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Struggling with making the decision


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Hello! First time posting on the pets section of this forum. I did some light reading first, and I think my topic is pretty popular: When it's time to say goodbye.

 

For some history, I've had my dog for about 7 years now. He was approximately 5 when I got him. He was on the "kill" list for the city animal shelter and his time was almost out. Long story short - I saved his life.

 

Fast forward to 2020. I have seen him get a lot older. He stopped playing with toys a while ago. I allow him on the couch, and one of his favorite things to do was to sit on the edge over the armrest. It became tough to jump on the couch, so he stopped trying entirely. In early April, (2 weeks after I lost my job due to covid) he became extremely ill and was diagnosed with diabetes. I know this isn't a death sentence, but it's expensive.. especially for someone whose not working. The diabetes hit him hard, and due in part to a lackluster vet (I have since switched doctors) we had a lot of trouble getting his blood glucose under control. About a month into the diagnosis, he went blind. I've done everything I could to assist. I've removed 2 dining room chairs and the coffee table. His food & water always remains in the same spot, but I put a mat underneath to help him recognize when he is there.

 

He has not adjusted well to being blind. It's heartbreaking watching him slam his head into the (metal) leg of the table and other various things. I've tried to start a new word with him: "careful" ..and honestly sometimes it really works. I will say careful and he will stop or swerve away. Because of his diabetes, he is drinking a lot of water and therefore needing to pee lots. Because he is blind, he cannot go down the porch steps unattended, so I am bringing him outside and having to watch him countless times throughout the day. Night time is no different. I don't sleep anymore. I wake up once, sometimes twice during the night to let him outside to pee. There are nights when I do get to stay in bed the whole time, but then I will notice he is lying in a small pool of urine.

 

Recently, he has been plagued with infection after infection. 3 months ago I noticed blood in his urine and we've been on a roundabout of about 4 more infections after that, plus one ear infection. These are not cheap to treat.

 

Like, I know what the answer is, but it's just so hard for me to bring a dog who doesn't outwardly look ill to get euthanized. I of course have no idea what is going on internally with him. I feel like at worst, he is really struggling. And at best, he just existing. Just wondering if anyone out there has had to euthanize a pet who looks perfectly fine at first glance? I am dragging my feet on doing this, though I already know what the answer is. It's almost a blessing that I lost my job, because I have been able to be home and care for him... but at the same time, the only way I'll be able to move forward and start working again is when he is gone.

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I hear ya....you have to put your feelings aside and truly think about them, and their quality of life. Veterinarians make the process as easy as possible for you and the pet. Call the vet and they will get you in right away. Just remember you gave him a pretty nice life and did everything you could and he loves you for it. It's true compassion to stop their suffering.

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I grew up taking care of a lot of animals and I have been through this and helped friends through this as well.

 

Some dog breeds go down hill really fast when they are reaching the end of their natural life. 12 years old is a good life for a domestic dog and it sounds like you have cared and loved him as he has loved you.

 

He lived another 7 years because of you but it is time to let him go. Blood in the urine, loss of control of the bladder added to blindness leads me to the conclusion his body is slowly shutting down. I have seen labs like this go from looking fine but with the same symptoms to covered in growths just under the skin days later.

 

Ultimately you know it is time so talk to your vet about what they can do to make it easier for you. A good buddy of mine just had to put his dog down and the vets office was so helpful and kind. They even have this thing where they take clay and imprint the dogs name and make an imprint of the dogs paw to give to the owner. Some vets will try and guilt you into continuing treatment which makes me sick.

 

This situation is not like my family member where the Terrier went blind from old age but still got around great. He lived to be 21 years old but he was one grumpy dog and would bite anyone but his master if they came near him.

 

Talk to your vet and ask them how best to handle this.

 

I am sorry, losing a dog is the worst.

 

Lost

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What I ask myself is...how would I feel if I had the illnesses that the animal had? Would I feel like I had a good quality of life?

 

You obviously love this dog. And it's so hard. But I would send him peacefully into his next pain free life. If you can handle it, hold him while he goes to heaven.

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I just have so little experience with this so nothing to contribute other than your post really touched me and I feel badly about your situation and your obvious conflict over what to do. So I wish you the best , for what it's worth your dog is so lucky to have such care and nurturing and love and yes, if it were me I likely would as boltnrun suggested send him peacefully into his next pain free life.

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I feel like at worst, he is really struggling. And at best, he just existing.

 

Is that the kind of life you want for him? Is it really a life if you are simply existing? Do you want to watch him keep struggling everyday? As much as it hurts to let him go, it's going to keep hurting you everyday to watch him in pain. You've done everything you can for him, you've given him love and support, doing everything you can to make his life better. At this point, the most compassionate thing you could do is let the suffering end. I know there is hard for you, so take the time to come to peace with it and mourn if you need to.

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As a dog owner myself, I’ve asked myself this question to. Played a lot of scenarios in my head even though my dog is a healthy 1 yr old pup haha... But I just like to freak myself out about the what if’s and be prepare for every possible scenario if he gets sick from poison or If another dog injures him, etc. I am weird like that.

 

I think I’ll be torn but I also think that when a dog is at that age like your dog, they’ve lived a good life because of you and letting them go will be your final act of kindness.

 

I know it’s hard- taking care of sick animals. it is hard because you don’t know what they are thinking or feeling. But you know your dog and you know if you had all his ailments on top of old age, how you would feel. You have been very good to him and he is very lucky to have you til the end. Talk to a vet soon.

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Just want to thank everyone for their kind words and replies. I've spoken to my vet, and mentioned atleast twice that it may be time soon, so they are undoubtedly expecting me to call in the near future to come in. My vet has really great people working there who are honest and caring.

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Just want to thank everyone for their kind words and replies. I've spoken to my vet, and mentioned atleast twice that it may be time soon, so they are undoubtedly expecting me to call in the near future to come in. My vet has really great people working there who are honest and caring.

 

You have caring resources and support and I'm glad. I'm sorry for all of this and I hope you and your family find peace soon.

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Angel harnesses or a homemade version can help with blindness (its like an angle halo that extends out so that it hits the wall before the dog does.

Has the dog received antibiotics for infections?

There are a few funds that you can apply to for medical bills - maybe you can talk to a rescue about local resources that might help with insulin

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Angel harnesses or a homemade version can help with blindness (its like an angle halo that extends out so that it hits the wall before the dog does.

Has the dog received antibiotics for infections?

There are a few funds that you can apply to for medical bills - maybe you can talk to a rescue about local resources that might help with insulin

 

Yes, I've seen the harnesses.. but I think it would inhibit him from drinking water which he drinks a lot of. I of course get him on medication at the first sign of any infection, be it urinary or ear infection. These past 3 months have really just been cycle after cycle of meds. I think he is spending more days taking anti-biotics than not lately. I am luckily able to afford it, it's just eating away at my savings and becoming a huge expense each month.

 

I spent a lot of time crying yesterday just thinking about letting him go. I am rationalizing it more, coming to better terms with it. I watched him for a bit last night and his tummy was gurgling, he kept changing positions to lie in, so I believe he is in discomfort. I will go soon. Maybe Monday.

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You're doing the kindest thing. If he's blind, looking like he's in discomfort and you're waking to find him in a little pool of urine then, unfortunately, it is the right time.

 

I went through the same thing 2 weeks ago having to put my own dog to sleep so I very much feel your pain.

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  • 2 months later...

Just wanted to follow up that we made the decision yesterday to let him go.  Obviously, I'm heartbroken.. but I feel ompletely confident that it was time.  I was finally ready to put him to rest, and I do believe he was ready to rest.  I ended up having an in-home service come.  (Every time I called me vet I got an office closed message..not sure if it's covid or what?)

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