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

    Victor Leigh Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2011
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    Let me tell you a true story.

    I have a friend who owns a pet shop. She had just got a new Shih Tzu puppy. One day, the puppy went outside the gate to take a pee or something. The strays in the street attacked the puppy. My friend ran out to save the puppy. It was too late. The puppy's stomach was already ripped open. However the puppy was not dead yet. My friend had stitched many dog wounds before but she knew this was one doggy that all the King's men and all the King's horses could not put together again. All she could do was gather up the puppy, intestines and all, put it on a soft cloth in a basket and sat by the puppy until it died.

    I would have done the same.
    Victor Leigh, Mar 31, 2012
  2. SallyintheValley41

    QuatreHiead Well-Known Member

    Jun 27, 2012
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    I recently lost my poor beloved cat in her struggle against feline leukemia. It was very sad to hear your story. I can't imagine having seen her shortly before my mother took her to the vet to be euthanized. But I do agree with Afishy1 that at this time, it is hard to say from one pet to another and one human confidant to said pet to another, which one is the "right" choice: euthanasia or natural death.

    In our case, my mother struggled with letting our cat go via euthanasia. She did muster the strength to take her in to the doctor to be certain of what was wrong with her; however she wasn't ready to let them keep her and euthanize her on that visit. The poor baby, like in SallyintheValley41's story, couldn't get into her litter box and even when she could there was little waste. Her body was giving in to the cancer. She gradually would try and drag herself place to place, relying on us to take cues and help her move. Lifting her head to eat was so much a chore we switched to giving her a plate to eat from and drink from. It was a very sad experience.

    I was very aware that although I was ready to allow her a more peaceful death via euthanasia, my mother was not. She didn't have that belief. I had gone through this once before, in that case I was far closer to the cat than her. So understanding her struggle I respected her wishes. Her views like many stated above where she wouldn't decide to just euthanize her mother who was having difficulty getting around and needed assistance nearly 24/7 for basic functions of her body. So how was this cat, her friend beside her always through recent tough times, any different?

    Eventually, she came to see the suffering that our cat was enduring for our sake; she was a fighter after all. Finally she was ready to let go. She called and let me know and then called again to make sure I knew she had actually taken her in.

    It was sad to watch both of them. I really felt for my cat of course, she was suffering and fading, but I also understood early on that her suffering would only delay my own; it would do nothing to wash away the pain of losing her beside me. With that it was a clear choice for me. My mother however, having a mother in a similar situation couldn't rationalize how it could be humane to do.

    On either side of the issue, I don't think there is a place for people to judge. For some, the idea of euthanizing is just as painful as in this story watching SallyintheValley41's companion fade away naturally. Everyone is different, every person and every cat. And that is just how it is.

    Thank you again SallyintheValley41 for sharing this lovely, however heart-wrenching story with us all! I know it could not have been easy. We've learned a lot here and I am sure I speak for many of us here we are appreciative of your sharing.
    QuatreHiead, Jun 28, 2012
  3. SallyintheValley41

    dconklin Active Member

    Jul 15, 2012
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    New Jersey, USA
    This brings a tear to my eye as I went through something similar but my male didn't break down this bad before dying. He was a healthy 17 year old (he is the one in my avatar) and I know he was aging as he couldn't jump as well and kept lifting his bottom in the litter pan. He made it to the pan but he couldn't keep his legs bent while going. He did start to have the runs, but the vet did blood tests and stool tests to find all was ok. He was as healthy as he could be.

    Last year he got sick and breathing heavy, I found out he had fleas attacking him. I did every natural solution because the vet advised against flea protection because they made him quite sick. I had treated the yard frequently with non toxic flea protection, but we had a lot of neighborhood wild cats around and the whole neighborhood had fleas. We got him back to being better as I added yeast to his food to boost his blood. I am not saying I recommend yeast, I would ask your vet first. All was going good but he didn't move around as much as he did. A couple days I had to bring his food to him and bring him some water. But all in all he was doing better then that day he was breathing real hard. Then a few weeks later he started breathing real hard again, you could really see his body moving as he gasped for air. He wouldn't let us near him and I didn't want to upset him. He laid down and looked like he was breathing better again so I went to bed. I woke up to find him laying on the floor by my daughter's bed. Thought he was sleeping until I turned on the light. Very sad day and I didn't actually get to say good-bye which is what hurt me the most. I just had to remember that I took care of him well and he knew that I loved him even tho nobody was awake to say good-bye.

    Being that he was not suffering, I let him go at home. If he was suffering, I would have let the vet decide.
    dconklin, Jul 15, 2012
  4. SallyintheValley41

    ACSAPA Well-Known Member

    Jul 10, 2012
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    Miami, FL
    I would let the animal die a natural death unless they were in a lot of pain. Animals can't talk ,obviously, but you can tell when an animal is crying out from pain, and the animal will behave differently when they are in distress.
    ACSAPA, Jul 21, 2012
  5. SallyintheValley41

    Beth23 Well-Known Member

    Aug 8, 2012
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    Our family has had cats always. I have had cats euthanized and I have had them die at home. While life is precious, quality of life is precious as well. If the animal is in extreme pain and discomfort, will not recover and you can not be there 24/7 to ease the pain and nurse them until a natural death occurs then ending their suffering is humane.

    Animals are companions but they are not human. We cant put them in hospitals or call hospice to come care for them and keep them comfortable as they approach death as we do with humans. Sometimes euthanizing is the only option unless you want to see your animal suffer terribly. Natural death is not always quick. Sometimes it takes months.

    However I am in favor of doing everything possible to keep them home for a natural death if they are not in extreme pain and they can be properly cared for.
    Beth23, Aug 13, 2012
  6. SallyintheValley41

    MER Well-Known Member

    Aug 27, 2015
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    This is a very sensitive topic and everyone should respect each others opinions and phlosiphies. In my opinion, if my vet is saying that my pet is suffering and having it put down is best for it, then unfortunately, that's probably the best thing to do. I think it's beautiful that you stayed with your pet to her last breath. I'm sure she passed in peace with you that way. I'm sorry it was difficult on you but either way it would be emotionally devestating. Its a personal choice and its your personal business that people should respect you for.
    MER, Sep 21, 2015
  7. SallyintheValley41

    Susan Brown Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2015
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    So sorry for your loss. It is very difficult to say good bye to our fur babies. I have done it both ways and I don't really know what my preference was. It depends on the animals and whether or not they are suffering. I trust that the pet owner will make the right decision for their pet.
    Susan Brown, Dec 17, 2015
  8. SallyintheValley41

    nytegeek Member

    Sep 13, 2015
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    It is very sad and a very personal decision I think. Nobody likes to see their furry friends go or be in pain. I don't think anybody can make a judgement for others in this situation.
    nytegeek, Jan 3, 2016
  9. SallyintheValley41

    Kaybee517 Member

    Jun 23, 2016
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    Thanks for sharing your story. I too had to make the decision to put my cat down to preserve quality of life over agonizing suffering. I had to make that decision because my cat suffered from an aggressive from of thyroid cancer. I took her to get 2 opinions and one doctor refused to operate due to the location of the tumor and the other offered to do it however made no guarantees. Considering my cat was 13 almost 14 I decided quality of life and holistic remedies. I truly believe the love we gave her in combination to the holistic options I tried did keep her happy and comfortable for the first 2.5 months however after she began to get worse quickly. Because her tumor was located on her throat, I had to decide to make the decision when to end her suffering. I didn't know how or when it would be until the days I began to hear her struggle to breath. For two days she sounded severely congested and like it was labor intensive to breath, however on the day she died her body broke down in seizure and gasping to breathe a one point. She was vomiting and trying to breathe. It was at that point at the urgent care I felt I had to put her out of her misery and pain to end her suffering more than it meant to keep her alive for my selfish need. I kissed her on the head and told her mommy loves her and it's ok to let go and see her on the other side when we'll meet again one day. It broke my heart but to end her agony I felt was the best decision.
    Kaybee517, Jun 23, 2016
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