How do you know its time; Euthanasia? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-06-2008, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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How do you know its time; Euthanasia?

Hey guys. I have a really really tough decision to make about my dog and I am afraid that I am not looking at it clearly since I love him so much. So I was hoping that if I describe the situation then you guys could give me asome advice/opinions and support. I am so torn.
My dog is an 11 year old mini schnauser. I have had him since kindergarten and love that boy with all my heart. He was semi-recently diagnosed with cancer and has a mass cell tumor on his left hind thigh. It started out about the size of a golf ball when he was diagnosed, but now it is about the size of a tennis ball. When the vet first looked at it he said that there were a few options (amputation, removing the tumor etc) but none of those were practical because of my dogs age and stuff. So we have decided to just wait it out and give him the time that he has left until we feel he is suffering and have to put him down. Well as the tumor has gotten bigger it has stretched the skin and the top part of it is rubbed raw and open, I have to admit it is not a pretty sight. He does lick at it alot, so I assume that it does bother him but other than licking at it he acts perfectly normal and happy. He still has full mobility and runs around the yard like a little puppy, he is always wagging his tail, and he eats normally. He has been having some problems controling going to the bathroom (like he doesn't always make it outside on time) but I don't know if that is a huge issue since it seems sorta normal for an older dog.
I know that the time is coming when I am going to have to say goodbye to him but I don't want to do it too soon. At the same time I don't want him to ever have to suffer and could never forgive myself if I waited too long. Have any of you guys had to put down a pet? How do you know when it's time? What do you think I should do?
Thanks so much for your help.
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-06-2008, 11:55 AM
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Bring him to the vet and see what they think you should do. i had to put down my 11 year old Shih-Tzu awhile ago. she had a mass behind her eye and while i was at school went into shock and started spazzing. my parents brought her to the vet and had her put down so she didnt suffer. i had her ever since i was 2 and i never got to say good bye
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-06-2008, 01:36 PM
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it is a really hard thing to do but making a pet suffer isnt right either. We got a wired haired terrir/ yorkshire cross puppy when I started 3rd grade (13 years ago). Anyhow my parents separated/divorced and the dog basically ended up to be mine. I moved out of my dads last summer after I finished school. Zukie was getting around slower and had a small tumor on her head and was going blind and deaf. I felt really bad for her because I couldnt have her in my apartment. My dad said that he would care for her and it wouldnt be a problem. Well my dads new bitch (opps I mean girlfriend now wife) took her to the vet and had her put down this spring. I came home for a weekend and my dog was gone. she said that Zukie went to the bathroom in the house so it was time... they were gone nearly all day what is a poor dog to do? i was super upset and still sour about it. My dad and it just got married in july (i refused to go to the wedding)

Anyhows I guess I wanted to be there when she went. She used to follow me trail riding and we brought her along to the longer weekend shows with us. She behaved really well and was not a loud dog (which most small dogs are). I feel really bad for her cause she just got dropped off and the vets and that was that. If i would have been by her side when she was put down she wouldnt have been alone... 13 years is a long time to be with something and she was taken without me getting to say "goodbye"

Sorry to get off topic...but if you feel that your dog is starting to suffer and life is hard for him i think helping him out would be the best for him. As hard as it is to even think of....

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post #4 of 9 Old 08-06-2008, 02:04 PM
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I think your little guy needs more of a chance. If he isn't in pain and still has his personality I would see if the vet could remove the tumor or remove the leg before I put him down. I have a little female Scottie that I ran over with my truck last year. She has lost all use of one of her front legs. We decided to let her keep the leg as it sort of helps her with balance but she is still a 3 legged dog. She gets around fine and is still a happy dog.
We have had several dogs put down but its been a last resort, loss of quality of life or a pain issue.
best of luck to you in your decision making. Its never an easy one to make and only you can make it.

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-06-2008, 02:39 PM
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I'm sad for you to be faced with this decision. We had a beagle mix put down a few years ago. He, too, was diagnosed with cancer and he had multiple small tumors on his chest. Our vet told us when we noticed his quality of life decrease it would be time to say goodbye. We knew when he wasn't interested in food anymore (he was a beagle, after all :) ) he was done fighting. I'm with Vida, is it possible to have the tumor removed? What does the vet say now that it's bigger and has an open sore?

Angel, I'd still be sour at your dad's b****, too! Poor Zukie. :(

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post #6 of 9 Old 08-06-2008, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys so much for your support. I am so sorry for all of your losses that you have shared with me.
We are going to go ahead and take my dog to the vet again and see if we can get some mild painkillers/ antibiotics in case it is bothering him and then just wait til he starts acting like he is suffering to think further about euthanising him.

Oh and as for the question about other options we could look into, surgery is not really an option in my eyes, he is just too old and I think surgery would be harder on him than anything especially based on the depth of the tumor. I wish it was an option though.

Again, thank you all so much for your help.
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-06-2008, 07:40 PM
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Let us know how it goes at the vet. I know sometimes those tumors can be messy and gross but just remember if you grew a tumor he would take care of you.

Angel- thats an awful story :( I hope as soon as she can't hold her functions someone puts her down in the same manor. Don't you just hate step-witches At least you got invited to your dads wedding. I never got an invite or even met the b%^$# before.

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-07-2008, 11:07 PM
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It is a hard decision to make but it is (at least of me) harder to watch a pet suffer. I have had to put several down due injuries and other causes. A couple, I had to have someone else do it. It is never an easy decision, or should it be.

A good cowboy always has a better horse at the end of the ride, a poor cowboy will be afoot reguardless of the horse.

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post #9 of 9 Old 08-07-2008, 11:19 PM
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I had to have my dog put down last November. She had cancer. She loved to sleep on my bed and when I went to college she would go upstairs every time she came in from outside to check if I somehow snuck in without her seeing me. So, of course I came home to see her and say goodbye and be there for her and I knew it was time. She laid in bed with me when i first went to sleep but I could tell she was uncomfortable. She left shortly after and slept somewhere else which was highly unusual for her. She just started acting more distant and just seemed "ready to go". It's still hard to think about though. She was the best dog. I miss her VERY much still. It's still weird coming home and not having her greet me! But I didn't want her to suffer. It wasn't fair to her. Like they say. I'm sure you will know when it is time.

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