When Letting Go Is the Kindest Thing You Can Do

We had probably already waited too long. Ellie was clearly miserable and was ready to be relieved of her pain once and for all. So we said our good-byes while the vet waited outside the exam room. Then she gave Ellie the injection that would let her body go, with us kissing and petting her and leaving afterward with aching hearts. We still ache for Ellie, in fact, as much as we love the dogs currently in our lives.

The Five Questions to Ask When Choosing a Puppy from a New Litter

We wholeheartedly endorse choosing a dog from a shelter or pound. There are wonderful dogs out there just waiting to become pets who would provide years of joy to anyone seeking canine companionship in return for a loving home. But as much as saving a dog in need brings with it wonderful rewards, there are also advantages to choosing a newly born puppy, whether from someone who raises purebred dogs professionally or from someone…

Is It Time to Say Good-Bye to Your Dog?

In fact, chances are high that youre going to outlive your pet and further, that at some point down the road youre going to be faced with the difficult decision of when to put her down to take her out of her suffering. Euthanasia is more often than not part of the life cycle with an animal who has become a family member.

Factoring in the Cost of Life

Sometimes a dog owner will be advised that his pet has an illness thats potentially treatable but that the treatment is going to be expensive - often beyond the owners means. People feel torn about what to do when the main thing standing between giving a sick animal more time and more quality of life is money they dont really have to spare, says Your Dog Editor in Chief, John Berg, DVM, who often operates…

Making a decision about the dog’s body

If possible, decide in advance of the euthanasia what you want to have done with your dogs body. The vet is going to ask, and thats one less decision youll have to make on the day your dog dies. There are four choices: Take the body home and dig a grave in the backyard. (States have laws about the required depth of the hole, and it may have to be quite big for a large dog.) …

The Benefits of Fostering a Dog

Diamond Dave was a wreck. The sweet Chihuahua had been surrendered by his family to a shelter in Methuen, Massachusetts, when they were moving; their new landlord didnt allow dogs. Poor Dave was so timid and scared that he just kept huddling in the corner of his cage, says Michael Keiley, director of the shelter, a facility under the auspices of the Massachusetts Society for the Protection of Animals (MSPCA) called the Noble Family…

To Breed Or Not to Breed?

When my niece, Melanie, told me eight years ago that she had just adopted a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from a breeder in Georgia, I worried that she was in for heartache. The little guy was only 11 weeks old, but I had read that virtually all Cavalier King Charles developed mitral valve disease in middle age, a condition that leads to heart failure and often causes premature death. …

Quality Versus Length of Life for Your Dog

Longer survival time is also the main yardstick by which the Food and Drug Administration decides whether to approve a drug, Dr. Rush comments. This approach has permeated veterinary cardiology as well, he says. Survival time for dogs has been kind of like the Holy Grail, where a new drug, compared to an older one or a placebo, tends to be lauded - and receive government approval - if it results in a longer life span.

Dear Doctor

Letters to Tufts Veterinarians - Is it time for euthanasia?; Comparing flea and tick prevention products