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SharonsPie

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Reply with quote  #1 
On October 18, 2019, I made the decision to euthanize my sweet 13 year old dog, Pie. She was going blind and deaf, had degenerative myelopathy ( painless, but slowly causes paralysis of hind legs ) arthritis, congestive heart failure managed by drugs, a bit of dementia and separation anxiety. Also she had suffered hemorrhagic gastroenteritis a few times 6 months apart and one seizure. I was going day by day, trying to assess her feelings, enjoyment of life and comfort level and was preparing myself, but was unsure when would be the time. She still loved loved loved to eat. We still went for short walks, tho with the DM she was becoming weaker in her back legs and needed help getting up. Still, she could hop onto the couch and even got the zoomies when we got home. I'm not sure if she was in pain or just confused, but she did not like being picked up to be put in the car, and often nipped at me. She howled if left alone, so I was with her almost always the past 6 months. She slept with me, and i had to turn her at night to prevent pressure sores. I didnt mind. I was happy to help. We had a basement walkout, and carpets, which was good. I didn't mind looking after her, I loved her so much. Tho i was feeling isolated.The night before I decided to put her down, she was coughing again in spite of being on furosemide and vetmedin.. I called the vet to see if I should increase the furosemide dose, but while waiting for an answer I thought I'll give her an extra dose . It helped somewhat. There were no appts available. it was Friday, and I was worried if she got worse overnight or the weekend, I couldn't afford an emergency vet and I was terrified she could get in bad trouble with her breathing or another ailment. I made a somewhat rushed decision to put her to sleep later that day, when there was a cancellation, rather than try to keep adjusting meds or risk more problems. The vet later said, when i asked after her passing if I could have tried increasing furosemide, that it could not help indefinitely, maybe she had a few weeks, and better to go early, than die of suffocation. I don't know how quickly the breathing problems would have progressed, but I panicked . Now wish I'd waited and gotten more advice from the vet on what to expect and had her a bit longer. I felt she still wanted to be here, tho tired. I feel like i killed her before she was ready, before I was ready. Now I feel terrible that maybe I put down this dog too early. She was still eating, walking, aware of me, liking cuddles. I find it hard to find peace.

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Sampson

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Reply with quote  #2 
Dear Sharon, My deepest condolences on your loss. You did everything you could for Pie. You see it has to be about more than whether or not a dog can still eat or walk, it has to be about their quality of life. From everything you describe Pie had a lot of ailments and it does sound like she was suffering mentally as well. If she had dementia and howled when you were leaving her she must have been terribly frightened. Turning her on the bed to prevent pressure sores also doesn’t sound like good quality of life. Deep down I think you know it was the right decision. We’re never ready to let go or say good bye and if you’d kept her longer who would really benefit from it? You would have had her around longer but how would it have good been for her?
I wholeheartedly agree with your decision and even though you think you made the decision quickly you had really known for some time that her health was declining so you were able to decide based on her quality of life which had diminished so very much. You did it for her. Now you must be kind to yourself and know that you were a wonderful pet parent. By the way I really like her picture, what a beautiful girl!
Sam
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pannklaus

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Reply with quote  #3 
I am so sorry about the loss of your precious dog.  When our fur babies have many health problems they don't have good quality of life.  Because making the decision and living with the grief that follows is so painful, pet owners tend to wait too long rather than decide too soon.  You don't know how things would have gone over the weekend.  But even if breathing difficulties were not a problem, your fur baby was already dealing with many medical problems. If a vet thinks that a pet still has good quality of life and/or has an illness from which recovery is possible, they will usually encourage the pet parent to wait longer before making the decision. Your vet did not encourage that so he/she knew that you were not making the decision too soon.

With our Lenny cat, there was more treatment that was possible when we made the decision, but the treatment had a low chance of success.  Mostly likely, we could have kept Lenny alive longer but with poor quality of life.  Our vet was very supportive of our decision.

But life after the decision is carried out is full of grief, feelings of loss and an intense desire to still have your precious baby with you.  It is common to think that maybe the decision was made too soon.  But you relieved your beloved dog's suffering and prevented the possibility of a serious crisis over the weekend. Now you are with people here in the forum who understand your grief, your doubts and questioning of your decisions.  We cannot make the pain and doubts go away but we are here to grieve with you.

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SharonsPie

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you Sampson for your thoughtful and kind response. I called another of the vets at my clinic and went over all the details again. He agreed she could have suddenly gone into breathing crisis overnight or the weekend so I did the right thing. It would have been awful. So I feel a bit better about my decision. I know she was still enjoying certain things in life, but that would not be worth the risk of a horrible death.
Sharon
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SharonsPie

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you Pannklaus for your thoughtful and kind response. I called another of the vets at my clinic and went over all the details again. He agreed she could have suddenly gone into breathing crisis overnight or the weekend so I did the right thing. It would have been awful. So I feel a bit better about my decision. I know she was still enjoying certain things in life, but that would not be worth the risk of a horrible death.
Sharon
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Cory

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Reply with quote  #6 
Dear Sharron, I'm so sorry for your loss of your precious Pie. Putting our beloved pets down always comes with guilt. Could I have done more, maybe he/she would have gotten better. All the posts I've read so far that is the common theme, so please don't beat yourself up. Btw, She's such a cute dog! What a precious face. I lost my dog Logan 15 1/2 last Tuesday and my heart is still breaking and will continue to break for a LONG time. Logan was old and his body was shutting down. He was not eating, could not walk anymore and had a bad cough with wheezing. We kept putting off euthanasia with the hopes "he'll get better", but he didn't. Even after he passed we still felt guilty (and still do) because we questioned our decision. Please hang in there. I have found this group to be so helpful to me. Everyone understands and everyone is so nice. Cory (Logan's mom)
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Jan_H

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Reply with quote  #7 
Sharon,

I am very sorry for your loss of your sweet, adorable Pie. We are never ready to make that final decision for our pets and it is normal to wonder if we made the decision too soon. I have read that it is better to make the decision too soon than to make the decision a day or even an hour too late. With all of Pie's issues and the risk of a scary death, I think you made the right decision. Clearly Pie had a wonderful life with you, was very well cared for and very much loved.

We are here for you.

My condolences,
Jan
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SharonsPie

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks Jan_H and Corey.
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AngelsGift

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Reply with quote  #9 
She is such a beautiful girl. I know your pain so well, even now after a year and a half has passed since my girl passed. When we begin to see the pains they endure while we try to accommodate them we are sometimes clouded in our judgement as to what we should do... especially when it’s ending life as well as quality of life.

I would’ve given anything for “another couple of weeks”, but how much of a deterioration would that have cost her? I realized fairly quickly that any time I gained with her would probably have been traded in pain for her.

You did the best you could for her.. rest easy knowing the time you had was precious and you honored her the best way you could. It’s difficult, I know... even now I still miss my girl very much... but in time you’ll be able to get your heart sorted out come out the better.
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Miaiam

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Reply with quote  #10 
No. You did just right. Know that the decision you made, was made with love, and she knows that, too.
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Eileennellie

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Posts: 125
Reply with quote  #11 
I totally sympathize with you. I lost my 12 1/2 year old Doberman, Paris, to DM also. I was unaware of what was wrong with her until her last few months. She showed to symptoms until that late stage, when she started knuckling on her front legs, having her hind legs go out on her, and the panic and anxiety was terrifying. I also let her sleep with me, and never left her alone. She had been on Rimadyl and pain meds, was still eating normally and would want to play, but nights were hard. I had to start sleeping in her bed when she could no longer get onto mine. Then one morning she didn't drink any water or go to the bathroom, and I could see in her eyes that it was the day. It was a beautiful, sunny October day, and she just sort of wandered away down the driveway, so I went and brought her back and called the vet. I made the latest appointment they had that day, 6 pm. Then we went inside and she just sighed heavily and lay her head in my lap. I knew she wasn't going to get up again. I called back and asked the vet to come asap. They came about an hour later. I knew it was the right de ision, but I still question if it was too soon, even now, two years later. But in reality, it was right. Your decision was absolutely correct. To wait any longer would have been selfish, for me, not for her. The end stage of this disease is basically suffocating, and we never want our babies to have to experience the fear and suffering that entails. Pie was a beauty, I can see in her eyes what a great soul she has. You did a great job giving her the best life possible, and she was as lucky to have you as you were to have her. It will get easier with time, I promise.
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