When Is The Right Time To Euthanize Your Friend?

by Cynthia
(Mission Viejo, CA)

No Tiime Is A Good Time To Part With Your Faithful Friend

No Tiime Is A Good Time To Part With Your Faithful Friend

I have a 14 year old American female cocker spaniel. I got her when she was a year old and she's on about 7 different medications for various problems; eye cataracts, hypothyroidism, pain in her back, crystals in her urine and GERD (acid reflux).

She also has major skin problems where large crusty wet sores appear on her back. I shave the area around it and clean it so it won't open up again by pulling from the fur.

She just had three sores clear up and another one just burst. She's black with a white chest and chin and areas of grey now but the back side of her back is turning a bit brown. I'm not sure if that's due to age or from her sores.

She also has large sizes of fatty tissue on her chest and her ears are constantly bothering her because of the excess of wax and large sores throughout the canals.

I call her vet at least every two weeks for something and he's very kind and sometimes doesn't charge me if he needs to see her.

For the last two weeks, she stopped eating her regular breakfast and dinner. She still eats but not very much any more.

She sleeps most of the day and night but she loves her early evening walk. She's very slow during her morning walk and sometimes doesn't do that much.

Making a decision to euthanize her is difficult and I don't know if I'm considering it because I'm thinking of myself or her well-being.

So, when do you determine it's time to euthanize your dog?

Do you have advice for Duchess and me?

Thanks in advance for your responses.

Response from Pauline (Web Owner)

Oh Cynthia, what a terrible situation to be in - what a dilemma!

You obviously love Duchess very much - you're giving her so much love, attention and care, but there's only so much one can do.

On the one hand, she's in her 'winter years', has considerable health problems, and now she's stopped eating. It sounds like these problems may be beginning to affect her quality of life.

If that's the case, ask yourself when does her quality of become unacceptable or unbearable. I think you'll know the answer.

On the other hand, if the medication is helping and she's not in pain, just slowing down, why not enjoy each others company for a little while longer?

Your vet may, at some point, broach this subject, or he may be waiting for you to ask for his advice. (By the way, he sounds like a very caring vet.)

Cynthia, I don't think anyone in their right mind would judge you, should you take the decision to have Duchess put out of her misery, but I'm afraid only you can make that decision for her.

I sincerely wish you both well, and whatever decision you make will be the correct one.

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Don't Want to Have to Make that Choice
by: Anonymous

I am also dealing with the thought of having to make the difficult decision. I have an over 16 year old blonde Cocker Spaniel - Cochise. He's been my best friend for over 16 years and my security guard for nearly 15 of those years when I became a single Mom of triplets. Mine is nearly blind, deals with ear infections, skin issues and now having hip/leg problems. His back leg gives away on him often. He sleeps a lot. At night he paces a lot and I wonder if he just can't get comfortable. I pray I don't have to make "that decision" and that he will just go to sleep. I just recently lost my Dad and I don't know if I can take another loss right now. Cochise loved his "Papaw". I understand what you guys are going through.

14 year old cocker spaniel
by: Dally

My dog is nearly the same as yours, unfortunately however without all the meds. I feel horrible for not taking better care of my Toetoe.

He has horrible cataracts, so he can’t see very well, and he's almost deaf. Both my husband and I have mental health issues, HAD to be exact. Both of us working full time jobs while raising 3 children hardly gives us time to tend to his needs.

His ears and sores smell putrid, I shave around them from time to time but the weeping of the sores and his eyes and ears is so difficult to manage. He eats ok, walks alright, although he stumbles from time to time, but sleeps a lot.

Someone please give me guidance.

Quality of Life...
by: Ally's Mom

My cocker spaniel sounds like a twin to yours! She too is 14, black coat with a white chest. She has almost all of the same issues with the exception the medicines; I have ear drops for her that my vet prescribes.
I have asked myself the same questions and at this point I feel like her life quality of life is still good so therefore I do not think euthanizing her at this time is the right choice for me. Having owned other pets, I tell myself I will know when the time is right.

I often joke with my family and say dogs are like people, you either get sweet or smart but not often both...my dog is very sweet but not the smartest!

Good luck! You will know when the time is right.

When To Euthanize Your Friend?
by: Anonymous

What a sad post and such a kind, caring reply!

I hope you took comfort from it and it helped you with your very difficult decision.

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