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How can you tell if it's time?

1022 Views 9 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Jon235
I got my dog from a shelter a few years ago (Parson Russel Terrier). They guessed he was around 7 or so at the time, which would make him around 9 now. I didn't realize when I got him that he had chronic hip issues and a dead tooth, which hasn't been a big problem. Since then, he has developed diabetes that requires multiple injections of insulin daily with relatively frequent vet visits.

About a month ago, he got a cat claw to the eye and got a really bad infection. After an ER visit and a few trips to the ophthalmologist, the infection was under control, and it was apparent that he lost all vision in the eye. The ophthalmologist suggested a unilateral enucleation (removing the eye), but there was a chance it would scar over, and the operation would become unnecessary. As a college student, I elected to wait and see while I finished paying off the vet bills and tuition.

In the mean time, though, his other eye became very red and inflamed. I thought it was another infection, but his regular vet didn't think so. With the equipment they had, she wasn't sure what it was and suggested I go back to the ophthalmologist. She said it looked very bad, though, and that he may lose that eye as well.

I'm in my senior year as an engineering student and I work part time, so I have very little time as it is. I already feel that I don't give him enough attention, and I can't imagine how much worse it would be if he went blind too. He's a great dog, he loves everybody he meets, and he still seems happy, so I don't know what to do. Once the eye issues have been resolved, I'm sure he could still lead a happy life, but he is placing a big strain on me financially and on my time. Even though I've only had him for a couple of years, I've still grown close to him. It's going to be hard finishing this semester without him, but is it getting to that point? Or am I considering this too early? I'm worried about discussing this with the vet because I feel like I'm giving up on him.
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What do you mean by "it's time?"
I think if you can't take care of him anymore you should find a rescue that will help him. Blind dogs can still live very happy lives
I'm not sure any shelters would take him. He has chronic hip issues, diabetes, and now the eye problems. I'll look into that first, though.
There are rescues specifically for disabled dogs maybe you can look into those, the least you can do is try! please don't put him down until its the very....very last option
Call this place, i really dont have any knowledge about this stuff but they take in disabled dogs from all around the country
Good to know. I wrote that after coming back from the vet with more medical issues, and I may have overreacted a little. I will at least take him back to the ophthalmologist and see what he says, but I will begin looking into better options for him.
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No problem :) dogs do well even if they're completely blind and you said he's still really happy, so I think if you can't care for him, I'm sure a rescue will take him in. There's pet insurance too or care credit, I've used that before, that could really help If you cant afford something. Don't give up on the lil guy!
I will admit I put a dog to sleep (Harper, the one in my avatar photo) because I didn't have the time or the money nor did I feel 'right' about her diabetes.

She would have required several shots a day, at a specif time and her meals regulated, and according to the vet it would have taken some time to figure out the doses and her meals. In the meantime, the dog feels sick.

But then I had no money at that point, and my vet offered the medicine at no profit to herself, but it was still going to cost about $90.00 a month. I had just got out of a wheelchair, was fighting with disability and living off of my rapidly emptying savings.

But the thing that made me decide to put Harper to sleep was after reading all I could about diabetes, it seems like a majority of the dogs end up with pancreas cancer, or other vital organ issues within a year or two. A year or two where some of that time is spent trying to adjust the insulin dosage, and feeding program and if the diabetes are back to square 1 in trying to adjust insulin. Plus, you just can't explain to a dog why they are being 'pinched' or given a shot several times a day.

So, even if I had the money, I doubt I would have done that...because a dog just can't tell us how sick they are feeling...we can only guess and I would hate to guess wrong...and make her live like that for a few years only to see other issues arise...such as organ failures, blindness, and other issues that can come from having diabetes.

So, I put Harper to sleep at age 8. I only had her for 2 years but she was one of the best dogs I ever owned...just pure happiness all the time...her whole body would wiggle with joy. I miss her deeply, but don't regret my decision.

I love all my pets, and I'll spend quite a bit for vet help, but I just won't risk financial bankruptcy for one. I also don't like the idea of sending a medically dependent animal to a rescue group where it could end up living from foster family to foster family, or worse, end up in a kennel...getting treatment, yeah, but that's not the same as having a home. At least with Harper I know she's no longer in pain/feeling ill and I know I did my best for her which might not be as good as someone with a lot of money but it was my best, so I'm comfortable with that.

Only you can decide what to do with your dog...your own comfort far as letting him live and keep paying for medical bills, or putting him to sleep or sending him out to a rescue. I hope what ever decision you make though, that you feel at ease with it.

On another note. I agree that with elderly dogs...their arthritis pain can be helped with inexpensive meds, and that being deaf or blind shouldn't be a reason to put one to sleep...deaf or blind isn't a painful condition and I've had elderly dogs do just fine with those handicaps. If the eye conditions heal up and are not causing pain....the dog should be ok as far as any sight loss.

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I'm sorry to hear about Harper, and thank you for sharing. I'm bringing him to the ophthalmologist in the morning to see what he says. Hopefully the eye isn't bad enough to require surgery.

I'll update with more news.
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