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Posts: 10
So i don't ramble on, i'll make a long story short. My puppy Blackie (13 years old) has a bad hind leg, he hasnt been walking on it for about 2 months now. He doesnt moan or cry in pain, but how he walks and goes to the toilet doesnt seem comfortable at all. His leg has swollen up and seem like its just dead. We can't afford surgery. We've had him on pain killers for 2 weeks but he took his last pill a few days ago.
All he does is sleep all day, he doesnt get any exercise, and doesnt respond as much as he used to. I'm thinking it could just be coz of his old age. I'm wondering if i should put him down or not. I read somewhere on a forum that if a dog can't live a dogs life, then he should be put down. I've also read that the dog himself will somehow tell you that he's ready to go.
It's so hard to tell, at times he seems like he doesnt care about anything anymore, but other times his tail would wag for a brief second because he seems me and knows i'm going to pet him. I'm not sure what to do...


Posts: 418
I am so sorry you have to make a decision.  It was a very tough thing for us to do, but this poem was given to me by our vet and helped me make the decision, albeit a very painful one.  My prayers are with you:

If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this -- the last battle -- can't be won.
You will be sad I understand,
But don't let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.
We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.
Take me to where to my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don't grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We've been so close -- we two -- these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.


Posts: 730
I'm so sorry you're faced with such a difficult decision.

With Blue and Riefer, the vet said there were treatments but each would be short lived (they both passed 2yrs apart & of different circumstances). Riefer was nearly 18yrs old and I felt he just wasn't having the quality of life he enjoyed for most of his life. I felt the same for Blue. Riefer died the morning before I took him to have him PTS. Blue was diagnosed & gone within an hour 3 wks ago tonight. Blue hadn't even been on the couches in months and not going outside to just lay on the grass. She wasn't herself and was just shy of 11yrs old.

It's a terrible situation to be in but it's your decision, albeit one of the hardest ones to make. Listen to your heart & look into your baby's eyes. They'll tell you.



Posts: 219
teej--Does the vet say that he needs surgery and for what? Is it simply arthritis and anti-inflammatories (some risk with any drug, of course) will keep him comfortable? Did they do an x-ray to make sure that leg doesn't have a hairline fracture or something that showed up later?

The decision to put a loved pet down is not easily made. No one can tell you what to do, but I've had dogs that lived to be 18. Sometimes there are funds for people who can't afford surgery--there's one here in my county, partly funded by an event called Grace's Birthday Party. Grace has been gone to the Rainbow Bridge for probably 8 years now, but each spring there is a huge party where the humans pay admission and the dogs get in free, and there's an auction and all kinds of fun activities. The fund is administered by the Vet. School. Layla wore a black silky dress with gold sequins, a blue boa, and pearls to the last event she got to attend. This year's theme was cowboy/western, but we missed it.

I would say go back to the vet and get a good idea of what is going on first before you decide anything. The grief most of us feel at letting our little ones go is indescribable.

Posts: 156
Dear Teej,

It sounds like you are short on funds and unable to pay for medical care for Blackie. It also sounds like his quality of life has declined to such an extent that it would be a great act of kindness and your undying love to put him to sleep.

My old gal is 14 1/2 and has degenerative arthritis in her spine and rear legs. Without her daily medication of Previcox to keep her comfortable and mobile she would be in the same shape Blackie is in. When the time comes that she is unable to go for walks, rise from her bed, or go outside and squat, then I will know her time has come.

It's one of the hardest decisions you will ever make but once you see his face relax, free from pain, you will know you did the right thing.


Posts: 2,245
As everyone has said letting your baby go is a personal decision.  Below is a letter I wrote to Moses Mommy when she had to make the same decision.  The letter applies to the decision I had to make when to let my Precious Angel Go. I hope that it helps.  You and Blackie are in my Prayers.

Big Hugs
Christopher's Mommy

Dear Moses Mommy:
My message to you is NEVER give up hope and Never let anyone make the ultimate decision for you as you will know when it is time to let go.  I read your posts last night and wanted to answer them but I was having such a bad day I could not see through my tears.  I Will share my story with you in hopes that it will help.  I am sorry this is so long but hopefully it will help you with your decision as to what to do with your fur baby.

I lost my little Angel Christopher to Heart Disease and Pulmonary Hy[hypertension almost three months ago.  I had him for twelve years and he was my Angel and my best friend.  My life has been a nightmare since but I am glad that I fought with him until the end.  I did not put him to sleep until I knew that he was in pain and ready to go to the bridge.  Believe me, you will know when it is time.

One night in 2005 as I was sleeping I heard Christopher scream.  I though my husband had rolled over on him.  What it actually was, was the first signs of his hypertension.  He did not have another episode for about three months; then they started to become more frequent.  I took him for numerous tests and scans over the next year.  Although I prayed for a miracle from God he continued to get worse.  His seizures became more frequent and his heart disease worsened.

In June of 2006 Christopher had two terrible seizures and was having difficulty breathing.  I thought it was the end.  I rushed him to the vet hysterical.  They stabilized him on oxygen and sent me to U.C. Davis Medical Center in California.  I spent all day there with him as they gave him numerous tests. I refused to leave his side for a moment.  After 10 hours he was stable.  They advised me that Christopher would need oxygen support and Viagra to expand his vascular structure.  They called in a prescription for Viagra and I found Apria Health Care and got them to deliver the oxygen to me at midnight.  this started my on-going regimen of treatment.  In the last year I spent about $10,000 and would have spent more if needed.

Christopher got worse and needed oxygen more often and more medications.  I did what I had to do.  By October of 2006 Christopher was much worse.  The right side of his heart had enlarged and he needed round the clock care.  When I could not take him to work with me I hired a sitter for him.  During this period of time I took him to the Vet every three days to make sure he was OK and not in pain.  Although my vet assured me he was OK, I was not going to take any chances.  I do not know how many trips I made to the vet but I would guess hundreds.

Christopher came to us in Santa's pocket on Christmas day so that time of the year was very special for us and him.  He loved all the wrapping paper and the lights on the tree.  I remember sitting in the living room talking to him for hours because I know this would be his last Christmas with me.  Christopher was my Angel and my best friend.  I had no idea how I was going to make it without him.  I continued to pray for a miracle.  I have always believed that the brightest star in the sky was my mom looking down on me making sure I was OK.  Every night I prayed to my mom to pleas not let God take Christopher from me  just yet.  Each time I would rush him to the Vet with another seizure or breathing episode, he would snap out of it for awhile. 

By January he did not want to eat much so I fed him anything he wanted; prime rib steak corned beef etc.  When he did not want that I fed him baby food by the spoon and Nutra Cal to keep up his strength.  Nutra Cal is a food supplement that is a paste.   I was not sleeping and my health was getting pretty bad.  The doctor gave me sleeping pills so I would get some rest.  One night I awoke and could not find Christopher; he had fallen off the bed I assume due to a seizure.  I padded the floor with down comforters and never took another sleeping pill.  I started sleeping at the end of the bed with him because that is where he was the most comfortable.  I slept with the lights on so that I would not sleep soundly ever again.  I hated to leave him for even a moment and was in constant fear he was going to die and I was not going to be there for him.  I took him to work with me and refused to leave him for other than short periods of time.  Thank God my husband was so understanding.  Christopher was a special little guy and meant the world to both of us.

By February Christopher became so weak I had to help him when he went outside.  he started loosing a a lot of hair and was very weak.  Through all of this he still met me at the door when I came home and he always had his tail wagging and showered me with little kisses.  The Vet assured me he was not in pain but was getting worse.  I took Christopher to the Vet numerous times thinking it was the last time only to come back home with him.  My vet told me that I would know when it was time. 

On March 17 2007 Christopher had trouble breathing.  When I took him to the vet they said he had fluid in his stomach cavity.  they drained the fluid on the 17th and on the 19th.  When I took him in on the 19th he was very weak but still alert.  He could not go to the bathroom and started bleeding rectally.  The vet gave me some medicine and sent me home.  He continued to bleed.  I spent all night up with him.  By 2 am on March 20th he started to cry; I knew it was time.  Fortunately I had a pain pill to give him until the vet opened up at 6.  That was by far the worst night of my life.  I spent all night talking to him telling how much I loved him.  I cried all night as I had no idea how I was going to make it without him. I prayed for a miracle but one never came.  At least I got to tell him how important he was to me. 

Putting him to sleep was the most difficult think I have ever had to do.  I will never forget watching him go to the bridge.  I screamed and screamed until I almost passed out.  The vet who had treated him since he was a baby was with me.  She was in tears too as was my wonderful husband.  I screamed all the way home and for days there after.  I cannot tell you how many times I asked God to let me go to the Bridge with Christopher.  I am sure that sounds crazy to everyone but it was how I felt.  In 1995 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I can tell you hearing that was not nearly as difficult as loosing my little Angel.

Although the last year with Christopher was very difficult and outrageously expensive I would not have done anything differently.  I had a lot of quality time with him in those last months.  And, my vet was right I knew when it was the right time.  The right time was when it was no longer about Christopher but about me.  When I knew hes in pain I had to let him go.  My only regret is I wish I would have spent more time holding him before they gave him the medicine.  However, I do not know if it would have made any difference and would have only prolonged his pain.  He was so ill he could not even give me one of his sweet little kisses before he left for the Bridge.  That is how I knew it was his time.

Do not give up until it is time and take joy in every moment you have left with your fur baby.  It has now been almost three months and my life is a nightmare.  I am on sleeping pills and taking it a day at a time.  If it makes you feel any better I am a successful business woman with a Doctorate not some crazy person with mental issues.  Christopher was my Angel and my best friend.  He gave me his unconditional love and I gave him mine.  He was the light in a dark room and the happiness on a sad day.  I will miss him forever.  What I do know is if I had listened to others I would never have had that last year with my little guy.

Enjoy your baby and never give up until you know you have no choice.  Do not listen to anyone except your heart.  My prayers are with you and your baby. 

Big Hugs
Christopher's Mommy


Posts: 1,328
Teej--My diabetic cat had a corneal ulcer,non-healing, for over 2 months. We were gonna remove the eye. I went in for the appt. and kept saying to myself, something doesn't feel right--I'm not gonna do this. I told the vet tech that. The vet comes in and says the ulcer is healed almost 90%. The other vet  had previously said it may never heal. We were even considering euthanizing him at one point.

Sometimes, hope comes when you least expect it.

Two months might still be early to know for sure whether the leg will regain its' strength.
Is it osteoarthritis? Injury to tendon/ligament, etc.?
Have you tried him on anti-inflammatories or steroids?? That might be worth a try. Is it possible with more time that the leg will re-cover? Sometimes, with tendon/ligament injuries, time can help.
Can you soak it in warm water (20 min.)daily to see if it will improve? These are what I would be thinking. Good luck and sorry for all of this.

Posts: 10
Thank you for all the replies and your kindness. And thank you for the poems and stories. Gorgeann that was a really sad story. If I had the money i would treat Blackie exactly the same.
What I'm not happy about is the fact that he can't live his full life because of lack of money. I just find it very unfair.
Blackie doesn't cry at all, but he just sleeps all day. It looks awkward when he goes to the toilet but he's still able to go. What tore me up was when i let him out the front yard to frolic. It took about three minutes until he got tired and just sat back down again. He definitely can't live a normal dog's life, but he also still seems to have spirit at times. He still eats but not as much as he used to, which is normal for an old dog right?


Posts: 24

I knew it was time, when in the past 2 wks, my shepherd mix, CHico, would lose his balance due to his hip dyspacia, and fall onto his side, and just look at me with sad eyes. As if he was sorry. I came home one morning from a nite shift, and he was not in his usual place on his rug int he bedroom, lying on his bad side (the tumor side, which he never laid down on) scrambling to get up and couldnt, HIs side soaked in urine. I dont know how long he had been like that.

I felt horrible for him, and he probably did also at the loss of dignity. In truth, keeping him here with me as long as I did was selfishness on my part. I couldnt part with him. It was 4 days ago, and to this day, I would mop the floor every day for him, but not making him go thru pain and discomfort. I still question my decisions on surgeries, etc (but he was 14 1/2 then, and I am not a person with money) My life will not be the same. And I have taken pics of him thru the years, when he was younger, healthy, and happy. And again in the last few weeks, I look at them and know he was not a happy puppy anymore. I dont like myself or too much else tight now, because he isnot here to get me thru it all. You will know.

Posts: 36

Noone will know but you when the time is right.I had to put my george down at the tender age of 8months.I raised him on a bottle and everything.He loved to be outside and he went out the next morning he was hurt, to me it looked like something tore the inside of his mouth up.We took him to the vet she said his jaw was broken in 3 places the worst she had seen.She said they might could try surgery but where it was broke behind his ear they couldn't repair and he would never be able to grab his food.So we had him put to sleep.That was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.I miss him so much.But only you know your pet.You will be in my prayers.Here is a picture of my George.Kathy


Posts: 5,100
I agree with GypsyMagic.  You need to know exactly what is wrong with Blackie's leg.  Has he been seen by a vet?  Has his leg been x-rayed?  If he was seen by a vet, what did the vet say is wrong with the leg?   Usually the vets will want to have a diagnosis before they give medication.  Did the vet prescribe these pain pills for him?  

In my experience, my beloved little 16 year old terrier did not tell me when it was time for her to pass.   I had to make the decision, but I did so knowing I had done all I could for her and that she would never recover.  It is the hardest decision to make, but the most loving and merciful when your baby is suffering. 

So, if Blackie's leg can be fixed, I would try to do what I could for him.  Ask your vet if he or she has a payment plan.  Mine does.  But, whatever you do, talk to the vet and get his or her opinion.   Many times vets are very helpful, even though the ultimate decision is yours.  I will be saying some extra prayers for you and Blackie.  

Betsy's forever mom
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