When do you know itís time?

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When do you know itís time?

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Old 02-14-2018, 07:21 AM
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When do you know itís time?

When do you know itís time to have to say goodbye? My dog Bear is 13, he is a big dog with bad arthritis in his lower spine/back. He has problems getting up because of it and sometimes canít hold his poop in because of the arthritis location. He seems happy, but he is getting worse, having a hard time getting up outside now where there is traction and he never had a problem outside. He eats but isnít as enthusiastic about it as he use to be, I have to put the bowl in his face and he will eat it. He has moments of energy when the other dogs r outside and see a squirrel or something but then has times when he just doesnít seem there, if that makes sense. I know he is in pain, we tried a lot of different medications, I put him back on the anti inflammatories and it helped a little but now doesnít seem to be working at all since he seems to have a harder time getting up and around. I feel like mentally he seems happy still, comes up to me for attention, sometimes tryís to play with the other dogs, but mostly just finds a place to lay down. I donít think he is at a point yet where it is a quality of life issue, but then I see him struggle and I wonder if it is? Itís just like I said mentally he seems fine, he pees outside and mostly poops outside. How do you know?
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:49 AM
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So sorry you are having to deal with this last inescapable responsibility we have for our dearly loved companions. I don't believe anyone can tell you when it is time to say your last goodbye or until we meet again. It's such a personal decision which is best made by you and other members of Bear's family. I appreciate that you are trying to get advice and input from others who have been down this road before but we are all different in determining when we step aside from our wants and hopes for ourselves and do what is absolutely best for our dog(s).

FWIW, I have dealt with this many times and there has never been a time when I truly felt I picked the exact best moment to set my dog(s) free of their pain and hardship. I'll always second guess myself after the deed is done but I just believe that is the human element as it is difficult to play " god " but making this decision comes with the responsibility of having a dog.

There have been times where I felt I waited too long, hopeful of a rebound which never happened. Other times, where I felt I may have been too early in making the decision and tortured myself with "maybe my dog might have made a comeback" Either way, the sadness was all the same. My goal when making this decision and when it is time is simple but ever so difficult: I make a promise to myself that I make my decision to honor the dog 100% and try my absolute best to not influence my decision based on my not wanting to be without my best bud. I'd like to think I have done as such but I'd be a liar to say my mind doesn't wrestle with emotions of my being "without"

I'm confident you'll do what is best for your Bear because nobody knows your Bear as well as you do.

Strength is what I send your way as you deal with this difficult phase.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:53 AM
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So sorry you and Bear are going through this. There is a key question you must ask yourself, (Am I keeping him alive for him or for me?). Your truthful answer to that question will tell you what decision you must make.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:55 PM
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So sorry you're going through this right now. I don't think anyone really has an answer for when the right time is and I think everyone will have slightly different opinions on quality of life. As another use had already posted, it is too easy to second guess yourself afterwards...and also too easy to let the bad drag on in hopes it is only temporary.

I have always had a very, very difficult time deciding upon euthanasia. I consider 'happy of the mind' of higher importance than 'discomfort in the body'. Some people try and weigh based on good days vs. bad days.

Based on my experience with older animals, I know that things like arthritis aren't generally going to get better. In this case, I would look to the dog's state of mind. Does he seem happy, overall, still? It sounds like he does...but you will know best.

Dogs will hide pain. But if he's not crying or in obvious constant or frequent distress then I, personally, wouldn't see an immediate *need* for euthanasia, or feel it is a quality of life issue. But at the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with choosing to set him free either if there is an inkling of doubt in your mind.

The others are right in that it is a difficult decision with no right or straightforward answer. Just as long as you are keeping the dog's interests above your own.

Wishing you the best- sending hugs to Bear.
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:46 PM
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Ouch- awful decision to make. But most of us will make these decision. I had to pts my 2 seniors last yr. 8 months apart. God it was hard. But we did my gsd,s bucket list instead of worrying when? He didnt cope with other dogs out without him, struggling to keep them in check n me safe from bogey men. Crying as we left. This for me was right time when meds could not keep up with pain. And 1yr on....still hurts like hell. Strength to u
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:44 PM
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I'm sorry your boy is having those difficulties and know how hard it is to watch them and wonder just when it will be time.

What my boy taught me is to try and determine just how much discomfort and pain they might be in. If I can keep my elderly pet comfortable and as pain free as possible, then letting him simply lay around, rest, and sleep, most of the day is not a problem, after all we would't expect 80 year old grandpa to run and play all day with the teenagers. I also do not mind assisting my dog to stand or doing something like putting down carpet runners to help them keep traction while moving around.

When I can't get him interested in food any longer, when he is in pain that cannot be controlled, when he's no longer comfortable no matter what I do to help, then it's time to let him go.
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