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i was thinking today, i've heard many people say "as long as my baby isn't showing signs of pain ect ect i won't have him euthanized." but in some of those cases the animal is not having a very good quality of life and it's just selfish to not help them cross over. for animals in the wild if they show signs of injury or pain they usually become prey right? i've seen documentaries where lions have broken limbs and they stick it out hunting and barely limping to avoid the hunter becoming the hunted. now does anyone else think that our domesticated pets are the same way? i've seen so many injured sick animals being brought into the animal hospital with "loss of appetite" and then to find out they have real serious injuries and the owners were shocked and they all say the same thing "he never showed signs of pain."
 

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When it comes time to make the final decision for Lily it will depend totally on her quality of life. If she can still enjoy pretty much the same quality she's always had (allowing for the normal aging process), fine. If not, I will let her go even if she is not experiencing any pain.

There was a german shorthaired pointer at Lily's daycare - I've written of him here before - and his owner prolonged his life for a good 8 or 9 months beyond the point where any rational person would have had him euthanized. I don't think he was in any pain at all but the quality of his life had completely deteriorated. I'll never do that to Lily. I'll love her enough to let her go.

Okay, I don't want to think about this anymore right now. A world without Lily will be a very sad and lonely place for me. :cry:
 

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I understand what you're saying. I'm starting to worry about my Golden (Buster). He's getting older (8 years), and even though I think he's fine now, I'm going to have to start thinking about that. The large dogs have a shorter life expectancy. He is definately starting to slow down and he has never been one to show pain of any sort, even when I know that something had to hurt, he has never yipped or anything. I'm really afraid that as he continues to get older, he won't show it and I won't know that he is in pain or discomfort. It scares me to think about it.
 

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I totally agree with what you are saying. Just because they aren't "showing signs of pain" does not mean they aren't in pain. You have to look at the big picture. Deciding on euthanasia is never easy no matter what the circumstances are but sometimes it is the best possible thing you can do for an animal. I have had to do it with 4 pets... 3 of them recently actually... my cat many years ago and more recently my 2 rats (cancer) and a very sick hamster. :(

When I was young, I always swore I would never have a pet put down but now that I am older and a little wiser (or so I like to think LOL), I know there are times it just has to be done. It is definitely not something I want to think about with Angel any time soon as she is more like a daughter to me than a pet but if she were suffering and there was no hope of curing it... then that would be a decision to make at that time.
 

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This is a very sensitive subject for me. My mother in law is one who keeps animals alive literally years after their quality of life is totally gone. About 13 years ago, she had 2 mini schnauzers that were over 20 years old. One was blind and bit, growled and snapped at everyone and anything (hmmm response to pain,confusion,senility) She also would lie in bed and soil herself. The other would just walk aimlessly in circles all day and also had no bladder control.
And I agree, survival instinct will sometimes keep an animal from "showing" signs of pain. It doesn't mean it isn't there.
I feel like out of respect and love our pets should be able to pass over with dignity. They have been your best friend, and there comes a time when you need to do what is right by them and be their best friend. I know how hard it is, I have done it. Sometimes it is hard not to be selfish and hang on a bit longer to the ones we love.

Love Stacy
 

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After reading this, it really hit home to me. I had a dog named Pongo that I had adopted at the clinic I had worked at back in 1997. At that time he was 6 weeks old. He came in as a stray. He was found in a dumpster. I had him all through college and into my career. He was my buddy. In July 2004 Pongo was acting a bit unusual. He was hunching his back. I felt his back, but he didn't seem to be bothered. Not 2 hours later, he could barely walk. I immediately took him into the my vet. This vet walked on water and I knew if there was some way to make Pongo better, this vet could do it. The vet took x-rays and concluded that Pongo had ruptured a disc. We immediately started doing daily injections of steroids and other medications and nothing was working. Pongo had deteriorated to where he had no use of his back legs and could no longer urinate or had control of his bowels. Pongo was not acting like he was in pain, but knowing Pongo he was a VERY active dog and loved to play ball, go for walks and car rides. Between the months of July and November, I would give Pongo baths and do rehab with his back legs just hoping they would work again. I bought him a dog wheelchair to give him some of his mobility back, but he didn't care for it too much. Every 4 hours, I had to take him outside to express his bladder and bowels. He had to be confined to the bathroom because he would leak urine and unvoluntarily expel his bowels. I changed his bedding every 2 hours and had to bathe him a lot. I remember in the middle of the night waking up to check on him and just falling asleep with him. He was definately my buddy. I would sit on the bathroom floor with Pongo and throw his favorite ball to him and he'd catch it in his mouth.

November came around and there hadn't been much of an improvement. In 4 months, the only progress we had was sometimes I could tickle the hairs on his paw and I'd get an ever so subtle twitch. I knew Pongo wasn't experiecing pain according to the vet, but I knew emotionally, he was in pain. He had virtually no life. He lived in the bathroom. Even though he could maneuver around on his front feet, by dragging his back legs, he would really cut them up. After talking to my vet and balling my eyes out, I decided to let Pongo go. I made an appointment in two days to have him put down. Those last two days were so hard, but I gave Pongo anything and everything he wanted. On the final morning, I had put several towels on my bed and let him sleep with me for alittle while. He had always slept with me. Pongo liked my husband and felt comfortable with him, so I had my husband take Pongo to the vet. I knew if I went, I would have a nervous breakdown at the vets. So instead, I stayed home with my daughter. The vet called me after and assured me he went fast and that I had made the right decision.

I love Zeus, but Pongo has a very special place in my heart. He got me through a lot of rough times in college when I had no one to turn to. He was always there licking my face and comforting me. I was with an abusive boyfriend in college and whenever he would start yelling at me, Pongo would get in front of me and start growling at him and my then boyfriend was afraid of Pongo and would back down. I miss Pongo more then words can explain. I still keep pictures of him up to remind me of the good times we had. I like to think of myself as a fairly strong woman, but as I type Pongo's story, I'm getting choked up.

Here are some pictures of him before and after his accident:

http://www.geocities.com/eqperdy/pongo.html

Sorry if this got so long, I just wanted to share Pongo's story.

Here is a picture of Pongo and I back in 1999.

 

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I am sorry you had to go through that with Pongo. That has to be such a difficult decision.

I agree with the whole pain thing. Working at the animal hospital I see a lot of dogs who are in a lot of pain, but wont show it. Like you said its something they do because in the wild if they showed any signs of weakness they would be killed.

You have to look at a lot of things to decide if your pets quality of life has changed....things like attitude, appitite, mobility, comfort....all of that has to be included. It is such a hard decission for a pet owner to make and sometimes they hang on too long because they have false hope that their pet will recover or they dont see how much their pet is suffering. I had one client at work make a comment "why cant they just die in their sleep at home...why is it that we have to make the decission". She was right....about 90% of the time we are euthanising an animal...rarely do we actually get a pet that is doa. I wish that my chi's would live a long and happy life and die peacfully in their sleep but I know that them dying in their sleep is unlikely so I can only pray I am strong enough to make the right decission.
Ok i have to stop talking about this...its making me depressed.
 

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NoahFL said:
like to think of myself as a fairly strong woman, but as I type Pongo's story, I'm getting choked up.
And I'm sitting here crying my eyes out for Pongo. :cry:

I think sometimes we're so close to our babies that we literally don't see how their quality of life has deteriorated. It might happen in such tiny spurts that we're not able to perceive it.

As hard as it was, you did right by Pongo. As you said, "he lived in the bathroom." Once you've articulated that fact you really have no other choice.

RIP Pongo.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
rest in peace pongo, i know he is watching over your babies now and showing them the way of the world, it's a view that i dont' share with many people cause not everyone believes in that kinda stuff...


sorry to have opened up such a sore subject....
 

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i know it's selfish ...but i would have such a hard time letting go !! it would hurt me so much ni would go bananas :cry:

sorry about Pongo.............

kisses natg
 

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i know he is watching over your babies now and showing them the way of the world, it's a view that i dont' share with many people cause not everyone believes in that kinda stuff...
I definately am a believer in that. Ever had a feeling that your past pet is still with you sometimes? I've had two experiences, one with Pongo and one with a cat I lost in 2002. I do believe your beloved pets are waiting for you in heaven. If when I get to heaven and that's not the case, then it helped me get through the hard times when I lost a pet. ... but I still feel like I'll see them again one day ;)
 

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NoahFL said:
i know he is watching over your babies now and showing them the way of the world, it's a view that i dont' share with many people cause not everyone believes in that kinda stuff...
I definately am a believer in that. Ever had a feeling that your past pet is still with you sometimes? I've had two experiences, one with Pongo and one with a cat I lost in 2002.
i believe my tasha bird is showing chiwi how to be the best german shorthair pointer she can be.... one thing though, chiwi is a chihuahua. my tasha bird wasn't very bright ;)
 

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I am so sorry for Pongo and Tasha Bird....I know though that they are running around playing in puppy heaven....at least that's what I like to believe...

My Joey is 11 years old....and I am seeing that he is aging....it makes me so sad...he is my first dog, my baby....

I know the day it comes for us to say goodbye I will have to be medicated...I'm not kidding....I will lose it....I'm crying as I am writing this....

That's one of the reasons I didn't want to get a dog, but my mom convinced me that, it's better to have loved then not at all right? And that is true, I have so many cherished memories of my dogs....goodness this topic has given me the biggest knot in my throat...

But I totally agree on the quality of life is the most important. They look at us as their keepers, parents, best friends...and we owe it to them to give them that respect....
 

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I really wish euthanasia was available for humans, sometimes.

My sister had a mini-dachshund (Piper) who was almost a year old when he got into the garage while her boyfriend was working on the car and licked up some anti-freeze off the floor. The boyfriend grabbed the dog, took him inside and told my sis he thought the pup had drank some of it. (He didn't actually see it happen.)

She called me and asked what I would do. I told her to take Piper to the emergency clinic immediately and they would get some charcoal in him. I also told her that even if he didn't get into the anti-freeze, it was much better to be safe than sorry and the charcoal wouldn't harm the dog. Unfortunately, she didn't take him because she didn't want to put him through the pain of having charcoal forced down his throat if he didn't drink the anti-freeze. Never mind the pain he would go through if he HAD drank it and didn't get treatment immediately.

Of course, Piper started showing signs of kidney failure after about 24 hours and my sis became worried and took him to the vet. Long story short - she let the vet put Piper on IVs, medications ... everything ... even after the vet told her the dog's life would not be saved and he'd only be kept alive longer by doing all that.

She let that little baby live for almost 10 days after his organs shut down. It absolutely broke my heart to think how much pain he was going through while she kept paying someone to force him to stay alive. Eventually, Piper's body just couldn't take it anymore and he died on his own with no help from the vet or my sister.

I have so much anger over the entire situation ranging from just wanting to slap her silly for not taking the dog when she had the chance to really wanting to slap her silly for not letting the little guy die with a bit of dignity and peace. I know when it's Cooper or OmaKitty's time to go, it will be difficult but I know I will think of little Piper and all he went through and maybe I'll be able to relate the situation and decide what is best for my babies instead of what is best for me.

Of course, none of us can judge someone else's situation unless we are in the vet's office as information is given or have lived with the pet and have an emotional bond with it. I feel if the vet probably knows when is best to euthanize a pet and will tell the owner (unless they just want $$ and don't care) when the time is right. The owner also knows when the time is right because I truly believe your pet will tell you when it's their time to go. You just have to be willing to hear them when they do tell you.

Sorry this is so long.
 

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Rachael Polachek said:
If I get to Heaven and there are no dogs... I'll know it's not Heaven. I am 100% positive I will be reunited with every dog I've ever loved.
Absolutely !

I am always thankful that we have the ability to assist our pets when they reach a time in their life that they are no longer functioning without pain or their quality of life has reached an unbearable level for them...I wish we could do the same for our human loved ones when they are in uncontrollable pain and there is no hope.

My little terri-poo was in her 17th year when she lost control of her bladder...diapers took care of that issue for 2 yrs then her eyesight went and she took a terrible tumble on the stairs and that's when I made the decision.as painful as it was, I realized it was for her ..and only for her...because I loved her.

My Dobie developed cancer...pancreatic with mets to the lungs...he was unable to tolerate any cold fluids or hot foods...everything had to be room temp etc...he managed well for some months and my vet told me whenever I felt it was time..just let her know...well the day came...Gus was failing....his eyes were so sad and I realized it was time...so I made him a turkey dinner..gravy, mashed potatoes...the works...the time had been arranged with the vet and as soon as Gus was finished his big dinner, Wayne took him...it was over before he had time to vomit...he went to heaven with a full tummy of all the things he loved...tears are flowing down my face as I type... but I know I did the loving thing for both of them
 

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You know, I have actually been giving this some serious thought. Years ago when I was in high school, my mother got a toy poodle puppy. It still tickles us as a family because she might have adopted him with cash and has AKC papers on HIM but HE adopted me as his owner. With that said, I was the one who named him. His name is Royal :) His name fits him perfectly. He was bred with the intentions of being a show dog, however, I spoiled him to pieces :) and he became a loyal (and spoiled) companion.

Sshhh....don't tell him he's a dog though! He goes everywhere I go: the stores, out to eat, car rides, and sleeps at the foot of my bed. What hurts me though is I had this idea of his comfort smack me in the face Friday night. I took him for a walk in an outdoor food court in my town. I soon came to notice that he does not walk as fast as he once did. He also has been diagnosed with Progressive Retinal Atrophy. That is a degenerative disease that slowly makes dogs blind. Apparently poodles are very susceptable to it and its onset can begin at age 5. :( He is 12 years old now and could possibly live for another 3-6 years.

Thinking back on it, I see all the signs. He had difficulty seeing in the dark and began to walk slower. He is at the point now where he cannot see anything but shadows. I know if he were an animal in the wild, he would not be with us today due to eugenics and "the survival of the fittest" ideal. BUT, I must say that he is not in the wild, he is with us--he is with me and I love him and want to see that he lives out the rest of his life comfortably.

Something I find interesting about that though...animals can suprise us. In the wild it is easy to assume that he would have been left by the other pack members to die--not Royal. The other dog my mother has acts as though she is his eyes. She leads him outdoors and makes sure he follows here when they are in the large backyard and trying to find his way back inside. How interesting the dynamics changed. He was once the pack leader and is now being led.

He is a trooper. He is not in pain...he still enjoys to play with his toys and sit them beside him while he is in his bed. He soon learned how to adapt to his illness. He has changed his gait. He walks more cautiously. He tends to feel his way around when he goes for walks and has developed a more sensitive depth perception.

Would I put him to sleep now? No. He is at a point where he still enjoys living his life and loves to cuddle beside me. He still loves his squeaky teddy bear and plays with the other dog my mother has. He is a trooper and sweetheart.

As I sit here typing this he is asleep next to my feet. I know thought that I must prepare myself for the time he goes onto Doggy Heaven. That is going to be one of the most difficult days of my life. He is my little 5 pound watchdog who would put his life on the line for me. . . Hmm...maybe I should have named him Loyal instead of Royal...

Tiffany
 
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