Terrified about Euthanizing my Dog Tomorrow

Terrified about Euthanizing my Dog Tomorrow

by Joanne

I have an appointment to put my beloved 14 year-old male boxer/golden retriever mix to sleep tomorrow. I cannot sleep, I am so scared. I don't know if I am making the right decision.

Benni started displaying behavior problems over a month ago. He was being destructive, knocking over tables and chairs, pacing, panting very loudly, shaking, and generally exhibiting signs of distress.

I took him to two different vets, both of whom suspected anxiety and prescribed prozac. After one month on the prozac, the only difference was that he had his "anxiety attacks" during the day and not at night. These attacks were hard on Benni, and would last all day/night (depending on when they occurred). He would sleep deeply for hours after. Even when he wasn't having a full-fledged attack, his breathing was still labored. He sticks close to our side and follows us everywhere. He tries to hide in corners.

He has lost 8 kilos (about 15 pounds) in the last 6 months. After the prozac didn't work, I decided to get a third opinion. I showed the third vet the results of blood tests we'd run for Benni a month ago. He remarked that Benni's liver enzymes were elevated, and requested I bring him in for an abdominal ultrasound. I did. The ultrasound revealed a 7 cm tumor on Benni's liver. The vet also suspected that it might have metastasized.

I refused further invassive tests, such as a biopsy. I think Ben's been through enough. The third vet said that there wasn't much that could be done to treat what seems like a late stage cancer, except palliative care. Surgery and chemo are unlikely to prove beneficial at his age. He gave me a picture of the tumor. I am still, one night before he is scheduled to be put to sleep, debating whether or not I should have gotten a second opinion on the cancer diagnosis.

The other two vets agreed that putting him to sleep was a good idea after the prozac didn't work, due to his ongoing distress. That was even before I took him to see the third vet. Three vets may have come up with different diagnoses, but the end result was the same: they felt that putting him to sleep is justified.

I however, am still a nerve-wracked crying mess. He's asleep at the foot of my bed and I am so scared for him. I am so scared about tomorrow. I just don't want him to suffer anymore, but at the same time, I don't want to be taking his life too soon.

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Aug 02, 2016
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My Big Leo has asked me for mercy
by: Gerry

After 5 doctors and countless exams, it's clear that Leo (my Shiloh Shepherd) who has cancer is in real constant pain and no matter how many painkillers I give him and how much I massage his back, his legs and his neck and head, he looks up at me and with those eyes, and says "please make it go away".

My heart is breaking , Leo is my best and dearest friend. For 10 years we have gone everywhere together. We watched TV together, shared burgers, swam and even sun bathed together.

It has taken me 30 minutes to write these few lines and I really don't know what I will be like tomorrow. I have to be there for him as I could never let him journey alone or without me there to hold him and feel his warmth.

Leo has gone from 160 lbs to 92 lbs in 6 months and three weeks ago he was 110, last week 100.5, and then today 92. At his peak we would get comments of "he is so majestic", "he really is always listening to you", "what an amazing big man"...

I love him, I love him so much I cant let him keep hurting. Watching him gasp for air is so painful. Tomorrow when I put him in my truck I just can't think that it will be for the last time. He's my everything and we always are so happy to see each other. He is sitting by me now and even with his troubled breathing takes a second to gently lick my ankle like he wants to calm me.

I can never forget you, Leo. You will always be in my heart and it will never heal until we meet again. I know you are going to a great place and just hope that you will greet me there when it's my time. That would be heaven for me.

To all of you - Thanks for the other comments you have written in. As I read them, I see how others who have to make this horrible decision.

My thoughts go out to you. Please say a small prayer for my Leo.

Aug 01, 2016
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I Too Fear Putting Down My Dog
by: Sallie

While I know it's best for him, the idea of putting down my 12 y.o. Basset Hound is killing me. I, too, cry most of the time while I read of other loving stories like the ones below.

Noah is in pain getting up and down, in spite of the pain meds I give him. He is losing weigh (he is down from 80 lbs to 60--five of which he lost in a month). (FYI, he was never fat, just very muscular, very long and very fit.) But the years are catching up to him. He can't do well walking and I've noticed his legs giving out when we take very short walks. He is eating well but he has 5 or 6 BM's each day. He pants heavily most of the time and just doesn't have his old spirit. He is shedding uncontrollably and I can easily fill a pillowcase with hair after using the furminator. I know the day is coming. Actually the vet thought about putting him down a month ago, but he could tell I wasn't ready. Hence, he did some senior blood work to check his liver and kidneys. Ironically, all of his counts were fine, except that he was slightly anemic.

I have been asking myself why God would create such loving animals only to take them away so soon. My boy has been by me when I lost both of my parents, my house burnt down, my daughter had a baby and 3 weeks later was diagnosed with very aggressive leukemia, and I had major stomach surgery after a suspicion of pancreatic cancer (which fortunately it wasn't.) He's always there and all he wants is an occasional "pupperoni" or treat.

Jun 15, 2016
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The Greatest Gift of Kindness for a Friend
by: Anonymous

Hello. I feel your pain about euthanizing your precious dog tomorrow.

My beautiful Kelpie is being put to sleep tomorrow here at home, where she will be buried.

I have cried buckets because this seems so cut and dried and I so want her to just slip quietly off in her sleep tonight.
All I know which may comfort you is that you are making the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of your furry friend. Of course you don't want him to leave, but if he is suffering as my dog IS, then you are doing your dog a great justice.

None of us wants to lose our friends and there will NEVER be a right time.

He will just drift into eternal sleep and he may even come and visit you to thank you after he has gone.

This happened to a beloved young shepherd we lost in tragic circumstances. Four members of our family saw him run across in front of us, bonny and healthy again.

Jun 14, 2016
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Jazzy
by: Lorrie

My dog Jazzy has mouth cancer and I'm just trying to figure when is the best time too.

She wags her tail, eats great, and wants her treats. I have to puree all her food and treats. She has a hard time breathing at night but does fine in the day. I give her pain medication too.

How do I let her go when she seems so happy? Her mouth is getting bigger from the tumor so while I'm writing this, I guess I'm answering my own question. It's just so sad. I cry every day for her.

Does it get better after it's done?

Jun 07, 2016
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My heart hurts so much
by: John

It has been so helpful and also difficult to read these posts. I just euthanized my dog today due to a long battle with cancer. I'm just sitting here in shock unsure what to do.

I love him so much and miss him. I'm also happy that he's at peace. His name was Copper, and he was and will continue to be my best friend.

Mar 30, 2016
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How Can I Do This
by: Cindy

As I sit here by her side, my dog Rikki is breathing hard, fast. She is going to sleep tomorrow at 9am. She is 14 1/2 years old and has cancer.

She just started getting sick 2 months ago to now this. I noticed she was losing a little weight, but even as a Beagle, she was always a picky eater. I didn't notice any change in her eating habits. I did notice that she was constantly thirsty and constantly urinating, even having a couple of accidents in the house. I took her to the vet thinking diabetes, left the vet with a dog having cancer and weeks to live.

I have spoiled her since then (who am I kidding, I always spoiled her), by giving her boiled chicken, hamburgers, anything she wanted. Today, she won't eat anything, sleeping all day, rapid breathing and I know I made the right decision.

Rikki was a gift from my children, giving her to me a year after losing my daughter. They knew she would force me out of bed and perhaps help with the deep depression I was in. I know some might be wondering how this could be harder than losing a daughter, but it is in a totally different way. I cannot watch my dog's final breaths. Call me a coward, I guess I am. I want to remember them alive. My husband will stay with her.

I have been crying for weeks off and on. All day today and weeks to come. I will miss my dear dog, I still miss and cry for my other two. I have one Beagle, Holly, and I worry how she will handle Rikki not being here anymore. I don't think I can own any more dog's. It just hurts so much to lose them.

Mar 06, 2016
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Saying good-bye
by: Ann

God bless you Joanne, I know your pain, I had to do the same when my beloved beagle got lung cancer. You are doing the kindest thing for him right now I think by stopping his pain. There's nothing easy about it, in fact I think it's one of the hardest things to do when you love your pet so much. Only time will heal you. But at least he won't have to suffer as much as some humans. God speed!!!

Feb 29, 2016
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Chloe
by: Bree

I have to put my dog Chloe down in 2 days at 8:30 am.

Chloe is my beautiful loveable 12 year old Pitt beagle mix. She was diagnosed with nasal cancer a month and a half ago and has progressed negatively fast.

Chloe has been there for me through everything the past 11 1/2 years. A horrible 8 year break up and every other up and down. Every success and downfall my girl was there no matter what. And I was always there for her. Every time she was sick, every birthday of hers we celebrated, when she had surgery I never left her side.

I am scared, deeply depressed, and sad. How can I drive my baby, hold her in my arms on the way to the vet knowing I am driving there to put her down. Knowing I am never going to see her again. I can't focus in class; it's just dawning on me and constantly on my mind that in exactly 2 days, I will never see my dog again. I'll come home and never see her face, I'll wake up every morning and she won't be there next to me, I'll wake up in the middle of the night and there will be no Chloe to recover with her blanket. I can't stop crying and it hurts. I am a nervous scared and sad wreck for Thursday morning and I don't know how I can do it.

Can anyone tell me how they found the boldness to do this?

Apr 03, 2015
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Losing my little girl
by: Richard Busche

The heartache and guilt I feel is almost overwhelming, my beloved Missy is going to be put down.

Missy would have turned 15 in June of this year and in the last year her health started declining rapidly to a point where she has no desire to go for walks, she doesn't eat or drink of late and now she has lost control of her bodily functions.

At her last visit to her doctor it was discovered she had an enlarged heart which explained her breathing problems and I noticed that of late when she's in bed with me, she cuddles close to me as if to say, "Daddy I don't feel good" and when I look into her eyes, I know she's telling me "Help me" and I can't. All I can do is pet her and reassure her that I love her just as she has loved me her entire life.

God how can I do this to the little girl I have protected and cared for all these years? How am I going to live knowing I took her life? I can only hope when she gets to heaven, she will realize I did it to prevent her from suffering anymore.

Please forgive me Missy.

Sep 13, 2012
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Hard to say good-bye!!!
by: Ann

Dear Joanne,

I just read about the ordeal you and Benni went through. Oh boy!!!

I think Scott said it best. I had to do the same for my beautiful beagle I rescued and had for 9 yrs. He was an exceptional dog and loved me like there was no tomorrow. My vet said he had lung cancer and showed me the x-ray. His breathing was fast but I thought he had the flu or something similar. I wanted to keep him longer but it would have been at his expense (the stress and pain of treatment) and my emotional stress of having to watch him suffer. His vet also said it would have been very hard on him. They hide their pain but I could see it in his eyes and in his lack of appetite. When he didn't look forward to his walk I knew it was serious. I had to let him go and prevent further suffering. I wasn't as brave as you though I couldn't stay when it was done. I said my goodbyes and my husband stayed. I was in shock a long time.

That was a little over 8 months ago and there are still days when it feels like yesterday. He was about 13 or 14 we estimate. Your letter sounds just like me and how I felt. I questioned my decision also and felt like I betrayed him.

Mourn for him Joanne and know you did the right thing and time will take away your pain a little every day as it's doing with mine.

Best regards to you and stay strong.

Ann

Sep 12, 2012
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Thank you
by: Joanne

Dear Susan, Patricia and Scott,

Thank you for your kind comments. It's so nice to hear from people who share my pain.

Today was one of the hardest days of my life. I took Benni to the vet, after having given him some anti-anxiety pills to calm him.

Earlier in the day, my sister had gone over and discussed Benni's situation with the vet at length. At the end of their long conversation, she was convinced we were doing the right thing for our best friend.

I stayed with Benni until the general anesthesia was applied. He slid down onto the table, motionless, with eyes open but unblinking. I took a minute to say my goodbyes. The vet then asked me to leave the room while he completed the procedure, so as to spare me further mental turmoil.

We took Benni's body and buried it in one corner of the plot of land my sister is constructing her new home on. The view is magnificent, and I take comfort in the thought that Benni will be part of her garden some day.

I honestly feel shock at the moment. I can still hardly believe it. He had one of his good days today. He was energetic and greeted incomers with a wagging tail. He panted, but not as heavily. He slept through the night last night. For his last meal, we fed him two large steaks cooked medium-rare. He downed them in record time. His condition today made me question my decision. In fact, I don't think I'll ever be able to stop questioning it.

When I got back home, I was still expecting him to greet me at the door, and the sight of his brush and food & water bowls made me cry. I can't seem to stop crying. I know I will always live with some guilt and doubt.

The one thing that I will never doubt, however, is my love for Benni. He truly was a wonderful dog, and he enriched my life in countless ways. I am going to miss him so very much. I've had him since I was 10 years old. That's most of my life. I'll miss his velvet ears and his doggy kisses. I hope, with all of my heart, that I've done what was best for him. If not, I hope he forgives me, and understands the circumstances that lead to this decision.

Sep 12, 2012
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Euthanize?
by: Susan

I agree with Scott L. Having just said goodbye to my sweet Amelia, due to her oral cancer, I understand the pain of making the decision to make that call to the vet. We had a home visit from a service in the county we live in. I hated the thought of taking her to the pet hospital where she would be scared. Ultimately, the Dr. said I did the right thing that day. I knew my girl's prognosis was poor, and there was no way that I could justify putting her through a cruel and devastating surgery with follow up treatment, only to have her exist perhaps 8 more months. Amelia would have never understood why she'd been subjected to such misery.

Do the right thing and kiss your pet farewell. Know that in your heart, it's the right thing to do. You did your best. You loved your pet. In time, you will heal.

Sep 12, 2012
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Joanne
by: Patricia

Bless yours and Benni's hearts! I just read about your terrible situation, and I am heartbroken for y'all.

I know exactly what you are going through. I have been where you are tonight. I think if you are able to find a specialist such as a veterinarian college, if you are able to take him there. You could find the closest one and give them a call and see what they could do for him. They are able to do more than just regular vets.

We used one for our precious Labrador Kolbi and they couldn't really help him much but they did all they could for us. He had a tumor on his little heart and they could not operate but for 3 and a half months we give him meds they put him on and we took him there about 1-2 times a week for fluid removal from his chest. That gave us a little more time with him. We had to put him to sleep in April and we were still not ready to let him go but we knew we had done everything that could possibly be done for him. We live in Alabama so we used Mississippi State University, and they euthanized him for us and cremated him so we could bring him back home with us forever. If there is anything they can do for him, they will. If they tell you that it is best for him to put him to sleep, then you will know without a doubt that you have done everything possible for him.

I hope you are able to get in contact with a Vet School because they have state of the art equipment and everything to do all they can for Benni.

I am praying for you and Benni. If there is anything else I can do to help you, even if it is just someone to talk to about this, I will be happy to. It helps to talk to someone who knows how you are feeling. You can E-mail me if you want to. My E-mail address is patsytennyson@yahoo.com.

Please let me know how this turns out because I really care. Give him all the love you can for as long as you have him with you! I am so sorry!

Sep 12, 2012
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The toughest thing
by: Scott L

It is very natural to be scared, as a human, you can rationalize. This makes it harder because we know.

You mentioned that he is 14 years old. He is at the end of his life. We all want to live forever - but we will not. If he is suffering to get through each day, it is a humane way out for him. I think you should be strong and do this for him, but I do feel for you. I had to go through this as well.

The hardest part of the whole end of life issue when you have had a pet for that long - is the heartache afterwards. It will heal over eventually leaving a scar that never goes away completely. But this is life.

Don't make him suffer. Send him ahead. He will wait to be with you again.

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