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 At what point is pain a reason to euthanize?

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Westcoaster87
Puppy
Puppy
Westcoaster87

Join date : 2015-07-03
Location : British Columbia, Canada

At what point is pain a reason to euthanize? Empty
PostSubject: At what point is pain a reason to euthanize?   At what point is pain a reason to euthanize? EmptyThu Aug 27, 2015 9:17 pm

I'm looking for empathetic and understanding answers. Not to be bashed for ethics please....


The situation is that my sister's 8 year old shepherd cross ruptured his CCL a few months ago. The dog has a long history of serious hind quarter injury because of poor breeding and being a very large dog. He suffers sprains, strains, and arthritis. It was decided at that time by my sister that he should go through the surgery but if the second ruptured it was kindest to put him down. So over the last few months we have kept him in a small yard, away from stairs, and worked on dropping his weight. We were coming up on booking the surgery when the second CCL ruptured. He was just walking in the house.

Obviously I am having some difficulty with this. We all are I'm sure. So I was hoping to hear from people some thoughts on euthanizing due to injury and unmanageable pain.
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Rumflower
Adult
Adult
Rumflower

Female Join date : 2015-06-16
Location : Kansas City

At what point is pain a reason to euthanize? Empty
PostSubject: Re: At what point is pain a reason to euthanize?   At what point is pain a reason to euthanize? EmptyThu Aug 27, 2015 9:48 pm

I'm so sorry, Sophie. I know it's a very hard decision to make. We had to make it about half a year ago with our Bailey. When we were deciding to put her down, we decided that we would do it once she lost all quality to life. The things she used to enjoy like playing with her toys or eating, she would not do. She just sat and cried. It was hard; I'm trying not to cry as I type this, but I think it was the right decision to make. I just thought that if I were here I would rather go. No one can judge your family on your decision. If he is not able to enjoy life any more, I think it is a merciful decision.

There are a lot of resources to help you in your decision and to help you cope with the loss, but it is ultimately I think a very private decision for your family to make.

http://pets.webmd.com/features/put-pet-to-sleep
http://lifehacker.com/how-to-deal-with-the-decision-to-put-down-your-pet-1632897804
https://rainbowsbridge.com/Grief_Support_Center/Grief_Support_Home.htm

There are also different ways to euthanize. Some places have vets that will come to your home and euthanize. My fiance's step-mother did this and she said it was a lot less painful of an experience than having to take the dog into a vet's office where she would be uncomfortable. They put her on a slow drip IV and she peacefully went to sleep with her toys and family around her. I think it was a good way to pass.
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MiyasMomma
Senior
Senior
MiyasMomma

Female Join date : 2014-06-26
Location : west Texas

At what point is pain a reason to euthanize? Empty
PostSubject: Re: At what point is pain a reason to euthanize?   At what point is pain a reason to euthanize? EmptyFri Aug 28, 2015 2:49 am

I read this earlier, and could not respond. It was the hardest thing for my husband and myself to do in March. Our kitty, our forever kitten, was over 14, and although she never really displayed being in pain, we made that very difficult decision. Our vet was surprised we went this long with her, he said we should have made the decision 6-12 months earlier. We felt it was about quality of life, and when we knew she had more bad days than good it was time. I remember when our beloved GSD, Bo, having similar issues, most days he couldn't make it up the 3 steps to go in and out, and my mom would carry him. It was a tough day to get that call from my mom that she said goodbye to Bo. She too felt the same way, when the bad days outnumber the good it is time to let go.

I am so sorry, it is not an easy decision when your friend seems all there. But you must understand the pain he is in, and not being able to do the things that he has always loved to do. There will be a day when he will tell you he has had enough, you will see it. It is the most difficult day that we all will or have gone through. Our pets speak to us, you just have to read them. On that day, understand you are being loving to him, in that he will no longer have to endure the pain. Because they are our best friends, he will always try to manage the wag of the tail, or the lick on the cheek, no matter how bad he feels. My first dog as a kid, before Bo, also had severe injuries and hip issues. I was around 11 when as a family, we all decided she was no longer having good days. So, yes Sophie, I understand the trauma you are going through. I think most of us can relate. I wish you and your family well. And more importantly that I helped even a little.
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Westcoaster87
Puppy
Puppy
Westcoaster87

Join date : 2015-07-03
Location : British Columbia, Canada

At what point is pain a reason to euthanize? Empty
PostSubject: Re: At what point is pain a reason to euthanize?   At what point is pain a reason to euthanize? EmptyFri Aug 28, 2015 3:08 pm

I keep trying to read both your comments but I start crying and close the computer.

We've decided to have the vet come out to our farm today rather than bringing him in. I'm worried the jostling in the car will hurt him and he's never really liked leaving home as it is.

This morning has been very strange here. Qinu, our husky puppy who usually enthusiastically shakes me awake in the morning, slept in with me. When I got up I went out to feed and sit with my sister's dog and he was very quiet and didn't light up the way he typically does.

I can't help but feel I have done him a great disservice but I think the real disservice would be to keep him alive in pain.

Thank you both for your kind words and stories. It has definitely allowed me to feel at least a little more confident in this decision.
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Artic_Wind
Senior
Senior
Artic_Wind

Male Join date : 2014-07-23
Location : San Diego, California

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PostSubject: Re: At what point is pain a reason to euthanize?   At what point is pain a reason to euthanize? EmptyFri Aug 28, 2015 9:26 pm

I actually tried to post to this yesterday, but then the tears started. I had to make this decision with my Malamute and even though I knew it was my love for him that had me realizing I was doing it *for* him, it was still  the hardest thing to go through.

In my post that I never posted, everything I typed came down to "quality of life", like Renee has said. If quality of life isn't there anymore, it isn't really a life.

My sympathy to you and your family Sad
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amymeme
Senior
Senior
amymeme

Female Join date : 2013-12-20

At what point is pain a reason to euthanize? Empty
PostSubject: Re: At what point is pain a reason to euthanize?   At what point is pain a reason to euthanize? EmptyFri Aug 28, 2015 11:02 pm

Some personal experience on the human side...my mother-in-law had to be put on a ventilator after her last surgery. They tried for 5 months to wean her off but she just could not breathe on her own. She was of full mind, bright and aware. And trapped in a hospital bed, unable to speak because of the tube, on tube feeding because of the tube. She was miserable. And in her own right mind, chose to come off the ventilator, fully understanding the consequences. She gave everyone notice, requested a last visit with everyone and had the whole family around her when the tube was removed. I had my own private visit with her and she told me "I'm tired, I'm just tired. I want to go, its time." She was kept comfortable and surrounded by those she loved and who loved her.

I hope I get to choose such a death.
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Westcoaster87
Puppy
Puppy
Westcoaster87

Join date : 2015-07-03
Location : British Columbia, Canada

At what point is pain a reason to euthanize? Empty
PostSubject: Re: At what point is pain a reason to euthanize?   At what point is pain a reason to euthanize? EmptyThu Sep 03, 2015 5:36 pm

Thought I would give everyone the update from the vet, now that I can type without crying so much.

So after everything was done the vet did another exam on his hind legs. He has completely ruptured both CCL's and another ligament on the left side. There was considerable atrophy and signs of bad arthritis. It was the vet's opinion that even if we had gone with surgeries and treatments the dog was heading into years of pain and recurring injury. He felt we had made the best decision for the dog.

Thanks again everyone for sharing your stories (of pets and people). It helped tremendously.
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amymeme
Senior
Senior
amymeme

Female Join date : 2013-12-20

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PostSubject: Re: At what point is pain a reason to euthanize?   At what point is pain a reason to euthanize? EmptyThu Sep 03, 2015 8:50 pm

Sophie, I am so sorry for your loss. Sounds to me like you made the best decision give the circumstances.
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aljones
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Senior
aljones

Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

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PostSubject: Re: At what point is pain a reason to euthanize?   At what point is pain a reason to euthanize? EmptyThu Sep 03, 2015 9:04 pm

Sophie, I didn't respond to this since my girls have all had the good graces to die of old age. I know that it wasn't a decision that anyone wants to make but if I had been in you sisters position, I hope I could have made the same decision.
I'm really sorry for her (and your) loss, but given the choices - there wasn't a happy one.
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Westcoaster87
Puppy
Puppy
Westcoaster87

Join date : 2015-07-03
Location : British Columbia, Canada

At what point is pain a reason to euthanize? Empty
PostSubject: Re: At what point is pain a reason to euthanize?   At what point is pain a reason to euthanize? EmptyThu Sep 03, 2015 9:33 pm

Thank you, Al. Yes, it was a difficult decision for everyone. I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned but our own dog was killed in a car accident just over 2 months ago. We have been caring for my sister's dog for the past 3 years so the house is feeling very different now.
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