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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21471
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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How do I know when my dog is ready to die?

Customer Question

How do I know when my dog is ready to die?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.
I am so very sorry to hear that Charles is so poorly. Now if he isn't eating and is vomiting so severely, you may need to touch base with his vet in regards ***** ***** anti-nausea medication, IV fluids, and appetite stimulants to help get him eating while his heart is being treated. As well, if they referred you to a facility that cannot provide the care Charles needs, then you may need to request that he be referred elsewhere or consider checking the ACVIM database @
Otherwise, we do need to consider the bigger picture for poor Charles. And in that case, we'd need to consider how poorly he is and his ongoing issues to decide if we do want to put him through anything more.
Therefore, in regards ***** ***** question, it is best to look to Charles to know if it is time. We need to look at him and ask ourselves if he is enjoying the life he currently has. Is he happy to see you when you come home? Can he get up when he needs to (ie go to the toilet, etc)? Can he at least do those things that have made his doggie life worth living (like eating and drinking)? What matters to them is of course differ for every dog (ie chasing the ball, chewing on toys, sitting on the couch with you, etc) but as long as he can enjoy some of those things that he always has, then it may not yet be time. Of course, if he cannot or if he is caught in a body that won't let him enjoy his life, then we'd need to consider letting him go. And I further would note that if he is is suffering with his heart, unable to even keep water down, and starving because of everything bombarding him, then we do need to make that decision for him to prevent his situation worsening and suffering to occur.
Overall, this is never an easy decision when we are considering our fuzzy friends. Still, the key here is to look at Charles and his life. If he were managing with this heart condition and still enjoying these moments, then he may not be ready to leave you (and perhaps an alternative specialist or his vet can start further treatment to help him). But if it has become a struggle for him and he cannot enjoy his life as he did, then those would be the signs that we may need to let him go.
Please take care,
Dr. B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Charles. How is everything going?