This is a Premium feature
What would you do? Heartbroken.(38 Posts)
I’ll try to keep it brief, I have posted in desperation before.
My puppy (15 months) developed grade 4 patella luxation in both legs by the time she was 1. She has surgery on 1 leg in January- a groove replacement as they were in such a bad way due to the level of deformity.
We have had her on a strict rehab plan, with physio and pain meds, preparing to get the other leg operated on.
But she has made no improvement at all. She limps most of the day, and cannot even play in the garden. The leg needs to be strong before they can operate on her right leg. I spoke to the surgeon on Thursday, he said she may need two full knee replacements but will probably never make a full recovery.
I have 5 children who cannot play with their dog. And it breaks my heart daily seeing in pain. For the first time this week I have considered letting her go- I cannot carry on like this. She has limped and struggled from being just 7 months old.
I feel I am putting her through more hell if we press on trying to get her fixed, but will feel like I’ve given up on her if we consider euthanasia.
will probably never make a full recovery.
That would be it for me: I would PTS at this point. A dog is not a human, it wants to do dog things, most of which involve running around.
will feel like I’ve given up on her if we consider euthanasia.
I understand that, I really do, but if she is unlikely to ever recover fully, to always be lame, to always be in pain when her meds wear off, I don't think it's fair on her to keep her going.
I say this as someone with an elderly dog who is on pain meds (arthritis, combo of age and poor conformation), but who can still knock off a five mile walk before breakfast. If he reaches the point of being continually lame, he will be PTS, because that's not fair on him.
It's heartbreaking for all of you, but with a low chance of success, carrying on isn't fair on the dog.
That's no way for a dog to live, it must be awful for you but I agree that pts is the right thing to do.
It's quality not quantity for me.
At this stage I would be having a very frank discussion with my vet about the option of PTS.
It's one thing for an elderly dog to be happy to have limited mobility but still pottering about but very different for a young dog to be looking at years of that ahead with painful surgery and a limited outcome.
That's a tough one & clearly you care greatly for her wellbeing
Speak to surgeon again explaining considering if euthanasia best as likely to skip sugar coating, to get a better idea of what thinks her life will be like and what those ops would involve in care/rehab/finances . I'd be surprised if he'd suggest knee replacements if felt she'd have poor quality of life after, although its always unknown if ops will be successful.
As he could mean she'd not be same as young, healthy dog fixed and will need careful managing and likely get arthritic changes earlier but would still have good life.
Have met a few young dogs that have had various major orthopedic ops and the only advantage is these dogs don't know any different having always been in pain & not had a normal life so its often a big improvement for them & for owners less of a lifestyle shock.
Difficult with the covid situation, but hydrotherapy is fantastic for rehab as its difficult to build the muscles that support the joints on land and gets them to use all legs properly as dogs often prefer to use 3 legs, to avoid bad leg & sometimes its even because it hurt in past even if OK now.
If she is in pain all the time, there is no improvement and medication can't help her, then I am afraid that letting her go is the kindest thing. It is hard enough in an old dog, but you expect some aches and pains (just like us) in older dogs, and you know that a time will come when you have to make the decision for them. In a dog of her age, it must be an awful life. She cannot do any of the thing she should be able to do, and she has had no life and has nothing to look forward to. It's a kindness to let her go.
I wouldn't want to be in pain all the time and unable to walk or play or be a dog.
If she'd make a good recovery, that would be one thing, but if the foresees such a gloomy prognosis I think it is a kindneas to discuss future options including PTS. And this from someone who cried for hours and deliberated over having a young ish (age 4) guinea pig who was extremely unwell PTS. I actually felt relief mostly once it was done. She was suffering. I know a dog is different but she's spent over half her life in pain now.
How sad, so sorry OP. I would get her PTS, and then look for another.
You have a lot of love to give and if they are in pain with just walking it seems the kindest option.
Be kind to yourself, your family and your pet dog.
It would tear me apart, but based on what you've put here, I would let her go. I understand it might feel like giving up but from the outside looking in, it looks like the noblest and bravest and most selfless thing you can do.
Does limping mean pain?
With effective pain meds she's young and strong and might make a good recovery?
It sounds like you know the right thing to do, OP.
And this is also a good (albeit very painful) life lesson for your kids to watch, too –that sometimes the right thing to do is the very hardest thing.
But as PPs have said, have a frank conversation with your vet first. You don't have to shoulder 100% of the decision. Get some guidance and reassurance one way or another.
This is the flip side of love, right? Hurts like hell. So sorry you're all having to deal with this – Ddog included.
Thank you for your kind replies.
I have spoken to her surgeon today and he has asked to see her again, has said there may be the option of interject-able fluid, but from what I’ve read this is something she will need for the rest of her life, as well as further major surgical procedures.
Unfortunately she snapped at my daughter yesterday and made contact with her face, I don’t blame my dog for one second but that goes to show the level of discomfort she is in.
This is hell. I can’t continue like this, but can’t imagine taking her to be pts. I love her so much.
You have tried your best but unfortunately the dog is still in pain with no plan for making her well again. It’s really awful but I think you need to be brave and do the right thing so that she doesn’t suffer and so that she doesn’t cause harm to others because of her pain.
What an awful decision to have to make. The thought that really helped me with my dogs was that dogs live right in the moment. They don’t really remember how things used to be, they don’t have ambitions or plans for the future. Although it is very sad for us, euthanasia can be freedom for them rather than giving up.
Depending on the relative timescales it may not be fair to put them through painful treatment or procedures with the intention of a brighter future. We made this decision for one of ours - he was older but frequent trips to the vets to be out on a drip, limited mobility and the inability to enjoy his favourite treats tipped the balance for us.
So sorry that you are having to deal with this in these strange times.
Let her go OP. Very sad for you all but the right decision
I would let her go too. I'd feel too guilty keeping her with us despite her pain just because I loved her.
If she's at the point of snapping and is normally well natured then she must be in significant pain. Add the risk of potentially a whole life (a long time even in human years let alone for a dog) without proper leg function (after already having half of her life with pain), so never being able to run and fully indulge in her natural behaviours, and the risk to other people if she is acting out because of her pain, and I'm not sure I could watch my beloved dog go through that anymore.
This must be utterly devastating for you Op, I'm so sorry you're in this position
If the only reason she snapped was that she's unhappy and probably in paid, you aren't being kind to her to keep her alive. Are you sure it wasn't a perfectly proportionate air-snap as a warning because your DD was being overly rough or careless?
I know it's hard to imagine doing it but once you arrange for her to be PTS, you will just take it one step at a time and get through it. If it's the right thing to do, please do it sooner, rather than later. You have the power to end her pain.
She’s gone. I can’t stop crying. 💔
So very sorry for your loss
Just read the whole thread. Such a hard thing to do but the absolutely right decision.
I've just read the thread and think you have been extremely brave and unselfish. I really hope that when the time comes for you to consider another dog you find the perfect match for your household and that you have many happy years together. Your unselfish act marks you out as a real dog lover.
So sorry @MultipleMum5, that must have been absolutely heartbreaking for you . As a dog owner myself, I cannot imagine the hell you have been through and the utter sadness you now have.
You did absolutely the right thing for the dog xx
So sorry OP but I do think it was the best decision even though it hurts