family pet and a "human dog" if that makes sense, and wasnt known much for her manners (she hardly ever stayed out from under the dinner table and ALWAYS begged... but I loved that little Beagle for all 11 happy years of her life! She always had really bad ear infections and we some how managed to hold those at bay but eventually it got to the point where where she couldnt hear at all as her ears swelled shut... then.. one night she suddenly started bumping into things and honestly it scared my whole family... so we took her in and what to our saddness, she was developing Glaucoma in one eye and had a cataract in the other... The months after that and leading up to my decision really tore me appart, every night I'd pray that I wouldnt have to be the one to make the dicision, that God take her peacefully in her sleep... but in hindsight I am glad that now she no longer suffers and is no doubt chasing birds like crazy at Rainbow Bridge... In the months following that sad day, I have thought fondly of what she might be doing... perhaps when the angels carried her to the bridge, she would like fashion to what happened in life would see the birds and go absolutely nuts wriggling like crazy to be let down to go chase them! It is for certain that I am looking forward to seeing her again someday... Thank you for your blog Alexandry!

    • meekiecookie 5 years ago

      Hi, i have a dog named cookie, 8 months. He had his first collapse around on his months. The 2nd collapse was just this month, the vet said cookie had eaten pork fat. One week later for his check up, even before we went to the vet, he collapsed again. The same symptom prior to his collapse, he was restless, barking and walking in circles until he bumps while walking with his forelimbs showing weakness and then he collapsed. 3 days after we checked him out, we rushed cookies again to the vet because of the same reason. The vet ran some tests and found out he had a heart failure, he had a blue-baby syndrome and told us he wont be long.. now it seems the time of the attacks is shortened. the 5th attack was 1 day after we checked him out from the 4th attack. and then having attacks again in minutes.. we do not know what to do, the vet suggested if we consider him to put to sleep..

      please help me.. its been 5 days of me crying everynight thinking of losing him.. but reading this article somewhat shed some light, it is a very hard decision..:(

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      I really wished i could help, these are really tough decisions, at times a second vet opinion helps..All I can do is attach a link about quality of life..

    • tonya 5 years ago

      today my heart is hurting as i lay my dog to rest before making that decsion i looked in her eye she gave me the okay she smile at me so peaceful an said you will be okay i leave my son to watch over you dont cry tell him im at peace now 15 years of good time i must go .Hennessey my 15 year old Boxer will be miss but never forgotten We are family for life. Missing you already it only been 2 hours LOVE YOU MUCH REST IN PEACE .....Tonya

    • Suzie 5 years ago

      We read your article, Alexadry, and it has helped us so much as we have made the decision about the right time to take our beloved Chuli to the vet and say goodbye. We feel as if we have 10 ton rocks sitting on our chests as we make this decision. She was diagnosed with liver cancer and it is clear that it is time. She has been the best pal to us - we have always felt like a family - she will leave a huge hole in our home.

    • Diamond94 profile image

      Diamond94 5 years ago

      I read these stories and my heart is breaking. I have had many dogs and cats and it is never an easy decision. But now I am faced with having to put down my gem, Diamond. She is 17 years old and has been a joy. Up to 2 weeks ago,she was still prancing and loving and eating, then one day my husband was home from work and she began to sieze. We rushed her to the vet. They found a mass in her spleen and that her Blood sugar was extremely low. We were told honestly that to put a dog at this age through the trauma of removing the spleen was not recommended.

      We took her home. I started to feed her eggs, Karo syrup, ham, cheese, spaghetti ... why ... because she no longer would eat her dog food.

      Now I spend every day at work, wondering will she still be alive when I get home. She still "tries" to walk, but wobbles. She doesn't eat as much. I guess the reason I can't bring myself to put her to sleep is because she has good days and bad.

      I know I am just prolonging the inevitable, but the thought of "walking her to her sleep" eats away at my heart.

      It will never be an easy decision for any pet owner. I will suffer now and suffer for years to come.

      They come into our lives with joy and nothing but love. They offer us a smile and a lick when we are down and ask for nothing in return. We open our hearts to them, but must ultimately remember that God needs them too.

    • David 5 years ago

      my dog has been suffering athritis for years and today we just noticed she cant walk, im so sad, reality has hit me hard, my father always said she might go soon, I always just ignored what he said but she cant even drink or eat on her own, what should I do, im so sad, ive had her since she was a puppy for 15 years.

    • kim 5 years ago

      would you ever put a dog down bec it was mean?

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      David, it's one of the toughest decisions an owner will face, all I can do is give you a link about evaluating quality of life:

      kim, I would try first to have a behaviorist or two evaluate the dog and ask their opinion and advice, best wishes

    • laura 5 years ago

      About 2 months ago my husband and I made the very hard decision of putting our 13 year old lab-collie to sleep. Johnson was suffering through seizures and could barely walk on his one bad back leg. We got him when he was 6 weeks old and has been the best dog in the whole world,he was momma's sucky and daddy's shadow! He had comforted me when my mother passed away and i was there to comfort him when he passed away! i will never have another dog like him! He was my best friend! i love you Johnson and i miss you terribly! momma is always here!

    • Kelly 5 years ago

      I just had to put my dog down today and it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. She was apart of my family for 10 years, but she was suffering and we couldn't let her suffer any more. She had a brain tumor and we kept her comfortable for as long as we could. Last night she started moaning, and just wanting to be outside and we knew it was her time, and she was telling us she was ready to go. It was very peaceful and I am so glad I got to be there with her until the end. She is at peace now. All the joy she gave I will never forget.

    • Bruce Leroy 5 years ago

      My 10 year old Boxer "Hank" passed away on his own last weekend. He had been diagnosed with cancer over 2 years ago and was given 2-3 months to live. I knew that he would let us know when it was time. Had a lot of great days and some tough days. On the tough days I gave him his meds so he could just rest and not be in pain. There were certainly a few times where I felt the end was near but then he would be happy and running and playing the next day. About 3 weeks ago he had a seizure which scared me pretty bad but he was fine after about 20 seconds. My wife (who works at a vet clinic) said it would be soon. We were in the back yard playing around on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Suddenly I heard him scuffling around by the back door. I looked over to see him stammering and knew he was going into a seizure again. I ran over to him and was holding his head in my lap when suddenly his eyes went blank and he stopped breathing. I was frantic as his body continued to try and breathe all though he was "gone". One of his tumors had ruptured and blood rushed throughout his body killing him instantly. It was extremely traumatic for me and I'm still completely devastated over the loss but it could not have ended better for him. He lived so much longer then they said he would which let's me know how happy he was and how much he enjoyed life. All he knows is it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon, he was having a good time playing with his Poppa, and then he went to sleep. He was one of the "boys". He went every where with me and was my security blanket anytime I heard a strange noise at night. I'll never forget him and will forever have a piece of my heart missing. These things make you realize how valuable life is and how quickly it can be taken. Never forget to tell the people and pets in your life that you love them. Enjoy every day and God Bless. If your pet is suffering do the right thing and put them to sleep. YOU know in your heart when the time is right.

    • tonya 5 years ago

      Hello all it been two week of Hennessey HOME GOING an I feel good knowing that she is in great hands....leaving her son Maxwell ( 9years old boxer )he is still grieving but i understand... six month ago a got two puppies for this day... They make him happy but he still have his down time i just need help on how to comfort him when he cry all night I change his house around but i left his mother blanket an pillow thinking it will comfort him but i think its doing more damage then good ..brinnging back great memories { I love him so much............How do I change a fown to a smile love him so much I dont want him to suffer no more......

    • chantelle berry 5 years ago

      Me and my boyfriend have just lost our little baby Yogi, he was only 3 he was a beautiful chihuahua black with white socks. I am well and truly distraught the vet told me it was extremely unlikely he would die and he did sunday at roughly 4 o clock. He was full of character he smiled grinning his teeth and would do it upon saying smilieees, he loved me so much. He would follow me everywhere so well behaved but with a rebellious streak. My home feels empty without him and i am so confused on what to do.

      I feel for anyone that has ever lost their baby.

      chantelle x

    • Bruce Leroy 5 years ago

      I would recommend when you feel the time is right to get another pet. You will never replace your loss and they will always have a special place in your heart. But there are plenty other souls out there that would be blessed to have you as their "owner" too. It's a chance to start another "chapter" in your book of's a beautiful thing

    • Ann 5 years ago

      After 13 years my bestest man jasper (jassy jaff) has passed away. 4 months ago he was diagnosed with heart failure, we had been given tablets to help him and he was doing really well almost back to his old self. Then 3 days ago he after his breakfast, he was sick did,nt think anything of it. Then my father came to vist and as usual fetched biscuits for the dogs, jasper as usual wolfed them down with great pleasure. But shortly after he was sick again, i then thought he must have picked up a tummy bug on one of his walks. Shortly after this my son popped in to see how we all were and to check on his dog Mani who we look after while he is at work. He went to talk to his dad and to see Jasper who was in another room.On seeing Jasper he shouted what is wrong with the dog he is shaking.I went to see him and he was sitting in the Kitchen and really not shaking as such more like a severe tremble i phoned the vet and made an appointment for later in the day but by the time he was due to go to the vets he just could'nt walk and was lying on his bed and making like a deep moan and tremble both at the same time.we had to put him in the car on his bed to take him to the vets he looked so poorly the vet checked him over and said he might have gastro enteritis gave him 3 injections one for the sickness an antibotic and i think a steroid and said to fetch him back following day if no better and she would take some bloods to test. My husband sat up all night with him as he was so poorly the next day he was still really ill so i phoned the vet to take him back when we got there he was laid on the vets table to be exaimed and she said he might have been in the last stages of heart failure she then felt a a large lump in his stomach and decided to scan his tummy but he would need to be given strong pain releif to do this we left him at the vets and went back to collect him an hour later we were ushered into a room by the vet where she told us that his liver and gallbladder were enlarged and he had a solid mass in his stomach which could be cancer they could operate but because of his heart condition he most likely would not survive she said it would be best to put him to sleep we were all devestated he was the love and joy of all our lives and we al new that this time would come but we wanted one more night with him so it was decided that we would take him home and a vet would come the next day to put him to sleep at home but if he got worse a vet would come in the night I am so thankful that we did this he had been given a morphine injection and was comfortable and not in pain and we could give him a codine pill later as the morphine would only last for 8 hrs he lay on his bed in front if the fire that eveing and all the family sat with him and told him how much we all loved him and how much fun and joy that he had fetched us and all the while dreading the vet coming in the morning to put him to sleep but as he layed peacefully with us he passed away on his own i will forever be thankful that i fetched him home with us that day so we could all have some special time with him He has been buried beside his brother who sadly passed away only 11 months ago and my brothers dog who sadly as well only passed away 18 months ago they were all weirmaraniers and grew up together the grief that we are all suffering is so bad i never thought i could hurt so much i will love and miss jasper for the rest of my life and it is hard to think that only 5 days ago he went on his walk and made a fuss at tea time as soon as his food bowl was picked up and was so healthy for a dog off his age with Heart failure and 2 days later we were burying him he will forever be in our thoughts a true gent never to be forgotten R.i.P jasper 1998-2011

    • Cindy 5 years ago

      My labradoole, Bruno, will turn 5 in two weeks. He was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer, with no alternate treatment at all last Tuesday. He was limping early September. Xray and blood tests showed no sign of foul play. We thought it was a sprang. Now I am guessing that it is bone cancer. In 5 weeks, it has spread to his digestive system. He is not eating at all, only on pain medication. I am searching for divine wisdom when he is ready to go. He looks weaker each day, but still affectionate, communicative. He responds to us when we pat and cuddle him. It is hard to know when he is ready. But, I know that day is in near distance. We don't want to end his time prematurely. But, how do we know?

    • Bruce Leroy 5 years ago

      Sorry to hear of your loss Ann I know how devastating it can be my prayers go out to you and your family during this tough time.

      Cindy, I would recommend to have a Vet take a look at Bruno. If at all possible he will try to comfort you by showing affection regardless of how bad he may feel. The best bet is to have a professional take a look. If there is nothing that can be done (I know the last thing you want to hear) and he is only getting worse and suffering then it's time to let him go to "sleep" and no longer be in pain. It's a very tough decision and again, the best bet is to have a professional let you know. Hope this helps

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      Bruce Leroy, it is very tough, here is a helpful link:

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      Anne I will share the same link for you during this time of hardship, many best wishes

    • Mike 5 years ago

      I have a 6yr old female Dobie with cancer in her Liver. Its breaking my heart. I cry 3 times a day. We've decided to put her down in 2 days. Im so heart broken.

    • Anthony 5 years ago

      I have a 9 year old cocker spaniel who has a terrible skin disorder... he leaves a film of white dander(snow) all over the house. we have been dealing with this for a coupele years and he has been on every medication you can think of. With dozen and dozens of visits to multip vets. We bath him almost daily to no avail. He has an uncurable infection in his mouth and stinks beyond belif. It is making our home very unpleasent. We also have 2 young children with developing lungs and we are concerend that the excessive dandar is going to cause issue later in life. Asthma etc. My daughter already has some alergy issues which we could possibly blame on the dander. The dog is our baby he has slept in our bed with us since he was a puppy. He is the most loving dog I have ever come accross. He is gerneraly happy and other than the skin problems in farily good health.

      We have been thinking on having him put to rest but struggle with it. Help! Can some of you give me your thoughts on our situation?

    • LisaU 5 years ago

      On May 13, 2011, we made the most difficult decision in our lives to put our beloved Boxer, Brutus, to sleep. I cannot express how much we miss him. I still cry everyday, even now as I write this. I know it was the right decision as he suffered 2 bouts of thrombocytopenia within 10 months. For those that don't know what this is it is a disorder in which there is an abnormally low amount of platelets. On the tenth month, he had a vet appointment, Tuesday, May 10, 2011 and was given a clean bill of health. His medication was even lowered because he was doing so well. By Wednesday, May 11th, Brutus collapsed. The disease was back but this time with a vengeance. Our vet tried in vain to treat him for the next two days. By Friday, May 13th, our vet stated he was not getting better and there were no positive guarantees for additional medical treatment. We hated seeing him this way and the pain in my teenagers eyes was and still is unbearable. My father was crazy with Brutus as was Brutus with him. The vet waited for my father to arrive to say goodbye. My husband, my kids, my nephew and my Mom remained in the room along with the Vet and technicians. My father and I could not be there. I was really concerned with my Dad since he had suffered a heart attack only 4 months before. Dad broke down and even let out a little yelp. I was torn to pieces. A few minutes later it was all over. Everyone came into the waiting room and yes, even the vet and her staff were crying. It was the worst day of our lives.

      Our house is very quiet now and we don't like this. My husband has asked me several times if I want another dog but out of loyalty to my "Bru Bru"...well many of you know what I'm feeling.

      I too believe that one day we will meet again. The Bible, for those who believe, clearly speaks of how animals, pets, lived with their owners inside of their homes and of how the Lord approved of the relationship with "man" and animal. Treasure your pets, don't be harsh when scolding and don't hit them! We never struck Brutus and only loved him unconditionally and corrected him very rarely. He was a very disciplined dog which everyone always commented about and still do.

      We miss you "Bru Bru", you will always be "Mommy's Boy".

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      Anthony, it would be helpful if you could post the exact medical conditions your dog has been diagnosed with. What is exactly the skin condition and the incurable mouth issue?

    • Nature by Dawn profile image

      Dawn Ross 5 years ago

      I just had to put my Sephi to sleep last week. It was a very difficult decision where I was tempted to do everything I could to keep her going. I did an emergency blood transfusion in hopes this would buy her some time but when she only felt slightly better for half a day, I decided it wasn't in her best interest to go further. There was little hope of recovery and doing more blood transfusions would have required hours in a strange place around strange people.

      I really miss my Sephi. Your photo at the top almost looks like her.

    • My Girl Jinx 5 years ago

      I have an 11 year old boxer that walks in circles, she has been to the vet numerous times to get checked but they say nothing is wrong all tests are normal but she walks in circles. The vet says its either a brain tumor or Alzheimer. I am at a point where I think it maybe time for me to let go and after reading this it has helped me. The last thing I want is for my girl Jinx to suffer. She is getting worse, arthritis, soiling no more tail wagging, I know it's me and I need to let go. :( Thank you for posting this I know what I need to do. Quality of life for my beloved Jinx just is not there. I will hold her in my arms when the time comes and be there till the very end.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      Sorry to hear that, has the vet tried treating her for vestibular disease?

    • LisaU 5 years ago

      To My Girl Jinx, so sorry you are going through this. My heart aches for you. I want to share this with you in hopes that it will help you make the right decision.

      Part of our decision to put Brutus down was the fact that his qualify of life would change dramatically. On my posting, I did not go into the previous 10 months of treatment he endured. During that time I remember, he would just stare at me as if to say he couldn't go on. Then I would stare at him and say "Please, just give me another 2-3 years with you, I can't bare to lose you". I didn't want to accept it then, but Brutus was slowly leaving us. As you know, Boxer's like to jump up, be played with and be walked. The furthest he would have been able to walk, if he had survived another series off transfusions and medical treatment, was approximately 5-6 houses from our home and return. No more jumping on or off my son's bed, as this would cause platelets to break.

      About an hour before he passed, I held his face in my hands and brought my face to his. I looked deep into his eyes and this time saw he was tired and he was ready.

      You will know when it is time. Right now, love her, baby her, cuddle her and kiss her. Trust me in one of those moments she will look at you and you will know. I sympathize for you and this harsh decision. But trust me, one day you will awake and finally accept it was the best one under the circumstances. Bless you.

    • My Girl Jinx 5 years ago

      alexadry - I have not heard of that disease vestibular but I am going to ask my vet about it, thank you very much.

      LisaU - I read your story about Brutus and as you know Boxers are a breed apart, almost human in their ways. Thank you very much for your kind words I know the road I am facing is going to be very dificult, I spoil Jinx every minute of the day she sleeps right next to me and eats boiled chicken and rice (her fav) every day. I am going to ask the vet about vestibular disease and if that does not help I know what I have to do when the time comes. It is funny when I mentioned in here her tail has not wagged in a long time, I went home last night and was talking to a friend and I said Jinx has not wagged her tail in a long time and she said look Jinx is wagging it now and slightly her tail was going back and fourth almost like she understood what we were talking about and was saying not yet dad. :) I truly think Jinx will give me a sign but the last thing I want to do is take her before she is ready but at the same time I do not want her to suffer or stay drugged up on pain killers. Thank you again for your response this is a wonderful site and you know exactly what I have ahead of me.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      My girl Jinx, I am adding a link about vestibular disease so you can see if any of the symptoms appear familiar. The dizziness causing head tilts, walking in circles,and unsteady gait can be reduced with anti-dizziness meds such as meclizine:

    • lilash84 profile image

      lilash84 5 years ago from TX

      Attention all TRUE ANIMAL LOVERS... does it not bother anyone that I have 4 rescues who have illegally kept my dogs from me that are now going to have to be taken to court? What if it was your dogs? PLEASE HELP MINE TO COME HOME! PLEASE! THIS IS NOT A JOKE... PLEASE HELP MY DOGS TO GET HOME ? please read this it explains everything... I have an attorney now and we are suing the rescues in court as well as animal control they have been sent demand letters to return my dogs.. Who for FIVE MONTHS they have refused to return and adopted out dogs that didn't belong to them so they are TRAFFICKING IN STOLEN PROPERTY WHICH IS A FELONY

    • MyGirlJinx profile image

      MyGirlJinx 5 years ago from Seaside, CA

      Hello Alexadry - I had the vet check for vestibular disease but unfortunately that was not the case, they are still sticking to middle stages of Alzheimer and or a brain tumor causing the walking in circles etc. I am making Jinx as comfortable as possible while I work myself up to doing what I need to do soon. Thank you for all your support, I will post the results when we get there.

    • Shina 5 years ago

      I have a 7.8 month old Cocker Spaniel who got diagnosed with cardiovascular disease (enlarged heart). She always snored or when I would take her on really long walks, she would be breathing really hard. The vets never thought it was a big deal when I would bring it up. Over the last few months she has been getting worse and worse, the vet said it's a very progressive disease. She still eats, loves her treats, but can't walk as much, has a VERY hard time breathing most of the time (she tries to sleep sitting up because of the pressure on her chest when laying down, it breaks my heart), drinks LOTS of water (I think from all her meds) and has really sad eyes. Spoke to teh vet today and he said that it's time to put her to sleep, I don't want her to suffer (I love her way too much to have her suffer), but I just don't know when the time is. I mean today she is doing better then she has been doing over the last few weeks. I'm looking at her right now and she is a sight of an angel. This is so sad! I wish I knew what the right thing to do was. I love her so much! Should I wait? I really dont want her to suffer.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      Shina, I wished I could help you. Dogs do at times, go through ups and downs and this is what makes the decision so difficult. I can refer you to my hub on quality of life:

      My best wishes and what a beautiful dog.

    • QuinzysDad 5 years ago

      Countdown 2 hours from now I'm putting my girl to sleep. I've been reading this page all morning to help me come to terms. She has liver failure and is now completely incapacitated. Her head is resting on her water bowl and her eyes are sunken in, barely kept open.

      She has been my best friend now for 12 years this month and the pain of letting her go is unbearable. I've been crying off and on all morning when I think about our history. The long walks and her quirky playful personality. How she would dive into the bed and do somersaults. How she would never bark at me to get my attention but would rather try and silently talk by snapping her jaws at me with no sound.

      She by far is the best dog one could ever expect to have. No hangups or issues and always curious but detached from issues like water off a duck's back.

      2 hours to go and I'm sitting here with her saying my goodbyes while she would gaze into my eyes even though now they are swollen and have shut. We would often just silently gaze at each other for 10+ minutes silently communicating with our eyes with no words. I loved that about her. She is such a sensitive dog and I feel such a deep rooted bond with her I can tell exactly what is on her mind. Now she's telling me it's time to go and my heart is breaking into a million pieces. Each one containing a single day of the hundreds we have spent together.

      I've often had dysfunctional thoughts about dramatic ways her life may end and I give my head a shake when these thoughts pop in and out. Now I know I've done this to help prepare myself for the inevitable, but no matter how hard and how long you try, nothing can help prepare for a countdown to the last car ride we will ever have together.

      I'm beside myself and am trying to find a calm place in my mind to let her go.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      Jinx, I am sorry to hear that, make the best you can of your time together.

      Quinzy's dad, I am so sorry, she is now in a better place finally free of pain looking over you. I am sure your home feels terribly empty but try to make the best out of her life by cherishing your best memories together.

    • Nakitia W O 5 years ago

      I have literally know (MICKIE) all of her life I bottle fed her when her mom was hit by a car and killed leaving her and her 3 brothers and sisters alone on the side of the road(Mickie) was also injured a friend decided I was the perfect candidate to take 4 newborn puppies in and I did I got them all too a point where I thought they were ok and gave the others too friends this was 16 years ago I have watched as the others passed on only living the most 5 or six years but not (Mickie) she survived her injury as a small newborn and I thought this one is a survivor I have watched her grow loving every moment of her life spent with us and never once regretting my decision too keep her Ive put people out my home who dared too call her a mutt lol and I am reminded of how precious life is when I look at 3 off my children our house was on fire and she saved thier lives I am and have always been eternally grateful for that miricle she is loyal and her love for us all is unconditional how often can you say that so I am at a cross roads she has a tumor no painshe still gets around slowly she eats but she looks so sad and lonely at times and I feel I may be keeping her here for my on selfish reasons my kids say its time my husband says no I would never forgive myself and I just cant bring myself too do it and as I write this I kno I wont Id like too think that if the rolls were reversed she would allow me too live out my life To all that have written here Bless you for your love of the ones who have loved you unconditionally for here on this page (MICKIE) and all will remain a lil immortal

    • JustMe 5 years ago

      I need help in deciding to let my girl go or not. She is 12 years old this month and deteriorating. Both of her eyes have a film on them; left worse than right, she lays around all day and never plays anymore, she bites at me when I try to wash and groom her (never did that before), and she rarely gets excited and barks as much as she used to. She has what feels like a tumor on her belly, and a lot of her teeth have fallen out. Last night when I bathed her, she tried to bite the scissors as I was trying to cut something off her fur, and I noticed a bottom tooth bleeding afterward. Her two front top teeth are gone! She won't let me groom her face at all and I barely got her body shaved at her last grooming. I feel she is living a miserable life.

      We got her a couple months after her birth. My niece kept bragging about how adorable some puppies were that she had seen, and she knew we were looking for a small dog (because I would never have a large dog around my children). I met with the person selling the pups and was appalled at what I saw. My niece failed to mention she had been drinking quite a bit when she saw the pups. This puppy was the ugliest thing I'd ever seen. I told the lady "no thank you," and then my 8-year-old son began the begging process. So, I paid the lady 50 bucks for the ugly thing and left.

      When I got home, I stuffed her under my sweatshirt, went in the house, and then pulled her out for my husband to see. I was cracking up...all he could say is "WTF is that!?" I told him it was his new dog, thanks to his son for begging. She was so tiny, being a mixture of Chihuahua and Schnauzer. She was a brindle color with long hairs jutting out sparsely on top of her fur…and later the fur under her ears stuck out, reminding me of an Ewok or a Gremlin!! Lol Man was she funky looking.

      Her previous owner clearly did not care for her very well. It took hours to de-flea her, groom her, and put her "accessories" on. All of a sudden she was adorable (as in, "so ugly she's cute" kind of way). I took her outside to begin potty training and the grass was taller than she was...but she was so funny - trying to pounce around the grass and bark her tiny bark at the neighbors like she was big and bad. She was so cute. We decided to call her Pouncer...

      She was trained in a crate for a few months and did wonderfully. She was soon sleeping in bed with me and my 3-year-old son (and of course the hubby). She loved to grab a sock and play tug of war...that was her thing. The kids ran around and played with her for hours every single day!! She also liked to sneak the kids’ food…and one day she ended up severely sick. She was hospitalized (for a mere 1500 bucks for a night and day…unbelievable) and was diagnosed with what has been referred to as “garbage gut;” i.e., pancreatitis and gastroenteritis. Our vet took over the next business day and kept her overnight (for only 300 bucks). There went our vacation! Lol Turns out she was so worth every penny…

      We then had our third son. Pouncer was really good with him as a newborn, but I didn’t really let her near him too much, just let her sniff him every once in a while. I love my dog, but I do not like any kind of animal around my babies. We decided to section off the living room for the baby to keep Pouncer away from him…again, I just don’t like animals near my babes; I don’t trust them because after all, they are animals. With the sectioning off, the bigger kids still had plenty of room to play with her, and the baby had his own space, too. As he grew older, understood more, and was verbal, we no longer needed what we had termed "lockdown," and Pouncer and my third son got along fine. He knew not to hurt her and learned how to play with her so things were great!

      We later took in my brother's dog (he had concerns about how the dog was being treated by a roommate while he was at work). His name is Moe and he's poodle/Bichon Frise, so says our vet. He became Pouncer's new best friend. Pouncer still played with the kids at this point.

      We eventually moved to a new house (the one we are in now; over four years ago). Both dogs loved our closed in lanai so much that I decided to let them "live" there. Again, Pouncer remained the same, playing with the kids on the lanai and loving life, going for walks, running off, etc.

      About two years ago I noticed her left eye getting whitish looking. I knew she was beginning to go blind. As noted above, she began to deteriorate and has continued to do so in the last two years. She quit playing with the kids and even growled and snapped at our third son. She was quite partial to my second son. I guess it was because he was my most rambunctious son and played with her non-stop...he also laid around with her the most while watching cartoons, so Pouncer trusted mostly myself and my second son. So when my third son would rough house with my second son, she would try to attack him! We dealt with that by keeping him away from her…he wasn’t very interested in her anyway. My second son is about to be 15 now, and he doesn’t come out to see her as much, other than to walk her and give her food/water.

      So now she pretty much just lays around the lanai with her buddy, Moe, and does nothing. No playing, growls at me now at bath time, and like I said, she tries to bite me at bath time. I just feel like she's living in misery here on the lanai. She still gets up and wags her tail when we come out to see her, she still barks if she hears anything in the woods behind us, and if we don't have a leash on her she will still take off after a cat, but other than that, she pretty much does nothing else. I often wonder if leaving her out here on the lanai has separated her from the rest of the family and she has changed. I really don't know, but I would greatly appreciate any input as to whether it is time to let her go and keep our wonderful memories of her, or if I should force her to stay in the house and see if she "comes back." We do have another new baby boy who is almost 2 now, but we already have a "lockdown" so it is safe for baby and my pup. I tried to bring her back in a couple of months ago but she would just run to the back door almost begging to be on the lanai...

      I apologize for the length of this message. I just wanted to give as many details as I could in case they helped. I know this is a personal choice type question, but if this were you, what would you do?

      Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      Justme, gosh, this is really tough. I really tried hard to imagine myself in your situation and the more I thought, the more I realized that very likely I would be doing the same thing you are, ie asking around! I am not the best person to ask, as I am sure I would be debating this as much as you are.

      The way you portray her, missing teeth, growling, blind, and a with a possible tumor, sounds like she is very far from being a healthy dog and is indeed living miserably. But then you claim she wags her tail, and even wants to chase cats, and these ups and downs are what I am sure is making your decision so tough.

      What to say? What I would do perhaps is see the vet. Perhaps a vet visit may help you get a clearer picture of her health status. Many of our clients made their decisions this way and I think I would follow their lead. The vet was able to help figure out if there was anything there to make life better or if there was little or no hope. Of course, the vet could not make the decision for them, but he could at least give a professional outlook. After seeing the vet, many clients came out with a clearer picture and often a decision; they therefore, either scheduled the euthanasia appointment that same day, or they went home with their dogs for a few more days or weeks.

      If you are the type of person that needs guidance, I would see the vet. If right now, you feel that if you would take her in for a euthanasia appointment you would come out bombarded by 'what if's'' you may feel better having the vet imply she is in poor health and there in little that can be done to make life better. This would make the choice much easier. I hope this helps you, I know how tough it is, sending a virtual hug in these tough times..

    • DanaDuke 5 years ago

      Justme, to me, it sounds like your dog has gone beyond losing its quality of life :( I know it is very hard to see that putting you dog to sleep is the correct and "humane" thing to do, but in your case, it seems your dog may be ready to go. Many times in your story, you mention things that you noticed she never did before--mainly a marked lack of energy, aside from aggression--these two things, to me, were also prevalent in my dog before I decided it was time to send him to a better place :( I am very sorry for what your family and your dog is going through, and I'm also sorry for all of the loving pet owners who are going through the same things as well. Your pet had a great and lucky life--luckier than many others out there.

      I found this article the night after I put my dog to sleep, which was this past saturday, December 10 2011. Even after I had convinced myself that it was his time, I still felt guilty afterwards. I keep asking myself if we did the right thing; did I do the right thing?? What if my baby wanted to live longer, what if we had given him just one more day?....but as my father said "it's only going to get worse for him".

      The thing is, as an owner, there will never be a "right time" to put our pets to sleep. In order to do so, we need to view their situation through their eyes. Even humans--like an earlier poster has said--would be ready to leave in certain prolonged, painful situations in which they know they will not get better (i.e. cancer, disease, etc)

      Days before my dog's death, images of the horrible things that people did to animals on Animal Planet's "Animal Cops" came into my mind. It was a midst me and my other family members convincing my parents that it was a good time to put him to rest.

      In one episode, I saw a dog that had half of its face burned off, and had just been tied up and left in the back yard to heal on its own. It was a horrifying sight, and perhaps even more horrifying to comprehend the dog with it's tail wagging and face grinning as the animal police came to rescue it!! It acted as if it felt now pain, when indeed it had to have been hurting beyond what I could fathom. Another instance included the police raiding a fresh dog fight. They caught up with the dogs who were covered in fresh blood and wounds. Again, no sign of pain or unhappiness. I told these stories to my dad in order to convince him that Duke is most likely suffering much more than we think. My sister, who was a vet assistant once, also knows that dogs cannot easily communicate with us or show pain like humans do. They are a different species, and that's that. Like many other owners, I grew very close to my baby, and at times became blinded from reality in terms of what is best for him.

      I remember when my parents took us to pick up our basset (unfortunately, it was at a medium-sized breeder, which I was then unaware of) I was 12 years old, and he was the cutest thing I'd ever seen. I almost didn't think it was real. We had begged our parents to buy us a dog, and they finally gave in. We decided to give him the most hound-sounding name in the world: Duke. My mom thought it was ridiculous, and it was.

      While still young, Duke's front legs began to warp as he grew. They began to bow outward from all of the physical activity he was doing. So, my parents went to university specialists and had both front legs operated on. One leg grew properly, the other ended up bowed still. I watched the same operation on another basset years later (on tv), and it turns out the university had done it very incorrectly. Didn't matter to Duke though, he had no idea he was a "gimp" as my siblings called it. He still had three good legs and would use his bad leg for some support.

      I grew very close to my dog in the last four years. Ironically, it was the point my life during which I was away at college most of the time. For some reason, my older siblings never got very close with him.

      While my parents fed him, gave regular vet checks, and my dad interacted with him a good amount in the warmer seasons, he got nowhere near the attention he deserved and needed. He got to roam around our large back yard on a ridiculously long lead in the summer, but in the winter he was alone in the garage virtually all day. He rarely got baths when needed, and never had his ears cleaned (which is essential for bassets!). He also was never taken on walks or given the long belly and ear rubs that I knew he loved.

      In college, I would always sneak him onto the couch in the basement, and stay there all night with him watching tv. I always took him to the parks when I came home, and I discovered how much he loved car rides and just going out in general (what dog wouldn't). I noticed that he entered his geriatric stage about 2 years ago, but he still had a ton of personality and energy in him.

      I graduated college this past May, and after many tries of getting Duke to come live with me full-time, I finally succeeded.

      It was odd. After graduating and moving, I thought of Dukers all the time. He was getting old, I missed him, and I wanted to have the "dog's life" that he had never experienced at home. He deserved to! I called my parents and told them I was coming home that weekend, and I had told myself that I could not be happy here if I wasn't with Duke. I cried and argued until my parents let me take him back with me.

      He loved the 6 hour ride back. He loves any care rides, and starts to whine and wimper when he see his harness or leash, because going to the park means taking a car ride to get there!

      I got him a HUGE brand new dog bed (the other was so dirty and smelly I threw it out, it was also too small). Instead of curling up to sleep now, he splayed out like a man on a temperpedic-comfortable at last!!

      At 10 years old, Duke was in perfect health for his age.

      I had expected to have him for at least a couple more years, but I ended up only having him for 2 months.

      I took him to the beach for the first time in his life, and I'm pretty sure he had found his new home.

      For a full month before his diagnosis, Duke got to run leash-free at the beaches and running trails here, and I could have sworn that he was still a puppy with all of his newfound energy. He also had a new playmate for when no one was in the house--my roommates dog, which he loved and followed around.

      I cleaned his ears all the time (he loved it, and would lie still forever, wanting me to keep cleaning them), took him on walks, gave him hour-long belly rubs, carried him uptairs and let him sleep on my bed, etc.

      All of a sudden I heard him yelping while in the back yard. I went out and saw him limping on his back leg--I assumed it was a pull just for his joints getting older, but after a few days of no walking, I took him to the hospital.

      I cried for a long time when the doctor told me that he had bone cancer, and that it was a very painful disease with no good outlook.

      While it was only in Duke's leg at that time, amputation was not an option because of his front-bowed leg. It wouldn't be able to adapt to the added weight for long. Radiation could be time, but very little, and he was too old to be put through radiation anyways. Both vets I went to said it was best to make him comfortable until he starts to show signs of real discomfort.

      Because it happened over the period of a month, I wasn't really aware of all the changes in Duke until I examined them after his death. I would first like to mark the changes in his lifestyle/personality, so that maybe it can help other pet owners:



      Duke was an active and outdoor dog. Because of the cancer in his back leg--and his already bent front leg--he could no longer get around enough to go on the walks he loved, he also could no longer get up on to put his head out the window or look out the window. He could still bunny-hop to get around the yard, etc, but going on walks was no longer okay for his bad front leg.

      He was an active older dog who all of sudden couldn't be active or do the things he loved, and after a while he stopped trying to put his head

    • DanaDuke 5 years ago

      out the window, stopped following people, stopped investigating, etc.


      Over 1 month, he became pickier and pickier, and ate less and less


      (due mainly to lethargy and slow starvation)

      Constipation, diarrhea, lack of motivation to get up and go to the bathroom


      In the last few days, he would only get up from his bed to go to the bathroom 2 times a day, and that is when we coerced him a lot. He still vied for human affection at this point, though.


      My dog showed aggression to actions, environments, and situations in which he had never shown aggression before. In summary, he personality was changing as he naturally became more wounded, defensive, and ready to die.

      It was difficult for us to watch him be put to sleep. The initial anesthetic was injected incorrectly, and his first feeling -of what what supposed to be painless- was pain. He stood up and started loudly whining and whimpering, and I couldn't take that he was experiencing more pain. He slowly fell asleep, but in all honesty, I could see that he was scared and confused as he was being forced asleep.

      We had a few minutes with him before they injected the serum that would actually stop his heart.

      I watched his breathing go in and out, and all I remember thinking was what what a beautiful thing he is.

      I know this isn't everyone's cup of tea (and it doesn't need to be), but most would probably find comfort in the fact that you will be reunited with your pet in the afterlife. I have a very close friend who is psychic, and they give all of their readings for free, whenever someone asks for one. Without any prior information aside from a name, the readings are almost always accurate. Humans, plants, and animals all have auras, and animals and humans have spirits.

      Your dog is now somewhere where he or she is free of pain, free of old age, and free of death, and they are at peace. Believe that one day you will see them again.

      As everyone else on here, I was lucky to have such a great dog. God bless everyone, and best of luck in getting through these tough decisions with your loved ones :(

    • MyGirlJinx profile image

      MyGirlJinx 5 years ago from Seaside, CA

      My beautiful Boxer Jinx took a turn for the worst this morning and she is now resting with the angels. I know she is no longer in pain and is running and jumping like a puppy again waiting for me to join her when my time comes.

      Alexadry - I have to say thank you for having this site up and all your support and advice. I know the pain will go away one day but today my heart is crushed. :(

      R.I.P. My Girl Jinx

      The best friend anyone could have.

      April 9th 2000 - Dec. 19th 2011 7:15am

    • LisaU 5 years ago

      My Girl Jinx:

      My heart goes out to you. Rest easy in knowing that you made the right decision for your beloved companion. May the beautiful memories you made with her bring you comfort. And yes, one day you will join her when your time comes. Be blessed. RIP My Girl Jinx.

    • MyGirlJinx profile image

      MyGirlJinx 5 years ago from Seaside, CA

      LisaU - Thank you very much for all your support.

      That was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I held her in my arms like a baby when she took her last breath I will cherrish that memory knowing I did everything I could for her and stayed by her side till the very end.

      Thank you very much,


    • MyGirlJinx profile image

      MyGirlJinx 5 years ago from Seaside, CA


      1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.

      2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

      3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.

      4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.

      5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.

      6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

      7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.

      8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

      9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.

      10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.

    • R.P. 5 years ago

      Little Tyson is a 15 year old mini-pinscher. One month ago, he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart. He also has all the symptoms of degenerative heart failure. The vet drained over a litre of fluid from his body several weeks ago. He is now on water pills, which have significantly helped eleviate some of the fluid build up. He is unable to walk, or even stand up. When I try to pick him up, he is snappy. Obviously due to discomfort or pain. For the past three weeks, he has been bed-ridden. He pees and poos while lying down on a puppy pad. When he whines, I know he has done his business, and I immediaely change the pad. He will go through approximately 8 pads a day, which includes the wee hours of the morning. I am writing this post at 3:30 am local time, knowing a puppy pad change is soon due. He still has a decent apetite, and somewhat enjoys the affection I give him. Although there are times when I see him staring blankly into space. He is often restless, and in obvious discomfort. I set up an appointment with the vet a week ago to have him put to sleep. 30 mins prior to the apppintment, and after hours of whining, the little guy had fallen asleep peacefully. I cancelled the appointment. The only thing holding me back now is the guilt. I honestly did not expect the decision to be this difficult. I hope I find the wisdom to make the right decision, at the right time. Thank you all for posting. It has eased a bit of the struggle and sadness I feel.

    • Hudson1998 5 years ago

      Our English Bulldog Hudson was just put to sleep on 12/23/2011 at 5:00 pm. He was diagnosed with central vestibular disorder. He was given a sedative containing 25 mg of acepromozine that caused an adverse reaction. He was unable to eat and was experiencing hypotension. He lived for 14 years and we were lucky enough to share 11 of those years with him. This is the first time in my life that I have been faced with this difficult decision. I have been second guessing my decision all night. He may have gotten better, but it's also possible that he may have had to endure much more suffering. I know that we loved and cared for him every single day. I was there when he passed. I got to hold him and comfort him as the shot took affect. This is a difficult decision for everyone. The one thing I have been able to gather is that you must make your decision based on every piece of information you can gather, but the most important thing is to think about the dog's well-being. I am grateful for every moment I spent with him and consider myself lucky for having been with him through all these years.

    • Myra Johnson 5 years ago

      My husband and I had to put out beloved Miles(American bulldog) to sleep on dec 16. He was 11 and left behind a brother/best buddy(pommeranian) and 2 sisters(cats). We miss him, I miss him. When I'm not working, I long for his presence. The sad part is that he may no longer in pain, but mine just started. My house is very quiet, and dull without him. How do you get over someone whose practically been like your children? I'm so emotionally drained. Thank you for listening. My husband hates to see me like this, is it possible he does not understand my sorrow? My pAin? He always tells me....he had a good life, we gave him the best 11 years. Get over it. Why doesn't he mourn him like I do? Am I wrong to be feeling this way? Am I going crazy? Need your advice pls.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      Myra, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. As you can see on mu hub it is full of people mourning just as you. Your husband very likely is also in pain, but men often have a different way to cope with it. My friend's brother one day had a sick hunting dog and had to shoot it, to put it out of his misery (old town in Italy) and he came from shooting it and acted totally normal. I told my friend ''what's up with him? he just shot his dog, a dog he loved and spent every day with!, doesn't he feel sad at all''. My friends knew her brother very well said '' Oh, he sure is very sad, but he just doesn't show it''. Mourning takes time, and people cope with it differently. The fact your hubby thinks of the nice life you both gave him, is a way to better cope with it. Give it some time, and try to cherish the good times, time eventually heals that gap your dog left in your life.

    • Athena 5 years ago

      My dog had to be put down back in September of this year-over Labor Day weekend. She was acting weird so we took her to the animal hospital. We waited for a long time to find out she had cancer and pancreatitis and the doctor said we could try to treat her or we could put her to sleep. I didn't want to put her through all that because she was in pain already so we had to put her down. That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do and I miss her something awful. :( I barely got through Christmas and Thanksgiving. I wish I could have taken her pain away and I've been totally numb since then. I can't go a day without crying. Spooky, wherever you are, I miss you. I know you would not want me to be sad but I can't help it. Rest in peace and know that I'll never forget you.

    • rose 5 years ago

      I save my girl skyla from being put to sleep at age 6. a big black "wolf" i called her. I had her for several years, she was an old girl. the one no one wanted. She saved my life when i had a seizure, in her own way she knew it was coming. I never forget the day i had to put her to sleep. She wasn't eating much those days, she wasnt active either. she was in advanced stage cancer. I sat on the floor with her, she laid in my lap with her eyes barely open and i talked to her telling her how much i loved her and thanked her for saving me and being a big part of my life. I had her head in my arms when she left to rainbow bridge. She was my first dog but not my last. Saying goodbye to her was the hardest thing i ever had to do.

    • Sausha's Mommy 5 years ago

      I have a 13 yr old chihuahua named Sausha. She was diagnosed a few years ago with a collapsed trachea, but has been in otherwise good health. We found out last year she had a heart murmur which caused fluids to drain into her lungs. She was on water pills, to drain the fluid, but it seems as of late, that it isnt working. Last week on my day off, I took my lab and Sausha for a run in the park, and it seems she has gotten worse ever since. She doesnt want to come out of bed, she is sleeping a lot more, and tonight she bit me 2 times trying to pick her up to make her more comfy, one of those times drawing blood. I have wrapped her in my tshirt and a little blanket, and she fell asleep on the couch. I am reading this, because I know she is not herself. every movement causes her pain. I should end the suffering. I would force myself to be there with her until the end, because she is my baby, but it would be so hard. I am sitting here typing this, crying my eyes out, because ive known this little dog for 7 years, and just a few months ago, the long standing joke was she doesnt know shes old. she is the last of her litter. all her brothers and sisters have been dead for over 2 years, and i know she has had a good life.... how do I get past this? When do I know? she still likes cheeseburgers, but she doesnt want to get out of bed to eat it... How do I know she isnt just milking this? But I do know she isnt. she doesnt want to go for walks, she doesnt want to go for a ride. She doesnt want to go to the park. She just isnt herself.... this is so hard....

    • Kim 5 years ago

      My dogs in the proccess of dying she has arthritis,wobbles when walks,whimpers. Im a kid i dont wanna put my dog to sleep:/

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      Sausha's Mommy this article may be helpful:

      Kim, have your dog see the vet, the wobbling may be due to vestibular disease, there are medications for arthritis, your vet can be the best person to consult and determine if there are ways to help your dog out.

    • Eli 5 years ago

      my two dogs sprinkles and vakita(mother daughter) just ate rat poison maybe last week, we didnt know at first until sprinles(mom) started showing signs that she was sick...we took them to the vet two days ago and the vet said sprinkles had eaten rat poison but vakita wuz okay so we thought she might just be depressed about her mom since dogs especially younger dogs can be sentimental...vakita died yesterday morning 1/12/2012...her mom is still alive but she is in bad condition and i think her lungs might still be filling up with blood little by little because her breathes seem to be getting smaller...sprinkles is next to me right now and its so hard seeing my dog like this because in her eyes i can see she is in pain and knows something is happening but she doesnt want to leave yet because she tries so hard to walk at times but cant and she still tries to wag her tail when she sees us...there is a greater chance she will die than survive even with the vitamin k shots the vet gave her...i dont know if i should tell my sister( by the way my sister was alot more in love with these dogs than i was) we should put her down or just let her last day be laying down in my sisters room( which was a privelage in both my dogs eyes since my parents dont allow them inside but for now they are) where she knows were here with her and let her die in her sleep?...

    • Jim 5 years ago

      I lost my golden retriever to an agressive heart tumor, cancer last night. I was thinking about putting having him put to sleep when suddenly, he went into cardiac arrest. He was only 5 years old. I am so heartbroken

      and miss my Aslan so much.much.

    • Becky 4 years ago

      Our dog, Bear, will be 19 years old on July 4th. He still eats and drinks good, goes to the bathroom and still walks, but lately he has slowed down alot. He is now totally blind and deaf. It breaks my heart to see him running into furniture and walls. My husband let him out the other night to potty. Kept waiting for him to come to the door but he never did. He had wandered down the street and had fallen into a ditch and couldn't get out. When he's not asleep he paces in the house, runs into furniture and gets stuck in corners or behind furniture. He has started tilting his head to the left and also holds his tail that way. He hasn't wagged his tail in a long time. I don't know what to do. He has just starting crying a little bit when he lays down. I know it's probably time but like all of you, he is a major part of our family. I don't know if I can put him to sleep. I keep praying that he will just go to sleep and not wake up.

    • gerryberry66 4 years ago

      I want to know if my dogs kidneys are going? She will lay there and go to bathroom right there on her bed and not even get up. She was good for all her years until this year. She is 12 years old. Now she is messing in the house all the time. She will come in to the livingroom and pee in front of me. Like she can't hold it? I just don't know if that is a sign of getting old?

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      She should definitively see the vet. With kidney problems you will see increased drinking and urine that appears diluted. However, older female dogs may also suffer from incontinence which can be easily treated with phenopropanolamine. Also, it could a urinary tract infection which will clear with antibiotics. There is hope this something treatable or at least manageable. best wishes!

    • heart broken 4 years ago

      My dog is dying of bone cancer. She does still eat and drink, but can no longer walk. I use infant diapers on her when I am at work. I am broken hearted and I don't know what to do. She still barks when my husband comes home and wants to be around us. She is a black lab/cocker mix. My husband is more ready than I am to put her down. Help!

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      I am terribly sorry to hear that...bone cancer is devastating, this is the toughest decision, I really cannot make it for you, but I can provide you with a guide on quality of life:

      A vet visit at times may help owners make better decisions as they may offer advice on how to make life better or they may give a hint that time has come and a final appointment may be made. Keeping you and in my thoughts are prayers, for at least giving you strength for this tough time.

    • heartbroken 4 years ago

      To alexadry: Thank you so much for your comments and prayers. It is appreciated. I know I have to let go of her, but she will be in my heart forever.

    • Tracie 4 years ago

      To lilash84: SHAME ON YOU!!!! Do you not realize that all the people here are grieving the loss of their pets? This hubpage here is to help people come to terms with having to put one of their pets down! And, here you come, trying to scam them out of money during these difficult times! Don't you have respect for anyone?!?!

      To everyone on here who has had to make that extremely hard decision, I feel your pain. I'm so sorry that you all have had to go through this. As responsible pet owners, unfortunately, that's something that we might all have to face at one time or another :( I hope all of your babies are playing and having a ball while waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge!

      Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

      When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.

      There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.

      There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

      All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

      The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

      They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

      You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

      Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

      Author unknown...

      This one is for all the rescue dogs and animal rescuers!

      Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All of the recent arrivals had no idea what to think, as they had never experienced a day like this before.

      But the animals who had been waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was going on and started to gather at the pathway leading to The Bridge to watch.

      It wasn't long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung low and tail dragging. The other animals, the ones who had been there for a while, knew what his story was right away, for they had seen this happen far too often.

      He approached slowly, obviously in great emotional pain, but with no sign of injury or illness. Unlike all of the other animals waiting at The Bridge, this animal had not been restored to youth and made healthy and vigorous again.

      As he walked toward The Bridge, he watched all of the other animals watching him. He knew he was out of place here and the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be. But, alas, as he approached The Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who apologized, but told him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their people could pass over Rainbow Bridge.

      With no place else to turn to, the elderly animal turned towards the fields before The Bridge and saw a group of other animals like himself, also elderly and infirm. They weren't playing, but rather simply lying on the green grass, forlornly staring out at the pathway leading to The Bridge. And so, he took his place among them, watching the pathway and waiting.

      One of the newest arrivals at The Bridge didn't understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the animals that had been there for awhile to explain it to him.

      "You see, that poor animal was a rescue. He was turned in to rescue just as you see him now, an older animal with his fur graying and his eyes clouding. He never made it out of rescue and passed on with only the love of his rescuer to comfort him as he left his earthly existence. Because he had no family to give his love to, he has no one to escort him across The Bridge."

      The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, "So what will happen now?" As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the gloom lifted. Approaching The Bridge could be seen a single person, and among the older animals, a whole group was suddenly bathed in a golden light and they were all young and healthy again, just as they were in the prime of life.

      "Watch, and see," said the second animal. A second group of animals from those waiting came to the pathway and bowed low as the person neared. At each bowed head, the person offered a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. The newly restored animals fell into line and followed her towards The Bridge. They all crossed The Bridge together.

      "What happened?"

      "That was a rescuer. The animals you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of her work. They will cross when their new families arrive. Those you saw restored were those who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are allowed to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor animals that they couldn't place on earth across The Rainbow Bridge."

      "I think I like rescuers", said the first animal.

      "So does GOD", was the reply.

    • RoughneckRoxanne 4 years ago

      I'm taking my 10 year old Standard Poodle Roxanne to the Vet Tuesday when we have the $.the breed's life expectantcy is12 n I didn't know until now how bad she had gotten bcuz I left her n the care of my Dad bcuz I had to move to a place where "no dogs allowed". Everytime I visit her she just lies around, gets out of breath so easily bcuz she's very overweight (gained after spaying). I found out she's been seizing in her sleep (possibly epilepsy), vomiting occasionally, she had an abscess on her back for yrs that burst last week n is still oozing, n now her tail is very swollen, seems infected which I discovered when I visited and bathed her 2day. You can tell she's in pain. I feel awful. If I had been able To take her w me she wouldve been n good care. I love her so much n regret not being able to love her the way I used to since I had my daughter 2 yrs ago. All I want is 4 her not to be in pain. She's aging so fast. Is it time to let her go?

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      I find that seeing the vet first may help dog owners a lot. While many vets would not give an opinion on such a delicate choice, they can offer treatments to make life a bit more bearable or they may simply make it clear there is not much left to do. When working for vets I saw many dog owners debating what to do come out the appointment with a clearer idea; they either scheduled the appointment to put the dog down or took home some meds in hopes of buying a bit more wishes, here is a helpful hub:

    • heartbroken 4 years ago

      Today I lost my dog Rosie. She was a black lab cocker mix. She died of bone cancer. She was 11 years and 4 months old. The vet came to the house and that was very comforting to me. Rosie died very peacefully with us around her. She had familiar smells and heard our voices before she died. I hurt so bad, but I also know that Rosie is at peace now.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      heartbroken, sorry to hear about your loss.

    • sarah 4 years ago

      just called emergency vet my lola was fine until this week or at least i thought which shows she is a trooper. She has lost weight rapidly this week and as she was eating her food as normal i thought she had worms the pet shop told me it would take three days but friday she stopped eating, i've checked on her this morning and she is bleeding and looking so sorry for herself, never in 9 years has she looked at me like that, i know she wants to go!!

    • flysmummy 4 years ago

      we have just found out my beloved fly of 13 yrs has bladder cancer,this come as a total shock for us all,and even tho hes still with us,i find myself crying because i really dont no how long he has with us,i for one will not see my boy suffer in pain,when the time comes i no in my heart we will have fought until the bitter end,he will be put to sleep at home,he really isnt fond of the vets,and i wont have him stressed out,im trying to stay brave but it really hurts knowing my boy could be gone in a matter of weeks or months,i keep telling myself 13 is a good age for a dog,hes actually older than my father in law in doggy years,but this still doesnt take away the pain im feeling right now,at the moment all his vital organs are working fine,so for that i am thankful,he wont stop eating,weve changed his diet to a low card high protien diet no salt and no sugar,weve found out this feeds the tumor,i wont put him through chemo,the storys ive heard about them damaging his vital organs are enuf to put me of,so for us they way forward is a health diet plenty of exercise,love and cuddles,im trying to be positive and im usually fine until i look into his eyes,but for now all i can do is enjoy every moment with him like it could be our last ;-[

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      Sorry to hear that, whether it happens during a dog's senior years or during youth, the thought of losing our canine companions is always devastating.

    • flysmummy 4 years ago

      we found out from the vets yesterday,that the tumor is not in the neck of the bladder,which is good in its own way,because this means he can still go to the toilet without any problems,hopefully he will start hes new tablets today to help him along we have to see the vets today about these,weve had our morning walk which he still loves,and drifts of into his own little world and just wonders of into a huge field,all i can do is take each day as it comes,hes still jumping on the bed at night for a cuddle and a sleep and is still loving basking in the garden in the sun,im so glad ive found your page,it makes me feel like im not alone during these times x

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      I am happy this place is helping you, feel free to post at any time, kind regards.

    • yessi 4 years ago

      Thank you this helped me a lot I had to put my dog to sleep and it really hurt me to let him go I was there with him till the last minute n saw how his head went down and heard him cry. I had him since I was 5 years old and now I'm 23 he was such a good dog who loved my kids n loved to sing I'm gonna miss him so much but now he is in a better place and not feeling any type of pain

    • Ali 4 years ago

      My heart goes out to all of you. We are about to put our 12 yr old Airedale Murphy to sleep. My heart is so broken right now. I've had awhile to prepare for this but it has not made it any easier. My husband and I do not have any 2 legged kids so our 4 legged babies are truly our babies. I cannot stop crying even though in my heart I know it's for the best!

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      It's never easy, no matter how many dogs you have and how many times you have gone through it. All you can do is cherish the good memories, take care.

    • Darin Finch 3 years ago

      For the most part, I think my 14-year old black lab, Jack, is still a happy dog. On the surface that should mean that it isn't time to consider putting him down. However, I'm really struggling with this topic.

      A synopsis of his situation: can't do stairs (I built him a handicapped ramp so he can go outside); very little range of motion in his back legs due to massive arthritis; his back right leg bows out when he walks (this is brand new so it hasn't been diagnosed by a vet); bad allergies cause him to lick and bite at himself (we can usually manage this with medication); mostly deaf and somewhat blind. That's all bad, but his spirits are generally good. He likes to go for short walks and to be around people. He'll play with a ball for a few minutes and is good with our kids.

      Here's the problem. Due to nerve damage, the vet says that Jack doesn't know when he is defecating. He can't feel it. So, Jack is pooping in the house around 5 days a week, even though we are letting him outside more than twice as often as we used to.

      Here's my dilemma. If I put him down, I feel like I am being irresponsible to the dog because he is still a pretty happy dog. If I continue the way things are, am I being irresponsible to my family? The constant defecating in the house has to be causing an unclean situation. Ultimately, the defecation situation is not going to get better.

      This is our first family dog, so I would appreciate any feedback you experienced owners can provide.

    • Dean 3 years ago

      Well this is the hardest decision for any owner and their family to make. We have a beautiful great dane who is 6 in August. 2 weeks ago we found a large lump in her neck that seemed to appear over night. Samples were taken by the vet, 3 of them, and medication was prescribed. None of which worked and our baby girl looked sad as to which she is normal a bubbly energetic bundle of joy. She was referred to the hospital were a biopsy of the lump was taken and the cavity was drained. A strong pain killer and anti-biotics were prescribed (Friday) again over the weekend so help with the pain and attempt to clear her body up. By the Monday Honey had deteriorated majorly, unable to walk around without help of picking up her back legs, barely eating, drinking lots of water when told to, no tail wagging and struggling to stand up. We received the results of the biopsy saying it was not cancer but the cause of bacteria is unknown.We have now got her on different anti biotics and that will be 4 days of the new meds. To date Honey is falling over when bending to pee in the garden, she cannot climb on to the sofa where she lies without having to have her bum lifted. She trembles and kicks in her sleep, her lungs are filling up with fluid, she pants drastically and all through this time shes had a temperature of 103.5+. Compared to the way she jumped in beds, couches, the back garden wall, barking when the door bell rang, greeting people at the door as they entered and constantly eating and wanting the toilet and drinking 24/7... My dog has no life left in her and her puppy dog eyes break my heart at the best of times but it's like life is a struggle at the moment for her and I cannot bare to see her suffer. The only thing putting me off is that the lump was not cancerous and if its an infection then why can't the vet prescribe me with medicine that actually works! I don't want to put my dog to sleep with having a thought of one medicine could have saved her and treated whatever she had wrong. Xrays of her chest and mouth came back clear so really don't understand what this could be. She is sick of the site of us holding her jaws open to squirt her tablets down a liquid form and has now started vomiting them up today.

      Only wish I had a clearer answer and looks like tomorrow shall be the day if we cannot be told she will get better I'll have to let her go :(

      This dog was on my wishlist as I was diagnosed with cancer twice and shes been there from beginning to end of my treatment and beating cancer and yet at 5 years old she is having a really bad time with infection that somehow cant be treated!

    • LisaKoski profile image

      LisaKoski 3 years ago from WA

      Luckily, I've only had to go through this once and, at the time, I was too young to actually make the decision. When I was in 8th or 9th grade, my family's chihuahua, Cookie, suddenly began acting abnormally (I don't remember the details now). I held her in my arms while we begged my dad to take her somewhere to get checked out and as we drove to the emergency vet. Almost immediately, we were told that it would be best to let her go, which my dad agreed to. It's a decision he regrets even today.

      At the time, my family wasn't doing too well financially. He didn't realize until later that the vet didn't really provide any alternatives, other than to wait and see if she survives the night or to just let her go. He chose the latter, figuring to save her the pain since there didn't seem to be anything else we could do but now my dad feels like he should have waited and gotten a second opinion.

      Whatever the case may be, it was a tough decision and hard to go through. I think it's great that people have come here to share their stories and find some solace. If there's anything I took away from my own experience, it's that, like you say in your article, you should really treasure every day with your dog.

    • Zoe 2 years ago

      Going through what all you are now. My beautiful poodle is 16 years old. We have had her since she was a 7 week old pup.

      Poodle was special from day one, such a loving girl with a huge personality. So many things went wrong with her over the years and she beat them all. Pancreatitis, heart murmur, put her hip out aged 14. Watching her diet has helped her pancreatitis, we took a risk on getting her hip put back in, paid off, had a good year with her. Heart has been under control for years on medication.

      Her sight and hearing started to go a few years ago. Now she is totally blind and deaf. To top it all off, aged 15 she got dementia. Vivitonin has helped that. It's stopped her vocalising and pacing all night.

      Now it's one infection after the other. Currently it's her eyes. The vets have said they can not treat them any longer. So she is seeing a specialist for that. It's likely she will need to lose an eye eventually. I can't do that to her at her age.

      I love her so much and would do anything to keep her with us.

      Here's why I am thinking it's time, though: poodle is now sleeping almost all day and night. When she is awake, she's spinning in circles, thumping into things (probably how she wound up with ulcers in her eyes) and getting stuck in corners. Last visit to the vet, heard her heart has sped up again. Also looks like she's starting to get trouble with her leg as it seems to "give out" on her when she tries to sit. She's generally not steady on her feet. Then there's the eye infections. She's had them in both eyes for over a month. She has dry eye and apparently the drops needed for that have made the ulcers worse.

      She's very quiet compared to how she was. She still eats and she'll still have a cuddle, but she doesn't seek us out for them. I don't know if she's actually forgotten us, but she does seem confused and lost. She's still poodle and we love her, but she's a shadow of the poodle she was.

      I love her and I can't stop feeling like I'm giving up on her, but I know her chances are getting worse and worse. It does not look like she is beating her eye infection, for a start.

      She's off to the vets early next week. I will talk to them about how long she has left and quality of life. I think I know deep down I will not be bringing her home that night. Still hoping for a miracle.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 2 years ago from USA

      Unfortunately we cannot reverse aging, we can sometimes make it more bearable, but as you may already know the process is unavoidable. We all will age whether we like it or not and health will deteriorate at a certain point too. You are not giving up on her; rather, you are trying all the options you can to see if you can help her feel better. It's hard to accept but a point may come where even vets run of options. It happened to me last year with my 15 year old cat. Too many problems, her body was calling it quits. She had a good life, but we all would like it to last more. I hope the eye specialist can come up with something for her, best wishes.

    • Jim moriarty 2 years ago

      Thanks a lot. I have been agonizing over whether I put my dog to sleep too soon and you pretty much confirmed that for me, How I will be able to live with myself after murdering my beloved bsby boy I dont know. I only wanted to have him avoid living in extreme pain along with everything else he was dealing with. I am a pile of manure of a human. I only hope he can forgive me for the premature death.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 2 years ago from USA

      If you were trying to avoid him from living in extreme pain, rest assured, you made the right choice. Many owners who have waited too long, wished they made the decision earlier and spared their dogs from all the pain. It's a really tough decision, as we really don't know how our pets really feels nor we can know how they will feel tomorrow.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 2 years ago from USA

      If you were trying to avoid him from living in extreme pain, rest assured, you made the right choice. Many owners who have waited too long, wished they made the decision earlier and spared their dogs from all the pain. It's a really tough decision, as we really don't know how our pets really feel nor we can know how they will feel tomorrow.

    • JPac1 profile image

      James Packard 23 months ago from Columbia, Missouri

      I put my dog of 10 years to sleep about two years ago, and I'll never forget the hopelessness I felt after she was gone, and there was no way to bring her back. I've always felt euthanasia is wrong - I still do. She couldn't walk on her own anymore because of bad hips and I know it wasn't healthy nor comfortable for her to live like that anymore, but I'll never be okay with the notion that we made the decision to end her life, and scheduled it on a calendar. I just can't come to accept having that kind of power. Very difficult.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 23 months ago from USA

      You'e not alone, many dog owners claim it to be the toughest decision of their life. Yet, I must say there are also cases where owners regret not haven put the dog to sleep earlier and then the dog got worse during the night and no vets are on call and the dog suffered and they couldn't get out of their mind those last moments. Death is never nice whether it comes naturally or not, but we seem to feel bad about it regardless. So sorry for your loss.

    • Caroline1961 profile image

      Caroline1961 3 months ago

      My Lucy Belle has been diagnosed with Kidney failure, and we have tried to treat her with K/D Science diet, which she gobbled down, this gave us hope. We also started on IV fluids with vitamins, and some other things to help her, again, we had hope. Now, within the last two days after starting treatment, she is apparently suffering from dementia. She has lost her sight, her hearing, and now doesn't seem to know us anymore. She won't let us hold her, or comfort her in any way. She bumps into things, gets stuck behind and in things around the house, and growls and tries to bite us when we try to help. Her mind is gone...and it is sadly apparent, so her quality of life is over as well. We've had to make the decision no one who loves their fur baby wants to make...but it's not about us, it's about her.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 3 months ago from USA

      I am so sorry Caroline, aging is never nice to witness, especially when it affects a dog's body and mind. We all wished our dogs could live forever, instead they are there to teach us a valuable lesson: to enjoy life to the fullest as it's all destined to end. Owning two senior dogs myself, I cringe at the thought of having to make one day that decision. Yet, it's the ultimate gift of love we owe to our dogs when life is no longer a source of health, joy and happiness. I send you hugs and wish you strength at this difficult time.

    • Esther 2 weeks ago

      My jackrussel is 9 years old and was diagnosed with chemodectoma and i was told to put het down. I cant i am not prepared for this and nor is she. It has only been three days after the diagnoses and she has not been ill please help me

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 2 weeks ago from USA

      Your vet can provide you with advice, but the decision of when to put your dog to sleep is ultimately yours. No vet can tell you what to do. When we had clients we always reminded them that they know their pets best and therefore they can should ultimately make the decision. When the bad days outnumber the good, then it's a sign that that time is coming near. With your dog not acting ill, I hope you get to enjoy many more happy days. Spoil her as much as can and take loads of pictures. My best wishes.

    Click to Rate This Article