I have a 13 year old female shihtz tzu dog. Here is her back ground, She lost here eye about 6 years ago and has always seemed to do fine. This past winter. I noticed that she was really stiff in the mornings, and would yelp when anyone picked her up. The vet diagnosed her with arthrits , and put her on some pain managemnet. She has biten my 13 year old daughter, and almost got me last week. All she really wants to do is sleep, last week, she had a recheck, and I now found out that she is in the begining stages of cancer, also her kidney test showed that they are slowly shutting down going to shut down. The only eye that she has, has a cateract. Please don't think she is neglected, she is very spoiled, has her teeth clean regualry, groomed constantlly and travels every where with us. The advice I need, is how will I know when the time comes the I will have to put her asleep? I don't want her to suffer, I also don't want to take a chance with her biting someone else. What do I do?? Any one ever been in this situation? would like to hear some suggestions?
First I will say I am so sorry you are having to think about this decision. It is not an easy one to make. We had to have 2 dogs put to sleep a little over a year ago. It is not an easy decision. Our rule of thumb is to look at the quality of life your dog has. Is she still able to run and play, is she acting her self, are her physical conditions limiting her activities?...etc...You must weigh all the options on the quality of life she is leading. Our vet was wonderful and gave us honest answers when our loved ones were suffering. They are often a great source of comfort as well. I wish you the best in making this tough decision.
I know it is so hard to go through this. I just had to put down out 16yr old lab/shar-pei mix.
As crazy as this sounds, talk to her. Tell her you need to know when she is ready. She will give you a sign. It has worked for everydog I have owned. You don't have a question in your mind after everything is said and done.
Also if she has cancer, and kidney failure, all she will do is sleep. She is probably in alot of pain. Kidney failure is not painful, and the dog just tends to fade away. Cancer on the other hand can be very painful.
I would take into consideration, is she eating? That will probably be your first sign she isn't right. Good luck, and I hope remembering the good times will bring you joy during your time of pain.
I'm sorry to hear that your Shih Tzu isn't doing well. I had one many years ago. They are very sweet dogs. It's such a hard decision to make. You start doubting yourself and asking yourself "How can I play God?". Fortunately, we are able to have them put out of their misery, unlike what humans have to endure when they are suffering. I made the choice 5 years ago to have my 14 yr old Boston put down, and later looked back and asked myself how I could have waited so long to make the decision. She was sleeping about 22 hrs a day. She had gone blind from cataracts but got around fine for about 2 years. But then her hearing had faded and she seemed to lose her other senses that had helped her get around. It was when she started bumping into walls and doors and walking a lot in a circle looking like she was lost that I finally realized that it was time. She actually kept eating, throughout. The only time that she was awake, though, was to eat and go outside. Because she slept so much she also had been wetting her bed. I was lucky that she never seemed to be in pain. It can be a very hard decision. You'll know when its time. Good luck!
I too have a 13 year old chihuahua who has cataracts, sleeps all day and has arthritis. Recently--in the past 3 days she won't eat. I've taken her to the vet and he said she is old and her kidneys are weak, her heart is leakingand she has something wrong with her live. I inherited her 5 years ago from my grandmother when she was diagnosed with alzhemiers and put in a nursing home. She was a very nippy little dog who did not like anyone. She so changed in the time she has lived with my daughters and I. We love her so much. I have never had to make a decision like this in my life. I truly appreciate the advice about talking to the dog and telling them to give you a sign. I will do that. I hope it works.
I have what I call the big 5. Eat Drink Pee Poop Get up with little or no assistance
If 2 or more pertain, time to really think about it. 3 or more, it's probably time. If this dog is suffering regardless of the big 5, it's time. This is the toughest decision you'll make in this dog's life. You'll "what if" and "if only" youself for a long time, but please remember, this is the most loving thing you can do for a suffering animal. If this dog seem to be able to manage the pain, maybe put it off and let's see, but if it whines alot or cries when handled, it's time. Try to remember this dog has lived a very full life, and has reached the age where alot of others didn't. It's a bit easier when you think of the many years you had, and that your dog was blessed with the full long life of love. This stage comes aftr a long grieving period, not right wawy. You never get over losing them before their time. It is our wish as living beings for life to extend to the fullest. Your wonderful dog has been blessed indeed.If this dog is suffering and you prolong the decision, you keep him/her alive for YOU and that's not fair. You really don't sound like that kind of person. Your decision will be the right one, at the right time. Best of wishes