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I had my dog, Susie, euthanized yesterday and was just looking for some support for those of you who have had to make the painful decision before for your dog.

Susie was a few weeks shy of 12 years old. She had diabetes, was defecating blood for the past year, was constantly getting UTIs, having accidents inside, had possible Cushing's disease (which my vet said that she typically doesn't treat in dogs her age), had dozens of fatty cysts and some were starting to burst, started sleeping all the time, stopped playing with toys, started limping, occasionally lost control of her back legs, wouldn't go for walks, and started hiding. Over the past two years, she became a different dog. She lost so much energy and started spending less time cuddling and more time hiding. I have spent over $5000 at the vet the last two years alone. Over time, she slowly deteriorated and although her illnesses and infections were treated, she still started to show her age.

Monday, I got a call early in the morning. She had slept over my mother's house and she started noticing some unusual behavior. My dog, normally a very big cuddler/lap dog, hid and did not want to be around anyone. She wouldn't eat and wouldn't drink her water. She was laying in her bed, feet hanging over, and vomited on herself. She was so weak she couldn't even get up.

I quickly ran over and brought her to the vet. My vet couldn't tell me what it was, but Susie was definitely dehydrated and showing clear signs of pain. They wanted to do bloodwork and an ultrasound.

I told them that I wanted to have her euthanized. Over the past few months, she has made at least a half dozen visits to the vet. Every time I go, I drop $200 just to have a different illness pop up a week later, or new symptoms appear. She just wasn't getting better overall.

She was so weak that she didn't put up a fight at all. She cuddled up right into my chest as they injected her and she died right in my arms.

I feel like I may have jumped the gun. I kept saying "I'll treat her, just this last time" even though she wasn't really getting better, and Monday I decided that it was just too much. The vet didn't try to sway my decision, but I got the impression that they wanted to just treat her.

It was difficult to take care of her, and part of me feels so guilty to be slightly relieved at the burden. Her separation anxiety got so bad that I had to bring her to my mother's across town every time I needed to leave the house, or just stay home until someone else came home. I had to make sure I was home at noon and midnight to give her her medicine and insulin. Every day, I was cleaning up her accidents. When her diabetes needed to be controlled better, I had to take her out every hour. I recently had a baby, and I can say in all honestly that my dog was more work. I took care of her happily--I loved her--but part of my feels relieved and for that I feel incredibly guilty.

And I miss her so much. My memories keep going back to a few years ago when she had her health. Lately, in the past year and in particular the past few months, she slept most of the time. I just feel so guilty. It's one thing to lose your companion, one that you loved like a child, and it's another to be the one to decide when she dies. Did anyone else have so much trouble when they made a decision like this?
 

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Please don't feel bad. I honestly feel like you did the right thing. It sounds like she was suffering a lot, and was ready to go. I think when a dog's quality of life is more suffering than happiness, it is time to let them go. About a year and a half ago I had to euthanize my cat. This was before I knew about canine and feline nutrition, so he had diabetes and was eating a dry kibble only diet ( I know much better now). One day my mom discovered his legs were no longer working. I had seen this in a cat before so I suspected something as equally as serious. And it was, he was in kidney failure. The vet said there were treatments but they were very hard on the body and he was already diabetic and weak. She didn't think at that point that any treatment would have given him a better life. He may of survived, but he would have to go through lots of scary medical procedures, get shots all the time, and and possibly have surgery. It was very hard, but I knew that it was for the best. He may have lived if I had chosen to go through with the treatments, but at that point his suffering wasn't worth me still having him alive and stressed out.

I still think about that day, but I know he would have been put through a lot more suffering if I hadn't let him go. It is one of the most difficult decisions in the world to make, but in some way our animals need us to be strong enough and love them enough to let them go.

I don't really know what to say to ease your pain, I am so sorry for your loss. Just know Susie will always love you.
 

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I think it's the relief that makes us feel guilty. Because it is a relief in some ways, so then we feel bad about not feeling worse. . .

But she was suffering. Her life wasn't any fun anymore, and it wasn't going to get better. It's a gift we can give our pets to help them pass without pain and fear. It was the best thing you could do for her. It takes a while for the pain to pass but it will. ((Hugs))
 

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I believe you did the right thing--and exactly the same thing I would've done. Susie was lucky to have such an unselfish mom to look out for her best interest and quality of life. You will be in my thoughts--it's so hard to lose them.
 

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I'm so sorry you're going through this grief. It sounds to me like you made exactly the right choice for your beloved girl. Try not to second guess yourself with "what ifs." That'll just drive you crazy. My condolences for your loss.
 

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You don't need support of any kind, you got your own back covered by having the backbone to make very tough life decision.
 

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You might be surprised to find that that's a very common reaction; feeling relief mixed with grief. It happens not only when people lose their dogs, but when they lose their parents, after having to spend months or years caring for them. Your reaction is completely normal and understandable. But I think you did the right thing. Your poor pup wasn't having any quality of life anymore. I have made the same decision for 2 cats over the years, but never a dog. I hope to have your strength if/when I need to.
 

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You made a tough decision that you believed at the time was the right one. Now, in grief, you are questionning it. Please keep in mind that many times a natural death is much, much more painful and uncomfortable than a death that is helped. I, for one, have been less brave than you in the past and let things go too long and that leaves regrets as well. Learning my lesson I have since decided that a little sooner is better than a little later. I believe your instinct to let your girl go while she could still be held in your arms and feel loved as she passed was the right one.

It is very hard to say good-bye to a beloved pet. Keep care of her memories. In the future they will come with less pain and regret and you will cherish them.

SOB
 

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I have to agree with everyone, i think you made the right choice. its hard and hurts making a decision like that. It sounds like she was honestly ready to go and was happy knowing you were tight there with her till the very end.

I am sure she is happy you made the decision to let her go, and i am sure she is watching over you. My condolences and you will be in my thoughts, many hugs.
 

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You made a good decision, the best one, unselfish and with Susie's best interests in mind. Don't feel guilty.

Muggsy got sick on a weekend. I went to sleep on Sunday night knowing that, barring a miracle, I'd have to put him to sleep Monday morning. I hoped that he would die during the night, that I would wake up and it would be over and he wouldn't be suffering any more. It is a relief when it's over. That doesn't make you a bad person.
 

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I'm sorry for your loss.
You made the right decision. I've never had to put a dog down, but I can imagine that there's always doubts about 'when' the right time is. I could see that most people would keep thinking "just one more vet visit/month/etc." but it was clear that your poor little dog was in pain from her conditions and spent more time suffering than being happy in the end--you did the right thing. I also think it is normal to feel relieved--you have been constantly worrying about her health and comfort, and now that worry is gone.
 

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Even though it is incredibly hard to make this decision and it will probably never feel totally right... I think you made the right decision. You did more than enough for her and sometimes things cannot get better and it is time to leave this world.
I had a similar experience I would like to share with you. Every time I talk about this with someone else it helps me more to move on lol so here goes:
I had my pit/mastiff Deuce for his whole life. I loved that dog so much I cant explain. In his 8th year he started getting severe separation anxiety. I was finished with college so I was moving a lot which probably contributed to it. He broke through and jumped out of two windows on a second story in one day. He destroyed two chairs and a couch I put in front of the door and managed to eat his way through the wooden door. He figured out how to open a front door in one of my apts, escaped, got attacked by another dog, and picked up by the cops. When I was in another apt he figured out how to open the sliding glass door and escaped. I eventually had to quit my job because I had no where to take him and no money for daycare. When I got a serious job finally and made my last move to an apt he tried to open those windows but couldnt, he just destroyed them. I couldnt crate him because he would break out. The vet had him on xanex and prozac and they worked for about a month but eventually he broke through those drugs and managed to eat through a metal deadbolted door. On top of all this he had an ongoing allergy going on in his paws that I spent thousands of dollars on and the vets just could not figure it out. It got to the point where he stopped being happy. He would hide in my room and would not come out and if he did it was only to eat and then he would just go back in the dark. I decided I needed to put him down. I felt there was nothing else I could do. It was one of the hardest days of my life... it's been about a year since this and I still feel horrible and cry about it all the time. Its getting better though. I am slowly accepting that there was nothing else I could do. I remember after putting him down... I was so sad but, like you, I was so relieved of so much pressure but at the same time I felt horrible for feeling that way! It's so hard I know. But you really did do the right thing. For some of us there is only so much we can do! I know if I had millions of dollars I would probably still be trying but I don't. Good luck to you! and remember you did everything and more! I believe deuce, and maybe your dog too, wanted to go... and are in a better place.
 

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I think it's the relief that makes us feel guilty. Because it is a relief in some ways, so then we feel bad about not feeling worse. . .

But she was suffering. Her life wasn't any fun anymore, and it wasn't going to get better. It's a gift we can give our pets to help them pass without pain and fear. It was the best thing you could do for her. It takes a while for the pain to pass but it will. ((Hugs))
This. I couldn't say it much better...so I'll cheat.

You did the right thing. So sorry for your loss. <<hug>>
 

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So sorry for your loss. Try not to be hard on yourself. It's understandable to be feeling a bit of relief, but it really sounds like you made the right decision.

When I was 16yo, we had to put down our family dog (who was also 16). She started having seizures and we had to carry her outside so she could relieve herself. The day we decided to have her euthanized she was so bad that the vet had to make a house call because she couldn't move and picking her up was causing her too much pain. It's never an easy decision. But, take comfort in the fact that you gave her a loving, happy home!
 

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You did the right thing. You made a great effort to solve every problem, but eventually quality of life degrades.

And, don't worry about the Vet... as medical professionals and as caring people, they hate to put an animal to sleep just as much as the rest of us. And, sometimes they feel they could do just a little more... They are judging you. The ones that I've spoken with, say that sometimes they are happy that it is not their decision, because the owner always knows when that time has come... better than the Vet does... And, I've heard my Vet give that kind of advice to her Vet Techs all the time.

Now, after you've grieved an appropriate time (for me it was only 2 weeks !!!), go share your love with another dog who needs it.
 

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I too, had to put a beloved baby down. He was my baby. he was 9yrs old, DSH smoke gray colored male. He was dying of heart failure. I had the means to treat him, but his prognosis was soo bad that it was just better to not prolong his suffering. I cried, he fought at first until the vet asked me to hold him so they could do it. he was very stranger shy and didnt trust anybody he did not know on a daily basis. He was my baby, and he snuggled into my arms and curled up and purred during it all, and didnt fight but gave my hand a lick like "i know you mean well, and dont feel sorry or bad"... Sorry had to take a 15 min break while i cried while remembering this..... he will always be my baby, no other pet will ever replace him and i dont ever intend to ever replace him. he was spoilt rotten, pampered, went into pet stores with me in his kitty purse, went on shopping trips with me in his kitty purse. He ran 'n greeted me at the door like a dog would and played. the last 3 months of his life, he too changed... went from a cuddle buddy, greeting me at the door, dropping his fav toy at my feet to be thrown 'n retrieved, stopped playing with his feather toy and slept - slept - slept and of course more sleep. his buddy couldn't even get him to play with her. I knew it was time, when i walked in the door from work, and saw him curled up on my bed on his pillow, with all their toys around him and his buddy curled up beside him licking him and nuzzling him and he didnt responde like he always did. didnt even look up at me when i called out my usual greeting.

But anyways... It is heart rendering, and you always wonder "what if ......." dont feel guilty. its been 5 years for me and i still live with the guilt of not trying harder, not trying new options, not taking him to yet a new vet, not having more tests done, no trying new medications of not trying to see if he'd get better eventually.... but he would have been miserable, would have lived a half life, not be himself. he too had stopped eating(well a few nibbles here or there but not eat eat) and wouldnt drink anything. I changed their diet from dry to wet, to canned tuna. Nothing piqued his appetite.

So dont feel bad.... You will of course, but dont feel like you didnt do anything to help her.. cause of course you did everything.

o and btw, in no way did we restrain him during it. he just didnt like a stranger touching him when he was in pain and suffering. he calmed down instantly when i cradled him in my arms.
 

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I've had to have three dogs put down in my life. The first two were painful in that my beloved companions died. But they were both obviously dying and it was merciful to end their pain. The third one just happened this past week. Our old GSP was a month shy of 16 years old. She was deaf, had bad hips to the point that she couldn't get up if she fell on hard surfaces, she limped badly on one front leg, and for the past several months she had periodic epileptic seizures and had no control over her bowels. But she had good days and bad ones. It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life making that decision. I called the vet three times and couldn't get the words out of my mouth. Had to hang up every call. In the end she was just so scared of everything and looked so ashamed when she pooped herself in her bed or dumped in the house. I finally decided that I was hanging on for my sake, not for hers. It's only been days. I have no idea how long the doubt and self recrimination will last. But we had a good run together....
 

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Letting our babies is one of the hardest things we will ever have to do in our lives. You loved her enough to think of her and not yourself. You loved her and she knew it. You did the right thing, for HER. It WILL get better, I promise.
 

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It is the hardest thing I ever had to do! I have put down 2 of my dogs that I had for over 15 years- I lost one of my dogs and came home and found her dead! It was the most devastating thing and took me years to get over. I can tell you from experience that you know when it is time and knowing they did not suffer at home without you is comforting. I am sorry for your loss- and don't feel guilty!
 
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