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Discussion Starter #1
Unfortunately our Lab is reaching the end of his rope, so to speak. He has been having trouble with his eyes, ears, hips, bowels, allergies...you name it, he has it. He still gets around "ok", but it is getting aparent that he isn't as nimble as he was even a month ago. I've never had to put an animal down, and I don't know if I will know when it will be time. I don't want to do anything premature, but at the same time, I don't want to let the poor guy suffer.

Anyone have any advice?
 

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Many years ago my first lab was dieing of cancer. I loved that dog and would have done anything to keep her alive. As a matter of fact, That's exactly what I asked the vet, "What can we do to keep my dog alive?" His answer was that he could "put her in a cage, restrain her, insert some IVs, and probably keep her going for another three weeks to a month". He then asked me, "Just how selfish do you want to be?"
This subject has come up before and I choke up every time I answer it, but after more than forty years a lot of great labradors have died with a vet giving them the needle while they lay with their head in my lap and the last thing they heard was me telling them what a good dog they were.
The time will come when you will have to answer the question, "How selfish do you want to be?" and you'll know then if it's time.
Good luck.
(Gotta go now. I seem to have gotten something in my eye.)
 

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I agree with DIYASUB. My last shepherd was 15 when I had to make the decision. It's a hard decsision to make but when you take the dogs dignity, suffering etc... into consideration, it becomes pretty clear when the time comes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
InVenangoNow said:
It's a hard decsision to make but when you take the dogs dignity, suffering etc... into consideration, it becomes pretty clear when the time comes.
I guess that is the problem I am having...not sure if it's that clear yet...or am I being selfish. He is still getting up and down the steps, just not as easily as he used to.
 

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How old is he? Sometimes their mind seems to go at the same time. I could see in my Shep's eyes that he was in and out. One day he started towards the woods, and I almost let him go. Somehow I knew where he was headed. Couldn't bring myself to let him go. Called him back. I could just tell. I think you will know also. Now I have a tear. Within a week, I made the decision. I will never replace Shep, but I do have another now that just turned 5. I feel for ya. My dog before Shep was a lab.
 

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Here is some information for you.



How to Know When It Is Time to Put My Dog to Sleep, How to Prepare for Putting a Pet to Sleep





1
Watch for a reduction in activity and participation in things your pet once loved. Slowing down is a normal part of aging and our pets do this just as people do. When they become reluctant to do the things that they enjoyed the most, it may be getting close to the time where you may need to make this decision.

2
Observe your dog or cat for signs of pain. Dogs, cats and other animals try to hide their pain but the signs are there if you know where to look for them. Some of the things to look for include panting when it is not hot, heavy breathing, reluctance to get up when you call him,
muscle spasms or twitching, whining and growling.



3
Take note if the pain medications are no longer helping. If you are watching the signs of pain in your pet and find that you are giving him more and more of his pain meds (under the advice of your veterinarian) it may be time to consider putting an end to your pet's suffering

4
See if your pet seems to have difficulty getting around in the home or yard. If your pet does not like to leave his special place like a dog house anymore to come join family activities, it may be time to consider putting him to sleep.

5
Notice his gait. If he has a pronounced limp it could mean that the pain is getting worse and pain medications are no longer helping. If you can no longer keep your pet comfortable even with increased medication, it may be time to consider putting him down.

6
Use caution with pets in pain. If your pet is growling at family members it could mean he is in severe pain and does not want to be touched. This is a sure sign it is time to put your pet down because he cannot help himself but yet he does not want to act like this.

7
Make a list of the other things your dog loves most and use it as part of your guide to tell you when it is time to put him to sleep. Sit with him quietly and ask him what his wishes are. There is a look they get in their eyes that says "I just don't want to do this any more." It's an unmistakable look, and you will get the message loud and clear.



Read more: How to Know When It's Time to Put Your Pet to Sleep (saying Goodbye Is Hard to Do) | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5060832_its-saying-goodbye-hard-do.html#ixzz25n7OUrgw
 

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Discussion Starter #8
InVenangoNow said:
How old is he? Sometimes their mind seems to go at the same time. I could see in my Shep's eyes that he was in and out. One day he started towards the woods, and I almost let him go. Somehow I knew where he was headed. Couldn't bring myself to let him go. Called him back. I could just tell. I think you will know also. Now I have a tear. Within a week, I made the decision. I will never replace Shep, but I do have another now that just turned 5. I feel for ya. My dog before Shep was a lab.
He is 13.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
dc 21 said:
2
Observe your dog or cat for signs of pain. Dogs, cats and other animals try to hide their pain but the signs are there if you know where to look for them. Some of the things to look for include panting when it is not hot, heavy breathing, reluctance to get up when you call him,
muscle spasms or twitching, whining and growling.
I was afraid of this...he has been panting continually (except for when he is laying down)for the past few weeks.
 

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Bucket -

The Universasylum is made up of a good bunch of guys that like to have a good time. The other thing we all have in common is the love for our dogs. When one of us have an ailing dog, dog in trouble, or whatever the case may be, you'll find no other place to get the support like you can get right here in this Forum.

Whatever we can do to help, just ask. In the mean time stay strong and enjoy the days left with your lab and the years of memories.
 

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I dont have a dog, but I can feel the pain and sadness you guys are experiencing over this. Makes me sad....
 

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This thread brought a tear to my eye. It is tough to read this stuff.

The bond people grow with their pets is strong and when one is reaching the possible end it is very sad.

Like GIE said though it is heartwarming that even here on the internet you can find a support group.
 

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I'm getting choked up reading this as well. Dang animals become almost like another of the kids. We have two goldendoodles that are absolutely terrific dogs. Hate to think about them getting old and suffering. I'd be able to put them down when the time comes, but I'd cry my eyes out in the process.
 

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The two most difficult days in my life was when I buried my mother and when I had to put down my 14 year old beagle. Nobody can tell you when it is time to make that decision, the love you have for the pet will let you know. Give your lab a pat on the head for me and know that we will all be here for you when the time comes.
 

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Bucket, I know exactly what you are going through. Sad to say I just had our 12.5 yo lab to the vet today. We have been fighting mass cell tumors since she was 2. She is my first dog ever. She has spoiled me rotten. The time is getting close for us. We are trying to be respectful of her pain. Going to spend some good time with her this weekend then say thank you one last time early next week.
Not fun.
 

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<span style="font-style: italic"> Master, It's Time

Master, dear Master, the old dog said,
My road has come to an end.
No more can I ramble by your side
Your loved and trusted friend.

My eyes, once filled with joy of life,
Are dimmed with age and pain.
The walks we shared by field and stream
Must wait for another day.

You cared for me with all your heart,
And I gave you my all.
But now, beloved master,
Another Master calls.

I know you hate to let me go,
But my love is yours to keep.
The time has come, my dearest friend,
When I need to go to sleep.

Your kindness made my life a joy
And you love me, this I know.
Show me your love one final time
And gently let me go.

Master, my beloved friend,
As we say our last good-bye,
Know that I will be waiting
For you on the other side.

Then we will ramble the woods again,
Walk the fields when the leaves start to fall.
I'll be sitting right here by the golden gates
Waiting for your call.

Author: Jean Dokken </span>


My best wishes for you in your very difficult decision.
 

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Seven years ago, I had to put our 14 year old lab down. He always went to our cabin with us and loved every minute. He always had trouble jumping into the truck (something about an extra vertebrae and not getting enough vertical when he jumped). Toward the end I had to lift him into the truck (he was nearly 100 lbs). One of our last times at the cabin he stayed under the dining table most of the time, had trouble getting down 2-3 steps to go out and do his business. Turns out he was losing his sight and hearing. Really became apparent at home where he had a route that he wouldn't deviate from. It was clear he was declining in most aspects of his life and not able to do the things he loved to do.

Talked to the vet and he said the same thing many are saying here. Have to consider his immediate and near future quality of life. Made the decision, had the vet come to the house so he was in familiar surroundings and sat with him as he went to sleep.

He was cremated and is now standing guard at the cabin.

More than once we call our GSP his name by mistake and remember the good times. I dread the day when that decision has to be made again.

Good luck with your decision, take some time, and you will know.
 

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I had to have my lab mix put down on April 1. Nobody can answer the question of when its time but you and your dog. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do considering he was only 8. It all came down to the quality of life I wanted him to have and how selfish I wanted to be.....but I hated seeing him suffer. Good luck with your decision and I feel your pain and heartache.
 
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