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Discussions > General Topics > General Discussions > When is it time??

When is it time??

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I had a conversation with a nice gentleman today, about his old kelpie. This kelpie is 16 years old, deaf and not able to move much, but she does wander around a fair bit. Now he said to me that he was thinking of having her PTS soon, but he didnt know when to do it. He asked me when i thought would be right. I told him to take her to his vet and get her a full check up first, and ask the vet for advice. So just wondering, when would you know it was time? Or have you ever decided it was time, if so what helped you make that choice???

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I don't think there is an easy answer, and often it is an extremely painful decision one has to make. Personally of course I want to keep my dog as long as possible, but when it gets ao a stage that he/she is in such great pain that any enjoyment of life seems to have gone, then it is most likely time to say goodbye. The last time I had to do it was my 18 years old ex racer whippet cross (a lurcher). In the morning she chased a hare, almost catching it, which is very remarkable at that age. At about noon, I was on the computer, she was on the sofa and I heard her tail slapping, as dogs often do when dreaming. As it continued, I went to look at her. She was obviously having some kind of seizure. She did not know me, or where she was at first when she got up. She kept going round the room, obviously lost, not seeing me or the other two dogs, who were very concerned. She kept falling and banging into the furniture. I took her to the vet, but by then she seemed to have recovered. The vet inspected her carefully but could find nothing wrong by this time. He said it might just be a one off. She seemed normal for the rest of the day, although subdued. As I was putting them to bed that same night, she had another. I took her to an all-night vet. who on a blood sample could give me a full analysis of all the organs in 20 minutes. Everything was fine in the major organs, except the brain. The vet advised me at her age there was only one thing we could do. I cuddled and stroked her. As soon as the needle was put in, it brought on another seizure, and it took two vets, a nurse and me to hold her still. One of the worst experiences of my life, and I have lost my wife and a soldier son.
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That's always a tough question, and the only right answer IMHO is when it's right for your dog. I've recently had to PTS my beautiful Boxmation at the young age of 7 when he finally lost his fight with pneumonia and E.Coli. He'd fought like a trooper for over 2 months and although his appetite was off and he'd lost weight, he had plenty of interest in life still. One morning though, his body just started to give up. He couldn't absorb enough liquid to keep him hydrated and his kidneys were starting to shut down. We took him for a last walk that morning and explored all the places he loved, then sat with him on his bed talking and laughing over all the wacky tricks he's get up to. When our wonderful vet finally gave him the injection (via a catheta, so no pain) he was surrounded by those who loved him most (including our vet) and the sound of happy voices. I can't think of a better way to go. It's hard to put aside your feelings for your beloved pet long enough to do what's right, and it wasn't easy for to be happy then- but it would have worried him if we'd been weepy and resistant- and that wasn't fair to him. Afterwards we had the time to fall apart- and we did, but the most important thing was that he didn't suffer. Love your friend enough to know when you're holding on for you... not for them.
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That is tough question. We had to make that same decision a year ago. Our dog Mr.Phipps who was adopted not once but twice was 20+ years. He had artheritis in his back to the point where it hurt to touch him. It was a hard decision but we talked to our vet and he said we would no when the time is right. My prayers are with you at this most difficult time.
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I had 2 dogs that passed away in May so I know how you are feeling. The oldest was 13 and he became blind (from cataracts) and deaf in a very short time. He was not handling the two things very well and was not even trying to get outside to relieve himself. The other one had been blind for about a year (from cataracts) and managed to get out the dog door and relieve himself in the yard. He could navigate quite well. He started loosing weight and going downhill quite fast. I finally decided that I should put the oldest one down because it was not fair to him or me for what was happening to him. The other one lasted about a week after that and passed away quietly in his bed. I personally don't think that we should keep our pets alive for us, but when they are starting to struggle with living, then it is time. If your dog is still able to get around and go outside by himself then maybe you should wait a little longer. But not too much longer......
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I know that I may get a lot of flack for this, but I have my own opinions.  I 100% believe that dogs should be given the same dignity and respect that humans should be given when they are elderly.
I don't believe in latter stage euthanization whatsoever.  It is my belief (and I am allowed that), that the only time a pet should be euthanized is if there is an emergent tragedy such as a nasty car accident with a young pup or dog (for example), who will never get to live their life, and only when there is no hope for recovery.
For old dogs who are simply passing of natural causes, euthanization is unacceptable and unfathomable (once again, my belief).
When a person gets a dog, they must  realize that the dog will cost a great deal of money to keep comfortable during its end stages of life.  I don't believe that people who cannot financially afford to take care of their pet through their entire life, should own pets.

There are extremely effective pain medications for dogs that take away virtually 100% of their pain.  These injections and other medication such as liquid and pill form cost an extravagant amount of money.  However, they are the answer, not killing off your pet when it becomes old and invalid.
Pets should have the opportunity to pass away naturally, without the help of "Kevorkian vets".
When your pet gets to the end stage of life you should spend the money to get them painfree first and foremost.  If you cannot afford it, then why did you get a dog?  After that, you should hold them, comfort them, gently whisper to them and let them know they are loved - all the time, until they cross the Rainbow Bridge.
I have gone through this only once, and it was the BEST decision I've ever made and I have absolutely no regrets.  It was a very special, and loving time for me and my dog.  It was a time in which I could reflect on this miraculous animal, and he could reflect on his life with me.  He was in NO pain whatsoever.  He passed peacefully in his sleep, right beside me.  I often think of him, and I'm so glad I made that decision, and I know he was too.
When people euthanize their aging and invalid pets, who are they really putting to rest?  Their pet's pain or their own emotional heartache? Watching your pet slowly pass on, is not something that is easy.  However, neither is watching a human loved one pass on. If a pet is still breathing and has a heartbeat on it's own it deserves to live until that ceases;  on it's own.

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