Just-Reduced Clearance
142 Members and 11387 Guests Online

Among Friends

pets at end of life

Started 1352431341.483 in Among Friends | Last reply 1353801463.973 by Oneanddone

Has anyone ever had to make a decision about when a beloved pet's life should end? I always hoped that when the time came my little poodle would just go to sleep some night and not wake up. I don;t know whether he is happy to be alive or not. He can run around a little, bark a lot and eat and sometimes come to me. But he sneezes and coughs and seems to clear his throat or something most of the night, sleep almost all the time, and paces the floor and then comes to me to be picked up and almost immediately wants to get back on the floor and pace or sleep. About a year and a half ago we moved to a senior living facility and his new vet seems to think he is ok for his age but keeps wanting to clean his teeth and pull some out He also sometimes mistook the rug for the back yard but now every time I walk across the floor it seems I step in a puddle and if I leave him for a short while, he has left me small amounts of puppy poop all around the house. I don't think he can help it at this age.

My friend thinks I should put him in a large cage and muzzle him so he can't bark. I think that would be cruel at his age. He's always had the run of the house. At this time I would feel guilty if I decided to send him to the rainbow bridge but on the other hand I am really having a problem coping with trying to keep him from barking, keeping the stains on the rug to a minimum and will have to take him out at all hours in a northeast winter.

Help -- I never thought I would even consider this option but don;t know what to do.

Thank you

Page 1 of 1
lizzief1352433033.522358 PostsRegistered 9/27/2011
Part of the joy of owning a pet is knowing there will be a time when you have to make the decision to let them go. You have to realize it's not about you, it's about the quality of life your pet has left. And that's a difficult call to make, for sure. Even your vet won't make the decision for you. You will know when it's time, but don't count on your buddy to make the call for you. Hold on to knowing that you gave your pet the best life possible, and all the love in the world. It's so very hard, but you'll know in your heart when it's the right time.

hckynut1352439713.93318776 PostsRegistered 5/20/2006Nebraska
On 11/8/2012 kingtut said:

Has anyone ever had to make a decision about when a beloved pet's life should end? I always hoped that when the time came my little poodle would just go to sleep some night and not wake up. I don;t know whether he is happy to be alive or not. He can run around a little, bark a lot and eat and sometimes come to me. But he sneezes and coughs and seems to clear his throat or something most of the night, sleep almost all the time, and paces the floor and then comes to me to be picked up and almost immediately wants to get back on the floor and pace or sleep. About a year and a half ago we moved to a senior living facility and his new vet seems to think he is ok for his age but keeps wanting to clean his teeth and pull some out He also sometimes mistook the rug for the back yard but now every time I walk across the floor it seems I step in a puddle and if I leave him for a short while, he has left me small amounts of puppy poop all around the house. I don't think he can help it at this age.

My friend thinks I should put him in a large cage and muzzle him so he can't bark. I think that would be cruel at his age. He's always had the run of the house. At this time I would feel guilty if I decided to send him to the rainbow bridge but on the other hand I am really having a problem coping with trying to keep him from barking, keeping the stains on the rug to a minimum and will have to take him out at all hours in a northeast winter.

Help -- I never thought I would even consider this option but don;t know what to do.

Thank you

We have had to make this decision more times than I care to even remember with many of our feline family members. I know it has been well over 10 different times, with many of them having been with us for up to 19 years at the time of our decision. Some of them were much younger, but with the type of issues they had, they could never live a good/pain free and enjoyable life. When it reaches even close to that point, we do not prolong their pain.

What does your vet say? What to do cannot be even suggested by me without knowing the issues involved and what the vet has told you about the type of life your "little poodle" will live with those issues.

Our most recent one was on February 12, of this year. We took our guy to the vet to have him checked out because he has been diabetic for many years. We had to give him insulin shorts twice a day for the previous 7 years, and he was doing just fine.

One day he was acting like he wasn't feeling well so we decided to take him in to have his blood sugar level checked. Our vet did a few tests and then said he wanted to do an xray because of something he didn't like. Ended up being a huge tumor compressing his lungs ability to expand.

He said that steroid shots could help, but he would never get back to the life he was used to living. He was almost 17 years old at this time. My wife and I didn't even have to think long about what we would do. There is no way we would put him through any more suffering than he was in at this time. As much as we loved this guy, we had to decide what was best for him, not what was best for us.

We never thought when we took him to the vet that day that we would never bring him back home alive again with us. It was a very hard thing to do, lots of tears, and regardless of how many times a person(s)have to make this decision, it is never any easier to make. The right decision for us is "what is best for our furry family member".

I would never listen to what any friend of ours thought "we should do". We find out what kind of life our furry one will live, and if it isn't a good life? We know what is "the right thing for us to do", but only the person(s) involved should make this decision. One can talk to friends or relatives, but when it comes down to it, they have to do what is best for their pet.

Until you get a full prognosis from your vet, no way I would comment on what you should do with your "little poodle".

E.T.A. I also think "your friend" doesn't have a clue or does not know much about how to treat animals, well or sick. Don't even give that barbaric suggestion a 2nd thought. I've learned a lot over the years about the character of people from their view of furry family members, and pets in general. What I learned is this. I do not think much of most of them.

Last edited on 11/9/2012

Last edited on 11/9/2012


hckynut(john)




only shops­ online1352463486.1175486 PostsRegistered 10/17/2006

Yes, we have had to make that decision, and I pray that we never have to do it again.

You didn't mention the age of your dog. But, I would take him to another vet and get another opinion and full blood panel, at the very least. There may be something going on that can make him more comfortable.

We thought we were going to lose our 13 year old dog this summer. But, our vet figured out the problem, put him on some meds that have helped quite a bit, and he is acting and feeling much better.

Our vet says that, when pondering end of life issues, he always asks the question "is your dog still capable of being a "dog." In other words, running, playing, eating, without a lot of pain and discomfort.

Ours was outside this morning, running and barking through the fence at the deer in the woods behind our house. And, he is sleeping peacefully again at night. So, for now, we can answer "yes" to that question.

Last edited on 11/9/2012

Last edited on 11/9/2012

kingtut1352468123.307359 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Peppie is 14 and only about 5 pounds. At 80 I have health issues of my own. I would never give him away -- have instructed relatives -- who would not take him -- to send him to puppy heaven if anything happens to me -- can not bear the thought that he would be hurt. He has never been completely housebroken -- perhaps because he is so small, I don't know. Sometime I want a really clean house. Right now he is barking up a storm.

BeanCounte­r171352468305.555117 PostsRegistered 8/21/2006Virginia

BF just lost his dog last week - it began scratching at its eye and falling when it walked. It turned out to be a brain tumor. He uses a practice with 4 vets, two of which he trusts implicitly and he lets the vet help him in the decision as to if it's time to intervene or if he can wait. His dog that just died began coughing in the middle of the night, he got down and was petting her, she calmed down and went to sleep and never woke up so it was a very peaceful passing.

madame j1352470463.307538 PostsRegistered 10/22/2012Texas

I feel your pain. We had a poodle for 18 years and his appetite was good, but his sight was gone and he couldn't get around anymore and would groan, and we realized his quality of life was not good and finally had him put down, and it broke our hearts, but we know we will see him again and that he is with our other dogs having fun now. We have never gotten another dog and my husband cried like a baby when we put the dog down. I feel for you.

RedTop1352481698.5534217 PostsRegistered 9/1/2010

Our family lost 2 beloved dogs within 8 weeks of each other, so I feel the pain of wondering what's the right thing to do. Both of our dogs had cancer; one was put to sleep on the day of diagnosis because the vet felt the cancer was in the brain already in order to cause the behavior we had reported. Two days later we learned of the other dogs cancer, and had 8 weeks to enjoy him before making the decision to put him to sleep. The dog was more restless the last 3 weeks, and seemed unable to get comfortable. He did emit sounds and groans that we interpreted as his expression of pain. On two occasions he released his bladder while sleeping, and never realized what he'd done. Those were among the other signs that convinced my daughter it was time to put him to sleep. Best wishes to you with your decision.

chrystaltr­ee1352486677.8111581 PostsRegistered 5/10/2010

Put him in a cage and muzzle him? Good grief, I can only hope that your friend doesn't have any pets of her own. That would be beyond cruel. I have a 17 year old cat so I can feel your pain. My Whisky is well but he's slowing down. With all that is going on with your dog, I think it's time to do right by him and let him go. It sounds like he's in pain. And the "mess" that he's creating all over your house isn't healthy. You love him, now you have to find the strength to do the right thing and let him go.

ok4ablonde21352496257.1338837 PostsRegistered 3/9/2009Midwest
On 11/9/2012 kingtut said:

Peppie is 14 and only about 5 pounds. At 80 I have health issues of my own. I would never give him away -- have instructed relatives -- who would not take him -- to send him to puppy heaven if anything happens to me -- can not bear the thought that he would be hurt. He has never been completely housebroken -- perhaps because he is so small, I don't know. Sometime I want a really clean house. Right now he is barking up a storm.

I hate it when they get old; I too wished my dogs would go to the Bridge in their sleep, but neither of them did, (nor my cats either). It's the hardest thing to do EVER, it's like playing God. Neither of my dogs made it to age 15 (schnauzers). Small dogs bark, it's pretty normal for poodles and terriers to bark. I would hesitate to put Peppie under anesthetic for a dental at his age though. My 12 year old cat had a stroke after a dental earlier this year, but she finally recovered. Maybe Peppie should have blood work done to see if anything is going on. Also, when they get older they need to go outside more to do their business, they can't hold their bladders as long as when they are younger.

But put Peppie in a cage and muzzle him? That would be no life and he would be better off at the Bridge. I hope that friend of yours doesn't have any pets.

Last edited on 11/9/2012

Last edited on 11/9/2012

"We're all mad here." - The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland

MrsLorraine1352496975.673995 PostsRegistered 7/5/2012

I'm so sorry for you, that you're going through this. I had to make the same decision for my 17-year-old Miss Spotty Cat in June. And even though my husband and I cried like babies at the time, we know now that it was in her best interest to relieve her of what she was going through. We buried her ashes in her favorite place in the back yard.

itslikeher­dingcats1352497553.8334039 PostsRegistered 9/20/2010

We've been through it a lot this past year and a half. Its never easy and like many have said, heartbreaking and emotionally draining.

With our oldest last dog we had (we put him down in early October) we had taken him in for blood work, full exam and it all came back good for an old, old dog. However, he was having issues like your dog is and my vet suggested Anipryl. Its a great med for senility in dogs. If you have had blood work, did it come back normal for age? I would suggest that first and then see if the Anipryl would benefit your dog. It extended my dogs life for about another year. Its expensive but we got the Rx and sent it in to Pet Meds and the price was much better.

I can't begin to tell you how much it improved the barking, roaming, nervous energy problems. He did continue to leave "presents" because his urge-to-brain didn't quite always jibe but it wasn't nearly as bad since he became a "dog" again with the medication. Good luck.

itslikeher­dingcats1352497745.5234039 PostsRegistered 9/20/2010

I also wanted to add, we took the remaining Anipryl and are now giving it to our other senior dog. She was having roaming issues and was not eating, very lethargic and unhappy. I believe she was grieving for her friend, our oldest who passed, but the vet said to try her on the Anipryl too in order to see if it would improve her mood. It did, she is back to her happy twirling for food, walking to the park with excitement and just generally more happy!

Doxie1352499936.128973 PostsRegistered 7/1/2007

I think you need to talk to your vet to see what is going on. I would not do the crate/muzzle thing. It is one thing to limit the rooms they are in and another to leave in the crate. It also depends on how long you are talking about. I do not see a problem with a crate for a 1-2 hour period but it should not be for punishment. Your vet should be able to guide you on the end of life decision.

doxie

Rowan1231352505055.053050 PostsRegistered 10/18/2005

I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. I too think a crate and a muzzle would be cruel at this point in his life and probably would cause him to panic. He might hurt himself trying to get the muzzle off and/or get out of the crate (unless he's been crated before and is used to the crate). If he's not used to the crate, I think it would be very hard to get him to accept it at this point in his life especially since it sounds like he might be having cognitive issues.

If the vet wants to pull teeth you need to ask him if some are infected or if they're causing him pain. If they are causing him pain, that may be why he won't settle. He might just be too uncomfortable. Of course the pacing may have nothing to do with the teeth and could be due to cognitive issues. Either way, a vet visit would be helpful.

If the teeth really do need pulled it's a hard call as to whether to put him under (although since he's a small dog, at 14 he could have several years left). I chose to put my 13 1/2 year old German Shepherd (which is very old for a GSD) under and have an abscessed tooth removed. I wasn't going to let him live in pain but I also knew at that age he might not come out of the anesthesia. Fortunately he came through the surgery fine. For me it was about the quality of his life not quantity at that point.

I can also tell you that all three of my dogs have had issues holding their bladder and their bowels when they got old but I agree with everyone that says take him to the vet and see if there is anything that can be done. If this vet is new, you might even get a second opinion just to ease your mind. If there is nothing that can be done, then you have a decision to make as to what's best for him AND you. I've had to put down 4 pets in my life due to health issues when they were old. {#emotions_dlg.crying} The actual process itself was very peaceful for them. I was with each of them when it was time.

Last edited on 11/9/2012

Last edited on 11/9/2012

mysterylady1352512841.5704 PostsRegistered 8/23/2009

Three years ago I had to have my beloved 18 yr. old put to sleep and it was the most difficult decision I had to make. I had my DS go with me and I held her. I cried uncontrollably. I still miss her.

She had some of the same problems you mention. She also would go out to relieve herself and just wander away even though she normally "go" and run right back in. She also couldn't get up the few steps from the yard so I had to carry her in. I was having my own problems with pain that ended in total hip replacement several months later. Iknew it was gettting harder to help her.

She was obviously having vision problems. I was walking her to the basement when she took several steps down and took a flying leap (I think she must have thought she was down the whole way). Fortunately, I didn't hear her coming and turned to see the leap and was able to catch her in mid air. I decided then that I'd rather put her to sleep than risk her getting badly injured.

I think I'm too sensitive to go through this again so I've decided I won't get another dog even though I'm so lost without her.

kingtut1352522455.447359 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

I thank you all for your concern -- he seems peppier today -- when I say he paces I mean inside -- he is on a leash at all times outside -- sometimes if the weather is bad he will not go off the patio.

He has had his teeth cleaned and some removed at least 2 times in the past six months and once was put under on two different days. He lived through it ok but seemed sort of out of it for several days.

I only wonder about the vet because when I took my kitties -- yes I am an equal opportunity pet mother -- for shots and check up on different days, he claimed both of them had heart murmers and needed expensive tests -- which I allowed -- but they have always seemed healthy to me. And it was a big expense.

Since I have no transportation except a taxi getting a second opinion will be costly and difficult. By the way the new groomers up here do not like to work on elderly pets == my old place always cuddled him and went slow and played with him and he was fine.

I am not planning an immediate decision but thinking of the not too far off future.

hckynut1352567790.4418776 PostsRegistered 5/20/2006Nebraska
On 11/9/2012 kingtut said:

I thank you all for your concern -- he seems peppier today -- when I say he paces I mean inside -- he is on a leash at all times outside -- sometimes if the weather is bad he will not go off the patio.

He has had his teeth cleaned and some removed at least 2 times in the past six months and once was put under on two different days. He lived through it ok but seemed sort of out of it for several days.

I only wonder about the vet because when I took my kitties -- yes I am an equal opportunity pet mother -- for shots and check up on different days, he claimed both of them had heart murmers and needed expensive tests -- which I allowed -- but they have always seemed healthy to me. And it was a big expense.

Since I have no transportation except a taxi getting a second opinion will be costly and difficult. By the way the new groomers up here do not like to work on elderly pets == my old place always cuddled him and went slow and played with him and he was fine.

I am not planning an immediate decision but thinking of the not too far off future.

Think you need a new vet. Many domestic animals have a heart murmur, as do many human beings. Most are benign and most people do not even know they have them unless they have an EKG and are told about it. Sure they can be serious for some, but for a vet to suggest one pay for this for a seemingly healthy animal?

No way I would take any of our guys or girls to someone looking to take advantage of pet owners by telling them about nonsense like this. The only time a test like this should be done to an animal is if they are showing some signs of heart or cardiovascular symptoms.

Hopefully you told "that friend" that suggested a muzzle and a crate to "take a hike". Either that friend doesn't know anything about domestic animals, or she wants to suffer. Only you now the answer to that one, but for them to suggest a cruel thing like this? If they honestly think this way, don't ever listen to them about anything to do with your furry family members.


hckynut(john)




kingtut1353646010.18359 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Peppie is still with me but I don't know for how much longer. I'm ashamed to say that although I love him I really dread having him messing in the house much longer -- I do take him out, he only does number one usually and then while I am taking a shower and getting dressed, he leaves me little presents all over and sometimes I step in another puddle.

I am having to wake him up to take him out and don't think he finishes before he wants back in.

And he hardly even pays any attention to me any more -- he used to follow me around and want to be petted but very seldom does he do it now.

I will admit my friend wanted me to crate him and only let him out if her performed outside since the start -- and I didn't do it -- guess it is all my fault he never was completely housebroken -- but never had a dog in my adult life and I did love him. The muzzle was only to keep him from barking since I live in senior housing and have already been told about it. Would never do it to him.

In truth I guess I am a better kitty mommy -- they are so much easier -- have had at least 5 kitties (including a really tiny one) and I just showed them the facilities and that was all it took. I still have 2 kitties who are also getting old -- 9 and 12 but don't seem to show their age -- they still can get up on the counter, then the fridge which is quite a way further up and then get on top of the cabinets in the kitchen and look at me.

hckynut1353647277.82318776 PostsRegistered 5/20/2006Nebraska
On 11/22/2012 kingtut said:

Peppie is still with me but I don't know for how much longer. I'm ashamed to say that although I love him I really dread having him messing in the house much longer -- I do take him out, he only does number one usually and then while I am taking a shower and getting dressed, he leaves me little presents all over and sometimes I step in another puddle.

I am having to wake him up to take him out and don't think he finishes before he wants back in.

And he hardly even pays any attention to me any more -- he used to follow me around and want to be petted but very seldom does he do it now.

I will admit my friend wanted me to crate him and only let him out if her performed outside since the start -- and I didn't do it -- guess it is all my fault he never was completely housebroken -- but never had a dog in my adult life and I did love him. The muzzle was only to keep him from barking since I live in senior housing and have already been told about it. Would never do it to him.

In truth I guess I am a better kitty mommy -- they are so much easier -- have had at least 5 kitties (including a really tiny one) and I just showed them the facilities and that was all it took. I still have 2 kitties who are also getting old -- 9 and 12 but don't seem to show their age -- they still can get up on the counter, then the fridge which is quite a way further up and then get on top of the cabinets in the kitchen and look at me.

I said everything I can to you and for you and Peppie in my other reply. I would say more, but this is strictly up to you. I will say this again however: "The time to say goodbye to any furry family member is when it is THEIR TIME, not your time".


hckynut(john)




Jeanhelen571353717901.392711 PostsRegistered 11/1/2005

I have not read the other replies, but I can tell you what happened with my little white pup, Harley..He was also really old (I can guess maybe 15-18??) but I loved him just sooo much! He also started to go "downhill"..He did exactly what your dog did! He would wet the rug, sometimes poo..he did the cough/choke thing too. He did also start to bark alot. I think my dog had cataracts, maybe yours does too and cannot see well. I think also, if a dog can, mine had a bit of doggie dementia. He would just bark at nothing..I would say it did drive me a bit crazy at times! I decided, though, that he had been such a wonderful friend to me, that now, I was going to be the same for him!

When he came to me, I picked him up. I realized he was probably coming to the end of his life. I tried to keep him in areas where, if he wet on the floor, I could clean it easily. I had to pick him up and bring him down steps because he was weak. My dog had been by my side when I was sick, I decided I would be there for him! Then one day, last spring, I came home and found him just lying on his little blanket. Actually, my son and grandaughter were in the den too. I said "How is Harley doing??" My son said "I don't know, he's just been laying there!" I went over, he had passed....So peaceful...I cannot tell you how good it felt to be able to just take care of him like that. I understand that sometimes a pet is in such distress that you must help them and put them to sleep, but if you can, just be there for your dog and realize that he needs you to just give him love and care and that's all he wants! God bless!

Oneanddone1353719115.836220 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Your friend thinks you should put him in a cage and muzzle him??????

Are you freaking KIDDING me????

Your furbaby will let you know when the time has come to let him go. If you seriously love him, you know him and you will know what he is telling you.

Put him in a cage a muzzle him......I seriously cannot believe anyone would give that sick advice or that anyone would take it. {#emotions_dlg.angry}

kingtut1353778477.667359 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

I would Never muzzle him -- that would be cruel -- only a nasty biting dog should be muzzled when among people. I did think of trying to find a way to keep him in the kitchen but he would bark. By the way he has always been a barker -- but now in the apartment where we live, we have a big patio door and he can see everything through it. He has to bark at dogs -- sometimes walkers and even canes seem to look like dogs to him. But he is still a sweet dog.

He has seemed peppier the last couple of days -- still sleeps a lot -- will leave him alone for a while longer and see what happens. I still hope when it happens he dies in his sleep. His brother from the same litter apparently just died in their car from heart failure -- guess he had not seemed sick.

hckynut1353781574.69718776 PostsRegistered 5/20/2006Nebraska
On 11/24/2012 kingtut said:

I would Never muzzle him -- that would be cruel -- only a nasty biting dog should be muzzled when among people. I did think of trying to find a way to keep him in the kitchen but he would bark. By the way he has always been a barker -- but now in the apartment where we live, we have a big patio door and he can see everything through it. He has to bark at dogs -- sometimes walkers and even canes seem to look like dogs to him. But he is still a sweet dog.

He has seemed peppier the last couple of days -- still sleeps a lot -- will leave him alone for a while longer and see what happens. I still hope when it happens he dies in his sleep. His brother from the same litter apparently just died in their car from heart failure -- guess he had not seemed sick.

Every true animal lover wishes their furry family members would go without them having to make that decision. Unfortunately, when one waits until such a time, their friend may have already suffered way to much. Sometimes one has to step up and make this decision, and I do not wish this on any true animal lover.

I can't think of anything in my life that has been any harder than the many times we have had to make this decision. We've had many furry family members over many decades, and not a single one of the them died from "just not waking up".


hckynut(john)




Oneanddone1353801463.9736220 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

I had to make that decision for my Sammy this past March.

He fought to live and I fought with him.

The day I had to put him down, he let me know the fight was over.

I did what was best for him and we both knew it.

Page 1 of 1