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Holly 06-17-2008 12:26 PM

Time to put the dog down?
How do you know when it's time? We all know the answer is when the quality of life for the dog has greatly diminished. So the next questions is what constitutes a good quality of life for a dog? Is it when they get too old to play? When they can't walk anymore? When they can't run or bark?

Here's the situation. We have a 16 year old Collie/Shepard mix. She's acted like a puppy up until the past 2 years where she's really gone down hill. She has deteriating disks in her back. She's had problems with her back legs and she just can't get them to move like they used to. We've noticed that when she walks, the one leg will just go weak or give out. Well, this weekend she couldn't get up at all. My hubby had to pick her up. Once she was up, she could walk but very slow and her back would still not come up all the way. So I gave her a doggie pain killer/anti-inflammatory pill. No change. My other dog dug out of her pen into my old dogs pen and just laid with her. They get along but not enough that they can be left together alone( it's the whole female dominance thing!).

So Harley isn't my first dog that I'd have to put down but she is my hubby's baby and his first. I know what needs to be done. I know it's time. He's still coming to grips with it so he's questioning when it's time and what's considered quality of life of a dog. I know he'll make the right decision in his own time...I'm just looking for some additional insight for him.

Amphitrite 06-17-2008 12:31 PM

I can totally sympathize with what you're both going through, having had to put down our family dog a few weeks ago. Our situation was very similar to yours, and we felt that our dog's quality of life had deteriorated sufficiently to go ahead and make the decision.

Do you think she is in any pain?

Cody 06-17-2008 01:02 PM

If the dog is in pain, or even looks like it at an old age where they aren't their old self, then I think she may nee to put down.

I also know what you are going through. My old dog was only 8 when he got a cantaloupe-size tumor on his stomach. This turned out to be cancerous, and the worst kind a dog can get. Only, 7% of the dogs who get it survive, and he didn't. :( We had to put him down before it spread too far.

Best of luck to you and your family, and Harley.

Flashygrrl 06-17-2008 06:12 PM

Sad to say, it's probably time. We always tend to want to wait, to see if gets better, to lengthen the time we have with them. But then comes the day that they're in too much pain and part of you wishes "I didn't want them to have to feel that way". It's hard to make that decision but I guess if Harley isn't and will not be getting better, it might be easier to let her go now.

Crap...I'm tearing up as I write this. I just noticed the date and realized come tomorrow it's been 4 years since I had to put my horse Flash to sleep. You never stop missing them...

Falina 06-17-2008 06:26 PM

I'm really sorry to hear that. From the sounds of it, it's time. The vet will be able to advise you on how much pain she's likely to be in. It's been a long time since I've been in your situation and I don't envy you at all.

tangy 06-17-2008 06:33 PM

Such as the previous posters, I myself have gone through this before a few amount of times. Our first black lab named Snickers a hit-and-run victim and a small brown chi. named Chocolate struck with parvo.
It does appear to be that time. Its hard to deal with these things but I have always been able to tell myself accept the fact that its over and spend as much time with them as possible, and when the day comes to be there by their side when they go so I know they went peacefully.
Its a tough deal but it happens so cherish what you have left with the her and let her go happy.

Holly 06-18-2008 08:13 AM

The last time we were at the vet, we were told she wasn't in any pair or I would have stepped in and made my husband put her down then. The pills have helped her a little bit but she's still can't make her body move like she wants to. She tried to jump to come outside with us last night and her front legs made it but the back and back legs just didn't move. That told me that she can no longer do the things she loves to do so that confirmed to me even more it was time. My husband is just a bit slower to come to the realization. I hope he comes around soon for her sake.

Thanks all...I guess I needed confirmation I wasn't alone on this one. I'll keep you informed on the situation.

Holly 06-24-2008 11:26 AM

Just an update....She's been doing ok. She has more good than bad days so we're holding off for now. The pills seen to be helping and she's moving better. It's still a day by day situation but for now she's looking better. I'm stopping tonight and getting her a new bed for her retirement room. She's always been an outside dog (no I don't agree with it but she's my husbands baby so I can't change it) and for the past 2 years, I've given up my sun room for her to come and go as she pleases. We're going to build her a new ramp to get in and out easier and get her an old lady bed. One that has a cold/hot pad to make her joints feel better. Anything to make it just a bit easier on those hard days.

faith_mccravy 06-25-2008 01:35 PM

i hope your dog gets better.
i had a dog that i found at food lion as a puppy. he got to live with us for 4 years and then he turned mean so we took him to the vet and they had to put him down because he had heart worms and brain cancer. and that was what was making him turn mean. i really miss him and today is the 1 year mark since his death.

i really hope your dog will get stronger! but if he doesn't just know that sometimes it is better to let them go so they don't have to endure so much pain.

willow 06-25-2008 01:52 PM

Holly glad to hear things are a little better.
my thoughts are with you and your hubby,it's never a nice
thing to have to decide upon.
and for everyone else who has lost a close companion,i feel
for you also.

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