When it's time to go....natural vs. Euthanasia (warning: this is sad!)

Discussion in 'Health & Nutrition' started by SallyintheValley41, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. SallyintheValley41

    SallyintheValley41 Well-Known Member

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    Years ago I only had outside cats. There woud come time when they simply did not come home and after a week or so of hoping, worrying and fretting, the beloved pet was either found deceased or never seen again. My indoor only cats are a different matter. Two I gave away, but my beloved Butterfly lived with me from kittenhood to 17 years old. I knew she was failing, and her time was coming. I made the decision to let her die at home naturally as long as she did not seem to be in pain.

    Let me tell you, those last 6 months were some some of the hardest I have ever had to endure, but at the same time, I was in awe of the dying process. First Butterfly narrowed down her realm of the whole house to just the lower floor of the house. Sleeping a lot, eating less. Then she picked a favorite room and hardly ventured from it. Still sleeping a lot, eating little but still using litter box and responding to petting. Then, the day came where I had to search for her...curled up in a corner of the one room of the one floor she had chosen. I moved her to a comfortable bed in that corner, her food and litter box nearby. She only moved from bed to food to box and back to bed. But she responded to petting and still purred for me. It was so sad. (I am tearing up as I write this, it is so vivid in my mind).

    Next stage was when her food went untouched and she started to fade away before my eyes. If she tried to make it to the litter box, she had to lie down several times. But then, no food, no waste. Her little body started to break down.

    I put her in a little basket, and carried her around with me. I had come this far and wanted to be with her at the end. Each time I left the house and came back, I rushed to check and was always amazed when she moved, purred and looked up at me, still alive. One Saturday morning, I carried her box over to the computer with me, and logged on. Her breathing was very audible and I knew it was close. I kept one hand on her while I idly browsed the internet, and then very peacefully, she shuddered and died.

    It was the most heart-wrenching, bravest thing I ever witnessed in my life. I could NOT even talk about it for a good 4 months without breaking down. I WILL NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!
    My advice for anyone thinking of it, don't put yourself through it. When my dog of 14 years had kidney failure the next year and could not function properly, I took her to the vet and had her euthanized and it was much kinder to both of us.

    Sorry if I made anyone sad. I am all teary-eyed myself again, but wanted to share what it is like.
     
    SallyintheValley41, Jan 24, 2012
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  2. SallyintheValley41

    Victor Leigh Well-Known Member

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    I am sorry but I totally disagree with your advice. I am strongly against putting a pet to sleep. Remember this is a companion who had been with you for many years. So what's the problem with being together to the very end? I mean the natural end. Of course, the pet cannot talk, but if it could, I am very sure that it would have preferred to be with you to the very last breath of its natural life.
     
    Victor Leigh, Jan 26, 2012
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  3. SallyintheValley41

    SallyintheValley41 Well-Known Member

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    Well that is what I did and it cost me a lot..I am sorry but my experience was not good. So you are saying I should not think about myself at all then, right? You do want you want,but I shared a very painful experience here
     
    SallyintheValley41, Jan 26, 2012
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  4. SallyintheValley41

    SheWolfSilver Well-Known Member

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    But aren't they suffering? I mean even if they die of old age at the end they are struggling to breath and scared. I don't know, it just seems like they would be distressed and it seems cruel.
     
    SheWolfSilver, Jan 26, 2012
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  5. SallyintheValley41

    SallyintheValley41 Well-Known Member

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    It didn't seem like Butterfly was suffering, only I was. It was a dignified death but hard on me...now with my dog...she seemed to be in pain and very distressed, so euthanasia was best for her.
     
    SallyintheValley41, Jan 26, 2012
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  6. SallyintheValley41

    magickat Well-Known Member

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    If the animal is not suffering then I do not see a need for euthanasia. Of course it is difficult to see your beloved pet slipping away, but this is all part of having a pet. If an elderly person is in the same situation we would not send them off to be "put down" and it is common for people who are dying to request to be allowed home with their family. I don't think pets would feel so differently. I have had pets die in my arms and it is upsetting and difficult, but I drew some comfort from being with them in their final moments.
     
    magickat, Jan 27, 2012
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  7. SallyintheValley41

    SallyintheValley41 Well-Known Member

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    People and pets are different. As much as we love our pets, they are not equal to human beings. And there are plenty of people who don't want a slow death at home either. Everybody has to make their own life choices. I am 70 so I have made a few and learned from experience.
     
    SallyintheValley41, Jan 27, 2012
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  8. SallyintheValley41

    SheWolfSilver Well-Known Member

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    How would you know for sure if they were suffering or not? They can't tell you. I would just be afraid they were suffering somehow and I didn't know.
     
    SheWolfSilver, Jan 27, 2012
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  9. SallyintheValley41

    steph84 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, this is such a sad, but beautiful story. Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life with us. I think it is very loving and kind that you carried your cat around in a basket. I'm sure she enjoyed getting out of the house and spending time with you that way. I do believe that cats should be euthanized when suffering (limited breathing abilities and arthritic pain that limits walking), but every cat is different and I can't just make a rash judgement.
     
    steph84, Jan 28, 2012
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  10. SallyintheValley41

    Belligerent Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I'm afraid I got a bit teary-eyed.. I imagined when I would have to say goodbye to my cat Mama. I don't know which one would be more difficult or what I would do, but I guess I will cross that bridge when I get there. You are a brave person for sharing your story.. I know that was hard. Our cats can be like our family or best friends, so watching them fade away like that is really hard.
     
    Belligerent, Jan 28, 2012
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  11. SallyintheValley41

    Micheleteresa Well-Known Member

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    I do not even know how to reply to this thread. I fought with hosp staff and vet, family and friends when they suggested I "let him Go" during my foster kitty billys recent hospitalization. But I believed without doubt that he would pull through and no matter what it cost I was not going to give up on him, if I had to sell some material things that was fine with me. Billy is now almost fully back to good health, he just needs to gain more weight. If I had believed his illness was terminal I don't know what I would of decided but knowing my never give up nature I would probably not agree to euthanization. Maybe if I saw the kitty was suffering extreme pain and there was no hope of recovery and no way of relieving that I might agree to euthanization. They may not be able to speak our language but they certainly can communicate with us what they are feeling and weather or not they are suffering. Ughhhh I guess I would have to say I do not know exactly what my decision would be but it would have to be an extreme situation for me to agree to euthanization. Tears and sympathy to those of you who have been in the situation of having to make this choice.
     
    Micheleteresa, Feb 28, 2012
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  12. SallyintheValley41

    SheWolfSilver Well-Known Member

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    I'm so glad that Billy is healthy now.

    If you don't mind my asking what was wrong with him and why did the doctors think he wouldn't recover? I just ask because most people trust there vets like they trust doctors and the circumstances might help someone to be brave and stand up for their pets the way you did. :)
     
    SheWolfSilver, Feb 28, 2012
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  13. SallyintheValley41

    Victor Leigh Well-Known Member

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    The way I look at it, whether or not the animal would recover is irrelevant to the issue. Life is precious to the last breath. Or is euthanasia just a nice term for a convenient way of getting rid of a burden?
     
    Victor Leigh, Feb 29, 2012
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  14. SallyintheValley41

    Micheleteresa Well-Known Member

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    I thought about this thread a lot and I have come to the conclusion that Victor is correct "Life is precious to the last breath" I certainly do not think euthanization is a way of getting rid of a burden, if I did I would not be involved in animal rescue and have 14 kittys and a dog right now. 10 of the kittys and my poochie where all ACC kill listed animals.

    SheWolfSilver, Billy left the ACC kill factory with a severe URI that developed into phnemonia, his blood presure was to low to even get a reading, he was extremly dehydrated, his body temp was deathly low, his heart was deathly low and he was extremly underweigh and not eating. he needed oxygen and nebulizer treatments to keep him breathing. I think the opinion of most was that he was going to die and I was "wasting" thousands on his care when the out come would be billy not surviving, I was told I was not listening to "logic" . Billy still needs to fatten up, but other than that he is now healthy. I am greatful to the vet in staten Island, who i immediatley drove billy to after signing him out of the hosp in my own area. This vet was great, he taught me how to take care of billy at home, everything the hosp was doing to help him I was able to do at home, even give him his treatments and IV fluids.
     
    Micheleteresa, Feb 29, 2012
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  15. SallyintheValley41

    SheWolfSilver Well-Known Member

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    That is awesome that the other vet took the time to help you learn what to do! My Booger had a URI when I took him in and was close to death it took months of antibiotics to get him over it. He didn't have pneumonia though I don't think he would have made it if it had been that bad.
     
    SheWolfSilver, Feb 29, 2012
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  16. SallyintheValley41

    Micheleteresa Well-Known Member

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    Every cat I have that came from NY ACC left the shelter with a URI, or cold. And It can usually take
    months of antibiotics to fully clear up, yet the ACC only prescribes 10 days worth of antibiotics, at the minimum a full 30 days is needed!
    Yes, it was awesome the vet in Staten Island was so helpful, he didn't even charge me full price for the hospital grade medications and when he saw what the emergency hosp was charging me just to do enough to keep billy alive, he shook his head and said they where not doing anything that could not be done at home and since I am involved in rescue and foster I should learn those things. I even spent what was supposed to go towards my IRS non profit status filing fee towards Billy's hospital charges. I currently only have incorporated organization status, legally. But I'm working hard to get the funds again for the non profit 501 c 3 status. When I do I will definitely talk to that vet about working with my rescue group, The Edge of Hope, Inc.
     
    Micheleteresa, Feb 29, 2012
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  17. SallyintheValley41

    Victor Leigh Well-Known Member

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    Does your rescue group have a website? If so, link please.
     
    Victor Leigh, Mar 4, 2012
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  18. SallyintheValley41

    Micheleteresa Well-Known Member

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    Micheleteresa, Mar 4, 2012
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    SheWolfSilver likes this.
  19. SallyintheValley41

    Victor Leigh Well-Known Member

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    A Facebook page is as good as a website. It's somewhere for people who are interested to interact with your group. Keep up the good work.
     
    Victor Leigh, Mar 5, 2012
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  20. SallyintheValley41

    Afishy1 Member

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    I really think it depends on how the quality of life is for the animal, and whether the owner can handle a euthanasia. I think that, since it is an option, if the animal is in tremendous pain and will not be able to leave peacefully, it is better for the owner and the animal for euthanasia to be done. It can be very hard for an owner to handle this, but natural deaths of animals can be very traumatic and animated. With Euthanasia the animal goes very peacefully and with you right their at their side. They just go to sleep. They do not have any pain or fear. It is a good thing in my opinion. If they have a disease that will take them in a peaceful way, I say go natural, but not unless that is the case. It is hard to say goodbye and to make that call, but you have to think about what is best for the animal (and not what you want).
     
    Afishy1, Mar 28, 2012
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