To have my dog put down?

(53 Posts)
GiveMeVegemite Sat 20-Jul-13 16:08:05

My dog has spent the past 4 weeks in antibiotics and anti inflammatories due to a lump in her neck, which has a big pussing open wound on the surface. The lump has decreased in size, but she is in a LOT of pain and the wound is not healing. So far we have spent £300 on drugs to try and make her better. She has also lost about 10 kilos!

We took her to the vet this morning and now they are saying she needs surgery, blood work, biopsie, anaesthetic etc which will cost another £1000 due to the difficult location of the lump and that they probably won't be able to remove it all due to nerves and arteries and she will probably need another operation, and definitely need one if it is cancerous.

Our dilemma is, she was booked to be rehomed next week, but obviously no new owner is going to fork out the bill for this and we are going back to Australia, hence the reason she was being rehomed! So basically my husband wants to have her out down, but I'm not sure I can live with the guilt, without trying to get her better first.

What would you do?

WineNot Sat 20-Jul-13 16:10:42

Honestly? If she'd been in pain and losing weight for weeks, I'd have had her PTS already, regardless of rehoming.

GiveMeVegemite Sat 20-Jul-13 16:11:37

What is PTS?

GiveMeVegemite Sat 20-Jul-13 16:12:16

She has been to the vet every weekend for the past 4 weeks with us trying to get her better....

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 20-Jul-13 16:12:19

Sorry, I agree with dh. Poor animal is suffering now, can't be rehomed (and rehoming when she's ill would be no kindness either) and presumably can't go with you.

Arcticspill Sat 20-Jul-13 16:12:35

Unless you are going to postpone the move I don't see you have a choice except to have her put down. How old is she? I wouldn't feel guilty about it. It doesn't sound a straightforward op at all and here are no guarantees she will recover.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 20-Jul-13 16:12:51

PTS = put to sleep

Whothefuckfarted Sat 20-Jul-13 16:13:37

I would have had insurance.. but I guess that's no good for your current situation.

How old is the dog? If it's a young dog I think to put it down in these circumstances is very very very unreasonable. That's putting it politely..

I have been in your situation with a stray cat I took in. He'd been with me a month when he ended up with an infection. A serious one. 50/50 chance according to the vet. I couldn't look the poor thing in the eye and say, 'well I can't afford it, so you're going to have to die'

I put the £900 quid bill on my credit card. He's still here happy as larry 6 years later.

If you don't have the money I understand, it's a very difficult situation.

Cheddars Sat 20-Jul-13 16:15:53

Have you asked the vet's opinion? How old is the dog?

GiveMeVegemite Sat 20-Jul-13 16:16:48

She is 7 years old. We really don't have the money, otherwise we would have paid to take her with us to Oz. I just feel so terrible, but she is in so much pain I think putting her down might be the best option sad

VirgoGrr Sat 20-Jul-13 16:18:06

If the vet understands your position, can they do blood tests etc first to give you an idea of whether she might have a fighting chance or indicate something more serious? That wouldn't be a big outlay and would probably make you feel better about the decision if you have a bit more information.

GiveMeVegemite Sat 20-Jul-13 16:18:32

One vet said that to operate would be too risky to even try, given the location of the lump and if the antibiotics don't work then we need to prepare for the worst (they aren't working). The other vet said she would try and operate, but couldn't guarantee how much, if any of the lump she would be able to remove, she might just do a biopsy....

GobblersKnob Sat 20-Jul-13 16:19:39

With you moving it makes it more difficult, but I faced a very similar situation with a pet rat recently, large infected lump on his neck, which just would not respond to antibiotics alone, he had the op, it cost me a LOT of money, he lived for another five months, but then five months is a long time to a rat.

I don't know what to say, I don't see how you can put an animal down that is curable, sorry.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 20-Jul-13 16:22:40

With one vet saying the lump is inoperable, and the other uncertain, I don't think the dog is curable.

crashdoll Sat 20-Jul-13 16:22:56

Regardless of you moving, it sounds like your poor dog is already suffering and very unwell. I know it's hard but it sounds like the best thing to do is let her be put to sleep. sad

Whothefuckfarted Sat 20-Jul-13 16:23:09


That's exactly how I felt with the stray cat I took in, I just couldn't have him put to sleep when I knew there was a chance he would be okay.

If the chance of survival is less than 50% for the dog then I can see how putting him down would seem the best option.

Ask the vets straight for percentages. If only for your own peace of mind.

Poor doggy sad

VirgoGrr Sat 20-Jul-13 16:23:37

You do have to take into account that you cannot explain to an animal why they are suffering, sometimes it is the kindest option.
My dog developed leukaemia and the vet advised that they just can't expose an animal to that level of treatment as it just isn't fair on them. If there's an indication of cancer that isn't readily removable, I think I'd probably say it might be for the best.

throckenholt Sat 20-Jul-13 16:26:04

I think you have given it a good shot - it hasn't mended with 4 weeks treatment and she is not well (losing 10Kg is a lot - and likely to be more than just an inflamed lump).

Don't put her through any more (even if you could afford it) sad

Nottalotta Sat 20-Jul-13 18:24:38

There are worse things for a dog to go through than being pts. You cannot be certain of her future, and can't afford a treatment. It will be worse for you (guilt) than her. As a final kindness have the vet come to your home. Your dog can sit on you while they give her an injection and she will go to sleep. No different than a general anesthetic (for her). It is heartbreaking to lose a pet in any circumstances and i really feel for you and your dog.

poachedeggs Sat 20-Jul-13 18:37:02

You've clearly thrown everything possible at this condition and are at last resort stage. She is suffering. The prognosis is guarded. And dogs have no concept of the future so euthanasia is not a welfare concern for her.

Some people feel that where there's life, there's hope. But for a sentient animal whose quality of life is poor and for whom treatment will involve invasive, painful and potentially unsuccessful surgery, 'putting a potentially curable animal down' is an ethical consideration, not a welfare argument. Dogs don't give a toss about ethics, but they can certainly experience deteriorating welfare.

I'm a vet BTW.

GiveMeVegemite Sat 20-Jul-13 19:29:08

Thanks so much for all your responses. I am absolutely heartbroken at the though of putting her down. I have decided to use another weeks worth of antibiotics and anti inflammatories, clinging to the hope that they might help, but I know I am clutching at straws. If there is still no improvement by next weekend then I will get the opinion of both vets again and then probably put her down if they are still saying the prognosis isn't good, even if they do operate.

I am 29 weeks pregnant so trying not to get too hormonal and upset about it all sad

WaitMonkey Sat 20-Jul-13 19:32:04

Poor doggy. Hopefully the weeks extra medicine will help.

HaPPy8 Sat 20-Jul-13 19:36:19

I would still try and get her re-homed. There may be someone willing to take her on. Poor dog.

Arcticspill Sat 20-Jul-13 22:28:10

Listen to the vet who has posted above ! Let her go and on not account send her to strangers while she is sick, deteriorating and likely to cost them a lot.

GiveMeVegemite Sun 21-Jul-13 09:56:19

I would never let her be rehomed in the state she is in, I know she wouldn't have a chance with anyone else and at least she is comfortable here. I'll give it another week and then decide whether to do the operation or not. Fingers crossed she improves a bit. Thanks for all your comments. I was expecting to get slated, but you have all been really helpful and kind.

annabanana84 Sun 21-Jul-13 10:21:42

Aww sweetie, I'm so sorry you're going through this.
Sometimes we have to think about the animal rather than our own feelings which can override what we really should do for the best.
I was in the same predicament with my 15 year old Yorkie. He was blind and almost deaf, and a lump had appeared on the side of his snout. It wouldv'e been £2000 to find out what it was and treat it, but it was obvious he was in pain, and if I would've subjected him to more operations and treatment, it would have been even more stressful and painful for the lad, so we made the decision to have him put to sleep and oh my god, I thought my heart was going to literally break. It was terrible, but he was no longer in pain and went at a time where he had enjoyed his life and we had lots of happy memories with him, rather than have memories of him in pain and suffering as he may have done. Time is a healer, and now I smile when I remember him instead of feeling sad. Please don't put him through further pain, and then the stress of him being rehomed. Let him go while life is still good for him. Let him go and jump over the clouds and run for miles, and one day, you will meet again.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 21-Jul-13 11:10:09

I think in the circumstances it would be the kindest thing to do. Such a difficult decision to make though OP flowers

JumpingJackSprat Sun 21-Jul-13 11:20:16

I would pts in your situation. at least then you know what has happened to her, and that she was loved and as comfortable as possible. make her last days as happy as you can and get the vet to your house if you can as it might make it less stressful for all concerned. I think thats the only responsible thing to do in the interests of the dog.

curlew Sun 21-Jul-13 11:22:15

Poachedeggs- what a fantastic post.

Where there's life, there's hope works for animals that have a sense of time and the future and are able to understand that things will get better. Or who will grow to understand that in the future. Sadly, dogs haven't.

OP- what a sad and horrible decision to have to make- be brave and kind and make the best decision for your dog.

ratbagcatbag Sun 21-Jul-13 11:31:07

My dog lives with my mum, she rang last month as his testicles were swollen (mad mad dog, so didnt take him to vets unless absolutely life or death) he's 13. Took him in and I commented his tummy was bigger than normal, he'd got a growth in his stomach and obviously something on his testes.

Vets were very honest, if it was on spleen it was operable, if anywhere else they could try but probably not get it all. I was quite upfront and said if it can't be fully removed then don't even risk a painful operation. They ultrasounded him and he'd got a massive growth on spleen and one on each testicle that couldbe fully removed. We went ahead and he's fine now. Had it not been removable we would have not had the op and bought him home to have his last limited time at home.

Don't put the dog through a very painful procedure if they can't get it all, my dog howled in pain (he is a wussy dog) for two days solid even on tramadol, he wouldn't sleep or anything, I would never put them through it unless the prognosis is really good.

BramshawHill Sun 21-Jul-13 13:39:53

I would have her put to sleep, the poor thing. Not because she's inconvenient, or she's not worth the money, but because she's spending all her time in pain.

She's probably tired, hurting and very, very fed up of dealing with this 24/7.

GiveMeVegemite Sun 04-Aug-13 19:47:10

Just an update....

After another couple of weeks on antibiotics, we got swabs taken to make sure she was on the right medication etc and another couple of vets visits we have her booked in to get put down next weekend. She is not improving and I feel like we are delaying the inevitable.

I am devastated. This week she is getting spoilt, with all her favourite foods etc.

Thanks for all your comments. It has made this horrible decision a tiny bit easier and makes me feel like I am doing the right thing.

megsmouse Sun 04-Aug-13 19:55:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wharrgarbl Sun 04-Aug-13 19:58:31

I'm so sorry - I think you're doing the right thing. I went through a similar thing with my poor old girl back in 2005.

Aw how sad sad I think you are doing the right thing op you have given the dog every chance and all the love possible to help her get better. You may never know why this happened or if anything else could have been done and I do agree it would be unfair to keep her so miserable. sad I hope you enjoy the last week with her and she gets spoilt rotten. She will know how much you love her and it will be so quick and peaceful. So sorry op sad

Boosterseat Sun 04-Aug-13 20:42:13

Oh bless you.

My beloved dog got a tumour in his throat, he was 11 and I adored him.
Vet said there was a small chance treatment could prolong his life but we knew we couldn't explain the treatment to him and it seemed kinder to let him go in his prime, to see him more debilitated would have been heartbreaking, I'm so sorry this has happened to you.

I hope you have a peaceful and joyful week.

LarryMcNue Sun 04-Aug-13 20:46:44

We had to have out dog pts recently

It was peaceful and dignified. She drifted away in our arms being stroked and spoken to gently.

It was a good end to a happy life

Thinking of you but please know that it isn't a bad way to go

chocolateicecream Sun 04-Aug-13 20:57:21

Oh OP I really do feel for you. I lost my beloved dog when pregnant with my eldest dd.

I thought that you might appreciate this poem.


If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain does keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done
For this – the last battle – can’t be won.
You will be sad I understand
But don’t let grief then stay you hand.
For on this day, more than the rest
Your love and friendship must stand the test.
We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn’t want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please let me go.
Take me to where my needs they’ll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end.
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don’t grieve that it must now be you
Who has to decide this thing to do.
We’ve been so close – we two – these years,
Don’t let your heart hold any tears.
Julia Napier, copyright 1999

missrlr Sun 04-Aug-13 20:57:44

You have tried to cure it, it is not working the prognosis is poor. PTS is morally better than keeping the dog alive to appease your ethics and guilt.

Loshad Sun 04-Aug-13 21:13:48

Agree totally with missrlr, you have tried hard for your dog, it is time to accept that PTS is the correct decision for the dog in terms of welfare.
So sad for you.

McNewPants2013 Sun 04-Aug-13 21:19:50

I think the best option is to put the dog to sleep.

It doesn't make you a bad person.

MissMarplesBloomers Sun 04-Aug-13 21:23:45

poachedeggs that is a great post

chocolateicecream -sob that's so apt.

OP have done all you can let her go with love. SO hard on you all.

I'd like to second what Larry said.

We had our much loved cat pts in December last year - he had cancer and was deteriorating fast. I was hoping he'd just die and we wouldn't have to do it but actually he was really peaceful, in our arms, and just slipped away. It was a good death, however heartbreaking.

Thinking of you xxx

cushtie335 Sun 04-Aug-13 21:38:53

Just to say, it's your call and PhTS is probably the right course of action but I know how much my dog means to me and it's a horrible decision to have to make. I can hardly even type this without crying at the thought of losing my beloved some time in the future. Bless you and hope you get through this OK.

GreenSkittles Sun 04-Aug-13 22:39:27

I'm so sorry vegemite, I've been there.

Spoil her to bits, my cat absolutely loved the last week of her life. We didn't do crazy with food because we didn't want to cause any digestive distress, but before we took her to the vets we presented her with a banquet. She was thrilled. It's a nice memory.

Chocolate, that has made me well up. My mum's border collie has osteosarcoma & has apparently deteriorated recently so she's taking him to the vet tomorrow. I may well show her that poem & hope it helps a little.

comingalongnicely Sun 04-Aug-13 22:44:16

I'm afraid that, as a cynic, when a Vet talks about "Quality of Life" it normally means they need a new car so pay up....

You've done all you can, the poor animal is in pain & there's no guarantee that the (possibly multiple) operations will make a blind bit of difference. I'd go for the PTS option, if the vet will do it at home then she'll have a chance to go to sleep surrounded by people she loves, and in her own environment.

Sympathies for your situation & good luck whichever you decide.

wigglesrock Sun 04-Aug-13 22:54:51

I'm very sorry, we are in the same situation, my dog is being put to sleep this week. She's old, tired, unable to move without pain and very unhappy. She's been part of our lives for 11 years. It's hard to believe she won't be here anymore but deep deep down I know it's the right thing to do, it's sort of the last thing I can do for her, she got me through some very difficult times and its my turn now to help her. I'll be thinking of you x

MintyChops Mon 05-Aug-13 05:35:15

You are doing the right thing Op, so sad and hard but it's the last nice thing you can do for your dog, save her all that pain and suffering. Hope you're ok and you too wiggles.

daisychain01 Mon 05-Aug-13 05:41:03

So sorry about your poor pup, terrible. Perhaps the way to think about it is that you are not prolonging her agony further, if she is PTS as she sounds extremely ill and you wont be around to ensure she is completely better.

Sadly, in years gone by, and if that animal were in the wild it would have died, nature would have intervened. Putting it through surgery could be just as cruel ( without you meaning to be).

GiveMeVegemite Thu 15-Aug-13 20:16:53

Final update.
We took her to the vet last weekend after doing some more tests to make sure she was on the right antibiotics, she was, it just wasn't getting better.
The vet said that the aggressive growth had now spread to her throat and said that there was absolutely nothing they could do.
I had already said my goodbyes at home, knowing this would probably happen, I gave her a MASSIVE piece of cheese (her favourite food) and cried and cried.
She was put to sleep and is now hopefully in a better place and out of pain. I miss her so much, but know it was for the best.
Thanks so much for all your support. I meant so much.

Coffeenowplease Thu 15-Aug-13 20:26:12

you did the right thing op. flowers for you.

WetDog Thu 15-Aug-13 21:34:56

I'm so sorry. But you did everything you could for her and it was the right thing to do in the end. Take comfort from that now, that and your lovely memories with her.

Bless that she loved cheese, every dog that I've ever had would do cartwheels for a piece of cheese.

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