Posted by: darkwing | 2010/03/28

Time to let go

When does one know it''s time to let go, to have a dog put down? I have two very old dogs, Dalmatian (12-13) and Chow mixed with an unknown breed (12 and a half). Both suffer from arthritis and Rimadyl and Mobiflex are constants in our lives. They are still fine, eating well and are mobile, but I dread the day when it will be necessary to choose.

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Our expert says:
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Dear Darkwing

You will know when the suffering needs to end. You are the best person to make that decision for your dogs.

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: steph | 2010/04/05

chill is right, you sound like a caring good pet owner, you''ll know. all the best, and scratches to your pooches :)

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Posted by: Chill | 2010/03/28

Been there, done that. Quite a few times, as a matter of fact, so I know precisely what you are going through.

The only advice I can give is that if you care about your dogs - which it seems to me you really do - then when they''ve had enough, you WILL know, beyond a doubt. They become kind of inward-looking (only way I can describe it) - they may well still eat, but they just seem tired.

Two other things: don''t let this dread mess up the time you have left with your dogs. No amount of anticipation is going to reveal to you how/when they will die, and it will always happen in its own way. If you know the dogs well then just have faith in the fact that you will understand when they need to be released, and you will do what is necessary.

The other thing is, and this was always my dilemma: how can you be sure that you''re not making or deferring the decision out of selfishness - ie, either putting them down because it''s become too much of a burden to care for them, or conversely, failing to do so because it''s too painful to you. My answer is: as long as you are consciously aware of this kind of ''selfish'' approach, you will be able to be objective and do what is best for them.

A further tip: age isn''t always best expressed in numbers. Some dogs are ancient at 10 - others sail through happily until 15 or even older. Medication is a perfectly legitimate way of prolonging life, and preventing discomfort, so while it works - go for it.

Good luck, whatever you decide.

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