I have a 14 year old purebred Labrador Retriever, Harley. I adopted him from a breed rescue when he was only 7 years old. I found he had hip dysplasia soon after I adopted him. It didn't bother me at all. I asked about him having surgery, but he too old for the corrective procedure. A total hip replacement was an option, but I just didn't want to put him through it. He is a huge dog (130 lbs, 29.5 in), and his recovery would have been traumatic. He has been on daily medication for his HD and monthly injections. The past year I've really noticed a charge in him. Harley no longer wants to get up, has trouble walking, and is falling a lot. The vet said that his pain and osteoarthritis (because of HD) is only getting worse. The injections and pain medication are no longer doing what they use to. He is not at all overweight, but just a very big dog. I am no considering euthanasia. He is in so much pain, and I've been using a special divice (kind of like a hand held sling) to help him get around. I carry his back end and he walks with his front legs. It helps him get inside and out, and to get a bit of exercise. I've even considered having a custom dog wheelchair made for him. But, he is just so old and in so much pain...I don't know. Should I have him euthanised or not? I would really like some input from others. This is a very hard time for me. I also have 12 other Labs (not a breeder, just a lab lover, and all are rescues), six kids, and a husband who can't seem to take care of himself. lol I was hoping somebody could maybe give me some other options or advice...I'm open to anything. A year ago he showed no sign of slowing down. He ran around like a nut case, played with the other dogs, kids, and still enjoyed hiking. He lived a pain free life...until this year. Again, I need advice and am open to anything.
I know how hard this is, but if you've exhausted all other avenues of treatment, I honestly believe he's been absolutley amazing making it this far. As difficult as this is for you, I think you have to put the dog's pain first now.(I don't mean that you have not). The amount of pain he is suffering is unbelievable. My advice is to see if your vet will come out to your place in the evening and gently see him off. I'm so sorry for you having to make this choice, but everything you have said tells me the poor old boy has had enough. Kind regards, and ((HUGS)) for you both.
Alot of us on here know how hard it is to have to put one down. But, if he is in constant pain it would be the kindest and most considerate thing you could do. We are all selfish and want to keep them as long as we can. I know, mine are like my babies. But, he knows you love him and have given him a good home and it would be love to give him peace.
Treat me kindly, my beloved friend. For no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of mine.
Please donít break my spirit. Your Patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me learn.
Speak to me often, for your voice is the sweetest music to me. As you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when the sound of your footsteps reaches my waiting ear.
Please take me inside when it is cold and wet, for I walk with man now and am not accustomed to the elements. I ask of no greater reward than to lay at your feet beside the fire.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water. For I cannot tell you when I suffer from thirst.
Feed me clean food that I may stay well and strong. For this I need to romp and play or to stand by your side. I will be the first and foremost to defend. I will be willing to protect with my life, should yours be in danger.
And finally, my best friend, I ask of you one more thing. When I am very old and no longer in good heath. When my bones are weak and sight is dark. Do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I am no longer having any fun. Please see to it that my life is taken gently. I can then leave this earth knowing, your voice the last I hear, that my fate was always safest in your hands. And I will know that you loved me. And know that I loved you. And most of all know that when I see you again I will be well and waiting to play once again.
Letting someone you love go is the hardest thing you can do, one of my cats had aids and eventually got to a point where her health had deteriorated so badly I had to make the painful decision to have her put down. I balled my eyes out at the time but knew it was the kindest thing I could have done for her. Listen to your heart and I am sure you will make the right decision.
The same thing happened with me. My little guy Pete developed a spinal issue and lost mobility in his hind legs. I had to take him outside and hold him up with a sling made from a towel so he could go to the bathroom. I would also hold him up and hand feed him because he could no longer stand up to eat from his dog dish. Fortunately, he wasn't in any pain. The day came when that decision had to be made. I knew it was time. It is just something you know in your heart of hearts. Pete was my baby for almost 13 years and it was time for us to part. Just one piece of advice, don't just drop your dog off at the vet and drive off. Stay with him through the procedure, no matter how hard emotionally it may be for you. Your dog unconditionally loved you, give it back to him during his final moments.
Time doesn't heal, it just makes the pain more tolerable.
I send you a prayer for the strength it will take to make this decision. I am sure that you already know what to do. If you do decide to send him gently to the bridge it will me done with love. MY heart goes out to you, as I fear the day that I have to make this decision. (((((((hugs))))))))
I had the smae problem FEb.2008 my little poodle Angel was sick, and deciding to put them down is so hard, but somtimes it just has to be done. I ended up letting her go as hard as it was, and I am thinking maybe you should let your baby go, he can't tell you how much pain he is in. I hope everything goes ok for you, and sorry that you have to go thorugh this, I'm always going to miss my dog, but I have a puppy now, and my little puppy has helped me so much! I'm sure your dogs and family will help you recover the pain of losing your loved lab. Prayers for you.
your dog will let you know when the time is right.
quite a few years ago we adopted a pyrenees with a neurological disorder that made it difficult to walk. she lived well past the neurologists expectations. she got to the point she could no longer remain standing without help. her attitude was still the same and she still made herself part of the family. even though i thought she should be put down, i couldn't do it because she was still trying to be an active member of the family. the time eventually came when her attitude towards life declined and she became distant. at that point i knew for sure she had lost her will to carry on and that was when we made the decision. i am glad i did not put her down when i first thought i should as she gave us one more good year with her.
it is never an easy decision to make, but when the bad days far outweigh the good, and they do not act anymore like the dog you have known all these years, it is time. unfortunately, no one can tell you when that is.
***Edited By: scout1 on 9/15/2008 11:06:16 AM*** Reason: x
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.