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Will I be forced to euthanize?

Species: Dog
Breed: pit bull/bull mastif
Age: 11-15 years
Hello, i have a 14 year old pit bull/bull mastiff mix (50-60 lb and on the smaller side) she was just hit with hip displasia this year and was dealing with it ok using the frog sit and the cowboy walk. But she fell on one leg last week and now she is trying to heal but cant walk from that- so I am carrying her to go outside (which still does her bathroom stuff fine) and up and down the stairs which I dont mind. She is on pain meds for her authritis and glucosamine and she is NOT in any pain nor do i hear her howl or bark from any pain either. She eats and drinks like no tomorrow still and has eyes that are alive and happy still i know. My question is this, if I bring her to the vets at her age and symptoms will they insist to put her down? Cause I know its too early for that still cause even i suffered from 3 herniated discs and couldnt walk from that a few times and now im totally healed from working with weights. My dog can still stand on her own as of now its just when she tries to move she falls and i try to get her to stand at least once an hour to strengthen her muscles. Im sure she will heal but if not is a surgery at this age no a good idea? and will the vet enforce me to put her down if I bring her for a visit? IM very scarred of loosing her prematurely because of this. PLease help me im very distrot worrying about this. Thank you for your help.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh. Situations like this are so difficult.

The vet can't force you to put her down. Well....there are rare exceptions. If I saw a dog that was in very obvious pain and the owner was doing nothing about it then there are channels that I can go through to make sure that euthanasia happens. I think that has only happened to me once or twice in my career though.

If you visit the vet and let them know that you are not ready for euthanasia but want to know what other options you have to help your dog, they will respect that.

Whether or not Super Shal can have surgery depends on why she is having problems. The vet may want to take some xrays to determine if this is all due to hip dysplasia or perhaps there is a back injury. However, in any case, surgery would be difficult as it may be a challenge for a 14 year old dog to heal from a major surgery.

The vet can help you to determine how much pain is present. I will often hear people say, "She is not in pain" but, in reality there are only two reasons for a dog to be not able to bear weight. The first is pain and the second is because there is nerve damage (which is not always painful). If they do feel that pain is an issue they may be willing to prescribe even stronger medications to help such as Tramadol or Gabapentin.

Be prepared though that the vet may advise you to start thinking about euthanasia. If this is the advice that is given then it may soon be time.

It's a tough situation to be in. I really do hope that there is greater improvement soon.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.