(Closed) When do you know it’s time to let go?

posted 8 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
18637 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I’m sorry about your Shilo!  I guess the thing I would think about is how is her regular quality of life?  Is she in pain constantly?  Does she have problems eating, playing, going to the bathroom?  If those are a yes, you might want to consider putting her down since she probably won’t enjoy laying down and not moving all day long.

Post # 4
2015 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Aww, I’m really sorry 🙁 Have you asked your vet. They could probably give you a really good idea of how much pain she’s in, and then you could make a good decision based on a medical professional’s opinion. That would probably make you feel a little better about it.

I remember how sad I was when we had to put down our family dog. It was really sad. If that happens, people always suggest getting another dog/pet to ease the transition. That’s what we did, and it helped so much.

Keep us posted!

Post # 5
1573 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Why do yo need to put her down, I think you should just let nature takes its course, we had a dog who lived for 12 years and eventually died in his sleep, he had cataracts, moved very slowly but we loved him to pieces, oe day he just laid down and stopped moving it was very sad but he passed away very peacefully


I never understood why animals needed to be put down, just let things happen naturally, if they get sick then do not go to the vet and allow nature to happen

Post # 6
604 posts
Busy bee

We had to put down our dog he was always sick since a puppy, but he lived till 3 or 4 I believe. He was limping, walked slowly, slept all the time and we just knew. He had lots of problems with his backside to put it nicely scooting across the floor and we all agreed he was in lots of pain. So we put him down in August and it was the hardest thing to do. I am glad though because the vet did a autopsy (sp?) and he had cancer. Now he is in a better place I’d like to believe.

Post # 7
1561 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

i would be absolutely torn up to have to do it too…but I am also of the mindset that if it were ME (not to get into anything contraversial) – but if something horrific were to happen and I didn’t have any “quality of life” I wouldn’t want to live that way (again, this is my opinion, please do not get into an argument about it…) – and so – having asked for other’s opinions – maybe it is time to let go. eventually you will mourn over the loss of your beloved pet – but just remember all the great years you had with her! Obviously I’ve never been in the situation you are facing – but you know (if you believe in an afterlife, even for animals) that she will no longer be in pain. Do you really want to keep her around when you know she’s IN pain?

i am sending you hugs and hope you make the right decision in whatever you choose.

Post # 8
494 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

my family put our husky down when it got really bad.  She had liver cancer and it got to the point where she literally couldn’t stand up.  She couldn’t walk outside, she was shaking when she tried to get up and stopped eating…it was really horrible so I think my parents made the right decision.  But I’m glad we waited until we really NEEDED to do it because before it got to that point, she was slow and what not but she still enjoyed things like being pet and getting a few treats.  I didn’t want to rob her of that.

I would watch the eating habits.  Once they stop eating, then they are really suffering 🙁



Post # 9
2820 posts
Sugar bee

Yeah, this is a really hard one. 

My family has had two dogs and both of them ended up dying naturally.  They were definatley a lot slower since they were older but neither one had stopped eating or looked really miserable.  They were still very loving and still seemed to enjoy laying in the sun and cuddling with us.  And they both would a few times a week act like a little puppy running around. 

It was hard last couple months with both of them since they couldn’t control their bowels as much, of course there was no scolding or anything since they couldn’t help it.  I don’t know if those last few months were worth it for either of them but both of them ended up just taking a nap in the afternoon and not waking up.

Post # 10
546 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I agree with talking to your vet.  Are there any medications that can help the dog out on it’s not so good days?  Is your dog otherwise healthy besides just “being old?”

People are always going to have differen’t opinions on when to or if they should put an animal down.  It’s up to you to make this call.

Last May we put my childhood dog down.  He was 13.5 and had spleen cancer.  We literally found out three days before and then he was gone.  We had so many people trying to give differen’t opinions.  It came down to that he could either live a week or a few weeks.  My mom had a terrible time deciding because he was basically her “last child” left in the house.  We put him down that weekend.  My mom felt terrible because just a few days before she thought he was just showing signs of aging.  It turned out it was really the cancer.  Even though he was not in terrible shape when we put him down there was a chance he could have suffered a painful death.  My mom felt guilty puting him down, but she would also have felt guilty if she let him suffer.  He wasn’t going to get better, it was just the difficult decision of when to let him go.

Talk to your vet.  I’ve heard if they are still eating and drinking and seem generally happy then they may be okay.  But there may also be some other problems.  Our dog lost a lot of weight, would randomly fall over, and was become a picky eater.  Turned out it was his cancer.

Sorry, I rambled :S 

Post # 11
520 posts
Busy bee

I have a 16 year old chihuahua and I struggle with the same issues that you do.  My dog is mostly incontinent (I make her sleep in her doggy bed in the kitchen now), cataracts, had a stroke, seizes constantly.  She is on valium and steriods (spelling? ).  I just can’t do it, though.  She’s happy for now.  I don’t know how good her quality of life is, but she feels loved, I do know that.   I’m hoping she will pass in he sleep some day.  The vet says she has a strong heart……  I just don’t know what the right thing to do is….

Post # 12
2007 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I’m so sorry.  That’s one of the most difficult decisions to make.  We waited too long to do it for our old farm dog and I still feel badly about it.  If her bad or not-so-great days outnumber the good then I would call it.  One thing to remember is that in the wild, the sick or weak are often targeted, even by their own pack so it’s still in their genes to hide pain.  If she’s constantly licking her joints that’s a pretty good indicator they’re pretty painful. 

When my aunt had to make the decision (and I did a similar thing for my horse) she broke all the rules and pampered her dog to the best of her abilities.  Her strict diet was thrown out the window and she ate whatever she wanted, got constant loves and high doses of pain meds (because who cares what the long term effects are anymore?) and then the vet came out to the house.  It was all very peaceful. 

I hope you find peace with your decision. 

Post # 13
8353 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2011

I am so sorry for you little girl. She is like my Bernie was. He was 18 years old when we decided it was time. He also had bad days and good days; however, his bad days were more often than his good days. Along with the stuff that you mentioned about your Shillo, Bernie also started having frequent seizures. His body was trying to shut down, but he was trying to hang on. He was very stubborn. We decided that it just wasn’t good for him to continue the way he was. He never complained or acted like he was in pain, but we just knew he had to be. He was so sweet. Putting your Shillo down can only be decided by you. It is a very personal decision. I had to have my Fiance take him to the vet to have it done because I just couldn’t. He didn’t like doing it, but he did it anyway. You have the option of being in the room when they do it, so you can be with them until the very end. My Fiance opted not to do that. It was hard for him too. I suggest that if you decide to do it, have a talk with Shillo to let her know that you really want her to be in a better place. And that you love her so much and that this is hard for you, but you know it will be better for her. Bernie also had a wife, but she passed almost 3 years prior in her sleep. She went to her favorite place and just curled up and went to sleep. I was hoping that Bernie would choose that option too, but he was too stubborn. I couldn’t stand seeing him the way he was anymore. It was just so sad. And I felt guilty all the time and selfish by keeping him as long as I did. You will know when it is time. And it will hurt, but it will be okay. I still cry for my Pepper (his wife) and for him, but I know they are in a much better place now. And this is weird, but occasionally, I swear that I can hear them or see them out of the corner of my eye. It has been 4 years for Bernie and 7 for Pepper and I still miss them.

Post # 14
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Please take your dog to the vet and ask what, if anything, can be done to make her more comfortable. There are a lot of new pain medications on the market that do wonders for older arthritic dogs. I have seen a lot of dogs do very well when their pain is managed appropriately and quality of life is restored.

If treatment doesn’t help your dog, you have to make that tough decision. Your vet can tell you how your dog is doing, but cannot make that call for you. For me personally, I have chosen to put a pet down when keeping them alive was more for my benefit than theirs. Constant, debilitating pain is not something I want any animal to have to live with for the sake of keeping them with me. 

Post # 15
5977 posts
Bee Keeper

I’m so sorry that your poor pooch is going through this! I agree with the previous posters who said to talk to your vet about her quality of life. They might be able to give you something that will make her have better good days and less bad days.

I know it’s tough…she’s a part of your family. I don’t even want to THINK about the day that one of my brother’s dogs has to be put down, and they aren’t even mine! When the time comes where she’s in more pain than not, I think you’ll know that it’s right and she’s ready. It will never be an easy decision, but it will be the right decision to be sure she’s no longer suffering.

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