Depressedbypetloss
My 13  year old mini poodle Leilani has been losing the use of  her back legs, then her front. I took her to three vets and for PT and cold laser but nothing helped. the drugs made her worse and wobbly. 

I'm feeling so guilty I didn't start other treatments sooner and have her teeth done last year when she could still walk. Also, she's not in pain but today she had like a three hour barking fit overnight because she had to poo but couldn't do it.  She is only eating ham out of my hand  or food I shoot into her mouth so I haven't slept .

I've been carrying her round for the last few weeks in a wagon to all our fave places at the park and beach  but it's clear she is tired too. I'm mentally and physically exhausted . I know it's getting close to when I should put her down , am planning to have euthanasia in my home but everytime I flash forward to the moment when they will give injection  her eyes will close forever because i told them to do it   I feel like I'm dying and  start crying. 

Last night i took her with to a friend's house and another girl there had just had a similar experience putting down a dog her age and told me I will know the right time because she will be crying or in pain . She said leilani looked weak but relaxed. 

I think others would have put her down  when all four legs stopped working but I just keep feeding her and helping and cleaning up her pee and holding her like a limp baby . 

She has IVDD which caused the paralysis and a heart arrhythmia now ,

after the crying barking fit which I thought as a heart attack or renal failure I thought today was going to be the day to call ER Vet but after I gave her a bath she pooped for the first time in 2-3 days and has been resting peacefully. 

Every minute of every day for the last three weeks I've been thinking how can I make that appointment with the housecall vet and follow thru?!!! My 18 year old cat Maui died on New years Eve 2020 and it tore me part , I fell into deep depression . 

I feel so bad waiting for her to be in distress again to put her down but can't bring myself to make the call. I'm going to be soooo depressed . She looks weak like she's fading- but not in pain.  I haven't slept right in weeks because i jump every time she barks to tell me she needs  water or food or to pee, etc. 

How do you find the courage to schedule euthanasia if your dog isn't in pin but obviously getting worse?? 
Kimberly katz 
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CK1991
Hi Kimberly,  I’m sorry that Leilani is so sick. 😪
I found out through a vet and also on this forum that animals hide their pain. It’s an old instinct for not wanting to become prey. So when people say they will show you when it’s time you need to realize the state they are in by that time. You don’t want that for your dear Leilani.  She is already suffering Kimberly.
I understand how painful it is to have your pet put to sleep. I did it with 2 little dogs but I had to put their needs before mine even though it nearly killed me. I’ve been divorced for years and when one of my dogs was diagnosed with cancer she got very sick one night and I found myself at the Emergency room alone. The Emergency Dept did have a small room with a couch and chair and it was cozy.  When I saw how peaceful my baby looked afterward I knew I’d made the right decision. Kimberly, I’m so glad when I look back now that I let them go before they suffered more.  I believe it is our responsibility not to allow our pets to suffer.  “Their needs have to come first.”  It breaks your heart into tiny pieces but you will recover.  
I’m also so sorry about your cat who passed away!  
However now is the time when you have to be strong for Leilani. 
Last night the girl at your friend’s house said that Leilani looked tired but relaxed.  Then today she cried/barked for 3 hours.  I think this girl was trying to help you but think about how your beloved pet was today.  It’s just so heartbreaking to think about!  You are probably so tired that you can’t think straight anymore.  That’s how it was for me with both my dogs, Carrying Leilani around for 3 weeks because she can’t walk .. 😩  I think you know deep down what you need to do. I’m attaching a poem for you. It helped me a lot and I hope it will also help you and give you courage.  You don’t want your beloved Leilani suffering anymore. I worry that in time you will be filled with guilt (on top of the grief) if she does continues to suffer like this. 
I’m glad that you came to this forum because it’s a wonderful place for support. God bless and help you to have the strength you need at this terrible time.
I will come back to check and see how you are doing!
Hugs to you!! xxx
CK
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Mdmoore
I couldn’t have said it better CK1991.  You are so right about it especially I can relate when I had to put my baby girl down and all I could think of was how much it hurts me to have to let her go, but she was the one in real pain and not for a long time, but enough for me to have to make the decision of putting her down.  I can’t speak for others, but I think in some ways we can all relate to the poem you sent.  Kimberly, whatever decision you make, we are here for you.   It sounds like you have done everything you can at this point and the decision is your to make.  
M Moore
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Memories_of_Marmalade

Dear Kimberly,

Firstly I am so, so sorry to read of your situation and what your beloved and you are going through. It is beyond heartbreaking. It is so obvious that you have caregiving fatigue and you need to be aware of that as it can damage your health too.

I do not mean to sound insenstive at this challening time. But I want to sound out some of the following as it helped me when I had to make the choice that you are once again facing.

CK1991 is one of our wisest members here. And I agree with her and the wisdom that MdMoore has just provided. They are right. You need to put the needs of your beloved first now. She is in pain and suffering. Especially if she barked in the middle of the night. That is a call of distress. Now it is about HER needs over all others.

The truth is we humans show our pets more compassion than we do each other. People are allowed to live horrid existences and are propped up and kept alive year after year while they are living in a complete nightmare World. It's not fair. It isn't just. We should put them to sleep if they are in pain or suffering, but most of the time we don't. It is illogical, irrational and in many ways cruel.

As you know your girl is fading. Dogs love to walk and run and play. When they are robbed of their mobility it is an incalculable loss for them. It robs them of their spirit. Which is very precious we know.

Dogs can not predict what is to come. They don't understand what is happening to them. They don't perceive "time" the way that we do. So all they think is this is their life now. Endless pain and suffering that they are being forced to endure. That means anquish and anxiety and worry on top of physical pain. 

What helped me with my perspective was this:

"When our pets are in pain & suffering, and we agree to show them mercy and let them go, we then take their pain & suffering onto ourselves. We tranfer it to us. Then we process their pain & suffering through our grief. This is the only way to purge it. It is the bargain that we make."

I suggest trying to stay in a mode of "Gratitude" and ask your higher power for "Mercy." Pray to be brave and courageous for your little girl now. And send her off peacefully, with gentle strength and full resolve. She's done her part in your life. She's done her best. She's earned a peaceful and painless send-off.

We are with you in comdradeship as your girl will be with you in spirit. Always...

Kind regards,
James
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Depressedbypetloss
Thanks so much for your wise and kind words . I do need to pray for the strength to be strong for her . To make matters worse my mom who is 85 and in a nursing home got the corona virus , survived it but now has some pneumonia in her lung . So I’m worried sick about her too. She is the only family I have left . It’s true what you say about leaving our elders to languish in pain and loneliness. I was severely depressed even suicidal since Maui died and the lockdown began . What’s making it hard too is that Leilani never let me hold her when she was able bodied . Her legs were so long and she was always jumpy and nervous. But now she is in pain meds she sleeps right next to me , etc . I guess I’m just going to have to take it day by day , minute by minute . I have been trying to call the home vet to plan for it this week but when I wake up and she seems ok  , I just start tending to her again . 
Kimberly katz 
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Memories_of_Marmalade
Hi Kimberly,

Our hearts are breaking for you. Especially with your Mom not being well.

You're most likely in a state of shock and denial sweetie. Living the way that your beloved currently is, is not living. She's just existing. She's trapped in that body. In chronic illness and discomfort. : /

I hope you can seek and find the strength to help her depart peacefully. It is a very sad situation that you are coping with. I too lost my best friend and have no family in my life, so I can relate as so many members here on the forum can. I had to eventually go to a 24 hour Mental Health Clinic's E.R. I was so despondant and obtained a prescription for antidepressants which really did help me to endure.

I rescued a feral kitten I named "KID" 2 months after "Marmalade" departed, after swearing that I would never have another pet in my lifetime. And he has brought laughter, love, smiles, joy and light back into my life. Which I thought was totally impossible. Perhaps someday you will be able and interested in providing another soul in dire need of a home and love.

In the meantime I send you prayers to be strong for your girl and to do the right thing for her. Whatever that may be when you make your choice.

All best regards,
James
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P_Mom
Dear Kimberly, 

We all understand and feel your pain. In one way or another, we've experienced the shock, denial, wanting to do all we can to save our babies.  It's pure agony to lose them.  You are so deeply emotionally involved it's difficult (if not impossible) to be objective.  It's good you came here to seek advice of those who have been there.  Quality of life is more important than length of life and this you already know.  You're going through so much right now, it's hard to discern what's best for your baby - if the prognosis is only a decline and she's suffering, it may be time to step in before it gets worse. 

There is a Quality of Life scale to help pet parents assess if the end is near or not. HHHHHMM (Hurt, Hydration, Hungar, Hygiene, Happiness, Mobilty, More bad days than good) developed by a Hospice Nurse for animals (Pawspice). I wish I had this to help me when I lost my boy in February. Please look it this link below, and honestly (critical to be honest) score each category. This will help you assess where your baby is in terms of living vs existing. 

https://www.vin.com/veterinarypartner/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4951966

I hope this helps and we are all thinking of you and sweet Leilani at this most difficult time.  Sending lots of love and strength. ❤
Jennifer
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twodogmom
Hi, Kimberly,

My prayers are with you and your Leilani. You asked how others find the courage to conduct euthanasia when their fur-babies aren't in pain but getting worse. I agree with James, that with euthanasia we take on the pain we release our fur-babies from, and I recently chose euthanasia for my two senior poodles, rather than to risk standing by, powerless, while they suffered. 

Each of us has to make a decision that gives us peace. Losing a beloved baby will be painful, regardless of the method of death. You said Leilani  had vet treatments. Possibly your vet could describe the expected timeframe and how natural death might occur if things continue how they are going now. 

Lucy had cancer and we treated her for it for about 1.5 years. She began to have labored breathing and our vet drained fluid from her chest. Upon testing, the fluid revealed cancer cells. By the time the test results were available, about 3 days, Lucy's breathing had again become labored. The vet told me that, if left alone, the fluid would continue to build and reach a point that Lucy would feel she was drowning and unable to breathe and then she would die.  So instead of having Lucy's chest repeatedly drained, we chose euthanasia. Even her oncologist told me nothing further could be done if her chest fluid contained cancer cells. Lucy was happy up until the end. Through surgeries, chemo, and recurrence of cancer, she never seemed sick or weak. Her passage was calm and fast.

My male poodle had a heart condition, diabetes, and then kidney failure. He stopped eating whereas before he was constantly begging. The treatment that would temporarily help the kidney failure was too risky for his heart condition. I couldn't stand to see my baby boy being listless, vomiting repeatedly, and not eating. There was no long-term cure. I felt he had been through enough, all to stay alive, for and with me.

I miss them both so much! But I know the diseases would have claimed them anyway, although I might have had them with me longer. I feel confident that what I did was best FOR THEM, although it hurt me so much to have to do it. 

Wishing you all the best through the difficult times--Jan
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