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Letting a dog die naturally... - Page 3

post #41 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicana View Post

i am practical when it comes to pets. that's why i would have him evaluated by a vet, but i would NOT be talked into any expensive tests or treatments. no way. i would set a budget for the visit (under $100) and see what they come up with. they should be able to give a thorough physical exam and run blood tests for that amount of money.

 

I only wanted to say......I am unsure where you can get away with under 100 for both.  Our annual exams are $78...if it is ongoing and we recently (last week or 2 at most) saw the pet then it is a brief exam fee of about $27.  To to a general senior profile you are looking at around $100-150 this is all plus taxes here.

post #42 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by cat13 View Post


In terms of whether or not to let your dog "naturally" starve or the euthanize him, I strongly believe that it's better to euthanize. I believe that we humans are the animals' caretakers and it's up to us to make the tough decisions about what is better for them. Encouraging a dog to live in pain and agony for a long period of time is cruel, and unfortunately not all animals have the ability to just lay down and die when they are ready. You just have to really explore what's important to you. Obviously if you have deep seeded beliefs against euthanasia, that's another story. But if you don't, I think that we sometimes just have to make the hard decisions for them.

 

 


I agree with this.  It is never easy.  Our dog was 15 and we'd had her longer than we'd had children.  We knew she was going blind, we knew her hips were bothering her but one day we went out to fill her water and she wouldn't stand up.  She just gave us this sorrowful look.  She had pooped on herself because she couldn't stand.  DH cleaned her up and wrapped her in towels and held her but we knew we could just watch her waste away.  She wasn't yelping in pain but it was clear there was nothing left for her.  We said goodbye and dh and my son took her to the vet and dh was there when they put her to sleep.

 

It never feels "right" to make the decision that "today is the last day you will be alive" but it seemed very inhumane to let her waste away, miserable. 

 

I'm sorry you're going through this.

 

post #43 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Youngfrankenstein View Post




I agree with this.  It is never easy.  Our dog was 15 and we'd had her longer than we'd had children.  We knew she was going blind, we knew her hips were bothering her but one day we went out to fill her water and she wouldn't stand up.  She just gave us this sorrowful look.  She had pooped on herself because she couldn't stand.  DH cleaned her up and wrapped her in towels and held her but we knew we could just watch her waste away.  She wasn't yelping in pain but it was clear there was nothing left for her.  We said goodbye and dh and my son took her to the vet and dh was there when they put her to sleep.

 

It never feels "right" to make the decision that "today is the last day you will be alive" but it seemed very inhumane to let her waste away, miserable. 

 

I'm sorry you're going through this.

 



 

I agree with you, but this is not the situation the OP has described. I think if her dog was in this situation, she would evaluate her options at that time. However, as she has stated, her dog is eating, drinking, walking (minus some bad days... hey, my grandparents have those too! ;) ), snuggling, not exhibiting signs she recognizes as pain, and generally still enjoying his life. He is old, and he is slowing down considerably, and he is eating less, but he isn't acting in any manner that would make her believe means It's over. Her parents would perhaps prefer to put him down before he gets to that point, but she does not. And since it is her dog, I think that's really her call to make.

post #44 of 74

 

OP, you will have to choose what is right for your dog. May I suggest you let the dog decide. Give up your attachment to a certain death scene. Let the dog tell you what it wants and be open to that. I learned with my elderly dog that you really can tell what the animal wants. I knew when it was time to nurse her back to health despite what others said and I knew when it was time to free her. Her death was so peaceful and so right. Had I made that choice a year earlier it would have felt wrong. The morning she died she was outside enjoying the world. Then she had a stroke and was struggling. When she died it was so right. It's what SHE wanted. I know it. 

 

In the meantime, maybe your dog just needs some supplements to feel better. Or a special diet. Please see a vet to find out what you can do to improve your dog's day to day life. It might not be complicated.

 

BTW, the "Natural" death you've described seldom occurs in nature. If you're sick you are eaten. You avoid all the suffering. Sure, there's a moment of terror as the carnivore digs its teeth into you, but then your suffering is done and you are free to go on your way (to wherever that may be.)

 

My attitude about euthanasia for animals is the same as it is for humans...it's a personal choice and it's a viable alternative for those who want it. The first time I euthanized a dog, my (now) husband rubbed my back and said, "We'll do this for each other, right." I am well aware that assisted suicide is legal in Oregon and hope that expands nationwide. Not that it should be used with those who don't want it, but it is a viable alternative for those who do. The thing with animals is they can't tell us with words what they want. We can only watch them with an open mind and try not to put our preferences on them. We have to clear ourselves to their voices.

 

The only human death I have seen that was as beautiful for the person was in a 2 year old and the only reason it was beautiful is because she was heavily medicated against pain and restlessness AND she was in bed with her parents and died in the middle of the night. Otherwise most I have seen couldn't breathe right (I can't imagine how awful that must feel and hope that the brain is so oxygen starved you're not really around to feel it) or have been incredibly restless. It wasn't peaceful. (Most of those deaths were before hospice so there wasn't a lot of prep or medications.)

 

Regarding the cost of an evaluation. Our elderly cat looked sick so I took her to the vet. The exam and labwork was a bit under $300. The labwork showed she had lost 80% of her kidney function. She was essentially stewing in her juices. There was only misery and certain death in her future. In that case it would have been cruel to let her keep feeling awful. 

 

When our elderly dog got acutely sick and couldn't walk without a sling around her waist for help, we wrung our hands on whether we should put her down. But she didn't seem ready to die. We nursed her back to health and she had over a year of a pleasant geriatric experience. She still ate, let the kids climb on her, and enjoyed being outside. Then she had a stroke. She couldn't get herself up off her side. She was clearly ready to die. So I did for her what I hope  someone will do for me if I'm ever in that state. And that WAS peaceful. I have held four animals (including a chicken) who were suffering before they died and speeding up the inevitable brought peace to them. And each time I cried.

 

 

post #45 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeterna View Post



 

I agree with you, but this is not the situation the OP has described. I think if her dog was in this situation, she would evaluate her options at that time. However, as she has stated, her dog is eating, drinking, walking (minus some bad days... hey, my grandparents have those too! ;) ), snuggling, not exhibiting signs she recognizes as pain, and generally still enjoying his life. He is old, and he is slowing down considerably, and he is eating less, but he isn't acting in any manner that would make her believe means It's over. Her parents would perhaps prefer to put him down before he gets to that point, but she does not. And since it is her dog, I think that's really her call to make.


Well obviously it is her call to make.  I was sharing our families experience.  Do you see me telling her what to do?

 

post #46 of 74

No, sorry - I didn't mean to imply you were! The thread was just starting to feel a little hostile towards the OP, with the assumptions turning towards her dog being in a situation like the one you described. I quoted your situation for reference and convenience, as a comparison to what she's actually said. Sorry, didn't mean to single you out! =)

post #47 of 74
Thread Starter 
post #48 of 74

How are you both doing?

post #49 of 74

as much as i love a lot of buddhist philosophy, allowing something to suffer and using the excuse of karma to continue it is ridiculous :) But if you ascribe to that it is your beliefs, i just hope that if you ever suffer yourself then you will refuse pain meds!

 



 

post #50 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by starrlamia View Post

as much as i love a lot of buddhist philosophy, allowing something to suffer and using the excuse of karma to continue it is ridiculous :) But if you ascribe to that it is your beliefs, i just hope that if you ever suffer yourself then you will refuse pain meds!

 



 


Wow, that was strongly worded and unnecessarily judgmental.

 

1) Pain medicine and euthanasia are two very different things.

2) Should we euthanize all dying people?

post #51 of 74

I didn't see where anyone recommended denying pain meds. It just said not to end the life, but not to not end the suffering.

post #52 of 74

my point was that you wouldnt allow yourself to suffer needlessly, so why would allowing an animal go through it be ok because it could be karmic? A lot of those quotes seem to ignore the buddhist concept of compassion.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post


Wow, that was strongly worded and unnecessarily judgmental.

 

1) Pain medicine and euthanasia are two very different things.

2) Should we euthanize all dying people?



 

post #53 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by starrlamia View Post

my point was that you wouldnt allow yourself to suffer needlessly, so why would allowing an animal go through it be ok because it could be karmic? A lot of those quotes seem to ignore the buddhist concept of compassion.

 



 


What do you mean when you say "you wouldn't allow yourself to suffer needlessly?"

 

Are you saying you will commit suicide when you are in your end days? Will you euthanize your parents or your spouse? While some or many people do embrace that, it's hardly a universal value, so arguing that it goes without saying just doesn't make sense here.

 

Or, are you saying that in your end days you will seek pain medication if warranted? That's very typical indeed, and it goes without saying. And your argument doesn't apply because this discussion is about euthanasia, not pain medication.

 

It's fine that you have an opinion but storming in and making irrelevant attacks is not helpful. I'm not even sure if you even disagree with anyone, which makes it all the more perplexing.

post #54 of 74

I didnt make any attacks, i think you are taking it too personally. If you read through the link that was posted, in which I was replying to, they support using pain medication, but not to euthanize on the basis that the animal must be suffering due to negative karma and needs to experience it to get rid of it.
 

 

How is giving your dog pain medication to alleviate suffering ok but euthanizing to end suffering not? I guess I dont understand where this line is drawn. I also wonder if allowing another living and breathing being who relies on us for everything, to suffer would affect one's own karma? Would that not be detrimental? How about if perhaps the pet had good karma which is what brought it to a good owner (who would euthanize it rather then let it suffer) rather then one who would neglect it?

 

Sorry but when it comes to pets, creatures who rely on US for their wellbeing, I dont take any decision to prolong a life of suffering lightly, and I sure wont support a belief that its ok, even when one claims it is a religious thing. Allowing a living creature to suffer, is abusive and terrible.

 

(and yes, if someone i knew was suffering and dying and wanted to die to alleviate the suffering, I would not deny them that, though because of the law I would not help them. People have the right to choose whether they live or die).


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post


What do you mean when you say "you wouldn't allow yourself to suffer needlessly?"

 

Are you saying you will commit suicide when you are in your end days? Will you euthanize your parents or your spouse? While some or many people do embrace that, it's hardly a universal value, so arguing that it goes without saying just doesn't make sense here.

 

Or, are you saying that in your end days you will seek pain medication if warranted? That's very typical indeed, and it goes without saying. And your argument doesn't apply because this discussion is about euthanasia, not pain medication.

 

It's fine that you have an opinion but storming in and making irrelevant attacks is not helpful. I'm not even sure if you even disagree with anyone, which makes it all the more perplexing.



 

post #55 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

I didn't see where anyone recommended denying pain meds. It just said not to end the life, but not to not end the suffering.


But where would those meds be coming from if the owner refuses to take the dog to the vet?

post #56 of 74

She didn't refuse. She said she didn't see any signs of actual pain, just slowing down. She also said that when the time comes that she feels the dog needs to be seen (i.e., evidence of pain or other symptoms that need a vet's help) she'll take the dog in. There's nothing wrong with that, IMO. If she can make adjustments to their routine that help the dog, why does a vet need to be paid to recommend more rest/less walks?

 

My dog dislocated his toe a few months ago. Everyone screamed, "Take him to the vet! It needs to be taped! You need to make sure he didn't tear something!" etc. So of course I called the vet, in a panic now, thinking he had some traumatic injury that would cost hundreds to fix (BTDT several times already). The vet didn't even want to see him. Tape, rest, call back in a few months if it doesn't get better. Byebye. My old vet would have had him in (for $50), done x-rays (for $300+) and administered pain meds ($25) plus charges for wrapping/bandaging ($25). For less than $10, I wrapped it myself, and true to my dog, it didn't stay on more than a day. I re-wrapped every day (would have been $25 for each time at the vet) for a few days until he made it clear it was not needed. He rested it for a few weeks, then insisted on playing and tweaked it again. Not badly, but it reminded him that he still needed to rest. He's all better now, for $10 and no meds needed. Did I make him suffer through his injury?

 

She has an old dog. They die. OJ posted her OP to get others' experiences so she could make sure she was doing right by her dog. Instead she got a bunch of criticism and not a lot of anecdotes. I hope that eventually she was able to get what she needed.

post #57 of 74

toes are a completely different story then most things. I dont jump at taking animals to the vet but I wouldnt deny them a medical trip if I was unsure, just like I wouldnt for a child.

post #58 of 74
Thread Starter 

He made it through!  I'm so glad we didn't kill him!  He stopped having diarrhea!  He is still dying, but he is not dying from diarrhea.  Also he found a patch of lemongrass in the backyard that seemed to help him too.  He thought he was going to die too and I wanted him to because he *wants* to let go, but it is his journey.  And just like I knew that I was strong enough to birth babies the way all animals do, I know that he is strong enough to die and we will support him through it all!  

It was hard at first to confine him to the outdoors.  But he has a healthy wildish white coat that reflects the sun and cushions his joints.  He actually became stronger from being outside.  He dug many nests around the yard.  He used to dig fantastic nests when he was a young dog--breaking sticks off with his mouth to make a hollow in a bush.  But for the last year he has denned down in my parents' bathroom.  Now he was forced to be outside because we were done cleaning diarrhea off the carpet.  During this time he had mucus diarrhea.  He was weak and would slump down sometimes while walking.  He would go into these states of extreme calm, sleeping under a tree in a wild windstorm with shallow breathing, and we thought that was it, but he would wake up and be fine.  I fed him ground raw chicken with effective microorganisms mixed in.  Then transitioned to ground raw chicken with cooked pumpkin mashed in.  Then that with white rice mixed in.  His appetite remained good, but not for the canned food.  As he got better he would eat the canned food again.  

Some of you might not be surprised to hear that my mother's mother is also dying now.  She is confused all the time now.  She is scared.  Her daughters believe her to be mean and difficult.  So there is death around us right now, as happens at times in families.  Supporting my loved ones in their death is one of the reasons I chose to be alive.  I love them so much that I would never take anything from them that is rightfully theirs.  I don't hold onto my loved ones but I support them and try to catch them as they fall.  This I learned from my daughter who, you are probably also not surprised to know, is gaining her strength toward walking now as she turns one on Tuesday.

For me, this is what makes sense.

post #59 of 74

Wow, what a great update. Thank you for sharing.

post #60 of 74
Thread Starter 

So I was thinking that, even though he can't come inside, in some ways his quality of life has improved.  He can eat anything he wants because it doesn't make a difference to his diarrhea, and when he won't eat chicken but he will eat the kids' leftover cereal, then it's his prerogative.  Also he is waay more active now, digging lots of nests and walking around the yard, following me as I doddle around the garden.  

Here's a video of him now.

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