People who keep aging/sick animals alive ...I pit you. ( New Improved Lameness)

Ugh. This is one of my pet peeves.

I had an X boyfriend who had a very old cat, Niki. The poor thing was suffering so horribly and he absolutely refused to put her down. His sister and I tried everything we could, the gentle approach, the tough approach, the logical approach. He just wasn’t having it and it was the height of selfishness. Almost broke up with him over it a few times.

It’s wonderful that humans can share so much love for a pet that they will try anything to keep them alive. It’s even more wonderful when they share so much love they’re willing to let a suffering pet go.

I firmly believe it takes more love to do the latter than the former.

Yeah, but it sucks balls to actually have do it. We put down our 14 year old Scottie yesterday. Liver failure from a tumor. No way I’m putting an elderly dog through surgery and chemo.

Whole family over age 4 cried. The 2 and 3 year olds didn’t really grasp the concept.

No, unfortunately. :frowning:

EddyTeddyFreddy-what does it mean that he “foundered?”
Quite honestly, I cannot imagine this. To me, the horror of seeing my beloved pets in pain was far worse than the guilt and sorrow I felt at having to put them down.

The ONLY case, where it was extremely hard, was with Tess. Some of you may recall a few years ago that we had a little kitten with a crippled front leg. It turned out she had peritonitis and had to be put to sleep. (I had a meltdown in the Pit about it, several trolls banned, pretty much a trainwreck). But even in that case, I hated seeing her sick and even then you could see she was starting to have trouble breathing, and her abdomen was swollen to almost twice its size.

With our Westie, Lassie, who was almost fourteen, death came as a relief. One day, she just crashed on us. Kept throwing up over a period of twenty-four hours, and we had to take her to an emergency animal hospital. They put her on pain killers in their ward, and my mom drove back to pick the rest of us up. When we got there, and they brought her into the exam room, it was so obvious she was in pain, even though she was really glad to see us. She was really suffering. While we waited, I started thinking that I just wanted the vet to come in and get it over with, because watching her suffer was just horrible. Death was almost a relief. Yes, it hurt, but it hurt more to see her in pain.

Then, there was Fluffy. I got her when I was six, after my mother’s mean old cat, Meow died of bladder cancer at nine years. Fluffy was there for me through my nightmares (I always felt safer when she slept on my feet at night), she was there when I was getting picked on in 7th grade, when I went through my depression, everything. And then when she was sixteen, she had a stroke that left her blind and increasingly deaf. But, in spite of that, she was still a happy (though demanding and imperious) feline, still begging for the milk from my cereal every morning, and she stayed confined to the kitchen/dining room. (Which she KNEW her way around, trust me!)

But a few months later, one day, my mother came to me and told me that Fluffy had had another stroke. This one left her mostly paralyzed, and my mother didn’t think she’d survive the day. So, we kept her comfortable, wrapped up in one of her favorite blankets, and held her and cuddled her, and made her as warm and comforted as we could.

She went into a coma that evening and died at 2 am the next morning. If she hadn’t, we WOULD have taken her to the vet’s, but we really didn’t want to traumatize her with a visit if we didn’t have to. (Earlier that year she had had a really horrible throat infection as well as several bad teeth and when we took her to the vets, she HATED it. We thought she’d be a goner then, but she rallied and came back, even younger and sprier than ever)

But even though losing her hurt like hell, even though I cried for weeks and even though I’m STARTING to cry just writing this post (and it’s been four years since she passed away), her dying was a relief, because I knew she was out of any pain and misery. No, she wasn’t suffering like Lassie or Tess, but it hurt to see the cat who used to jump from the fridge to the floor without breaking a sweat barely able to move and who fell when she tried to get up to use the litterbox.

So these people, not only are they selfish, but they must not have hearts. At all. At least now I can think of Fluffy jumping up on the counter to steal someone’s lunch. I can remember Lassie wagging her tail and getting all excited when my dad came home from work, or Tess racing around on her three little legs. I don’t have to have those memories replaced by them gasping out their last breaths and whimpering in pain.

(Sorry if this is long-winded, but it’s a subject that really irritates me.)

This seems to be contradictory on the face of it. What kind of cancer kills without pain and suffering that could have been alleviated by helping the animal die a little sooner?

Not that I’m being too self-righteous here, i didn’t pull myself together to put down my cocker spaniel until a point that was certainly mere hours before her natural death would have occurred, given that she was hemorrhaging internally and her skeletal frame was suddenly carting around a pregnant looking belly full of blood.

But that was a hideous and painful “Snap out of it!” sort of lesson, one I only needed to learn once.

I agree. And you will know when he stops enjoying life. Our black lab, Dreyfus, lived to be 14 years old. He had arthritis and couldn’t take any of the meds because they really uspet his stomach. My husband built little ramps for him here and there so he could continue to get to all the spots he enjoyed without hurting his hips. That worked fine for a couple of years and he really enjoyed himself. Became a grand old man. Then he started falling and having a hard time getting up and, although he continued to eat, he approached it like a chore…almost like he was doing it for us. After he fell one morning and my husband had to help him get up we worried that he would fall when we were not home. We all went together with him to the vet when we had him put down. It was really hard but none of us regret it. Dreyfus was a good ole dog.

A favorite memory of Dreyfus: He loved to eat my flowers. He even ate the plastic daisy off the mat my husband had in front of his storage shed in the side yard. My daughter and I were looking out into the backyard one day and I commented that Dreyfus seemed to have grown out of liking to eat my flowers. He was laying on the deck with his back to us. I knocked on the glass door to get his attention and when he turned around to look we noticed that he had a big, bright fushia hibiscus blossom hanging on the side of his mouth. Looking very innocent, I might add.

Guin, “foundered” means he got laminitis, an inflammation of the tissue around the hooves. It can range from very mild, with few after-effects, to making the hoof slough. From the sound of it, this little guy had a fairly bad case and now has residual pain in his hooves and legs, especially when it’s cold.

As for the OP, I go through the exact same rant at least once a week in my head. The ones I really, really hate are the ones who accept that the animal is dying, but want them to “go peacefully at home.” I got news for you, ass-nozzle, your dog is slowly drowning because of the fluid backing up in her lungs. She’s not going to die a peaceful death, happy because she’s at home. She’s going to die gasping for air, frightened and in pain, too busy fighting for air to give a shit where she is. She’s going to die a slow, horrible death and it’s all your fault, you selfish cunt.

ahem Sorry, it’s not been a very good week for this sort of thing at work.

I would have less of a problem with allowing a consenting human to end his / her life, than killing an animal without his / her consent.

Sorry, but unless Peanut states that he wants his life to end, killing him is not the “right” thing to do. Yes, his suffering is going to end and you have the legal right to request putting him to sleep, but I daresay you don’t have the moral right.

Anyway, my dog is 15.75 years old and if he makes it to 16, he’s going to be very lucky. He can hardly see anymore, he can hardly hear anymore and he doesn’t run anymore. Instead he is walking at a very deliberate pace.
Yet, when I was away in Canada and thought I might not see him again, being away for 4 months, he wagged his tail when I came back and he noticed that I was back (fortunately his nose is still working and he can tell people apart by their individual scent.) He still enjoys life and even though everyone around me pressures me to kill him already, I don’t see how I can do that on a good conscience. Let nature run its course, eventually he’ll die of old age.

Unless you’re suggesting that the owner is the only one who can make that decision, you’re way off here. Our pets can’t consent to vaccinations or other health care either, and they certainly don’t consent to being forbidden to cross the road, yet we do that all the time. Often you can easily tell that they don’t want a vaccination, yet we do it still. Do you have a justification for that as well?

The last ferret I put down was suffering from a heart condition as well as damage from an intestinal disease that was ravaging her body. The vet told me she was terminal, it was just a matter of how good her life was until I made the decision that her suffering outweighed her life. I had to help her go to the bathroom a few times a day by pressing down in a certain way on her belly. I had to give her medicine 4 times a day. She grew slower and weaker. She began leaking diarrhea on occasion. My husband and I decided each day whether her “quality of life” was sufficient. One morning I absolutely had to go to work, and when I looked in the cage, I hoped she would pass away peacefully during the day, she looked so miserable.

When I got home, I saw her and began weeping right away. She was nearly covered in bloody diarrhea, trembling, and just looked awful. Her cagemate was backed away - a rare sight, they loved to sleep next to each other - and trembling too. I carefully took my sick ferret out, gave her a gentle bath, and held her in a towel. My husband and I drove to the vet, and the vet confirmed that nothing could be done to help her. Finally, her suffering was over.

To this day, the only thing I regret was not skipping that day of work instead of leaving her there with this sick feeling inside that she was far too ill. It was my duty as her owner to help end that pain.

When I was a child, our first dog had cancer, and perhaps something else too. I remember that the muscles in her hind legs had atrophied to the point where she dragged them uselessly behind her. She whimpered every time her head was touched. Getting around was obviously painful and exhausting. The cancer was inoperable. I cried over losing her (as I still do when a pet dies), but my mother explained about how much pain she was in, which I could see even then. I understood but I wasn’t less sad.

For your dog’s sake, I do hope he dies peacefully in his sleep without suffering from some awful disease first. Not seeing, not hearing, and still walking around fine doesn’t sound that horrible to me personally, but there are far worse things our animals can contract.

The last thing I would ever do is be cruel to an animal.

My family has been lucky. We seem to have animals that go on forever. The current cat (well the family cat…but she’s still kind of mine) is a product of the mid 80’s. She loves jumping off the roof onto the deck, her old legs don’t like the jump so much. Everytime I visit mum’s place I cringe when I watch the cat do her death defying leap, her old legs ain’t as sound as they once were. The back legs miss the deck railing and she scrabbles to regain her grip. Then she has to sit and recover. Oneday she will miss and land two storeys down.

She has very few teeth left and watching her eat dinner is kind of amusing actually. She is down to about tablespoon or two of food in the evening but still comes looking for cheese at lunchtime. She dribbles like a tap when she is happy (no teeth to hold the saliva in). She walks a bit stiffly but still waddles to give the dog a “kiss”.

Oneday she will die and hopefully she will die like her daughter did (under a bed in her sleep 18 months ago) but if she gets sick and needs medical help then we will provide it.

Our 23 yr old poodle/border collie/lab FAT dog was on all kinds of meds for several years before she died (at home). The dog prior to her was 21 and completely blind (for 4 years) and arthritic. She also went to sleep in her basket. We knew she had died because even though she wasn’t too fussed with food anymore she could never resist the crinkle of lolly wrappers (candy).

Her slightly younger “sister” (no relation. German Shep X) died 6 months before. We did rush her to the vets at 2 am cause she had rectal bleeding and couldn’t stand. She stayed the night at the vets and he said that while he didn’t know what was wrong with her it didn’t look good. We bought her home and she died mid cuddle.

I don’t believe in being cruel to animals but I hope every single person that advocated putting animals down also supports euthanasia. It is incredibly wrong to put Fluffy to sleep whele Grandma is suffering more.

Animals dies daily…shit every minute without people intervention, very often in pain. They go when they are ready. Because you love Fluffy they should be on different rules from other animals?..or people?

For the third time, I don’t want to see any animal suffer but I think “putting an animal down” is more about alleviating human pain. We feel bad seeing them suffer. We also feel bad seeing Grandma suffer…we can’t put her to sleep though.

Given the choice between Grandma in agony or pussy cat in agony I would chose to end the pain for one wayyyyyyy before the other. Unfortunately the one I would chose isn’t legal. I believe it should be legal. It is said that it isn’t legal because we need to protect those who can not protect themselves. Why afford such a kindness to animals if we can’t afford the same kindness to our loved ones?

Animals in my house will receive all they need to live pain free lives…but they will die when their time is up. The very same way as any member of my family.

Before you put your animal to sleep ask yourself if this cat were Grandma what would you do?

Neither can our children. We vacinate them and they weep and wail, we nver ask their permission though. We can’t put them to sleep though.

Animals are EATEN (sorry I just felt like “shouting”) everyday. By us and other animals, I don’t believe they sign permission slips first.

My child is just about to turn 13, if he needs to go to doctor we wil decide that between us, when he was 6 mths old he got the jab because I took him. This has nothing to do with the end of life.

I’m a vegetarian, and I also support legal euthanasia for humans. (I have no control over predatory animals of the wild, however, whatever that has to do with the discussion.) I also would hope that were I in a situation where I could not give consent but was only being kept alive by machines and stood little to no real chance of recovering, my husband would be able to have the plug pulled and let me go. Animals similarly cannot give consent, just as infants can’t. We have to make decisions for them at times, and when it’s a choice between letting an animal linger on with no decent quality of life and a peaceful euthanasia, I listen to my vet’s analysis of the situation and make the choice as needed.

My vet talked about euthanasia with me while we were putting down the ferret I mentioned above. Her eyes got a bit moist as she talked about watching a beloved uncle wither away in a hospital bed, suffering from a terminal disease that I don’t recall now (might have been cancer, I’m not sure). He was in restraints because he kept trying to remove the equipment that was pretty much the only thing keeping him alive. People refer to inhumane treatment of animals, but we show great inhumanity in not letting our own species pass out of this life with some measure of dignity.

I have no sympathy for people who want a pet put to sleep when it becomes “inconvenient” or requires a little extra medicine or something. But there are cases where it is obvious that no further veterinary intervention can do anything worthwhile to the animal.


I give her one Aleve in a Snausage. I think it is actually the Snausage that has the magical powers, but one never knows.

I give her one Aleve in a Snausage. I think it is actually the Snausage that has the magical powers, but one never knows.

Be very careful about giving things like ibuprofen (Motrin, etc) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) or acetominophen (Tylenol) to dogs. They can be toxic. There’s apparently a fairly small margin of safety for ibuprofen and naproxen. They can apparently cause stomach ulcers or kidney problems.

Of course there’s a quality of life issue here. Do you give the OTC meds (or more expensive prescription meds like Rimadyl that can also have bad side effects) and hope for the best, or do you leave the animal in pain? That’s the hard question.

It is the hardest thing to let go…especially a pet. For some reason, at least for me, it’s the furry ones passing on that hitch my breath. I have put down 2 dogs in the recent past and it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.

I think with the first one, who had a tumor in her neck, I may have waited a bit too long. She wasn’t in pain, but you could tell the light had left her eyes and she was embarrassed by her condition. Still it tears me up.

Ok, I have to get out of this thread. Obviously, years later it is still too hard. But, before I go I want to tell you and all of you that it is hard, but you can tell when your babe needs you to help them along in life and in death.

In true SDMB fashion I’ll give you more info than you could ever possibly hope to use.

The horse’s hoof actually contains a “pump” mechanism that moves blood throughout the leg as it moves. For this reason, the hoof is actually a blood-rich environment, not hard and solid like many people think. Inside the hard hoof wall is spongy, blood filled tissue (the laminae). At the center of the inside of the hoof is a trapezoidal bone called the coffin bone, which is sort of shaped like a hoof in minature, with the point forward facing towards the toe.

In laminitis, the laminae become inflamed, which is painful in and of itself, like the feeling you have when you’ve slammed your fingernail in a door. Unusual heat can be felt emanating from the affected hooves. Mild cases can be treated by lowering the inflammation with anti-inflammatories and cold water on the hoof. In serious cases, the pressure forces the coffin bone to rotate untill it is positioned point-downward within the foot. At this point the horse adopts a classic standing position – rocked back on its hind legs and heels – known as the “foundering stance.” This is an effort to reduce the downward pressure of the coffin bone. In exteme cases, the coffin bone actually pierces the sole of the foot, or the hoof wall separates from the rest of the foot, and then generally (hopefully) a humane death follows.

Laminitis has many causes. Overeating rich food – especially spring grass – is a common cause. Eating posionous plants is another. Working on hard surfaces (so-called “road founder”) is a third. Horses that have slow thyroid (Cushing’s Disease) and/or are overweight are more prone to foundering than fit horses with good metabolism. Front feet founder more often than hind feet. I’m not sure why.

A horse that has foundered mildly may receive special shoes to support the hoof structures, and their weight and eating habits should carefully monitored (a horse that has foundered once is more likely to founder again.) In many cases they may continue to work at a reasonable level. Some fairly serious cases can be treated sucessfully with a great application of money and expertise.

Ouch. Thanks, Hello Again. Sounds like my position when I had a bad case of Plantars warts.

(Is that why they invented horse shoes? So horses hooves were protected? Does it hurt to put the shoes on?)