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Posts: 3

 I was here about 6 years ago after the death of our great dog that was only 10. It was the hardest thing I we went through. I thought it would prepare me for the future, but here I am again trying to decide when it is time for my almost 10 year old with lyphoma. She has started to pace all night long and cannot settle down for the night. She stands next to my bed and when I wake she is always there just staring at me. The vet feels the cancer has spread to her lungs and she is aggitated and having difficulty breathing. She still has somewhat of a appetite. My vet has said it will likely be within the next couple of weeks,...but Im scared she is suffering now. How did you know when it was time? Im so torn by euthanasia. I feel like I am cutting her life short but dont want her to suffer needlessly.

Thank you for any input you might have


Posts: 73
Dear friend,
      I have not had to battle with this decision but my friend has. I remember her beautiful dog of maybe 19 years was slowly dying. The vet would suggest euthenasia all the time to them, still they refused. The vet became so hurt by seeing their dog is so much pain that he even asked them not to go down to see him again.
     My friend and his family loved that dog like you cannot imagine. It was heartbreaking for them and unthinkable to even suggest terminating their baby's life. It came to the point where they would carry the dog outside so she would do her business, in pain, no less. Touching her caused pain, yet she knew what was to happen.
        It was almost as if the dog understood that those were her last moments with her beloved family and she had to cherish them no matter what pain came upon her.
     For me, seeing this poor animal in pain killed me. It is hard, but allowing them to live on with evenn more pain and anguish is worst, I believe. I do not envy your situation. I really dont. A lot of people say they cant do it because of guilt. However,  shouldnt one feel more guilty that they are allowing the one they love suffer more, just so that they themselves wont feel responsible?
     For many years, I had been against euthanasia. But after seeing how they let that dog suffer was just so painful to me. I am not condemning them either, I know it must be hard. I dont know what I would do if I had to be in their shoes. In the end, you should do what is right.
     I will pray for you during these difficult times.

Iris' forever mom


Posts: 10
You are the best judge of what your animal's feeling.  If you feel like she's in pain and suffering, you can rest assured that putting her to sleep is humane and kind.  Its never an easy decision.  But dont' worry, she is not afraid.  If she looks worried its because she's worried about you.  When we had to put Blanche to sleep, I whispered in her ear that I was sorry for any time I didn't pay her enough attention and she looked panicked. It wasn't until several weeks later that it dawned on me that she was worried about me and not herself. Its only hard for those left behind. Those who go to the Bridge are at peace and without pain.  We are still lonely for those we've lost but they will always be with us. 
I hope this helps and good luck with whatever decision you must make.  We are all here for you if you need to talk more.
Take care

Posts: 8
Yesterday, I finally made the decision that it was time to do what I had been so afraid of.  Selfishly I had wanted to keep my boy with me, as although I knew he was in discomfort, he wasn't displaying any signs of severe pain.  He had been diagnosed with a cancerous tumour back in January.

It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do and has broken my heart, however I know that I truly could never forgive myself if he had had to experience severe pain.  It was my responsibility to make sure that the life he had was happy and pain free, and to ensure that he left us with dignity.  I beat myself up over the thought that I could perhaps have left it another week, maybe 2.  But what if he had gone further down hill and suffered.  My last memories of him would have been awful, whereas now I can remember him being happy.

The thing that brought me to the decision was when I collected him and his brother from kennels, after I had been away, and he had attacked his brother.  Boycie had suffered quite nasty cuts and puncture marks in his head and neck.  There was no way Nelson was ever a nasty dog like this, and he had acted totally out of character.  I had to make the decision then that I could not risk another (possibly more severe) attack and I had to prevent him from being in any pain.  He needed me to make this decision for him.

I don't think anybody can really advise you when is the right time.  I had been looking for somebody to tell me what to do but they couldn't.  I think you will just know.


Posts: 148
This might sound bad to you guys but I don't think I could ever put one of my dogs down. I couldn't bear it. I wouldn't have the guts to do it even if they were suffering. It's sounds bad but I just couldn't do it. Maybe Saxon knew I wouldn't be able to handle it and thats why he went in the night on his own.

Posts: 881
I'm so sorry...I know you are going through the worst of times.
It's a terrible decision because that question of "is this the right time" is one that haunts many of us.

Only you will know when that time comes. My prayers and thoughts will be with you and your precious companion.

There's a saying on this site that I like...

"I have sent you on a journey to a land free of pain..not because I didn't love you but because I loved you too much to force you to stay."

Sending you hugs,


Posts: 3

Thank you so much for your replies. She seems fine today and is resting comfortably, but when night time comes she cannot rest or sleep. She stands by the bed just looking at me. My husband even got on the floor last night and slept with her and she still would not lay down. She only stood next to him. She is turning down her dog food now but still wants people food. She follows me all day and night when I am home wanting people food or to be pet. I just want to scoop her up and never let her go. I have spoken to her vet and he feels that it is drawing closer and we have discussed him coming to our home to euthanize...I have two other dogs and I feel that they will understand what has happened to her this way. I know animals tend to hide their pain, but Im second guessing myself, wondering what real pain signs are etc, I guess. In the last few years I have lost 2 humans and 1 dog that were all very close to me from cancer and so this is just bringing back the loss and depression feelings. I have watched too many people/animals die infront of me and it haunts me still. I am going to take one day at a time. I WILL NOT keep her here for us,... I know that is so selfish. Im only worried about taking away time from her that she may still be enjoying. Right now she is different everyday or sometimes every hour so its not clear yet to me.


Posts: 219

Ask your vet--or another one if this one doesn't want to see your dog--for something for the pain. We gave Layla injections twice a day to help with the cough because her enlarged heart was irritating her trachae. It's a narcotic that's also good for pain, so your vet may have to know you well to trust you with injections of that sort. The needle is tiny--it's over in a second and given sub-q.

That said, when she wouldn't eat any of the many things that I bought for her to eat--she liked chicken nuggets for awhile and Arby's roast beef, plus vanilla ice cream if you're looking for tasty calories (refused the doggie ice cream)--I knew it was time. It would NEVER have been the right time for me. I have never had to do anything so hard in my life. But I couldn't let her dad take her without me; I couldn't leave her alone, wondering where her mom was no matter how hard it was on me, but I didn't even try to hold back the tears. I couldn't have.

Talk to your vet. Layla's passing was very gentle. We gave her one of the injections for pain/cough before we left the house so she was already sleepy and snuggled in my arms. They only took her for long enough to put in the IV, and I held her again. Then we put her on her blanket and stroked and loved on her. The initial injection was given very very slowly (make sure they do that--tell them that's what you want if you think they won't) and she fell deeply asleep. She didn't even react when the vet slowly injected the final vial. She was basically under anesthetic, as we are during surgery, so she felt nothing.  The vets knew how much I loved her, and they were as kind as possible to all of us. I saw tears in the eyes of one of them, and they sent me a card in which all of them had written individual notes a week or so later.

We had a dog with lymphoma. I knew that it was her time one morning when she went down the hill (fenced back yard) and lay down and wouldn't come back. We realized when we went to get her that she was blind. I knew she was afraid--sudden blindness has to be terrifying. So we called the vet that Sunday and she met us at her office. You will know, if you listen to the part of yourself who wants what is best for her and not the part of you who never wants to let go. Her eyes will tell you.

Posts: 143
It is such a hard decision.  For us, our little Pepe had been ill for nearly two months.  He was in pain and would yelp when you barely touched him.  I could no longer pick him up as he would yelp.  He could barely go up and down the stairs.

We had him on all kinds of meds, including pain meds, and I kept holding out hope that he would recover.  He was also very restless and couldn't get comfortable.  For the last week of his life he mainly lay on his side and barely responded when we called his name.  When he was healthy he would race to the door to greet us.

For me the time I knew for sure was the night before we made that fateful call to take him to the vet.  He was lying on the kitchen floor and as people were coming over and I knew they might bump against him  and I had to get him to a safe place where he wouldn't be bumped.

He struggled and struggled and when he tried to get up his back legs just dragged behind him.  I cried and cried and knew I could no longer keep him going this way.

The next morning we made the call and took him to the vet where we stayed by his side while the vet inserted the needle.  I have never felt such grief in my life, yet I knew we did the most humane thing we could ever do.

I am so sorry you are going through this.  How I wish our pets lived as long lives as we do.  The pain of losing them is almost more than we can bear. 

Posts: 137
I am sorry to hear about what you are going through. It is never an easy decision to make. When I lost my Rocki almost 3 years ago, everyone told me that he would let me know, he would give me a look. I couldn't imagine how that was possible, but he did. The look was as clear as can be. A look I will never forget. Once again I am faced with the same decision you are, when is enough enough? I have a very sick 15 year old German Shepherd. I never know what the next moment is going to bring with her. I once again keep doubting what people say, "she will let you know when". I keep wondering if I'm missing the sign, missing that look.
My heart goes out to you. What I do know is that our furbabies don't deserve to be in pain and for us to have the ability to let them run free and healthy once again is an amazing gift. It is a final gift given to them with all of our love.

                                     You will know when the time is right,
                                                 Hugs, k9lover


Posts: 24
Many times we want to be selfish, and only out of love, to keep them with us longer. I think I knew a week or two before, when I came into the house from an overnite shift, lying on his bad side (which he never did, because of the tumor) He had obviously fallen, with the hip dysplacia, who knows how long he lie there, and couldnt get up. He has peed, and was wet withthat. I got him up, cleaned him up, then the floor.

I think he felt he had lost dignite, being helped up, and the mess. He looked at me with sad eyes many times, not happy ones of the past. I developed some pictures today that were taken in the last week or so. He did not look like a happy pup. THat is one of the things that kept me sane today, after losing him yesterday, and not question my decision as much. Now I am nagged with the question should I have done it sooner? I will never have answers.

Every situation is different. strength to you in making that decision.

Posts: 991
Our schnauzer Molly was diagnosed with inoperable malignant oral melanoma and was gone in 6 weeks. She was ten years old. My husband wanted to help her to the Bridge at week 5; I cried, I screamed, I ranted, I raged. He very calmly told me that it would only get worse.
Her last day was spent running the fence line with the neighboring Labs, making friends at the gate with a puppy running loose in the neighborhood, going for a sniffy walk in a cow pasture, and having her first and only taste of the forbidden chocolate. When we took her to the vet, we looked at her and everything she'd done that day and asked ourselves if we were helping her to the Bridge too soon.
The vet looked her over, and told us gently that the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes and had started affecting her breathing. The huge tumor spilling out of her mouth had had its blood supply shut off and the vet said that Molly would be one very sick pup by the end of the week(she went to the Bridge on Monday).
We did not want to remember a horrible end for her, with her gasping for air and being poisoned by that darned tumor. So we went ahead and sent her on her way to the Bridge that day.
Looking back on it, we definitely did the right thing at the right time. The only regret that we have is that she is no longer with us. But it gives us great comfort to know that she is at the Bridge, happy, healthy and cancer-free, waiting for us.
Molly's MOm
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