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When to put dog down?

We have an almost 6-year old boxer mix. We've known she has arthritis for about 2 years- last year she had knee surgery (to the tune of $1600), been on regular Glucosamine supplements AND we've switched her food. For the last year things have been better and she has hardly limped at all.. but in the past couple of days, she's not using that leg at all-- for the past 24 hrs we've had to carry her outside so she can do her business and inside just lays on her bed. There are other treatments we can try (that are expensive!!) … since arthritis can't be cured.. how long to we continue to spend money trying to make her comfortable… and how do we know when it's time to put her down? We love her & don't want her to suffer… but we also are on limited funds and can't continue to spend money month after month. Any advice?? IF we spend money on expensive treatments that would probably make her comfortable for a while...

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Asked by britneycarolyn at 10:53 AM on Nov. 26, 2013 in Pets

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • We had a lab that would blow out his knee when he would run too much in the back yard. It would sometimes take up to a week for his leg to be well enough to walk on without much of a limp. Since your dog also has arthritis, it might take longer.

    If you are worried about her suffering, it's best to talk to the vet about her current condition and ask about her quality of life. They would be the best source to help you make this kind of decision.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 11:05 AM on Nov. 26, 2013

  • We have a 3 yr old GSD, and if he plays too hard his hips hurt him, so he lives on aspirin every day.... I couldn't imagine putting him down this young. We don't want him to suffer, but once he rests up for a couple days he's back to normal...

    I would do what QuinnMae said, and consult your Vet. They would know what's best to do.

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 11:21 AM on Nov. 26, 2013

  • Talk to the vet. S/he will be more knowledgeable about your pet's health than we could possibly be. To me though, 24 hours isn't enough time to make that judgment call yet.

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 11:57 AM on Nov. 26, 2013

  • Well, I'm not thinking of putting her down just yet- just wondering if anybody had tried anything in particular that works. Our vet said we could try another surgery… or try steroids or acupuncture…or take her to a special place for hydrotherapy. But, then they also say nothing will "fix" the issue, it will just help with the inflammation, etc. I asked about aspirin and they said they don't ever recommend giving a dog aspirin (even though I know lots of people that have?) Not sure if I should get another opinion from a different vet? I just feel like there has to be SOME sort of less expensive medicine/option than acupuncture, etc that we haven't tried?

    Comment by britneycarolyn (original poster) at 12:35 PM on Nov. 26, 2013

  • I would definitely talk to the vet. Trying all those treatments is all well and good, but if it's not really going to help, if it's just all temporary stop gaps, like putting a hand over a gaping wound where you stop the bleeding but only for the moment, it might not really be fair to the dog. But I also wouldn't jump straight to putting her down, either - look at all the people who live with arthritis. Many of them have bad days and good days, maybe that's all it is with her. She's having some bad days right now, maybe next week she'll be...well, not fine, but as fine as she can be, given the circumstances. I would definitely find out from the vet what he thinks would be best for the dog - not best for his wallet. Maybe even get a second opinion from a vet who knows that you won't use them to do whatever they recommend, so you can get an unbiased opinion if you think your vet will tell you to try things just for the money.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 1:28 PM on Nov. 26, 2013

  • We just put my old guy on Rimadyl. I had to increase him to 1/2 twice daily, but he's doing great now! Have you asked about that instead of the Glucosamine supplements?

    Answer by m-avi at 1:37 PM on Nov. 26, 2013

  • And to answer your question.... I would put a dog down if it were in pain that I was unable to cure.

    Answer by m-avi at 1:38 PM on Nov. 26, 2013

  • Consult your vet.

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 2:46 PM on Nov. 26, 2013

  • It's a personal decision, based on a lot of issues, both financial and ethical. Talk to your vet. There are a lot of inexpensive options, Rimadil being oe. My Labrador is on it now, to the tune of half a tablet a day, and it has decreased her pain in a way I never would have imagined.

    Answer by Ballad at 2:47 PM on Nov. 26, 2013

  • Truthfully it is all up to you. How much money are you willing to spend on a dog. That you know will not ever be much better.
    You spent more then I would have.

    Answer by louise2 at 3:24 PM on Nov. 26, 2013

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