If your dog or cat needed a limb amputated would you keep the pet or put it to sleep?
For the record I have seen loads of dogs and cats with three, (even two) legs survive perfectly well, but likewise I have seen owners faced with this choice say that either they don't think it is fair to have a three legged pet, or they have no interest in having one. What I want to know is what do you think, and what would you do (or have you done) when faced with this situations?
I would do anything I could to save my pets, as they are my best friends, my furry children....If they could have a good quality of life with one less limb, then why not? we've all seen the stories.... Wouldn't we do the same for our children? Would we put them to sleep if they were maimed? I'm sorry to say, but I think that an owner who would say they don't think it's fair or they have no interest in having one...the humans are just being selfish. I can't imagine condemning my pets to death if they were injured but could be saved. They are live creatures, and I won't give up on them just because certain people in society might say that the money to save them isn't worth it. Okay, off my soapbox now. :-)
In my guilt I have to say that I allowed the vet. to persuade me to have a tiny little pup of 2/3days old be put to sleep.
He was from a litter of 9 pups and it seems that the mum had hurt him accidentally in
cleaning him /moving him and the leg had gone gangrenous. Terrible time. I was told it was the correct thing to do but today many years later I am not so sure. I think I would not do it today but??
I would listen to the vet's advice, but ultimately I would want to do everything possible to keep my dog alive. It would depend on how old she was at the time and whether she would still have a reasonable quality of life. Plenty of dogs have had limbs amputated and do just fine.
As the founder of http://www.tripawds.com, Tripawds, the world's largest community of canine amputees and their humans, we always left folks know that while most dogs can live great lives on three legs, amputation is not right for every dog. A lot of it depends on their pre-existing health condition, their prognosis and their age.
We chose amputation for our Jerry, who was diagnosed with bone cancer at age 8. His prognosis was 4 months without chemo, 1 year with. We knew he had lots more living to do, he was otherwise very healthy and fit. So we put aside our pre-existing human notions of 'time" and "prognosis" and helped him alleviate his pain, which was the most important thing to us. After that, every day was icing on the cake.
Jerry survived two years with bone cancer, and no chemo.
Sadly, not every dog diagnosed with bone cancer is as fortunate. But what we tell folks is, if your dog is: you know your dog best. If your dog is otherwise healthy, even his age shouldn't be too much of a detraction to proceeding. We have seen dogs as old as 12 do just fine. Usually amputation is the only way to alleviate the horrible pain of bone cancer or an injury, and recovery is far worse on the humans than it is on the dog. Most bounce back within a couple of weeks, and while their physical activity will be slightly modified, for the most part they live the same healthy, "hoppy" lives as their quadpawd counterparts.
We encourage every pawrent to go with their instinct and talk to others who have been there. And get a second opinion if your current vet is advising you against it. Old-school vets are often very closed-minded comes to canine amputation, and many pawrents have found that a second opinion from a more progressive-thinking vet made the difference between saying goodbye prematurely and living a long happy life afterward.
Listen to your heart. You may find that your dog is stronger than you think.
I'm thankful I've not had to deal with this. I guess it would depend on the situation and timing but I believe I would do all possible to keep my pet and companion (as long as the quality of life was not an issue).
Keep the pet of course. When an animal comes into our house to live, that's their ticket to being one of the family. There is no turning back.
I pesonally would keep the animal. They adjust to having lost limbs. It sounds weird, but I would also get a second opinion. Our dog got hit and one vet said he needed a leg amputated. We checked with another vet and they said he just needed some toes gone. We are really glad we checked with another, I would have felt bad if he got the procedure done and really didn't need it.
It is cruel to the pets. They are not the one to blame, because they don't do anything wrong. They are living animals, and also are humans' friends. People decide to put them to sleep, but how do they know pets do not want to die?
My cats are like family members. I would have the limb amputated and keep my animal. Unless, there were other additional life threatening illinesses that would need futher medical attention and $$$, but still no actual cure for the illness. If my animal is going to live the rest of it's life in pain, no matter what is done medically then, I'd rather have it put to sleep.
I would keep the pet. Once I have a pet, it becomes part of the family. And I would not put a member of my family to sleep.
It is simply a yes, as we don't get rid of our children or someone who is most important to us if they are handicapped. Whatever be the pet once they get into our home they become our family. I myself have three Basset Hound's, among two are disabled. I got the mother basset hound after being abandoned by three of her previous owners. When I found her eating sand due to hunger as the owner from which I bought her didn't even feed her, I asked him to give her to me and bought her home. But what really pained me is that after a lot of caring, we got her crossed and she had 5 puppies of which two survived. The younger puppy's back leg and Skelton are not in perfect shape and hardly she can't walk. But now she run freely around our house hold as we got it almost corrected by consulting a veterinarian. But what came as a shock to me is that the previous two owners demanded that the puppy which is healthy should be handed over to them, but after a scuffle we retained the puppy, but they asked us to kill the younger one as she is disabled. In response to that my sister asked would they kill their daughter if she is having some kind of disability and that question lead to a long lasting enmity with their families. Most of the people around us asked for the same. From my experience I learned that most of the people in India hasn't have affection for beings other than them, and if they keep pets they do it merely for money or as a vanity among the society and about 80% of the people in India, especially Kerala hate dogs. We almost spend around 30,000 INR for the treatment of our pets. Still my family hasn't abandoned them and they still live with us happily.
I would not have it put to sleep. Animals can still walk and have fulfilling lives without one limb, just like people.
I too have seen three-legged dogs and cats. They seem to adapt rather fast to their new circumstance and continue about their lives with the same vigor and joy as before. If the amputation is required due to an infection or injury which carries with it no further adverse affects for the health or quality of life of the pet, I would not put it to sleep. That would seem inhumane.
If, however, the amputation is merely the beginning of what is certain to become a dreadful condition for the animal; a progressing cancer, etc. Then, as sad as it would be for me, I would consider the euthanasia option.
In the end, it comes down to what is best for the pet. A three-legged existence alone would not make for an unhappy pet.
I would do whatever to save my cat. If one less limb means no more pain, than I would do it. We are responsible for our pets and obligated to give them the best life possible. They want to be with us as long as they are able. Both you and your pet will know when the time is right to let go ~ until then take care of each other. I agree with getting second opinions. There are a lot of vets and doctors who are too quick to say nothing can be done.
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