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Old 11-20-2013, 10:22 AM
 
3,339 posts, read 8,326,184 times
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I have a good friend who is having one of her cats euthanized today. She has been commiserating with all her friends about this on Facebook for the last few days, looking for comfort and advice, I guess. One of her friends actually scolded her for her decision to euthanize the cat (16 1/2 years old and very sick and frail). My friend was devastated -- absolutely crumbling. I had to remind her that it was just the one friend who was callous with her and that dozens of us were supporting her and respecting her decisions.

But you know, no matter how sure you are about a decision, it only takes one insensitive and sanctimonious naysayer to blow your emotions all to hell.

Sometimes the decision IS more clearcut, though. We lost our Hallie 12 hours after surgery; she died from heart failure and couldn't be resuscitated. We had no choice but to euthanize Jimmy eight weeks later, when radiographs showed advanced bone cancer at the base of his spine, and he had lost almost all mobility and had stopped eating two days earlier. There are gray areas in some cases, and these are the hardest decision points. Only the people who have loved and cared for the animal can make the call, and it will never be a selfish call.
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Old 11-20-2013, 03:30 PM
 
795 posts, read 4,198,366 times
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Okay, I don't know if you were speaking to me, TinaMcG, with that comment about euthanasia decisions sometimes being more clearcut -- and therefore defending what the vet tech said to me -- but since that's what it sounds like, I'm going to respond.

In my case, both the vet who performed the procedure and Barnaby's regular vet both told me later that his euthanasia needed to be done. The vet who performed the euthanasia was shocked at the vet tech's comment that it was not a clear decision both because it was an insensitive thing to say AND because it was inaccurate.

This particular vet tech did not know that Barnaby had been in acute heart failure 31 days prior, that he had already been through oxygen treatment, that he had partially stopped eating, that he was refusing all meds (15 per day), and that he was in acute heart failure again. Further, she did not make the comment that my decision was not clear and then sit down and talk about my options with me so that I could explain any of this... she made this comment and then waltzed out the door, leaving me to panic, wondering what I had missed. Answer: Nothing. I hadn't missed anything. There was no magic solution.

So, I'd argue that WAS a clearcut decision. Something my head knows. (My heart doesn't.)

Now if you were speaking to the OP, I'll let her answer you in the way she feels is best.
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Old 11-20-2013, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles>Little Rock>Houston>Little Rock
6,488 posts, read 7,588,840 times
Reputation: 17417
You did the right thing for your dog. I know how it hurts and I am very sorry for your loss.
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:10 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
20 posts, read 179,050 times
Reputation: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLBound09 View Post
OP, I am sorry for your loss. I can definitely say I know how you are feeling and I did not think I would ever feel this way about any animal I have ever owned. I found my furbaby dead yesterday and I am completely devastated. I suspected he was at the end stage of CHF sometime last week as he started coughing and I noticed all the signs/symptoms of the disease (tachycardia, weight loss, appetite loss, weakness, shortness of breath, etc). He deteriorated so quickly. I was going to take him to the vet yesterday afternoon to see if we could buy some time and what else could be done, but around 11:50a is when my baby was called home. I have been praying that he went in peace.

I haven't cried this much since a beloved family member of mine died several years ago. He was truly my baby and gave me so much joy for the last 9 years. I got him when he was about 3 and he was just the cutest thing ever! Everyone loved my furbaby and knew he was around because he wouldn't bark as much but make this shrilling hollering sound that could wake up the neighborhood.

I guess I was in denial about him being an older dog because he was the size of a baby and I would hold him just like a baby and he would just lay in my arms like one, often drifting off to sleep. As little as he was, he was fiercely protective and once he warded off any "threat" he would always plop down on my feet or lay down and roll on his back so I could rub his tummy.

I am going to miss my baby and I know that he is in a better place right now. I didn't think it would be this hard though.
ATLBound09, I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I could say something... anything to make you feel better, but nothing will. There are many amazing folks here on this board, who understand and care. Only time will help you heal, but here with us you have a chance to release your emotions.
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:14 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
20 posts, read 179,050 times
Reputation: 101
Barndog, I think that TinaMcG was referring to her own experiences when mentioning a more clearcut decision. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's how I understood Tina's post.

Maggie2101, thank you for your kind words, they mean a lot.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:44 AM
 
Location: Free From The Oppressive State
26,029 posts, read 19,140,938 times
Reputation: 30988
Sabina, it doesn't matter if you asked for the "hard truth", the vet tech was OUT of line discussing that with you. She should have told you that she is not in a position to tell you anything and referred you to the vet. Her behavior was completely unethical and unprofessional.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:06 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
20 posts, read 179,050 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Three Wolves In Snow View Post
Sabina, it doesn't matter if you asked for the "hard truth", the vet tech was OUT of line discussing that with you. She should have told you that she is not in a position to tell you anything and referred you to the vet. Her behavior was completely unethical and unprofessional.
I guess you're right. I'll talk to the vet tonight and I'll mention it to him.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:16 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
20 posts, read 179,050 times
Reputation: 101
I posted a question to a veterinarian on medhelp.org describing my dog's disease history and asking if I made the right decision. This can be done for a $20 fee. Here's the response I got:

Quote:
Sabina,

I am so sorry that you had to make such a sad but necessary decision for your dog.

But I sincerely think that that you really made the right decision. Due to the severity of her heart condition I don't believe that there was any additional medical or other treatment that could have helped her. Had she been human the only thing that would have helped would have been a heart transplant.

Heart murmurs are graded from1 to 6 and 6 is the highest and most severe level. Your dog was diagnosed with a grade 6 heart murmur, the most severe type.

Your dog became bloated (which is called ascites) which probably means that she had right sided heart failure with secondary problems in her liver. This accompanies very late stage heart failure usually. With ascites, the abdominal cavity enlarges with fluid which presses against the diaphragm which further compresses and compromises the chest cavity making the breathing even more labored. Lasix and other diuretics can only do so much to remove the excess fluid.

I think that had you chosen not to euthanize her, she would have lived for a couple of more days and eventually died on her own when her heart finally failed terminally. She received great hospital care but oxygen therapy would not have removed the fluid from her abdomen and even if the oxygen had helped her breath temporarily, a dog cannot live forever in an oxygen cage. I do not believe that a veterinary cardiologist would have been able to add much to her already excellent medical protocol.

I am very sorry for your loss...

Sincerely,

Dr. Aleda Cheng
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:36 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
1,838 posts, read 2,661,943 times
Reputation: 2692
So sorry for your loss-you did the right thing.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Not where I want to be
22 posts, read 31,554 times
Reputation: 40
Sabina, I'm so sorry about your dear sweet Katie. It is the hardest decision to make whether to euthanize or not. As another poster mentioned, I believe the guilt and second guessing are part of the grieving process for some. At least it was for me.

I put down my sweet little girl Cocoa this past March. Until recently, I had been driving myself crazy with doubts about my decision. I knew in my head it was the right choice, but my broken heart screamed otherwise. Could we have done more for her? My vet said yes, but also said it would not be good for anyone. She MIGHT feel better for a few more months, but then be right back where we started. It would be delaying the inevitable. She did not handle being sick very well, she was so miserable. She hated being at the vets and being away from me. She was such a momma's girl. I did not want to put her through any further tests, procedures, surgery, medications. Yet I still struggled for months afterwards with my decision.

Recently my logic took over and I now see that my decision was the right one. I still miss her terribly, my heart is still broken and I am crying now as I type this, but I finally feel at peace knowing that I did what was best for HER, not me.

I asked one of my vets how they deal with having to euthanize pets so often. He responded that he considers it a gift that he is able to give to others.

You did a wonderful thing by rescuing her and giving her so much love and the best care. You gave her a gift by letting her go.

It has only been a few days for you, and it will take time for you to grieve. Everyone's timing is different. I hope you find peace soon.
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