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Q: Euthanization Decision

December 23, 2009 | By Jessica P. | 14 answers | Expired: 1667 days ago

Jessica P.

The past couple days have been extremely difficult. For the past months I knew my rotti Ruxbin was coming toward the end. He has at least four visible tumors, a growth on his toe/toe nail (that caused the vet remove the toenail and scrap the "growth") the vet said though he was not a pathologist he did not see any cancer cells in the scraping...but taking in mind the other tumors that are growing cancer is very likely. The past few days he has had explosive diarreah several times a day and seems to be straining to do even that and never quite "done", also VERY gassy. Diarreah is not out of the ordinary for Ruxbin, but he has never had it like this even with withholding food, even with plain rice or rice and lamb (he can't have chicken).
But that said he plays with the other dogs, he seems "happy" enough. But he is also the type of dog that had been attacked, had a huge bite wound infected and no one knew! He never really seems to let us know when he is hurt. We had a childhood dog that the whole family agrees we let suffer way too long, and I really don't want Ruxbin to suffer at all he is an awesome dog. But I also don't want to end his life if he is happy and has more good time. What are your thoughts?

Ruxbin has ALOT of food related digestive problems, which is why his diet is VERY strict. This recent illness, is not food related as he has has nothing but his regular food, rice/lamb or/and pure lamb treats, which is why it worries me. However I also agree that if there is a "easy" fix then we get to have more time with him...Will find out at 10:00 today.

Readers' Answers (14)

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cheech
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Dec 29, 2009

MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU !I TO HAVE HAD SOME TRYING TIMES WITH MY DOG KODI AND HE STILL CONTINUES TO COME DOWN WITH SOMETHING NEW EVERYDAY TODAY IS A GOOD DAY TOMORROW GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT'S NEXT. HE IS ONLY SIX YEARS OLD AND HAS HAD SERIOUS PROBLEMS SINCE THE DAY I BROUGHT HIM HOME. AT THE AGE OF 8 WEEKS. THE DOG I HAD BEFORE KODI WAS DOOGIE HE JUST GOT SICK ONE DAY AND I HAD TO BRING HIM TO THE VET THEY TOLD ME HE HAD A GROWTH ON HIS SPLEEN .THEY OPERATED AND TWO HRS LATER A CALL AND I HAD TO MAKE THAT DREADED DECISION. I LOVED HIM SO MUCH I COULDNT BEAR TO LOSE HIM BUT I KNEW I COULDNT KEEP HIM ALIVE FOR ME. THAT JUST WOULDNT BE RIGHT. AND I CRIED AND HURT FOR ALONG TIME .AND SOMETIMES I STILL DO! BUT I FIND COMFORT IN KNOWING THAT I WILL SEE HIM AGAIN!!!!YOU AND YOUR DOG WILL BE IN MY PRAYERS. PRAYER DOES WORK! EVEN WHEN WE THINK IT DIDN;T............................

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Lisa B.
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Dec 25, 2009

I can always see it in their eyes when it is time to go. They will tell you.

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Stacy H.
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Dec 25, 2009

It sounds like he is still doing pretty good if he is still playing and in good spirits. But with that said, you will know when it is time to say good bye. It trully is the final gift we can give our pets in the end, a peaceful ending.

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daryl b.
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Dec 25, 2009

kris i have faith in you to do the right thing for your beloved dog. what a terrible desicion to have to make at christmas

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Vicki
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Dec 24, 2009

I just made this same decision October 29th. My 13-1/2 year old Shih-tzu had kidney failure. After talking with people, lots of people, I decided this disease was eventually going to take her life. I refused to let her live her life with any pain so I made that decision & i know I did the right thing. The decision is yours & the timing of the decision is yours to make. If my dag had "incurable" cancer I don't think I would think twice. How old is your baby? Good luck. It isn't all that bad to make that dreaded decision. At least, not in my case. I know I did her a favor. I feel for you. Good luck & best wishes.

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Kris
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Dec 24, 2009

I am sorry to hear you are in this position; this is the toughest decision you will ever make. Hopefully your vet appointment went well and you know you have more time with Ruxbin. As far as deciding when the right time is, that is something you have to decide by spending time and watching your dog and making the best decision you can. As the others have said, they do give you signs. The treatment options that are available will also be a factor. If there is the potential for treatment, it sounds to me like you would try to give Ruxbin more time. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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Michele Z.
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Dec 24, 2009

Sorry to hear about Ruxbin and the difficult decision you have to make. It is hard to objectively see the condition one's dog is in, but I think the "general rule" is make the decision once your dog has more "bad hours" than "good hours" per day.

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Dec 24, 2009

Have the other tumors been diagnosed as cancer or is that just an assumption? I had a dog that had visible tumors too, but they were benign fatty tumors. I agree that you should make the decision that is best for your dog & not let him suffer, but I also believe that you should have all the facts before making that decision. The digestion problems could be food related rather than related to cancer. Just be sure you know what you're dealing with because I have seen animals come in on their last legs that had curable problems. I've also seen it go the other way with animals that looked perfectly healthy so make sure your vet knows for sure what he's dealing with & isn't just making an assumption. If it comes to making that decision, I've learned over the years that if you pay attention, you'll know. They tell you with the look in their eyes & their actions. Good luck to both of you. I hope you have a good outcome.

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Amber J.
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Dec 23, 2009

It's always really hard to make that decision. I'm sure you'll know when it's time for him. So sorry to hear that he is not doing good. When we had to put one of our dogs down he let us know. Best of luck to you and your baby.

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Jillian
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Dec 23, 2009

it can be hard to tell when our animals are sick or in pain b/c they make a point to hide it. it's even harder to tell when it's time to have them put down - how far will you let it go and how are they really feeling. even though dogs will continue to play, they'll stop sooner and spend more time resting. b/c it can be so gradual, sometimes you really have to be looking for those signs.
my dog is on her last legs, too. along w/increasing arthritis pains, she's developed colitis which gives her constant diarrhea. she too is on a meat and rice diet, but what i've found is a canine diet low in fiber will create diarrhea.
what i do for her is give her 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin a day and 1/2 a teaspoon probiotic/digestive enzymes powder. i mix the powder right into the pumpkin and using my fingers, scoop it into the back of her mouth. although my other dog loves this stuff, she hates it so i have to hold her bottom jaw up and closed until she swallows. she still has loose stool, but she can hold it now and doesn't show any signs of discomfort when she goes. regardless of what i feed her, she'll still have colitis so maybe your dog will have even better results.
if you're using brown rice, you may want to switch him temporarily to white rice b/c it's binding.

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