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Putting your pet to sleep sooner to save money
Old 12-10-2011, 07:12 PM   #1
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Putting your pet to sleep sooner to save money

I am at the confluence of two events - the decline of my dog's health and a desire to reduce housing costs.

I have a yellow lab that will be 10 years old next May. The vet put her on Rimadyl earlier this year (pain killer for dogs) because she was crying out while getting up. The medicine helped, but she is losing her spark a bit more each day.

I am renting the same house where I relocated two years ago, for one reason...to give my dog a fenced yard. The house is getting a bit old, and I am tired of the yardwork. I could move into a decent apt. or condo and save about $350-$400 per month.

See where I am going with this? I will have to put my dog down someday soon...the question is, sooner or later? Would this make me a bad person?
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:24 PM   #2
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All I can say is tough decision.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:17 PM   #3
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All I can say is tough decision.
+1

I wouldn't do it to save money, but consider the quality of life of our pet.

I don't envy you.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:56 PM   #4
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There are some rescue groups around that will take old dogs. I would rather do that than put one down too soon. People turn them back in all the time because they move or can't afford their pets any longer. Sad, but it happens. Mine came from a rescue group because the owner turned him in for a similar reason.

Below is a lab forum I belong to. You could post your story there and someone in your area might just take her off your hands. But I should let you know, many will frown on your motives.

Labrador Retriever Dogs Chat Forum Board - Dogs, Puppies, Photos, Training, Pictures, Rescue Forums
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:03 PM   #5
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I could not do it myself. I would stay where you are and give your dog the best life he can have. He will thank you for it. Our dog is a big part of our life and I do not want to think what we might have to do one day.Oldtrig
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:35 PM   #6
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I could not do it myself. I would stay where you are and give your dog the best life he can have. He will thank you for it. Our dog is a big part of our life and I do not want to think what we might have to do one day.Oldtrig
+1

That's all I'm going to say on this subject since my mother taught me if you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:43 PM   #7
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I wouldn't do it to save money, but consider the quality of life of our pet.

I don't envy you.
+1

We've had to put down two dogs in the past 5 yrs, the last and most dear one 2 yrs ago. I think we made the right decision at the right time (he had lung cancer) to prevent unnecessary suffering. But, there is not a day that goes by where I don't wonder if he had a few more quality days of life left. That uncertainty haunts me; I could not live with knowing I'd shortened a quality life for him.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:43 PM   #8
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My son just had to put down his almost 14 year old Black Lab. It was a very hard thing to do and quite a few tears were shed. I would never put down an animal just to save money. Please try to take Dawg52's suggestion. Good luck.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:16 PM   #9
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I had a 14 year old poodle that died of cancer a few years ago. The last few months of her life she could do less and less. The final two weeks I would have to carry to the outside. One day I took her out and brought her back in and she lied down and that was it.
I was starting to think about putting her down, but she did not appear to be in much pain and slept quite most of the time so I just waited things out.

I is a difficult choice to make. We had to do it years ago with another dog when the dog was terminal.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:18 PM   #10
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Only you can decide whether it's right or wrong. The pooch won't know he's being put to death, he won't feel betrayed, he trusts you, he'll just go to sleep and die. But you'll know what happened, you'll come home and your friend will be gone, and you'll know what motivated you. Will you be okay with that?

I can build an emotional case against putting the dog to sleep, but I can't build a financial one or one built on logic. I eat meat and I know animals are killed because of me. But I feel very differently about our dog than I do about some anonymous cow.
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:09 PM   #11
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Since your dog is on pain meds, does this mean she has trouble walking or running? If so, maybe you don't have to have a fenced yard. Perhaps you could find a less expensive place to live that will accept pets.
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:06 AM   #12
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See where I am going with this? I will have to put my dog down someday soon...the question is, sooner or later? Would this make me a bad person?
No it doesn't make you a bad person. Only you can decide when to do this. If your dog is not suffering then it seems reasonable to stay put. I can say from experience that when their quality of life degrades there is a point where it is more humane to do the right thing for your friend. It is a hard call.

I'm currently dealing with a very old dog and she is driving me crazy but I feel that I owe it to her to keep her alive as long as she is not suffering... even though I am! I have discussed this with myself and I have come to the conclusion that when the time comes I will have done the right thing both keeping her alive and when to decide to end her life for her best interest. I gave her a great life and there was nothing more any dog could want for so I have comfort in that.

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But you'll know what happened, you'll come home and your friend will be gone, and you'll know what motivated you. Will you be okay with that?
Yeah that's a huge thing. Coming home to an empty house for the 1st time in over 20 years will be hard on me. In many respects the pluses will far out weigh the negatives but it will take getting used to that. She has put me through so much in the past few years I can't say I even want to have another dog, I'm worn out by what's been going on here. So the empty house vs having to deal with this again one day makes me not even want another dog and I am a dog lover.
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:25 AM   #13
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If your pet is in any pain , and not going to get better , now is the time IMHO. Fall and winter are very hard on ill pets. I have had to have a lot of pets put down over the years, and it always is very hard. The last one was a rescue that was 9 with failing kidneys , about 3 weeks ago. ( We got him as a ferrel orphan kitten turned out to be a great companion).

Looking back , I usually waited too long with ill suffering pets. One was the family dog when I was a teenager. He had congestive heart failure. Nobody in the family wanted to take him to the vet to have him put down. he died on his own, and a very hard death. I look back at that with shame . I could have acted to stop his suffering and did not .

I dont think you even need to look at the issue of saving money, if your pet is in pain daily , IMHO it is time.
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Old 12-11-2011, 06:43 AM   #14
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If your pet is in any pain , and not going to get better , now is the time IMHO. Fall and winter are very hard on ill pets. I have had to have a lot of pets put down over the years, and it always is very hard. The last one was a rescue that was 9 with failing kidneys , about 3 weeks ago. ( We got him as a ferrel orphan kitten turned out to be a great companion).

Looking back , I usually waited too long with ill suffering pets. One was the family dog when I was a teenager. He had congestive heart failure. Nobody in the family wanted to take him to the vet to have him put down. he died on his own, and a very hard death. I look back at that with shame . I could have acted to stop his suffering and did not .

I dont think you even need to look at the issue of saving money, if your pet is in pain daily , IMHO it is time.
I agree that the money is a distraction. You could end up putting your dog through pain because you are ashamed of your ambivalent motivations. Try to look at it from the dog's quality of life viewpoint. If she seems to be comfortable on the Rimadyl give her time. If she is in constant pain better to let her go sooner than later. I expect that Labs are similar to Golden's (I have had four) and don't show pain until it is pretty severe. I would consult with the vet on this and try to maximize her comfortable life, not stretch it into chronic pain.
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:11 AM   #15
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I could not do it myself. I would stay where you are and give your dog the best life he can have. He will thank you for it. Our dog is a big part of our life and I do not want to think what we might have to do one day.Oldtrig
+1

We've had 5 dogs (usually 2 at a time), and every one of them brought joy to our lives every day. In exchange, we expected to keep them in good health for as long as possible. That includes gladly making accommodations when they get older, we have a 15-1/2 year old now.

Saving money wouldn't enter into the decision for us.

I had to put down a dog once, and it was awful. I would not do it until there was no alternative, it would haunt me thereafter if I did...YMMV
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:32 AM   #16
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We had a 15 year old whippet that had arthritis in her spine that made it difficult for her to stand up. One day she laid down and was paralyzed but otherwise ok as far as no pain and disposition. I took her to the vet who said there were treatments that would last several mnonths in the kennel and may or may not work. Faced with the huge cost of this and the fact that she would be away from home for a long time, I made the decision to put her down. She had a good life and died in my hands. I have to admit that the cost was the over riding factor in the decision as it stood but had cost not been an issue, then in all likelihood I would have had her put to sleep just based on quality of life (hers and ours).

I think you should consider your and your dog's quality of life in your decision.
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:14 AM   #17
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One idea to save money in this situation might be to see if any of your pet's medications are available from a regular pharmacy. One of my cats will be on a prescription for the rest of his life and it cost $30 per month at the vet's office. I talked to the pharmacist at my local big box store and got the prescription transferred over - the exact same medication cost $4 per month at the big box pharmacy.
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:23 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Gerbil Wheel View Post
See where I am going with this? I will have to put my dog down someday soon...the question is, sooner or later? Would this make me a bad person?
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Only you can decide whether it's right or wrong.
But you'll know what happened, you'll come home and your friend will be gone, and you'll know what motivated you. Will you be okay with that?
No matter how "ready" you think you are for the death of your pet, when it happens you won't be ready. But I'm very glad I was there.

I think one concern over this issue is how we'll feel when someday we're laying in a hospital bed and the family's gathered around to have a conversation about whether or not to put us down: "They're a good parent, and they've had a good life, but I don't know how much longer we can afford this..."
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:32 AM   #19
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I put a cat down last year, she had kidney failure. I think I waited too long, at the end she was on anti nausea and anti pain meds, but she took a steep downturn which is when I knew it was time. I wasn't ready before that, long story. The meds/weekly subcutaneous IVs were not that cheap (30 Euro/week) but not so prohibitively expensive so as to end her life for cost reasons. I would have felt horrible and lived with regret if I had put her down sooner.

This is a rule of thumb I have heard on "when it's time" and I think it's a good one: choose your pet's three most favorite activities in the world. When he/she can no longer perform two of these activities without reasonable assistance (pain meds), it's time. My cat couldn't walk, couldn't eat, couldn't drink, couldn't even hold her head up. It was time.

On Rimadyl, we get ours from http://www.allivet.com/ - try them. We have a Bernese Mtn Dog with arthritis, but she seems to do well with just a half tablet daily, though the prescribed dose is 2 pills. We up the dose when we think she's in more pain than normal. She's old so we're just trying to keep her comfortable now. She seems to be just fine on the Rimadyl, has been on it for years.

If it was me, I wouldn't do it. I would just feel horrible, but then 10 years is a decently long life, would tearing her away from the only family she knows really be better? I wouldn't give her away, I don't think. I would try to keep her, but if I refused to do that, I'd probably put her down.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:53 AM   #20
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We had to have our 14+ year old poodle put to sleep earlier this year. One of the hardest things we have ever done. I made the appointment on Friday afternoon for the following morning. It was the longest 16 hours of my life. He couldn't eat, drink or sleep the last 24 hours. I lay with him that night trying to comfort him. That morning he start convulsing. We couldn't get to the Vet fast enough (had to wait for the office to open). The process was very gentle and he passed within seconds in my arms. He is now buried with love in our back yard on the bluff. We too struggled with the decision to put him down that I fear we waited too long. Still feel guilty - it is such a difficult decision to make. I miss him every day....

Good luck with your decision. Don't let others pressure you or make you feel guilty. It is your decision and only you know what is right for you and your dog.
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