How do you accept that it's time to PTS?

(12 Posts)
LeapinLizards Mon 03-Sep-18 12:01:41

Lovely DDog is nearing the end of her life. Her back legs wouldn't support her yesterday and, although they did then work again, the panic and stress she experienced has made me think I need to consider putting her to sleep.
She has been on pain medication for years but it seems to be less effective now and I think she is in pain. Her legs have been increasingly weak but it was the first time they failed to work. I fear that if I don't take action now, her legs will fail and I'll have to call the vet urgently, which would be awful for her and me.
But I can't bear to let her go even though I know it is selfish of me. I am finding it hard to accept that her time has come. I can't contemplate life without her. And, right now, she is ok so I am thinking maybe I can have a bit more time with her. It's just postponing the inevitable but a day or two more might help me accept it. At the moment, I just don't think I could do it. But maybe I am fooling myself. Does anyone have any words of wisdom on making peace with it?

OP’s posts: |
Prestonsflowers Mon 03-Sep-18 12:06:35

It’s a really hard decision to make and it’s very painful.
The way to try and think is it’s for her sake, not yours.
She’s been loving and loyal to you and now you have to be strong for her.
Nobody ever takes this decision lightly but try not to let her suffer any more

MrsMozart Mon 03-Sep-18 12:09:48

It's a shitty decision but I've always found the decision is already made, it's just acknowledging it.

It's the kindest thing you can do. Hurts like hell though.

BiteyShark Mon 03-Sep-18 12:13:50

Dogs are very good at masking pain so the fact that you think she is in pain coupled with the panic and stress she experienced means you probably know deep down what you need to do despite it hurting like hell for you.

Why don't you make an appointment at the vets to talk this through to help you make that decision. Remember you are her advocate flowers

Lynne1Cat Mon 03-Sep-18 12:17:08

Has your dog got a good quality of life? I'd say that as her legs aren't working properly, and she's in pain (you say she's been on painkillers for years), she's suffering.

Do the kindest thing for HER. You owe her that.

Yes, it's painful. I had my 18 year old cat PTS in April, and it was for the best for HER.

LeapinLizards Mon 03-Sep-18 14:32:17

Thank you for replies. The painkillers have been working well over the years but less so now. You are all right, of course. I need to do this for her, regardless of my own sadness.
Since posting, I've spoken to the vet who has suggested upping the painkillers immediately and prescribing ACP for when they come out to PTS. But I've read bad things about ACP - specifically, that it calms the body but the emotional stress / upset remains. That seems like it would be even more awful for DDog than if she were to take nothing at all. When I said that, vet said that's all they can prescribe but they will, if necessary, give sedation by injection when they see her. But I got the impression that they decide if it's necessary, not me.
It is an added worry that the sedative to make it easier for DDog will actually make it worse. As @BiteyShark says, I'm her advocate and I can't let that happen.
Does anyone have any experience of ACP? Maybe it's not as bad as I am thinking. Or advice on how to handle it? The only thing I can think of is to give ACP then insist they sedate with injection when they come.

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Ploppymoodypants Mon 03-Sep-18 14:39:37

Hello, I am in a similar position witness DDog but maybe a month or so behind. I am a big believer in better a week early than a day late.

I had previous DDog and Dcat PTS at home. It was very calm. I held cat on my lap and dog was in basket with me sat next to him stroking him. Vet was amazing and calm. No ACP. Vet put some felaway scent on his clothes before doing cat. Vet gave them some strokes and chatted to me for a bit about inane nonsense to create calm atmosphere (and distract me from sobbing which would have upset dog). Then he gave them a sedative injection in their arm and they just went to sleep with me talking to them. Then he did the PTS injection. All very quick and calm. I could only wish for such a peaceful death for my loved humans and myself.
My good friend has her Dhorse PTS in a similar way. And she was glad and said it was as peaceful and you could wish.
It’s heartbreaking I know. But remember your dog isn’t worrying she is about to die and feeling upset about it. She is living in the moment. I would recommend having her PTS at home with her familiar surroundings and you there.


LeapinLizards Mon 03-Sep-18 15:17:54

Yes, Ploppy, you're right about the timing. It's just so hard when it feels too soon but leaving it too late would be even worse.
@PloppyMoodyPants, can I ask if your dog & cat were fearful of the vet, generally? DDog is terrified of the vet and becomes incredibly aggressive (requires muzzle etc) because she's so scared.

I have asked them to do it at home - so much better for DDog as relaxed and comfortable in her own surroundings, esp as she gets so easily stressed - and it's good to hear that your past experiences have been so positive.

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butcherswife Mon 03-Sep-18 15:57:58

I agree with Mozart you just know and you need to acknowledge it.

I had my Lab put to sleep in June, he would have been 14 in September. We went on holiday for a week and when we came home he really seemed really subdued but perked up after a couple of days so I put it down to him sulking with us leaving him. The day before he was PTS we had been on a nice walk around a local dam, he woke up the next day and could't walk at all. I thought he was just a bit stiff so asked DP to keep getting him up and moving but in my heart i knew what was going to happen. I had already rung the vet and got an appointment for the afternoon.

He was my first dog i've had to have PTS. Between me and the vet we got him in the room, the vet gave him lots of attention and said i could have him put on some strong pain killers but i had probably gone to do the right thing. They shaved a patch on his leg and i sat and stroked him, they said if he seemed distressed they would give him a sedative. He didn't bat an eye lid and he passed away within a few seconds. I thought I was prepared for it (I'm quite a tough 'en) the vet went out of the room and gave me 5 minutes with him and my heart just broke.

Emotions aside it was a positive experience, and my boy was just so ready to go. My heart breaks for you but you've got this.

Ploppymoodypants Mon 03-Sep-18 21:58:50

Leapinlizards - no I must admit DDog and Dcat were not at all scared of the vet or the vet practice. But I think if you are at home and DDog is too, she won’t know it’s ‘the vet’ if you see what I mean. Is she more scared of men than women at all (some animals are). You could ask for a female vet. They will understand. And for all DDog knows it’s just a visitor who is giving her some attention. If you are relaxed (easier said that done I know) then Ddog should not get too worried. Sending you some love and strength to do the right thing.

LeapinLizards Tue 04-Sep-18 13:04:15

Thanks Ploppy. Good call on asking for female vet. She's scared of men so a female would definitely help

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poshme Tue 04-Sep-18 13:11:03

We had to make this decision for Ddog a month ago. Beforehand it was really hard getting to the point of deciding- but back legs were giving way & she was struggling to walk by the last few days.

I was worried about what it would be like at the vet- she doesn't like the vet much. But it was so lovely and calm. She had the injection, and then leaned against me and just slumped down slowly. It was like she was leaning in for a cuddle. It was so peaceful.
Despite agonies beforehand as it didn't seem entirely clear cut, I feel that it was absolutely right- and I feel at peace with the decision.

Take care of yourself- it's not an easy time.

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