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Putting down my dog? HELP


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So to start I have a chihuahua/miniature pincher mix and he's 4. Always been healthy. Last night he was just fine, playing fetch, walking around, playing with my lab... etc. Then maybe an hour later, he's under the bed whining and not using his back right leg at all, call the vet, says to keep him comfortable and he'll see us in the morning, by this morning he's not using either of his hind legs now and not lifting his tail vet says a ruptured disc in his spine, ivdd.. checks for deep pain, nothing. He said we can take him up for surgery, but since he has no feeling in his lower half there's a good chance it won't work, could make him worse. And it's highly likely it will happen again with this condition. We can try steroids and anti inflammatories but that has an even smaller chance of helping... I was fine with looking into getting a wheelchair for him but as the day goes on he's getting worse... he's in pain now and bites me when I try to lift him or help him relieve his bladder... I just don't know what to do. He's my baby, I love him so much and I don't want him to suffer... but i can't give up on him until I know there's no chance of him getting better. But I don't know. Family thinks I should put him down and I don't want to be selfish in keeping him alive... but i don't want to be so quick to give up on him. I need help. I don't want to make the wrong decision... advice? Anything?

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Aw, I'm so sorry this is happening! If I were you I would get a second, even third opinion. I wouldn't assume that this is your only option at this point.


Do you have friends/family who can recommend a credible vet?


Although I don't have pets, I have lots of friends who do and most get multiple opinions before they make a final decision.


Please keep us posted!

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Hello, kylie, and welcome to the forum.


I am so, so profoundly sorry for your, your pup's and your family's current circumstances. These are times I'd give a great deal for a magic wand.


Firstly, depending on where you live, have you been able to find any promising options for second opinions a/o alternative treatments? This is in no way to suggest that the veterinarian you are using is at all incorrect or anything of the sort. Only that veterinarian medicine has made leaps and bounds forward in many ways most of the public is unaware of, from chiropractic advancement, acupuncture evolution, to hydro- and thermo- therapies and these specialists are well trained, their fields legitimate and their respective successes frequently nothing short of miraculous.


Secondly, my other strong suggestion is to explore any notable universities, technical colleges and other teaching organizations in your area with a veterinarian school of medicine attached. They frequently have resources and specialists not readily available to local clinics.


That being said, by no means am I recommending that you are obliged to go to extraordinary lengths in pursuit of treatment for your pup. For the very astute and perfectly accurate reasons you listed in your quandary over what to do now, sometimes we risk quality of life in our passionate dedication to preserving the life of our beloved companion, and this is a terrible situation, too, of course.


I only want to provide you with any ideas or potential options for your consideration.


Ultimately, no one knows your pup like you and your family do, and no one is better or more qualified to make the decision as to what is in his best interests.


This is an unimaginably difficult and heart-wrenching time, and I am beyond sympathetic for you all.


You will make the right call because you are in the best, albeit excruciating, position to make it. If you are weighing options and the choices are impossible to differentiate, trust your institution.


No one can ever tell you that you are wrong, and no one outside your personal circle should pressure you, even misguidedly or well-intentioned. This decision is soul-rending and in the end, you and your family/close friends are correct whatever you choose simply because no one can choose for better or more honestly heartfelt reasons.


I wish you and yours, especially your pup, the utter best. My fingers are tightly crossed for you all. Take great care of yourselves.


My heart goes out to you and my thoughts are with you all.

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Sorry to read this, and it is going to be hard no matter what you choose. I too would suggest a second opinion, however do not go in with too much hope.


When I had to put down my cat of 20 years it was the hardest thing I had done, he'd been a trooper up until his last day but the pain just overwhelmed him. There were options, but in the end I just couldn't force him to suffer for my sake. That's what it came down to in the end, what was best for him.


I think once the shock of this day wears off you will know in your heart of hearts what to do. Won't make it easier.

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Take the least invasive measure right now and give him painkillers asap. This should give you some time to think logically.


He's fairly young at 4 years old, so if the surgery works, he still has a full life ahead. It's not like the surgery will be "wasted" on a 14 year old dog.


Get a second opinion. Do research and see how the same breed reacted to the same surgery, what the recovery rate is.

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Did you have an x-ray done and how certain is the vet that this is a ruptured disk?


Keep your lab away from him. Little dogs are really fragile even though they may get along with larger dogs.


Also make sure he hasn't lost his appetite. Make sure he eats/drinks because once a small dog's blood sugar drops, you've just added another problem.

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Something similar happened to my mom's cat, as a kitten he suddenly lost all function in his hind legs while playing. He was basically paralyzed for about 3-4 weeks. They had him on daily anti-inflammatory shots and I'm not sure what else, and eventually he bounced back and is now a perfectly healthy cat.

I think it's worth getting a second/third opinion, vets differ a lot in knowledge and there might be an easier solution.

Unless he's in a lot of pain that cannot be managed, I would think it's premature to just put him down without investigating further.

Good luck and healthy vibes!

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i notice chihuahuas often have hind leg problems. i would consult other professionals immediately before making the call. i love the universities/technical colleges advice. if there is a reputable chihuahua or other small breed breeder in your area, or a good pet's society, you may ask if they have experience.


It's not like the surgery will be "wasted" on a 14 year old dog.
i have to comment on this in case people with older pets chance upon this thread. just because a pet is old, it doesn't mean surgery is redundant or will be lost on them. always consult a vet. my dog was twelve when he needed surgery for a type of abdominal tumor that isn't treatable in most dogs. seeing as it was causing a blockage, i was going to lose him on the spot either to the surgery, or to the blockage. the vet told me so, and said he wanted to wheel him in for a procedure immediately. i agreed. though he nearly stopped breathing from the fentanil, he has been healthy, tumor free and pain free since. it's been over a year. i have no way of knowing how long he will live, but he didn't die there and then, had another very happy year of life thanks to the surgery, and if he is gone tomorrow, i will know that he wasn't in pain.


if he is in pain now and you don't have adequate pain killers, you need to consult a vet urgently.


did an ortho surgeon check for luxating patella?


hang in there and keep us updated.

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