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Keely2009 February 29th, 2012 04:51 PM

How to know when it's time
I am sure this question has been asked many times before but it it always harder when you are the one facing it. It is hard to say how old my lab mix is but she's definitely in the senior category. She is maybe 10-13 years old. In the last year I have seen a lot of changes in her....slowing down, harder time climbing stairs, not as excited etc. I have also noticed that she lays differently, her hips laying wider on the floor then they used to which I always assumed meant her hips were going. She never showed any signs of pain, just more age & being uncomfortable from time to time & not being able to jump up anymore so I've never done x-rays.

Today she was inside not doing any activity, just laying on the floor getting a tummy scratch & when she got up she started limping. I assumed she may have pulled a muscle or something from stretching the wrong way but then a few minutes later she fell down a flight of stairs head first with her hips spreading all the way flat out.

She doesn't seem to be in a lot of pain but I also don't want to push it until she is in pain and her quality of life is not as good and then I could of ended it before she went through this. Another thing to consider is that I am 38 weeks pregnant right now and in the coming months my time will be spent less with her and more with the new baby. We also have another dog & 2 cats so my hands will be full and I am just trying to figure out when you know & when to draw the line so I can put it in my head what to look for and will know when it comes.

So anyone that has been through this did you know when it was time in a situation like this so that you don't wait too long?

Rgeurts February 29th, 2012 05:06 PM

Hi keely2009,

This is just my personal opinion, so take from what you will. My family and I are dealing with something similar, except that our old boy has cancer. People assume that when a dog gets older and starts slowing down, it's time to let them go. We would never even consider that for an elderly human family member. We would do anything we could to help including medication to make them more comfy, helping them physically get around etc. (well, most people would. But then you have the ones who stick their elderly in a home and forget them :mad:) Why should it be any different when it comes to our fur family?

Our boy has arthritis and multiple surface tumors. The tumors are ulcerated. They don't hurt him, but it does require a lot of care. We clean them and put steroid cream on them twice a day. He is also on oral antibiotcs. For the arthritis, he's on Metacam once a day. He is also on Gabapentin and Tramadol twice a day, and occasionally, one more at bedtime. He doesn't play much anymore, but he's old. It doesn't mean his quality of life is gone, because it isn't. He still enjoys his treats. He gets excited to go for a car ride or a little walk just down the block (it's all he can handle these days). We have a 2 story home with a walkout basement. So when he needs to go out, there's no avoiding the stairs. Our vet gave us a great suggestion. You take 2cloth shopping bags, cut each one down both sides and slide one under his tummy in the pelvic area and the other under his chest and use the handles to help him up and down the stairs. Does it take extra effort? Sure it does. But we love him dearly and it's most definitely worth it.

We have very busy lives as well, but we make time for the boy who has always been there for us. Unconditional love goes both ways :)

Good luck :fingerscr

[B][I][U]She doesn't seem to be in a lot of pain but I also don't want to push it until she is in pain and her quality of life is not as good and then I could of ended it before she went through this.[/U][/I][/B]

There are many options to help her through the harder years, and keep some of that quality of life, without considering euth.

This is a great website to help educate owners to know when it's time and also offers treatment and care options. Some people are willing to go the extra mile for their beloved furkids, others are not. It's really up to the individual.


marko February 29th, 2012 06:07 PM

This is a very difficult time that most pet lovers have to deal with eventually...
Alice Villalobos DVM developed a "scale" on when is the right time and I think it's quite good. Here's the link and I hope it may help. [url][/url]

sandyrivers March 1st, 2012 05:07 AM

is there ever a right time?
This is a very difficult question, and there are no one answers.

We love our pets, this is why we gave them a good home and a good life.
Because we love them.
Sometimes loving them can be as heartbreaking as letting them go.

Only you will know when the time comes.
When you see that there is more suffering than good times, it may be the time.
Yet caring for an old and needy pet can also be very rewarding for both of you, sharing and enjoying the love you had over the years for each other, when you know time is counted...
But this is a very personal decision you will have to make on your own.

I wish you the best of luck in these difficult times.
Many of us have been there, it is not easy.


Floppy Dog March 14th, 2012 06:49 PM

Tough decision. I certainly feel for you. I've always let my pet tell me when it's time. If my pet isn't interested in food and water, it's time to go. As long as I could medicate and treat the symptoms of whatever they had, and the pet was still eating and drinking, I thought it was all good.

erykah1310 March 15th, 2012 12:27 PM

I have a list of things I feel are important to my dogs quality of life around here. Its my personal views and thoughts, I have written it out and gave it to my parents and my vet and told both that if ever they saw me prolonging my dogs suffering for my selfish reasons to show me what is checked off on the list and that had my heart not been attached to the dog like it is that I would say their quality of life has diminished.
People always say you know when its time, and I hated getting that answer. I always thought "clearly I don't because I'm asking" but if you are just in the asking stages, trust me its not time. Its strange how it happened every time for me, but one day I would see something happen and it went from the thought of "its coming soon" to "it's time now" and i have never second guessed myself afterwards about the descision.

Soundy March 16th, 2012 12:02 PM

I think for us, with Buster, it was seeing how fast he deteriorated. It's barely been a month since we started really noticing there was anything wrong with him, starting with how he wasn't really grooming himself: he was a Persian but kept himself quite well groomed, so when the knots started getting noticeable it was clear something was off. Then about three weeks ago my wife noticed a big lump on his head, just above his right eye. We were concerned but thought it might have just been from getting nipped by the dog or something.

A week later, we noticed his right eye seemed to be bulging out, and he was really slowing down in getting around the house, and we realized he was no longer jumping up on the bed for skritches after we'd tucked in.

We took him to the vet, and she said it seemed like it may be a tumor, but could also have been an abscess or infection. She gave us some antibiotics for him and said to come back in a week for a follow-up. She also noted that they could do surgery to remove the lump, but that could cost several thousand dollars and if it was in fact a tumor, there'd be little else they could do for him.

Two days later we saw that he could barely make it down the stairs; my wife noticed that his right eye didn't move to follow her the way the left eye did, and then she watched him squat and pee in the middle of the floor and then just sit in the puddle.

It was that point that we decided to book him for a final visit that evening. When we got home from work, we spent some time giving him a bit of his favorite Friskies, giving him his ear and head skritches, and just showing him he was loved... and then off to the vet to release him from his pain.

That was about a week ago. It's still tough, but we know it was time for him. He was 11, still just middle-aged for a cat, but he had a good run.

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