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Anna
Anna, Biologist
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 11134
Experience:  Extensive research into cancer in animals.
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How will I know when its appropriate to put my dog (who has

Customer Question

How will I know when its appropriate to put my dog (who has been diagnosed with lymphoma)to sleep since we do not want to have him go thru chemo or radiation?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Veterinary Oncology
Expert:  Anna replied 7 months ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in canine cancer. I have also had to make this horrible decision many times over my 40 years with dogs. I'm sorry that you and your dog are having to go through this. It is the hardest part of loving a dog.When making this decision, quality of the dog's life is the main thing to focus on. As long as he enjoys his daily activities, likes his food, and is able to sleep comfortably, it is not time. With cancer, the changes can happen gradually or suddenly. When a dog suddenly deteriorates, the owner knows it is time. Just as often, though, small changes occur gradually. He may begin to pick at his food instead of eating heartily. You may see weight loss. The dog may be less interested in playing or going for a walk. He may sleep restlessly or wake up and pace.Just as important as quality of life is the issue of pain. As cancer progresses, it can cause a lot of pain. When prescription pain medications can no longer control it, it is probably time to end your dog's suffering.Here is a site that may help you with the decision:http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=1523You need to know it's normal to feel guilty and unsure no matter which way you decide to go - Am I causing him to suffer longer by not euthanizing him? Am I taking away some enjoyment of life by doing it now? There's no doubt that it's a horrible decision to make. Often, eating and restful sleep are the last remaining things a dog may still enjoy, and if he's not getting any comfort or pleasure from them, then his life doesn't have much quality any more.The best way to look at putting to sleep is to see it as your final act of love for your beloved friend. It will be difficult for you, but will spare your dog a slow and painful death. Besides the grief you'll feel at losing your dog when the time comes, you may well feel the guilt I mentioned above. Time is the only thing that helps with that guilt. It often lasts a long time for me, even though I know I did the right thing. But everyone is different. I just want you to know that if that happens to you, it doesn't mean you really did anything wrong.You may want to consider asking your vet to come to your home when the time comes. It's often easier for both the dog and humans in the family.I can't make the decision for you, but only give you some things to consider. If it would help you to talk some more about this, just click on REPLY and post (no additional charge). I've been through this more than once, and I feel so bad for you as you experience it.AnnaMy goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service after you have all the information you need. I will greatly appreciate a positive rating as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you!