What to do when spouse disagrees about "end of life" issues...
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Thread: What to do when spouse disagrees about "end of life" issues...

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    Brendainnj is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultWhat to do when spouse disagrees about "end of life" issues...

    Hi all, I'm new to this forum & sorry to enter in on such a sad note...not sure where else to get some answers, or at the very least, encouragement. Our lab will be 13 yrs old in May. He has developed a cyst on his neck which bleeds out several times a week. It doesn't seem to bother him, except when it's bleeding (then he'll shake). Because it has a good blood supply at its base (as per vet) it's a mess when it starts. The vet gave some powder to put on to clot the blood, but he needs an operation to remove the cyst. I've been to 2 vets now & the cost ranges from $500 - $800 to have it done. My husband doesn't want to spend that amount of $$ for a dog that is already old. The dog's heart & lungs are good, but I suspect some kidney damage since he drinks at least a gallon of water a day. Vet said no to diabetes as it would cause him to lose weight...but no our boy is about 15lbs overweight. He's very stiff & hates to get into our mini van anymore. I've recently started him on glucasamine, but still too early to see any improvement. He is going deaf, but still has quality of life, but with him bleeding every couple days, he's filthy w/dried blood all over his neck & chest. No one wants to touch him. It's too cold to give him a bath & I'd be too embarrassed to take him anywhere. My husband has never wanted to spend money for vet care, and I finally stopped taking him after getting tired of hearing how much it cost every time.

    I am really growing weary of cleaning up my kitchen every other day...all of the clean up responsibility is mine. But I feel guilty that this is a reason to put a "healthy" dog down. This dog has been part of our family since he was 8 wks old. To me, pets are for life and not throw-away. But, he is old...with no guarantee how much longer he has. And this surgery won't improve his health any, it will just make him easier to live with.

    Just hoping for some thoughts...please don't anyone suggest doing the surgery without my husband's approval...not will to start WWIII over this.
    Last edited by Brendainnj; 02-13-2013 at 07:20 AM.

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    Samson is offline Senior Member
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    "pets are for life and not throw-away." Agreed.

    That's all I've got ! He deserves the surgery for all of the pleasure that he has given to you over the years - not so much your spouse !

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    elle.burns is offline Senior Member
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    oh my gosh... i dont know what to say.. its only $800 i would pay double that to have my Rockie back alive for one hour.
    please get the surgury...and perhaps a divorce

    good luck


    The more people I meet, The more I like my dog...

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    Samson is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by elle.burns View Post
    oh my gosh... i dont know what to say.. its only $800 i would pay double that to have my Rockie back alive for one hour.
    please get the surgury...and perhaps a divorce

    good luck
    LOL !

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    Garth is offline Registered Users
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    I think you need to ask your other half if he would refuse treatment to a child in the same circumstances? If the answer is no, then it's pretty obvious the dog needs that operation fast. If he complains about the cost, remind him this isn't a dog but your child. If that doesn't humanise him then I'd seriously be reconsidering my marital status.

    Good luck.

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    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    The test for diabetes is simple. Merely observing for weight loss is not at all the determining factor. My diabetic dog never lost weight.

    On your problem - I really have no advice besides pity. Your husband sounds like an uncaring man. Your dog deserves what is a fairly inexpensive procedure for a better quality of life. If I was you, he'd have the surgery regardless of hubby's opinion. But, I don't fear repercussions from my husband.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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    kassabella is offline Senior Member
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    This is a hard one. I think if you want the surgery done you have several options.
    Beg which isn't something I do,
    or cook nice meals spoil him to soften him up and approach it, making him think it is his idea.

    Maybe ask himself if he would like to look after the dog including the clean up for a month.

    Hand him a sharpened knife and ask if he would like to remove the lump. Doubt he would.

    I was going to say if all else fails cry, but he sounds like a tough old boy so guess that won't work.

    or you could take on or threaten to take on a job as a lady of the night and make some money to pay for the surgery.

    Personally I would just take the dog to the vet and take the heat after. I mean how long can a rant and rave last.

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    Brendainnj is offline Junior Member
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    Wow, I guess the opinions are pretty unanimous...unfortunately I feel like I don't have a choice in the matter, other than the timing of when he would be put down. Depends on how long I can handle cleaning up messes & deal with the smell in our small kitchen. I homeschool, so it is putting a strain on that too when I'm trying to focus on teaching & have to stop to deal with the bleeding episodes.

    The only statement that I did not agree with is that there is a clear distinction between my pets and my children...I have had various pets my whole life & have done my best to care for them and love them. BUT they are pets--NOT children. I would give my life for my kids, go into millions of $$ of debt for medical care for them--not so with my pets. So maybe this was the wrong place to ask for encouragement.
    Last edited by Brendainnj; 02-13-2013 at 07:21 AM.

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    Samson is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendainnj View Post
    Wow, I guess the opinions are pretty unanimous...unfortunately I feel like I don't have a choice in the matter, other than the timing of when he would be put down. Depends on how long I can handle cleaning up messes & deal with the smell in our small kitchen. I homeschool, so it is putting a strain on that too when I'm trying to focus on teaching & have to stop to deal with the bleeding episodes.

    The only statement that I did not agree with is that there is a clear distinction between my pets and my children...I have had various pets my whole life & have done my best to care for them and love them. BUT they are pets--NOT children. I would give my life for my kids, go into millions of $$ of debt for medical care for them--not so with my pets. So maybe this was the wrong place to ask for encouragement.
    I agree !

    Our Labs are as much our children as the human variety !

    I don't think that we need to know your decision poor pup !

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    doubletrouble25 is offline Senior Member
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    I don't know what to say here. If I were you I would definitely get the surgery! The only reason I wouldn't is if I thought the dog was too old and not in the best health, and therefore wouldn't be able to tolerate the surgery. If that were the case, I would make him as comfortable as possible, not put my companion down out of convenience for myself. No one is in your shoes, though, and it sounds like you have already made your decision.

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