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Dog put to sleep after diagnosis of cancer and becoming aggressive

(24 Posts)
nervalslobster Wed 20-Jan-21 15:45:43

Our dog was put to sleep three weeks ago. He was 12, and had been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, and the vet suspected the beginnings of dementia.
He had always had a tendency to guard food, and was occasionally "nippy" about it, but with a lot of patience, that was never a problem. However, he had become very growly and aggressive in the month or so before his death, and had bitten me - right through a pair of trainers.
Just before we had him put to sleep he bit me, my DH and my adult DC in the space of two days. Mine was quite bad (needed stitches at the plastic surgery unit, and I dread to think what it would have been like if I had been wearing a thick hoodie) and all these were totally unprovoked attacks. We consulted the vet, and her opinion was he needed to be put to sleep. Heartbreaking, especially as a lot of the time you wouldn't think there was anything wrong with him.
My husband has taken it very badly. Thinks we had him put to sleep too soon, and seems to blame me. I'm grieving for the dog too, I adored him, but a huge part of me feels relief, as I was beginning to be afraid to be alone with him. How can I convince him we did the right thing? I specifically asked the vet if that was what she would do in our position, and she said yes.

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nervalslobster Wed 20-Jan-21 15:48:18

"Hadn't been wearing"

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Mrsjayy Wed 20-Jan-21 15:53:54

Oh I am so sorry about your dog we had ours PTS in August he was reactive in pain and started taking "turns" when he would try and escape places for no reason it was very upsetting he was 9,

An yway this isn't anybodies fault you can't have a dog biting and he was suffering when was the decision to be made? You did the only thing you could keeping him another year or so might see him getting worse, I think letting your husband be sad but be on a loop of saying what else we're we supposed to do. Fwiw 8 get your relief i was devastated but also relieved.

FurrySlipperBoots Wed 20-Jan-21 15:55:30

I'm so sorry, how dreadfully sad. It's a very hard decision to have to make, but honestly from your pots 100% the right one.

nervalslobster Wed 20-Jan-21 16:59:29

@Mrsjayy so sorry about your dog too. I feel in my gut that we did the right thing. My husband has never had dogs before (we always had them growing up) and it has hit him hard.

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nervalslobster Wed 20-Jan-21 16:59:51

@FurrySlipperBoots thank you for this.

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ChezLuce Wed 20-Jan-21 17:01:41

You stopped his suffering. It was the kind thing to do

Mrsjayy Wed 20-Jan-21 17:05:08

He will come to terms with it as long as he isn't being unkind to you about it then just let him work through.

nervalslobster Wed 20-Jan-21 17:06:17

@ChezLuce I think so too. The personality changes were becoming very worrying, and he was very subdued at times. The vet also thought that he could possibly be in pain.

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powershowerforanhour Wed 20-Jan-21 17:08:35

A biting dog is not a happy dog.
A dog whose brain is so fuddled with cognitive decline (or metastases) that they are showing severe aggression to family members is not a happy dog.
A dog whose family are tense and shrinking away from him, ready to jump of out range and afraid to stroke him or interact with him lest they get injured is not a happy dog.
He could not be fixed.
Things were only going to get worse.
For your family's safety and his happiness- you did the right thing.

nervalslobster Wed 20-Jan-21 17:12:13

@powershowerforanhour I agree. I knew that when I was getting too wary to even stroke him. He was so very loved though.

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OhBabooahka Wed 20-Jan-21 17:22:31

I'm so sorry.

We've just had to do the same to our dd for exactly the same reasons as up you have.

Dd bit me for no reason so we knew it had to be done, at times dd was so happy but in pain and I kept wondering if we were leaving it too late.

You did the kindest thing at the right time.

nervalslobster Wed 20-Jan-21 17:36:56

@OhBabooahka so sorry about your dog. It's the hardest decision to make.

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Santaiscovidfree Wed 20-Jan-21 17:45:29

In April 19 our ddog had a massive mammary tumour removed. Last January she started showing signs of aggression. She had always been a crabby ddog and not to be messed with (huge rottweiler). In a month she attacked 2 of our ddogs and had a scarey stand off with me. Vet advised she suspected brain tumour. Ddog was then 10 and unlikely to manage more surgery. We made the responsible decision to pts. We had a last blast fortnight with her under strict supervision.. Of course regrets. Of course what ifs. And lots of grief. After 10 years quite rightly so.. Your dh is struggling and I get that. I felt like a downright murderer for ages.
Sorry for your loss.
Like me though you could in all reality be mourning a dc or a relative. An aggressive ddog isn't to be messed with.

nervalslobster Wed 20-Jan-21 17:51:11

@Santaiscovidfree so sorry to hear that. I know what you mean about feeling like a murderer! But the risks and the chance of ddog suffering were just too great.

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Suzi888 Wed 20-Jan-21 17:56:55

I’m so sorry about your dog. We had a biter too, worsened when he got older, also diagnosed with dementia. It can change their personalities, make them an unhappy and frightened dog, that may lash out - at least that’s what our vet told us many years ago. It’s kinder to have them put to sleep if nothing else can be done, or the risks are too high.

Santaiscovidfree Wed 20-Jan-21 19:26:45

We got ddog cremated and have taken ashes on holiday and left some for future trips. Feel quite content she is enjoying Mull!! Also buried some in our local sand dunes for opportunities to chat!
The rest is in my bedroom where I know she will be smug to have gotten into eventually!
Small odd logics that have helped us cope. Holding a 20 st man sobbing he had lost his best friend was very difficult..

nervalslobster Wed 20-Jan-21 20:56:50

@Suzi888 thank you.

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nervalslobster Wed 20-Jan-21 20:58:36

@Santaiscovidfree we have his ashes too. Some went to his favourite woods, the others will go to Scotland and North Wales post lockdown.

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tigerlily20 Wed 20-Jan-21 21:04:35

you did the right thing by not letting him suffer. I let my dog suffer too long as I couldn't let go and I really regret it, he suffered so much. Better two weeks too early than two weeks too late. Also, you have to be safe... dh is just grieving, he knows this too deep down too. The right thing by all accounts. Sorry for you loss

nervalslobster Wed 20-Jan-21 21:05:40

@tigerlily20 thank you.

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Santaiscovidfree Wed 20-Jan-21 21:31:35

Scotland is def a good place for a ddog to be op!

barebetty Thu 21-Jan-21 19:36:33

Im Sure you did the right thing. We had a collie that imho we left too long (husband kept wanting to try different treatment methods). He snapped at my son unprovoked. It was horrible and he was PTS that day. It should have been planned and should never have got to that point.

changingnamesandkeepingsane Thu 21-Jan-21 19:42:11

I'm so sorry. You could not have taken the risk with your dog. If he'd come into contact with a child you would never have forgiven yourself.

It really is the last thing you do to show them love. Would it help him to think this was the only way he had to show you he was done?

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