View Poll Results: Should DD go with me to the vet?
Yes 6 37.50%
No 10 62.50%
Other (explain) 0 0%
Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-14-2011, 02:38 PM   #1
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Long story short, my 11-year-old, 40-pound mutt is in her last days. We are thinking about putting her to sleep as early as tomorrow, or possibly some other time within the week. She can hardly walk, is barely eating, is grumbling every time she breathes, and doesn't even stand up to poop. But I digress.

Here's the question: would you take a 3-year-old with you to the vet's office when it comes time to euthanize? I wouldn't want her in the room when it actually happens (I would wait with her in the waiting room), but I'm not sure if she should even be with me, period. I've explained to her that the dog is very, very sick and may have to go to doggie heaven soon so she won't hurt anymore. Her great-grandmother passed away earlier this year, so she's already heard of heaven. I'll have my hands full with the dog--literally, as in, I'll have to carry her with both hands as she can't walk at all on hard floors. DD is pretty good about listening to me, and I can park where she can walk up immediately to the sidewalk without having to get out in the parking lot. I just hope someone else isn't coming in at the same time with a dog or cat that's going to tempt her to run to it and try to pet it.

DH is out of the country until December, so just waiting until he's home and taking the dog to the vet then is out of the question. We do not have family living nearby. I would have to look for a sitter.

Just curious as to what your thoughts are.

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Old 07-14-2011, 02:44 PM   #2
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Re: Take DD with me to the vet? (read before voting)

I'm so sorry. That is such a tough situation. I can only speak for what I would do, but I would not take my DD (turning 3 in September). I would definitely arrange some time to say goodbye, and maybe involve her in scattering ashes if we went that route. But I think my DD would be a little too freaked out with us going to the vet with the animal and leaving without them. But every child is different. When we had to put our dog to sleep, DD was only a little over a year so she never knew what happened. I hope you find a good answer.
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:45 PM   #3
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Re: Take DD with me to the vet? (read before voting)

If you can handle both of them (as in keeping track of DD) I would for sure. I think it's really important for kids to be exposed to death in this way. That sounds bad I guess, but I mean if something/someone is dying, kids should be able to see it and process it, KWIM? It makes it less scary and easier to understand, rather than the dog just disappearing. I don't know how old my DD was (maybe 4 or 5) when my mom had to put her cat down. DD wanted to go with her (my mom was really sad) and she wanted to be there when they gave kitty the shot too. My DD sat with the kitty as she was dying, rubbing her fur and watching her eyes as she peacefully went to sleep. It was pretty amazing. She was so sweet and caring. Then she went with my mom to the pet cremation place to drop kitty off.

I think it would be great if someone came with you to help with the dog/DD, but IMO it's good to have her along. And if you are taking the dog home for burial definitely include DD and have a little funeral.
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:13 PM   #4
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Re: Take DD with me to the vet? (read before voting)

I plan on having the dog cremated because she's too big and our soil too rocky to dig a grave for her here. I was going to get the ashes back and let DD pick a tree in our yard where we could sprinkle the ashes. I don't know if I would have a "helper" available to come with me; most everyone I know who's home during the day has at least 1 child who would also be coming along, so it could turn into a circus.
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:38 PM   #5
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Re: Take DD with me to the vet? (read before voting)

I worked as a Vet tech for a while so I've been around plenty of euthanasias. If it was me I would take my child with me to say goodbye. I would possibly even have them in the room if I was going to be in the room with my dog. Euthaniasia is such a quick painless procedure. The dog will be gone in just minutes, most don't even make a sound. I also think it is important for her to say goodbye. Also if you are worried about transporting the dog from your car to the office just call and ask if they have a tech who can carry the dog in while you help your daughter. Then have them put the dog in a room where you and your daughter can either say good bye and leave or stay for the euthanasia (what ever you are comfortable with). This way you wont have to worry about her running off. Good luck, I know it's a hard thing to do but sounds like it's the right thing.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:16 AM   #6
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My dog died sometime after 1 am this morning. DD is doing fine, I think she's too little to really get it. She does see how sad I am. I was somehow able to get the dog in the car, and the vet techs got her out for me. DD ended up going with me as she seemed fairly oblivious to what all this meant. When we left the vet, she asked me where Brandy was, and I reminded her of what I told her last night, that once we brought her to the vet, she wouldn't come home with us.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:32 AM   #7
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Re: Take DD with me to the vet? (read before voting)

I wouldn't take my 3yo. But I would want time to say good bye and to be there when the dog passed. Many dogs fee un easy at the vet and a familiar, loving presence can make it easier.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:37 AM   #8
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Re: Take DD with me to the vet? (read before voting)

I'd be worried about DD being terrified of shots from then on.

Do you know your vet well enough for them to make a home visit? My parents recently had to put down a pet for the first time. The vet was willing to make a trip out to their house since she knew this was going to be so hard on them and didn't want the dog to be upset by being at the office.

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Sorry didn't read all the posts before posting.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:43 AM   #9
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Re: Take DD with me to the vet? (read before voting)

I'm so sorry for you loss. It's hard to lose an old friend.

I would take my child to the vet, but I'm not sure if I'd have her in the room with me for the injection (like pp-talk about a fear of needles). But death is part of life, and I believe it shouldn't be hidden from kids.

We just unexpectedly lost our 13 yr old cat. Dd (she's 3) saw him in the yard dead. She was ok with that. What was really really hard for us was when we went to pick up his ashes. I had told her we were going to pick up Tahla, and she was confused and sad when I came out with a box. She told me to put it away, she didn't want to see it. She thought I was coming out with the cat. I think that kinda sealed the deal for her.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:46 AM   #10
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Re: Take DD with me to the vet? (read before voting)

I'm so sorry about your dog. It's heartbreaking. We are still grieving having lost our kitty a month ago. He passed at home as well. At least we didn't have to actually make the decision.. but either way its hard. DS was home but too young to be aware. Kitty died in our bedroom, DS was in family room.

But, to answer original question for others that might read wondering what is proper etiquitte... I work as a receptionist at a vet clinic.

My professional opinion is please find someone to watch her, unless you think she can handle being in the room.

In general, one should leave children home, unless they are old enough to be in the room with you while it is done. This really pertains to ANYthing though. Even for a regular check up or a medical exam, children shouldn't be left in lobby/waiting area unattended. It just isn't good etiquette.
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