My Dog - Life and Death Decision (update)

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Pedatu
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:56 pm

My Dog - Life and Death Decision (update)

Post by Pedatu » Tue May 22, 2012 8:42 am

Thank you all who took the time to share stories and information. My wife and I just returned from the vet and are going to try a new medication that the vet is pretty confident will help. The new med, along with a different form of steriod.....plus an antibiotic, should make a big difference. Sure, it is not cheap, but we can afford the approximately $150 per month and it is worth it to us!

Again, I appreciate all the information and it is great to hear that there are so many other caring people out there who understand how much a pet can enrich your life.
Last edited by Pedatu on Tue May 22, 2012 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

galectin
Posts: 203
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:57 pm

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by galectin » Tue May 22, 2012 8:49 am

"I can only imagine how uncomfortable he is."

Even if you could afford to try the next medication step, it sounds like it doesn't have much of a chance of working, given the failure of treatments so far. In reality, you will probably be doing him a favor by ending his pain.

Easy to say, of course, from afar. I am sorry for your own emotional pain.

Grasshopper
Posts: 861
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:52 pm

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by Grasshopper » Tue May 22, 2012 8:56 am

My pup Dusty had terrible allergies, always had ear infections, could hardly be out during Poppy blooming season. Two things that worked for her Omega-3 Fish Oil, and antihistamine therapy. I can give some info depending on your dogs weight, by PM.

SteveB3005
Posts: 1425
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:29 pm

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by SteveB3005 » Tue May 22, 2012 8:59 am

Has the vet tried steroids? My best dog ever has grass alergies bad and Prednisone was the only thing that really made a difference. The downside is that it's hard on kidneys and bones and will probably take time off their lives. For us the question became a quality of life issue and after we saw that the steroids did work the decision was made to improve his condition now and deal with the consequences down the road. That was when he was three now he's thirteen and still getting around good.

also... The Prednisone runs us about $15 a month.

camiboxer
Posts: 243
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:52 am

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by camiboxer » Tue May 22, 2012 9:11 am

So very sorry for the situation you are faced with.
I have lived with an allergy dog & cat and went down the same paths you have with respect to treatment (including desensitizing allergy shots - cat - ) with little success.
Eventually, after 3 years or so my cat developed cancer and passed away during surgery (remove tumor).
My dog.....turned the corner and was a different dog once the "culprit" was pinpointed.
In her case her thyroid was to blame. She for sure had allergies but dealing with the thyroid issues made things much worse. It took additional symptoms to finally push the vet into testing but once supplements were started her *worst* allergy symptoms (chronic staph infections) were a thing of the past. Hair grew back, skin infections gone and itching ceased to exist. It wasn't an easy road to travel but she got 3 more years of a wonderful life before heart issues took her from us (she also fought mast cell cancer).

Can you shed a little more light on the situation?
Age, breed (or possible mix of breeds)? Yeast and or staph infections present? Food, contact, seasonal/inhalant allergies diagnosed (tested for)?
What are you feeding? Do the foods contain grains? A good portion of the allergy foods *vet prescribed* contain common allergy producers (corn for example). They are touted as "limited ingredient diets" or are from an uncommon protein source (kangaroo for example), but can easily contain other ingredients that can create/worsen allergies. Sometimes they just do not work.

Allergies CAN be managed for far less than $300/month (assuming allergy shots?). There are MANY rescue organizations who would be willing to take your guy in and offer treatment for the rest of his days. You just have to locate one. Breed specific if pure bred or multiple others who take in mixes. I am not a vet but do work with animals for a living. A good portion of them deal with allergies. I have experience, tricks and tips that may help you. Feel free to PM me anytime.

"Edit for additional info"
I hope the new medication helps however it won't solve the underlying issue. There are literally hundreds of things that can be done that don't involve long term meds when it comes to allergies and the costs associated are substantially less. Healing wishes to your pup. I hope the new plan offers some needed relief.
Last edited by camiboxer on Tue May 22, 2012 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CrimsonG
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:34 am

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by CrimsonG » Tue May 22, 2012 9:13 am

If all else fails maybe you can find him a home in an area where he is not exposed to what he is allergic to. Maybe in the southwest USA? You can probably get in touch with rescue organizations that could help via petfinder.com.

smartcar44
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 8:55 am

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by smartcar44 » Tue May 22, 2012 9:17 am

Your dilemma seems to be a combination of quality of life for the dog and financial constraints on you. Our current dog is 16 and we are facing the euthanasia option because of his conditions - his blindness is causing unsteadiness and stumbling into things and down stairs (our house is not built for geriatric people or dogs!). It is sad but what we have to do is in his best interest because we are afraid he will really hurt himself in his present condition. Also, we recently had an extremely allergic Jack Russell who was put down (2 years ago) at age 12 after years of suffering and treatments (steroids, etc.) and it was not until after he was gone that we realized how hard it had become for him and us. As you know, you really get wrapped up in the situation and sometimes 'lose sight of the forest because you're looking at the trees.' You have spent lots of $$ and are faced with much more if you choose the treatment option in your situation. We are thankful that we choose the option we did with our Jack and am convinced it was the right thing to do. We feel the same way about our current dog who will not be with us much longer - for his quality of life is not as it should be.

Khanmots
Posts: 1222
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by Khanmots » Tue May 22, 2012 9:18 am

I feel for you, one of my dogs is developing horrible allergies as well. We've done changing food, tried steroids and antihistamines, testing thyroid, etc, etc... and now have him on bi-weekly shots of a tailored allergy serum. In his case it's been enough to get him to stop chewing open sores every day that get infected, but it's still flaring up. I'm with you in that I've got to figure out how much I can afford to pay if it gets back to where it was and is going to require more expensive treatments to try to control.

No real advice to give other than that there's no good answer. You're going to feel bad for him unless he's magically cured, so failing that, do what's best for the dog whatever you decide that'll be. (Do note however, that dogs do tend to have high pain tolerance, so he may well be mostly ok with what we'd find miserable; although if he's constantly fighting infections from open wounds, that's probably past the point of feeling ok). And talk with your vet on this. Part of his job is to help with these horrible decisions.

Khanmots
Posts: 1222
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by Khanmots » Tue May 22, 2012 9:21 am

CrimsonG wrote:If all else fails maybe you can find him a home in an area where he is not exposed to what he is allergic to. Maybe in the southwest USA? You can probably get in touch with rescue organizations that could help via petfinder.com.
My dog is allergic to many types of trees, grasses, weeds, molds, dust, cats, and hypersensitive to fleas (1 bite will have him horribly itching for weeks).

Avoiding the allergens just may not be possible.

bungalow10
Posts: 2166
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:28 am
Location: Amsterdam

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by bungalow10 » Tue May 22, 2012 9:36 am

We put a dog down a few years ago. She was old, and in some pain (hard to tell how much with dogs).

When she no longer enjoyed walks and eating became a chore, we knew it was time. If their life isn't enjoyable then it is our responsibility to put them to rest.

I like the suggestions above of alternative therapies or possibly rehoming to an environment with less allergens. If that doesn't work, consider your other alternatives.
An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a dime.

beardsworth
Posts: 2032
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:02 pm

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by beardsworth » Tue May 22, 2012 9:50 am

Out of curiosity, to see if it would yield any non-industrial/medical results, I went-a-googling for "dogs allergies supplements." A lot of the resulting sites appeared to be selling a particular product. This one didn't:

http://www.petcarenaturally.com/ask-dr- ... sh-oil.php

Also, this book at Amazon, highly praised in customer comments there. (If the link ceases to work, check Amazon books for The Allergy Solution for Dogs: Natural and Conventional Therapies to Ease Discomfort and Enhance Your Dog's Quality of Life.)

http://www.amazon.com/The-Allergy-Solut ... 923&sr=1-1

Best wishes.

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 35442
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by nisiprius » Tue May 22, 2012 10:30 am

I'm sorry to hear of your situation. We were not faced with a cost issue, but have been faced with canine end-of-life issues that led us to euthanize our dogs. As my wife says, they had "the look." They hurt, they look to you to fix it... Terrible.

The reality of the situation is that in U. S. culture at the start of the third millennium, the norm is that canine life is regarded as more important than insect life, but less important than human life. One does make cost judgements. Do what is right for you.

My wife and I were present during the euthanasia, and that felt like the right thing to do for us. We believe that our presence alleviated our pet's anxiety. It also made us feel that, right or wrong, we were at least taking conscious responsibility for our decision. We were braced for the possibility that the euthanasia drug might not work perfectly, but in our case it did; it was both comforting and disturbing to see how quickly and peacefully life can be taken.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

MathWizard
Posts: 2790
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:35 pm

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by MathWizard » Tue May 22, 2012 10:33 am

Some options:

1) Try a second vet. The first is clearly not able to treat your dog, perhaps a 2nd vet can.
You might want to consider a vet school that treats animals. Just like a
medical teaching hospital, animals are treated by teaching vets who
have lots of experience, assisted by students who learn by doing. You'll
be able to have a specialist looking at your dog for treatment options.

2) If the vet school can't help, or it is too exhorbitant, then I'd say you need to
put the animal out of its misery. It's not easy, but any animal you own will
likely not outlive you, so you inevitably face this each time you get a pet.
This is something of an exception, since the dog is only 5 years old,
but if not for you, it likely would have died 5 years ago.

HongKonger
Posts: 968
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:35 am
Location: Deep in the Balkans

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by HongKonger » Tue May 22, 2012 10:34 am

I second passing the dog onto a rescue charity where they can find someone who can and will pay for the treatment.

User avatar
TheGreyingDuke
Posts: 1431
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:34 am

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Tue May 22, 2012 10:48 am

I too had a dog with major allergies, nothing seemed to work until we met a vet who suggested the raw chicken diet. Within days there was noticeable improvement and a month or tow later, most symptoms were gone, those that left were easily managed.

It was really simple to implement, in our case the hound got 1 lb. of raw chicken a day, every few days some left over vegetables and grains, a little brewer's yeast when I remembered. I was able to get chicken backs from a local chicken processor, it cost about $.50 a pound, but necks and wings from the market can also work.

I know the struggle you are going through and I know that this idea sounds crazy, but it works for me (and many others.)

You can look here http://www.njboxers.com/faqs.htm for some more information, not that I followed this particular approach.
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 15657
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by dm200 » Tue May 22, 2012 11:05 am

Interesting...

And, I suspect strongly that if any of us had the severe allergies, and not a dog, the discussion would be licked.

Sam I Am
Posts: 2062
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:58 pm

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by Sam I Am » Tue May 22, 2012 11:09 am

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

reisner
Posts: 385
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:34 pm

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by reisner » Tue May 22, 2012 11:28 am

We first took our Airedale suffering from demodex to our regular vet. She discouraged us from seeing a specialist in dermatology, but in fact she knew little and much of that was wrong. Eventually we revolted and took the dog to a great dermatologist; he had the knowledge, skill, and access to experimental medicines that eventually cured her, and he was much cheaper than the regular vet.

User avatar
FlyHi
Posts: 169
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:32 am

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by FlyHi » Tue May 22, 2012 11:42 am

We adopted a 3 year old Wheaten Terrier who developed allergies. We had scratch tests taken and they were sent to a lab in CA. He was allergic to wheat, red meat, certain grasses and other things that I don't recall. We put him on a non-wheat & meat diet. Two months ago I had to put Max to sleep at age 13, he died of old age.
“If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can't buy”

HongKonger
Posts: 968
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:35 am
Location: Deep in the Balkans

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by HongKonger » Tue May 22, 2012 12:03 pm

dm200 wrote:Interesting...

And, I suspect strongly that if any of us had the severe allergies, and not a dog, the discussion would be licked.
I was going to add to my post that I would have been put down as a child given the stress and cost to my family of my chronic skin condition, but thought it was in poor taste.

lucky3
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:21 am

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by lucky3 » Tue May 22, 2012 12:43 pm

Only another dog lover can really understand what you are going through. We rescued a small dog when he was three and had him for 11 1/2 years unil we were force to put him down in December.
Although I was trying to prepare my wife for that day...I never realized how I would react myself...we were both devastated and still today have a tear in my eye as I'm typing this. We grieve for animals because they give us unrelenting love. Take solace in the fact that you rescued your pet and gave him the best life your could...don't let him suffer...oh, if we could only do the same for humans.

Lucky3

curly0112
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 1:38 pm

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by curly0112 » Tue May 22, 2012 1:44 pm

We have a dog that sounds like she had your dog's same issues. We also thought allergies, and while she has some food allergies (switched to duck based which worked!), the skin problems were the result of a disease: atypical addison's. Please perhaps try another vet who has some knowledge of this, as from what I understand, it is still difficult to diagnose. Many times vets look for full-blown addison's, and when they don't find it, they go on wild goose chases. Best of luck.

pellep
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:12 am

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by pellep » Tue May 22, 2012 1:51 pm

Sorry to hear about your dog. I may be able to help a bit. Can you list the medications he's been on?

User avatar
stemikger
Posts: 4717
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:02 am

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by stemikger » Tue May 22, 2012 2:11 pm

First let me say, I feel for you and I don't think any of us have the right to judge. Secondly, my 9 and a half year old shi tzu is literally the love of my life (yes in probably a very unhealthy way).

I would only put a dog down if they were in extreme pain and if they were already at the end of their life span. For instance my dog (in the possible best case can live to 16). Most small dogs live a good life up until 12 or 14. I have seen many after 14 that are blind and could not walk very well. I don't want to see my little guy that way, but if he does I will make him comfortable but not put him through any medical treatments.

IMHO it is not fair for a dog to go through all these treatments because unlike us they don't know why they are having them done.

Having said that putting a dog down for allergies seems a bit extreme, but I'm not a vet. Talk to you vet and tell him your situation and maybe you guys can think out of the box and come up with another solution, but if your guy is already up in age and is leading a miserable life with no end in sight I think it would be more humane to let him go. It will be harder for you, but he will not be suffering.

Good Luck and I'm sorry that you are going through this.
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!

tsfdma
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:19 pm

Re: My Dog - Life and Decision

Post by tsfdma » Tue May 22, 2012 2:19 pm

I am sorry for your pain. Millions of people suffer from allergies as well. Have you tried holistic veterinary medicine? There very well may be a natural cure for dogs ailment!

User avatar
Random Musings
Posts: 5209
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:24 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by Random Musings » Tue May 22, 2012 3:00 pm

dm200 wrote:Interesting...

And, I suspect strongly that if any of us had the severe allergies, and not a dog, the discussion would be licked.
Throw the OP a bone on this one.....

However, I do agree with your thought.

RM
I figure the odds be fifty-fifty I just might have something to say. FZ

Khanmots
Posts: 1222
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by Khanmots » Tue May 22, 2012 3:35 pm

stemikger wrote:Having said that putting a dog down for allergies seems a bit extreme, but I'm not a vet. Talk to you vet and tell him your situation and maybe you guys can think out of the box and come up with another solution, but if your guy is already up in age and is leading a miserable life with no end in sight I think it would be more humane to let him go. It will be harder for you, but he will not be suffering.
There are allergies and then there are allergies. In my dogs case one flea bite will result in him itching badly enough to chew large (think palm of your hand sized) open oozing sores because the itching is worse than the pain he's causing himself.

It's impossible for me to remove the allergen as he has to go outside sometime, and my yard is not a bubble. One neighbor walking their dog by can get a flea into my yard that he'll pick up. It may die shortly afterwards due to my treatments, but one bite is all that it takes to put him into that shape for 2-3 weeks. I could cone of shame him for the rest of his life to keep the infections away, but then he'd still be itching and have a cone of shame keeping him from doing all the stuff he loves.

Now for mine, a tailored allergy serum has resulted in some limited improvement that at least seems to be keeping him from chewing open sores. I'm hoping for more improvement as treatment progresses, but we'll see. Sounds like the op's situation is worse than mine, but I can understand where he's coming from. My vet bills have been scary and for a long time no improvement was seen, at that time I was starting to worry that I'd eventually be in his shoes and having to make a really tough decision because much as I wish otherwise my resources are not unlimited.

ilmartello
Posts: 1075
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:59 pm

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision (update)

Post by ilmartello » Tue May 22, 2012 5:05 pm

I view my cat as a member of my family. I bet most people feel the same way about their pets.

User avatar
stemikger
Posts: 4717
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:02 am

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision

Post by stemikger » Tue May 22, 2012 5:18 pm

Khanmots wrote:
stemikger wrote:Having said that putting a dog down for allergies seems a bit extreme, but I'm not a vet. Talk to you vet and tell him your situation and maybe you guys can think out of the box and come up with another solution, but if your guy is already up in age and is leading a miserable life with no end in sight I think it would be more humane to let him go. It will be harder for you, but he will not be suffering.
There are allergies and then there are allergies. In my dogs case one flea bite will result in him itching badly enough to chew large (think palm of your hand sized) open oozing sores because the itching is worse than the pain he's causing himself.

It's impossible for me to remove the allergen as he has to go outside sometime, and my yard is not a bubble. One neighbor walking their dog by can get a flea into my yard that he'll pick up. It may die shortly afterwards due to my treatments, but one bite is all that it takes to put him into that shape for 2-3 weeks. I could cone of shame him for the rest of his life to keep the infections away, but then he'd still be itching and have a cone of shame keeping him from doing all the stuff he loves.

Now for mine, a tailored allergy serum has resulted in some limited improvement that at least seems to be keeping him from chewing open sores. I'm hoping for more improvement as treatment progresses, but we'll see. Sounds like the op's situation is worse than mine, but I can understand where he's coming from. My vet bills have been scary and for a long time no improvement was seen, at that time I was starting to worry that I'd eventually be in his shoes and having to make a really tough decision because much as I wish otherwise my resources are not unlimited.
Like I said in my previous post, I'm not a Vet, but if my dog was suffering like that and no Vet could help him and it would put a huge strain on my finances and emotional well being, I would put my dog down. No pet should suffer like that. It would be extremely hard for me, but it woud be harder to watch him in that kind of agony.
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!

Khanmots
Posts: 1222
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision (update)

Post by Khanmots » Tue May 22, 2012 5:36 pm

ilmartello wrote:I view my cat as a member of my family. I bet most people feel the same way about their pets.
That's easy to say when you have resources that exceed expenses. Problem is when your resources reach their limit. Do you pay the mortgage or pay the vet. Do you buy the kids clothes or pay the vet. Do you fix the car or pay the vet. At that point hard choices have to be made, and they're no fun. You also realize that people-family is more important than pet-family. That it's more important for the kids to have clothes that fit them and a roof over their head.

Luckily for me (and for my dog), I could handle $1000+ monthly vet bills for a few months while we tried to figure it out. If it was going to be $1000+ a month for the rest of his life? Well, I'd have a hard choice to make.

User avatar
Mrs.Feeley
Posts: 821
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:52 am

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision (update)

Post by Mrs.Feeley » Tue May 22, 2012 6:21 pm

We used to foster dogs for a dog rescue. Some years ago we fostered a dog with incredibly bad allergies. He had had several homes that had given him up because of the expense and seeming futility of dealing with the allergies, although no one was able to diagnose what exactly the dog was allergic to. He came with a thick file of vet records and a sack of medication including steroids like Prednisone. He looked terrible. Red skin, red-rimmed bloodshot eyes. All the rescue people concluded his days were probably numbered, especially since he looked so elderly with patchy gray fur.

My husband, who is a bit of a life-genius me thinks, began bathing him every day with Malaseb shampoo and Selsun Blue. Really scrubbing him, letting the soap sit for a bit to soak in. After the first couple weeks he tapered down to 2-3 heavy-duty scrubbing baths a week. Within a month...well, we had a brand new dog. All the allergies gone, eyes bright, new spring in his step, perfectly normal skin. After a few months even the color of his coat returned to a normal color. The dramatic "before" and "after" contrast stunned our vet and fellow rescue volunteers.

We eventually tapered him off all the medication and transitioned him to regular dog food from his special "allergy diet." We bathed him dutifully every two weeks with Selsun Blue. We ended up keeping him. We had him for years. There was never another outbreak of allergies. He was a healthy, bouncing dog until he truly did grow old. We still don't know what he was allergic too. We have cats and dogs, and live on a bushy overgrown lot with pollen and dander everywhere. And fleas too thanks to all the wild critters outside. The only thing we can figure is that all the regular bathing and scrubbing probably prevented anything noxious and nasty from taking too strong a hold in his skin.

ilmartello
Posts: 1075
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:59 pm

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision (update)

Post by ilmartello » Tue May 22, 2012 6:33 pm

Khanmots wrote:
ilmartello wrote:I view my cat as a member of my family. I bet most people feel the same way about their pets.
That's easy to say when you have resources that exceed expenses. Problem is when your resources reach their limit. Do you pay the mortgage or pay the vet. Do you buy the kids clothes or pay the vet. Do you fix the car or pay the vet. At that point hard choices have to be made, and they're no fun. You also realize that people-family is more important than pet-family. That it's more important for the kids to have clothes that fit them and a roof over their head.

Luckily for me (and for my dog), I could handle $1000+ monthly vet bills for a few months while we tried to figure it out. If it was going to be $1000+ a month for the rest of his life? Well, I'd have a hard choice to make.
I understand there are tradeoffs, I am just telling you how I think about my pet and how others do.

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 35442
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision (update)

Post by nisiprius » Tue May 22, 2012 7:23 pm

Not completely off-topic, it was called to mind by ilmartello's posting about cats being family, and also to my own posting in another thread recommending John Collier's story "Over Insurance." If you would like to read a short, nasty, heartrending, slightly-black somewhat-humor story that bears on the matter of pets, money, entrepreneurship, and life decisions: "The Steel Cat," by John Collier, in his collection Fancies and Goodnights. Google Books has it here, more or less--you may have to click on where it says "page 304" or search for the word "bixbee".
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

User avatar
cheese_breath
Posts: 7406
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:08 pm

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision (update)

Post by cheese_breath » Tue May 22, 2012 8:15 pm

I've had to have both dogs and cats put down, and I always stayed with the animal while it was being done. I'm generally not an emotional person, but I came away crying every time. But I have to consider what's best for the animal. Even though it's hard to lose a friend it's worse to keep it alive and suffering.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

Mudpuppy
Posts: 5858
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:26 am
Location: Sunny California

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision (update)

Post by Mudpuppy » Tue May 22, 2012 11:49 pm

I would also recommend seeking a veterinary dermatologist. Even if there is not a practicing one in your town, you might see if one from a nearby area holds clinics in town once or twice a month. That would save the stress of a long drive.

HongKonger
Posts: 968
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:35 am
Location: Deep in the Balkans

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision (update)

Post by HongKonger » Tue May 22, 2012 11:54 pm

ilmartello wrote:
Khanmots wrote:
ilmartello wrote:I view my cat as a member of my family. I bet most people feel the same way about their pets.
That's easy to say when you have resources that exceed expenses. Problem is when your resources reach their limit. Do you pay the mortgage or pay the vet. Do you buy the kids clothes or pay the vet. Do you fix the car or pay the vet. At that point hard choices have to be made, and they're no fun. You also realize that people-family is more important than pet-family. That it's more important for the kids to have clothes that fit them and a roof over their head.

Luckily for me (and for my dog), I could handle $1000+ monthly vet bills for a few months while we tried to figure it out. If it was going to be $1000+ a month for the rest of his life? Well, I'd have a hard choice to make.
I understand there are tradeoffs, I am just telling you how I think about my pet and how others do.
Agree. When taking on a new pet (I adopt and foster rescue animals), I accept it might cost me an arm and a leg. If I am not willing to pay whatever it takes (and I mean - whatever), I shouldn't add to my family. I would personally rather not eat and pay for a family member's medical bills than terminate them.

But back to fixing this poor dog ...rather than keep taking him to different vets, have you tried the online service justanswer.com ? It costs a fraction of the cost of a vets visit but you get top top vets to personally chat live with. I have used them several times and every time - found them to be absolutely spot on. Their help brought a new lease of life to my sisters 12 year old diabetes ridden terrier when other vets gave him days to live. I have even used the service to speak to doctors for myself and found it outstanding. ..worth a try to get an easy second or third opinion.

User avatar
tuckeverlasting
Posts: 295
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:50 pm
Location: The Emerald City

Re: My Dog - Life and Death Decision (update)

Post by tuckeverlasting » Wed May 23, 2012 8:14 pm

When my cat developed diabetes and later, kidney disease, I found Yahoo Groups specific for those diseases to be absolutely indispensable. The expertise there was far greater and more helpful than any vet I was ever able to find. YMMV.

Condolences on your tragic situation. Know that when the euthanasia moment arrives, it will be the last kind and loving act remaining to you for your beloved companion.
It's Good To Be A Boglehead

Post Reply