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Should I put my blind dog to sleep? :(


oitnb

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I have a 12 year old zu. He is horribly blind in both eyes. We've been to numerous vets and the only option left is to remove both of his eyes, he's in constant pain and they won't get any better. They're past the point of no return.

 

All he does all day is sleep, or whine because he can't see where he is. He hardly eats, I have to carry him to where the food and water bowl is. Overall he appears pretty depressed and doesn't ever do much besides whine.

 

I feel so bad for him. I honestly feel like it might just be time to let him go. His quality of life is very low.

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If he's in pain and nothing can be done then I would consider euthanasia. I would not put an animal to sleep just because they're blind. My Siamese went blind at two years old because of the genetic defect and lived a happy life until he was 15. But if your dog is in horrible pain talk about it with the vet. It's entirely possible he's not eating ,drinking and participating because he's in too much pain. If the pain can be erased the results he might be much happier.

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he's in constant pain and they won't get any better.

 

...Overall he appears pretty depressed and doesn't ever do much besides whine.

 

...His quality of life is very low.

 

It's one of the hardest decisions, but if he's in constant pain, is depressed and has a low quality of life, it might be time to let him go. Surgery at his age sounds like more stress and trauma and pain, which would add to his discomfort. I'm sorry you are having to go through this. One of the hardest thing of having a pet. It's never an easy choice. I've felt guilt either way.

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I think a big consideration is the age of your dog. Also the expense of the eye surgery. Also the trauma to your dog to go through such a surgery. In my opinion, it is time to put the dog down at this point. I had to weigh these same factors when my beloved cocker spaniel reached the age of 14 years and was having major health issues. It is a very difficult decision to make. It is the reason I will not have another dog. ...chi

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Our dog nearly had to be put down a couple of months ago, and it was the most painful thing I've dealt with in a long time. (In the end, because we have money and time, she was able to get treatment and is now getting better)

 

If this is a situation where you can't help her, she's in pain and her quality of life is low... it's something I would have a long talk with a vet about and then a long think about. It's a terribly difficult situation.

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Euthanasia isn't your only option here. I have a blind AND DEAF Cocker Spaniel, and he does great! Dogs adapt better than humans to loss of sight and sound, because their noses are so powerful. The recovery may be a little rough but I promise you, there's a good chance he will come out great. He whines now because he is in pain and he is uncomfortable. Once he has the surgery, a weight will be lifted off him and he will be a million times happier, even if he can't see.

 

I know it's hard, but you have to try not to project your human emotions onto him. When we see a blind or deaf person, we feel bad for them because we know what they are missing and we know that they are probably going through a very traumatic lifestyle change that is hard to adjust to. Dogs don't feel that way. A normal dog doesn't look at a blind dog and think "Oh man, that's really sad, I feel bad for that guy." All they see is another dog. A dog doesn't know he is blind, he's not embarassed, he's not sad about what he's missing. He doesn't know that he lost his sight.

 

I think you should make an appointment with an vet who specializes in eyes (there's lots of them, trust me). Tell him your concerns. There needs to be a balance and his quality of life needs to be worth the surgery. Maybe he will take a year to fully recover, and maybe he will need to euthanized a year after that due to old age - in which case, the surgery might not be "worth" it. Or maybe he will recover in 2 months and live for another 5 years! We don't know these kinds of things, but a specialist will be able to give us the best estimate of what to expect.

 

Whatever you do, don't euthanize him because you think he is "sad" or because you think it will be too hard for him to adjust to being blind. It's completely possible for him to live a happy and exciting life after this surgery. Please talk to a specialist and do what's best for the little guy.

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link removed

 

There's a link to help if you decide to opt for surgery to make him comfortable.

 

I'd think a major factor would be, apart from his eye troubles, if he is otherwise healthy and has some good quality of life left. If so, I'd probably do the surgery and give him his last years in comfort.

 

Something to consider - while blindness seems a devastating thing to a human - to a dog, it's more like a human becoming color blind, or losing taste.

 

Dogs number one sense is smell (anywhere from 10,000-100,000 times more sensitive than ours), and second is hearing. Their vision is only around 20-40 when optimal, and not as color sensitive as a human's. So they rely on other things for most of their daily function, and are a lot less sight dependent than a person, and thus are a lot better able to cope with the loss. Their hearing is about 4 times better for distance, and they hear a much wider range than we do - as well as being able to control their ear muscles to focus sound direction.

 

So it's likely to make YOU feel worse, once the pain is gone, than HIM.

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I have a blind and deaf dog at my parents home and she is very happy and we won't put her down. But she's not in pain. If your dog is in pain, please put her down.

 

I would ask your vet about the pain. How do you know that dog is in pain? Ask the vet.

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  • 3 weeks later...

You don't have to put down a dog because of blindness; as mesemen says so well, dogs can do fine without eyesight. They depend on their noses. The worst problem most blind dogs have is fretting owners.

 

If surgery will stop your dogs pain, and he is otherwis in good health, he may live years more quite happily. Little dogs can sometimes live to be 17 or 18 (I had a yorkie that lived to 19 and a medium sized mutt that lived to 18 ) . I know how agonizing this choice is, because there are no guarantees. But if the vet agrees the dog can have a good quality of life after surgery, and you can afford it, you may be able to keep your little friend around for a while longer. Whichever way it goes, your dog always loves you and knows your are doing the best you can.

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Poor doggy its hard to let a pet go but hes in pain. Its kinder to him to let him go now. Yes as much as it would hurt me, I would put him to sleep.

 

A friend of mines dog was dying of cancer. They refused to put him down. I thought it was v cruel. The poor thing was in terrible pain, very ill, vomitting etc. Id never put a pet through that.

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You should compare the cost and risk of the surgery, to how much it will actually help him. If there's a pretty good chance that the surgery will allow him to live with good quality of life for a decent amount of time, and it's affordable, then you should probably to it. If it's something that would put you into debt, and extend his life for a few months, but he would continue to be in pain, then it's probably the best option to have him put down. I know it's a hard decision, we had our dog put down a year ago, but it's selfish to extend a dog's life just because you can't handle losing them.

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