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Thread: When to euthanize?

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    #1

    When to euthanize?

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    We are battling with this issue.
    At what point do you decide to euthanize? Do you set a monetary limit on vet bills? Is it a limit of what health issues seem livable?
    My sister went to the ends of the earth for her dog, I'm left feeling guilty about considering it. Her dog had cancer and went through several rounds of chemo and had half her jaw removed before they put her down. I just cannot spend that much on my dog, don't get me wrong, I do care about her, but I also have to feed my kids. The vet tech told me, while we were discussing our options, that she just spent 10k on her dog. I don't have that to spend on my dog. I mean, feel free to call me a terrible pet parent, but I just can't do that.
    Where do you draw the line?
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    #2
    I draw the line when they suffer. My last dog had cancer, it got to the point where he couldn't urinate without a catheter and I knew it was time. Everytime he did pee, he looked at me like "wtf mom. Make this stop" and it broke my heart.

    That being said, i probably would spend 10k IF I knew it would cure him (I don't have kids yet though so I wouldn't have to consider financial hardship 10k would cause on my family AND I easily have that in my savings so I wouldn't go into debt or anything so consider all that). If it would just make him more comfortable for a while and the end of it would still be the same, I would NOT spend that kind of money. I would spend a couple hundred to maybe a thousand, however.

    In the end, you have to do what you think is best for them and not keep them around for your own selfish reasons. It's definitely one of the hardest things to do and making that decision is one of the worst to make.

    I'm so sorry
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    #3
    I worked at vet clinics for about 10 years and the best way I've ever heard a vet tell someone to make the decision is this:

    Think of the three favorite things your pet has/does, when they can no longer enjoy/do 2 of those it's time to put them to sleep.

    They can't tell us when they are ready to go but we have observed them for their entire lives so we should be able to see when they can't enjoy their time here anymore. It's not going to be an easy decision no matter how you make it but I always felt like it makes it a little more apparent when you think of it in the context of finding things they enjoy and if they are still able to do them.


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    #4
    We carried it out way too long with my childhood dog. We did everything we could to keep him going, but it was obvious that he was ready. Dogs know when it's time. He stopped eating and drinking and just whined all the time. He was suffering so much. When his brother started going we acted a lot sooner. We didn't want his last weeks to be pure pain. You're not a terrible pet parent, you're making sure your pet doesn't suffer. It's such a hard decision, I'm so sorry.
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    #5
    I try not to let monetary issues come into if I can help it ... I mean I'm not made of money lol, but I don't think I could handle it putting a dog down that could have a good quality of life because I didn't want to pay for it. (didn't want to pay for it vs. couldn't afford). If I could spend 10k and have my dog happy and healthy with a good life I would. We have savings accounts and money put away specifically for vet bills so I would be ok with that, it makes me feel better that we have a plan. Not everyone has that money to spend on dogs and some people have a lot more, I don't think that makes someone a good or bad pet parent.

    If medical treatment wouldn't be curative and would just be prolonging suffering though, I would opt for euthanasia.
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    #6
    When a pet can no longer do the things they love and their quality of life significantly decreases it's probably time. I have friends who just went through this. Their dog began having seizures and she eventually stopped using her back legs; she would just kind of drag them. It wasn't until over a year later when she was going on 3ish months of not really eating much and had to be picked up to go outside that they finally both agreed to let her go. IMO it was beyond her time. Like a PP said, I wouldn't put a monetary cap on it if I could afford it, but I also wouldn't spend tons of money on treatment that wouldn't cure my pet.
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    #7
    We have thirteen cats, 6 of whom are older than 16. We have 7 small dogs, all of whom are older, and rescues.
    We have spent 8 grand to fix an eye of a dog that died 6 months later, and 10k on a dog that now has a healthy life.
    We have also learned how to answer your question for our self, though the standard must be individual.
    questions we ask, including what the others above have mentioned:

    Will it extend the pets life?
    If so, what will the quality of life be.

    what will the impact and risk of the treatment be?

    What is the aftercare like, and for how long?

    For example, the dog with the heart condition. Needs medication daily for the rest of her life. Costs about 4 dollars a day. Needs to be done twice a day. But, she is 11, and has at least 5 years of happy active life left.


    The dog with the eye. Had many other health issues. Would not have lived more than a year anyways. A good life, but the eye issue would not have affected his happiness or life. Should NOT have done the surgery. It was painful for him, and remained uncomfortable. Should just have done a fake eye, etc.

    Cost does matter, but only as part of the whole. There are rescue groups and shelters that will take the dog, and find people or groups that will adopt the animal and pay for the surgery, and give him to a home who can care for him, both with the time and resources.
    and there is NO guilt in admitting that you can't care for your pet anymore.
    If you want my opinion on your relationship or life issues, just ask Villanelle!
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    #8
    For us it was the quality of life. Our cat had kidney failure and she wasn't able to eat, walk, drink, and just sick. We didn't catch it until it was too late. It was the hardest because I didn't see a quality of life for her. Our German Vet was supportive and quickly had it done before we could change our mind. She said, we could try fluids; but, it might not work as far gone as she was. She was 10.

    Our other cat wasn't as bad and when he went into kidney failure, we were able to change everything with food change and fluids. That was almost a year ago. He is going to be 16 in a month or so.

    if I'm doing it more for me than for the pet, I need to reevaluate. My sister's dog is 17 and still going; but, she has something wrong with her. Sometimes she eats, others not; but, she is still going. She still likes going to the park and doesn't seem to suffer.
    "Obstinacy is a fault of temperament. Stubbornness and Intolerance of contradiction result from a special kind of Egotism, which elevates above everything else the pleasure of its own autonomous intellect, to which others must bow.: Carl von Clausewitz
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    #9
    I just put my dog to sleep a week ago, he was almost 16 (his breed usually tops out at 13) and I have had him since he was 8 weeks. I have had many incidents with this dog where I thought I would have to out him down and he defied everyone and survived. I knew it was time for him to go when he started having potty accidents on my porch as this dog has never had a potty accident EVER. He then stopped following me out to do chores at the barn. First time that dog has ever not followed me to my horses, then he fell off the porch, twice. He was in pain and the pain pills didn't help. He gave me over 15 and half years of wonderful loyalty, I was not going to let him live in pain and without his dignity (he was a tough and stoic dog, also sometimes described as an a$$hole). I had to ask myself, am I keeping him alive for my emotional needs or for him.

    For my horses it depends on the situation. I had to put my best horse down last year, she was raised with the above mentioned dog. She had twisted her colon, surgery was going to be $10k before any aftercare costs and anyone who has ever owned a horse that has experienced the twisting of an intestine or colon it is a risky and painful surgery and there is no guarantee that they wont twist it again 24 hours, or 3 days, or 3 years later. This problem is painful enough to drop a 1300lbs animal to their knees, for my mare that is a lot of pain as she was no wimp. As much as I would have thrown the money out to save her, no amount of money would give her a decent quality of life in the long run. She was euthanized and buried in her pasture.

    I guess my big thing is quality of life first and then the financial cost. I have kids and I can't put an animals needs before theirs. I had a pup who had something bad happen to her hip, came home to her laying in the yard in the rain, she had been there awhile and couldn't get up. She had defecated on herself and yelped when I touched her. I took her to the vet and he said they could try a surgery that would cost $3k but there was no guarantee if could work and she may not be able to walk, so I told them to put her out of her misery and euthanize her. The vet yelled at me and called me a "selfish animal abuser who wont keep a dog because it is not convenient". If I hadn't been 6 months pregnant he would have been throat punched.

    I love animals, I raised in a ranching family and we all believe in respect for animals, but there is also a line you have to decide for yourself as to when to let go. For each person, for each animal it is different. As long as an animal doesn't suffer then I have no issues with anyone's choice and neither should anyone else.


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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBitterSpouse View Post
    I just put my dog to sleep a week ago, he was almost 16 (his breed usually tops out at 13) and I have had him since he was 8 weeks. I have had many incidents with this dog where I thought I would have to out him down and he defied everyone and survived. I knew it was time for him to go when he started having potty accidents on my porch as this dog has never had a potty accident EVER. He then stopped following me out to do chores at the barn. First time that dog has ever not followed me to my horses, then he fell off the porch, twice. He was in pain and the pain pills didn't help. He gave me over 15 and half years of wonderful loyalty, I was not going to let him live in pain and without his dignity (he was a tough and stoic dog, also sometimes described as an a$$hole). I had to ask myself, am I keeping him alive for my emotional needs or for him.

    For my horses it depends on the situation. I had to put my best horse down last year, she was raised with the above mentioned dog. She had twisted her colon, surgery was going to be $10k before any aftercare costs and anyone who has ever owned a horse that has experienced the twisting of an intestine or colon it is a risky and painful surgery and there is no guarantee that they wont twist it again 24 hours, or 3 days, or 3 years later. This problem is painful enough to drop a 1300lbs animal to their knees, for my mare that is a lot of pain as she was no wimp. As much as I would have thrown the money out to save her, no amount of money would give her a decent quality of life in the long run. She was euthanized and buried in her pasture.

    I guess my big thing is quality of life first and then the financial cost. I have kids and I can't put an animals needs before theirs. I had a pup who had something bad happen to her hip, came home to her laying in the yard in the rain, she had been there awhile and couldn't get up. She had defecated on herself and yelped when I touched her. I took her to the vet and he said they could try a surgery that would cost $3k but there was no guarantee if could work and she may not be able to walk, so I told them to put her out of her misery and euthanize her. The vet yelled at me and called me a "selfish animal abuser who wont keep a dog because it is not convenient". If I hadn't been 6 months pregnant he would have been throat punched.

    I love animals, I raised in a ranching family and we all believe in respect for animals, but there is also a line you have to decide for yourself as to when to let go. For each person, for each animal it is different. As long as an animal doesn't suffer then I have no issues with anyone's choice and neither should anyone else.
    My response to one of those vets was to ask her to do it for free. Didn't go over well.
    If you want my opinion on your relationship or life issues, just ask Villanelle!
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMsSunshine View Post
    I think it's really funny when people come on here, and automatically assume that everyone here is a gung-ho, hoo-rah, i-bleed-red-white-and-blue, kiss-my-military-ass, people-in-uniform-can-do-no-wrong, and i'm-entitled-to-everything bitch.
    "RIP Blackie, and Whitey, New Whitey. Goodbye Poopers and Momma Beige and Lady Grey. New Blackie and the Whitey Sisters rule the roost now!"
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