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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My dog is 2 months shy of being 16 yrs old. He is a big (80lbs) mix dog I rescued 15 yrs ago. He has many big fatty tumors, some of which I think are affecting his breathing, he is always panting (it's 30 degrees here). His back legs are failing, last night he couldn't get up but this morning he is up and around. He has a chronic nose bleed, not gushing. He paces a lot and smell from his mouth is bad.
He still eats, drinks, and goes potty outside.
My family thinks it's time for me to put him down. I'm on the fence, I don't want him to suffer at all, and I also don't think his quality of life is too good. I don't know if he is hurting or not. I don't know what to do!! :-(

Any advice or suggestions? TIA
 

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If you think he is uncomfortable.. and from your description he seems to be (sounds like he may have an infected tooth or sinus) then it may well be the best time.

My vet always told me he would rather a dog be put to sleep a week too soon than an hour too late.
 

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My personal measure, not always consciously, is that when I am afraid that I am going to wake up and find the dog has died in their sleep - but would also be a little bit relieved if I did, because it would be over for them - it is time.

There are also many studies showing that owners often feel they waited too long in euthanizing their first pet, but are more likely to euthanize sooner in pets that come after. I find that pretty true and was true for me - as well as telling.

Very few people think they had their animal euthanized too soon. A lot of people feel like, in hindsight, they held on too long.
 

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My vet always told me he would rather a dog be put to sleep a week too soon than an hour too late.
Been there, done that, many different times...

For an 80 lb dog, 16 years is very old. The chronic nosebleed suggests an infection, blockage, or tumor. Panting in cold weather may imply continuous pain - dogs do not necessarily whine, when they are in pain or suffering. If his back legs are failing, at his age, eventually they may not recover.

I just went through this decision about two years ago, and my advice is to make an appointment with your Vet, make peace with your dog, and take the dog in (with any supportive family members), and ask the Vet if now is the time. Most Vets do not want to make the decision for you, and if you bring a healthy dog into a Vet, many Vets will try to discourage a rash decision. I believe that if your Vet knows your dog, then he will support your decision.

One question to consider is are you prolonging possible suffering, or are you extending his quality of life?
 

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Why not take him to the vet for an evaluation? He would be the best one to be able to figure out if your pooch is suffering. I can only imagine how hard this must be. Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you to the few that replied. I laid my beloved dog to rest yesterday. It was the worst day of my life. I held him till he was gone, then he seemed at peace and I felt a little better. I know I did the right thing to stop his suffering. I will never forget him, my heart is broken.
 

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So very sorry for your loss. You were there for him to the end.

One thing that has helped me through the grieving process ... is to get another puppy as soon as possible. It didn't stop the pain, but it did push us more quickly through the grieving process, because a puppy or another dog helped redirect our love outward....
 

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I agree with hanksimon! If that is a place you want to go.

We had two dogs, one was a GSD who had degernative myelopathy. I carried her around for two years, up and down the stairs, she had a wheelchair so we could go for walks. I had a hard time knowing when the right time would be, but when it came I knew and we said goodbye. Three very short days later we lost our Alaskan Malamute to bone cancer (we had no idea until she broke her leg), she was 10.

I suffered for about 3 weeks, I got up to go to work, came home and went to bed. I was terribly depressed. One night I told my husband we needed to get another dog and we had a very big argument about it - he said he thought I was doing it for the wrong reasons, I said that I wanted to rescue, I needed a dog and a dog needed a home so HOW could it be for the wrong reasons! I won and Charlie entered our lives.

It didn't stop me from missing my beautiful girls, but it got me out of bed and out for walks and gave me someone to love. I didn't replace them with Charlie, the hole they left in my heart and in my life is still very much there, Charlie just made it less difficult to deal with.

There are so many dogs out there that are in such desperate need for loving homes. I think your boy would want you to share the love you have.

I am sorry for your loss.
 
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