PTS dog experiences(8 Posts)
Crusty Dog has and had various diseases (ehrlichia, babesia and leishmaniasis).
Despite a drug regime that would shame a South American drug lord, he's no better. Over the last 3 years his leish titre keeps rising and since last Easter his bloods (liver and kidneys) worsening.
His bloods were much better in Autumn. He'd been on 2 back to back courses of Milteforan. Was skipping about outside like a pup and had the appetite of a gourmand.
Over Christmas/New Year period, his appetite has gone, erratic drinking, lethargy, weight loss - just not himself, and his bloods (liver & kidneys) show a reduction in function again.
It's very difficult. Each time we've intervened with the big gun drugs, he's rallied. But then the 'well' time between drugs cycles becomes less and less.
I think we've reached the point of PTS.
But I feel like we're giving up on him.
How was it?
I have lots of practical questions.
Is it better to have it done at the vets or at home?
Can the vet give a sedation first, the the final injection?
Is it quick?
I knew life expectancy was shortened when we adopted him. But he's such a fantastic, easy going dog. Given what a shit start he had, it just feels so unfair.
As yet we've only had one dogs PTS, DDog1 just over three years ago.
He had heart failure and arthritis in his hips. In both cases we'd reached the end of the road treatment wise. He was on the absolute maximum of everything he could possibly have.
We got up one morning and it was obvious that his evening pain meds hadn't kept him comfortable through until his breakfast dose. He struggled getting downstairs and refused his food. I ended up hand feeding him the tastiest food we had in the house to get his pills into him.
Once his morning pain meds kicked in he was fine, totally back to his usual happy self, but we knew it was only a matter of time before it happened again. We decided to have him PTS that evening.
We had intended to have it done at home but we didn't want to risk a repeat of that morning so we decided to take him into the surgery rather than wait for a home appointment.
As he was comfortable they suggested booking the last appointment of the day so it would be quiet.
We spent the day chilling on the sofa together with him and our other dogs, just enjoying his company.
DDog1 wasn't sedated first (though I believe this can be done if you want), we lifted him onto the table and laid him on his side. The vet (who was utterly lovely) shaved a tiny bit of his leg and when we were ready he administered the injection. DDog1 slipped away with us holding him and telling him how loved he was. He went limp then stopped breathing and shortly afterwards the vet checked his heart and confirmed he was gone. It was over in just a few minutes.
They offered for us to stay with his body as long as we wanted but to us he just wasn't "there" anymore so we didn't stay. They asked what we wanted to do with his body and as we had no specific wants (including no desire for ashes or anything) they kept it and dealt with all that.
We had a good cry in the waiting room then paid up and went home. They did say we could pay at a later date if we preferred but we just wanted it done with.
A few days later we got a lovely sympathy card through the post signed by everyone at the vets.
All in all I think it was as good an experience as such a thing possibly can be. I'm very much a believer in the "better a week too soon than a day too late" adage and I know we made the right decision. It was inevitable that his meds would eventually cease to keep him comfortable and that morning was as close to a bad day as we were happy for him to have. He owed us absolutely nothing and sparing him any suffering at that stage in his life was the least we could do.
Sorry to hear about your dog.
I work in a vets and have watched many many animals being PTS so can give you some idea although they are all different.
Generally it is quick and quiet. Some go in seconds some take a little longer if organ function is compromised but generally most people are shocked at how fast it is. The leg is usually clipped and wiped and the injection given with minimal fussing. You can hold, talk too and stroke him if you want too.
Sedation can be given before hand but lots of vets don't like to use it as it drops blood pressure making it harder to find a vein and thus harder to give the final injection and also because some sedations can make them very nauseous which isn't nice.
Almost all vets will do a home visit. I think it can be nicer for the pet but some people prefer to take them to the vets as afterwards there is no waiting around etc. If your dog hates the vet it may be less stressful at home but it depends on your dog. I had mine PTS in the surgery as I found he would be stressed with strangers regardless of where he was and I didn't want him lying around at home waiting to be collected.
Very occasionally there can be complications but any good vet will talk you through those before hand.
Please don't feel guilty, usually if an owner considering it then it's time. You know your dog more than anyone else and you will know when the time is right
I've had two pts.
First was fine, was quick. Dog just fell asleep and then they checked there was no heartbeat.
Second time not so good. Young dog, very aggressive. Was trying to savage everyone in the room. Vet was terrified and kept dropping the needle. They have to get it into a vein so slightly more detailed than just an injection and into a moving, snarling target wasn't the best. I was upset because the dog was obviously distressed. But I think this situation would be unusual.
So sorry to hear of your situation, OP.
I've had 2 PTS at home (some years ago) and one PTS at the vet's (2 years ago).
Home is I think less stressful on the dog, but you are waiting for the vet to come and for us it wasn't a set time. Oddly enough our girl who was PTS at the vet's wasn't as stressed as I thought she would be (possibly too ill to care so much?). The procedure was as Trionic described, quietly and gently done and quick too.
I remember paying afterwards and not being able to see the numbers in the card machine for tears. (It's an idea to try to have someone to drive you there/back who won't also be sobbing).
As to timing, I'd second the "better a day too early" thought. With hindsight I wonder if I left it a day late in the hope she'd rally.
You have done your absolute best for him and no-one could have done more.
It really is a fnucker
We've just got back from a short walk. Crusty dog was so happy. Sniffing, peeing, doing his 'I've just done a poo' run a round, happy dance.
I suppose this is what it will be till the time comes. Brief happy periods, followed by longer and longer not so happy ones.
If you can possibly avoid sedation, then I would.
Two years ago, my beautiful GSD, was struggling with her hips, she was on a downward spiral, and I knew it was time to let her go.
She was a big, strong, feisty girl, the vet suggested sedation, so I unwittingly agreed. It was an ill informed decision, on my part.
My lovely girl, struggled and fought for half an hour, until the final drug could be administered. The vet told me her heart had stopped, I was laid on the floor with her, she carried on blinking, for 15 minutes.
I am heartbroken, I let her down, I loved her so much.
Sorry to hear about your dog 💐
I've had 3 dogs PTS - 2 at vets, 1 at home.
DDog 1 had been ill for a long time. We took her to the vet after a turn and was told she had had a stroke and nothing they could do. They didn't offer any kind of sedative and she was so stressed because she knew where she was, she kept trying to wriggle away from the vet.
Horrible experience 😞
DDog 2 had also been ill for a long time. Quite similar to you, would get worse, get new course of meds, rally and be better, then cycle would start again. We knew he couldn't keep doing this, he was struggling even in the good times. So we decided when (gave ourselves a few days notice) and had the vet come to the house.
Again, no sedative but this time DDog was calm and it was fine. Vet was respectful, gave him injection while I held him on the living room floor and was generally lovely. It was very peaceful.
DDog 3 had a fit at home. Rushed to vets to be told nothing they could do (which we knew, he was practically comatose in my arms). No sedative as it wasn't needed. Vet gave injection while me and DH held him, then vet left the room while he slipped away. Came back in, checked he was gone and gave us as much time as we needed with him.
You know your dog OP. If he's likely to panic, ask for a sedative. If he's generally a calm dog, you won't need one.
Again - home or vets? Where will he be most comfortable? And don't forget afterwards. I was glad DDog2 was PTS at home but it meant we had to bury him ourselves (or face him being taken away which was more than I could handle), something I hadn't given any thought to in the upset of knowing we were going to lose him
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