Am I Being Selfish? When euthanasia may be the best option.

Rainbow BridgeI’ve spent the week trying to make a decision on whether to have my dog killed or to let her illness run it’s course. I suspect it’s time to do it, but I can’t seem to make that decision.

She’s suffering. I don’t want to let her go. I don’t want her to suffer. I don’t want to be responsible for this decision. I don’t know what is the right thing to do.


She has several bad days in a row and I think it’s time. It takes me a few days to talk myself into making the appointment. Then she’s better by the time the appointment time arrives, and I cancel it. I’ve done this three times in the last seven months.

I personally wouldn’t want someone to kill me just because I’m sick. But some people do choose assisted death or suicide.

She’s bounced back from Death’s door before and lived a relatively normal life for months before showing symptoms again. The question is, can she do it now? Is she too far gone this time?

My dog before her also developed kidney problems when he was 15 and I chose euthanasia then as soon as the vet first suggested it. That was nine years ago and the decision still haunts me. Those “what if?” questions.

The vets (I’ve had her to 4 or 5 of them) have been suggesting euthanasia for this one since last March. She’s had a lot of quality living between then and now in between bad spells.

But now she’s having more bad days than good and I can’t seem to get her stabilized. Things that worked before aren’t working now. There have only been a handful of good days in the last three weeks, with a finger or two left over.

She has irreversible kidney damage and it can’t be fixed. I can treat the symptoms and try to control them with diet and fluids, but the underlying cause isn’t going to go away.

I’m keeping her alive now with subcutaneous IV flushes (poor man’s dyalisis) once a day which I think is a painful procedure, at least it is in humans. At the very least I have to stick her with an 18guage (rather large) needle twice a day, once on each side, to administer the fluids.

I’m using mostly forced feeding to get her to eat, but eating makes her very sick and she throws up most of it now when I do get a few bites down her.

She starts to feel bad after three or four bites. After the subcutaneous flushes, she feels better for a little while–until I force her to eat again. But she’s got to eat. As it is, she is consuming only about 10% of the calories she needs each day.

This treatment has been going on for a little over three weeks now. She is going to starve to death if the toxins in her body don’t kill her. I work in a nursing home and have seen the end when patients have renal failure. It is not a pretty site, and is very, very painful the last couple weeks of life.

My girl is now painfully thin and starting to wobble when she walks and sometimes falls. She has consumed all her excess body fat and is now breaking down muscle tissue for calories. I think she’s going to starve to death before much longer.

Yesterday she fell down going down the two very shallow steps from the porch to the yard. It broke my heart to watch her struggle.

I wish she could tell me what she wants me to do.

She looks at me with those trusting eyes and I don’t know what to do. Am I just being selfish?

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