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Old 04-07-2012, 12:39 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,074 posts, read 6,355,820 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
does she go to the vet regularly? Have you even taken her to the vet for this situation. There might be help for her. But if there isn't please let her suffering end. I stayed with my beloved 16 year old Paul and held him in my arms as he was going. I was crying and so upset but he managed enough strength to lift his head and lick my tears away. I think he was telling me thank you. I'm so glad I was brave enough to help him with this last little bit of his beautiful life.
I echo this.
Because Weasie carried on with her usual behavior and voracious appetite as she lost weight from liver cancer, the vet at first thought she might have needed to have her metabolism regulated. She was put on a thyroid medication. Only after the ounces kept dropping were X-rays done. Then it was abundantly clear that she was in the grips of her final illness. Having turned 19 last summer, surgery wouldn't have been an option for her even if the disease had been caught early. Her vet - a man of high ethics mixed with down-to-earth frankness - let me know that she could be given steroids to keep her from shrinking so much, biopsies to track the malady's progress, etc. "But that would run you into some money and won't change the outcome."
Weasie stayed in good spirits, enjoying the mild "winter that wasn't" and keeping up her socializing around the neighborhood, until she took a rapid turn for the worse. The details won't be gone into here. But she left no doubt that the fight had gone out of her and that life had turned into an ordeal. My spunky, outspoken cat would alternate between trudging around with her head down and staring into space while slouching. Every once in a while she'd cry out pitifully, making sounds I hadn't heard from her since her brother disappeared forever many years before. People have said that animals can't communicate that they're in pain. Hogwash! One look at Weeze even without her sad noises told you that she was hurting. I ultimately decided, aided by no-nonsense advice from some friends, to not "let nature take its course."
Any lingering reservations I had about euthanizing my BFF (best feline friend ) were dispelled when she gently but firmly laid her right front paw on my right forearm as her last conscious act. That gesture "said it all," not only thanking me for putting an end to her agonies but wishing me the best and expressing gratitude for the time we shared and saying she loved me and on and on! Few things in life are done without some second-guessing "what if's" afterwards. This was one of them.
OP's cat is giving every indication that it's time for her to depart this life. But a thorough exam should be done before any decision is made. As for fanciful notions of letting her die on her own instead of being assisted to death's door? These words from a neighbor were the nudge I needed toward opting to not let Weasie go like that: "Who is that helping?"
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:05 AM
 
1,105 posts, read 1,340,523 times
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These stories are so touching they really break my heart, no matter how they need be done at the time. It is heart wrenching anytime I hear this, & it jolts my senses to reality & to hug my kitty asap after reading this. You really have no idea what you lose in your pet until it is gone. What a hard way to wakeup to real life over & over again.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:20 AM
Status: "Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Northern Illinois
1,821 posts, read 1,283,720 times
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I am sorry for you and your baby - I went through this myself this past February with my Callie. I think that your taking the time to post the situation on here - you already KNOW what you have to do but I think you need to feel that you are not alone in the decision. All of us here have lost loved ones and we understand what you are feeling and thinking. You know your baby better than anyone. Put yourself in her paws - if you were hurting and miserable and unable to care for yourself, would YOU want to continue the struggle and misery every day? I still keep telling myself that it wasn't something I did TO her, but something I did FOR her - and that helps me get through. Remember her with the dignity she deserves, but please have mercy on her poor and tired little body. I will keep you and her in my thoughts and prayers, and I send you a big <<<hug>>>...
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Monadnock region
3,712 posts, read 6,024,178 times
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when was her last vet checkup? old does not necessary mean dying - it depends on exactly what is wrong. Is there any chance that whatever has caused this sudden change is curable? In that case, go to the vet immediately and help the poor girl! if there has been long term disease that can't be treated and this is end-stage, then it depends: is she in pain? If she's in pain, then absolutely yes! euthenasia is the heartbreaking gift we can give our pets. If she's not in pain, usually they'd prefer to stay home.

Most of my cats that have passed on, have gone to the vets - all but one have ended up in seizure (talk about heartbreaking! they have 'left' so they don't feel pain, but it's so hideous to watch and no stopping it once it starts without the vet). The one, we kept at home. we knew when it was happening and put her on the bed to keep her comfortable. We were concerned about seizing since our vet told me that more cats go through that than don't... so we moved her to a large comfortable box/tray and drove in. She left on her on a couple miles from the vets; but he said looking at her positioning in the box, she wasn't in any pain.

So, you know your cat. if it's fixable, old doesn't justify. If it's not, then please avoid any unnecessary pain, but they do often prefer to stay at home if it's an easy passing (and consider whether there's additional emotional trauma of the car ride to the vet, if you can spare them that for an easy passing with no pain....)
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:54 PM
 
2,820 posts, read 2,073,524 times
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I second WannaComeHome. Many old cats lose weight due to problems with the thyroid, which is easily fixable or controlled. Animals (and people) don't die from old age...they die from problems with their organs. Sometimes simple fluids can do a tremendous amount for a cat in renal failure or at least give them a little more 'good' time.

That said, I think when the time does come it is kinder to have a vet euthanize. I think almost everyone would prefer their pet to just peacefully slip away in their sleep. The reality is that the body doesn't want to die. It will continue to fight to survive even when the animal is exhausted and suffering. Most will struggle to keep breathing as the body starts to shut down and this is painful and frightening for them.

There were many times where owners would rush an animal in for emergency euthanasia because they tried to let the animal die at home and realized that it wasn't peaceful like they'd envisioned.

You might want to consider an at-home euthanasia if you think taking her to the vet will be too stressful. Some vets offer this service and it can be easier for you and your cat that way.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
391 posts, read 395,362 times
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I seem to be a lone voice for not going the euthanasia route, but in my life, between when I was a child to now, I have been through the deaths of two dogs (one was 14, the other was 8) and four cats (ages: 27, 23, 22, 16). Two from cancer, one from renal failure, one from heart attack, and the others natural causes/old age. None of them were in undue pain at the time of death, and we felt they would be happier passing in their own time, their own home, with the people they love, rather than dying scared at a place they hated their entire lives: the vet's office. I understand why people do it, but it is not a route I can forsee going down. If I ever felt it was necessary, I would request it be done at home. Recently one of my clients had an old Husky who was in a great deal of pain and needed the relief. The vet came to his house to do it, which I find much more acceptable than taking the animal into the vet's office.

I volunteered at an animal shelter once, and you can't tell me the ones who got put down didn't know what was going on. Normally, they would be happy to be out of their cages/kennels and getting attention, but when you took them down to that room, they knew.

Last edited by lovecda; 04-12-2012 at 09:41 PM.. Reason: Clarifying language
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:56 PM
 
2,820 posts, read 2,073,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovecda View Post
I seem to be a lone voice for not going the euthanasia route, but in my life, between when I was a child to now, I have been through the deaths of two dogs (one was 14, the other was 8) and four cats (ages: 27, 23, 22, 16). Two from cancer, one from renal failure, one from heart attack, and the others natural causes/old age. None of them were in undue pain at the time of death, and we felt they would be happier passing in their own time, their own home, with the people they love, rather than dying scared at a place they hated their entire lives: the vet's office. I understand why people do it, but it is not a route I can forsee going down. If I ever felt it was necessary, I would request it be done at home. Recently one of my clients had an old Husky who was in a great deal of pain and needed the relief. The vet came to his house to do it, which I find much more acceptable than taking the animal into the vet's office.

I volunteered at an animal shelter once, and you can't tell me the ones who got put down didn't know what was going on. Normally, they would be happy to be out of their cages/kennels and getting attention, but when you took them down to that room, they knew.

It's a little different, though. Typically in a shelter 'that room' is only used for that purpose. The animals are reacting to the smell, which no matter how much you clean is basically a part of that room.

I worked in a vet hospital, and an animal who was typically happy going to the hospital was just as happy on the final visit. The rooms are used for many purposes and the pheromones involved are not so prevalent.

I do agree that at home euthanasia is a viable option and I wish more vets would do this and more people knew that some will. We would sometimes euthanize outside on the lawn or in the car. We also had one vet who would do home visits. The hospital now has a comfortable room with a sofa and soft lights that is much more pleasant than a regular exam room.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:37 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
7,859 posts, read 12,470,339 times
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When Gracie was so ill, I did have her die at home. I did not want her last moments to be frightening ones with steel tables and barking dogs. She was unable to eat anything & was so weak and unconfortable. She was sleeping in a little shoebox, that is how small she had become. I checked on her all night, and she was still breathing, but not moving. I thought she had died . She was so still.

When I woke up the next morning, that brave little soul had somehow gotten herself out of the box and she was lying next to my bed. It was the saddest thing & the most difficult thing I have ever done.
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Be kinder than necessary for everyone is fighting some kind of battle.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:31 PM
 
1,212 posts, read 1,214,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovecda View Post
I seem to be a lone voice for not going the euthanasia route, but in my life, between when I was a child to now, I have been through the deaths of two dogs (one was 14, the other was 8) and four cats (ages: 27, 23, 22, 16). Two from cancer, one from renal failure, one from heart attack, and the others natural causes/old age. None of them were in undue pain at the time of death, and we felt they would be happier passing in their own time, their own home, with the people they love, rather than dying scared at a place they hated their entire lives: the vet's office. I understand why people do it, but it is not a route I can forsee going down. If I ever felt it was necessary, I would request it be done at home. Recently one of my clients had an old Husky who was in a great deal of pain and needed the relief. The vet came to his house to do it, which I find much more acceptable than taking the animal into the vet's office.

I volunteered at an animal shelter once, and you can't tell me the ones who got put down didn't know what was going on. Normally, they would be happy to be out of their cages/kennels and getting attention, but when you took them down to that room, they knew.
This is pretty much how I felt about the situation so I didn't take her in and she died at home naturally today.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:07 AM
 
1,105 posts, read 1,340,523 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancy thereader View Post
When Gracie was so ill, I did have her die at home. I did not want her last moments to be frightening ones with steel tables and barking dogs. She was unable to eat anything & was so weak and unconfortable. She was sleeping in a little shoebox, that is how small she had become. I checked on her all night, and she was still breathing, but not moving. I thought she had died . She was so still.

When I woke up the next morning, that brave little soul had somehow gotten herself out of the box and she was lying next to my bed. It was the saddest thing & the most difficult thing I have ever done.
This story is beyond words.

Nancy, I can't imagine how you felt at that time nor afterwards. I can only offer my very sincerest condolences on Gracie once again, and May God Bless you and give you peace anytime you remember this situation.

I know Gracie is at Raindow Bridge, and forever there to await our visits also when we leave this earth.
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