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How do you know when it’s time to say goodbye

(19 Posts)
Aroundtheworldandback Tue 14-Nov-17 22:12:18

Our King Charles Cavalier is 14.5. Just increased his heart pills which has given him a bit more energy. But his back legs are just bone, he finds it hard to sit back long enough on them to poo, and in the evenings can hardly get up.

He still enjoys short walks and loves his food and cuddles. I liove that little thing so much. How do you know when they’re in pain and when is it the right time.

rightsaidfrederickII Tue 14-Nov-17 22:15:17

For me, the acid test is - are they still enjoying life? From what you've said he still enjoys life enough to carry on for now.

Don't be afraid to ask your vet what they would do if this was their dog, and remember that it's better to let them go a day too early than a day too late.

mineofuselessinformation Tue 14-Nov-17 22:18:08

What right said.
You'll probably get some emotive responses here, but for me, as soon as a pet is showing signs of being unhappy with their life, and you don't feel you can let them carry on, it's time.

missbattenburg Tue 14-Nov-17 22:51:55

poster Aroundtheworldandback it is the toughest and most rubbish decision ever.

For me, when the bad outweighs the good, it is time. When he no longer can enjoy the nice things because the rubbish stuff gets in the way.

Whenever you decide it will be the right decision for you and your dog and you will have made it with love. That's what you hold onto.

fwiw from what you have said, I would give a dog that was still enjoying walks, food and cuddles a bit longer but I am not there and cannot see him. You are.

BiteyShark Wed 15-Nov-17 07:02:38

So sorry you are in this position flowers

Like others have said when the bad times outweigh the good times. When his quality of life deteriorates or that he is in unmanageable pain. You don't have to make that decision alone, book a vets appointment and have a frank discussion about his quality of life with them.

CMOTDibbler Wed 15-Nov-17 07:46:39

For me, it's when you think 'it's going to only be a few days more'. That's the time, because you are ending things when they still have a little bit of quality left.
So, taking short walks, eating well, having cuddles, I think you are good for now. But if he seemed in pain, struggling to walk past the first 'ooff' moment of getting up, then it would be time

Yogagirl123 Wed 15-Nov-17 07:50:47

It’s awful I know, but I am sure you will know when the time is right, as others have said, vets are very experienced to advise in such cases and can often help to validate your thoughts. Good luck OP. flowers

Aroundtheworldandback Wed 15-Nov-17 15:56:09

Thank you all so much. I guess it’s the one luxury our beloved friends have that we don’t- not having to suffer. I have the time to watch him and be around for him.

I have 2 teenaged kids and we got him when they were tiny and their dad & I were divorcing- and boy did he do his job, bringing joy into their lives and mine.

Hopeing his heart tablet increase will give him a little longer to enjoy his cuddles and treats x

sonjadog Wed 15-Nov-17 20:23:49

For me it was when the only thing keeping him alive was a mixture of tablets for different ailments.

Sweetooth92 Wed 15-Nov-17 20:29:21

For us it was her loosing control of her bowels & bladder. She would be so ashamed to go in the house and soil her bed then look mortified. Combined with slowing down. She had severe back & joint issues and they didn’t stop her for ages-she was her lovely lively self. It was painful to let her go but I took solace and comfort in it being the right time rather than selfishly making her suffer for my benefit. She got to pass on surrounded by those that she loved the most, without continuing to suffer for us. You know when it’s time. You just know

EMSMUM16 Wed 15-Nov-17 20:52:12

You will know and he will communicate it to you. I know this sounds weird but you sound really close & caring towards your dog & this bond is enough for you to know when its time. Much love to you and your family

Aroundtheworldandback Wed 15-Nov-17 23:51:40

EMSMUM16 your words really made me feel better. I know what he wants/needs even before he does, so what you say makes sense and I will rely on my instinct. Thanksflowers

EMSMUM16 Thu 16-Nov-17 08:49:44


NamasteNiki Fri 24-Nov-17 00:40:03

Hopeing his heart tablet increase will give him a little longer to enjoy his cuddles and treats x

That's a human attitude. You keep a human alive to enjoy another day and they do. Animals dont think wow at least I can enjoy another short walk or cuddle.

A dog who cant even put weight on his legs to poo. That's just cruel to keep him alive to enjoy a cuddle or for you to enjoy them.

Isitwinteryet Fri 24-Nov-17 08:29:54

I went through this 5 weeks ago with my childhood dog. She was 15 and also had pretty much no muscle left on her back legs and they were getting pretty week. For me, it's when she was showing signs that she was struggling to get up. She still could, but it took her longer than usual, she looked like she was thinking "do I really need to go get a drink or can I wait".
After a trip to the vet we made the decision to put her on pain relief for a week and spoil her rotten. We had her put to sleep a week later in our home.
It's was probably the hardest decision I have ever made, and I was truly heartbroken. But I have comfort knowing that at no point in her life did she suffer, her ending was as lovely as it could be surrounded by people she loved in her home rather than being rushed to the vets after collapsing one day.
I'd of been heartbroken if one day she couldn't get up and ended up lying in her own mess, because she deserved better than that. I'm very much a part of the 'better a week too early than a day too late' gang.

Aroundtheworldandback Fri 24-Nov-17 22:19:19

Isitwinteryet i’m probably at that point now. Sometimes he struggles to get up especially as we have stone floors not carpet, but this morning had a lovely short walk which he enjoyed. He generally still enjoys life but struggles more. He’s pooing ok at the moment but I’ve told my kids that when he can’t do that any more that’s the time.

The Vet tells me it’s when the bad times outweigh the good. I wouldn’t euthanise an elderly relative because they couldn’t do what they used to when they were young- as I wouldn’t my dog- but when I feel he’s suffering I won’t hesitate.

stormnigel Fri 24-Nov-17 22:24:34

My mum and dad are having to have their beloved dog put to sleep tomorrow. He has a liver problem and they have tried every treatment for him, and that was fine whilst he was still ok ish and any pain could be managed but he has become doubly incontinent over the last few days and seems in more discomfort so they have decided now is the time.
They are both devastated, as am I on their behalf, but it seems the right thing now sad

Catsrus Sat 25-Nov-17 02:01:10

I've had 11 dogs, more cats than I can remember off hand and ditto small furries belonging to the dc. I've been through this again and again. Please believe me when I tell you that what will haunt you is leaving it too late, not letting him / her go "too early". Please don't wait until the dog is in real distress because that's not fair to the dog, to be in pain, distress at the end rather than a peaceful end with a wagging tail, feeling loved and secure.

We left it too late with one of the dcs pets once - it was a lesson learned. I also had to take an elderly lady's dog to be pts when she couldn't bear to do it, the poor thing was very unhappy.

It's the final loving thing we can do for them, to PREVENT distress at the end, and in my experience it's generally a very peaceful experience for them.

Isitwinteryet Sat 25-Nov-17 09:58:05

You'll know when is right, you are the one that sees him everyday. We too had stone in the kitchen and she was able to be in there, but I wouldn't have left her unsupervised just in case she fell. There's no getting away from the fact it's horrible for us, but we're lucky that at least it doesn't need to be horrible for them. Good luck for when the time is right.

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