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PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6745
Experience:  15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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We had to put our Maltese down yesterday and made a quick

Customer Question

We had to put our Maltese down yesterday and made a quick decision. She developed difficulty in breathing over the last two days, a limp in her left leg and then was coughing up blood yesterday. The vet stated she had a heart murmur and that she was in cardiac pulmonary arrest. She indicated any intervention would give Bella 2 months at most. We elected to put her down as she was in severe distress but I am looking to see if we made the right decision.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: I did look at her left foot and could not find anything...she had a tendency to jump off the couch and had issues with her knees so I thought the limp was due to possible strain from jumping.
JA: What is the dog's name?
Customer: Bella...
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Bella?
Customer: When we brought Bella in yesterday, they took her back right away as Bella was in having such difficulty breathing. I don't know what tests were done or how it is determined that she was having heart issues. I guess I am looking to see if there is concensus based on the information above that we were given the correct diagnosis and made the best decision for Bella in terms of quality of life.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Krista Kline replied 8 months ago.

Hi I am Dr. Kline and welcome to JustAnswer. I hope I can help you today with your question. I am a small animal veterinarian. First off, I would like to convey my deepest sympathy for the passing of your beloved dog Bella. It sounds like Bella was doing very poorly yesterday. From what I am reading above it does sound like you made a good decision for Bella's well being and quality of life. From the information you provided I do agree with the veterinarian that Bella was in severe heart failure and she was having a lot of trouble breathing. Basically, her heart was shutting down and it wasn't able to do it's job properly. She most likely had fluid building up in her lungs which was making it very hard for her to breath. Heart failure is not a reversible disease. There are medications that can be used to help slow the progression of the disease, but it sounds like Bella was doing very poorly and I can't predict if those would have helped or if she would have been able to get off oxygen to live a normal life. Please know your choice to let Bella go was not a wrong choice in this situation. You did what was most humane for her so she didn't have to suffer anymore. I hope this gives you some comfort during this difficult time. Once again I am so sorry for your loss.

Expert:  Krista Kline replied 8 months ago.

My goal is to make sure that you get all your question answered and all the information you need. If you are satisfied with my answer, PLEASE RATE IT. Rating it is the only way I get credit for helping you. If you feel like it is not helpful to you, or if there is more information you need, please respond back to me before rating. Realize that our conversation is not intended to diagnose or treat a condition. There has to be a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship established with an exam, according to law. You should always follow up with your vet.

Expert:  Krista Kline replied 8 months ago.

Hi this is Dr. Kline. Once again I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you had a chance to read my response from yesterday and please know you did everything that you could to help Bella. Do you have any further questions? If not please take a moment to rate me. Thank you and once again I am so sorry for your loss. I hope your memories of Bella bring you comfort during this difficult time.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 8 months ago.

JACustomer, it looks like Dr. Kline needed to opt out of the question. I have stepped in to help you, if you have other questions. I agree with Dr. Kline and your veterinarian entirely that Bella's best interest was being given a respectful passing with dignity. Often when it comes to cardiac disease, especially end-stage, there is not a lot of time available to thoroughly discuss the pros and cons of euthanasia. In cases where pets are already suffering, we do have to make a quick decision. That, alone, should give you some peace with decision as she was already critical enough to have her life in the balance. You chose the most fair thing for Bella.

If you need any additional support, please let me know. I will be happy to further discuss anything that might help you in this difficult time.

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