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Grey Area
02-09-2012, 08:01 AM
Post: #1
Grey Area
Question: How do you determine when it's time to say goodbye to your furry friend? We have an almost 13 year-old Beagle who is at that point in his life where, in order to keep him healthy/comfortable, we'll have to start forking over money to the vet, giving him daily meds, etc., etc., and I'm not sure I'm willing to go to those lengths. He doesn't have anything terminal, necessarily, BUT, several times a day he has episodes where he does this awful "sucking air" thing, which goes on for several minutes. Supposedly he has a partially collapsed airway causing the valve to not open properly, but it sounds like he's just going to collapse and die on the spot, and it really scares the kids when he does it. The meds are for a minor heart enlargement, which may or may not be causing the airway constriction, but the meds may also cause liver failure, etc., etc. He also has a horrible cough, which may also be from the airway problem, but without a bunch of tests that cost big bucks, we won't know for sure. We tried putting him on steroids last year when the cough thing started, but it lowered his immunity and he got pneumonia and almost died from that!

The problem is that other than these episodes, he's pretty spry and still acts like a younger dog, when he's awake that is! Basically, he's either sleeping, begging for food, getting in the garbage, howling at the squirrles, deer & neighborhood cats, puking (he's always had a sensitive stomach), or having these breathing difficulties. Oh, and he does have some arthritis which makes him really gimpy, and the cold air triggers the breathing issues, so I can't really take him for walks much anymore.

The moral dilemma I'm having though, is that when he's awake, he's basically driving me crazy and I'm simply, honestly, just tired of cleaning up poop and puke and hair and mud and garbage, being woken up at night by the coughing, spending money on the kennel when we travel, etc., so how much are these things coloring my view of how sick he really is? My husband and I agreed when he was young that we wouldn't go to extreme measures to keep him alive when he got older, and it really does seem like his quality of life isn't that great with the issues he has, but it's not like he has cancer or is so crippled that he can't get up the stairs, etc.

My husband is much more attached than I am, but also realizes that I am the main person dealing with him all day, so the final decision is really up to me. He just said I need to really make sure I'll be able to live with myself if we pull the trigger and have him put down, so I obviously want to make sure I'm doing it for the right reasons. Then there's the issue of what to tell the kids: "Sorry guys, Mommy's just tired of dealing with Zack, so we had him put down..." Ug. We don't believe in lying to the kids (or anyone for that matter), so telling them he has cancer or something like that is not an option. We can certainly explain things at a level they will understand without going into great detail, but they are both very inquisitive and will ask the tough questions. One of our neighbors just had to put her dog down, so that gave us the opportunity to discuss the concept with them ahead of time, and they seemed to get-it that it's what's best for the dog so he/she doesn't have to suffer anymore.

Anyway, thanks for reading this and allowing me time on the couch...obviously no one can tell me what to do, but I'd love to hear from anyone else who has had to make this tough call.

"I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food."
W. C. Fields
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Messages In This Thread
Grey Area - debskis - 02-09-2012 08:01 AM
RE: Grey Area - VincentUlyssis - 02-09-2012, 11:47 AM
RE: Grey Area - Onebad70ss - 02-09-2012, 11:56 AM
RE: Grey Area - VincentUlyssis - 02-09-2012, 02:01 PM
RE: Grey Area - debskis - 02-09-2012, 02:18 PM
RE: Grey Area - Onebad70ss - 02-09-2012, 02:43 PM
RE: Grey Area - VincentUlyssis - 02-09-2012, 07:31 PM
RE: Grey Area - HardwareGrl - 02-09-2012, 06:26 PM
RE: Grey Area - 2Beers - 02-09-2012, 06:59 PM
RE: Grey Area - Scythe Matters - 02-09-2012, 10:44 PM
RE: Grey Area - burma.girl - 02-09-2012, 11:40 PM
RE: Grey Area - Counselor - 02-10-2012, 05:39 PM
RE: Grey Area - debskis - 02-10-2012, 07:46 PM
RE: Grey Area - VincentUlyssis - 02-11-2012, 06:14 AM
RE: Grey Area - Scythe Matters - 02-11-2012, 01:41 AM
RE: Grey Area - debskis - 02-28-2012, 10:51 AM
RE: Grey Area - N'awlins - 02-28-2012, 11:16 AM
RE: Grey Area - debskis - 03-03-2012, 02:46 PM
RE: Grey Area - RN-PRN - 03-03-2012, 06:24 PM
RE: Grey Area - RaoulDuke - 03-03-2012, 08:35 PM
RE: Grey Area - Scythe Matters - 03-04-2012, 03:10 AM
RE: Grey Area - 2Beers - 03-04-2012, 01:17 PM
RE: Grey Area - N'awlins - 03-05-2012, 11:48 AM
RE: Grey Area - Onebad70ss - 03-05-2012, 01:56 PM
RE: Grey Area - Nettie - 03-05-2012, 06:48 PM
RE: Grey Area - debskis - 03-05-2012, 06:57 PM
RE: Grey Area - knitterbookbinder - 03-06-2012, 07:22 PM
RE: Grey Area - Gungawoman - 03-05-2012, 07:13 PM
RE: Grey Area - RaoulDuke - 03-06-2012, 06:54 PM
RE: Grey Area - debskis - 03-07-2012, 07:39 AM
RE: Grey Area - Rey - 03-07-2012, 08:04 AM

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