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Avatar universal

Did I put my dog down too soon?

We noticed our 14 year dog was starting to sit very slowly but he could get up with no problems he would go for long walks every day, by his choice we tried to give him shorter walks because of his age but when we tried turning back we would put brakes on it and not move making it almost impossible for us to tun around, he was a strong 85 lbs dog. At that point of his life he basically told us where he wanted to go on his walk, he guided us. One day about a week and a half ago we noticed he was having a harder time sitting down, and was walking really slow and could not run after his toys, his favorite play. The next day he went back to normal, walking better, playing eating, we still noticed we was siting very slowly, so we made a vet appointment for the next week. Last Sunday we noticed he was walking very slow again, very low energy and not running after his toys, on Monday he basically could not walk, he refused to drink and eat, even when we tried giving him chicken his favorite, he just looked the other way. We decided to take him to hospital, he was such in bad shape, we had to carry him on my 5 year old stroller to the car, because he wasn't walking and he had to be carried  out of the car on a stretcher to the hospital. They did X-rays and blood tests and found a huge tumor on his stomach, possibly kidney problems, his heart was only up to 80% to the regular size it should be, he was also really dehydrated, the vet said his body was in shock. The vet said he had to be hospitalized for at least 2 days to get fluids and take an ultrasound to see if they could operate or not and handed us a bill for 3000 if we were going to to that, there was also too many guarantees if he was going to live even if he could have surgery because of his age. My husband and I did not have 3000 to leave him at the hospital and that was just to find out if they could operate or not we didn't even know how much more would be for the surgery. We asked if there was anything we could do from home, the vet said he could give him some antibiotics and some fluid but was really concerned about the over night at home, and the medication was just to buy time, to prevent the condition from getting worse, he said he was in really bad shape, at that point my husband looked at me and said I am not taking him home to just suffer, I think we have no option besides to put him down, we asked the vet if in that case that would be the most humane thing to do, he said that needed to be our decision but it was one of the options. My husband and I fought and cried and cried and fought, I wanted to take him home, he didn't think was fair for Mr. Bobo, at the end we put him down. I am still struggling with the decision, I feel like I just gave up on my dog when he needed me the most. My husband and are still fighting about I resent him being there with me, because I think if was there by myself I would had not put my dog down, I know we didn't have the money to treat him, but maybe I could had made his last days more comfortable or maybe we could had tried to take on a credit card or a loan to save him? I don't Know, I just know that having all of those maybes in your head after the fact it's a horrible feeling. I still have to be strong because I have a 5 year old that doesn't really understand what's going on, just this this best buddy is gone. I am not looking for sympathy here, but maybe if someone else has gone through a similar experience, I would love to hear from you. And so just to be clear my husband and I both work full time, but unfortunately still leave paycheck to paycheck, it's not that we chose not to spend the money, we simply didn't have it.
10 Responses
Avatar universal
Choosing to end your friends life is a very difficult and painful decision always filled with regrets and second thoughts. I am sorry for the loss of your friend. When the quality of your pets life is no longer quality both for him or her and you then that is generally the time for euthanasia. Our pets let us know when its time and we are fortunate enough to be able to stop their suffering. I think you made the right decision for him and your family.
1 Comments
I had a similar situation with our lovely JRT female dog this past September. I wanted her to be home and back the next day to see if there was anything we could do to extend our dear ones life. My Wife thought it was cruel to take her home that night and we fought. I eventually gave in and feel horrible. I believe there was a chance we could have extended our dear ones life but not for certain. I still believe though our dog would have preferred to have gone home that night to be with us. If we had to put her down the next day at least she would have had another night at her home surrounded by our love... I'm sorry for your situation...
Avatar universal
I am going through the same agony of wanting to have taken my little Yorkie Maxine home after her being in the hospital overnight.  She had congestive heart failure and wasn't eating and her breathing was labored.  I was told she couldn't breath without oxygen.  The vet said she had valve problems etc.  She was 13 years old.  I wish I would have waited longer to take her to the hospital.  Maybe she was just having problems with the meds.  They wanted to do more tests on her and try another medication but she woiuld have to stay in the oxygen.  (lots of money and no guarantees)  So now she's gone and I don't know if I did the right thing.  Acted too quickly or did the right thing???  I'll never kniow.  She died 10/10/14.
974371 tn?1424656729
I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Mr. Bobo.  From what you are describing, he was an old dog and in pain and nothing you would have done, even spending thousands of dollars, was going to improve his condition and just prolong the inevitable.  I have had many dogs over the years and have had to cross this bridge more often then I like to remember, as many here have, and even with much younger dogs.  I believe it gets down to a quality of life issue.  You say yourself he was not enjoying his walks, playing or eating.  He was pribably in pain and letting you know the best way he could.  Sometimes, easing our beloved pet's suffering is the last act of love we can do for them.  Rather see them gave a peaceful passing then to be miserable and in pain.
Fir yourself and for your child, look up the Rainbow Bridge poem.  It can be a comfort and you can show your child the photo and tell him that is where Mr. Bobo is and is happy and running with all the other dogs.
There is no blame to be had by you or your husband.  
Hugs
Avatar universal
Thank you for sharing your painful story. I lost my darling little Boston terrier just yesterday and I am sick with guilt also. She went from a happy, active older dog a week ago to having a bit of a cough to breathing funny to a constant state of labored, rapid breathing. I took her to an emergency vet in the middle of the night thinking she'd developed an infection and needed an antibiotic.  I left with a diagnoses of lung cancer, some strong pain medication and an antibiotic in case there was also infection. By Wednesday she wouldn't eat, drink or even lay down to sleep. She just stood with her neck stretched out and her sides heaving. She began drooling a little and losing her balance. In my determination not to allow her to slowly suffocate before my eyes I made the call.  In my haste I overlooked the fact that the additional symptoms of no appetite and discomfort laying down were likely due to constipation from the pain meds. I killed my best friend because she was backed up.  Maybe the antibiotic would have cleared up the possible infection and she would have been ok for a while.  Time to get a second opinion or just spoil her and love her. But it is too late and I'll never forgive myself. Never.
I'm sure you've resolved your issue by now, but maybe your husband has the same guilt. In the moment what I was doing was a mercy and an act of love. The realization hit me like a truck today. She would have died from this eventually but I'll always feel like I robbed her and my family of precious time, like I gave up without a fight.
I do wish I had someone like you yesterday to make me stop and think, but I also know I acted out of love, though rashly. I hope you've forgiven your husband, reading your story was a great comfort to me.
2 Comments
I really don't think you made the wrong choice given that your beloved dog had lung cancer. Even in humans lung cancer has a poor prognosis. I hope by now you have come to terms with your loss and have realized that your actions were out of compassion and love. I am sure of it.
I really don't think you made the wrong choice given that your beloved dog had lung cancer. Even in humans lung cancer has a poor prognosis. I hope by now you have come to terms with your loss and have realized that your actions were out of compassion and love. I am sure of it.
Avatar universal
I lost my BT last Tuesday and I wonder if I could have had just one more day with him.  He was only 7 and I had him for 5 of them.  He was diagnosed with prostate cancer despite being fixed.  He was so beautiful.  The day came where he lost so much weight (he was diagnosed a month before) and started to cough like crazy. We made the appointment the next day just to see if we could ease his pain and find out how much more time he had.  Unbeknownst to us, it would be that day he would be pyt down.  I only had an hour with him because I came straight from work to the appointment.  My brother told me my Tres was coughing all day.  I contemplated about keeping him one more day, but then he started to cough uncontrollably and I knew I was being selfish, but one more day where I could have spoiled him like crazy... I dont know if he would have enjoyed it but the guilt of not giving him his special day really haunts me.
1 Comments
I just went through the same thing. My Layla had lymphoma cancer. And she had one bad nite of labored breathing, now looking back, I bet she was just tired. Her tongue was a deep red, changed color too. So I freaked out she was in pain and put her down the next day. We went for a walk before taking her in. She walked same walk as always just a lot slower. I am hating myself for letting go of her this past Monday, June 5th, 2017. And her vent wasn't in til Tuesday.  Right there was a perfect sign I should of waited. I totally regret not bringing her home after that last walk. I regret not laying on a blanket with her at the park,  alone and just talk. I think she still had a good month in her...but I got scared she was struggling:"(
Avatar universal
I had my darling baby Millie put to sleep 9 weeks ago and i am tortured. She was 17, lots of different little ailments but it wasnt as though she was riddled with cancer or such.  I cannot come to terms with what i had done. I had planned on one more day on drip at the vets (she had been for two days) and a bit more pain relief for her arthritis but i for some insane selfish reason decided the previous day that she and i had both had enough. She struggled to walk that day, and looked kinda sad, tail down and i know she didnt have great quality of life but i wonder was she as bad as i thought she was. I am thinking did i do it because i was fed up spending money on vets (lots but i thought i never minded what i spent when it came to my baby) did i resent being stuck in the house more than if i didnt have her there on her own. Was I tired of feeling stressed about her & her eating & money&lack of sleep &&&&&&&& on and on it goes. i feel so guilty so so guilty I already suffer with depression and anxiety and am scared this will break me. She was my sole companion i lived and breathed for her and I sent her away.
Avatar universal
I had my darling baby Millie put to sleep 9 weeks ago and i am tortured. She was 17, lots of different little ailments but it wasnt as though she was riddled with cancer or such.  I cannot come to terms with what i had done. I had planned on one more day on drip at the vets (she had been for two days) and a bit more pain relief for her arthritis but i for some insane selfish reason decided the previous day that she and i had both had enough. She struggled to walk that day, and looked kinda sad, tail down and i know she didnt have great quality of life but i wonder was she as bad as i thought she was. I am thinking did i do it because i was fed up spending money on vets (lots but i thought i never minded what i spent when it came to my baby) did i resent being stuck in the house more than if i didnt have her there on her own. Was I tired of feeling stressed about her & her eating & money&lack of sleep &&&&&&&& on and on it goes. i feel so guilty so so guilty I already suffer with depression and anxiety and am scared this will break me. She was my sole companion i lived and breathed for her and I sent her away.
675347 tn?1365464245
COMMUNITY LEADER
I think we get very tuned in to our loved one's needs when they are getting towards the end of their lives. Please don't blame yourself. But we always do when a beloved dog -or any loved family member -passes on. We always see all the things we might have done wrong, and blame ourselves.

It sounds as if you were tuned to her general malaise in life. She was living, maybe still eating something, maybe still getting around, but was she happy, and was she in some low level chronic pain and discomfort? I think you sensed that she wasn't okay.

I am sorry for the loss of your Millie. Sometimes these ol worn out bodies are a great relief to get out of. She will love you forever. My own dog (who passed away 5 years ago now) showed me she still loves me and is safe in Spirit.
Avatar universal
I put my little Maltese Henry to sleep in January of 2016. I also feel guilty for putting him down. He had arthritis and I believe, some kind of dimentia. He cried every time I left the house and wouldn't stop. Then when I was with him he would sleep during the day and cry and be unsettled all night long. I tried many medications and they seemed to make him worse. The vet said his blood work was great, except that he was pre-diabetic. He had no explanation for his other problems, like not having full use of his hind legs and getting stuck behind doors and not being able to figure out how to get out. He gave him medication for arthritis and canine dimentia. Financially I have had a hard time the past few years and I was living with my boyfriend who was seeing his ex girlfriend behind my back. He told me that I had to move out and my best option financially was to move in with my mother. My mother wasn't very supportive regarding my dog and she was intolerant of him crying when I left the house. She also wouldn't watch him when I left. So at 15.5 years old I felt that I had no choice but to say goodbye to my dearest sweetest and most loyal friend in the whole world. It's almost been a year and I cry about his ending often. He was so special to me and I feel like I let him down because I couldn't provide a good life for him in the end. Most of his life I was financially stable so he lived in a beautiful condo with me near the beach. I sold my home near the end of his life, because I needed the money. The recession and its aftermath took a lot from me. Worst of all, my dear little boy Henry. He was a good boy. I miss him so much.
Avatar universal
You definitely made the right decision. Don’t ever regret it or think you didn’t do enough. You were there for him every step of his life and the last act of love a human has for their pet is to be there for them in the end! As for the vet, he should have straight up told you “Yes, it is the humane thing to do at this point!” When I asked my vet if he thought I should put down my border collie because she 10 years old and went into both kidney and liver failure for unknown reason .... he said he believed that would be the best solution. It wasn’t the answer I wanted but he was honest and I appreciated and respected him for saying what he did.
Why theses vets get so spineless is beyond me!!! They leave the uneducated in veterinary medicine pet owners make a decision that they know nothing about. Then the owner has to make it based on love and money and doubt their decision for the rest of their own lives.  I know, I’ve been there many of times in my life and I’m sorry your suffering with your decision.  Your husband made the right decision, your dog would have suffered greatly  ... you should thank him for making a decision that you were not strong enough at the time to make. Not only a decision, but the right decision.  That’s what being there for your pet when it needs you most, is all about. RIP Bobo <3
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