- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


When Do You Know Its Time To Put Pet Down

April 22nd, 2009, 08:15 AM
Im so torn about what to do about my dog. Could you please give me your opinions. I have a 11 year old maltese. She has heart disease and a collapse trachea problem. Since Christmas she has started a cough about 5 times a day (last a few seconds) and some days not at all. During the day on and off while resting she will take deep short breaths. Sometimes when she is overly excited she starts to cough and she will faint for 30 seconds. (this happens around once or every two weeks) Besides that she still is happy, wants to go to the park, plays with the other dog, eats and does not seem to be in pain. I just feel bad that she is having these fainting spells. Do you know when the time is right to put your pet down? Im so torn. Thanks for your opinions. Mindy

April 22nd, 2009, 08:38 AM
First off - take her to the vet and see what the vet says about these "fainting" spells. It could be somethng rather simple.

A good "rule of thumb" to follow with older, ill dogs is this - make a list of the dog's 5 favorite things in the whole wide world. When your dog no longer is enjoying these things, then it is time to have a serious discussion with your vet.

April 22nd, 2009, 08:46 AM
Thank you Sandi. The vet says nothing about the faiting. She says as long as it only last 30 seconds dont worry about it for now. She still likes to eat and her treats and going to the park and playing with the other dog so I guess you answered my question. I just get so stressed when I see her faint and so does my 4 year old daughter. Thanks again. Mindy

April 22nd, 2009, 08:47 AM
Good advice LR

I also believe that if the dog is not in pain and still enjoys life then it is not the time.

Good luck Mindy 10. Enjoy the time you have with your :angel:

April 22nd, 2009, 09:00 AM
You are asking us questions that truly have no definite answers. I suggest that you discuss your fears and concern with your vet. Our vets heal and treat our pets, but they also minister and counsel us humans. For me I was forced to learn that it is quality of life that is important when my beloved dog went into irreversible kidney failure.

I had heard that you can pick your dog's 3 favorite things and use these as a guideline. When you are keeping a pet alive/breathing solely because YOU the person can't say goodbye, it is time.

I've heard people say that if the animal isn't suffering, able to do some normal activities and is still eating and drinking, it is not time. You can find quality of life scales online, but I'm including some links as well. It is a hard choice to make. Consider her quality of life. Discuss with your vet. Based on your description of her life, it sounds like she may still have some time left with you. I think it is seeing her cough that is troubling you so much. Senior pets have special needs. The extra care they require only makes our bond to them stronger. Enjoy and cherish the time you have together, whether it is counted in weeks, months, or years.

Quality of life scale:
For cancer patients, but still good information: