Euthanizing Because Of Cost?
Deciding to euthanaize a pet is rarely an easy thing. Which brings the following question from Scott. Have you had clients resort to financial euthanasia? I read an article that said millions of dogs and cats are put down each year because their owners won't (or can't) pay for the treatment to save them. How do you fell when an owner makes that decision and you have to carry out the procedure? I'm not sure that "financial euthanasia" is the best phrasing, but I understand what you're trying to say. This is not an uncommon situation, and in most cases I can't fault the owner. However, that's not to say that I like doing it. Always keep in mind that the veterinarian is the final decider about whether or not the euthanasia will be performed. Most of us try to respect an owner's wishes, but we have our own ethics and are under no moral or legal obligation to perform a service merely because a pet owner wants us to. So to me and most veterinarians, there has to be a justifiable reason for euthanizing a pet, and I take that on a case-by-case situation. Case #1--An 11 year old cat begins to vomit frequently. The owner pays for lab tests, which show nothing abnormal. The vet repeats the exam a week later and notices a lump in the abdomen in the region of the stomach. X-rays don't reveal anything other than a mass, but it doesn't appear to be something the cat swallowed. The next step is exploratory surgery, which the owners cannot afford. The vet has a strong suspicion that the cat has a tumor, possibly in or on the stomach. The cat continues to vomit, and can't seem to keep food down. The owners don't want him to suffer, and ask the vet to perform euthanasia. In this situation, I would do it because the cat has a high likelihood of having a serious problem, and it isn't going Continue reading >>
Saying Goodbye: Making The Decision To Euthanize Your Dog
Euthanizing Dobby was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. While the support from friends, family, and the online community was absolutely amazing (and, to be honest, a bit overwhelming), I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that there’s a hole in my life that Dobby used to fill. There are still moments when I’m taken by surprise at his absence, times when I expect to turn around and see him lying on my bed or wriggling with joy in his crate with his ever-present squeaky ball in his mouth. I’ve written before about coping with the loss of a friend. Obviously, I process best by writing, and others grieve in other ways. There’s no wrong way to grieve for your dog, and whatever you feel when you lose a beloved companion is entirely normal and okay. I’ve had to remind myself of this at times when something silly, like a song or an unexpected memory hits me like a punch in the gut and I feel tears well up once again. Grief is a healing process, and just like healing from a physical injury, it takes time for the wound to stop hurting. There’s a distinct lack of information online about what to expect if you, like me, are put in the heartbreaking position of euthanizing a young dog for health or behavioral concerns. Personally, knowing what to expect during the euthanasia itself was incredibly helpful. Having assisted with and performed multiple euthanasias during my time as a veterinary technician and the head trainer at an animal shelter, I knew what the process would look like and what options were available to me. My hope is that by writing about my experiences, I can help others who are in similar situations. If you are considering euthanasia for your dog, whether your dog is sixteen years or sixteen months, whether your dog is physically health Continue reading >>
Vets will often offer good advice on the initial treatment but be aware that much of this advice is quoted from textbooks and very few Vets have experience of treating a diabetic dog in a home environment. Please do not fret or worry. Dog Diabetes Site is the only authority website dedicated exclusively to diabetes in dogs, so sit back and relax — help is at hand. When your loved one is first diagnosed, you will want to do the best by them, often allowing your heart to rule your thinking, without realizing the full implications of the decision you have just made. Having a family pet destroyed because of a treatable illness is NOT an option for many of us yet it can take some time before the full implication of the commitment to treatment becomes apparent. You may be a little fearful at the thought of having to administer insulin injections at first. This is quite natural but it is something diabetic dog owners quickly master and most Vets will help you with this as well as advice on collecting urine or blood samples. Feeding and and diet control however is also another common problem area, one which many Vets fail to address, often because the information cannot be found in veterinary textbooks. Treating a diabetic dog in the home environment is a far cry from veterinary work. Feeding and Diet Control Treatment requires regularity and sooner or later most diabetic dog owners come across the "problem feeder" syndrome where their pet does not want to eat. No matter how good a particular diet your Vet advises, all benefits are lost if your pet will not eat it and whilst missing a meal occasionally will do them no harm (provided you also miss out the insulin injection) it is not an ideal situation. One of the symptoms of poor diabetes control is weight loss, even when the Continue reading >>
Time To Put Our Dog Down?
sylviatexas1 Read what you just wrote. Does it sound like she's having a good life? My default position is "better a little too soon than a little too late". Nature, mean as it can be, violent as it can be, doesn't put living beings through what we humans put them through. & we do it because we love them. At 16.5, she's had a longer, richer, fuller life than so many, & what's left to her now doesn't sound like anything you or I would choose for ourselves or for a beloved human being. You needn't feell guilty for being sick of pee & poop; you'd be pretty odd if you weren't sick of it. The worst guilt feelings I had were nearly 30 years ago, the first time I had a dog put to sleep. She was elderly, nearly blind, completely deaf, & she started having trouble with her bowels. Vet said cancer through-out her entire digestive system & said it was 'time'. I signed the paper & the vet said it was time for me to go. so I fled. Trudy's last sight or sense of me was as I turned my back on her & left her in that strange place. My guilt stems from 2 things: I waited too long; she was miserable & probably in pain. & I left her. Today, I'd have had her put to sleep when she started barking at the fire hydrant (she thought it was an intruder). What kind of life did she have? She was scared in her own back yard. Today, I wouldn't leave. If the vet insisted, I'd pick up my dog & go somewhere else. just remembered something: When I was in junior high school, my best friend Debra's mother had a very old dog named King. He was nearly blind, he was incontinent, & his back legs wouldn't work. Debra's mother took him outside about 6 times a day & cleaned up his belly & backside & brought him back in; even with the most diligent care, he almost always had ulcers where the urine burned. she did Continue reading >>
We Just Found Out My Cat Has Diabetes. He Will Need Insulin 2 Times A Day. My Mom Is Too Stressed To Take Care Of Him So She Wants To Put Him Down. So
There's no need to euthanize for this reason. A diabetic cat can be managed quite easily once the blood glucose level is regulated. Your question was cut off, but you can discuss the care and feeding of a diabetic cat with your (or his) veterinarian. You can also request a consultation and we can discuss the situation in more detail. Wow I am so sorry Hummer has diabetes! Unfortunately, your post was cut off, so I don't know the question you are trying to ask. Diabetes can be managed with shots of insulin. There are some oral medications, but they have more side effects and are mainly used when insulin can’t be used for some reason. You can talk with your vet and your mother to see if oral medications can be used instead of shots, which may be less stressful. I would discuss with your vet options for treating Hummer before putting him to sleep. If I haven't answered your question, feel free to post again, or I'd be happy to consult with you to discuss things further. Ask a Vet for FREE now! Get trusted answers from verified pet experts standing by 24/7 Continue reading >>
Put Him Down Before It Gets Worse? March 31, 2005 12:03 Pm Subscribe
Assuming my dog has a brain tumor, should I have him euthanized? (I found some good advice here, but it just wasn’t enough). Maybe my dog has a brain tumor. Maybe he doesn't. He does, however, have seizures at regular intervals. The seizures occur approximately every three to four weeks. Usually it's just one, but occasionally (including this past weekend) they come in clusters. Now he will sometimes suffer tremors that knock him off balance or even cause him to fall. He falls down easily when walking (he has a scrape on his chin from a bad one the other day), and has a hard time getting up because of a bad hip. Sometimes he’s blind, and sometimes he’s not. He whimpers a lot at night now, and does not like to be alone. My wife and I don’t let him in the bedroom because he acts restless and won’t let us sleep. Sometimes, but not lately (that I’ve noticed), he tries to eat weird things like the stove handle or wooden tables. I've taken him to the vet several times, and already decided that the expense for an MRI is just too great. That, and I don't want to put him through it. He's currently on 487.5 milligrams of Phenobarbital a day (he’s 100 pounds), which includes a recent increase of 48.75 milligrams per day since the last seizure. What I don’t want to do is prolong his suffering, if indeed he is suffering. He still seems happy overall, but my fear is the seizures may eventually cause enough brain damage to wear away his personality or kill him outright. It just doesn’t seem worth it to keep him going through this every so often, but I don’t want to do it unnecessarily. This is obviously a tough decision, and I appreciate any advice or insight. It sounds to me from reading your post that you already think it is the best thing and that you are trying Continue reading >>
Putting Your Dog To Sleep
'Putting your dog to sleep'..... it sounds peaceful doesn't it? And so it should, after all that's what we're aiming for. We all want to help our beloved pet cross the threshold from life into death, peacefully and gently. With modern day veterinary medicine, and by following the 'Humane Euthanasia Protocol', we can make this a reality for Fido or Fifi. But for we owners, left behind to second-guess our decision, and wrestling with feelings of loss and guilt - it's not peaceful at all. Dog Euthanasia - A Final Act Of Love Whether we call it 'putting our dog to sleep', 'putting our dog down' or 'euthanizing our dog', it's a subject no one wants to talk about - and with good reason. But it's one we must talk about, especially as the owners of older, elderly or senior dogs. Our dogs are much-loved family members but they can't (and won't) live forever. Dogs live for only a fraction of a human lifetime, and we know that when we bring Fido into our lives, but we don't want to think about losing him. But if your dog is now a 'golden oldie' that time is coming.... and it will be more difficult for you to make the right decision for YOUR dog if you haven't thought it through beforehand. There are lots of questions, a swirling maelstrom of emotions, and practical considerations as well... On this page I'm going to take a close look at dog euthanasia - and the questions, controversies and emotions that surround it. Putting Your Dog To Sleep - When Is The 'Right' Time? 'How will I know it's the right time to euthanize my dog?' This is probably one of the most common questions owners ask, and the most difficult one to answer. I've seen (and felt) the distress, pain and internal battle that it causes. In fact, there may not be a clear-cut 'right' time to euthanize your dog, but ther Continue reading >>
50 Secrets Your Veterinarian Won’t Tell You
iStock/SuperflyImages “People always ask, ‘How do you handle pit bulls and rottweilers and big German shepherds?’ The truth is, the dogs that scare me most are the little Chihuahuas. They’re much more likely to bite.” —Mark Howes, DVM, owner and medical director of Berglund Animal Hospital in Evanston, Illinois Here's what your favorite dog breed reveals about your personality iStock/skynesher “Most hospitals keep comprehensive records of behavior—of both your pet and you! If you are aggressive to the staff, you will be treated differently.” —Oscar Chavez, DVM, program director for the vet tech program at California Polytechnic State University in Pomona, California Looking for a way to say thank you to your vet? iStock/Jon Schulte “Last year, one pet owner gave us a check for $100, saying we could use it at our discretion for an animal in need. That was a wonderful gift.” —Patty Khuly, VMD, a vet in Miami, Florida The reason your pet is fat is because you are too iStock/Nailia Schwarz "I would never say that to someone in an exam room, but the fact of the matter is, if you have an owner who overeats and is inactive, they are very likely to have an obese pet.” —Oscar Chavez, DVM We’re a vet hospital, not a dog hotel iStock/WebSubstance “People will get upset because their dog got a sheet instead of two fluffy blankets or because their dog didn’t get hand-fed. We’re just trying to get your dog better so he can come home and you can spoil him.” —Jessica Stout-Harris, a vet tech who runs confessionsfromtheanimalshelter.com We know when you’re twisting the facts iStock/Tashi Delek “If your dog has a five-pound tumor hanging from his skin, please don’t tell me it wasn’t there yesterday.” —Phil Zeltzman, DVM, a traveling v Continue reading >>
Dog Diabetes: A Natural And Effective Alternative
56 Yet another human disease that also impacts dogs is diabetes. Diabetes is caused by either a lack of insulin or an insufficient response to the hormone. In a dog’s typical digestive process, the system breaks food down into components like glucose. Those components are carried to cells by pancreas-secreted insulin. When a dog doesn’t produce enough insulin or is unable to use it properly, glucose has nowhere to go. This elevates blood sugar levels, resulting in hyperglycemia and a number of associated health complications. The good news is that canine diabetes is adaptable; many diabetic dogs lead hale and hearty lives. Types of Diabetes There are two types of diabetes: Type I and Type II. Type I diabetes refers to the lack of overall insulin production and is the most common form of the disease. This happens because the pancreas fails to secrete sufficient levels of the stuff. Dogs with Type I diabetes, as you may have guessed, need insulin. Type II diabetes is more common in our feline friends and is a lack of “normal” reaction to insulin the body is already producing. Symptoms of Diabetes There are a number of symptoms of diabetes in dogs. Remember, though, that diabetes is identified through blood tests, a full medical examination and a urinalysis. Do not diagnose your own dog. Among the symptoms of diabetes in dogs are: Disproportionate thirst or a surge in consumption of water Loss of weight Increased levels of urination Fatigue Vomiting Forming of cataracts or attendant vision difficulties Skin infections Sweet-smelling or “fruity” breath Sticky urine Causes and Considerations The exact cause of diabetes in dogs is unknown. There are a number of contributing factors, including obesity and genetics, that play a role in how and if the disease develop Continue reading >>
Why I'm Letting My Cat Die
(Comments are now closed. Zoe is doing fine; a change in diet has done wonders. Thanks, everyone!) I just found out that my 13-year-old cat, Zoe, has diabetes. Zoe and I go way back; I adopted her from the Anti-Cruelty Society when she was 2 and she has been a constant presence. But now she's old. She is a cat. I'm not willing to spend thousands of dollars on medical care and I don't have the time or energy to give her a daily insulin shot and monitor her blood glucose level. The vet said she's not suffering, so I'm going to let nature take its course. After I confessed this at today's weekly Q staff meeting, my colleague Heidi Stevens nodded knowingly. "I hate my cat," she said. We all gasped. She added: "I took in my cat from a friend who found him at 4 weeks old, too young for a shelter to keep him, I was told. He was a cute kitten, but is a joyless, mean-spirited, weak-stomached 8-year-old cat now. "I've also developed an allergy to him, which makes my eyes swell and turn red. I find myself longing for the day when he's no longer with us, but I can't bring myself to take him to a shelter because I know no one would adopt him, and I couldn't live with myself knowing that I, in effect, ended his life. So I just go through life resenting him and his various messes." Do you have pet resentment? Or tips on how to give a cat hospice care? Kristine Timpert's quirky little book "If Babies Did Crunches" tries to sugarcoat an important message for adults: Beware of crunches. The not-just for-kids book stresses that if you really want to banish tummy flab or back pain, clean up your diet and mimic your child's natural play patterns, which includes squatting, pushing, pulling, balancing and lunging. One of the biggest mistakes new moms make, for example, is they start doing cru Continue reading >>
When Is The Right Time?
By Dr. Andy Roark | vetstreet.com Thinkstock Just last week, while I was performing euthanasia for a critically ill patient, the pet’s owner looked at me and said, “I bet this is the hardest part of your job.” That gave me pause. For me, putting animals to sleep is not one of the hardest parts of being a veterinarian. That’s because euthanasia is often a blessing and gift to a suffering animal. In my experience, the hardest part of being a veterinarian is telling owners that their beloved pet has a terminal illness and will soon be leaving this world. The emotions that pass across their faces, even if they have suspected the worst for some time, are heart-wrenching. It’s Never Easy I still remember the first person I had to share this terrible news with. He was a nice, middle-aged man with two small children and an 8-year-old Rottweiler named Stone. Stone was a member of the family, and when he started to limp, his owner brought him straight in to be checked out. Stone was a wonderful dog at home, but he was not a fan of the veterinary clinic. My best dog treats did nothing to warm his heart, and when I manipulated his painful left shoulder, well… that ended our chances of being best friends. Even though Stone was not an admirer of mine, I liked him, and I really liked his owner. That made it so much harder to discuss his diagnosis: osteosarcoma. Osteosarcoma is a painful bone tumor that responds poorly to treatment. In some cases, treatments involving limb amputation and/or radiation therapy can be beneficial. In Stone’s case, these options were not feasible. Together, Stone’s owner and I decided to provide him with the best palliative care we could, and we promised each other that we would not let Stone suffer. When the time came, we would do the right Continue reading >>
Diabetes In Dogs – A Guide To Understanding And Treating Your Dog
Diabetes mellitus, commonly known by the shortened name “diabetes”, sugar diabetes or "sugar", is one of the most frequent and important medical disorders of both humans and dogs. As a pet owner with a newly diagnosed dog with diabetes, it is difficult to know what you need to do. We created this article to help you know step by step what you need to know and what you need to do and to answer common questions that come up with new diabetic dog owners. The 6 keys to treatment of diabetes in dogs include: Change your dog's diet If your dog is overweight – help your dog lose weight Give insulin every 12 hours Monitor for response to treatment Maintain a consistent diet, exercise and insulin treatment plan Monitor for complications of the disease We will help you understand more about diabetes, how and when to give insulin how to deal with complications. We also included answers to the most common questions diabetic dog owners have as they start their journey as a diabetic dog owner. What is Diabetes? Diabetes is a disease that leads to chronic elevation of the blood glucose or sugar. Blood sugar is maintained by a group of hormones, the most important of which is insulin, which is manufactured by the pancreas, a small organ near the intestines. Insulin lowers the blood sugar after a meal, and deficiency of insulin, or an insensitivity of body cells to available insulin, leads to diabetes. With good care, your dog can have a very good life with diabetes. We will help tell you how. What Dogs Get Diabetes? Diabetes mellitus usually affects middle-aged to older dogs of either sex, however it is most common in female dogs (twice as common in females as in males). The peak age seen in dogs is 7 to 9 years. Juvenile-onset diabetes may occur in dogs less than 1 year of age. Continue reading >>
Cataracts, Blindness, And Diabetic Dogs
Diabetic dogs can live healthy lives. Unfortunately, a common complication of diabetes in dogs is cataracts (cloudy lenses). In fact, 75% of dogs develop cataracts and blindness in both eyes within 9 months of being diagnosed with diabetes. The cataracts develop very quickly—sometimes overnight! If untreated, the cataracts cause intraocular inflammation called Lens-Induced Uveitis (LIU) that harms the eyes by causing glaucoma (increased intraocular pressure). If the LIU is uncontrolled and glaucoma develops, cataract surgery might not be possible. Glaucoma causes a chronic headache (similar to a migraine). In worst case scenarios, cataracts form rapidly in both eyes, the lens capsules split/rupture, severe LIU occurs resulting in glaucoma and severe painful intraocular inflammation (phacoclastic uveitis), and both eyes need to be surgically removed. This is a tragic outcome, and one to be avoided if possible. Thus, DO NOT WAIT until your dog’s diabetes is controlled, before seeing an ophthalmologist!! Another very important recommendation is that if your diabetic dog is started on a special canine antioxidant vision supplement BEFORE they develop cataracts, blindness can be prevented in many of these dogs. A 2012 clinical study in Great Britain found that diabetic dogs supplemented daily with this vision supplement did not develop blinding cataracts over a one-year period. This has also been Dr. McCalla’s clinical experience in diabetic dogs, as long as the diabetes remains well-controlled. If cataracts are developing in your diabetic dog, this is an ophthalmic emergency; you must have your pet examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist as soon as possible. To locate a veterinary ophthalmologist near you, please ask your family veterinarian or visit the ACVO website Continue reading >>
Insulin? I’d Rather Euthanize My Cat Than Go There (and Other Stressful Diabetic Cat Encounters)
I just don’t get it. Here I’ve got the proverbial crazy cat lady seated before me. I mean, she’s long ago confessed to keeping ten cats in her tiny apartment. And don’t get me wrong — I adore her for it. Problem is, she currently says she’ll not be treating her just-diagnosed diabetic cat with insulin because (a) she has too many others to worry about, and (b) she doesn’t want to "put her through it." Now, in case you’ve not heard my spiel on this before, lean into your seats and grab hold of your desk now: Who exactly are we putting through what? Because if I was nine-out-of-ten cats, I’d be loving life as a diabetic cat. That is, as long as my owner cared enough to coddle me through the process. And since a full fifty percent recover fully enough not to require insulin within four short months post-diagnosis, I’d say not wanting to "put her through it" would rank high among the crappiest reasons to let any animal die an uncomfortable death in the face of an eminently treatable disease. But then, as most of us who labor long enough in veterinary medicine know, a large percentage of don’t-want-to-put-her-through-it cases are really just an excuse for economic euthanasia. Or more depressingly, don’t-want-to-put-her-through-it is the code for death offered by the I-just-can’t-deal-with-this-right-now mentality I encounter so often among my emotionally overwhelmed client base. This latter group means well. But they just. can’t. deal. And somehow, diabetic cats rank really, really high among the cases that fall into this emotionally trying category. Somehow, it seems people want to draw the line at diabetes. But then, that’s probably only because diabetes in cats almost inevitably means insulin. Injectable insulin. Twice a day insulin. There’ Continue reading >>
My Dog Has Acute Kidney Failure And Diabetic Ketoacidosis. Should We Put Her To Sleep?
First of all, you have my heart felt sympathies for what you are going through. I know how painful this time must be for you and your family. That decision to put your furry kid to sleep is yours and only yours to make. I am in a position to only share my experience with my own GSD's AKD. My Dash was affected by Acute Kidney disease at the age of 9 months. Within 3-4 hours of fluid therapy, our vet told us upfront that it's not working as the creatinine level had spiked from 5 at the time of reaching the vet to 9. We were proactive in asking her what can we do to save Dash. She told us that prompt dialysis is the only chance he has, no assurances / guarantee, just a chance; and directed us to the only private facility in the city where he could be given dialysis. Unfortunately, Dash couldn't be given dialysis there due to some last minute technical glitch. During this time, his creatinine had shot up to 11. Then, as the last resort, we took him to the government Veterinary hospital (which each and every one of our contact was against) as it has the only other canine dialysis unit in the city. As our luck would have it, the dialysis unit there too got stuck at the last minute. The vet there assured us she would stabilise Dash till the next morning and then have him go through dialysis. Sure enough, Dash did pull through the night and we were back the next morning for dialysis. The unit was fixed, however, Dash was found to be unfit for dialysis as his electrolyte levels had dropped substantially as well as his blood clotting was taking longer than normal. It took us almost 2 weeks to get him fit for dialysis. During this period, his creatinine had stayed above 10, fluctuating now and then; in addition, Dash had not eaten a single morsel of food in all this time. He was b Continue reading >>