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Avatar universal

When is it ok to put my Daschund down?

My daschund is 17+ yrs old with a lot of medical conditions.  She urinates throughout the downstairs although my husband and I are home all day and continually carry her outside to pee. She has a skin condition and has been on and off antibiotics for yrs. Fur falls out and her skin is scaly and crusty with sores  even though I continue to  bathe her with medicated shampoo from the vet.  She has had 7 operations for stones throughout her life and has always been on medicated food from the vet.  She is blind in 1 eye that constantly weeps again with medication .  The vet costs are outrageous but we have done our best even getting her own credit card to pay for her healthcare.  I am so upset, she is our family and I don't want to lose her but on a disability income with our own health issues, it is becoming very difficult for us to maintain care for her.  Am I being selfish in considering to put her down.  She still eats but vomits occasionally and still seems to have a lot of spunk at times.  She does soundly sleep all day and is not interested in walks like she use to be.  We let her walk around outside in the yard instead of on a leash.  She is confused a lot and seems disoriented.  Please help me in making a decision.  Thank you.
14 Responses
5685357 tn?1372426117
it's a heartbreaking decision, but if you ask your veterinarian what they would do if she was their own dog of 17 years...they should be able to be honest and  guide in the right direction. vets & their staff are usually very connected with patients and treat each patient as their professional responsibility. my mantra  is that euthanasia is our last and most important act of caring.
as humans we seem to believe it's best to euthanize one day too soon than one hour too late when an animal is suffering, but regardless of  your immediate decision don't forget that she'll be awaiting you at the rainbow bridge & her spirit will never leave you.  thanks so much for the wonderful life you've had with her.
974371 tn?1424656729
I had Doxies years ago and one of my heart dogs was a Doxie.
Wow, 17 1/2 years old!!  You have certainly been through a lot with her and obviously have made sure she got the best of care.  The skin issue may be a hormone or autoimmune disorder, which can be very hard to treat and can go systemic.
It often comes down to a quality of life issue for me.  She really won't get better and are her days miserable?  It is often the last act of love we can do for our loved companions.
We were discussing this recently.  Please see the discussion under the topic "dog almost 15 with kidney disease"
1696489 tn?1370825574
Hello, Sue.  I think you have already come to your own (correct) conclusion.  It is time.  I'm sorry.  Blessings - Blu
Avatar universal
Thank you for your response.  Every little bit of support helps in this hard decision.  I don't want to play God but I guess I just needed another dog lover to give me some insite.  thank you so much!
Avatar universal
Thank you Perry for your  help and support.  It does mean a lot coming from another animal loving person to help me in this decision.  The last dog I had was a miniature poodle who I put down when she was 15. She had arthritis so bad and was unable to stand to urinate without help.  That was a little easier for me to know that she was ready to go although it took me 10 yrs to get another pet who I rescued which is my doxie at 9 months old.  She had been abused and was able to live a pampered life till now at 17 1/2 yrs old.  I guess this is another reason why it is so hard for me to let her go. All the dogs that I ever had were wonderful companions and always friendly and lived long lives.  I always had 2 dogs at the same time and I do have another right now, a chihuahua jack russel who will really miss her older sister.  Thanks again for your help.
1436598 tn?1332900133
Just wanted to throw some support your way. I spent last night starting to confront this same thing with my oldest.  Like Perry said, it really is our last act of caring we can give to our beloved animals.

Sending thoughts and hugs your way.
Avatar universal
Thank you all for your responses.  You have helped me prepare for what I know I have to do.  I hope I have the strength to actually follow through with saying good by.  My heart is broken.  
Avatar universal

My heart goes out to you as I am in the same situation as you.  I have a 15 year old mini-dachshund who is my best friend in the whole wide world.  He was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in January.  Against all odds and my diligent love and care for him he pulled through.  His CHF hasn't worsened (which is good).  However, I was just dealt with another blow.  The vet believes it to be his back.  I have been at the vet's office each and every day last week for small dose steroid shots and was sent home with Medacam to give him once a day.  Since Friday, he has not eaten (other than the Hills c/d and I/d food I mix up in a blender with pedialyte and have to syringe feed him.  I started doing this when he was first diagnosed with the CHF and have continued twice a day but he would also eat normal dog food on top of it prior to Friday.  Now he has no appetite, seems as though he doesn't know me at times and just basically disinterested in everything.  Although he did wag his tail at me this morning and followed me into the bathroom.  It brought me unbelievable joy because he doesn't wag his tail much anymore when it used to wag constantly.  He does drink water but looks a bit confused when he is at his water dish. I don't know what is causing this and I feel helpless.

I am in the same boat. I cannot tell you how much money I spent in vet bills and I don't care frankly because I would go to the ends of the earth.  I go outside and cry uncontrollably because I do not want to see my little guy get upset.  I am uncertain how much longer I will have him with me and I cherish every moment.  I, like you, find it hard to make a decision as to his suffering.  I keep hoping he will bounce back like he did with his CHF.  I cannot find myself waking up one day and him not being there.  

You are not alone Sue and I am sending hugs your way.  I know I sure could use one right now as well.
Avatar universal
I am sending you a big hug right now.  These baby's that we have are our best friends and part of our family.  Like you I can't bring myself to think that I will wake up and my Dasi (her name) won't be there in her bed waiting for me.  Although you know it is the inevitable decision, it doesn't make it any easier to leave go.  Dasi has brought us so much joy and laughter as you know they are the biggest clowns and the funniest dogs.  Winter is coming and it would break my heart even more to know that she is having more difficulty getting around in the colder weather then to give her peace.  Like Perry said, one day sooner than one day late suffering in pain.  Like you, I am just trying to take one day at a time saying goodby and feeling ok in my heart that I am doing what is right.  I will keep you in my thoughts and know that you too have been a great "mom" throughout all these years.  Financially it has been difficult but worth it in the end, otherwise I would have given her up years ago.  Once you adopt a pet it is for the life of them. You accept that responsibility when you make that decision to accept your new addition and I have always believed that.  My heart goes out to you but I know you are doing what is best for your mini.
Avatar universal
Thank you Sue.  I will keep you and Dasi in my thoughts and prayers.

Enjoy the good days that you have with her as I do with Mylo. A jolt in energy and wag of a tail makes my day.

After a week from hell (excuse the French), trying to figure out what the problem is with Mylo.  As I stated in my previous post, I took him in last Monday because on Sunday night his stomach was having spasms (it looked like a baby kicking, no kidding) and he was in severe pain.  His belly looked like a little balloon.  I thought it might be fluid backing up in his belly, his kidneys and liver failing or even bloat.  I called the vet emergency because Mylo was in so much pain you could see it in his eyes.  He vomited and had diarrhea.  The vet advised to bring him in right away first thing in the morning.  He thought it was something to do with his stomach and gave me meds to stop the vomiting and diarrhea.  After him still not getting better and while at the water bowl his back legs were "skating". So I took him back to the vet and he advised it was now his back.  This is when we started the prednisone and Metacam nightmare.  

I have since taken him off the Metacam as of yesterday and requested tramadol.  I don't want to give it to him unless absolutely  necessary because of the medication overload for my poor little guy.  

Well low and behold, I came home from work yesterday and Mylo got up and greeted me with his tail wagging.  He even ate a piece of low sodium lunch meat from me (he has been snubbing all food).  He even trotted a bit.  He is more alert again.  He didn't seemed confused at the water bowl either.  Although he is still sticking his nose up at his regular food.  He even went for a little walk with me and was sniffing around like a little hoover.  I am sure all these meds  raise havoc on their little bodies.

I know we wish that our dear little furry family members will bounce back. It is just scary because you never know how long it is going to last.   Mylo defeated all odds surviving this long with the congestive heart failure and our vet is amazed that his CHF hasn't worsened.  Now with this back problem, I keep hoping that he will amaze us all again.  He even was following me around this morning so I feel that I had a little miracle.  Sure he is slow.  But hey, so am I!  

Just knowing that we are not alone in this helps some.  I know the pain in our hearts is unbearable sometimes.  I can't tell you how many times I have cried uncontrollably.  I turn into a complete train wreck and cry without Mylo seeing me because I don't want him to pick up on the sadness because he can sense it.  

I promised my little guy that I would fight for him since the moment I brought him home when he was 5 weeks old.  I will continue to do so until he lets me know he has had enough. I try to block that time from my mind and live day to day but I know it is hard. I, like you, do not want to play God. This is what makes it so hard.

I will continue to  keep you and Dasi in my thoughts and prayers.  Please let me know how your little Dasi is doing.  


Avatar universal
Thank you for your support, I,too will keep you and Milo in my thoughts and prayers.  We have decided this was the right time for her to go to her resting place.  In the next few weeks we will be saying goodby for now to Dasi. Although I can't bear to think about it, I know I am doing what is best.  I am now signing off of this site so you probably won't hear from me again.  I do appreciate all of those who did help me with their support.

Thanks again, Sue
Avatar universal
Sue....I definitely know what you are feeling!!!! My husband and I are now disabled and HAD three dogs up until 2 months ago.  The one dog I recued was severely  abused and lost one eye.  At first, he was ferocious and would bite through our hands, mouth, toe and legs.  Clearly a sane person would say "No Way Are We Going o Keep This DOG!" But, after working with him for a year...I NEVER found such a passionate, loving, kind dog as Snoops.  A few months ago he developed CHF.  He was put on meds and we were told from the specialist that our precious dog, Snoops wasn't even near to leaving this earth.  A few months later...his breathing started to labor and we took him back to the heart specialist.  Now you must know that animal specialty hospital prices are very high.  My husband and I continued to make the extravagant payments.  The quality of love from our dog was way too difficult to give up!  Upon that second visit to the specialist...she told me that the dog was fine.  They increased his meds and sent us home.  As soon as we arrived home, he started throwing up.  My daughter and I turned right around and ended back in the ER.  Needless to say...Snoops was put to sleep within the hour.  He was totally in congestive heart failure. To say that it doesn't hurt would be careless on my part, because Snoops was my companion. He followed me ever where. When I paced over bills...he would pace with me! I lost someone very valuable that night.  However, I know to this day that no matter how hard putting a dog down is for anyone.  You must know that the quality of your animal's life is even more precious!!!! Snoops was suffering!  Our family has put three dogs down now from previous years and the two that are remaining are extremely sick.  I watched my husband  put a daily IV line into our first dog named, Tazzy to keep him alive.  The dog had to take tons of meds.  Tazzy kept hiding from us, because he knew it was his time to go. Only you, know how much your dog can go through, before that finally decision is made,  and trust me you are going to feel terrible any way you look at that decision! Sooooo....Take it day by day...watch his quality of life and decide when you feel it's too much to watch him suffer!  I have been mourning Snoops death for 2 months now.  I have a stone with his memory in my backyard and a tribute to him at my front door.  My heart has slowly started to heal and now it's time to let go and move onto the next dog.  His name is Galileo and is partially blind.  Sometimes it's important to put another animal in your place after the mourning time has subsided.  I will pray for your decision as well as you dog and hope that God makes it easier on your for that final moment in time.  God Bless!!!
Avatar universal
Thank you for your response.  I appreciate all who have shared their story and know that I am not alone.  We are the animal caretakers and only another like soul can understand the relationship we develop with our 4 legged adopted love ones.  You are special.  thanks again.
Avatar universal
My thoughts and prayers are with you during this tough time.  


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