lefty's random dog thread. - Page 209
I'm very sorry to hear that.
We euthanized our dog at home under similar circumstances. It has pluses and minuses. On the positive side for us, she passed in a place she was comfortable, in her own bed, and didn't have to face going to a place she didn't like on her last day. On the negative side, it wasn't done by our usual vet (who has a great bedside manner and genuinely loved our dog) because she doesn't do house calls. Also, depending on your local laws there may be slightly unpleasant rules governing how your dog is handled on the way out of your home, while at the vet's office everything can be done out of your view; for example in New York City the doctor was required to take our dog out in a black garbage bag (he was as sensitive as he could be, but... it didn't make it any less sad to see). Definitely make sure you meet the vet ahead of time if it won't be your usual vet making the house call - it will be hard enough on you without second-guessing how they are going about it.
lefty: well we just picked her up and she seems much, much improved. i think most of the symptoms we saw were the side effects from the chemo still, and that the prednisone is starting to kick in and she's improving. we're going to wait a few days and make a judgement on either letting it play out until it spreads to the point where it's causing problems, or put her down right away. i don't want want to wait until she's at the absolute end, but at the same time if she can get another week or two of quality, enjoyable life, i'll opt for that, even if it's harder on us. no matter what the cancer is terminal, but i don't now if it's progressed to a point where it's impacting her quality of life.
mcbrown: wow that's a horrible law. our plan has always been to have her cremated, and there's a local pet cemetery that runs a service where they will come and collect the pet's body anytime. our usual vet actually does provide the service, but i will make sure to talk to him about our local body laws. va is a pretty freewheeling state though.
another question: for those of you who have had dogs that have died, did you immediately go out and get another dog? having a dog - particularly my dog - has added so much to my life, but i also feel so guilty about the idea of 'replacing' her..
Gotta disagree with this slightly: it helps no one to draw it out to the very last minute, but I think taking a few days can be good for both dog and family, as long as she still has things that makes her happy. Spiritual considerations come into play to some degree with these decisions, and for us at least it was important to send our dog off with a few days of major spoilage. That may not be a factor for everyone, of course.
I'm not saying you're completely wrong, just that none of us can really say when "it's time".
I don't want to create the impression that we're going to do everything we can do extend her life until the last, bitter point. Our metric right now (on when it's time to put her down), is is she capable of doing and enjoying the things she loves? Is she in pain or discomfort? We know definitely that, for right now, she's not in pain, and she seems to be much improved as the prednisone starts to kick in. If at anytime it seems she starts to worsen we'll put her down. At the same time, I don't want to deprive her of what enjoyable time she has left, and would like her life to end on a high note.
It's a difficult decision to kill something you care for so if feeding her foie gras for the next few days makes you feel better, then go for it. That's pretty much for you though. When this death comes it will be drawn out and ugly. I have had a cat die of cancer in my arms and it's not fun for the animal.
Let me ask you this? What is level of pain and suffering you consider enough to make you act? How are you judging that? How sure are you of your ability to judge the animal's distress?
Put another way, what would the dog "want"? To die with the wind in her face with some ability to be herself or after 24-36 hours of pain and wasting away until there's little left?
What exactly are you holding out for? The dog is dying and will not get better. It sucks, but that's what dogs do. I hate to be callous, but make a schedule for tomorrow: steak breakfast, play ball, belly scratches, one good walk, vet.