German Shepherd Dog > Costly medical procedures vs. humane euthanization (40 replies)
by GSDguy08 on 03 May 2012 - 15:02
|You know you're tired when you read "costly medical procedures vs human euthanization"|
by Hundmutter on 03 May 2012 - 16:43
|A lot of the much-touted procedures for serious terminal conditions only buy you /your dog about three months, not everything will survive for a year and more (though obviously for the lucky few that can happen). So on balance I|
would agree that unless you have money to burn - and perhaps even then, if its a question of giving them extra time but at huge cost of pain etc - you ought let let them go with their dignity intact. Its one thing we CAN do for the animal members of our families that we are not able to do legally for humans.
I once heard a Vet say very eloquently what a privilege he considered it to be able to do this for animals. If your Vet doesnt feel that way, maybe you change your Vet ?
by Keith Grossman on 03 May 2012 - 19:47
|"The hardest thing I've done recently was to let my sweet girl Kali slip away, because I didn't want to torture her with treatments I couldn't explain to her, just because I didn't want to lose her."|
This is what it comes down to for me with something like chemo; the dog's quality of life is diminished, he doesn't understand what's going on, and you're only prolonging the inevitable anyway.
by LynOD on 04 May 2012 - 17:13
|My dads dog was told he should be put down not have and acl surgery(years ago), my dad went to a different vet who did the acl surgery and the dog lived a long happy life working as a field trial dog. Ran until he had a stroke and had to be euthanized at 11 years of age. My current GSD has many health problems all of whicih cost money to keep her alive (EPI, pannus, spondylosis, and a bad right hip) I opted to do a stem cell treatment(3,000) on her whcih didn't work and now 3 years later they are recommending a hip replacement to the tune of 4500.00. I am not doing it. I am considering an FHO so she won't have alot of pain as she continues to age. She is 91/2 am I a bad owner for not shelling out the 4500.00? My vets have supported the decisions I have made not made me feel guilty for them. Thats what vets are supposed to do. Give you all the info and respect your decision.|
by momosgarage on 04 May 2012 - 19:06
LynOD , have you tried Adequan or Cartrophen yet? I have also heard positive feedback about Gold Bead Implants:
by Rass on 04 May 2012 - 19:24
|I made this decision on more than one occaision and would do so again. I have a financial limit. I had pet insurance on one of my dogs.. and finally canceled it when the dog was spayed and the co-owner was off the papers. |
I have an upper limit I will spend. Period. I will spend more on a young dog with a good prognosis than on an old dog with limited prognosis.. or any age dog with a poor prognosis but will not spend past the limit.
The real difficulty is knowing when to do it. I try to make sure the animal is still feeling pretty good when I take him in knowing full well that this is due to change in hours or days. I try to make sure that Euthanizing is truly "easy death" and do not wait until the animal is in so much pain or is so ill that it is all hard.
Honestly, I want the whole process.. from diagnosis to decision to be hard on ME and NOT hard on my Dog!!!
My dog should NEVER suffer. Ever.
by Spooks on 05 May 2012 - 07:23
|Depending on the severity of the condition the dog has been diagnosed with, I would seriously consider humane euthanasia and not based on cost as both my dogs are insured.|
About 12 years ago our big and gorgeous GSD was diagnosed with cancer of the spleen. Our vet at the time explained clearly and in depth the options open to us. After deep thought we decided to go with the option to remove the spleen and hope the cancer hadn't spread. There was a 50/50 chance it hadn't and it could prolong his life hopefully for up to a year and if we were really lucky for more than a year.
Sadly we only had another 3 weeks with our boy and the last two weeks were heartbreaking, seeing him suffer not only was he recovering from a major operation but was also fighting the cancer cells that had spread. His eyes would look at me as if he was saying... 'what have you done to me mum?' He could have had his last few weeks/months being looked after/nursed and not having to go through the process of now what I see as an unnecessary operation and he could have passed on with some dignity.
I vowed at the time that if any other dog I owned in the same position and didn't have a not very good prognosis or longevity of life for only weeks/months, I would never put it through treatment that would cause suffering to prolong it's life for a few extra months.
Now 12 years on and if I was faced with the situation I really don't know what I would do... but I can see how people will do anything at whatever the cost to prolong the life of their dogs. I really hope that they take into consideration first and foremost any more suffering their dog might have to endure because they want to prolong it's life.
by Hundmutter on 05 May 2012 - 07:58
|Spooks - I really sympathise, we also've had a splenectomy done, op. apparently successful, then only a few weeks later the dog is riddled with secondaries and has to be pts anyway. On one level "its good to try"; on another you have to ask were the costs both to the dog and your own pocket worth it ?|
My friend & colleague is convinced that opening them up for surgery makes the secondaries metastasize, where they would not have done if you had not disturbed the dogs body systems through operating ! I dunno if theres anything to her theory or not.
I reckon my way of looking at it depends on the age of the dog: if he/she is still relatively young & lively, it doesn't matter what you spend to try to put problems right. But if the dog is getting on in years and maybe doesn't have such a good quality of life, arthitic or whatever, then let it go before it suffers. The very last thing anyone should do, IMO, is to prolong a dogs life just to keep it with them because they can't bear to let it go. Understandable, but selfish.
by Rass on 05 May 2012 - 11:17
Had a cat with cancer. Talked to the Vet. He was honest. He said, "You can spend $5k on chemo and in 5 months your cat will likely die and be sick the whole time.. OR you can give the cat Prednisone, make her comfortable and you will get the same 5 months." I went with the Pred and the cat was happy.. even healthy acting.. for another 2 years.
by Felloffher on 05 May 2012 - 13:58
|We also gave Prednisone to our dog, about 3 weeks after he was presciribed another medication for what our vet thought was a bacterial infection. He never bounced back to 100%, but there was a noticable difference in his energy level for about a month and a half. He just kept trucking along as if nothing was wrong even though he had lost a lot of weight. His health changed over night, he could barely stand up, he was wheezing and he had that look in his eye. We were going to take him to the vet the following day, but he past away in his sleep.|
by Hundmutter on 05 May 2012 - 14:23
|Felloffher, you did what you could / should. Entirely up to you as the owner, no-one else can walk in your shoes, nor should make you feel bad. Sorry for your loss. Remember the good times with this dog ? [Sorry to sound a bit trite, it is sincerely meant.] Linda.|
by LynOD on 07 May 2012 - 17:10
I did try adequan injections no relief. Also did acupuncture nothing so the vet did not recommend gold beads. The xrays from 2 years ago and the new xrays show significant re modeling and arthritic changes huge amount of change in the past couple of years. Not good for her. I did Vet Stem stem cell. She is on Tramadol and Rimadyl as needed for pain.
by momosgarage on 07 May 2012 - 21:38
|LynOD , I know the theme in this thread is "costly medical procedures", but maybe you should ask your vet to try Cartrophen:|
You also still have the Biphosphate by IV option (Tildren for horses), which is similar to the oral medications Boniva, Fosamax and Actonel. ...
When money is on the line with race horses they use they above, not Adequan or Acupuncture . Your vet will have to fill out some forms to import Cartrophen to the USA.
niva Fosamax Actonel . which is basica
by vomtreuenhaus on 08 May 2012 - 15:30
|I'm there with you Fellofher and joanro.|
IMHO, its pure human selfishness to prolong a terminal illness..regardless of if its 6 months or 3 years.
One of my friends recently had a dog diagnosed with cancer, and was given the choice to pump him with meds and do chemo for a few months, or let nature take its course. When she told me she opted to med pump him, I was dissapointed when her reason was "I can't take him away from our family yet." Selfish? Absolutely.
In the wild when dogs/animals are sick...they leave their "loved ones" and go die peacefully away from everyone. What makes us humans think that if given the choice, these dogs would want to be pumped full of meds and spend those med pumped days engulfed by us? Its completely selfish.
Don't get me wrong, I love my dogs, and I treat them in the same mind set as I live my life and whole heartedly believe...
If I was ever diagnosed with a life long condition that would require medication to live my life, I would opt not. If i was diagnosed with a terminal illness that would require medication and poison pumped into my body to go another 6 months, i would opt to go when it was my time, poison free.
I dont take birth control, i dont even take a multi vitamin. And the only thing my dogs are ever supplemented with is salmon oil, and I worm them with Panacur, I dont use flea/tick preventatives either. The most i ever take is tylenol, and when I'm really sick I'll take Nyquil IF i absolutely have to.
So if my dog was ever diagnosed with anything that would not allow them to survive "in the wild as nature called" without medication for the rest of it's life, then I would not selfishly pump them. Period.
And SHAME ON YOUR VET for making you feel horrible about choosing not to put your dog through prolonged suffering. Time for a new vet? Yup.
by phoebe on 10 May 2012 - 02:35
|We just lost our dearly loved dog suddenly to heart disease. He had no energy or apitite and lost weight. After a series of tests, we were told his valves were shot, he had a lot of fluid about the heart and while the condition could potentially be managed at considerable expensive, he would die sooner rather then later. Without significant intervention (and significant expense) he would die in days. So we chose to euthanize. At least he died in my arms, and not alone. A grief counselor at the ASPCA once told me that dogs are not afraid of death, but they are afraid of pain. Our dog was looking for me to comfort him the night before he died, he stayed very close. I almost slept on the floor with him. I feel that giving a gentle death is the last gift of love we can give to our dogs.|
by Darka on 10 May 2012 - 16:25
|I would do what I could to help my dog be as comfortable as she could at the end, but if diagnosed with something terminal, I do not see the point in prolonging the inevitable. I love my dogs but I will not put them through heroics if the end result is the same.|
by Bhaugh on 12 May 2012 - 00:43
|Im in this situation right now. Have a coming 7 yo golden retriever with a sinus tumor. Vet suggested an MRI for $1200.00 then surgery for about 1-1.5k. I told her I couldnt afford either. Single mom. She made some comment about if I "REALLY" wanted it, I'd come up with the money.|
This dogs tumor has gotten pretty big so because I dont have the money for the surgery I opted for my least favorite drug on the planet, prednisone. It's shrinking the tumor. Not sure why the vet hadn't suggested it. I read about the surgery. His face will basically be cut open and the tumor cut out. He will most likely need reconstruction done because of where it is. Ive thought a lot about it but haven't found a good enough reason to put the dog through that pain and for what, so I can spend more time with him? How selfish is that? My ex had something like that done but his was just scraping the sinus's. He said it was the worst surgery he has ever had and would never do it again.
When the pred stops working, then I will cry and let this dog go. What ever happened to dignity even if it is just a dog?
by Blitzen on 12 May 2012 - 01:07
|I feel for you, Bhaugh. Dont be afraid of steroids, they are very effective in treating many malignancies and are considered a form of chemotherapy. Use them as long as your pal needs them. I think what that vet said to you is inexcusable. He or she would never see any of my dogs again.|
Good luck, sometimes dogs fool us and live a lot longer than expected. I've seen it many times.
by Rik on 12 May 2012 - 02:48
|Bhaugh, you made the same choice I would have made. I will not apoligize, and neither should you, in feeling that a dog is a dog and not a child and not a human being in any way.|
by Hundmutter on 12 May 2012 - 06:25
|Bhaugh, even if you had let the vet pressure you into this surgery on your dog, you might not have had much time left anyway. My dog's Granddam had such a tumour; we were told the prognosis for post-operative recovery was less than wonderful. So they want to operate, and do maxiliary reconstruction (at further cost) and then you get about 5 minutes left with a dog you are nursing, rather than enjoying the company of, and who has to be pilled up all the time for post surgical pain ??|
Forget it, who is that good for, except the vet's pocket ? Certainly not you or your dog. You are doing the right thing.
I really feel for you.