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Thread: When do you let a pet go?

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    When do you let a pet go?

    As I mentioned on a different thread my cat likely has cancer in his nose/sinuses and is not likely to live for too much longer. He's an old guy, 15 1/2 years old, so he's had a good life. He seems to be holding steady for now. Sneezes a lot. Doesn't do much other than sleep and get up to eat/drink water/use the litter box. Still loves to be held, purrs relentlessly when I pick him up and hold him. And even lets me use a wet towel to bathe him since he gets covered in snot on a daily basis.

    But at what point do I say "enough is enough" and make the appointment to go Dr. Kevorkian on him? I don't want to rush things, but I don't want to force him to be miserable just because I don't want to let him go. He doesn't seem to be in a lot of pain, but he is also not going to get better.

    It was so much easier with my last cat. He hid his illness well and then went downhill quickly. No decision had to be made. With this guy it's different. If I let him he may well drag this out for a long time.

    chris now.jpg

  2. #2
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    When he stops eating is probably the time. But you can discuss this with your vet.


    The eating thing is not 100% indicator but itís good in many cases. My very first bulldog had cancer and was getting open sores on her body but because she was on steroids she still ate like a fiend. Her skin was going to rot off her bones, So we had to euthanize her when she was bright eyed. That was hard.

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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    I always go by "quality of life" these days, and try not to be selfish about "well, maybe another day."

    :-(

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    I only know that with my dear old Siamese, Cyrano, I waited too long and it is something I will always feel bad about. I kept thinking he would go on his own but cats hang on and don't show their pain. I think the not eating thing is a good indicator.

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    When he stops eating is probably the time. But you can discuss this with your vet.


    The eating thing is not 100% indicator but it’s good in many cases. My very first bulldog had cancer and was getting open sores on her body but because she was on steroids she still ate like a fiend. Her skin was going to rot off her bones, So we had to euthanize her when she was bright eyed. That was hard.
    Ugggh. THe steroids he's doing now have made him eat more. Lots more. He'd dropped 2 pounds, but has since regained most of that, presumably because of the steroids.

    I'm leaving tomorrow for a few days in DC for work. I guess I'll re access once I get home.

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    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    None of my animals ever quit eating. I keep track of good versus bad days. I also look for pain indicators. We have lost 5 dogs in 2 years. It’s hard and I think it’s actually cruel to wait for a animal to die on it’s own. 4 were old and one was only 3 and died at the animal hospital.

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    None of my animals ever quit eating. I keep track of good versus bad days. I also look for pain indicators. We have lost 5 dogs in 2 years. It’s hard and I think it’s actually cruel to wait for a animal to die on it’s own. 4 were old and one was only 3 and died at the animal hospital.
    that is true. The no eating thing worked for our last three cats tho.

    JP, you are definitely in the zone of time to put your cat down. I believe there is a period that begins with discomfort and ends with pain and death on their own. This is the window for euthanasia and there is no one single right day. But the fact that he is sleeping all of his time away is an indicator of discomfort and not a great life.


    On the other hand, I don’t know how he normally is.I have a 17-year-old cat who sleeps her life away. She has always been lazy, fat, and she sleeps all day. She is inactive, incurious, and not very bright, although always affectionate. If she starts losing weight I will know we are in the zone of time to go to kitty heaven.

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    I am so sorry you are going through this; it's a terrible place to be. I was so lucky that Millie died naturally on her own, with life left in her, if that makes sense. It was in keeping with her incredibly kind nature.

  9. #9
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    It was just a year ago that we had one of the best pet deaths ever. Our bulldog had a heart attack right in front of us. She had been trotting around normally, she ate dinner 20 minutes before her heart attack. Then she had a massive heart attack and died. That is the way to go

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    Millie took a giant stretch, you know the way cats do when they are relaxing, and died mid stretch--we found her that way in the morning.

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