I am second guessing my decision to put my dog to sleep tomorrow-advice needed!

She is 14, very weak hind quarters, has trouble getting up and walking -falls down quite a bit. Her bones are sticking out but she continues to eat fairly well. She whines a lot, and seems uncomfortable despite daily doses of Rimidyl. She has been falling, and unable to get up, tinkles on the floor. I made an appointment for her to be put to sleep tomorrow, but I just don't know if it's time. Any thoughts?

Asked by Member 559771 on Jan 18th 2008 Tagged euthanasia, pain, senior in Answers
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First, let me say I'm really sorry to hear that you and your dog are going through this.

What jumped out at me from your question is that she's still eating. But, that's tempered somewhat with the fact that it sounds like she's in a fair bit of pain.

It is hard to say what to do. Ultimately, you are the best judge since you obviously know your dog better than anyone, and I'm sure you haven't come to this decision lightly. I'm sure you feel that there is a quality of life issue here and that she isn't doing well.

I can't tell you for sure what do to, but I can tell you what I'd do if she were my dog:

I'd keep the appt with the vet, but talk to him about her health and why you've come to this decision. Ask for the vet's personal opinion on whether or not what you're seeing is pain or confusion or something else. Mention she still eats well. Even if he agrees it is time, it could make you feel better about your decision.

This isn't easy, and I feel for you.

Jack answered on Jan 18th.

Other Answers


~Angel (RIP 11/20/07)~

Your poor baby. No one can really tell you what to do. I agree about keeping your appt, your vet will be honest and tell you if there is nothing else to be done.

When Angel got really sick at the end, I just thought, would I want to go on if I were in her condition? And the answer was no. I promised her when she got sick that I would not make her suffer even a day more than necessary. I loved her too much to make her do that.

Your poor girl seems like she is in a lot of discomfort. Please just don't prolong her suffering for your sake. By that, I just mean we sometimes make them hold on longer than is best and a lot of us have done that. It is so hard to let them go.

Many hugs to you and your sweet girl.

~Angel (RIP 11/20/07)~ answered on 1/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer

Gray Dawn Treader

Ditto, Jack, ditto.

Gray Dawn Treader answered on 1/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I am very sorry for you, your pup-pup, and this situation. I had to do this for my 18 year old Chow/Shepherd mix. Her mind was still there, but the body just couldn't go any more. It was the hardest thing to do, but it was the best thing I could do for her.

The best advice I have ever received when contemplating this decision was: "Consider your dog's quality of life." If she is still living a productive, relatively pain-free life, that's one thing. However, if she's not able to do the most basic of activities that a dog can do, then you know what you should do for her.

If it's time to head for the Bridge, then let her go. God bless.....

Endo answered on 1/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


Aw geez. Sorry to hear you have to make this decision. It's not an easy one to make, but luckily we do have the option help our dogs pass on and leave the pain and distress that so many face at the end of their times here with us.

I wanted to respond just because your situation sounds SO much like the situation my friends were in about a year ago with their 14 year old girl. She was a healthy happy dog well into her last year, but her health declined suddenly and rapidly, and much in the way it sounds like your dog is. They struggled greatly with the choice they knew they'd have to make sooner or later, and finally they made the appointment and went through with it.

(I'm going to tell the other part of this story as Storm as I really want to say it but am running out of room...)

Meridian answered on 1/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

My Angel Inca (1991-2006)

I am so very sorry you've been faced with such a huge decision and I'm so sorry for the pain you're experiencing. I agree with the other answers-I would keep the vet appointment and speak in depth with your vet about anything that comes to mind. I was faced with the same decision about a year ago with almost the same circumstances. I miss my baby terribly, but to this day, I think I made the right decision. You obviously love your baby dearly and would not want her to go through unnecessary pain. I wish you the very best, & you and your baby will be in our thoughts and held close to our hearts.

My Angel Inca (1991-2006) answered on 1/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


(NOTE: I am answering on behalf of Meridian, who couldn't finish her answer due to the word limit)

I don't know if this is something that will make your decision easier or harder, but it's something I think I might want to hear if I was in the same position. After she was allowed to pass on with the help of the vet, my friends told me they wish they had actually done it sooner. She went very easily and was able to let them know that this was just what she wanted when it was happening.

Best wishes through this hard time.

Winnie answered on 1/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Zeus (LOVING Memory 12-21-05)

I am so sorry. I had to make this very hard decision for my Zeus, it was very hard- Just remember animals are not afraid of leaving this world like we are, & they DO feel pain like we do, the only bad thing is they can't tell us what they want or feel, like someone above said, only YOU know your dog. I am glad for one thing, that my boy Zeus went in peace in his own bed at home, after a big steak dinner next to us. (Vet came) It is VERY hard but be strong for your baby. I knew far ahead of time that I never wanted my boy to suffer & I am thankful that he didn't have to. At the end I didn't wanna be selfish & keep him around just because I couldn't accept the inevitable. Of course if she is not in much pain, living comfortably, then it is not time yet. HARD HARD decision, the toughest, & my heart goes out to you. Just be strong for your girl & try to be honest with and listen to an OBJECTIVE vet who can monitor her pain. Can the vet come to your house?? Good luck + God Bless you both.

Zeus (LOVING Memory 12-21-05) answered on 1/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 5 Report this answer

Max -became an Angel 6/3/06

We hope this poem helps you make your decision.

If it should be that I grow weak,

And pain should keep me from my sleep,

Then you must do what must be done,

For this last battle can't be won.

You will be sad I understand,

Don't let your grief control your hand,

For this day more than all the rest,

Your love for me must stand the test.

We've had so many happy years,

What is to come can hold no fears,

You'd not want me to suffer so,

The time has come, please let me go.

Take me where my needs they'll tend,

And please stay with me until the end,

Hold me firm & speak to me,

Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time that you will see,

The kindness that you do for me,

Although my tail its last has waved,

From pain and suffering I've been saved.

Please do not grieve it must be you,

Who has this painful thing to do,

We've been so close for all these years,

Don't let your heart hold back your tears.

Max -became an Angel 6/3/06 answered on 1/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer

Mai (1996-2006)

I feel the same sentiments expressed by the others. Let me add something for you to think on and remember. Because dogs are pack animals, they do not show weakness or pain to an extraordinary level. In the pack, the weak get killed. If a dog gets to the point of whining a lot, there is incredible pain. Saying goodbye is the hardest thing in the world -believe me I know! Give your baby the best gift you can right now - say goodbye. I promise to be her friend on the other side.

Mai (1996-2006) answered on 1/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

♥Bonzi In Memory

First off besides her ages you aregiving her a toxic drug that will cause kindney & liver failure. Has the vet done any blood work to she how the kidney & liver is? I don't want to sound mean but she will most likely pass before you have her put down.

As soon as your dog begins Rimadyl therapy and during the entire time he takes it, watch for the following symptoms, all signs of potential life-threatening reactions to the drug:

loss of appetite
change in drinking habits (refusal to drink or increased water consumption)
unusual pattern of urination, blood in the urine, sweet-smelling urine, an overabundance of urine, urine accidents in the house
black, tarry stools or flecks of blood in the vomit
lethargy, drowsiness, hyperactivity, restlessness, aggressiveness
staggering, stumbling, weakness or partial paralysis, full paralysis, seizures, dizziness, loss of balance
jaundice (yellowing of the skin, mucus membranes and whites of the eyes)

♥Bonzi In Memory answered on 1/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Scarlett (In Loving Memory)

I am so very sorry for the hardest decision you'll probably have to make in your life. I had to put my Dog to sleep 2 years ago, I didn't want her to suffer anymore. It's so hard to let go of something you love, at least I know it was the best thing I could of done for my little girl.

Scarlett (In Loving Memory) answered on 1/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

The gang from dogphoria

Very to sorry to hear this about your dog. It is really good that she is eating healthy and all. But in real life is she over weight or underweight? Or is she just right? Do you know for a fact she's in pain? My honest answer is to go to the vet and see what he/she thinks.
Hope that helps! =-)

The gang from dogphoria answered on 1/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Since she is 14 let me 1st say you must have been a very good doggy parent...and unfortunetly when this time comes in their lives it is up to us to judge *quality of life*
It is the hardest thing we do as doggy parents..but also one of the most loving..they our fur kids ..understand and usually looking into their eyes tell us what we need to know and when..
My heart goes out to you and yours..know that you are not alone..because all us lovers of our fur kids have been where you are..or will be..
And I am sure that you..will do whatever is necessary for your very loved and cared for fur kid..

Member 107698 answered on 1/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


You know, this is your decision, but to me it sounds like it's time. I know this is a dog, but my cat was suffering from leukemia (only 4 years old) and had lost his bowel movements and couldn't walk. At the time I didn't feel any medicine could help him -- neither did our vet. It's a sad thing to go through, but it sounds like it may be time for your dog. For 14, she's lived a long happy life and that's the only thing anyone can ever really be grateful for. All you can do is kiss her forehead and wish her a good fair well.

Bebop answered on 1/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Whitie Speciality Germiquet

From experience no one can tell you or help you with this decision..

All I can say is it's up to you do what you think is best if you are second guessing yourself then maybe wait a couple days Wait until you know for a fact it's something you need to know I know it sounds like she is in tremendous pain but don't do it until you know it's time in your heart. Otherwise you will just blame yourself over and over as I am doing with my baby girl and the what ifs..

Wouldn't want that put on you for anything in the world. You will know if it is time. Go with your heart ok.

Whitie Speciality Germiquet answered on 1/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


i agree that you should keep your appointment,but what i think is that you should let her go.she is old and weak and she is probably going through some amount of pain.if this was my puppy then i would definitely do whats best for him and not think about how much i would miss him. hope that helped.

~☼Cloud☾~ answered on 1/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

PLUMM  (9/1/92-10/25/08)

Your pup sounds like my Lakie, Plumm. 2 weeks ago there was a piece on ABC's Nightline about stem cell therapy for dogs! I was VERY excited about it, went online and located the lab in CA that does the stem cell process from the fat of the dog patient. Here's the link to the page that lists vets that do the proceedure: - I was very lucky to find a vet in Easton, PA who just completed training, took Plumm to see her yesterday and hopefully we'll be doing the proceedure on Jan 28 - Plumm will be her first patient - The cost is $2000, a bit pricey, especially considering his age, but I want to do it - He's been given a couple of more months due to beginning kidney failure...this vet says part of the proceedure is a general transfusion of stem cells as well as direct injection of stem cells into the joints of both his hind legs. The site, explains the proceedure - I hope this helps - please let me know.

PLUMM (9/1/92-10/25/08) answered on 1/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Wow, what a tough decision to make. My best advise is to listen to your pet. When I had to put down one of my Pekes a few years ago, I waited until Hy stopped being really interested in doing anything or eating. Her "essence" just seemed to diminish. She wasn't unhappy, but just appeared tired with life. When I was at the vet with her, she wagged her tail and gave me a kiss right before. It was one of the most profound moments I have ever had in my life. It was hard, but I know I did the right thing and I always think of her as playing in heaven and not having any pain again. Good luck and god bless.

Samantha answered on 1/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I am so sorry, since I've been through this, and understand the pain you're feeling. Obviously, your vet is the best one to advise you, but it sounds like there's something else going on than the walking difficulties and you owe it to yourself and your baby to determine what it is, even if this means getting a second opinion. I went through a similar thing with my previous dog, my beloved cocker, Barney, who, at 17, had calcification of his spine and was also having trouble getting up and walking. He couldn't tolerate Rimadyl, caused pancreatitis. I first tried chiropractic, which helped, but found my answer in acupuncture, since I'm fortunate to have a vet that also offers alternative medicine. At one point, Barney couldn't walk at all, and I had to carry him out and hold him up to piddle. But after acupuncture, Barney was walking just fine and did for the rest of his life. It also can help appetite. Here's my vet's site, which I hope helps. All my best.:hug:

Meneken answered on 1/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

brookie in memory

I am very sorry. I believe that animals should not suffer in this world. If your dog is in uncomfortable pain and you cannot alleviate it then it might be time to let her go. Let her be the healthy happy dog you remembered. Let her years be ones of joy and never let her bear this pain. The nature of dogs is that they come into this world to bear us the ultimate love, joy, and companionship. We open our hearts knowing our lives are infinitely longer than theirs. It is our responsibility to protect them and be their voice.

I am again so sorry but if she is suffering let her go on to a better place.

brookie in memory answered on 1/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Bear and Bambi - Mommys Angels

I am so sorry! However, let me tell you I had a German Shepherd that was in the SAME condition. It broke my heart to see her that way, that is not how they would want to live. I know that is hard to hear, my shep. was also 14 yrs old...the HARDEST decision I ever had to make. You would be doing this in your dogs best interest. I really hate to advise anyone to do this to their precious baby, but from what you have said it is time. My vet has often told me that our pes will hang on, even though they are ready to go, ust because they sense that we want them to stay. AS hard as it is to hear...this is not fair to your pet, she knows you love her and gave her a GREAT home. That is just my thoughts, Good Luck in your decision.

Bear and Bambi - Mommys Angels answered on 1/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


If you think it's time, then you do what you think is right. Even though it may be very hard to think about putting your baby down consider these ideas......
Your poor baby may be in a lot of pain.
They could be suffering
Are they uncomfortable just to do things like eat sleep or potty
Even though it may be hard, i think you are the one who can answer this question.....
Are YOU ready to let go of your baby, for their own sake??
Hope This Helps!!! Good Luck and I knowyou will make the right decision.
Much Love, Angel Momma

Sport answered on 1/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


My gosh It makes me so sad to hear about your pup. I'm tearing up thinking about having to maybe make that decision someday for my boy. I had to put down a pet once and I couldn't even go to the vet's office I had to call my mom to come get her and take her, even though I knew it was the best decision. She was suffering. She was obviously embarrassed or afraid she would get in trouble when she wet the floor. I had to remember that she was not living a real life the way she was, that she wasn't human and didn't understand why she couldn't do the simplest of tasks like walking. She didn't know how to make the pain she had stop. I couldn't tell her that she was dying. I tried to remember that her life had changed mine in such a wonderful way that it would be selfish of me to keep her around when she was so uncomfortable. My mom put the crate in the car I could almost feel my heart ripping out. I cursed God out and I cried for days. I still miss her but I know she's happy.

Koda answered on 1/24/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


By now you may have already kept or cancelled the appointment. Either way, I hope that this posting will help you be at peace with your decision. I had the same dilemma nearly two years ago. Luca had been declining for about a year and was losing a lot of weight, despite having a good appetite. I knew he was dying but and that I would be faced with putting him to sleep but I thought he would stop eating and moving around and that it would be obvious when it was time but it wasn't. I tried to consider quality of life but he was very stoic so I wasn't sure how much pain he was in. I realized that what I did not want was to wake up and find him in distress, have to hurry to the vet to put him to sleep. I wanted his last moments to be as peaceful and happy as possible. I made the appointment, cherished the last few days I had with him and while I questioned whether I was doing the right thing, in the end, I know I did. I hope you feel the same way about your decision.

India answered on 1/25/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


hello friends, i am in the exact same position. after a lot of crying, we've decided to put our girl down tomorrow. she was "normal" until about a week ago when we saw her fall down and was slow to get up. she doesnt seem "sick" but she isn't normal. the vet appt a couple nights ago confirmed she has cancer in her blood, an enlarged heart, liver and spleen. she's on lasik the help move the fluid out of her swollen abdomen, urinating a lot, drinking a ton and is very gassy. she's lost over 20 pounds in 5 months (from 80 to 59lbs) and doesnt seem interested in doing anything. i'm torn up inside bc she isnt whining or crying or limping, but she's not herself. her condition is incurable & inoperable. i dont want to put her down prematurly, but i DO want her to go out while she's still got dignity and peacefully. i dont want her to suffer through another month as her conditions worsen just bc we weren't ready to let go. am i wrong? i keep trying to find similar situations online, but i cant

Member 562547 answered on 1/25/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


You will be the only one to tell when it is time to let her go.IF she is falling and being vocal then it may be time.Dogs are self caring and when they need their humans to start cleaning up for them and need their folks to help them do things then it may be time. But you will need to be the one to make the decision. By the way my boy has been on Rimadyl for many years, I do his bloodwork every 3 months and he has done great on it.It's all an individual thing.If people knew how many people died from certain drugs they would be shocked!!!
Best of luck with your decisions.If it would have come easy to you then she may not of meant that much.You have had her for 14 years,that's alot of years for a dog.You have done a great job by her andI'm sure you will do the right thing now. You are in my thoughts.

Pedro answered on 1/27/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Hooch Turner  RIP my sweet bab

I made the same descision Tuesday, I think you have to put your trust in your vet, but it's not easy, to be without them and know you madfe the choice.

I keep telling myself his body made the choice, My Granddad, kept telling me he was in so much pain, he wanted no more tests or being fussed with, but you can't give a human that choice.

I think Hooch looked at me and his eyes said the same, I think they siad we are best buddies and I hate to leave you as well.

But it is so hard and I am in floods as I type this.

Hooch Turner RIP my sweet bab answered on 1/31/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer