MissMyPup
We just put down our beloved 4 year old dog yesterday. He had a nasty mysterious autoimmune condition that caused him to be incredibly itchy and he would tear huge holes into his skin. He was on meds for years, one after another, and they all stopped working. There were no other meds left to try, no other treatment. We tried special diets, special clothes, everything. We took him to vet after vet, even renowned university specialists, who told us he was the worst case they had ever seen and that his condition was chronic, lifelong. It was just an endless cycle of scratching, sores, infections, more meds, and so on. The cycles got shorter and shorter until he was pretty much always a mess.

I feel awful because he was SO young, pretty happy, and otherwise healthy. But he was so uncomfortable all the time, and we have spent thousands on his treatment this year alone. Money for nothing, just for him to keep getting worse, and we have a baby and bills to pay. We would have gladly kept paying, though, if it helped him, but nothing helped.

It would have been easier if he was old or had cancer, but he was young and still full of energy. But how can a dog live with that skin condition? Oozing sores, never comfortable, distressed, infection after infection, resistance to meds. Just getting worse and worse.

So much guilt and even regret now that our house is so empty without our little sweetheart. Has anyone else had to put down a young dog for non-traditional reasons? I could really use some support now.
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shantismom
We haven't had to put our cat down as yet but she has an autoimmune disease also and she pulls her hair out and has sores on her belly and all her legs. We can't find anything that stops it but so far we've been able to at least slow it down some.  
I can understand how you didn't want your dog to be in constant misery with this condition.  I see my cat constantly scratching and biting and wonder how much she is enjoying her life.
We take care of our animals the best we can, we love them and give them a home, then it comes time for us to make a decision if they are going to be able to enjoy their life.  Your dog was loved and cared for and you did the right things by not keeping him alive when he was miserable with that skin condition.
He is not scratching and biting now, no more infections, no more pain.
You have my sympathy.
Marlene Wagner
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MissMyPup
Thank you for your reply. We spent years trying to manage his symptoms and find a long-term solution, but in the end, like with your cat, I realized that all we did was slow it down.

It hurts so much because while our little guy was constantly battling his condition, he did have many times when he was happy (mostly when food was involved, lol). I almost wish he was MORE miserable, so it would have been a clear-cut decision. We just didn't see how he could go on living like that and getting worse, and how we could go on stressing and paying for it. I mean, I worried more about him than I did my newborn baby.

Sigh. Never an easy decision, is it.
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shantismom
I see some happiness with my cat also.  She loves to be petted and fussed over, but then sometimes it seems as though all she does is bite and scratch herself.  
Three weeks ago we had to put to sleep our other cat, he had pancreatic cancer.  I am just so heartbroken about losing him that I can't imagine losing her but I know eventually we will have to make a decision about her quality of life. He was 14, she is 6.
I really believe you did the loving thing.  Also you do have to consider what is best for you and your family.  A stessed out Mommy is not so good for a little baby.  The stress of a new baby is enough.
Remember you gave your little boy all the love and care you could.  You have nothing to feel guilty about.


Marlene Wagner
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