Euthanasia for our 14 year old lab - tough decision

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Shan30, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. Shan30

    Shan30 Chillin' With My Peeps

    612
    59
    138
    Sep 17, 2012
    Vancouver island
    Sunday morning our 14 year old black lab began throwing up, had no appetite and just wasn't himself. Each day this week he seemed to be slightly better until waking me up yesterday morning at 2 am and vomiting up the only full meal he had eaten since Sunday.

    Off to the vet we went expecting that he may not come home with us. The vet confirmed our fears, cancer, heart problems and possible kidney failure. We knew cancer was a possibility as we had a large tumor removed in the spring and chose not to have it tested due to his age. We also promised him no more surgeries.

    The vet sent him home with anti nauseants and painkillers so we can have a few days to snuggle him and bring him back tomorrow.

    The problem is now that he is medicated he is clearly feeling better and eating and making us question our decision even tho we do know things will get worse. It's just so hard to decide to end his life when you walk in the door to a wagging tail.

    Has anyone found a way to forgive themselves and come to terms with this? I feel like I'm murdering my best bud.
     
  2. RHRanch

    RHRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had a dog with a serious illness and I decided I would give her supportive care and medications as long as she was able to eat, drink and go to the bathroom and as long as she still seemed to "want to live". I don't know how, but I knew she would let me know when she was ready to go. We had a few last beautiful weeks with her and then one day after we took her on a road trip and walk around a tourist town (she had a great time and ate at a restaurant). On the way home, I knew she was happy and ready to pass on - it was her time The next morning we took her in to be put down. Horrible day, but I wouldn't trade those last few weeks for anything, and I think it made a difference to her, to have some special time with us and to be able to live a bit longer with special care.
     
  3. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,450
    270
    246
    Jun 4, 2011
    its a very hard decision. does he have a will to live with these anti-pain meds? if so, I would make the most of the last days with him. Use the gift that this medicine has given you to give him a last trip, sleeping on the bed, all of the things that he's never been allowed to do. Then, while he is free of pain and happy, have the vet help him pass on. If you think he will be stressed going to the vet, see if they (or another office!) will come to your home. Mnay will, especially in this type of situation. Don't wait until the current meds stop working and he is in pain again. He doesn't understand, only will know that he feels bad. I do believe that dogs know, on some level, that they are dying. But not with the idea that humans can have that it equals an end of pain. Animal instinct knows only "wild death" - starving and alone, abandoned by the pack or a violent death.
    Someone told me once, better a day too soon than a day too late.
     
  4. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,242
    208
    208
    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. I am in the same boat at the moment. My almost 14 year old pug has cancer and his bad hips and legs are slowly starting to stop working right. He is also going blind. It is like a soap opera of dog aliments. It has been a fast downhill slide and I am extremely sad. I have had him my whole adult life and its hard to think of him not being around. For a long time he even went to work with me everyday.

    He also needs pain meds to function but is still having good days. We decided to hold off until he either can not stand at all, isnt eating anything or is completely incontinent. I am trying to spend as much time with him as I can. He even gets to tag along on a road trip this weekend which he will love.

    Hugs for you. It's really hard but you are not alone.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  5. Shan30

    Shan30 Chillin' With My Peeps

    612
    59
    138
    Sep 17, 2012
    Vancouver island
    Thank you for your responses and opinions. This is a first for me and it's nice to hear from people who have been there.

    Tonight I will talk to my husband and do our daily assessment of how he is feeling. I agree that it would be best to hold on to him as long as we can keep him comfortable and hopefully he will let us know when he is ready. I know he knows what is happening as he was always super independent and now never leaves my side. I've been carrying around a bathmat so he can have something soft to sit on wherever I am.

    Out vet did say that the tumors were beginning to block his intestines hence the lack of appetite. Which makes me worry that we could wait too long.

    I guess the only way to do it is day by day and really I'm not ready to let him go, but this isnt about what I want it's about what he deserves from me.

    For now that's a couch in front of the fire, whatever delicious food he decides he wants, hopefully a quick drive to the beach and as much of a lifetime worth of love as I can pack in to whatever time is left for us.

    Thank you for understanding.
     
  6. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,242
    208
    208
    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    It sounds to me like you are really do the best thing and have a good perspective. I wish you the best. I'm sorry you are going through this.
     
  7. Shan30

    Shan30 Chillin' With My Peeps

    612
    59
    138
    Sep 17, 2012
    Vancouver island
    Thank you and same to you. This is the hardest ting I've ever done, it just doesn't seem right to have the power to make these choices.

    I hope things go smoothly for you and yours.
     
  8. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,953
    118
    213
    Apr 15, 2011
    The hardest thing I had to do was put down our young, not terminally ill dog. He had a type of degenerative epilepsy that made him aggressively attack animals and people without warning, along with other issues like boughts of intense fear and increasing grand mals. When my husband and I made the decision to put him down, we took him for the longest hike, played with his favorite toys, bought him a cheeseburger (not recommended if there is any chance it will made a dog feel ill), asked for a sedative before they gave the lethal shot, and stroked him as he peacefully died in our arms. We were very worried that a young dog would not slip out easily like an old and sick dog, but we have a good vet who listened to what we wanted to do sedative wise. They also let him lay on a blanket on the ground the whole time instead of being up on the slippery exam table.

    It is a very tough choice to make. I wish you the best no matter what you decide, and thank you for giving your dog such a great life full of love!
     
  9. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,949
    73
    218
    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I too had to put my cocker down. We had her for 22 1/2 years and it was very hard to do. She just kept getting worse and the morning she could not stand up and lost the ability to control her urine is when I took her to put her down as I could tell it stressed her greatly. I sat in the back seat with her and had my daughter drive us around while I fed her chocolate and then we went to the vet's and he came out to the car and put her to sleep while she lay with her head in my lap. I had already dug a hole so when I got her home we buried her under a young dogwood tree. I cried like crazy but you get better with time. They become family and it hurts a lot but it is so worth having them.
     
  10. Shan30

    Shan30 Chillin' With My Peeps

    612
    59
    138
    Sep 17, 2012
    Vancouver island
    Well when I got home stealer came running, deer jumped over some fire wood, grabbed a ball and dropped it in front of me tail going crazy like he wanted a game of fetch. He polished off everything I offered him and wants more.

    Talk about a good day, days like today are sooo special right now.

    I just spoke to my husband and we are going to definetly try to keep him happy for a while longer. This is still incredibly painful but my silly pup made me laugh today and that makes it all worthwhile.

    I did however lose a hen that I'd been nursing for a while but I guess it was her time too.

    Thank you for all of your stories, I feel for all of you. It's so hard to let go.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by