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Old 04-18-2009, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Some place very cold
5,503 posts, read 13,571,099 times
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Default Letting your dog die naturally versus putting them down

I just ran across a retired woman and her dog on a hiking path. We got to talking and she said she grew up on the farm and they never put dogs down. They just let them die naturally, and often the dogs passed away in their sleep.

When my dog was dying, I often wondered if I should have spent the time with her holding her and being with her instead of rushing off in a panic to the vet to spend a few hundred having her put to sleep.

I've known many people whose pet died naturally at home and it was usually very peaceful. Humans pass away at home naturally.

What are your thoughts?
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Old 04-18-2009, 08:59 AM
 
Location: California
9,712 posts, read 23,343,664 times
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It all depends on the pain factor. Mia is gone a month today...and it is what we thought that morning....let her die in peace in her own home and surroundings. Until she started to howl in pain....I can't do this right now.
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:08 AM
 
Location: ROTTWEILER & LAB LAND (HEAVEN)
2,400 posts, read 3,024,392 times
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I think it all just depends on the situation...

If a small dog dies in it's sleep, are you able to bury it in your yard ?
Having large dogs...that isn't even an option for us, even living on a farm.
We would need a backhoe to bury our babies.

We would rather take our babies to the vet when it's time. I want to hold our dog all the way thru the procedure. YES...it's very hard. I want to hold our dog talk to it, tell it how much we love it. What a good girl/boy they are.
Then after they are gone...our vet & tech's leave the room so I can be there alone as long as I want to grieve/cry. They are so good to us at the vet clinic.
After you leave, they wrap your pet in a sheet, then into a black plastic bag. You can either take it home to bury if you chose to, or the pet goes in the freezer for pick up.

No matter which you chose...it's never easy.
It's a shame humans can't die like the way the dog/pet does.

Then again...our neighbor shoots his dogs. I don't agree with that at all. I don't even speak to that man. I have to live next to him, but I don't have to be friends with him.
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:57 AM
 
7,081 posts, read 23,915,559 times
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If we have the opportunity to do for our beloved pets what we can't do for people, I think we should take it. I don't believe in suffering needlessly, I do believe in making our animals' departure from this life as peaceful and painless as possible. I've seen too many people die really hideous deaths because a family member won't agree to a DNR order and we're forced to do invasive, assaultive procedures in a futile attempt to keep people alive.

Since we CAN euthanize animals when their quality of life has become unbearable, I think we should take advantage of that. I would never let my animals suffer. Not the way we force people to suffer.
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,315 posts, read 4,451,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viralmd View Post
If we have the opportunity to do for our beloved pets what we can't do for people, I think we should take it. I don't believe in suffering needlessly, I do believe in making our animals' departure from this life as peaceful and painless as possible. I've seen too many people die really hideous deaths because a family member won't agree to a DNR order and we're forced to do invasive, assaultive procedures in a futile attempt to keep people alive.

Since we CAN euthanize animals when their quality of life has become unbearable, I think we should take advantage of that. I would never let my animals suffer. Not the way we force people to suffer.
Amen.

It has taken the medical community years to understand the importance of palliative care with respect to addictive narcotics. These drugs used to be withheld or rationed to avoid end-of-life addiction. Now that such options are available through private physicians and hospice, I don't understand why we should not avail ourselves of it for our pets. Palliative care isn't costly. And, as we all know, it is difficult for humans to assess the relative discomfort another human is experiencing and it's even more difficult to determine the degree of pain an animal is feeling. What appears to us to be "peaceful" may actually be quite the opposite.

Years ago we had a limited understanding of pain and pain management. Now we know more. Should we deny that knowledge out of nostalgia for the "good old days?"

Here's an article by the AVMA on the subject: ACVA position paper on pain treatment (http://www.acva.org/professional/Position/pain.htm - broken link).

As for me, I hate to be in pain myself. It's debilitating. I've owned or fostered dozens of dogs. Some died of cancer. Some had painful osteoarthritis symptoms as they aged. Many had surgery. Some had serious injuries. As far as I know, none suffered pain that could be alleviated with proper medication because I've always taken an aggressive stand on pain management, and I'll continue to do so.
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Austin
1,975 posts, read 1,266,723 times
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Well said, Viralmd! I couldn't agree more with your post. I have had to euthanize five dogs in my life and each time they told me, in their own way, when it was time. It is very comforting when a beloved pet gives you permission to help them die without pain or suffering.

Letting go is the hardest thing, but it is a final gift we give our dear friends in my opinion.
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Manhattan, Ks
1,275 posts, read 3,517,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof Woof Woof! View Post
I just ran across a retired woman and her dog on a hiking path. We got to talking and she said she grew up on the farm and they never put dogs down. They just let them die naturally, and often the dogs passed away in their sleep.

When my dog was dying, I often wondered if I should have spent the time with her holding her and being with her instead of rushing off in a panic to the vet to spend a few hundred having her put to sleep.

I've known many people whose pet died naturally at home and it was usually very peaceful. Humans pass away at home naturally.

What are your thoughts?

I guess it depends on what disease process we're talking about. Some are painful and debilitating. I don't see any reason to let my pet suffer that way. They could perhaps ultimately have a peaceful death, but what about their quality of life leading up to it?
Dying is not a pretty process. Pets who die naturally usually go agonal first. It's completely natural, and I don't think they know it's happening. But it is not pleasant to watch. I've witnessed it a few times in my career and I would not want my last memory of my pet to be seeing them that way. I think it would be traumatizing to many pet owners.
A natural death at home may be peaceful or it may be horrible. If I had a choice, I'd rather make sure my pet had a peaceful and painless death.
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Some place very cold
5,503 posts, read 13,571,099 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kansas sky View Post
Dying is not a pretty process. Pets who die naturally usually go agonal first. It's completely natural, and I don't think they know it's happening. But it is not pleasant to watch. I've witnessed it a few times in my career and I would not want my last memory of my pet to be seeing them that way. I think it would be traumatizing to many pet owners.
A natural death at home may be peaceful or it may be horrible. If I had a choice, I'd rather make sure my pet had a peaceful and painless death.
I've heard of a lot of pet passing at home peacefully.
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:58 AM
 
1,688 posts, read 3,670,371 times
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Agree with Leorah wholeheartedly ref pain management and with ViralMD on needless suffering. I've had to euthanise a number of animals - it never gets easier and you wish like hell you didn't have to, but I've never given it a second thought insofar as it being the correct action.

My sister's dog had, in a sense, the best of both worlds. My sister's vet came to the house and the dog was euthanised there for it was indeed time. It was better for the dog, it was better for my sister. The dog doesn't have to make the trip to the vets and the owner doesn't have to make the trip home (when, quite frankly, one is really in no condition to be driving).

I sincerely wish more vets offered this courtesy to both the dog and its owners.
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,315 posts, read 4,451,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveHorses View Post
Agree with Leorah wholeheartedly ref pain management and with ViralMD on needless suffering. I've had to euthanise a number of animals - it never gets easier and you wish like hell you didn't have to, but I've never given it a second thought insofar as it being the correct action.

My sister's dog had, in a sense, the best of both worlds. My sister's vet came to the house and the dog was euthanised there for it was indeed time. It was better for the dog, it was better for my sister. The dog doesn't have to make the trip to the vets and the owner doesn't have to make the trip home (when, quite frankly, one is really in no condition to be driving).

I sincerely wish more vets offered this courtesy to both the dog and its owners.
It's been my experience that some vets will offer at-home euthanasia for their clients, but they don't advertise it. You have to ask, and should do so in advance of the time it's needed.
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