I have a 14 year old dog whos been a part of the family for about 9 years. Shes deaf now and pretty much blind, but yet shes seemed happy even when old age seemed to be catching up to her. The last year though has been rough, shes lost alot of weight, she shivers all the time even with her booties and sweater on. She vomits white/yellow foam atleast 4 times a week, and cant seem to control her bladder or bowels most of the time. And to top it off the vet has now diagnosed her with severe allergies. So shes itchy and red and sometimes chewing spots on her legs and back till shes bleeding. The medicine for does help her biting herself but she seems miserable. My questions is, when is keeping her alive even though shes suffering the right thing to do compared to just being cruel because we dont want to lose her? Are we doing the right thing by holding on? Ive always imagined her just dying naturally on her own allthough traumatizing to our young children. I cant stomach taking her in to be "put down" but i dont want her to suffer either. Any input?
No one here is going to be able to tell you one way or the other if it is 'Time'. Personally I think there's a time when quality of life comes into question. Does your dog still seem to get enjoyment out of life, or is she suffering in silence? It sounds more like she is suffering, as you say she is 'miserable'. You say that her dying naturally would be traumatizing, but to me, it'd be equally traumatizing to my child for her to see our beloved pets wasting away to nothingness both mentally and physically. Only you know the answer to this, in my experience the animal in question will let you know when the time has come. The question is will you have the courage to do the right thing when the time does come around?
***Edited By: Minniyar on 11/19/2007 10:48:22 PM*** Reason: add
Never trust a tall dwarf... he's lying about something.
Boy, that's a hard thing to ask someone. Only you will know when it's right. You must put yourself in your dogs position and think if you'd want to end it peacefully.. Is it quanity or quality... we want out of life. I guess both. I brought my lab to the vets for a check up. He said he was fine..just getting old. 2 weeks later.. my boys noticed how much weight "Bear" had lost.. and he acted as if he couldn't breathe... so we took him to the vets.. expecting a miracle pill...since it was the 23rd of december... the vet said he would't make it through the night.. that he had cancer..and with the COLD weather.. it was almost impossible for him to breathe... My boys and I didn't want to loose him... but we didn't want to be selfish and bring him home so that he'd last longer...but suffer for 24-48 hrs..so they asked me to stay with "Bear" and put him to sleep. I first thought, I'd feel like a murder...hitler... deciding when someone dies..etc.. But afterwards..I was glad I held him in my arms.. when he died. The vet gave him a shot and he just went to sleep..peacefully.. no there was no gasping or shaking or anything.. He just looked into my eyes..and the vet gave him the shot.. as soon as the needle went in..he was out.. If I had to do it again.. this is the only humane way. The fear of death and the pain of death is awful. This was peaceful.. We purchased another dog on Christmas..because everyone was so so depressed... 12 1/2 years later, this past August 1st.. "Jake" was outside and howeling to the moon.. I thought... I kept telling him to be quiet.. He would wimper and cry and then howel again. (You see Alaskan Malamutes do that... wolf nature)..Unfortunately, even though he was thought to be in excellent health..except getting old.. we found him dead in the morning. The howeling wasn't for the moon.. he must have been in pain..and I didn't know.. I only wish he could have died in peace like "Bear". I have to live with this now...and I won't ever let it happen again. So to answer that question... If your dog has led a happy, joyous life. And If your dog had many years of pleasure and fun.. and now...life for your dog is not quality or painfree anylonger....If it were me.. I'd let him have peace. I'm sorry to say that.. I know it's hard for you... but think of the doggie and his life he is leading right now. Good luck.. my prayers are with you.
Unfortunately death is a large part of life, and this is one of those rotten lessons to teach the kids. Why is the dog incontinent, does the vet know? If it were'nt for that, you could work with pain meds. Does your dog still eat, and what is she allergic to? I know what a tough decision this is, and nobody wants to go through it. You don't want your dog to suffer either.I would concentrate on the incontinence, and if you can't fix that, (and the allergies) then I'm afraid I'd think about her quality of life.
OK I would try changing her diet a bit. I would recommend giving her brewers yeast and garlic pills (they love them and are very palitable) this will take care of the itchy red dry skin. I would give her some charcoal paste to help rid her body of toxins, and feed her pasta with V-8 low sodium for 'sauce'. As dogs age it is hard for them to digest hard things like meat and proteins. I would also feed her cottage cheese.