What would you do?

Discussion in 'Mindless Banter' started by OneMadMonkey, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. OneMadMonkey

    OneMadMonkey Well-Known Member

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    I have a 16 1/2 year old cat. I've had her since she was 2 months old, so we have history. About 6-7 years ago, she ate dental floss out of the trash can and almost died. I had to pay $2000 for emergency surgery where they pulled apart her intestines and reattached them. I paid it because I felt it was partly my fault since the floss was in the small bathroom trash can that has no lid. About 4 years ago, she got really sick. She was down to 3lbs and wouldn't eat. It turns out she developed hyperthyroidism and couldn't maintain her weight. She wasn't expected to live a month. I had to force feed her with a syringe several times per day, and I had to administer her IV fluids in her neck twice per day. It took a lot of work, but I got her better, and she has lived four more years. The vet calls her a miracle cat. That all cost me another $2000. Last year, I had to pay $1500 because she had abscesses in her teeth, and the infected ones had to be removed. She has been great and playful until about 10 days ago. I took her to the vet on Thursday, and it cost me $400 to find out she has some liver issues. She's back down to 5lbs, and she's refusing to eat and keeps throwing up her medicine. The vet wants another $500 for X-rays to determine if she has cancer or some other issue, and this additional $500 won't cover any treatment she may need. I feel like it's time to let her go. I don't want her to die, and I feel horrible typing that, but I can't justify spending another $1000 on this cat to force her to live. My mother won't leave me alone. She thinks I should spend the extra $500 to at least find out if I can save her, and then do whatever is necessary to keep her alive. What would you do?
     
  2. Fay

    Fay Well-Known Member

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    Oh, my heart is sad for you! What a horrible spot to be in. I firmly believe that when we take on a pet that they rely on us to take care of them and make the best decisions for them. There is a poem about the Rainbow Bridge that speaks to this decision and how hard it is to decide what to do. I would think that a cat who has lived over 16 years would not have a lot of quality time left, even with all of the medical intervention we have these days. You have to decide in your heart what is the best, most caring choice. I'm so sorry. :(
     
  3. Emma

    Emma Member

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    Honey, let her go, she's given you 16 years of love and loyalty and you've done so much more than others would to keep her going.

    I lost my gorgeous boy Asterix last December, I loved that big lug so much. He was only 12, he was here for a good time, not a long time! He also had his fair share of expensive vet visits over the years, hospitalisation with FLUTD that had blocked his urethra and one time he ate lillies in a bouquet someone had given me. I learned the hard way never to have lillies near a cat, they are almost always lethal. Someone how Trix got through it after being on a drip for a few days but his kidneys were permanently compromised.

    We had him for another 5 years but then he went into renal failure, it was so sudden and I went into denial. I had him in hospital for 4 days on fluids (cost me $3500) thinking that like last time he would come out of it. He didn't and I had to let him go, I was able to hold him while the vet euthanised him, even know it makes me cry.

    My regret is that I put him through 4 days in a cage on a drip because my desire to not have him die was so strong, I was being ruled by my emotion and I'm still hurt when I remember his sweet face looking and me through the cage at the vet. I wish I'd been strong enough at the initial diagnosis to just say ok, his time has come, let him go.

    So, sorry to ramble.

    Ultimately only you know what is best but we do have the gift of being able to give our furry friends a release and not let keep poking and prodding at them when their time has come. I think maybe you should give her one last cuddle and send her off and remember all the love she's given you.
     
  4. OneMadMonkey

    OneMadMonkey Well-Known Member

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    I've decided to not get her anymore treatments, but I'm very conflicted about putting her down. I just don't feel it's my right to end her life. She hasn't eaten more than a few bites today, and I don't think she's gone to the bathroom. I know I should euthanize her, but I can't do it.
     
  5. MissyG

    MissyG Member

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    :sadface: {hugs}
     
  6. Inatic

    Inatic Ya Gotta Wanna! Moderator

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    I'm sorry doll. It's hard. :hug:
     
  7. Fay

    Fay Well-Known Member

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    I stayed with my dog when we had to put her down. She passed very peacefully. It was easier than I expected.
     
  8. Emma

    Emma Member

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    It is hard, I've had to do it three times now but if you treat her it's just putting her through more poking and prodding and if you don't treat her and let nature take it's course she will be suffering. You mentioned her liver, there's every chance she's starting to suffer organ failure, there's no coming back and it can be painful. My cue is eating, if my mate has gone off their food for more than 48 hours I know that the time has come (if they are of that age).

    Think of it this way, 16 is like being a 100 year old human, when you get to that age it's organ failure or cancer that gets you in the end. Humans can have palliative care, pain killers and the like to make them more comfortable but we don't have those services for our pets.

    For our pets we have the power within us to ease their passing, think of it as giving her the gift of peace.

    This is not to say it isn't hard, it's awful. Every time I've held myself together so my furry friend didn't sense my pain then I've sat in the car an sobbed uncontrollably.

    The first time I had to make the decision I was so conflicted, there's no rule book and I just had to go with my gut instinct.

    Have you lost a pet before? I don't want to tell you what you already know.

    If you haven't lost one take it from me, it is incredibly peaceful. You don't have to be there but if you choose to (I always do), it's over in a matter of seconds and they feel nothing. The vet will probably opt to put an IV line to make it easier to administer the drug but they will do this away from your view so it doesn't distress you.

    I've been lucky to have very caring vets, although most are really, rely on him or her, they and the nursing staff should help guide you.

    What ever decision you make imagine a big internet hug from me, it's always hard to let them go.
     
  9. OneMadMonkey

    OneMadMonkey Well-Known Member

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    I've had pets die in the past, but it's always been out of nowhere. My other cat died suddenly from a heart attack. My husband just found her dead one morning.

    I think I'm conflicted because she and I went down this road 4 years ago. I mean she had stopped eating and was down to 3 lbs, but she pulled through. I feel like putting her down is just giving up on her before I give her a chance? I don't know. I have Bo problems with people dying. I've seen so many people die, it's ridiculous. I can never deal with animals dying. I'm such a sucker for them.
     
  10. Emma

    Emma Member

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    I feel your pain, Asterix was only 12, it was so hard because he was still relatively young, it's still haunting me so much more than my other 2 who were elderly when they went.

    I just wanted the vet to tell me what to do to absolve me of making the decision. With Asterix I wanted to take him home for one night because my other cat had been pining for him for days. She was very firm, his kidneys were failing and my need to have more time with him meant that he would die in pain and I couldn't do that to him.

    With the elderly 2 I was hoping nature would take it's course like your previous ones too, but they had cancer and nature taking it's course wasn't going to be pretty. The first time was the hardest thing I ever did, it felt like a betrayal, I got through that by talking to people who'd done the same thing (friends and family, especially a friend who was a vet nurse at the time) which helped me a lot.
     
  11. OneMadMonkey

    OneMadMonkey Well-Known Member

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    Well, the cat hasn't gotten better. I was really hoping that a week of taking her medication would help her out. She's drinking and urinating, but she's still not eating. She looks really frail. I made an appt for tomorrow to have her put down. I'm not sure if I can go through with it though.
     
  12. Inatic

    Inatic Ya Gotta Wanna! Moderator

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    :hug:

    You're doing the right thing.
    They will help you.
     
  13. chickadee1020

    chickadee1020 Member

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    I could not imagine going through this. I already fear for the day that I may be in the same situation with my cat. However, it sounds like this is what she needs and I'm sure your vet and staff will be there to support you. Hang in there.... :mecry:
     
  14. Fay

    Fay Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you have given her every reasonable opportunity for improvement. You have done the best you could for her. :hug:
     
  15. Emma

    Emma Member

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    It's time and it's the kindest thing.

    Have a good cry and then remember all the fun times with her, we still talk about the three we've lost with great affection.
     
  16. OneMadMonkey

    OneMadMonkey Well-Known Member

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    I was having second thoughts about this, but as soon as I got home from work, I knew without a doubt, I had to do this. She couldn't even stand on her own. I held her on my lap for about an hour before I went to bed, and she was gone this morning when I woke up. I'm happy God took her, and I didn't have to do it.
     
  17. Inatic

    Inatic Ya Gotta Wanna! Moderator

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    Im so sorry.
    :hug:
     

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