Could I have some opinions on this situation please. I am so ambivalent about what to do at this point.
My oldest dog is a 14 year old beagle/GS mix. She has been having a terrible time breathing for the past six months or more. I have taken her to the vet numerous times and he says she has laryngeal collapse. When she is resting she breathes okay, not great but okay, but most of the rest of the time she is breathing like Darth Vader( not trying to be funny). She just seems to be gasping for breath. I have been giving her Theophylline and a diuretic but it doesn't seem to be getting better. Other than this she eats fine, sleeps most of the day and does not seem to be suffering. Is it time to say goodbye or what do you think I should do. Thanks for your help and advice. :-\
I have NO advice, as I don't have any experience with this. I hope your Beagle will be able to get better. I'm sure someone on this board has had experience with this. keeping her in my thoughts.
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.
I'm sorry she's having problems.
I don't have any personal experience with this sort of thing yet, but what many people say is that she will tell you when it's time. From what you've described, it doesn't sound like she's quite ready to go yet. I guess you have decide if her quality of life has diminished to the point where you should say goodbye. It sounds like the sort of thing that may be harder for you to watch than it is for her to bear.
I'm so sorry you're going this.
I know Anne (birdbrainz) has experience with laryngeal paralysis, is that something similar..? Hopefully she'll see this. :-\
I'm sorry you're having a hard time with this, it's never an easy decision to have to make. :'(
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
MAKING THE DIFFICULT DECISION
How can we make that difficult decision to end the life of a Pet whom we have loved and nurtured, played with and lived with? The Pet may have been with us for a short time or for many years. It may protect us, serve us or just be there when we need something to cuddle.
Our domestic pets have maintained many of their "wild" instincts. One of the most important instincts, however, is to mask pain and illness. Many pet owners advised that their pet is suffering from a serious disease, comment "But he's not acting very sick"; what happens to a wild dog or cat that "acts sick"? Invariably they are killed by other animals -- sometimes even by members of their own pack.
When we have to make that final decision we feel guilty, we are torn by feelings of helplessness, guilt, anger and sometimes the misguided notion that we owe it to the pet to keep it alive at all costs. How can I tell my veterinarian to give my pet an injection that will kill it?
When a pet becomes ill or is seriously injured, we must make a decision based on several factors. We must set realistic limits which include emotional expense to the pet's family, physical costs to the pet, and many times, unfortunately, financial cost. It is best for the family members, or the single owner, to sit down with all the facts in front of them and, as rationally as possible, set those limits. This is the fairest thing pet owners can do for the pet and for themselves.
So, we come to that difficult decision-making time, we have to decide what is best for the pet, regardless of the decision, we face the possibility of feeling guilty because we made the wrong one.
We feel guilty if we elect to have our pet euthanized. We feel guilty if we choose treatment and its unsuccessful. We should put ourselves in our Pet's position. "What would I want done if I were in this situation"?
If an owner, after evaluating all the available information, decides euthanasia is necessary, he or she must tell the veterinarian. In those cases, the owner must realize that sometimes we have to love our Pets enough to let them go.
REASONS FOR EUTHANASIA
We are never quite prepared for the death of a pet. Whether death is swift and unexpected or whether it comes at the end of a slow decline, we are never fully aware of what a pet has brought to our lives until our companion is gone.
Our involvement with the final outcome may be passive. We may simply not pursue medical or surgical treatment in an aging pet. Perhaps its ailment has no cure and the best we can do is alleviate some of its suffering so that it may live the remainder of its days in relative comfort. An illness or accident may take it suddenly.
Everyone secretly hopes for a pet's peaceful passing, hoping to find it lying in its favorite spot in the morning. The impact of a pet's death is significantly increased when, as responsible and loving caretakers, we decide to have the pet euthanized.
Euthanasia is the induction of painless death. In veterinary practice, it is accomplished by intravenous injection of a concentrated dose of anesthetic. The animal may feel slight discomfort when the needle tip passes through the skin, but this is no greater than for any other injection. The euthanasia solution takes only seconds to induce a total loss of consciousness. This is soon followed by respiratory depression and cardiac arrest.
Doctors of veterinary medicine do not exercise this option lightly. Their medical training and professional lives are dedicated to diagnosis and treatment of disease. Veterinarians are keenly aware of the balance between extending an animal's life and its suffering. Euthanasia is the ultimate tool to mercifully end a pet's suffering.
To request euthanasia of a pet is probably the most difficult decision a pet owner can make. All the stages of mourning may flood together, alternating rapidly. We may resent the position of power. We may feel angry at our pet for forcing us to make the decision. We may postpone the decision, bargaining with ourselves that if we wait another day, the decision will not be necessary. Guilt sits heavily on the one who must decide. The fundamental guideline is to do what is best for your pet, even if you suffer in doing this. Remember that as much as your pet has the right to a painless death, you have the right to live a happy life.
Each of us mourns differently, some more privately than others, and some recover more quickly. Some pet owners find great comfort in acquiring a new pet soon after the loss of another. Others, however, become angry at the suggestion of another pet. They may feel that they are being disloyal to the memory of the preceding pet. Do not rush into selecting a replacement pet. Take the time to work through your grief.
To help you to prepare for the decision to euthanize your pet, consider the following questions. They are intended as a guide; only you can decide what is the best solution for you and your pet. Take your time. Speak with your veterinarian. Which choice will bring you the least cause for regret after the pet is gone?
Consider the following:
What is the current quality of my pet's life?
Is my pet still eating well? Playful? Affectionate toward me?
Is my pet interested in the activity surrounding it?
Does my pet seem tired and withdrawn most of the time?
Is my pet in pain?
Is there anything I can do to make my pet more comfortable?
Are any other treatment options available?
If a behavioral problem has led me to this decision, have I sought the expertise of a veterinary behavior consultant?
Do I still love my pet the way I used to, or am I angry and resentful of the restrictions its condition has placed on my lifestyle?
Does my pet sense that I am withdrawing from it?
What is the quality of my life and how will this change?
Will I want to be present during the euthanasia?
Will I say goodbye to my pet before the euthanasia because it is too painful for me to assist?
Will I want to wait in the reception area until it is over?
Do I want to be alone or should I ask a friend to be present?
Do I want any special burial arrangements made?
Can my veterinarian store the body so that I can delay burial arrangements until later?
Do I want to adopt another pet?
Do I need time to recover from this loss before even considering another pet?
THE FIVE MAIN CRITERIA FOR EUTHANASIA
1. CAN YOUR PET WALK ON ITS OWN AND HOW MUCH PAIN DOES IT SUFFER WHEN WALKING?
2. HOW ARE ITS SIGHT AND HEARING AND WHAT IS THE PROSPECT THAT THESE PROBLEMS CAN BE REVERSED?
3. IS THERE IRREVERSIBLE ORGAN DAMAGE, IE: HEART, KIDNEY, LIVER, OR BRAIN DAMAGE?
4. IS THERE ANY HUMANE VETERINARY TREATMENT AVAILABLE?
5. IS INCONTINENCE THROUGH URINARY OR BOWEL CONTROL A PROBLEM?
The final decision must be made by all members of the family, you may have to overcome your feeling of love for the pet and consider what is fairest for him. Do not let your emotions override the fact that your pet may be leading a painful, suffering life.
kaytris you quoted the following
"2. HOW ARE ITS SIGHT AND HEARING AND WHAT IS THE PROSPECT THAT THESE PROBLEMS CAN BE REVERSED?"
I just HAVE to say that blindness and deafness if quality of life is otherwise ok so not need to be (nor should they be - IMHO) a death sentance
I have lived with MANY blind, lots of deaf and a few deaf and blind dogs who had good quality of life once they knew where they were and expectations of them (palliative foster home)
I wish their own homes hadn't given up on them as I'm sure the quality of life would be even better at "home"
but I agree with most of the piece you posted ... euthanasia is a personal choice - that I make with quality of life in mind - we try hard not be selfish here - we have yet to PTS an animal because of our quality of life for the humans .. it may come but we have torn up carpets so accidents aren't a huge deal..we adjust our schedule for lunch breaks when needed.. we invest a fortune in our animals ..
if your girl can rest comfortably and the vet feels that the darth vader noises are ok and she's happy I wouldn't worry too much
hang in there
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” H. Keller