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Question
Posted by: Sensitive Good bye | 2009-05-11

putting pet to sleep

Hi Cybervet and team. Our very old dog is nearing the end of her time with us, she is still ok but I am not sure for how long. The final steps are my concern: option1) should we have her put to sleep at home in familiar surroundings (her vet has agreed to make a house call) so her brothers and sister (cats) know that she is gone, or option 2) do we load her in the car and take her to the vet and have her put down there. Which of the 2 options would be less traumatic for the rest of the furry family? In the past the remaining pets " looked"  for their sibling for days afterwards. (please don' t refer me to cybershrink!) thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Dear Sensitive Good bye

I agree that it is best to have it done at home. The other cats will adjust better afterwards if they have time to spend with the body.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-06-06

stumbled now upon this. Hence the late reply.
At end of last year we had ot put a dog down (GSD, 12 years old, male). He lived all of his 12 years with another GSD (female, she is still going strong but old). He was physically just slipping backward. At the end he didn' t have control over his excretions anymore, could barely walk. As deaf as can be. It ended in my lap to have him put down. One afternoon I put the dog and kids in the car and off we go...... But his behaviour was not the same as when we took him previously to the vet. When normally at the vet, he tried to protect me from the vet (until I leave him alone with the vet, then as calm as can be) and didn' t like another dog at the vet' s place. When we arrived at SPCA (let them put him down) he was as calm as can be. No aggression towards other dogs (there were a few at that time at the reception area coming and going) or the staff member who took him over from me. (not his normal behaviour). All in all to me was that he was ready to go and knew it was his last journey when he had to get in the car.

The other dog at home? She is fine. I prepared our kids that she can react in many ways. From depresion or just carry on as ever or we may even find her dead shortly after. Up to today (8 months later) she is still fine and nothing wrong with her, except being old herself. She still walk around (fairly well given her age of 12½  years), still very alert at the gate,control over excretions etc. And do still allow our 5 year old daughter to climb over her.

About 3 weeks before we put the male down, we got a new GSD. She is now 10 months old and she and the old dog are fine together.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-05-11

hi, i' ve had to make this choice before and I think it' s best to let the vet come to your house. the home environment should be calm and loving place for your pet, so there is no issue of the stress of taking the pet to an unfamiliar surrounding. it' s also important for your other pets to see and smell their friend once he/she has been put down so that they can understand that she is dead. death is a normal process in life and if we allow the pets to see their friend they can no doubt process this information and move on a bit quicker. pets do mourn the loss of other pets, so this way seems to be the best way for all of them. good luck. i think your pets sound really lucky to have a caring owner such as yourself :)

Reply to Anonymous

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