How to I handle my friend refusing to put her terminally ill, suffering dog down going against the vet s recommendation?

My friend has a dog suffering from late stage Degenerative Myelopathy. It is the dog equivalent of ALS. It has been a heartbreaking two years and now the dog is nearing the end. After a year of being strapped to a doggie wheel chair the dog now is completely paralysed from the neck down. It s a big dog and she has to carry him outside to do his business multiple times a day, and lays on puppy pads of its own waste when she can t bring him out. I m not sure she s taking him to the vet anymore since the vet was very clear that the time is overdue. She has expressed frustration multiple times at how difficult it is making things for her. I know the dog and her don t have a good quality of life. Just seriously thinking about euthanasia causes her panic. She knew at one point she had to put him to sleep, but now I wonder if she s considering just letting him die naturally out of avoidance, which most likely means asfixiation when his respiratory system also becomes paralyzed. All I have been able to do so far is to offer to go with her to the vet for moral support but don t know what else to say. Is this something you do an intervention for? I care about how she feels, but it is heartbreaking to see the dog in the state that he is in and know that letting the illness do him in will cause him more suffering than gently putting him to sleep. Any suggestions from someone that may have experienced a similar situation?

latcho dives

Yeah call in the R.s.p.c.a. or animal control for the sake of the poor dog.... And tell her you did and why also

heart o' gold

Is There a pastor or spiritual counselor she has that you can get involved? As someone who has put down ... at least a dozen pets I have had their entire lives I KNOW how hard this can be. It almost always is a situation of determining when the right time is. I try to focus on the needs of the animal, they will usually let you know when it is time - it does sound like euthanasia is overdue for this dog. She is being selfish, but probably doesn’t see this and it may be that she is so attached to the bond with the dog and her feelings about the dog she just can’t let it go. I have waited too long at least twice and continue to regret it 20 years later. There are vets who can come to your home to do this, I suggest that you find one who can help you with this then suggest it to your friend. This will be much easier and less stressful for both her and the dog than a trip to the vets office. Expect to pay more for this service. If she does agree to this have a plan in place for after. Will the dog be buried? Have help on hand to do that. Cremated? The vet who euthanized may be able to remove the body to have that done. Have this plan in place and people available to help move the large dogs body immediately. It may help to have her get out of the house immediately after for a day, several days, a couple of weeks. If there is a plan in place for that, it could be helpful. The last ... three times I’ve had old lady dogs pass they had been pretty incontent prior to their deaths (all euthanasia) and I spent an entire three days after each deep cleaning the house. That was cathartic for me, but might not be for her, it may be helpful to have someone come in and clean. Lastly, this is her choice that she has to make peace with now and forever. It sounds to me like the dog is really suffering. If it is approached from a “release the dogs spirit to go over the rainbow bridge and romp with all it’s friends in it’s sound and healthy ‘angel body’” it might help. Good luck.


She is being selfish, thinking about her own feelings & not how bad off the dog is. So the dog suffers. Quality of life is gone. Dog no longer enjoys life.


You need to go to the vet with your friend