I would like your opinion - it's an ethical question

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by McGoo, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. McGoo

    McGoo Songster

    My old dog, Alice, is 14, 98 in dog years and I'm considering putting her down. I know that ultimately this is my decision, but I'd like to hear about your experiences and views.

    She is virtually blind, can't hear, she has dimentia, so she's not always sure where she is and she paces around. (medications, both Rx and homeopathic haven't helped) She doesn't show any signs of happiness (no affect). She's got indestinal problems due to kidney failing. And she has a lot of trouble getting up...to the point that there are times that she cannot and her legs slide out to the side and she's stuck there. And the vet says that that hurts her.

    I rescued her 8 years ago... she was abandoned. I love her so much and that's really why I'm so torn and want to make the right decision for her. [​IMG]

    My vet has said that animals live in the present and don't think about the good olde years when they chased rabbits and played. I'm inclined to agree with her.

    What's been your experience?
  2. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    The only blessing of my first two dogs' passing was that in both cases it was sudden. I just have a gut feeling with my favourite dog (I know we shouldn't have favourites!) is that I will find myself in your situation ten years or so from now.

    I've seen it many times when no matter how much family or friends try and convince someone, they are not ready to let their pet go and drag it out longer than they probably should. As much as it hurts, I believe that if the thought is crossing your mind, it probably is time.

    Dogs are wonderful, trusting animals and they trust in you to do the best by them. This piece always brings tears to my eyes, but I believe it sums up the situation perfectly. God bless you, whatever decision you make.

    A Dog's Prayer

    by Beth Norman Harris

    Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of mine.

    Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.

    Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.

    When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements. And I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Though you had no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are my god and I am your devoted worshipper.

    Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life should your life be in danger.

    And, beloved master, should the great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest -- and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.
  3. EggCentric

    EggCentric Songster

    Sep 14, 2007
    Ball Ground, Ga
    Ask yourself this question: Are you keeping her alive for her, or yourself?

    Think about that, and you'll know what you need to do.
  4. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    I worked with lots of people making this decision as a vet tech. It is tough, I know even from my own experience.

    My best advice: think about her quality of life. Is she happy in the now, comfortable, eating?

    If they answer is yes, then keep her around for a while. If the answer is no, then think about what might be best for her...and are you keeping her for you or her.

    Good luck with yoru tough decision.
  5. seedcorn

    seedcorn Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    NE. IN
    understandable emotions. No right or wrong answer but for me, I'd put her down.

    Had to make own decision on old dog we had from pup, family was mad at me for it. I couldn't let the dog suffer as he had inoperatable cancer and couldn't breathe well.
  6. tx_dane_mom

    tx_dane_mom Songster

    Sep 23, 2007
    SE Texas
    I'm so sorry your poor girl is in such poor shape. I don't know that I agree with your vet, personally....I believe dogs do have memories, BUT her memories aren't going to help her aching joints or embarrasing bowel issues (yea, I believe it would embarras her.)
    I'm one of the people who give dogs alot of human characteristics, but I also know there is a definate line where dogs are not people, and the expect you, their master, to help them, teach them, lead them...If she can not see, can barely move, she can no longer guide her own way.
    If I was blind, couldn't control my bowels, and hurt to move all the time...I wouldn't have quality of life, so I personally would beg to be let go...on to a better place.
    The decision is never easy, at all...but I'd much rather let my dog go w/all the dignity it has remaining...just my 2 cents.
  7. mcg30_40

    mcg30_40 Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    I put my german shepherd down several years ago because she broke her back. It was hard for me but knew she had no happiness in her life and to me that wasn't fair for her. Sometimes I think our medicines only prolong our happiness...not theirs.
  8. EllyMae

    EllyMae Songster

    I agree with tx_dane_mom. The bowel issues are "embarrassing" for them. That is what ultimately made the decision for me. My dachshund(who was like a child to me) had went down in her back...had the surgery...was still paralyzed and we even maintained her like that for at least a year. But then her bowels became a major problem...she would poo so bad and then drag around in it(I know, it's awful) and then look so bewildered at me as if saying"Why is this happening." That led to ulcers that wouldn't heal, etc. I couldn't stand to see my dog like that. It was taking her dignity and was just more than I could handle. Major tough decision...that is why I became a nurse instead of a vet. Nurses don't have to make the "ultimate" decisions.
  9. stilwellchick

    stilwellchick Songster

    Jun 16, 2007
    Stilwell, KS
    I have always thought that if it occurs to you that it might be time, it usually is. We have a lot of dogs and do everything we can to keep them around as long as possible but I have learned to trust my intuition when it is time to say goodby. I grieve for them then honor their memory by bringing in another rescue and saving another life. In my mind I think that's what they would tell me to do.
  10. hcammack

    hcammack Crowing

    Oct 5, 2007
    If her quaility of life is not good I would say put her to sleep. I may have to make this decision for my dog in a few years. She is mostly blind and deaf but Still plays eats and runs around allot even though she is a lazy basset she also wags allot and loves to lick people if she can smell where you are I love her but I know when she gets worse I will need to put her down I have had her since my fifth birthday.

    Good Luck sorry you have to make this decision,

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