Saying goodbye to a lifelong friend of the furry kind might be one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. So it’s no wonder why most, if not all, of us want to extend the lives of our beloved dogs even when it seems the end might be inevitable.
In some cases, though, euthanizing your dog might be a better solution. Of course, it is a bitter pill to swallow, but watching your dog endure the pain of disease and deterioration might be far worse than the not having them around.
Guaranteeing your dog’s health during his younger years can help extend his life and reduce the chances for certain types of disease. So be sure to take him to a holistic dog hospital regularly for check-ups, vaccinations, and immunizations that are necessary for his overall wellness.
Remember though – euthanasia is irreversible. So you need to make sure it’s the better choice before you jump to a decision. Not sure how to tell when to pull the plug? This short list should shed some light on the matter.
1. Inability to Eat or Keep Food Down
Dogs will typically throw up even on healthy days. But the inability to eat or keep food down in the presence of a known disease or illness should be the first sign that your dog is struggling more than he’s letting you see.
Lots of factors can come into play to explain why your dog just can’t seem to eat. In sick animals, it could be a sign of organ failure or significant intestinal protein loss.
2. Severe Incontinence
Even housebroken dogs will have an accident every now and then. However, if your dog has totally lost control of his bowels and bladder, it might be a sign that his illness has progressed to later, more severe stages.
Incontinence can be taken as a sign of nerve damage. As his body continues to fail and deteriorate, certain functions will wear away. Failing to control bladder and bowel functions might be a sign that he’s nearing the end. At this point, you may also want to inspect the stool for texture, foreign contents, and blood.
3. Chronic Pain
Pain in dogs can stem from a number of causes. You should be careful and attentive if you want your dog to be healthy even when you are away. But if you’ve noticed that your furry friend has been showing signs of pain for several days or weeks, then you may want to rush him to a holistic dog hospital.
Some markers of pain in dog include whimpering, refusal to move, defensive behavior, and general lethargy. If you know that your dog is sick, then pain could be a sign that he’s in the later stages of the illness.
4. Difficulties with Standing or Walking
Limping shouldn’t be a cause for alarm if your dog isn’t sick. But if they’ve been diagnosed with disease and they start showing signs of difficulty with ambulation, then you might want to discuss euthanasia with your veterinarian.
Difficulty walking and standing are signs that your dog is experiencing pronounced pain, usually in the abdomen. Observe your dog when he starts to show this sign – if they go from limping to refusing to stand or walk at all, it might be time to bid farewell.
5. Lethargy and Loss of Interest
In their effort to overcome pain, weakness, and that overall feeling of unwell, dogs will reduce their activity levels. This helps them regulate what little energy they have, so they can stay awake and alert during times of disease.
So any sick dog will seem to move particularly slow, and may sometimes even refuse to move at all. You’ll also notice that your dog might lose the motivation to do things that he used to enjoy. For instance, his favorite toy might no longer spark his interest.
6. Difficulties with Breathing
In the face of disease, your dog will degenerate over just a short period of time, depending on the illness he has. During the late stages of any disease, your dog might show signs of difficulty breathing.
Labored breathing, pathological lung sounds, and frequent coughing are some signs that your dog is exerting extra effort to inhale and exhale. You can assist them at this point by elevating the head and making sure there isn’t anything obstructing his nostrils.
If your dog is suffering from disease and you feel he’s nearing the end, don’t leave him to suffer. Euthanasia might seem like a painful last step, but with the help of an experienced veterinary professional, you can welcome the change with an open heart and mind, knowing your beloved dog has successfully and happily passed the rainbow bridge.