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When to let a dog go, a euthanasia question

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Our American Dingo is 17yo and has rapidly taken a turn for the worst.  My husband rescued her from a bad situation when she was a puppy and has an indescribable bond with this dog (and she with him).  We don't think she has any specific disease and is not demonstrating the common signs of pain/distress but just simply cannot function well anymore.  We are not interested in going to a vet as it only causes her significant distress and at her age I doubt that anything would reverse what appears to be a very normal aging progression.  Muscular atrophy appears to be the biggest problem, it seemed like overnight bones were showing everywhere and she has little to no muscle tone left in her body.  She struggles to lie down and get up, sometimes falls.  Because she cannot squat well, she sometimes defecates on her legs.  She loves my husband as he is the truly her alpha-male and only when he's around does she show any signs of joy.  He is not in denial and I feel that any final decisions are his but neither of us want to jump the gun.  I don't know how to make the euthanasia decision and when.  If she were showing pain/distress it would be an easier choice but her inability to perform basic functions is significant and it seems unfair to let this go too long.  A month ago we thought we had a year, then months, then weeks, now I'm thinking days.  Any advice, similar experiences to share would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks, in advance.

post #2 of 10
I have no real advise for you, but I could not read this and not post. I am so sorry, I know how hard this is for you. We had to put my dog down 3 years ago and it was heartbreaking. He did pretty much the same thing you describe, overnight went from happy and good to bony and lifeless, turned out he had brain and stomach cancer. I have a dog now that is getting pretty old. I fear it will be her time within the next year and I just don't know how I am going to get the strength to do it. I love her like I love my children. I am so so so sorry.
post #3 of 10

I am so sorry for what you are going through.  Call your vet and ask him/her to make a house call.  Most vets will do this, especially for an elderly dog.


If it is time to let her go, the vet can give her the shot at home.  Everyone will be less stressed that way.  We did this for both our dogs and it made a hard thing a tiny bit easier.


Even if she isn't in any pain, ask yourself about her quality of life.  Does she seem aware of soiling herself?  Does she give you the look of "I am so sorry?"  Sometimes, we have to look beyond our own feelings and look through the eyes of our furry family members.


We had to euthanize our Austrailian Cattle dog several years ago and I still tear-up and miss her. 


Hugs to all three of you.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you all, I know this is a very personal decision and hard no matter what.  Last night we discussed that this probably needs to happen in the next week or so.  I think the home idea is a great one, this doggie hates the vet, don't want to do anything to make this harder on her.  Thank you again, my thoughts go out to your aching hearts as well.

post #5 of 10

Sorry to hear that. So is your vet going to come to the house? That's what we did. There was less stress, we didn't have to move Colton, he was comfy.. and we all got to say goodbye in a peaceful setting. Our shepherd was 17 when we had to put him to sleep in January. My hubby hand reared him from 3 days old and they were inseparable, the dog even went to work! He was reluctant to euthanize him at first, but obviously he wanted to do what was best for the dog. And he was suffering so he made the decision to put him out of his misery. Like your doggy, he found it difficult to get up, stand... he developed arthritis, and is was very sudden. He wasn't a happy dog, his quality of life just wasn't the same... he went from being out and about with Bear most days at work, walking and running around, to being sat on his bed all day barely able to move crying for his daddy. We have another dog, a retriever who is 6. My husband brings him to work now. But he'll never replace Colton. Everyone misses poor Colton, the kids, me, Webster (our other dog) and my hubby especially. We still haven't gotten over him, and to be honest, I don't think we ever will.

Again, I'm really sorry about your dog. When you truly love dogs, they become part of the family. Our dogs have always been like part of the family. When we were getting professional photo's done last year my hubby insisted that Colt & Webster be in the photo's too! Most people think it's a bit crazy. Just tell your hubby to be grateful for the 17 years he's had with the dog. She's had 17 long years filled with plenty of happy memories. She shouldn't suffer now. "If you love someone, let them go". And in this case, that quote is true, and it's the right thing to do.

post #6 of 10

We had a similar situation with our old lab. He probably could have gone on for a few more weeks, but he was getting so weak. My biggest fear was that I would come home from work to find him on the floor with a broken bone, because he couldn't get around. I couldn't stand the thought of him suffering even for a minute.


Our dogs have always loved going to the vet (they have treats there), so taking him in wasn't a big deal for us, but having a vet come to the house is ideal.


Making that last appointment for Jack was one of the hardest phone calls I've ever made.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Well our dog made the decision for us before it got any worse.  Yesterday morning (unfortunately DS's 3rd b-day), she could not get up anymore.  She looked at both of us with eyes that said she was done, she tried to stay with us as long as she could.  Thankfully my husband was off work in the morning.  We could not find anyone to come over with such late notice but we knew we couldn't delay any longer so we took her to a vet who was kind enough to fit us in without an ongoing relationship.  They were very kind but her last moments will be a painful memory for a long time.  Her passing was easily as difficult as any family member.  We are pretty torn up around here but feel we made the right choice at the right time.  Thank you all for your support

post #8 of 10

Aww poor baby. RIP pups x Hope you're ok, and that despite what happened, your DS had a good 3rd birthday.

post #9 of 10

Aww poor baby. RIP pups x Hope you're ok, and that despite what happened, your DS had a good 3rd birthday.

post #10 of 10
I'm so sorry. It sounds like she had such a wonderful family and a good long life. I know there must be an awful emptiness now.
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