When the vet won’t euthanize…end of life decisions.

Okay, it has been almost two years since we put Logan down, so I will try and put into words his last days, finally.  This is completely a personal post, about my own experience.  I am by no means an expert on this subject.  I really don’t know anyone who knows for sure.  But there is someone who thinks she does.  She is, of course, a veterinarian.  Here is my story….

Logan was 11 years old.  He was a purebred Golden Retriever.  He was the most gentle, affectionate, and low maintenance dog I have ever owned…..except for the hair!  lol  Well worth the love he gave us.  I believe this has a lot to do with the fact that he was raised by the most amazing breeder I have yet to come across, was neutered at about 8 weeks of age, wasn’t vacinated, and was raised on a raw food diet.  Vets and groomers couldn’t rave enough about his temperment, coat and teeth. This particular veterinarian strongly advised me against this.  Due to having very small children (crawling) and working full time 12 hour shifts, I couldn’t maintain the raw diet and switched to the next best thing, a quality kibble (actually the next best thing would probably be a purchased raw diet, something I may look into)

I can honestly say that Logan lived a very great life.  From following us out to the middle of the lake at the cottage in our canoe, to living in the country with room to roam, while being trained to stay on the property, (only to wander over to visit the neighbours with permission).  He slept with us every night. (unless he was sprayed by a skunk, which happened a total of 4 times in his lifetime)  He was spoiled with table scraps for awhile from my parents…which made him gain serious weight.  I had to lecture them several times…”not the bread!  not the bread!”  He eventually returned to his normal, healthy weight.

He had just turned 11. Things started to change drastically.  One night, Logan had a seizure.  He started convulsing, laying on his side, head far back, legs going frantically.  He urinated and deficated.  I called the emergency vet and they explained that he was having a seizure.  They told me what to do, and if it happened again that night to bring him in.  It didn’t.  I began reading everything and anything I could on seizures in Golden Retrievers.  Believe me, there’s alot.  Idiopathic Epilepsy, or brain cancer.  The seizures gradually continued and Logan quickly deteriorated.  We finally put him on phenobarbitol.  This seemed to manage the seizures for a short time, but made him ravounesly hungry (as he was after a seizure)  He would eat everything and everything.  He wasn’t the polite golden he used to be, the one who didn’t counter surf.  I learned this the hard way.  There was a tenderloin steak we wont discuss. ..

Eventually his fur began to look all matted, his eyes were glossed over, he went blind, and would stand in the corner and bark for half an hour.  Once he fell in the pond.  When we dragged him out he was almost unresponsive.  Some towels, a blow dryer and lots of hugs and kisses brought him back..to what he was.  Despondant, but tail wagging happy at times.

This is when I made “the appointment”  The seizures were increasing again and he was eliminating almost all the time.  When you looked in his eyes, he wasn’t there, yet he would still wag is tail as a golden does.  So I go in and see the vet.  She looks him over, determines that he almost completely blind, and orders a $300 geriatric blood test.

When I mentioned I had been doing some reading and thought it might be a brain tumor, she whipped her head around towards me, gave me the most dirty look, and said “You’re not thinking of putting him down are you??”  My face turned red.  My immediate response was “No!  It’s just, he has all the symptoms”  She said she didn’t feel anything in his lymph nodes, so that wasn’t very possible.

Home I went, feeling ashamed of myself, and giving Logan all the love I could give.  Surely enough, things got worse.  He was having more than one seizure a day, was barking in the corners more, and was mostly despondant.  He still had those moments where he would wag his tail and and smile, but you know there was nobody home.  This continued for a few months.  I finally got up the nerve to make “the call” again, after speaking to several people.  When I called the vet clinic, I asked what vet was on duty.  It turned out to be her again.  I explained that I didn’t want to speak to her, and a brief explanation of why, only to be put on hold with the vet to come on the line.  I explained the situation to her.  She had Logan’s file with her and explained his thyroid count was a little low, and that maybe that was causing the promlem, and that I should put him on this certain medication.  I explained to her that I was familiar with thyroid disorder and didn’t think this would solve the problem.  She assured me this would help and I was tired of arguing, so told her I would pick up the perscription later that day.  I have not been back since.

A few more weeks of coddling, sobbing, hugging and consoling.  And cleaning up messes.  The smell after a seizure is one only to be recognized by someone who has experienced it.  One morning, Logan wouldn’t get up from the driveway.  My parents and I had the talk.  We knew.  My mom was brave enough to call another vet clinic and explain the situation.  We made the appointment for 4:30.  My daughters were away at the cottage, but knew by his state when they left that he may not be there when they returned.

We spent the afternoon sitting with him, laying with him, and trying to rouse him and give him whatever special treats he wanted.  He didn’t lift his head.  When the time came, we lifted him together, layed a comforter beneath him, and carried him to the back of the van.  I sat with him. Again, he didn’t lift his head.  We waited at least 20 minutes in the waiting room at the new vet.  We had to discuss options of disposal, etc.  It was hard.  Again, dogs and cats coming and going, Logan didn’t lift his head.  People looked at us with that “knowing” look.  I guess they could read the looks on our faces as well.

When it was finally time, we had to carry him on his comforter hammock again.  The vet spoke with a very foreign accent, and was hard to understand, but it was evident he had a hard time finding a vein.  He explained that the dog was full of cancer, and his veins were totally collapsed. I understand he cant make a definate diagnosis from just that, but we also knew.  He tried to bite us when the vet tried to find a vein.  It was a very horrible experience.  Eventually they muzzled him.  My parents were with me at the time.  When they injected the big blue tube into his front leg, we held him tight and sobbed.  It took a long time.  He seemed to be fighting.  That bothers me to this day.

When it was over we left.  Everything had changed.

I continued to receive a $40 vet bill from the original vet for phenobarbitol.    I refused to pay the bill.  Not only was I a single parent financially struggling,  I was bitter.  The last bill I received was in Dec 2011.  They would be going to collections.  I still haven’t paid this bill.  I never will.  I have never stolen, and always paid my way in life.  I don’t feel shame.  I am taking a stand for all the proactive pet owners, and against all the veterinarians who don’t understand.  It was time…..It was time.  Right?

51 thoughts on “When the vet won’t euthanize…end of life decisions.

  1. Never doubt yourself about doing the right thing for the furry loves of your life. What a wonderful post and wonderdog Logan sounds like. We are so lucky to be able to provide our little furry friends with the compassionate end that I wish we could give humans when they are in that same stage of life. I look forward to reading many of your blogpost now that I have found you. – DogDaz

      • We are at that stage right now. Awaiting the Vets call at 8 a.m. I will stay awake all night with my baby girl. Thank God our Vet knows our pets & it’s so hard to let go but he will take an hour explaining why it’s necessary, if I have a doubt. We have a 50/50 chance of it being Leukemia. Hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. He will come to our home so she isn’t so frightened, to euthanize her if her tests come back positive for Leukemia. He’s always been very honest with us & awesome with our pets. This will be the 4th one we’ve had to euthanize & it never gets any easier. :*-( We also have a Sr. cat (our son’s & he has mental challenges which will make this awful for him.) Thank you for your post. I found it most helpful & maybe I just got a little more courageous. God’s got this!

  2. What a terrible ordeal, and written about with such emotion: it’s clear you loved him very much. I hope your experience with the vet was abnormal, as such a lack of empathy is unforgivable. Any responsible owner is the best person to understand and evaluate their own animal’s needs. Thank goodness you were able to pluck up the courage to make the right decision on Logan’s behalf x

  3. This post touched deeply, we went trough the pretty much the same thing with our 15yo Epagneul Breton, the best dog on earth, vet only wanted to collect bills for meds, or having the dog under supervision, was too much. We went to different vet and he understood it was time to put him out of his misery, that wasn’t the kind of life 15 years companion deserved to have. Was the right thing to do, let him go peacefully.

  4. My heart goes out to you. I fully understand your pain! You did the right thing. I wish there was some way you could send the vet a bill for services not rendered!

  5. He was fighting for his life because he didn’t want to die.

    You should have tried everything possible to address the issue and find out what was wrong. If it was a fatal condition then it was time to order pain meds so he can live his last days without pain, and given lots of treats and love. Until dieing a natural death.

    It’s not your place to decide whether an animal should live or die. Thou shall not kill.
    You’re not god btw. And what if there is a new medical discovery that could have saved him? You’ll just never know.

    You think you did well, but he never asked you to kill him. If he wanted to die he would have given up and his body would give up much like humans. Instead he was fighting to live… And put to death Tamar way criminals in prisons go. Humane? A muzzle? No.

    Next time take the pain meds and let him die a natural death in peace.

    • Playing God would be extending an animal’s life unnaturally and at the cost of significant pain. How dare you throw this hatred toward someone for doing the compassionate thing? Self-rightious POS. People like you are the reason old people have to spend years dying in horrible pain because YOU think you have the right to decide for them. Pain medicine only does so much…sometimes it’s time to let go and do what’s right. Life isn’t simply the act of breathing. Her dog stopped living long before she put him down. I’m shocked by how disgusting of a human being you are.

    • Actually, in the wild animals die violent deaths. They aren’t meant to “grow old”. The will to live is instinctive. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t better off dead. Prolonging the life of a sick animal is playing God just as much as a mercy kill.

    • Anne, I am extremely disturbed by your comment.My dog was diagnosed two weeks ago with a life threatening condition.The first vet we went to gave him meds, (as confirmed later the wrong medication was prescribed).His condition deteriorated fast.Took him to another vet to have him put to sleep as we could see he was in more pain you could ever imagine.Vet said he is not suffering and she thinks we should keep him in hospital and stronger meds.We trustingly agreed but my gut told me otherwise but I felt guilty for even suggesting he should be put to sleep.He got discharged after two days.Could not walk we had to carry him, could not eat, we had to feed him.Vet said it will take months for recovery.This is day two, last night he started having major seizures, by now about 3 minutes apart.He is braindead, blind, not responsive but still breathing and no vet available at this time.This is exactly what we did not want for him.As a family we are traumatized and angry.Nothing natural about dying “natural”.I should have gone with my gut feel…

  6. Logan fought because he knew you were going to kill him. I agree with Anne. It isn’t up to pet owners to play God when they haven’t explored all the options. My cat has cancer. We refuse to put him down despite the vet’s firm recommendation. The cat is active, eats well, and enjoys life. If that changes, I will make him as comfortable as I can until the day HE chooses to leave us–not a minute earlier. A natural death is possible if you truly love your pet, just as a natural death is possible for your human loved ones. Would you muzzle your grandmother and shove a tube into her leg while she fought for her life? Of course you wouldn’t! Why, that’s murder! Uh huh. And MURDER is what you did to Logan.

    • I can’t believe you’re saying this. If an animal is suffering, “not there,” ect., you would keep it alive and in progressively worse pain? THAT is inhumane. You can’t keep a pet permanently numb, that would be the same as keeping it in a coma. Is there any joy in that? I don’t think so.

      The reaction of thinking an animal is not wanting to die is anthropomorphitizing. Animals get overexcited being in an unfamiliar environment, it’s a natural reaction. OP, I hope you take comfort that you did do the best possible service to your beloved Logan, even if it didn’t outwardly appear that way.

      To the two negative posters, shame on you for prolonging your animals’ suffering and taking it out on the OP for “playing God,” you are uneducated and cruel. It’s one thing if an animal passes away in its sleep from old age, it’s another thing if it can’t get up and urinates all over itself and you wait until it dehydrates/starves to death.

  7. I am here because I am going through something similar with my cat. I have never felt as bad as I do right now after a vet telling me that they don’t do “convenience” euthanizations. After making this heartbreaking decision, to have someone say that to me … I am gutted. And my cat is still in misery. Please ignore those selfish people that are judging you here. You know what is right and you did that out of kindness for your dear Logan.

  8. Thank you for your heartfelt story. I am currently going through a similar situation. I have a 15.5 year old Lhasa Apso (and a 13 year old Golden Retriever). My Lhasa has been on thyroid meds since she is 1 year old. She also suffers from a collapsed trachea, scar tissue and hardening of her lungs, leaky heart valve and pretty bad arthritis. She coughs constantly all day/night. I have made “the appointment” twice only to be told she needs $450 blood work done and $750 dental cleaning. She had her dental work done less than a year before this. These 2 different vets just want to keep making more and more money on my dog while she is suffering. They refuse to help me take her out of her misery. All they do is prescribe more and more medicine that either works for a very short time or not at all. They play on my guilt and make me feel awful for wanting to put her down. I don’t know how much more I can watch and hear her suffer. This is so agonizing for me, my dog, and my family (I have 4 children). Please know that you did right by your beloved dog and have no regrets with your decision! For those of you who posted negative comments about this persons decision, SHAME ON YOU!

  9. Thank you for this post. My sweet golden is behaving much like your beloved Logan. She’s only 9 years old but I guess that’s still considered elderly. Her blood work came back today and was totally normal. That combined with her odd behavior and seizure is leading the vet and I to conclude a brain tumor. She’s pacing and trying to hide and it’s breaking my heart. The vet prescribed a sedative for when she’s so anxious, to hopefully take the edge off so she can be more comfortable. What strength you had to take such good care of your pup in the last months. It sounds like you gave Logan a wonderful life and a very loving end.

  10. This story is horrible, and the vet should be ashamed. I am going through the same thing… want to put my 14+ yr old dog to sleep, but 2 vets have refused. She has to be carried outside to go potty, cannot get up on her own. It is a sad, sad state. Vets want to put her on ~$500/mo meds and see three specialists. I, in no way, can afford that. So she sits here in the bedroom suffering. BTW, for those uneducated of you who chose to post a nasty response: Pain meds only work for so long- they burn out fast. Leaving this to “nature”, in most cases, ensures lingering, excruciating pain. That is cruel. And if the issue is cost, which can be huge, and a family can not do it, there is always surrender at the pound. There, these suffering animals will sit for 2wks in a cage and then be put down at tax payer’s money. A much better solution, right? Such stupid people.

  11. If it was a human, would you have put him down? You’re not the one who created his life, so what gives you the right to take it away? I agree with Anne, he was fighting for his life because he didn’t want to be killed.

    • Jeremy, “it” wasn’t human. “It” was a dog. The dog was panicked because of the situation and mishandling of the process. Home euthanasia by traveling vets is the way to go, if it’s available in one’s area. The animal is in it’s familiar surroundings, and sedated before any euthanasia. I believe it is a gift we can give to animals that are suffering.

      BTW- Do you use any form of pest control? eat meat? swat flies? use antibiotics? Pull weeds? You didn’t create a bacteria’s life, so you should never attempt to kill it, right? Bacteria are living things created by God. I would surely hope you are not a hypocrite and take antibiotics, anti-fungals, etc, when you are sick. On that note, hopefully you are not assigning an importance level to life forms overall? I mean, if your response illustrates your belief system, unless you created ANY LIVING THING, you have no right to end it’s existence. That includes bacteria, viruses, protozoa, etc.

  12. I have read your post about 10 times and find it very touching. Our golden Katie, just turned 11 and she seems to be going down the same road as Logan. She is having seizures, weak, and appears to be blind in 1 eye. Our vet said we could spend about 3000 to get MRI done and find out that she has a brain tumour and chances of her making it through surgery at her age are slim. It is so hard to watch her deteriorate so fast and if I knew surgery would fix her, I would have done it already. She barely eats anything and drinks so much water. Our kids are having a hard time with it also as she has been wth them since day 1. Again, thank-you for sharing your story of your beloved Golden, Logan.

    • For the Losers that claimed the op killer her dog, what a miserable sad existence you must live to say that about someone who is clearly a kind and compassionate person. Id wish you good luck with that train wreck you call a life, but luck or even god wouldn’t be able to help you evil people.

  13. As someone who will probably be having a pet euthanized within a week, I understand your situation completely.

    I’m out of work, have to get money for upcoming major surgery in the family and yet we’ve spent $1500 on our dear cat’s health problems in the last 2 months alone. In my experience, the vet will never say it’s time (to euthanize) unless prompted. My vet, who is very knowledgeable, wants us to continue to do $500 worth of blood tests every 2 months or so to monitor the pancreatitis which the cat is suffering from every single day–and has for 8 years now.

    At any rate, we know our pets better than a vet will, as they’re members of our family who we see day in and day out. It’s our responsibility and privilege to make the choice as to what’s best for them.

    Your treatment by the vet was disgusting, as are a few of the comments here… though happily most are supportive and recognize the loving bond you had with Logan.

  14. Wow, I hope you don’t read these posts from these crazy people who say you murdered your dog. If I were that ill, I would want to go peacefully with help. You did the right thing and you know that in your heart.

  15. There is a book you may be interested in by the name of Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing by: Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, Kathryn. It would seem that your experience with the first vet is an anomaly, thankfully. The vets get it. They do better with end of life issues than people doctors do and this book confirms that.

    During my adult life I have been blessed with the company of 6 Shelties (one we still have), an Australian Shepard mix and a Golden (which we still have). We have had 4 experiences with having to make the decision to have a dog family member put to sleep because of failing health. The decisions that we made to have the dogs put to sleep were the correct ones although it does feel like removing part of your soul when you do it. Thankfully I have been present each time and held the dog in my lap the first time. Each time it has happened, I have had a very caring vet and, one that even came to the house to put the Australian Shepherd to sleep. I can’t imagine what you must have gone through to get to the decision then have a vet handle that decision as badly as the one you encountered. I hope you still have fur babies and a new and caring vet that will work in partnership with you.

  16. Thank you so much for your candid article. I finish reading with tears in my eyes with thoughts of my golden Bently that we had to put down in sept. I have always wondered if I did the right thing, was it too soon, should I have paid 1000s of dollars I don’t have to save a 12 year old dog. After he had two grand mal seizures within 24 hours and no previous history, we took him to the vet and had blood work done. It showed he had not been into antifreeze or anything of that nature. Due to his weight loss that year and the seizures, the doctor concluded that he most likely had a brain tumor. This dog was alone at home 10 hours a day and I felt it would be inhuman to allow him to keep having these seizures alone. We made the choice to do it before my so. Went back to college so he could be there. Not a day goes by that I worry maybe he was ok or maybe he was being poisoned by eating my cherry tomatoes outside. Whatever the case may be he did not suffering and left this world knowing he was loved but I miss him everyday

  17. I feel so sorry for yours & Logan’s pain. That’s a hard decision to make. Part of pet ownership but it still sucks. Had to make that decision 2 mos ago over a cat I had – no quality of life (he had multiple issues). My first lab started losing control, no meds worked, her fur went dull, the eyes almost saying its time – I cried the entire time. Frankly, its been that way with everyone. I have a senior golden now. She’s 11 (?) – rescued her. So far, she’s okay. I’m so sorry anyone has given you a bad time about this – this post was hard for you to write I’m sure & harder to actually share. You made the decision based on his health, not your convenience. Please, try not to let those mean comments get to you. As a furparent, it’s a truly hard decision. You’ll see Logan again – he’s at the Bridge, waiting, all healthy & happy. Hang in there!

  18. I cannot imagine anyone writing such hurtful comments. I so feel for you, we have had to decide to put two of our old goldens to sleep many years ago, both were over 13 and each had failing health. I do not believe in prolonging life where there is no quality of life, and I feel the same for humans as well as pets. I dont believe any person or animal should live a life of suffering. You obviously loved Logan very much and did much to help him. You did the right thing in my book. Joy

  19. What a heart breaking time this must have been for you and your family. I’m so sorry that you had such a bad experience with the vet. Thankfully, my childhood golden had a peaceful experience. I’m so sorry also for the negativity you have had posted in the comments. No one knows how it feels or what they would do until they have been in the situation.

  20. Never doubt you did the right thing. Letting them go is one of the hardest things we can ever do but it is also the greatest gift we can give them. Run free Logan, run free.

  21. My golden girl Britt was put to sleep in February in my own home, in my arms by my own vet…I am sooooo thankfull that I could do that for her…It was my last act of love for her…even though I was heartbroken…5 month’s after being diagnosed with cancer she let me know that it was time…she collapsed and the sparkle in her eyes was gone…and I let her go….

  22. I just put down my beloved pet. She was so kind and loving, the best dog ever. She had a bad case of arthritis in her hips and back legs, making bone on bone movement painful. Which is why she could not squat to relieve her bowels, but had to walk around in order to do it. She would cry when she would try to stand up to walk. She stopped sitting up over a year and a half ago. I gave her all kinds of supplements, at the direction of the vet. I exercised her and helped her up with a sling. I gave her massage and physical therapy. She lost control of her bladder and her bowels nine months ago. I have cleaned up after her, and diapered her by putting a hole in the seat of a disposable diaper, which works extremely well and you don’t have to clean up messes. The pet can relieve the bowels as they walk if the hole in the seat is just the right size, but can capture the urine without leaving a mess in the house. She developed a quick growing mast cell tumor on her lip a couple of weeks ago, mostly a sign of cancer. She was diagnosed with possible liver cancer last year. We traveled with her at Christmas time, and this caused her much distress. I loved her with all my heart. But the tumor and her whimpering and her bad days out weighed her good days. She started struggling to walk, once on her feet with my help, even four feet of distance. When her smile and joy in life started to go away, I knew it was time.

    Being compassionate about her suffering was difficult, because she continued to to trust in my care. But I knew she would never get better, and I couldn’t bare to see her get worse. The vet was no help. They refused to council me on her condition, unless I authorized operating. I didn’t because I knew in my heart that she was suffering from her inability to walk, and the arthritis pain, and would only last a few weeks more. The vet never stated one thing or the other, never validated my fears about needing to put her to sleep. She was sixteen. I had to look after her day and night, constantly taking care of her needs. And yet I still feel badly because I put her to sleep. Guilt and doubt that would have been easier to handle had my vet had even discussed putting her to sleep, but she did not. I don’t know why. It is hard, it is tough, but it had to be done, and I prefer that she go sooner, than suffer to the bitter end. I am still suffering my decision, three days later, and am looking for solace. I found some here with your post. Thank you, and many blessings to you.

    Please disregard the trolls on this site that seek to cause you more suffering for your decision. They are emotionally impaired,and unable to feel compassion, which is very often a stunted growth pattern linked to defective brain cognition. This condition can be helped through meditation. I hope they seek meditation, to learn the true beauty of compassion.

    Also, the proper procedure for pet euthanasia is to first give an injection of a sedative that puts them to sleep, and then when they are truly out of it, to insert the intravenous needle in the vein. I believe your pet felt the pain, and struggled. I am only telling you this now, so that in the future when you have to do this again, you can make sure it is done correctly. He did not suffer long, the effects are almost immediate. We always trust that the vet knows best, but in this case, I believe the vet you used did not properly do his job. I would send a letter to this vet, and ask him to use the procedure I mentioned. Be kind, he is obviously ignorant. Be sure to mention that you are looking out for the future well-being of other pets, and pet owners, who will come to him for this procedure. If you take on this responsibility, you will help to ease the suffering of animals to come. : ) Also, I had the vet assistants come out to my house, and put my dog to sleep so that she did not have to leave the comfort of her home and familiar surroundings. As we all know, going to the vet is in itself a trauma to most dogs!

    • Thank you so much for your story and input. I wish I had had the option to do it at home. I recall the vet giving Logan two doses of the sedative, but again, it wouldn’t “take” and the vet was getting impatient. (yes, I know…) I appreciate the advice 🙂

      • my greatest sympathy for the loss of your Logan, we to lost a golden retriever who had no quality of life and we held him as the life passed out of him. anyone who thinks that it’s selfish to put a dog to sleep when its suffering is just not a responsible enough person to own pets. Our job as humans is to take care for pets and make the decisions for them they can’t make them for themselves. I hope people learn from this because I have fostered over a hundred and fifty dogs that have found new hcomes for, the first being a pekinese whose leg had been chewed off by the dog in cage beneath her. in her case humans were able to intervene and help her recover, teacher that not all humans are cruel and help someone find her that will love her all the rest of her life. unfortunately not all the dogs I have come across work in such a reversible situation. I’ve seen human cruelty that you would not believe and trust me they would much rather be put out of their misery than
        to have to live in such horrible horrible environment and get have such problems that they have no quality of life. So I join the chorus of people that say the two idiots that commented before are just that. If they believe that you were doing the easy thing they certainly were not reading your post. I hope you can take some comfort in the fact that your dog had such a great life with you in that Logan loved you and in my book that makes you a very special person.

  23. Good for you for going with your gut. He was not fighting to live at the end, he was just confused. You did the right thing. We spend every day with our furbabies so of course we can see the changes in them more than any vet can. My golden boy is dying now of hemangiosarcoma and we are trying to figure out when to euthanize him. Ideally, he would pass in his sleep at night, but that doesn’t seem to be happening so we will most likely need to intervene. Take care, and thanks for sharing.

  24. I am so sorry that you and Logan had to go through this whole ordeal at such a difficult time! I recently had to have one of my dogs put to sleep who had thyroid cancer. My vet was very supportive. When I called them and told them it was “time”, they got me in right away and did their very best to make it as calm a process as possible. I cannot imagine how I would have gotten through it had I received the treatment you did. You made the right decision. Don’t worry about what all these nasty idiots have to say!!!

  25. Reading this late. Hugs to you. I suggest you report the first vet. And others do the same. Despicable to treat your dog and you this way. You did right by him, and they didn’t want to lose money .

  26. This is so sad… I’m sorry someone could make you feel ashamed and second guess your decisions. You did the right thing in the end, I hope you all are well!

  27. What a beautiful golden. How sweet. I am going through this right now only I had an appointment at noon and at 3:00 I was still in my living room sobbing. I tried getting in the car 3 times and couldn’t. He’s still with me but I know what I have to do. Your post has helped. Maybe my Madison will see Logan at the bridge. God Bless & thank you for sharing.

    • ty for your story, I’ve been scouring the internet for stories about reluctant vets. The specialist was going to wait a day too late, so I took my emaciated 16 yr cat suffering for years of bowel issues to the regular vet and she agreed. Although last week when her brother was more than half way there and I didn’t want him to suffer the same fate, the same vet was reluctant, but respected my decision. There were life circumstances that seem so unimportant now, but when we are in that raw moment and overcome with grief we are only human.

  28. Please know you did what was best for you beloved family member – I understand how difficult the decision is, having been there myself, like so many other posters.You treated your pup with love and respect at the end of his life as you did throughout his life.

    I find it interesting, appalling an galling that people feel they have the right to insert and or force their opinions on others at such a difficult time and with such a hard decision. This is a time of deep sorrow, and even if we disagree with the owner’s decision, keep it to yourself, because that’s what a person of integrity and compassion should do.

    I have been lucky with my vet, she does in home euthanasia and has helped me let go of two of my dogs and her advice has always been that it’s up to the owner and no one else. She has never judged the decisions I made, which were in the best interest of Frankie and Paris.

    However, unbelievably, other people have and one person, in particular, forced her opinions on me, even though I asked everyone to respect my decisions. This wasn’t good enough for her and even asked friends if I had changed my mind concerning my pup Frankie – he was my heart and soul.

    The same woman, this year, when my dog Paris was put to sleep, had this to say to me, please keep in mind, she is NOT a vet and was treating her pup with cannabis oil – which I have no issue with, but after consulting several vets, I chose not to do so.

    Anyway, this is what she had to say:

    “I have a 12 year old Mastiff with 6 lung cancer tumors that has lived happily past his expiration date going on 3 months.. And some others having success so I know how great it is so of course I have been wondering .. You clearly gave her the best few months of the rest of her life I’m just sad cuz I know she could have had lots more.. I’m learning so much about the oil and it pretty much fixes everything”..(Ironically, her dog, who had lymphoma and was taking the cbd oil, died four mos after she wrote this)

    Frankie had a mast cell tumour that grew rapidly within three days and ruptured on the third, a biopsy couldn’t be done, nor could it be removed, because it was at the juncture of his mandible and maxilla – his entire jaw would have had to been removed. I was NOT going to do that to him …. never. He did, however, enjoy the next 7 days – going to his favorite places, eating some wonderful food and visiting all of his friends – I KNOW it was a good death.

    Paris came to me at 9 years of age riddled with mast cell tumours – she had 12 to 15 of them. She had lived outdoors for 81/2 years and never went to the vet, except to get spayed. We chose not to biopsy or remove the tumours, because it would just grow back and perhaps even more. Paris had a wonderful six months with her two new canine sisters – enjoying the world as she never did before – the day she was put to sleep – she was surrounded by her sisters, two canine friends at a farm she loved dearly – we all said good-bye to her on our terms, and, she on hers.

    The gall of people telling others that you have not done right by your loved one, will always infuriate me, surprise me and catch me off guard – end of life issues are up to the family and other loved ones and absolutely no one else.

  29. I know this page is a few years old, but I stumbled on it when I was looking up stuff about euthanasia. My dog was diagnosed with a tumor growing on her spleen last month. The veterinarian said it was hemangiosarcoma, which is a very aggressive cancer found mostly in older dogs (sometimes younger dogs), and more in certain breeds. Most of the time people don’t find out until a rupture happens and it has already metastasized. I took care of her for a month and kept trying to prolong her life, because I thought we could keep her happy and pain free for a while. Unfortunately, I took her to the vet this past Monday and they weighed her, she was 5 lbs heavier than she was last month, plus the vet did an ultrasound and said there was more mass than spleen and said her liver looked slightly abnormal. Saturday I had to take her to the emergency clinic because her breathing was abnormal and she kept shivering and I keep the temperature at 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The vet sedated her and when she could no longer walk and was laying there, we picked her up and put her on the table, which showed her at 73 lbs, five pounds heavier than she was on Monday. The weight she was gaining was from the internal bleeding, not food. She stopped eating dry food about a month ago, so I switched her to canned food, which she ended up stopping. I don’t think she had any appetite because of the pressure from the blood. Anyway, I put her down on Saturday 23 January 2016. It was the hardest decision I ever had to make. I had her for 13 years. She was my best friend and I’m still devastated and crying about it. I know it was the right choice, but I still feel awful about it. I couldn’t sleep at all that night. Last night, I started dozing off on my couch and I could just see her sitting there and her face just looking right at me.

    • So sorry for your loss. You did the right thing. She is no longer suffering, and is missing you too I’m sure. 🙁

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