Posted by: steph | 2012-02-27


my 17 year old daxie is showing clear signs of dementia. he seems to whine and pace a lot, incessantly at night. he cries a lot as vet has put him on tramadol twice daily and gabapentin as well in case of arthritis. i am concerned that my dog''s quality of life is diminished and that i should put him down. i worry that if he needs such high doses of meds to stay comfortable he must be in a lot of pain. i feel that it might be best to put him down, but dont want to be too hasty.

my dog sleeps all day but is restless at night, i suspect the hours of sleeping is from all the medicine.

i dont know what to do....

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hi Steph

You need to discuss this matter with your local Vet as he/she has a clear idea of your dog’s clinical history. For me an animal’s quality of life is fundamental and we as owners should not be selfish in prolonging any chronic pain or suffering. I do hope you make the right decision.

Kind regards
Angus Campbell

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Chill | 2012-02-28

Glad to see you got my msg, this morning it had disappeared and I was suspecting perfidy... wrongly, luckily.

Now listen here. I know that you have done literally everything in the world for your beloved dachsie. Over a long, long period. You still are.

But you also need to spare at least a small bit of thought for yourself. You are going through agony - pretty much as I did. You are dreading what lies ahead - been there too. But give yourself a break too. Allow yourself to be at peace with the inevitable, and rather focus on the HOW, not the WHETHER. Dogs are unfortunately not immortal - and in fact they shouldn''t be - there comes a time when they''ve had their fun on Earth, and need to be let go, peacefully. You are doing nothing wrong in making this decision. Send him off in style, stay with him to see him through, let his last experience be gentle, and forgive yourself, because I am 100% convinced that our dogs forgive us too. The VERY worst that can happen is that your timing was a little out... you know the feeling: is this week too soon? Perhaps tomorrow, rather than today?

Stop fussing about that, it really isn''t all that important. If you think you''ve been a little hasty, then console yourself with the thought that it is at least fifty times better to be a little too early than a little too late.

You aren''t clairvoyant (at least, I assume not!) so you don''t know what tomorrow will bring. You''re not perfect - nobody is. Don''t be too hard on yourself...

Let us know, will you? I''ll keep an eye out for a bit.

Reply to Chill
Posted by: steph | 2012-02-28

Hi Chill,
Oh i am so glad you responded...i responded to your last post on the chat forum. the situation with my dog is so tricky. we tested for liver and renal function and he is totally within the normal boundaries.

i found some literature which suggested that tramadol could have unwanted side effects such as anxiety and paranoia. so i decided to take him off of the tramadol and gabapentin ( he was prescribed those due to an acute bout of pain as a result of an injury sustained at the groomers) since having taken him off of the meds, i have kept him on metacam for arthritis. as things stand now he is not crying during the day...unless he smells food...he is food obsessed. he runs when we go for walks, he sniffs around the dog park like he used to, he is wagging his tail again. its just the nights that are hard....he struggles to sleep. i have made an appointment for the vet to come my house at the end of the week, but i will try him on valerian in the meantime and see if the nights settle....

its so tricky.

chilll i am glad you are comfortable with your decision, its such a hard choice, i can honestly say this is the hardest decision i have ever had to make. its just aweful.

take care :)

Reply to steph
Posted by: Chill | 2012-02-27

Hi Steph.

I absolutely know precisely how you feel. I had my 18 y-o dog put down last month, after agonizing just the way you are.The decision was horrible, but once I made up my mind, I absolutely knew that I was doing the right thing.

Your dog has had a wonderful innings, but you''ve been battling against the inevitable for ages and ages. You are probably hoping - as I did - that he simply won''t wake up one morning. But you know that that is not a terribly likely scenario, and that you will have to eventually do what is best for him. You do know what to do... your dog does not deserve to have to hang on until the very, very bitter end... it is in your power to set him free, in a loving and dignified manner. Be brave, know that you have done the very best you could for him, and that you now give him the greatest gift of all, in spite of the pain you will feel in saying goodbye.

I did it. It was totally upsetting, but in every rational way, I was OK with it. I have no regrets.

You can, too.

I really do wish you the very best, and the strength to do what you must do.

[I am not coming out of retirement, by the way, but I had to respond to this one...]

Reply to Chill

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