Loving your dog enough to let him go.

@2004cqui (2823)
United States
February 9, 2011 10:16am CST
We've had dogs in our family since 1994. We've said goodbye to three of them over the years. Our experience with Shar Pei has been gradual decomposition until one day they become listless, weak and have a complete lack of interest in food or water. This happens suddenly toward the end and has lasted one to four months until they waste away. Now, our oldest is going down that road. He is riddled with arthritis and has developed a large tumor on his neck during the last three months. He needs assistance going up and down steps and can't go for a walk any more. So we brought him to a vet to discuss the tumor, arthritis, and continued lack of interest in fun. She said it would cost $1000 to remove the tumor. She also said he would never put down such a healthy dog. So I called our regular vet who said she would suggest we look at his quality of life. Some breads suddenly decompose and experienced owners have been able to predict when that begins to happen. Even the kids can see good reason to consider these factors. Unfortunately the vet who says hes too healthy is closer to us. We've always tried to avoid her. We'd be more comfortable predicting it soon enough to take the 100 mile road trip to the vet we've always loved. This is a tough decision. We'll hang on to him for a while but I predict we are going to see this set in sometime this coming summer. What do you think? Am I giving him a fair shake?
6 responses
@ab_arnie (95)
• Philippines
12 Feb 11
Hi there! Your title really caught my attention, so I thought I'd share something here. I have a 4 year old pekingese. And I can really say that the bond between a dog and its master is too special to lose. As I read your post, I came into thinking if I can do the same thing you did with your past pets. It's hard to accept the fact that it is your decision that would end your dog's life, but it is also hard and painful to see it suffer illness, pain, or even old age. I hope you'll be able to make the right decision.
@EvrWonder (3577)
• Canada
12 Feb 11
What is the age and breed of this dog? There are treatments that can help the tumor. Why avoid a vet who claims that she would never put down such a healthy dog? Since you have seen the vet, why not do some research into cancer treatments that you can do yourself? Check out www.b-naturals.com as well as www.k9criticalcare.com We are all faced with the inevitable but if you could enhance this dogs life for the next even five years, wouldn't you do it? Recall those cute puppy years and all the joy since that this dog provided, so faithfully for your family.
@2004cqui (2823)
• United States
12 Feb 11
Did you actually reed what I wrote and the conversations following it? You would know we've had Shar pei dogs for years. We've said good bye to three so you'd know we have had a few of them over the years. We know the bread, their health indicators and we their life span. This one is on the tail end of his life. The question is not whether to put him down or not! The question was which vet has the best opinion on this decision. Quite frankly I see more common sense in judging quality of life. We are not prepared to "put him down" right now, but I certainly wouldn't trust his health to be taken care of by on line medicine! This is a situation that needs to be examined with greater sensitivity and a level head. The tumor is being removed in eight days. He has many other issues than a tumor, which by the way, is not cancerous.
@EvrWonder (3577)
• Canada
11 Mar 11
Your question(s) were "What do you think? Am I giving him a fair shake?" The references were simply for information sake. Since you are asking here, those too would give you 'other points of view', not to "trust his health to be taken care of by on line medicine". I read you article and all that which followed. Have a Nice day.
• Canada
1 Mar 11
I know it hurts, but you can not leave your luvly pet go that far. My Big Boy Kowle, the dog on your left developed a cold. It started getting worse. Took him to the Vets, one we trust and has compassion. He had a heart problem, he was 10 years old. We had just lost the mother of the puppy on the left in the picture to cancer. It was a hard thing to do, just a few months apart. We luved him alott, still do, we let him go and think about both dogs all the time..
@inu1711 (5288)
• Romania
10 Feb 11
I wish nobody would have to face with such a dilemma. It's a heartbreaking decision to make. My beloved Nera was ill for her last year of her life. Many vets told us to stop fighting and to let her go, because she was old and useless. But dispite their opinion I thought she wasn't too old at 13 years, so I continued to struggle for her health. I carried her in my arms on the stairs for almost a year (we live in a block of flats, at the second floor of the building) and she wasn't a small dog. I had fought for her life until it wasn't any chance left. Her life had become a misery and she didn't deserve that kind of life. I had to make that horrible decision. You will surely know when it's time to let your dog go. Just make sure he doesn't live a life he doesn't deserve.
@2004cqui (2823)
• United States
10 Feb 11
I feel so blessed to know so many level headed, logical people. This surely out weighs "idiot vet" opinions. The first time I had to make a decision like this was for my beloved Quarter/Arabian horse. Together we worked and played for 12 years to become formidable contenders in rodeo rankings for winnings. As I saw her carry her head closer and closer to the ground and her breathing become more and more labored it was very evident she was miserable. Some vets would say, as long as she was standing, eating and drinking she was too healthy to "destroy". I hate that word. People who use it are against this decision.
@jillhill (37384)
• United States
9 Feb 11
It's such a tough decision to make....I waited and nursed my dog until one day while I was at work my son made the decision and came home and took him to the vet to put him out of his misery....so I know what you are going through and I do think you are giving him a fair shake!
@2004cqui (2823)
• United States
9 Feb 11
I usually have a good sense about the health of a dog. I just didn't need the "hes too healthy" talk with this vet. It makes the decision so much harder. How many people have a "pet cemetery" in their back yard? We never completely let them go. We never tell anyone as it would creep some people out. He's been a part of our family since winter 1999/2000. Our friend has done a great job protecting us and our home. We've kept one of his daughters knowing...... Thanks for understanding and helping me through this. This is painful.
@amirev777 (2552)
• India
10 Feb 11
Hi That is really a tough choice to make, especially when you love your dog so much. I have 4 dogs, though they are all mixed breeds, I love them very much, more than any other thing in the world. the oldest one is 5 years, and I dread for that day when they will become old and listless. If I have to take such a decision, it will be really tough for me to do it.