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Making End-of-Life decisions for pets

marlene

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My mom sent me this, it was in today's New York Times. The article is good and discusses issues we all face at the end of our pets lifetimes. As a side some readers raise the issues of responsible pet ownership in various forms. The reader comments are heartbreaking, insightful, and hopeful. Hope you enjoy it!

Making End-of-Life Decisions for Pets - Well Blog - NYTimes.com
 

Mews2much

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I understand this very well.
Coco has CRF which is what many of these cats had and I am faced with this now.
I ahve cried almost everyday since the vet said we may have to make the choice.
My vet bill is already very high and I had to charge it because we are short on money.
I had to have Stormy,Stripe and Yoshi pts.
Patches died at the er and Lucy died on the way there.
The rest of my cats died at home.



 
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I've only had one of my cats pass away, that was Softie when I was 13 and she hung herself on the fence, we found her the next morning (she'd escaped out the backdoor and was trying to come home) it was so sad, I didn't go to school for days.

The only other cats I've had that passed away were when I was 6 and my grandmother insisted she had to keep my dads cat and our calico because she needed something to love her now that my dad had died and we were moving away (she hated my mom so she didn't want us to stay anyway). She called us after we'd been on the road a few hours to tell us she'd just had them put to sleep. She claimed she wanted them to be with my dad.

So now I have 5 cats and two are 15 so I know it might not be long before they pass, but they are both really healthy so maybe It'll be another 15? :BigSmile:
 

ckutkuhn7

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Maybe I'm more of a cat person now because they are the only furry animals I've never had to PTS.
As a little girl I had 3 bueatiful labs (Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and Digger,,RIP) as pets (along with my many cat rescues) and throughout the years one by one we had to put them to sleep because someone had posioned them and they had gotten so sick we could not save them or bare to have them suffer such a violent death.
They were good dogs, never got out, all they did was bark when some snot nosed kid would tease them through our electric fence. I grew up in the backwoods of NC where there is pretty much nothing but rednecks and hillbillies but some kids from that neighborhood were just cruel to animals.
Anyhow, any kitties I ever had that passed either died as kittens with complications from birth or my poor Venus who had hung herself at 4 weeks or so of age...
No matter what loosing a pet is hard and one of the worst heart breaks you can have.
 

Cathie

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I had to put my 2 dogs down the end of Jan. They were pretty healthy, but they were 12 and 13, mother and daughter. We were about to move from Florida t California, What ended up being a 5 day drive. They were getting older, Artie wa having vision problems, and her hearing was not the best. Loki, well she would not do well without her mama. She was always by her side. We knew Artie would do well as a "city dog", but we were not sure how Loki would handle it. We didn't trust the people that said we could leave them behind and they would"watch them" So we made a very hard decision. We put them both down. The same day. They are Burried along side the other beloved pets that have died over the past 10 years. Together, the way they would have wanted it o be. I am a ferm believer in a day to early is much better than a min. to late.
When they left us, they were still happy and not in pain. If we would have selfishly taken them t California, they would have been in a very packed truck for 5 days. They would have hated it. They loved to go for rides, but in the bed of the truck, something not possible in a ryder truck, or a f350 hauling a 36 ft gooseneck trailer.
It was a hard drcision, but one I will not regreat.
 

marlene

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I lost 7 Maine Coons in the '80s and '90s to HCM. Two died as a result of anesthesia and dental cleanings and weren't diagnosed until they were autopsied. One died in my bed and another one in my lap; they too were very young and were diagnosed by autopsies. The other three became symptomatic and were diagnosed, but were PTS when their quality of life deteriorated to the point that I felt their bad moments outweighed the good.

This decade I lost my last 2 Maine Coons to CRF. One was treated for 3 years and the other for 4. These two were especially hard for they were both very old (18 and weeks from 20) and were the last kitties that I had kept from my breeding program.

And two months ago I lost Little Ren, my heart kitty. I had exactly 6 days with him from the time I noticed his stomach looked a little big until the morning he was PTS. It took only 6 days for him to turn from a healthy kitty into a kitty with a bigger-than-due-to-give-birth stomach, with wasted muscles that couldn't even jump up on the toilet. 6 days. I'm still angry at life. I all but begged my vet to tell me that there was something we could do that would give him a good quality of life. And he gave me his honest answer when I asked what he would do if Ren was his kitty, and I greatly respect him for that. Ren had just turned 7 and I can't help but feel we were cheated of so many years. I still can't write about this without crying.

I still miss all my kitties. But I don't regret taking responsibility for ending any of their lives; when it came down to it I just had to love them enough to let them go rather than continue making them miserable because I couldn't bear to let go. It's very easy to love a creature enough that you try to do everything to keep it with you, but it's a lot harder to love it enough that you're willing to let go when the reasonable options have been expended.
 

Mews2much

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The vet did say we can try the epogen and see if it helps Coco which is what we will do.
I did ask the vet for her honest opinion and she said 2 weeks- 2 months.
I doubt she will last that long.
She is my only cat left from before my mom died and has always been special to me.
Stripe was another cat that I was very close to.
She was a feral we saved and I kept her.
She had borderline cancer at age 4 and a breast removed.
She was fine until she got CRF.
The day we found out she had it she was very bad and needed a blood transfusion to save her.
That was Nov 26th Thanksgiving 1998.
Patches died that day at the ER from ARF waiting for a transfusion.
The vet thought they ate pain meds.
I could not have cats were I lived then and regret they were not with me.
My other Patches I saw born and she died in the same room she was born in.
Lucy died from a leukemia shot on the way to the er.
I wrote poems if anyone wants to see.



 
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