Terrified about Euthanizing my Dog Tomorrow
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.
Note from Hazel, Site Editor:
It's tough making the heart-wrenching decision to put your dog to sleep, and getting over all the emotions takes time and effort.
After my husband and I made our tough decision to put our 15-year-old dog Hana to sleep in August 2017, I decided to set up a Pet Loss Support Group on Facebook, called Pawsome Angels Pet Loss Support Group.
You are welcome to join the Group and let's start supporting one another!