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Hello,

I am new here and desperate for some help/advice. I have a poodle mix who is a minimum of 15 years old. When we got him the vet thought he was about 1 year old and I've had him for 14 years so he could be older. Anyway, he is hard of hearing and can't see well anymore. He's covered in Lipoma's. For years he had the run of the house when we'd leave, but in the last year he started destroying things. It got so bad he was scratching exterior and cabinet doors beyond repair. (We do have another house dog and 2 cats, but that doesn't pacify him.) We finally started crating him when we'd leave so he couldn't destroy things. Now he's started trying to scratch and chew his way out of the kennel and even broke off 2 teeth. He also is not eating as well. I have to keep trying to redirect him back to his dish to eat. He's just not much interested in it.

Years ago a vet recommended giving him Benadryl for long car rides to settle him down, so two weeks ago I began giving him Benadryl again to try and calm him while I was gone. I was told to give him 15 mg. years ago, but that did nothing for him now. I have slowly gone up to 50 mg.and it does absolutely nothing to him. I take 50 mg at night and it knocks me on my butt. So today I called my vet to talk to them about doggie Prozac. I am told it does not always work for every dog and that if the Benadryl is doing nothing to him, the anxiety may be so high that the other meds will do nothing either. Also, the vet says Oliver will have to be checked every 6 months and that the office visit/blood tests will be $200.00 each 6 months plus $30.00 per month for the meds. Cost is not that much of a problem except that it seems like a lot of unnecessary tests for a dog that is already 15 years old. I also talked to them about putting him to sleep and they were saying there does come a time when it's just better to do that. I've never had to put a pet to sleep before and I just don't know what to do.

Lastly, I have developed 2 auto-immune disorders in the last 9 years and the stress this dog is causing me, (I hesitate to say he's causing it, it's not his fault, but I don't know how else to word it.) is starting to cause me further health problems. Like I told the vet today, I'll be honest and say I struggle with whether I'm thinking of putting him so sleep for his sake or for mine or both. I feel horribly guilty when I think of it. I wonder if God will hate me for "playing God". I cry when I think of putting him to sleep and am massively stressed if I don't. I don't know what to do. Sorry this has gotten so long. I just wanted you all to know the entire situation so you could better offer advice. Any help you could give would be appreciated. Thank you.

Blessings,
Lisa
 

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*hugs*

Here are some cheaper alternatives to Prozac:
D.A.P - http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2755194

Rescue Remedy (I had good results for this one about one dropper full in every water dish works)-
http://www.rescueremedy.com/

Valerian root (some of the members here have had great results with this. Not sure how much to add to this though. You can look at what you give to humans and estimate for your pup)- http://www.anxiety-and-depression-solutions.com/articles/complementary_alternative_medicine/herbs_supplements/valerian.php

I had to put my Carter down for a ton of different reasons including SA just about a year a go (give or take a week). He was 3 years old, and between him trying to kill himself, me stressing out over it (I was scared to leave the house to go to work since I knew any day I would come home to a dead dog), him trying to kill other people, and the constant worry, I ended up putting him to sleep. I felt horrible for doing it, but I knew I had tried everything for him and there was nothing more anyone else could do for him then I had done.

I'll be honest with you and myself, I do not regret putting Carter down. I loved the dog so much, but my goodness the stress I was under was making me sick constantly. We had no friends, no life, I ended up not even having food in the house because I would rush from home to work then back home to take care of the dog.

I have Nubs now and everyone who watched me on here deal with Carter knows Nubs was my reward for everything I did with Carter. He is the best dog I could have every gotten. He is everything I wanted in a dog and more.

You are the only one that can say yes it is time or no it isn't. 15 years is a good life for a dog. Maybe it is getting near to the time of letting him run over that bridge. You'll know when it is time. For me it was the day I came home and Carter had hurt himself so bad that there was blood all over my basement, and I knew I could no longer keep him safe. You just know deep inside of yourself that it is time.

No one here will look badly at you for putting your guy down if you feel it is necessary. Try one or two of the things listed first. They take a few weeks to get into the system enough to work, but it's worth it. At least then you'll feel better about it.

Good luck, and PM me if you ever need to talk.
 

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I don't really have anything to add to Darkmoon's great advice but to say that you are in my thoughts and so are Oliver.

I've never had to put a dog down for this type of situation and I pray that I never have to, but I have had dogs put down before. There DOES come a time when you just 'know'. It's hard to explain something as abstract as that...but it is true. Take some time to really think about it and listen to your gut.

If you do decide to put Oliver down, God will not hate you. One of the greatest things we can do for our pets is deciding when to ease their pain by letting them go.
 

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Dogs can get senile. Their are drugs for that, like this-
http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/diseasesall/a/aniprylseniors.htm

You might also ask your vet if your dog is healthy enough to try Melatonin. You can get it at drug stores in the vitamin/supplement section. It's cheap. It will relax many dogs that get anxious, but doesn't put them in a drugged out stupor.

If nothing helps, I'd say euthanization would be appropriate. A dog that is that stressed out isn't happy, and it isn't good for your health. It is very sad to euth one, and you will feel VERY guilty for a while after, but finally you will accept that you did the best thing for the situation. ((Hugs.))
 

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I adopted my dog from a local shelter and he suffers from SA as well. Prozac can take up to 8 weeks to take effect. Rufus has been on it for four and I'm not sure that I see results yet. He is also on Xanax to reduce his anxiety immediately after we leave, but that doesn't seem to be terribly effective either.

Maybe the crate is exacerbating the anxiety? We're experimenting with leaving Rufus in a larger space, although I understand that the dog's destruction is a problem. Is there a bathroom he could be left in?

Good luck, and I understand EXACTLY what you are going through. Let us know how things work out.
 

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Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to stop by to thank you all for your kindness when you posted your replies. I was worried I'd be lambasted for even considering putting Oliver to sleep for this reason and instead you all gave me caring and thoughtful answers and I really appreciate it. It's really helped me a lot.

I have agonized over this decision, but have decided to have Oliver put to sleep tomorrow at 4 pm. We have tried everything and nothing works. When I came home yesterday from a short trip to the doctor, his mouth and feet were bleeding from trying to escape the crate. He is losing weight daily from the constant "exercise" he is getting while we are gone and his hips and spine are sticking out some. I've tried putting him on a leash tied to my nightstand in my room so he can just lay in his bed while gone and he demolished my quilt on my bed and I also tried tying him to the backdoor so he could lay on the rug instead of being in the kennel. That time he tore a bag of pinecones off the fireplace and made a huge mess of that along with scratching the backdoor so bad it has to be replaced. (All this from a 15 year old 20 lb. dog.) That just shows you how bad it's gotten. And I'm also noticing he's not eating well and every day his anxiety, about where I am at any given time in the house, just gets worse and worse.

I was hoping that I would "know" it was time like some of you mentioned, but I don't think I will ever feel that. I am still grappling with the fact that I am taking a life and that is killing me. Hopefully I will be more at peace with the whole thing after tomorrow. We have a 23 acre farm and he will be buried there under a big holly tree. Anyway, sorry to ramble on. Thank you again for your support. I really do appreciate it.

Blessings,
Lisa
 

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Lisa I'll be honest with you. Tomorrow is the 1 year mark when I ended up putting Carter down, and While I don't regret doing it, at the same time I still feel horrible for taking his life. I broke down 2 nights ago over it. It's not an easy thing to do, but the peace of mind knowing that he passed away with his mom and dad in the room and not at home in deep pain and scared to death is well worth it.

I'll keep you in my heart tomorrow. Good luck Lisa, and enjoy your last moments with him. You gave him a fantastic life that he is no longer able to enjoy. You are doing the right thing.

Take care and feel free to hang out around here and talk to us. I can't give you a real hug but *hugs* hand in there.
 

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I'm so sorry.

If he is no longer happy and is hurting himself, that would concern me too.

He knows he was loved by you. I will keep you all in my thoughts tomorrow.
 

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I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. It is such a tough decision. Be aware, you WILL feel incredible guilt for a while. It's especially hard when you know you could wait a week longer, or even more. Just remember the situation would not get better, and the quality of life (emotional quality counts just as much as physical quality) isn't there. When putting a pet down I try to remember that "We take their pain away and make it our own".

A kind death is really the last gift we can give our beloved pets. Having one live each day really stressed out to the point of injuring themselves is not a quality life.

Godspeed Oliver on your trip to the Bridge.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear about Oliver's deterioration. I'm thinking of you and hoping you make the most of your last day with him. Bless you for all the work you did trying different things. Tomorrow he'll stop hurting for good.
 
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