My last dog had cancer at 3 years old and I struggled with the same question - the end was clearly very near, but how did I know if she was ready to go? My oncologist told me this: dogs are put here to make us happy and fulfill our lives. When the wagging tail stops, and the happy, panting smile goes away, it's time to do the kind thing.
The first day I came home and Daisy didn't get up to greet me was the day I knew. I gave her one more week, and let her go before she lost every inkling of that spark in her eye...it would not have been fair for her to have to show any other side of herself to me without that spark after generously igniting my life with joy for 3 full years.
After a wonderful 9 years of joy and love and happiness, if you see that Ginger has become irritable and has developed tremors, it is clear that she is no longer enjoying her life with the zest she once had. My advice is to always let them go with a bang...fading away is miserable for both you and your dog.
Hang in there. No matter what you decide, keep strong, as your dog will absolutely sense your sadness, making her last days miserable as she realizes she cannot comfort you. It is your job now to comfort her.
Good luck with your decision.
I don't know.....I mean...I have a dog that is not doing well, and I just don't know if I want to put her down or just let her go natural. If I can keep her comfortable, I am going to try to go that route.
I have really struggled with this because I didn't know if it was because I did not like seeing her in the state she is in now, and I thought that is not a reason to do it.
As long as you want to, you keep her with you. I guess is what I am trying to say. There are many means of keeping them comfortable, and we would not do that to a family member just because they are at the end....
bottom line, you will know when(if) it is the right time.
Be strong....and trust yourself.
I continue to agonize over what to do with my beautiful ginger.Today the head tremors were not observed so it may have been the side effects of one of the appetite stimulants i was giving her. She was irritable with one of the younger dogs who is always in hyperdrive but she is never cross with humans and still continues to wag her tail at everyone and looks for a pet from them. It boggles my mind that on only a few meager mouthful of nutrition that she still is running to the fence and barking at people and today her bark was fairly strong. she was actually chewing on her bone as she used to love t do and took two pieces of liverwurst but then turned her head away and walked away. Iniitiallly I was feeding her pureed dog food via a syringe and she was receptive to this but then she recently started to run away when I attempted to do this. I continue with her acupuncture hoping this provides some kind of palative support for comfort. If anyone else out there has any ideas that have worked for them please share themI have tried every kind of food possible from steak to fish to chicken to cold cuts and dog ice cream. also cream cheese and ricotta cheese.she used to love pizza crust and italian bread and chicken mcnuggets but now no longer cares about them.Once again I know many people say you will know when its time to let go but she is an enigma .Out of all my pets death this is the most painful because according to her clinical values and ultrasounds her appetite should still be there. Once again thanks to anyone who replied to my post and i am open to anyones thoughts or expieriences
I forgot to tell you my prayers are with you and I hope God or what ever higher power there is guides us both to do the right thing and lets us know when the time is right.What is wrong with your dog Peggy?
Thank you...She has CHF, and enlarged heart because of it....She does like that, acts so sick some days, and then others not quite as bad. That is why I just wait.....
That was why I didn't get my other dog (Toby) put to sleep as soon as he was diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer, age 14 in '99. Because yes -he was going to die -but he still had lots of energy at times, was still enjoying many things in his life, was still eating, though he had times when he didn't have a good appetite. He'd have a bad day, then the next day he'd be better again, barking and having fun.
The vet wanted me to set a date, and on that date have him put to sleep whether he was good or bad. But I couldn't do that. We had a lovely couple of weeks past that date. It was beautiful October sunshine, and he was happy. Then when the time came the symptoms became suddenly much worse, I tried medication, but all of a sudden it didn't work at all, and he was obviously in pain and could not urinate. There were no more medical options available. At that point, having had time to view the larger picture, and having tried every option there was that night, I decided to have him put to sleep. It was done very respectfully and very quickly.
I think the point at which to make the decision whether to have your friend and family member put to sleep....is when nothing works any more. You've tried, you've fought, but all roads lead to the same place -pain. Then you can't bear to see your loved one suffer, and dearly want to give them peace.