Putting dog to sleep?
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Thread: Putting dog to sleep?

  1. #1
    Member rizzo's Avatar
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    Putting dog to sleep?

    Susie is my first dog, and I've never really had to make a decision on putting an animal to sleep. I would like some opinions.

    About a year ago, my 12 year old dog was diagnosed with diabetes and is on twice daily insulin injections. She has had bloody stools for close to a year as well--hard feces with bright red blood at the end. I've brought her to the vet, and they ruled out parasites and a bacterial infection. They gave me Metronidesol, but it never cleared it up. She has seen the vet 4 times and has had an ultrasound of her stomach. Just showed that she had an enlarged liver. She's had stool samples and antibiotics, but the vet seems puzzled.

    The stools have gotten worse. She is now straining to poop, and there is much more blood. Now she is peeing every 30 minutes to hour. I brought her to the vet thinking it was her blood sugar. A blood glucose curve and another test (fructose?) determined that her diabetes was under control. She is thirsty all the time now, and drinks water incessently.

    At her most recent vet visit, they said she lost 2 pounds. A CBC came back, and her ALT levels were up, as well as her white blood cell count. I have raised concerns about cancer multiple times to the vet, but she doesn't think that's it.

    So the vet has no idea now. She keeps giving me medicines that we've had before (and haven't worked). I worry that my dog is in pain. She is lethargic and last night, she was moaning in her sleep. I called somewhere else for a second opinion, so I'm waiting to hear back.

    I don't know what to do. I'm worried about her, and I don't know if she is in pain. My gut feeling is that she has cancer. I've spent close to 5 digits on veterinary care over the past 2 years, and I don't know when to stop. I love her so much, but my dog is more work than my newborn. How do I know if she is in pain? I'm aggravated that I've spent so much money at the vet just to get the runaround. She is 12... if it is something that requires aggressive treatment, I don't know if I would put her through it.

    Any suggestions?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Dekka's Avatar
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    Re: Putting dog to sleep?

    A few things to think about.

    Does she seem happy. Are her eyes bright and does she still seem to be enjoying life? Or does she sleep all the time (which is what dogs in pain tend to do)

    Its quality of life. If she seems happy and you are ok with continuing then I say by all means continue. If she is not enjoying life, or having more bad days than good ones then maybe it is time. This sounds horrible, but if you are reaching the end of your ability to financially manage this, I would put her to sleep vs a couple more months.

    I am so sorry this is such a difficult decsion to make. I have yet to make it for any of 'my' pets, though I have been part of them for family pets in the past. Look into her eyes and go with your gut would be how I would do it.

  4. #3
    Senior Member WheatenDaneMom's Avatar
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    Re: Putting dog to sleep?

    Have they ruled out colitis?

    If the blood is bright it is at the end of the canal.... colon/lower intestine... if it's towards they end of a bowel itself it could be a fissure... stress induced, pressure, diet... you could try some probiotic yogurt or canned pumpkin to ease her bowels. If there is mucous in the bowels... it might be colitis, like humans is a PITA but won't kill you although can lead to complications. The straining to poop means there could be a bowel constriction such as a tumor, hernia or twisted intestine...

    I had a golden retriever will uncontrollable diabetes. I know how difficult it is...
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    Senior Member WheatenDaneMom's Avatar
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    Re: Putting dog to sleep?

    Also I wouldn't continue aggressive treatment... I would make her comfortable. A diabetic dog has a lower life span... esp. when there are complications. If you used aggressive treatments... how much longer are you going to expand her life? If it were me (and like I said... I've been there, although our dog made it to 10... had a stomach tumor that surgery could not take care of... died of internal bleeding) I would take the time to clue on ok... WHAT IS THIS.... and use medication and comfort to keep her happy until she's obviously in pain, and then I would let her pass on. I know it's hard... when you invest thousands into a dog you don't know... OK, when is enough... you don't want to feel like your efforts have been wasted thus far...
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    Senior Member WheatenDaneMom's Avatar
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    Re: Putting dog to sleep?

    Did they ever do an XRAY or a U/S?
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  7. #6
    Member rizzo's Avatar
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    Re: Putting dog to sleep?

    They did do an ultrasound, and it showed an enlarged liver, but that's it. I've been playing around Google, and I saw something for Cushing's disease, which sounds exactly like my dog. My vet never mentioned anything about that being a possibility, though. Her diabetes is under control, but she's having excessive thirst and appetite (to the point where she's jumped in the tub to drink, steals food from the table, and knocks over the trash--not like herself at all!). If that is what she has, there is no treatment, just symptom management with some pretty aggressive medications.

    She sits around all day, doesn't play with her toys, and hides. She still begs for food, though, and comes to lay down with me at night. I just can't tell if it's time. I'd love it if I could know exactly what is wrong with her, so I could make a better judgement.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Pawzk9's Avatar
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    Re: Putting dog to sleep?

    Have you considered asking for a consultation with an internal medicine vet?

  9. #8
    Member rizzo's Avatar
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    Re: Putting dog to sleep?

    Pawz, thank you for the suggestion. I thought it was all the same. I found a place relatively close by that does internal medicine and also deals with geriatric dogs. Will take her tomorrow!

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    Re: Putting dog to sleep?

    Good luck to you!

  11. #10
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    Re: Putting dog to sleep?

    A decision every pet owner must come to grips with sooner or later. Only you can make the ultimate decision, but I will say at 12 years old, spending more and more money and possibly extending her life just a little longer, ask yourself, are you prolonging her suffering?

    If it makes you feel any better you could get another opinion from a trusted veterinarian, but I would bet the answer would be the same. Even if there was something that could be done is it worth it to you financially? Just another question only you can answer.

    Your pet will tell you when it's time, just look into their eyes. I've been through it and it's hard to let go. As I stated only you can make this decision.

    Good luck and best wishes.
    Last edited by TomN; 11-26-2011 at 09:30 AM.

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