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My dog is dying from liver failure. I've took him to the vet this past weekend. After running MRI and blood test, the doc concluded that there was nothing we can do to help him and he will eventually die from liver failure. Right now he's eating, drinking, and sleeping but he's definitely in pain when he wakes up from long nap as he screams in pain for couple of minutes which breaks my heart. My question is how do you decide when is the right time to euthanize him? I dont want to put him down but I dont want him to suffer and prolonging his suffering so I could spend little bit more time with him is extremely selfish on my part. Any advise would be appreciated.
 

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I am so sorry, it really is such a tough decision.

There is a scale used to assess our pets' quality of life when they are seriously ill. I understand it was developed for cancer care but the principles apply to any life limiting condition. What is their quality of life in relation to Hurt, Hunger, Hydration, Hygiene, Happiness, Mobility and More good days than bad days. You can find more detail here

Pawspice and Animal Oncology Consultation Service - Veterinarian in Hermosa Beach, CA US :: Quality of Life Scale

There is a saying, better a week too soon than a day too late. It's a terrible decision but one that responsible owners have to face.
 

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There's a couple of questions I'd be asking myself.
1. Is there at least 2 things he's still taking pleasure in and looking forward to. Food, toys, walks, car rides, etc.
2. Can any pain he's feeling be kept under control?
3. Is he losing interest in food?

If I'm answering 2 out of 3 of those the wrong way, then I'd be thinking it's time to let him go. Ideally you want to answer yes to the first to and no to the second.

You don't want the regret that I live with. My major regret with my elderly boy Shadow was not opting to put him down when I took him to the vet the last time on Wednesday. He was elderly at 17 years 8 months old, and had stopped eating, he slept 80% of the day, he had arthritis, he no longer recognized me due to canine cognitive dysfunction, his appetite wasn't the best. I was content to just let him be since the arthritis pain was under control but then he stopped eating as I said. Instead of putting him down the vet suggested trying some appetite stimulants. Well they did not work, and by Fri I was on the phone with the vet asking if I should bring him in or would he be in pain if I let him pass away naturally at home? He said that he shouldn't be in any pain, so I opted for letting him pass on his own. Mistake, and a heartbreaking one. I don't think he was in pain, but I sure was, he finally passed away on Sunday morning. If I could do it again I'd never take the medicine, and would put him to sleep on Wednesday.

As JoAnn said, better 1 week to early then 1 day to late.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There's a couple of questions I'd be asking myself.
1. Is there at least 2 things he's still taking pleasure in and looking forward to. Food, toys, walks, car rides, etc.
2. Can any pain he's feeling be kept under control?
3. Is he losing interest in food?

If I'm answering 2 out of 3 of those the wrong way, then I'd be thinking it's time to let him go. Ideally you want to answer yes to the first to and no to the second.

You don't want the regret that I live with. My major regret with my elderly boy Shadow was not opting to put him down when I took him to the vet the last time on Wednesday. He was elderly at 17 years 8 months old, and had stopped eating, he slept 80% of the day, he had arthritis, he no longer recognized me due to canine cognitive dysfunction, his appetite wasn't the best. I was content to just let him be since the arthritis pain was under control but then he stopped eating as I said. Instead of putting him down the vet suggested trying some appetite stimulants. Well they did not work, and by Fri I was on the phone with the vet asking if I should bring him in or would he be in pain if I let him pass away naturally at home? He said that he shouldn't be in any pain, so I opted for letting him pass on his own. Mistake, and a heartbreaking one. I don't think he was in pain, but I sure was, he finally passed away on Sunday morning. If I could do it again I'd never take the medicine, and would put him to sleep on
 

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Discussion Starter #6
He's still eating well and like to go for a walk even though he's wobbly and can't walk for long. However, the pain is just too much for me to bear when he's screaming even though it's only for a few minutes at a time. Thank you for taking your time to respond.
 

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Just over a year ago, my husband and I had to take my beloved Miles, the dog in my avatar, to the vet that last time. Our vet was very kind, and she helped us make the final decision. She told me that I had to be "hero" for Miles and let him go to ease his suffering. For that visit, we brought Miles's dog bed with us and a towel to use as a blanket. The procedure was very peaceful. Because he was curled up in his dog bed, it felt like he was going to sleep. It was the right time and the right decision.
 

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If he is screaming in pain you already know what to do.
The point is, for whom are you prolong it? him because he will get better or yourself because you can't bear to say goodbye.
 

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Well after reading everything is say it's that point where he's having trouble walking and screaming in pain then it sounds like it's time. get him his favorite meal maybe the vet can do it in home. Plan for the best last day ever. It's never ever an easy choice. my dog died of hepatitis in January and she was amazing but liver is the biggest organ without it dogs cannot survive. I believe you're on the right path and doing the right thing. I feel for you. sending all my love to you ❤
 

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Well after reading everything is say it's that point where he's having trouble walking and screaming in pain then it sounds like it's time. get him his favorite meal maybe the vet can do it in home. Plan for the best last day ever. It's never ever an easy choice. my dog died of hepatitis in January and she was amazing but liver is the biggest organ without it dogs cannot survive. I believe you're on the right path and doing the right thing. I feel for you. sending all my love to you ❤
Getting the vet to do it in home was the best decision I've made for my pets. There's a certain peacefulness about being home and the dogs were so calm. Prayers for you and your dog.
 

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Just over a year ago, my husband and I had to take my beloved Miles, the dog in my avatar, to the vet that last time. Our vet was very kind, and she helped us make the final decision. She told me that I had to be "hero" for Miles and let him go to ease his suffering. For that visit, we brought Miles's dog bed with us and a towel to use as a blanket. The procedure was very peaceful. Because he was curled up in his dog bed, it felt like he was going to sleep. It was the right time and the right decision.
That makes me cry.
 
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