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.

Photo by Kelvin Andow

Photo by Kelvin Andow

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 healthy but emotionally hurting or simply ready to leave a body that can no longer keep up with his mind, my heart goes out to you.

Over the next month, we’ll discuss several aspects of euthanasia, including how to know when it’s time, scheduling the appointment, what to expect during the procedure itself, special considerations for if you have multiple pets, and thoughts for after it’s done.  Today we’ll discuss how to know when it’s time to say goodbye.

One of the hardest questions I dealt with in Dobby’s final months was knowing when it was time. Logically, I knew that I had exhausted every option and that Dobby wasn’t going to suddenly get better. I knew that he was frequently scared, that I was exhausted from managing his environment to keep him and those around him safe, and that my other dogs were sometimes frightened of him. Emotionally, however, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. I talked with him about it, and got a strong sense from him that he did not want to die.

The turning point for me happened one night when Dobby had a seizure. I had tried to trim his nails earlier that evening, something that he used to behave very well for. He would lie upside down, loose as a noodle, ball in his mouth, while I trimmed his toenails. About six months ago, this changed after a series of seizures left him touch sensitive and defensive. Toenail trims became very difficult, and even when I went very patiently and slowly, feeding him after each nail, Dobby would act frightened as soon as I touched his foot. He had never been quicked or had a bad nail-trim experience, but the way he processed tactile stimulation changed due to his seizures.

This particular evening, Dobby screamed and snapped at me with the first nail I trimmed, urinating in fear. I immediately stopped trying to trim his nails, but half an hour later he had a seizure. After his seizure he was scared and confused, and attacked my youngest dog when she bumped him as she jumped up next to him on the couch. When I intervened, he went after me, and it took all of my extensive handling experience to safely move him to a crate where he could sleep off the effects of the seizure in peace.

As I looked at him, curled up in a protective, frightened ball in his crate, I got a very strong sense that he was ready to go. I got the feeling that it was too hard for him to continue living in a body where small stresses could cause so much pain, and that he was exhausted from living this way. I made his euthanasia appointment the next day.

Your story will likely be different. In many cases, veterinarians tell owners that they will just know when it’s time, and sometimes, like with Dobby, that’s true. However, you may also not know. It’s okay if you feel doubtful or unsure. It’s a big decision to make, and I think doubt is an entirely normal response to making such a huge choice for your dog and your family.

Many of my clients who euthanize their dogs for behavioral reasons do so when they do not feel that they can keep others safe from their dog or when they feel that their dog’s quality of life is so poor that it is not fair to ask them to continue living. In Dobby’s case, I kept a journal where I tracked his good days, his bad days, and his seizures with the thought that when his bad days outnumbered his good days it might be time, but the journal was ultimately not the deciding factor. When I reviewed his final month, he had an equal number of good and bad days, and had an average of one seizure very 5-6 days.

Sometimes it can be helpful to think of factors that will help you make the decision ahead of time, way before you’re faced with the decision. Some people advise making a list of five of your dog’s favorite activities. When your dog is no longer interested in three of those five activities, that might be the appropriate time. I’ve decided that with Layla, it will be time to consider euthanasia when she’s no longer interested in eating, chewing on bones, going on walks, going places with me, or chasing critters.

Regardless of how you come to the decision, I can say that I have never heard anyone say that they wish they had waited. I have, however, heard many, many people say that they wish they had said goodbye sooner. If your dog is in pain (whether physical or emotional) and you cannot help them manage that pain, it may be a great kindness to say goodbye.

As hard as it was to euthanize Dobby, I regret waiting so long. Looking back, I feel like I made exactly the right decision – I personally needed to feel like I’d tried everything, and until the night of his seizure I got a strong sense from Dobby that he wasn’t ready to give up either. However, his final months were certainly much harder than the previous years, and he was often confused or disoriented due to the brain damage from his seizures. My other dogs also had a difficult few months, as Dobby could be unpredictable and aggressive. Making the decision sooner could have saved all of us from a lot of stress, but I find a lot of comfort in having exhausted all available options. There are no “what ifs” in my situation – they were all explored completely.

Regardless of your situation, knowing when to say goodbye is a very personal decision. If you’ve made this choice for a dog you cared for, how did you come to your conclusion? What did you consider, or did you just know when the time was right? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.

160 responses to “Saying Goodbye: Making the Decision to Euthanize Your Dog

  1. Thanks everyone for responding. It really helps to have other dog owners agreeing with my decision.

  2. Hi. My partner and i recently had our beautiful 3 year old male blue merle put to sleep (sat 20 june at 9:30am) he was epileptic. I would like to share his story as i havent read any like his online and others in our situation may look like i have… Flash! Our boy came to us when he was 11 months old! Beautiful boy, well behaved, loving, obedient, loved walks, not food possessive or aggressive in anyway! Full of life… Flash started having seizures at age 2. First ine a week

    • Sorry… Pressed post by mistake… First one a week then three a week. He was medicated with epiphen which worked well. He lived a perfectly nirmal life except fir his seizures. Iver the course of a year his med dose was upped twice. He was now having cluster seizures each month, every four weeks he would have a group of around 3 seizures but then came this weekend…. From thursday evening to this saturday mirning gone he had 30 plus seizures :-( my partner and i decided it was best to have him put to sleep. THE HARDEST decision we have ever made and the morning of him being put to sleep he was pawing my face, responsive but so weak, he could stand for maybe two seconds before collapsing. I am riddled with extreme loss guilt, and the feeling that should we have tried for him for longer. In my head i know that was too many fits, god knows what it must have done to his heart brain and other organs but i csnt help feeling so deeply that i let him down. My partner and daughter are not here in the day and i am at a loss without my companion. Ive been still doing our walk, i sleep with his teddy to smell him. Its such a horrendous pain. So hard to get through….

      • I know how awful you are feeling I was there in January. The guilt is normal you had to make a very difficult decision in having your beautiful boy flash put to sleep and it’s only been a matter of days, I took my darling coopers stuffed dog to bed for 2 weeks just for the small comfort of having his smell close to me. Our old dog was epileptic but luckily his seizures were well controlled, even so seeing him have one was a terrible experience, watching your beloved boy suffer so much over those last days you had no choice but to end his suffering it was the ultimate act of love on your part, to keep him with you would have been for your benefit not his it took a lot of strength on your part but also showed the deep love you had for flash he was a very lucky boy to have had you in his life. I hope that this helps and that when you feel ready another dog is lucky enough to have you to love him or her.

      • Sara broom thankyou for your words. Being able to talk people who have experienced the same pain is a huge help. I have managed to stop crying uncontrollably, i did his walk twice yesterday, got home and sat in my house for an hour before i couldnt stand it. I went out and people watched in town. My friend told me off. She said i need to go home snd deal with it, face it. Its just so hard. House is so quiet, empty and grey without him. I know deep down it was right but it is just so sad that this beautiful boy of mine had so much to give, so much to live for and it was taken from him because of his condition. Upon reflecting i realise flash has given me a gift. I never like dogs see, it was my partne who wanted a dog and then it turned out that flash and i spending every day together as i work nights…. We bonded, he taught me to trust dogs, to love dogs. He gave me that gift, he was my teacher :-) i can look back on him and know that any precious furry friends i have in the future are welcomed with love i learned to share from him 😪🐶 rip my flashy boy.

      • I am going through the same thing and its hard, I hate that we have to make a huge decision. I’ve been crying all day because of having to put our boy down, he will be 5yrs old in feb 2016 and to be the one that has to make he choice before he can make it to 5yrs old. He’s been with us since he was 11 weeks when we adopted him for the Animal Rescue League. I have a thousand doubts, questions, and wondering if this is really the best choice and along with, am I selfish to keep him. He’s not the same dog, he has changed, mentally and physically and some days he’s got energy and is happy. Than there’s days that he’s seems down and in pain and looks/acts like he don’t know us. The love we have for him there’s no words but I also feel like we’re letting him down and I’m dreading this day!!

      • It’s a difficult process (going back and forth in your mind), I get emotional just reading other people’s stories and it’s been 10 months for me since I put my best man down. I can tell you the pain does subside but you will never be free from the memory of when you had to make the decision (at least in my case). I think you almost have to put him down when he’s not feeling his best that way you can justify it in your mind, otherwise you may just be prolonging the inevitable and coming up with reason(s) to keep him around. In my case, my Yellow Lab was almost 15 and he had been battling numerous ailments (hip dysplasia, developing a cataract, loss of hearing etc) all common for senior dogs. The day he suffered a seizure I knew it was time. I had my dog cremated because I couldn’t stand the thought of him being anywhere but beside me. I know your dog is five years old and you may feel like you’re giving up on him, but in reality you are showing him compassion and love.

  3. Paulette August 3rd, 4PM

    I’m so happy through my tears that I read all of these comments about how to say good-bye to your best friend.

    As I took my ‘Tanner’ to the doggie hotel we favored (Rhodesian Ridge back) for a 10 day needed vacation; I will never forget the look on his face as if to say ” good bye, thank you for taken good care of me!”. His tail wagged and I sucked up the sadness knowing he was in good hands. Three days later I get a call that Tanner passed through the night. It just killed me to pieces feeling the guilt that if I didn’t go he’d still be with me today. I will never know but I tried to enjoy what vacation was left. His memory remained.

    Several weeks later a beautiful white Labrador kept coming in the yard. My heart went out to her and I laid food and water out in case she was hungry or thirsty. She had no tag, collar or any form of someone looking for her so we called her Marley and after advertizing for her owners, no luck came to her yet we got attached and made her ours.

    She was a beautiful companion and as all my dog friends I get so attached and many in my position know the feeling. We had her for seven years but unfortunately she was diagnosed with heart worm and so the story of seeing her loose her strength, suffer from seizures, and witnessing my Marley was at the point of not truly enjoying life. We did what we could regarding heart worm but her testing kept coming back positive and the cost was getting astronomical, so we gave her the best of life we could but making that decision has crimped my emotions to to this day. I just felt like I had no right to end her days of still recognizing me and wagging that tail of happiness.

    I’m glad I read every one who posted their times when euthanizing was a must. I still see her watery eyes but lack of being able to live without the aide of help getting up or suffering from any more seizures. My eyes are so blurry as I write that I’m sure I’ve made some errors but those that have been there will understand. Thank you for this help!

  4. I have to euthanize “my” german shepherd tomorrow. He’s only 3 and I met him only about a month ago.

    We rescued him from a family that had an elderly parent move in. He is a very energetic and smart dog. Sadly in leaving the only home he ever knew he became aggressive.

    I’m a very experience GSD owner and have rescued or fostered a couple of dozen over the past 15 years. After he nipped me the first time I was able to work with him and he is good with me. I know what I did wrong. It took a lot of patience as we have 2 other gsds and they were somewhat protective of me. To make it worse he has no socialization with other dogs. Not aggressive with them but won’t engage in play either. It’s not his fault. It’s just him.

    With people he knows he is protective and wants to be with them or play fetch. With those he doesn’t know he is aggressive as are most GSDs but in strange surroundings (not his fault) he escalates quickly.

    Then about 6 days in he then nipped my son so he and my wife fear him (which doesnt help). Its not just me anymore I need to think about. I notified the rescue group but they nor his original owners would take him back.

    While the rescue group posted him for adoption (nothing found) we found a new home that seemed perfect after a couple of weeks. Full disclosure and advice on patience and no other dogs but it sadly got worse. Fetch is his favorite thing and about all that was familiar to him. Unfortunately the new owner though well meaning and trying hard followed bad advice from a dog “whisperer”. Break his focus on the ball they said. Take it from him. We’ll guess what… it was way too much too soon. Not yet trusting what could have been a great partnership instead got rushed and ended up in a full out bite. Poor guy is petrified now.

    So now he’s coming back to me (I cannot do what the rescue group has done to me). But my family does not feel safe. Plus my wife is on blood thinners so an accident such as this could literally kill her.

    One aggressive act is easily forgiven. The 2nd was worrisome and so we are not the best environment. The 3rd though is a pattern. Sadly he could be a great dog given the right environment. ..but we are not it nor can I risk another accident. Too many “ifs”. I’ve contacted other group’s but no one can take him in. He’s a victim of circumstance.

    So I am in tears. I’ve thought about taking him back to his first home as they seem to have just thrown him away after 3 years. I’ve thought about searching for another home but that puts my family at risk as well as any adopted family.

    So although I met him only a few weeks ago I will give him the best day ever tomorrow for as long as I can. I want to be mad. I want to blame someone. But instead I will be there and hold him, and love him as I feel like a total failure as he takes his last breath. His face will forever be in my mind. His happy run returning the ball after a good throw will live in my memory. He has touched my heart. I pray he will forgive me and that one day in heaven we can play fetch again.

    Thanks for reading. This has helped me prepare for my worse day ever.

    • I think that you are doing totally the right thing, Tim. You have tried to find a suitable home, fully explaining his history, but it just didn’t work out. Passing on a dog like this (or Sam, who I posted about above) without explaining just makes you part of the problem for the dog. It’s a shame that the original owners let him go when the elderly parent moved in but perhaps that’s not the whole story either. I’m sure that his final day will be a great one – just remember the good that you tried to do for him.

    • You’ve done everything you can, one day you will meet again in heaven he will remember you and the fact that you showed a very damaged dog love and kindness. Take care and know that you’re doing the right thing

  5. I put my beatiful Buddy to sleep via at home euthanasia three weeks ago and continue to be wrecked with quilt and cry daily at the loss of his being. He was 12 or 13 years old, and up until about 4 months ago very active. Actually, still active for his age up until a few weeks. However, after the difficult winter (we were avid walkers and he loved to chase animals in the woods) I began noticing very slow going up the steps and even an odder gait coming down. He would also occassionally experience lameness in his back left leg. But then, seem fine the next day! He had numerous lumps on his body, but at his advanced age I decided to no longer have them checked. When he was 7 he tore his right ACL and after much money and 4 months rehab, we were back in business for a wonderful 5 more years. During that time I would occassionally have a large, non cancerous mass removed if it interfered with his walking ability. But, as he grew older, I promised him no more sedation as he is large and very stubborn, always insisting on jumping in the back seat. No amount of help would be taken by him and no assistance from me was allowed by him. Soon, a month ago he began “missing” his jump in the car. And, on our walks, some quite short, he would need to sit for a while to catch his breath or would just stumble. Then, the next day, looking great with no problem. I began preparing myself and promising I would not let him suffer. The last two days were difficult. He was not eathing and limping. The trip to the vet was hard as he fought the help into the car. The vet said the muscle in his back legs was really not there anymore. They could xray–I said no as it takes him 3 days to recupe from the position of the xray. So, I requested pain medication that would work well with the antiinflammation medication I had been giving him for a year. The following day he would not walk at all (I should also say I had noticed tremors in his front legs when standing still or peeing) and was unable to stand up to go outside. As I sat outside with my thoughts later that morning, I watched him drag himself out with his front legs and just lay at me feet. He would not eat his favorite treats or even cooked hamburger. So, I made the appointmet for that night. We sat outside all day (he still seemed content to have me pet him, he smiled, and remained very alert) and he enjoyed ice cream–the only thing I could get him to eat. I reminded him about all the parks, cabins, trails, and friends he had made over the years–I actually think he understood my words. I told him the vet was coming that night to ease his pain. He never did stand up again and the vet did the process outdoors with his head in my lap. I was at peace at the time. Now, three weeks out, I question my decision every day and think maybe he was just having a really bad day and I should have been able to wait a day or two to ensure my decision. I will never know. It is killing me. I am so happy to have had you Buddy and so sorry if I made a mistake. As a single person, you have been my rock for many years, I wish I could have been yours. I love and miss you.

    • Sue, So sorry for your loss. It sounds as though you are having many of the same thoughts my wife and I are having and we look everyday for answers. I am glad you were able to have Buddy at home when the end came. We ask ourselves if our Zoey wondered why we wouldn’t pick her up and take her home. We did bring bring her home and bury her in a nice spot in the yard where we are able to sit and talk to her. I hope your pain is easing, and just try to remember all the happy memories you and Buddy shared.

      • Hi Scott, I am also so sorry for your loss of Zoey. It is such a difficult decision and I guess there is really no “right” time to let them go–we want to have them forever. I have sought some grief counseling especially related to pets, and am told the guilt we are feeling is normal, as are all of our emotions. The counselor told me he has counseled many people who have guilt for the opposite reason–waiting too long while their pet suffured. I think we can take comfort in the fact that the suffering was short. I suppose we will also second guess our decision as to the timing, but hopefully we can find peace with that decision some day. It is great that you have Zoey in your yard and can visit often! Please be good to yourself and thank you for reaching out to me.

  6. I euthanized my 10 month old hound mix after he suffered a dislocated and fractured hip when hit by a car
    The vet had recommended Femur removal surgery but i thought his quality of life had been significantly impaired. Was i wrong?

    • You dis what you thought was best for what was obviously a very much lived dog. Don’t let the guilt eat you up you did the right thing

      • Thank you Sara! Yes, I’ve been feeling guilty top of just missing him so much. I only wanted what was best for him. The pain I’m feeling is rough but I couldn’t stand to see him suffering through the surgery and long rehab with no assurance of full restoration. I appreciate your kind response.

  7. Thank you for sharing your story. Losing a beloved pet is heartbreaking. We found out a week ago our beloved sam. Age 9 had cancer by means of a blood test. He was drinking excessively and having daily accidents. The vet could not help him and we tried some home remedies, ginger and a probiotic. Sadly he declined and stopped eating and we took him back in and thru an exam found out he had a tumor not quite the size of a volleyball in his whole back under region.
    We made the difficult decision of putting him down.

  8. I just posted about my dog Samson.
    Cancer, huge tumor, accidents, stopped eating, put him down 2 days ago. Why do I feel guilt?

  9. We had to part with our beloved dachshund Zoey on Sat. She had lost the use of her limbs and the ability to relieve herself on her own. Our local vet examined her and after X-ray recommended surgery for a disk problem that was pressing on nerves causing paralysis. We found a surgeon and after consultation set up the surgery. The first indication of what would later lead to our decision was during the post surgery phone call from the surgeon. He informed us that after surgery she was unable to breathe on her own and had to be placed on a ventilator and that after a 12 hour period he would try to wean her off. I was able to visit during both periods and during the visit the day after surgery was told by the surgeon she had made great progress and expected to release her after the weekend. During the evening follow up call he now told us that she had grown weaker and again had to be placed on the ventilator overnight. We as a family were to visit Zoey again the next day. During the visit the Dr. Told us that he believed her chances for improvement were slim and that no matter the amount to time or money we were able to expend he could not guaranty a positive outcome. He recommended euthanasia. We talked as a family and decided that we didn’t want our Zoey to suffer any longer and decided to go ahead with the euthanasia.
    She has been gone now almost three days and my wife and I continue to experience such profound grief and guilt that we are almost not able to function. We continue to beat ourselves up over the fact that we did not do right by our Zoey, that maybe there were other options that we didn’t try. We just miss her so much!!

  10. She s a beautiful 10 yrs old royal poodle. The best dog I’ve ever known. She falls and can’t get up She is heavy to lift up up at 85lbs. I’m worried to leave her even for a few hours as what if she cries and stays stuck. She has hip displaysia. I feel awful that she is in pain and can’t get up until I help her so many times. I thought about euthanasia but feel so awful what should I do please help?..

    • The greatest act of love you can commit for her is to end her pain and let yours begin.

    • I am so sorry I know the pain you are going through, but do you really want her to be in pain? follow your heart and let her go it’s the last kind thing you can do for her. by letting her go peacefully you are showing her how much you love her.

    • I made the heart-wrenching decision on 20 January 2016. Geronimo was a 15 year old yellow Labrador Retriever. He was the light of our household. When I retired from the military after 21 years, I went through depression while trying to transition from military to civilian life. I often thought it would be so much better if I wasn’t around. Then, came Geronimo. He was given to me by a friend who could no longer care for him (he was 5 at the time). Long story short, Geronimo suffered from hip and elbow dysplaysia. He had a hard time getting up and sometimes when he did and I was close by, I could hear his bones rubbing together. During the last 9 months or so, we often had to help him to his feet. He had arthritis and was on Tramadol 50mg (twice a day, although I gave him half that). I was walking him back in August of 2015 and someone I met along the way alluded to the fact that I should put him down (that Geronimo had walked his miles). I was caught in a moment that maybe I should consider it, but not now! Over the course of the next 5 months, Geronimo’s activity level dropped considerably because he wasn’t able to go for even short walks without resting multiple times. Our usual walk route lasted 1/2 mile when he was younger, now it was down to the yard and back, about 200 feet. Geronimo was still happy, wagging his tail and always ready to eat or drink so I knew his mind was still very much active, it was his body which was unable to catch up.

      On the day, Geronimo acted strangely by standing in the middle of the driveway staring at nothing in particular for long periods of time. I thought that was odd. In the mid day he was walking around and laying down on his bed in the garage. At 3 p.m. he ate his food like normal, but then suffered a seizure about 15 minutes later. I didn’t know what was happening as I wasn’t familiar with the symptoms of a seizure, but I only could think he was trying to throw up. After he stopped shaking I tried to get him to stand (which I know now I shouldn’t because he was too weak) but that’s all I knew at the time was he needed to throw up or stand. Mom suggested that we put Geronimo down. Geronimo continued to walk around and bump into things because he was confused and he snapped at me (something he never, ever did). In my heart I knew it was time but my heart said “NO!”. I’m shaking just typing this out.

      I loaded Geronimo by carrying him into my truck and drove to the vet about 2 miles away. When I got to the vet, he seemed fine. He was standing in the back of my Supercrew pickup just like he had done before. It was like he was almost normal again. Once inside the clinic room, he wandered into a corner multiple times and stood there. Geronimo eventually laid down and when our Vet came in he said something to the effect how “Geronimo had led a great life and he could see it was time to put him down”. This only reinforced my decision, however flawed, that I was making the right decision for Geronimo, for if it was up to me I would prolong it for my own selfish reason(s). We began the process which was done in the most humane way possible, by my vet administering a sedative which calmed him down so much so, he almost fell asleep. He gave me a few minutes (however long I wanted he said) and came back and asked if I was ready and then he administered the fatal dosage. It was like why can’t people go out this way when they have stage 4 cancer or decide this is the way they would want to go instead of suffering? I chose cremation as a way to remember Geronimo so I can continue to be close to him, even if it’s not in a physical way but it eases our minds. In one sense, he may not be physically present but will forever be in our hearts. Geronimo died at 4:45 p.m.

      I do wish I made the decision earlier but just couldn’t. If not for the seizure, I am positive I would have prolonged any suffering he may have been going through. I live in Indiana and the weather temps have dropped considerably lately which only added to his arthritis (as I suffer from it too!). I cherish the times and activities we enjoyed together and try to concentrate on those times, not the final day!! Choosing to end your pet’s life is a gut-wrenching decision, one you will have to weigh why? or why not? Geronimo also suffered from Horner’s Syndrome, hearing loss, and had developed a cataract. In my case, some would say it was easier than the one I’m in, but it’s never easy. Geronimo was my savior, the one who rescued me. I wish you all the blessings and comfort as you go through this difficult time. I LOVE YOU GERONIMO!!

  11. We had to put our precious Ginger down two days ago. She had started having seizures and began medication for them although the tests at the vet had not shown their origin. The blood work and exams had came back pretty much normal but she was suffering so badly. She went in a seizure around 2 am and was still seizing at 2 pm when we made the decision. During this time we and the vet tried everything to bring her out of it. l don’t regret the decision to euthanize her. The vet agreed once we decided to do it. I watched the suffering leave her body and looked into her eyes after and she looked like my sweet Ginger laying there in peace. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do and the grief is terrible. She was only 11 years old and I felt like she had more life left. But also had no choice but to let the seizure finally kill her. Euthanization is a gift we can give them when they are suffering. If you think your animal is suffering, pray about and think of them and not yourself not wanting to let them go. I miss her terribly but I know she is at peace now.

  12. I’m sitting here heartbroken. My 5 year old doberman cross has been epileptic for the past year but we were managing it fine with medication. Hi epilepsy was diagnosed as idiopathic but over the last few days he has been seizing non-stop. Last night he collapsed and though it usually takes him a few minutes to recover and return to normal, he just didn’t this time. His seizure continued and we bundled him into the car and rushed off to the vet where they struggled to sedate him and end his convulsing. At this moment, he is under general anaesthesia as the normal anti-convulsants and sedatives are not stopping the seizures. I am sitting here, in pieces, knowing that I have to go to him to say goodbye. I can’t stand the idea of walking through my door every day and not being greeted by his mad tail wags and slobbery tongue, that I won’t get up in the morning and drink my coffee with him running back and forth between me and the various birds he likes to chase off our front lawn. We lost his litter-mate sister only four months ago to liver tumours and I fear he has a brain tumour that has just become too much for his body to bare any longer. He was never the cleverest or most coordinated dog, but has always been the cuddliest, most affectionate creature and he made us laugh often with his clumsy, goofball antics. But through all of this I know that my last act of love must be to free him from his pain.

    It’s so hard to make the decision but it’s easier knowing that I am not alone and that there is so much support and understanding between us all. <3

    • Thank you for this… My dog out of nowhere has been having seizures. Did okay on meds for four days. Now today they are back. And we can’t control them.
      Hospital vet told me it times to think quality of life… but I have those what ifs. The vet has done all she could.. He’s my 9 yr old best friend.. How do I not be selfish? I feel like can I do more?
      This is the et 2nd time telling me I need to think of quality of life….
      But, if I do, I will feel so much guilt.

  13. We had to euthanize my dachsund Ginger of 11 years a week ago. She started having seizures and had started on meds to control them. She went into a seizure and we nor the vet could bring her out of it. Although she was suffering and we knew so much damage had been done, she had lost sight, use of her back legs and was very weak, it was still the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I miss her so much. I was relieved to see her suffering end once it was over, but you always think I’m the back of your head would she just get better if I wait? I know and was assured by the vet that it was the best thing we could do for her. Now I have this little box that used to be my dog. I miss her warmth and happiness in my home. Her tail wags, tricks, and laps around the house. One day at a time is my way of handling it and never feel guilty for your grief. That in your head this was an animal and not like losing a human in your life. Ginger was my companion..she lived life with us , she comforted us, she gave us so much joy in her short life. I will be forever thankful for my time with her. I hope where ever she is that she is healthy again, and sharing her wonderful personality with those around her. God gives us gifts in life and she was a special one.
    Ginger 1-05 – 1-16-16

    • I am so sorry for your loss. When we lost our beloved Jack Russell Cooper last year my heart broke in two. Anyone who says that it’s only an animal have never been lucky enough to have the unconditional love of a dog. One day at a time is the only way, day by day the sadness will lesson and the happy memories will take over. Listen carefully and you may just hear her padding around. She is a happy healthy puppy again with playing with those who have gone before, one day you will be reunited until then be grateful for the time you spent with her x

  14. I’ve been in tears reading some of the comments here. I haven’t seen anything that touches so openly on some of the issues around having to have a beloved family member euthanized, including the guilt and sense of betrayal. Three years ago I had to make the decision to have my beautiful 11 year old german shepherd Jazz euthanized. Over the course of a month, she had increasing difficulty walking, going outside to relieve herself and for several days I had to help her go outside, but she was still eating, drinking and seemed content to lay in her favorite spot and just watch me. Through several vet visits, I tried whatever was prescribed, and took her back that last day to see what else could be done. My vet said she had massive bleeding from the blood vessels in her spleen and he thought she had also developed degenerative myopathy, in addition to her arthritis. He said if I took her home, she very likely would suffocate due to the hemorrhaging and I wouldn’t be able to get help for her quickly due to my rural setting. For her, I made the decision to put her to sleep, which he did with me holding her. She was very worried about me and fought the pre-sedative. I knew I had no regrets about her life, but felt terrible about her last moments being at the vets office. I didn’t know a house call was a possibility, and was too upset to think to ask that day. I don’t know if I can ever forgive myself for that.
    I also have a border collie Charlie, who was very attached to Jazz.. She took him under her wing when he was 6 weeks old, and he became a happy, carefree, energetic clown with her by his side. She was our protector, best friend and center of our lives. After Jazz was gone, it took a very long time for Charlie to become himself again. He hid under my desk most of the time and was very grumpy and/or afraid of other animals. I had to coax him to eat and go for walks. Gradually, Charlie has come to welcome people and other dogs again, and loves to play with friend/family dogs when they come to visit. Now I think he’s ready to welcome another puppy into our lives. Every time I’ve gotten close to adopting another puppy, I’ve gone back to that last day with Jazz. I think I’m ready now. I know I have a lot of love to give a new pup. I know it won’t be Jazz, but I think it will be someone she would also have welcomed.

  15. My collie Smokey started having seizures at 10 months old. He was out on phenobarbital and potassium bromide to try to control them as he was having them weekly. On the medicine he had them every three weeks to a month but as time went on they lasted 30 minutes at a minimum to 2 plus hours. I made the tough decision to put him down last week after he had a 3 hour seizure, lost the use of his legs and went blind. I had to carry him to my car and into the vet. Since starting having seizures he had gotten very skittish and at times aggressive with my other dogs. Stress triggered seizures for him and in his last month he was having very violent seizures often…. His last seizure he practically bit his tongue off. Smokey was the most loving collie and so sweet when he wasn’t having seizures and I have a totally broken heart and feel so guilty that I put him down. People are telling me I ended his pain and suffering and with all the seizures he had over his 5 years of having them, he definitely suffered brain damage which affected him mentally and physically. I could never brush him for more than a couple minutes as he was very touch sensitive and he would snap at me because he didn’t like it. I just want to feel not so guilty about ending his pain and suffering and want to think that he is free of seizures and pain and whole again at the rainbow bridge…. In the meantime I cry and cry and blame
    Myself for putting him down

    • My heart goes out to you, what you did was for Smokeys sake even though you knew it would break your heart. That show’s how much you loved Smokey and no dog would ask for more than that. The guilt is normal and even though it hurts you so much now the pain will ease and eventually you will have good memories and you will realise that you did the kindest thing.

  16. I waited.
    I waited too long.
    She came to us as a rescue at 9 months old. She was young and close to our other dogs age. They would be friends, companions, and grow up together. We knew that she had had a seizure at 6 months old but there was no sign she would ever have another. It was wishful thinking. She began having seizures within the first month she moved in. Who knows what the underlying cause was she was diagnosed ” idiopathic epileptic”. Two months after we adopted her she had her first serious behavior changing seizure. We had my in-laws visiting and the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. After the seizure she became aggressive and we lost her potty training and obedience skills. She became snappy and vocal, where before she was sweet, willing to please, and followed me around non stop. For years we started over training a two or three year old dog with the mind of a 6 month old puppy.
    After 5 years we continued with treating the seizures. Early on it was routine, they were every two months or so, usually during a wind or thunderstorm or some other stressful experience. We tried almost every seizure medication on the market. We started going to a neurologist. The last two years of this sweet girls life was haunted by invisible things she needed to chase. When we finally got the fly-biting episodes under control, she began to develop nighttime anxiety. My work schedule had gotten longer, and I was away from home until dark. My husband was home with her keeping up the routine, but she was my dog and she needed me. She would wake up crying in the middle of the night, pacing, yelping until we would put her in bed with us. This was followed by her laying down for two minutes only to jump up and pace for two more, endlessly throughout the night. It was a circle of up and down and nobody got any sleep. In the morning she would seem back to normal. These episodes became more and more frequent with the latest medication, but it seemed it was controlling the grand mal seizures. She had one break through grand mal, while on the newest meds and even though it had been a while since the previous, it was extremely violent. The anxiety attacks followed on a weekly basis. If we left in the evening and came home around 9, we were guaranteed to have a restless night. These attacks were taking over our lives and hers. We couldn’t go anywhere, we couldn’t do anything, we needed to be home every evening or she would have an attack. We were missing work to catch up on lost sleep. There was no quality of life for any of us. Almost two months after the last grand mal, the fly-biting episodes came back. She began showing signs that another grand mal was coming. Last night it did.
    We did everything we could do. We used the emergency diazapam to try to pull her out of a cluster seizure. Immediately after she started seizing again and we were heading into the 5 minute mark. We took her to the bathroom and we put her under cold water to lower her body temperature. This is where I start to kick myself and the “should’a, could’a, would’a” kicks in. Should I have kept her under the running water longer? Should we have rushed her to a closer vet? Could we have done anything more? What else could we do? We took her to the emergency vet 15 minutes away. By the time we got there her body temperature was so high they couldn’t read it on the thermometer. There was nothing they could do. Within 5 minutes of arriving we were standing over her saying goodbye as the vet injected the drugs that would end her life.
    I sit here with a hole in my heart, missing the love of my life, wondering, knowing we should have done it sooner. We waiting until the decision was made for us. Did we ever listen to her? Did she ever tell us she was tired of fighting? Was I too selfish with my love for her that I kept prolonging the inevitable until the happy moments were few and hurt immense?

    • I understand the waiting. I am waiting too, hoping I don’t wait too late long, but not really knowing when too long is. My Rico has advanced cancer, but still has really good days, eats and drinks, wags his tail and seems happy, as long as I keep his pain medication regular. It’s so hard to know when the quality of life just isn’t there anymore, especially when it’s this wonderful little soul that has such perfect love and perfect trust in everything that you do for them. You weren’t selfish, you thought you were doing the best thing for her at the time and it was all done out of love.

  17. I am sitting here reading this posts as I desperately try to come to grips with the decision to euthanize my beloved best friend of 12 years, Rico. He was diagnosed with Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) in September and I chose to proceed with chemotherapy, despite the costs and time commitment. I just couldn’t bear to part with him so soon. We used a single drug protocol with 1 treatment every three weeks, so he had minimal side effects and did very well through the whole thing. However not long before his one month post-chemo check up, a small cough started. His oncologist gave him a clean bill of health, other than the cough, which we kept on eye on. Of course the cough worsened over the next few weeks, and after a chest xray, it was determined he now had a sizable lump in his lungs. Soon after he began to have lymph node swelling again. We have been managing well for the last month, prednisone has helped with the swelling, but things are starting to swell again. He lays around most of the time, though he will still muster up energy for a car ride. He eats and drinks, though I can see it is getting harder for him to swallow. He wheezes and has to work harder to breath. Its terrible listening to him struggle at night. Im torn apart on when the right time is. He won’t get any better but still has happy moments. If I do it now, will I regret it? There is a long weekend coming up, and I worry that he will take a turn for the worse over the weekend. I’m a snivelling, snotty mess and just don’t know how to come to peacefully come to the right decision.

    • I really feel for you, our rescue dog was diagnosed with mouth cancer 4 weeks ago. We’ve only had him a year and he had an awful life before he came to us. I don’t know how I’ll cope when the time comes but like you I will do all I can for him. You have given your dog all the help you could but from what you’ve written the time has come to say goodbye, I know it will break your heart but can you bear the thought of him suffering? My heart goes out to you xx

      • circleofseven

        Thank you Sara. I feel for your poor doggy too. Rico had a good day today, much better than yesterday. But I know time with him is still short. I don’t know how I will cope either, I can’t imagine not having him along side me this spring working in the garden, or out camping this summer. I hope they can do something to help your pup, he’s deserves to have a good and happy life.

    • You do what is best for you and Rico.
      You are going to second guess yourself regardless. Was there more I could have done? Should I have waited? This is how you know you love him and you are putting his quality of life above your own happiness. My one big regret is waiting until the choice was taken from us and I wasn’t able to give her “her day” I would love to go back and give her a special day just for her to do all the things she loved. Chase squirrels, eat moms ice-cream, hike around the trails in the woods, just a spoiled rotten day before saying goodbye.

      It’s been 3 weeks since we lost our Kiwi. I was a complete mess when I wrote my original comment. The first week I was nearly inconsolable, The second week I started focusing on working through my grief. For me, having a support network of friends who showed me love and support while I was grieving helped the most. I went to the library and read books on pet loss and grief. They helped a lot. One book that helped was called “Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die” this book talked about the loss of many pets and making the decision to say goodbye.

      You are doing the right thing by asking for help and guidance. Reach out to those who you know will understand. Find a support group, they are even available online. Know there are others going through this, others who are making this same hard decision, you are not alone. We pet parents have to stick together.
      I wish you the best through this time.

    • thank you had some good news yesterday, vet said that if the cancer hasn’t spread then they may be able to operate, but I still feel that i’m on borrowed time with my darling Billy. I hope that Rico had a good day today please try and enjoy every moment that you can with Rico make some more good memories to help you through the bad times x

  18. I feel so bad putting my2 year old dog to sleep he had seizures and one day the seizures got so bad took him to the vet and she had to put him under anesthecia to help control his seizures I took him home and the next day took him back because he was having small seizures constantly and he was so disoriented and like he couldn’t see or comprehend the vet said it was better to euathanized him because the seizures should have stopped with everything she had given him it broke my heart to make that decision I feel I can’t forgive myself he had so much life in him but the vet said it was the best thing to do.😢😢

    • I am currently in the exact situation. Idk what to do. I feel like is there more I can do? What if he pulls out this? And I am gonna live with quilt rest of my life if I do

  19. I’m so sorry for your loss. You have done the kindest thing. From what you’ve said he wouldn’t have had any quality of life, what you did has broken your heart but saved a much loved dog a life of pain and suffering. you have been strong enough to put his pain and suffering to an end, yours will ease and happy memories will make you smile just give it time xx

  20. I am heartbroken and so sorry to read of all these losses. My sweet Cavalier is only 6 years old, started drooling and couldn’t pick up the ball, I took her in and she had pneumonia, her lymph glands were enlarged. Antibiotics helped for a few days and then I took her back as she seemed to be gagging and difficulty breathing. The Vet scheduled a dental yesterday, thinking that she may have a broken or abscessed tooth. When they went to intubate her they saw a large mass in her throat. Squamous cell carcinoma of the tonsil which is very serious. They did a biopsy and I brought her home last night. She is eating, drinking, but when I walked her today only a short distance I had to carry her home. I cried all the way. I don’t know how much time I have with her, maybe only days, but reading your heartbreaking stories of loss and the ultimate gift of peace by euthanasia has helped me to know that when the time comes I will do what is right and not let her suffer. As I am writing this, she is leaned against my leg, tears are flowing and I am so lost. She is my best friend, my constant companion. Life will never be the same without her.

    • I am so sorry to hear about your poor cavalier king Charles, my darling fox terrier was diagnosed with mouth cancer a few months ago. He had surgery about 8 weeks ago and so far all is well, all you can do is take every day as it comes and enjoy her while she’s with you. She is so lucky to have such a loving mummy not all dogs are so blessed. when the time comes whether that is in days weeks or god willing years you will know and you will do the right thing. You will fill all her remaining days with love and hold her at the end that is all any dog asks for. My thoughts are with you xx

  21. I think the worst part is the argument between my head and my heart. Yesterday I had my dog put to sleep. Atka was my fifth Samoyed but was not like any other Samoyed I ever had. He was just a little over a year old and he could be the sweetest, most loving dog But his mood could change on a dime. I tried obedience training but he was noticeably stressed by the surrounding so we began in home training. He would share his toys but the things he stole he would guard and you did not dare try to go for it – he bit me once when I tried to get the object away from him. It was my fault but it scared me and he broke the skin. The trainer gave us things to try but it did not help the guarding. I took him to the vet and had blood work done but all test results came back fine. We put him on Clomicalm to try to level him out and also had his thyroid tested – those test results showed that it was low and we put him on a prescription. However, he continued to be the same – if not got worse. He began barking right at our face and would not stop. I would walk him early in the morning (leave the house at 5:30) to avoid other people and their dogs because he would freak out if was everything I could do to keep him walking. It was amazing how he could look at you so differently – sometimes loving and sometimes so angry. I had to be careful petting his head because sometimes he would snarl. On Wednesday I went to the kitchen table to look at a plant – Atka blocked me from the table and growled at me…twice. He did not have anything aththe table so I am not sure why. My mom was scared of him and my dad would not leave her home alone. The house has been very stressful and I feel as though sometimes we were walking on egg shells around him. My parents look after my dogs during the day when I am at work (my other sammies are 12 and almost 4) and other than work I didn’t go out. On Saturday we had to attend a walk for a relative – my parents went early and I went later. I was going to stay for an hour and head home but it turned out my aunts and some of my cousins were going out for dinner. My dad said to go and have a good time and he would go check on the dogs. He took the two older dogs out first and went back to get Atka out. Atka was barking and running his paw against the crate door. When my father let him out he came shooting out and grabbed my comforter and ripped it apart. My father could barely control him. My father tried calling me but due to the noise in the restaurant I did not hear it. I eventually saw the missed calls and called him – when I found out what had happened I came home – there was large pieces of stuffing still in the backyard. However, Atka calmed down and the rest of the evening passed. We got ready for bed and I put Atka in his crate. He was whining in his crate so I took him out to take him outside – he was very hyper trying to grab at his leash jumping at the walls trying to reach it – it was all I could do to hold on to him – it was unsettling. Sunday morning he got very angry barking at me until he had me in a corner and going after my 4yr old Samoyed. We made the decision that it was time to let him go. I have a lot guilt now – I loved him so much and can’t help wondering if I did something wrong with him. I wonder if maybe he had another family that this would never have happened. I contacted the breeder several times about this and they recommended euthanasia- that was earlier in the Spring. That they would not have even wanted to see him for themselves was very upsetting. The house is so quiet today and it feels weird to not have to worry about forgetting to close doors or ensuring that the kitchen counters are cleared so there is nothing for him to steal. I feel bad that he had to die so young and wish that it could have ended so differently – it was not the ending I had imagined. It is hard losing a dog in his senior years but he was so young and there was nothing to explain his behavior. At least if he had been sick or the vet could say there was a tumor I would have that but instead I have guilt and feeling that I failed him.

    • I’m so sorry to read what happened, Dene, as it sounds so similar to my story.
      It sounds like you did everything that you could to try and help Atka.
      I hated myself for a long time for making a similar decision to you but then go through, in my mind, the reasons why I took that step – it was for the safety of others and the health of my dog….

      Time will help to lessen the pain, as hard as that is to believe at the moment….

      • Thank you Steve, it helps to know that there are others who have gone through this experience.

  22. 8 months ago we adopted a beagle from our local shelter. Within a week she had had 2 seizurez, each lasting about an hour long. She was put on medicines, which did ok for a few months. Recently, the medicines do not seem to help. She is averaging 1-2 two hour seizures per week. She is being euthanized today. I am overcome with guilt, but I know she must have extensive brain damage.

  23. So sad but comforting to read all these stories which are reassuring to us in our time of grief. 3 days ago we put to sleep Otto our darling 13 year old GSP. He had been epileptic since age 5 but things were under control with medication.
    In the last year he had noticeably aged, slowed down and wanted to go for long walks less although he was always so excited when the gun cabinet went and he could go out with his dad. They had a special bond. With me, he was my close friend and confidant. He sat with me on the sofa and we talked and cuddled. He was great company as my girls had grown up and “left’ home. I shall miss him so much and writing this i feel like my heart has broken and as much as i tell myself we made the right decision for him at the time, it hurts so much.
    He’d had an upset tummy for a while and had recently started vomiting and dribbling a lot . Also he had been diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis although the specialist advised we wait over the winter to see how he went. Neither of us really wanted to put him through surgery at his age so we decided to see how he went and keep an eye on him.
    Weds night before he died, he went into the garden onto the flower beds and tried to get in behind a bush and he just stood in the garden looking down at me and i sensed something was wrong. In the night i heard him scraping at rugs and trying to get in a corner of my daughters bedroom. I know now that this is called “denning” when they feel vulnerable.
    I got up early at 4.15 am and he got up on the sofa with me but was restless and as he got down off the chair, his whole body went from underneath him. I made him comfy on the floor, covered him to keep him warm and sat with him until my husband got back home in a few hours. I had rang the vet to seek advise but i couldn’t move him anyway to get him in the car and he didn’t want to go. He perked up when my husband got home, wagging his tail and taking him a cushion. He loved cushions and we got through many. The tears are flowing now as i write this but it helps to share.
    Anyway we talked to the vet and discussed euthanasia something we had discussed and as he hated the vets and was happy at home with us, we would monitor him. Midday the vet was to make a house call but we delayed it a bit as he seemed to have a second wind. He had slept, dreamt and ate a bit fresh chicken and had a drink. After going out for a wee, he came back in and went all wobbly again and i had to coax him to the floor where he remained motionless, just his eyes moving and looking at us and they were saying that ‘ I’m tired now, let me go”. We looked at each other and knew the time was right no matter how sad we felt. Also we really felt he was on his way.
    The vet came within 15 minutes and Otto didn’t move, just his eyes which i will never forget. The vet shaved his leg after saying ottos tummy was rigid and his gums were white, indicating a bleed. We dont know actually what was going on but knew it was something horribly wrong and His time had come. The injection within seconds worked, no sedative needed as he was so chilled and he slipped away. The sadness we then felt was like nothing i had ever felt before but we knew we had given him a “normal’ day with us and he wasn’t stressed. In a way it was perfect for him, us stroking him and me telling him as i always did how much i loved him and he could now go and chase all those deer in the sky. We buried him in the garden where he used to sit and watch me. He’s not physically here although he was such a life force that i believe i feel him all around and he is happy and knows how loved he was. The grief is horrid for us but we have to try and come to terms with our decision to let him go. It was the best thing for him.
    Im sorry to write so much, didn’t mean to but it helps and i hope it helps someone else to “know’ when that time has come to let your beloved family member go. My husband joked that i wont make as much fuss when he goes. Hopefully the pain will get less and we can remember all the joy he brings us as the days go by.

  24. My dog has a brain tumor and he has his good days and he has his bad days. His he still eats and drinks water and goes outside and no seizures yet but he has stopped wagging his tail and he looks sad and he has days that he will go without eating for about a couple of days. The vet has him on steroids and it helps a lot. He has lot a lot of muscle around his head and chest, he is an American pit bull terrier. I know the time is coming but my heart hurts. Our female has breast cancer and was given 3 months and has lived 1 yr and 2 months. Btw he is 11 yrs old.

  25. My poor little Spencer. He was always so sweet. Always so cuddly. A lap dog – toy poodle-of only 6 lbs. We adopted him from a rescue over 6 years ago. They estimated him to be 3 at the time, but perhaps he was older. It would bring me solace if I knew he had lived even longer than I thought.

    Around 4 years ago he jumped off a couch and started a long journey. He cried one morning following so badly that we couldn’t touch or move him. He was in such pain. He was diagnosed with intervertebral disc disease (IVDd). We went through a round of treatment medications including steroids and muscle relaxants along with crate rest. He improved very well, but we realized over the years that this issue recurred if he did some of his favorite things- chasing balls in the yard, running/bounding, jumping. After a few years, it recurred for no reason at all.

    Right before Thanksgiving, he stopped squatting or lifting his leg when relieving himself. He started having accidents. We reordered and restarted medications and crate rest immediately, even before seeing the vet. After a week with no improvement, the vet confirmed it was the IVDD again. This time, it was damaging his spine so much that he couldn’t feel his legs. Ultimately, she said, the choice would be between a $2,000 surgery (plus diagnosis, testing, referrals- money we didn’t budget for a pet) or euthanasia.

    We kept trying with the medications. About a month into treatment, his legs didn’t seem to be improving, but he could still get around and seemed happy enough. Then, he woke up two nights in a row, crying in pain at 3 am. He woke up crying at 5:30 am. The meds weren’t working anymore. We called the vet the next day.

    It all just happened so fast. I know the meds weren’t working anymore. I know he was confined to his crate. But he could still cuddle. And he could still walk. But he was waking up in pain, and the medication schedule and having to carry him outside… I just can’t help thinking we could have given him more time?

    He is gone now. And I will never forget the last moments with him. How scared he was at the vet’s office. How I had to hand him off. How he was gone so quickly. I loved him so much I feel silly about it crying my eyes out typing this. I hate that I had to make this decision for him. I hate that we’re not independently wealthy. I hope in time I will have peace about this decision. I miss him.

    • I just put fown my Clumber Spaniel ‘Camper’ two hours ago. I am wracked with guilt. What if he wasn’t ready? We found him abandoned at a campground about 7 years ago and brought him home with us. It was a rough beginning with him. He would try to bite us if we touched his ears, or his feet or if we shook our finger at him. He did bite my husband. It took a long time of loving discipline to bring him around. We still couldn’t trim his nails up to now. He became a loving boy. He loved to swim, play with his brother and sister Duke and Libby, chase after the four wheeler and eat snow! He ate his last snow today. About 8 months ago he started coughing. We took him to the vet and he was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and found out he could no longer see.. He was put on Vetmedin, Lasix and another med. He made it thru another summer, but was no longer able to do the things he loved to do. We took walks together but not too far because he would cough uncontrollably. He loved being with his people though, and would cry if he was left in the kitchen on his own. He never lost his love for food! Never stopped eating. It go harder for him to breath this week. We have had him back to the vets several times and upped the meds. But his breathing has become more labored. We would wake up in the middle of the night to check on him and we didn’t think he would make it thru the night. I would pray for his heart to just stop while he was sleeping but he was such a fighter. We had an appt. today and the vet said he had that look of struggling in his eyes. He wasn’t suffering yet, but he was struggling. So i held him in my arms while they injected the medicine. He needed 2 injections because he was so scared and moved during the first one, but he was in a relaxing sleep. I kissed him an told him he was a good boy and i loved him while they injected the 2nd shot and he took his last breaths in my arms. What if i rushed it? What if he could have lived longer before he started suffering? I feel so guilty.

  26. Hopeless Grandma

    It is so difficult to respond.My daughter has a 6 yr old Morky.She adopted him at 6 months.He was to be euthanized but the reasons were never made clear.I believe that Henry was adopted several times in a short life and for reasons that are quite obvious to me….but my 33 yr old daughter has a very difficult time to admit to herself.It began with indoor urination,defecation daily despite outings and frequent pee breaks.He barked at everything,and under a year had bitten 2 children.His lunging became a regular thing.People could not approach him,feared him and sadly disliked his behaviors.It has to be a most difficult feeling knowing your dog now 6 yrs old,has only worsened with the years.Randomly becomes so enraged for minutes (yes minures) at a time at other very calm,behaved dogs.It is frightening and embarrassing,however much one loves a dog.His constant moon eyes looks,barking and obsessivelly chasing one of the cats shes had 1with yrz now, barking so savagelly the cat spends her day hiding under the bed.He’s bitten my daughter so many times (I was not aware until he did 2 wks ago while I was here).He has lunged aggressively and in terrifying way (enraged) at 2 children and bit them. He has lunged at people so many times we need take 6 level of stairs to avoid elevators,trying to walk where dogs can be avoided as he throws himself at them with such force and rage he chokes himself,and the harness suggestion did not improve.Now he’s off the Prozac as it didn’t work either. He began to avenge himself with the indoor daily urination again. My daughter cannot take him to visit friends,to their cottages,and cannot have guests… now another drug will have to be used.I have little hope it will improve if anything I fear the extent of aggression will increase. I have brushed the subject of how much can you do to help a dog you obviously love,his quality of life and her limitations due to behaviors that only get worse with time,regardless of how much love he is given,and having no life herself.He cannot be left alone.Has to be confined and gated.And no longer works as he barks non stop,neighbours now ignoring her,having turned cool in her presence. I understand how painful it is to make a decision for a pet we adore due to health problems affecting their quality of life and feeling pain knowing we must let them go,to spare them suffering.I’ve lost 3 cats in ten years.My heart still breaks that I chose to keep an 11 yr old beautiful cat,suffering from heart disease,on daily heparin injections,pills twice daily.She suffered a stroke while I was home,without a vehicle and living in the country,too late to make it to the vet,she suffered so much before passing away in my arms,paradise zed and will never forgive myself.All 3 cats suffered serious illnesses (cancer,congestive heart failure disease and my big Red after so many weekly vet visits, found under my bed having to drag him out crying to take him to vet a final time so heartbroken I can’t describe.
    When a dog becomes a source of worry,lost sleep,being shined by neibours,social life next to none,unable to take him anywhere without a basket mask so that he can’t bite but still lunges in ways becoming worse,feeling powerless,loving and at the same time exasperated,exhausted, when pretending it’s not happening when he has an occasional 2 hours of peace,that there’s hope…I know it’s been too long,that she needs face reality, face the pain that comes (often as we are selfish in not wanting to let go even knowing our pet has no quality of life itself) with making the final decision,which is an act of love when every possible option has been tried,when money is scarce due to a savings account drained trying to,with hope at heart, curb this dogs behavior,his anxiety and agitation,with a simple noise from above or a neighbour coming home,causing him to react,watching one of the cat obsessively and attacking her as soon as she tries come out of the room (who is now nervous with a much decreased quality of life… when and how can someone support a family member or a friend after 6 yrs of this? The dog has to be leased inside the apt so the car can eat and drink and receive loving a few hrs each day…. what can I do to help her see that she’s done everything,that there are things we simply CANNOT CONTROL.
    I’m sorry if I seem heartless as i do care for Henry but it’s difficult to cope with even visiting,or babysitting her dog,since kennels will no longer accept him and I’m the only person she can ask.I suffer from PTSD.Spending time here is become a source od great anxiety,but watching my daughters powerlessness I feel I must help…regardless of how affected I’m becoming with each visits,walks,searching the floors for urine spots daily…. please help. Refusing her is my next step and I feel so much guilt doing so I’ve not yet been able to refuse,however it’s putting demands on my life,my disabilities,my stress levels.
    When is enough “enough” … and how does someone approach a loved one,a beloved daughter,helping her take the blinders off and facing reality?
    I’ll be perceived as a heartless person.It’s taken me 8 times to post here…

    “Hopeless mom”

    These are the effort she has made to help Henry over past 6 years:
    She has so far spent over 3000$ in trainers (recommended by vegetarian as reputed quite successfully in working with aggressive small & large aggressive dogs.While with the trine after 4th session,and my daughter told a choker collar MUST BE USED at all times while training him,and offering rewarding training treats for good behavior.But the results once at home ceized immediately. Every single thing has been done.From natural potions (EXPENSIVE) and calming pheromone collar and spray….to no avail whatsoever. Henry was put on Prozac. …taken off after 6 months…more expensive “promises potions” and looking at again,having him medicated.

  27. Hello everyone. I’m a retired female and live alone. Exactly one week ago today I had my beloved border collie and companion put to sleep at home. She was almost 17 and I had her from a puppy. She had been battling a liver condition for years but lived a good quality of life. In fact vets were always amazed. However the last year she lost a lot of weight. I spent my life cooking up this and that and cajoling her to eat. Then she had 3 seizures over 6 months. The last one was terrible. After falling off her bed and thrashing around she started shrieking and pushing her head into the wall. The vet came out with some Diazepam and she surprised everyone by pulling round. However she was spacey for a good week and seemed to have even less vision. We thought the seizures were caused by her declining liver function. Due to other health issues she wasn’t a candidate for an MRI so it was likely but not definite. She got a steroid shot, antibiotics and a vit B shot.and we continued for about 3 weeks. But then she really went downhill. Her walking got really slow and wobbly and she hardly ate a thing. She was already underweight. She was spacey at times. The afternoon I called the vet she had been sleeping some hours and was not very responsive when we tried to rouse her. We agreed it was time. But it was like she struggled against the effects of that first sedative as if she didn’t want to go and now I feel like a murderer. A week on I am in bits at her loss and tormented with guilt. Her beds and toys are still all around. This is a hard road.

  28. Thank you for this blog post. My wife and I had to make the difficult decision to put down our Labrador that would have been 3 in two weeks. He was our first dog together and helped welcome our first child. He was always the most loving an gentle dog. He began having seizures at 8 months of age and his condition worsened throughout his life despite various treatments. He was having 8-10 grandmal seizures by the end and would injure himself by running around in a crazed post seizure fog. I actually read your blog a few of months back and it helped me prepare for the inevitable. I have had extreme guilt the passed few days that I made the decision too early. hearing other people’s stories here has reassured me that it was better to send him off as the happy loving boy he was before the seizures completely fried his brain.

    • I am about to do the same thing to my Birdy. The seizures are awful, the state after is terrible also, my family has made the hard decision to euthanize. Thank you for sharing your story.

      • Christine Iorio

        We are in the same situation and are euthanizing our puppy today. She is a wonderful 14 month Aussie doodle, but already taking 6 pills a day and the cluster seizures keep coming so we keep upping doses and adding meds but to no avail. Last episode 3 days ago, it took her 2 full days to come out of it and be back to herself. She is forgetting some basic commands though. It is heartbreaking for her, and for our children to witness and live through it all and after last episode, we made this decision. It is the hardest decision because she is “normal” once she has come back to us post seizure, but we all know it is a matter of days to a few weeks until she has to go through it all again. At 14 months, she should be running around, having fun, being able to do training or agility class. Not drugged up to the point where she is now incontinent to keep the seizures at bay, which sadly, isn’t working anyway. We feel so terrible but feel this is the right decision and our vet agrees. The disease is progressing fast and she has been diagnosed with severe epilepsy. We are all heartbroken.

  29. I have an appmnt tomorrow to put Birdy, my greyhound to sleep. She has had violent grand mal seizures for almost 2 years now, they last 60-90 seconds, she seizes so hard she bites her tongue and almost always cuts her face while seizing. (She has been on phenobarb twice daily for over a year. )When she finally gets up she falls and is so disoriented. She growled at us once, and I’m scared she may unintentionally bite one of us or our cats. She used to go to her kennel with no fuss, but now when I crate her at night in fear of her having a seizure out in the house, she just bellows for hours. This past year has been so stressful, the incontinence and bleeding that comes with every episode is so exhausting. I feel so bad, like I’m murdering her, but my family can’t take this anymore. I just needed to write this before tomorrow. I love her so much, but I feel this is the only choice I have left. Thank you all for posting your stories, its nice to know I’m not alone.

    • I’m sorry to hear about your Birdy. Your story sounds very similar to ours. It has been almost a week and we are passed the guilt stage and are starting to be able to laugh about all the crazy things our buster did. As sad as it is not having him around the house, we know that it wasn’t fair what was happening to him and it was only going to get worse. Try to think about the good times and not blame yourself. You are doing it because you care for them and it’s not fair for them to continue struggling to face the inevitable.

    • Be strong Amanda it is an awful experience that feels like it will hurt forever but you will come to terms with it and carry on caring for your loved ones like you have always done

  30. I am so sorry for people going through this. My almost 17 year old collie had a grand mal – most likely due to a failing liver – which went on for around 8 minutes. It was her third and biggest seizure in 6 months but she had been going downhill and losing weight for a year.. After she had stopped thrashing around she pressed her head into the wall and shrieked piteously over and over and over… I’ve hear they are not feeling pain when this happens but I never want to hear that sound again. By the time the vet got here, she was still out of it and her heart was going like an express train. We gave her Diazepam and another chance. It took a week for her to come round. We then had a reasonable 2/3 weeks then she started going downhill fast – very slow and tired, hardly eating. It was like she was making the effort just for me. One day she seemed to be a bit out of it and just lay there. When the vet came out we decided it was time. Beyond time probably. But when the initial sedation was given she did struggle to get up. I will always feel terrible about this and the loss is also terrible. She came everywhere with me. I still reach for her lead when I go out. People say I did the best for her and it was time. They say she could have gone horribly any moment. Part of me knows this but….
    It seems you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t – the price you pay for love.

  31. Thank you for writing this. This is comforting words, at a very difficult time for us as family.

  32. Hi,
    We had to make the decision to put our dog, Ozzie, to sleep. We rescued him at 10 months and have had him 3 and a half years. We went through so much with him, having to train a puppy that was stuck in an adolescent dogs body (he was a big dog) we got him to be the kind and loving dog we knew he had the potential to be. We then had our son and we couldn’t believe how even more beautiful and loving Ozzie became. He was always part of our little boy’s milestones – always in the videos and pictures.
    Then the seizures started. He had a handful over a 7/8months period and we didn’t see much difference in Ozzie.
    He had a particularly bad one though, where it took Ozzie 2 days to recover properly. We noticed quite a few changes in his behaviour – he was chasing his tail more than he used to, he was barking at people walking past the house – but continued once they had gone and needed a touch or telling to stop barking. 3 weeks ago we came home and he was having another seizure and since then he has started pacing the house whining and the slightest touch or someone moving he got up and struggled to settle down again. The decision was made though from a walk in the park. He got very aggressive towards two dogs whilst we were out walking (baring in mind he used to actively avoid other dogs). A couple of days later he started to have a giddy fit, running up and down the stairs, and my partner put his leg out to avoid Ozzie knocking our little boy over, he tried to attack my partner’s leg – Ozzie’s owner. This made us have to make our decision to unfortunately have to put Ozzie to sleep. He was having too many episodes that made him not himself.
    We feel like we have made the right decision for Ozzie, but it’s so hard to deal with the guilt and questions of have we done the right thing. We feel we noticed the signs that Ozzie was unhappy and struggling and had to make this decision before we were forced to (for example, he attacked another dog or person).
    It’s so hard as there is not a lot of information out there for this type of decision. This thread has helped me though. Thank you.

    • So sorry to read this, you must be devastated at the moment.
      Our circumstances were similar in that Sam was only 4 years old and had started showing aggression to family members, who he had known and been loved by for a couple of years.

      It really hits home to you what the risks to others are when they feel the need to show aggression to those closest.

      You may often think “what if we had tried this” or “why didn’t we do that” but then you will remember your reasons for making this tough decision in the first place.

      I still do this in my head, 4 years on, but one bad choice made by a dog that isn’t comfortable could be devestaing for another family.

      It will become easier to live with but takes time…..

      • Thanks for this – I feel like there was nothing out there to say that others have been in the same position.
        I do think it’s more the questioning of yourself and whether it was the right thing, but then I think – was he happy?
        Thanks again.

  33. My sister has a pet dog. I think it is about 12 years old already. She called me last night saying that her dog looks stressed and very weak, and she is planning to euthanize it to stop the agony that it is in. However, she doesn’t know when is the right time. So it really helped when you suggested listing five of the favorite activities of the dog. If it doesn’t want to do anything out of it, then it means that he is ready to go. I will share this article with my sister to help her understand more. Thanks!

  34. I have my Jack who is nearly 10. He has been epileptic since he was three. He fits that we see once a month Ruth a couoke of seizures in a row. But he has aged recently, and become snappy. He bit abd bruised my older daughters arm and I am worried he might hurt again. The vet says he may have cushings disease after his last check up but I don’t want to go down the route of more tests. He seems down and lathagic and I wonder if now is the time to let him go. But there is no advice and vets just recommend more tests. It’s so tricky to know what is best. 😔

  35. Thank you for writing this.

  36. I am so heartbroken….in July 2018, I took in a little shitzu named Zoey…her owners had abandoned her in a kill shelter because they couldn’t take care of her medical needs…fortunately a rescue stepped in and got her out of the shelter. She had glaucoma in both eyes….one was so bad that it had ruptured and was hanging out and the other one was well on it’s way to being as bad. According to the rescue, Zoey was a bit aggressive before she had her eyes removed, and afterwards it intensified. I believe she was abused by her previous owners, and the loss of sight made her fearful of everything including human touch. Even so, I adopted her and was determined to win her trust. Right after I got her, she had a couple of seizures…I took her to the vet and they put her on phenobarbitol. I had been making great strides in winning her confidence….she would let me pick her up when it was on her terms, and she would let me pet her when it was on her terms….but she would snap and try to attack without any warning. Fast forward to today…..4 seizures last night, and her demeanor recently has been back sliding so I believe she’s been having seizures during the day that I’m not aware of. She has bitten me twice recently and they are hard bites, so now I’m leary of trying to pick her up or touch her. I feel like she has had so many seizures that it has damaged her brain, or may she had brain damage first and it caused the seizures. I’m grappling with the quality of life thing right now….I can’t even pick her up to take her outside to potty…..she has started attacking my other dogs if they bump into her…..I can’t give her any affection. All I can do is talk to her and tell her I love her. I feel like I’ve failed her and I don’t know what to do…..I know that right now her quality of life suffering. Does anyone have any advice? Words of wisdom? My heart hurts….

    • HI Lori,

      I’m so sorry to read your story but you have not failed her, you were there when nobody else was.

      You’re so right when you question her quality of life as that is so important.

      Could you discuss her with your vet and see what they say.

      In your situation I would, personally, let her go so that she is at peace but no matter what you decide, you have not let her down.

      Feelings of guilt and regret afterwards can’t be avoided but you have to keep reminding yourself about the valid reasons why you made the decisions that you do.

      Take Care

  37. Nathalie O'Callaghan

    Hi, I made the decision to have my darling 15 year old border collie, Tori, put down yesterday morning, after the previous night’s seizures. I feel so sad since and am sorely feeling the loss of her.
    I woke in the early hours of Sunday morning to a loud noise of something knocking in the sitting-room. When I got up to investigate, I came upon Tori in mid-seizure. It was frightening to behold as she’d never had one before. For an elderly dog, she had good energy and had been well. I stayed with her until the fit had passed and rang the vet on call at 3 o’c, who advised me to keep her calm. Tori then paced around the room in a disorientated manner and eventually settled. But a little while later, she had another seizure and then another and was distressed. I called the vet again at 7.30 who told me to bring her in. My eldest son came in the car with me and Tori lay exhausted in the back with her head on his lap. The vet was very kind and gently helped me to make the heart-breaking decision to end her suffering as she wasn’t going to recover from this. I know I made the right decision for Tori but the void she has left is breath-taking. She has been in my children’s lives for ever, they are so lucky to have had her as part of our family.
    As sad and bereft as I feel right now, I am grateful I was able to be with her in her hour of need. It could easily have happened while we were at work or some other time while she was alone. I am thankful for small mercies.
    For others who are suffering such a loss, you are not alone and we must be positive and remember the happy memories, of which there are plenty. 💛

    • Thank you. Basically same. Cuddling my little guy… Deciding if is the decision I need go with… Ver said I need to think about quality of life.. I just can’t imagine that… I know I am probably being selfish… But, what if hepulled through

      • Me and my ex partner rescused our SBT Poppy when she was 16 weeks old. She hadnt had the best start, we nearly lost her when she was 18 months as she was loosing weight, the vets diagnosed her with EPI just before it was too late. We managed to get this under control then a year later the epilepsy started.

        She had her first seiszure when she was about 2.5 years….it was terrifying….I thought she was passing away as she stiffened up after froffing at the mouth and thrashing around…then she bounced back up with temporary blindness. We raced her to the vets and she was diagnosed with idopathic epilepsy and put on phenobarbital.

        She would have seiszures weekly initially…they turned to cluster seizures very quickly….they averaged around 4 seizures in a 24 hour period once a month. We had endless trips to the vets…increased meds….we tried homeopathic remedies….we tried every diet under the sun….we tried to rule out things that caused the seizures but there were no patterns. I tried CBD oil which lengthened the time between but I found the longer she went between seizures, the worse they would be when she eventually had one. We would increase meds which would initially increase the time between episodes but it would slowly decline until we tried the next treatment or increased dosage.

        It was as if she needed to have a seiszure in order for her brain to reset, she would get really tired and lethargic leading upto an episode then once it was over she would bounce back to her usual self for a week or two then start declining again.

        We had to isolate her to one room when we left the house and at night so that she wouldnt hurt herself or fall down stairs whilst having episodes. The fear and anxiety of not knowing when an episode would start took over our lives for the first few years however we learnt how to deal with it although it was never easy.

        Poppy would urinate and defecate during her seizures….her saliva would be everywhere from the thrashing around as her seizures were so violent. Usually there would be blood in the saliva as she would bite her tongue. Once her seizure was over she would pace around for about 45mins before settling….after the clean up of her, her bedding and the floor/walls (she would pace through urine, faeces and saliva)….the next seiszure would occur and the next…

        It was absolutely awful watching our baby go through this….she was everything to me. She loved long walks in the country but we think the over excitement and the following tiredness helped to trigger the seizures which was just heartbreaking.

        7 weeks ago she was having an episode for 4 days….she had a few normal seizures where she snapped out of it after but then she was having small ones…pacing around and really not coming out of her seizure mode…I took her to the vets and left her in whilst they sedated her, they added keppra to her phenobarb and said it should help stop the clusters. I have not wanted to add more drugs as they have such a detrimental affect to her but this episode was so bad and out of the ordinary I felt it was my only option due to the constant fear that the next episode would kill her.

        It was Poppys 8th birthday last Saturday 15/08/20…me and my partner and his children spoilt her all weekend….they ran with her in the park chasing her around, we gave her steak for tea…lots of hugs and attention but then on Monday she started with another episode like the last….the keppra wasnt working. She wasnt coming round and although she had her good days….she was eating….always up for a good walk…..I couldnt live with the anxiety of not knowing when/if the next seizure was going to kill her.

        I had her euthanised on Tuesday night during her episode. I am overwhelmed with guilt. I loved Poppy more than anything….I had been thinking about my options for for the last couple of years. Poppy had started taking herself off on a night and sitting by herself….she was ageing quickly and just wasnt the dog she used to be. I know age will always play a part but worrying that she would die mid-seizure or have permanent brain damage was just too much to cope with and I had exhausted my options other than increasing meds again or waiting it out.

        I have tried to justify my actions but the guilt is awful. At the time I felt I needed to to do it but I think this was more for my benefit than hers. I could have given her longer, more walks, treats etc but I didnt and I have to live with that. The stress was getting on top of me and I gave her all of my love for 8 years but I couldnt cope with the seizures getting worse and pumping her with more meds….I feel she was on the downhill….but she hadnt given up yet and its killing me knowing that I had and that I may have made the decision too soon. It was right for me but was it right for her. I couldnt face bringing her home from the vets to go through it again and maybe lose her during a seizure or to brain damage.

        I held her until the end and she was quiet and calm there was no one in the surgery as it was 8.30pm at night and covid meant no people around so it was really personal and the lady on the phone when I called said they had put their family dog down for the same reason and for all of this I just felt the time was right. You will hang on to anything if it helps you make such an awful decision.

        People comfort me by saying she might not have come out of the seizure on Tuesday and shes no longer in pain but the vets say they dont feel pain from seizures because they dont know whats happening and I imagine that they could have got her out of the episode….so these words just arent helping me.

        I had fought it for so many years trying to find a solution but knowing now that it was getting worse and she was getting older (average life for a dog with clusters is 8) and that I could no longer snap her out of it without getting to the vets was the breaking point.

        I didnt want to ‘arrange’ euthanasia because I couldnt bare her greeting and wagging her tail at the vet for them to then put her to sleep. It had to be when she was out of it during an episode….or when it was too late but I will now never know when that would have been.

        I feel numb…I dont feel any better for writing it down I just need reassurance from anyone going through the same thing that I am not alone.

        I hope my experience may help other people with their decision….im sure I will come to terms with it in time but right now all I want is my baby back.

  38. 6 months ago the vet put out Beautiful Boy to sleep , he wasn’t even 3 years old . The fits were horrendous, violent and in clusters. Medication didn’t really offer much to help them , I was so tired looking after him And felt so bad he had to go through so much confusion after each episode. But now he’s gone I just want him back , I love him so much and I just want him here . I’ve cried for 6 months , when will it get easier.

  39. Scot Richardson

    All comments and perspectives above are awesome. We have a 3 year old german sheppard/wolf mix, a gorgeous tall black dog with golden eyes, very majestic. Last April he had his first seizure which absolutely scared us to death. then slowly about every 4-5 weeks he would go thru cluster seizures 3-5 in a 24 hour period. We have had him to 3 vets, blood work, scans, etc have all come back negative. After one of his clusters and he was back to normal, he had another cluster 2 weeks later of 8 seizures with in 24 hours. He has never had flea or tic meds, but we have him on CBD and Valium. Fast forward to yesterday, typically his seizures would start somewhere from 1am to 3am, now they are totally random during the day with no sings they are coming. As of 4:32 pm, since yesterday he has had a total of 10, his diet has never changed, he is on no flea or tick meds. We currently had him on CBD oil and Valium, but I have not noticed any change what so ever. His recoveries are taking longer, and the look on hos face is total confusion to almost scary. We have now started to contemplate having him put down. He has not nipped or attacked anyone yet, however, we frequently have grandkids over, and the seizures also seem to stress out or other dog, to the point of whimpering and crying. I is becoming a very hard decision for us to make.

  40. I Had a miniature Golden doodle that was the most precious dog I have ever owned. I had to put him down yesterday and my heart is breaking . He had seizures for eight years and they were getting worse, I was afraid they would cause brain damage. I feel so guilty because he may have had several years left but I couldn’t stand to see him go through them every night. I tried every medication out there but nothing seemed to help. I’m a single women and he brought me much happiness and comfort. I will never forget those sweet brown eyes… Reading others stories has brought some comfort but the pain remains.

  41. Muzette Pitchford

    I so happy that I found this article. It has helped to read that I’m not alone in heartbreaking decisions of euthanizing a beloved pet. On yesterday I had to make that difficult decision as my sweet girl Coco had been having seizures for a year. She was a 20lb 4yr old miniature poodle and meds were not controlling her seizures. From Sunday to Tues she had a total of 12 seizures. I was so tired of seeing her little body go through such trauma and they would only get worse. The vets had said it was nothing else they could do and I had maxed out my savings with emergency vet bills and meds. I loved her so much, she was my shadow, everywhere I went she went too, if I stopped she layed at my feet. I hope she knows what I did was out of my love for her!!! Run free in doggy heaven Coco…

  42. We had our dog beau put down 16th Dec 2018 , how I still hurt inside wondering wether we made the right decision, beau was 12 year old lab collie cross, he was full of energy in his younger years, but the best, he was so well behaved with us and our tribe of grandchildren, to this day I still cry my eyes out, how much I truly miss him, he started having seizures, they became more regular, the second day he had them again lasting longer each time, we took him to the vet and they gave him the once over, and suggested it would be kinder to him to be put to sleep, my wife agreed, but I could not bring myself to agree, it was so sudden and quick, I asked why we couldn’t do anything and was told it was more than likely a brain tumour, I wish we insisted they carry out further tests but you seem to trust what they say, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, holding my best friend who seemed so helpless, I cuddled our beau till he took his last breath, I’ve never cried so much in my life, I feel guilt and to blame, i always doubt our disision and always will, we buried his ashes in our garden along with his special toys, I have a plaque on the wall above where we buried him, this spot was where he loved digging and laying in the hole to cool down in the summer months, I’m hoping this helps writing this down, but after over a year I’m still empty inside, love you always my little beau, RUN FREE FELLA , RUN FREE X ricky

  43. I am up in the air about this right now as we speak.. Out of the blue my 5 year old chihuahua/Pom mix had a seizure. Around 3-4 in less than 24 hours. Got shipped to Hospital ER. They put him on every med they could to help. Sent me home. I felt like he was doing 35% better. Went without one for 4 days.. Out of nowhere he started biting his tongue, twitching his mouth, and foaming every 40 seconds. Rushed in back to ER. And they gave his dizapam again.. They said there’s really no more they can do and I need to think about quality of life. We brought him home. And within 1 hour he was having mini seizure again..
    He hasn’t been the same…
    I’m stuck. I don’t know what to do..
    The Doctor told me the precious time we were there that quality of life might be an option..
    I love my dog. It’s my 9yr olds best friend…
    I can’t stand to see him suffer. But my “ what if” are there… But, I ask my self. How many “ what if’s” can I go through.

  44. Cortnie Bouchard

    Hi my name is cortnie .I’m crying over this article. My 10 lb pom is 14. And he has seizures every day. This week there was one day that he had 2. I have had pepper since he was a small baby. And I’m so scared to say goodbye. And I don’t want to do it so soon. Hid days consistent of taking his meds and sleeping most of the day. I don’t know when the right time will be. All through this article has opened my eyes alot to seizures, he is my rock
    He holds me together when I can’t do it myself. I’m so scared.

  45. I put my best friend, down today! The hardest and most painful thing that I’ve experienced in my life. He got sick with Valley Fever and was recovering with medication but he had a seizure yesterday, which scared me and him! They offered seizure medication, she wanted to wait and I agreed. He had another seizure this morning, while taking him for his happy ride in the truck. It was devastating for me to see him in this state and drove him straight to the vet. She found a heart murmur. I did not want him on seizure medication for the rest of his life. My 12 year old golden was scared and hapless after his second seizure in 12 hours. I made the decision to let him go, and now my life has been turned upside down with heartbreak. I feel I did the right thing for him and me. The procedure seemed painless for him, but I was a crying mess. 70 year old man broken, from the loss of the best friend I will ever have. It’s just not easy.

  46. I had my beautiful Aussie Kashmir euthanased yesterday. Even before it was over, I knew I had done the wrong thing. I’m frightened of, and confused by myself as I can’t understand what thought process made me do it. I’m making myself sick. I have not found any difinitive literature that categorically tells me when the prognosis is deemed to be zero. I need to know this. I am not coping without him.

  47. Me and my wife are currently going through this dilema. Our cavilier king charles spaniel, Jenson, is 7 this year and has had seizures for around 2 years now. He was first put onto Epiphen and had the dosage upped and upped, he then got prescribed Libromide on top, and also had the dosage of that upped several times. He suffers from cluster seizures (4-5 in a 24 hour period) and the medication was keeping this at bay to around once a month, which we were told is normal as the medication doesn’t stop them, just reduces them. But now he is back to having them every week again.

    When he has the seizures they completely change him, he doesn’t act himself for around 5-7 days after, he messes himself during the night every night during this period and we are constantly washing him so he is not living covered in his own excrement. Because of how frequent the seizures are now he is only get 1 to 2 good days a week where he is himself. In addition to that, after some seizures he is literally unable to walk for 24 hours, he seems to completely lose control of his limbs and just pulls himself across the floor. He has also recently developed EPI and so has lost a lot of weight due to that and is on B12 and enzyme supliments for this condition.

    Due to all of his health issues and how he is now most of the time, we have had a couple of discussions with our vet regarding euthanizing him. Both times we have been made to feel guilty about suggesting this as he is still a young dog, and on his good days he still seems happy too. We feel he isn’t getting the quality of life he deserves, and I can see the distress it is causing my wife. But if the vet feels he shouldn’t be put to sleep, do we just have to drag this out for him until he passes naturally, regardless of his and our mental well-being?

    • I truly believe you, as the owner, know your pet better than any vet can. Vets can tell you the logic. They can help in so many ways. But until they have seen that fear any experienced that shame and confusion and distress day after day themselves, they are not equipped totally to give you that advice.
      The only warning I have to give you is to consider the devastating emptiness it will leave in your lives. You, like me, have spent every moment caring for your beloved pet, arranging your life around medication, never going on holiday. There pets often have unusually fun characters. Consider the vast emptiness there will be and plan ways to cope before you make the kind decision.

    • My dog was 8 in August and I made the decision to put her to sleep one week after her birthday whilst she was having an episode. She had the same issues as your dog…..cluster seiszures and EPI. She had EPI from about 12 months old and seiszures from 2 years….same patterns and medication as Jenson.

      I didnt regret putting her to sleep although the first few days after were really tough mainly as I read something that I wish I had of seen sooner….it was ‘does your dog still enjoy their 5 favorite things’

      Poppy could still do these things but only some of the time. She wasnt herself anymore, the drugs had taken over. I gave her the best life I could and was happy that I controlled her end in life instead of seeing her pass whilst suffering or having to make the decision whilst under pressure. I had told myself that the next seiszure she has im making the call as there is no way I could make that call whilst she was fully coherent.

      I had the chance to say my goodbyes with Poppy and although it was selfish I had to do it. I couldnt cope anymore….the over whelming grief once it was done was awful but dont detatch or forget your reasons if you do make that decision. Dealing with canine epilepsy is just the hardest thing.

      Luckily when I called my vets the lady on the phone had put her epileptic dog to sleep and suddenly I felt ok to make the decision. Your vets should not be advising you either way, you need to make the best decision for your family.

      My vets just pushed me to increase the drugs when I tried to discuss euthanasia so I realised that I would need to make the decision without their input.

      I felt awful after thinking about Poppy still enjoying her 5 favorite things but that part of her life was not the full picture although I couldnt see beyond this immediately, time really is a great healer. I beat myself up for months but now I look back at the happy times and think she might of had a couple more years but to what extent, I was just prolonging the inevitable when the cons outweighed the pros. I certainly didnt think the aftermath through at the time but im ok with it now.

      I hope this helps.

  48. Pingback: Your Dog Is Aggressive. What Are Your Options?

  49. Charles OSteen Sr

    My Partner and I, during covid 19, contracted the virus 2x, lost almost everything including our business and some of our health…. now we are loosing our so loved and adored “Miss Holly”. She’s a pure blood Pomeranian that’s always been bigger than life, the Boss! Wherever I was, threr was Miss Holly, short for her show name, Holiday Inn of Florida. She was a show Girl before she joined our family but even after, she was featured on our commercials in the Car and Rv Business . Signs were she was getting older, rightfully so, she is 13 years old now however, about 3 months ago, she began several slight seizures a day and now are severe in nature with her passing out in between and we having to revive her and get her breathing again, now happening about 5 times a night, slightly better in the day and for some reason, less intense in the daytime. We cry for days it seems holding her, knowing we should let go but can’t. Trying to get her to a vet and back to work for us but my sugars runing in the 500’s. We are caught in a bad place but love our baby girl so much…. we have lost almost everything of 30 years of
    work, now our dear baby. She’s holding on but 19 hours of sleep with 7 or more seizure is to much for her and the pain and lack of means is too much for us. I am sorry, thanks for listening.

  50. Julia sanchez

    I had to euthanize my 21/2 year old shihtzu she had been to the hospital multiple times having seizures after no answer I was called at work that she was having a seizure and that she wouldn’t stop and it had been 20 minutes I rushed home to her still having a seizure and continued at the hospital the hardest decision I ever had to make and it’s been 3 days and I am so heartbroken and guilty I loved her and miss her so much I got no answers after there was a series of blood work xrays I am still not sure what caused this I felt that they were stringing us along and knew that eventually we would have to make this decision but they neglected to give us the option to make it before she has suffered so much I’m now trying to live wit the guilt of making that decision even if it was the right one I’m still devastated 💔💔

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