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View Full Version : Euthanasia - not sure what to do.


The Other Mike[_2_]
August 1st 08, 08:53 PM
Wife and I have been together for about 10 years (married and living
together for 4). She's had her cat since he was a kitten...he's 18
years old now. He's going downhill...he has tumors in his chest and
spots on his liver. Over the past 4 months or so he started throwing
up alot and losing alot of weight. Over the past 3 weeks, his abdomen
is filling up with fluids and he's pretty bloated. Over this time
we've been to the vet numerous times (and a vet hospital in the city
besides our local vet). All said that it's probably cancer and that's
why the abdomen is filling with fluids. We don't want to put him
through more tests due to his age (and the vets agreed)....we've had
his abdomen drained a few times but it doesn't really seem to help
much since they can't get too much out without sedating him. He is
still eating and drinking, but sleeps all day and doesn't seem
interested in much...can't really move around with his bloated belly.
The problem is...I think it's time to put him down....my wife doesn't.
She wants to keep trying to have him drained and is waiting for that
definitive sign that it's time. She says that since he's still
interested in eating and purrs once in a while (it's actually rare
anymore) that he's not ready. What do you think? And if you agree
with me...how would you convince your spouse without causing
resentment ? She's had the cat since he was a kitten so in my mind,
it's her that needs to make that final decision...but I don't want the
cat to suffer waiting for it.

LauraM[_2_]
August 1st 08, 09:00 PM
On Aug 1, 12:53*pm, The Other Mike > wrote:
> Wife and I have been together for about 10 years (married and living
> together for 4). *She's had her cat since he was a kitten...he's 18
> years old now. *He's going downhill...he has tumors in his chest and
> spots on his liver. *Over the past 4 months or so he started throwing
> up alot and losing alot of weight. *Over the past 3 weeks, his abdomen
> is filling up with fluids and he's pretty bloated. * Over this time
> we've been to the vet numerous times (and a vet hospital in the city
> besides our local vet). *All said that it's probably cancer and that's
> why the abdomen is filling with fluids. *We don't want to put him
> through more tests due to his age (and the vets agreed)....we've had
> his abdomen drained a few times but it doesn't really seem to help
> much since they can't get too much out without sedating him. *He is
> still eating and drinking, but sleeps all day and doesn't seem
> interested in much...can't really move around with his bloated belly.
> The problem is...I think it's time to put him down....my wife doesn't.
> She wants to keep trying to have him drained and is waiting for that
> definitive sign that it's time. * She says that since he's still
> interested in eating and purrs once in a while (it's actually rare
> anymore) that he's not ready. *What do you think? *And if you agree
> with me...how would you convince your spouse without causing
> resentment ? * She's had the cat since he was a kitten so in my mind,
> it's her that needs to make that final decision...but I don't want the
> cat to suffer waiting for it.

Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through....and
your wife & kitty. I've had my cat prior to my marriage as well. My
cat is now almost 15. I can only imagine how much your wife loves her
cat. It's really hard.

I would imagine every situation is different as to when we let our
beloved pets go. Has the vet discussed the situation with her?
Perhaps explained to her what the cat is feeling right now....pain,
etc.?? Sometimes we need to hear the vet tell us the scientific
truth. Then, perhaps she will put two and two together. Everyone
does this in their own time.

A great book in helping with a pet's passing is a children's book
called "Cat Heaven". There's one for dogs too (Dog Heaven). I give
this book to my adult friends whose pets have passed. It's very
comforting.

Bobblespin
August 1st 08, 09:00 PM
The Other Mike > wrote in
:

> Wife and I have been together for about 10 years (married and living
> together for 4). She's had her cat since he was a kitten...he's 18
> years old now. He's going downhill...he has tumors in his chest and
> spots on his liver. Over the past 4 months or so he started throwing
> up alot and losing alot of weight. Over the past 3 weeks, his abdomen
> is filling up with fluids and he's pretty bloated. Over this time
> we've been to the vet numerous times (and a vet hospital in the city
> besides our local vet). All said that it's probably cancer and that's
> why the abdomen is filling with fluids. We don't want to put him
> through more tests due to his age (and the vets agreed)....we've had
> his abdomen drained a few times but it doesn't really seem to help
> much since they can't get too much out without sedating him. He is
> still eating and drinking, but sleeps all day and doesn't seem
> interested in much...can't really move around with his bloated belly.
> The problem is...I think it's time to put him down....my wife doesn't.
> She wants to keep trying to have him drained and is waiting for that
> definitive sign that it's time. She says that since he's still
> interested in eating and purrs once in a while (it's actually rare
> anymore) that he's not ready. What do you think? And if you agree
> with me...how would you convince your spouse without causing
> resentment ? She's had the cat since he was a kitten so in my mind,
> it's her that needs to make that final decision...but I don't want the
> cat to suffer waiting for it.
>

I think she needs to hear it from the vet. If it's really time, the vet
should make it quite clear to both of you together. Make sure he's
specific and not vague, so there's no doubt in her mind. Sometimes we
hear only what we want to hear, especially at such a difficult time.
I'm sorry you have to go through this.

Bobble

Rene S.
August 1st 08, 09:35 PM
> I think she needs to hear it from the vet. *If it's really time, the vet
> should make it quite clear to both of you together. Make sure he's
> specific and not vague, so there's no doubt in her mind. *Sometimes we
> hear only what we want to hear, especially at such a difficult time. *
> I'm sorry you have to go through this.

I agree with Bobbie and LauraM. Ask the vet for an honest opinion.
Sometimes, the owners are too close to the situation to make a
decision, and this is probably the case with your wife.

I'm sorry you're in this situation. Best wishes to you both.

Phil P.
August 1st 08, 10:20 PM
"The Other Mike" > wrote in message
...
> Wife and I have been together for about 10 years (married and living
> together for 4). She's had her cat since he was a kitten...he's 18
> years old now. He's going downhill...he has tumors in his chest and
> spots on his liver. Over the past 4 months or so he started throwing
> up alot and losing alot of weight. Over the past 3 weeks, his abdomen
> is filling up with fluids and he's pretty bloated. Over this time
> we've been to the vet numerous times (and a vet hospital in the city
> besides our local vet). All said that it's probably cancer and that's
> why the abdomen is filling with fluids. We don't want to put him
> through more tests due to his age (and the vets agreed)....we've had
> his abdomen drained a few times but it doesn't really seem to help
> much since they can't get too much out without sedating him. He is
> still eating and drinking, but sleeps all day and doesn't seem
> interested in much...can't really move around with his bloated belly.
> The problem is...I think it's time to put him down....my wife doesn't.
> She wants to keep trying to have him drained and is waiting for that
> definitive sign that it's time. She says that since he's still
> interested in eating and purrs once in a while (it's actually rare
> anymore) that he's not ready. What do you think? And if you agree
> with me...how would you convince your spouse without causing
> resentment ? She's had the cat since he was a kitten so in my mind,
> it's her that needs to make that final decision...but I don't want the
> cat to suffer waiting for it.

I strongly suggest having the fluid analyzed before making a life-or-death
decision. Fluid analysis should let you know exactly what
you're dealing with. He may have a treatable condition. If he doesn't,
you'll be able to make your decision without doubts which would otherwise
haunt you forever.

Your vet already had a fluid sample in his hands- I don't understand why he
didn't advise you to have it analyzed. That's poor practice. I'd dump him
if I were you- before its too late.

Best of luck,

Phil

honeybunch
August 1st 08, 10:53 PM
On Aug 1, 5:20*pm, "Phil P." > wrote:
> "The Other Mike" > wrote in messagenews:[email protected] .com...
>
>
>
>
>
> > Wife and I have been together for about 10 years (married and living
> > together for 4). *She's had her cat since he was a kitten...he's 18
> > years old now. *He's going downhill...he has tumors in his chest and
> > spots on his liver. *Over the past 4 months or so he started throwing
> > up alot and losing alot of weight. *Over the past 3 weeks, his abdomen
> > is filling up with fluids and he's pretty bloated. * Over this time
> > we've been to the vet numerous times (and a vet hospital in the city
> > besides our local vet). *All said that it's probably cancer and that's
> > why the abdomen is filling with fluids. *We don't want to put him
> > through more tests due to his age (and the vets agreed)....we've had
> > his abdomen drained a few times but it doesn't really seem to help
> > much since they can't get too much out without sedating him. *He is
> > still eating and drinking, but sleeps all day and doesn't seem
> > interested in much...can't really move around with his bloated belly.
> > The problem is...I think it's time to put him down....my wife doesn't.
> > She wants to keep trying to have him drained and is waiting for that
> > definitive sign that it's time. * She says that since he's still
> > interested in eating and purrs once in a while (it's actually rare
> > anymore) that he's not ready. *What do you think? *And if you agree
> > with me...how would you convince your spouse without causing
> > resentment ? * She's had the cat since he was a kitten so in my mind,
> > it's her that needs to make that final decision...but I don't want the
> > cat to suffer waiting for it.
>
> I strongly suggest having the fluid analyzed before making a life-or-death
> decision. *Fluid analysis should let you know exactly what
> you're dealing with. *He may have a treatable condition. *If he doesn't,
> you'll be able to make your decision without doubts which would otherwise
> haunt you forever.
>
> Your vet already had a fluid sample in his hands- I don't understand why he
> didn't advise you to have it analyzed. *That's poor practice. *I'd dump him
> if I were you- before its too late.
>
> Best of luck,
>
> Phil- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

Phil is always wise in his responses. Your vet doesnt seem to have
done all the correct things. In addition you might think about how
you would go about having the cat put to sleep. Will a vet come to
your house? How will you dispose of the body? Taking the beloved cat
to the vets and leaving him there is very hard.

Richard Evans
August 1st 08, 11:29 PM
honeybunch > wrote:

>
>Phil is always wise in his responses. Your vet doesnt seem to have
>done all the correct things. In addition you might think about how
>you would go about having the cat put to sleep. Will a vet come to
>your house? How will you dispose of the body? Taking the beloved cat
>to the vets and leaving him there is very hard.

Please don't leave him. Years ago I had an elderly German
Shepherd/Colllie mix named Sebastian. He had the shape of a Shepherd,
but the long black-and-tan coat of a collie. He was big, 125 pounds
and six feet tall on his hind legs. In his youth, he was a thing of
beauty. He loved to chase a ball and could learn new tricks in a
matter of minutes. He knew the sound of my dad's Chrysler and could
distinguish it from any other vehicle the minute it turned into my
300-foot driveway.

At the age of twelve, old for a dog his size, he weighed less than 60
pounds. His hair had fallen out and his skin was ravaged with
intractable infections and open sores. He had lost control of his
bowels and bladder.

I reluctantly called the vet and made arrangements to have him
euthanized. I led him to the door of the vet's office, handed his
leash to the vet, and walked away with tears in my eyes.

I will never forgive myself for that. I owed it to him that he not
spend his final moments in the hands of strangers, and I failed him.

Since then (three times) when euthanasia was necessary it was done
with my friend in my arms. Each time has been hard, but I've never
regretted any of them.

LauraM[_2_]
August 2nd 08, 12:22 AM
On Aug 1, 3:29*pm, Richard Evans > wrote:
> honeybunch > wrote:
>
> >Phil is always wise in his responses. *Your vet doesnt seem to have
> >done all the correct things. *In addition you might think about how
> >you would go about having the cat put to sleep. *Will a vet come to
> >your house? *How will you dispose of the body? *Taking the beloved cat
> >to the vets and leaving him there is very hard.
>
> Please don't leave him. Years ago I had an elderly German
> Shepherd/Colllie mix named Sebastian. He had the shape of a Shepherd,
> but the long black-and-tan coat of a collie. He was big, 125 pounds
> and six feet tall on his hind legs. In his youth, he was a thing of
> beauty. He loved to chase a ball and could learn new tricks in a
> matter of minutes. He knew the sound of my dad's Chrysler and could
> distinguish it from any other vehicle the minute it turned into my
> 300-foot driveway.
>
> At the age of twelve, old for a dog his size, he weighed less than 60
> pounds. His hair had fallen out and his skin was ravaged with
> intractable infections and open sores. He had lost control of his
> bowels and bladder.
>
> I reluctantly called the vet and made arrangements to have him
> euthanized. I led him to the door of the vet's office, handed his
> leash to the vet, and walked away with tears in my eyes.
>
> I will never forgive myself for that. I owed it to him that he not
> spend his final moments in the hands of strangers, and I failed him.
>
> Since then (three times) when euthanasia was necessary it was done
> with my friend in my arms. Each time has been hard, but I've never
> regretted any of them.

I couldn't agree more about being there with your companion. I've had
a few cats over my lifetime and I learned to be there as the vet
transitions my furry friend to the other side. It's hard, but it's
worth it to be there. Life isn't always easy.

I feel very strongly that death is not the end but a new beginning.
To hold onto a pet in this life, to their detriment, is -- I hate to
say it -- kind of selfish. (I'm not saying you did this or are doing
this!!! I had to put that statement in here because I didn't want you
to think I was talking about you. I'm just talking in general.)

The Other Mike[_2_]
August 2nd 08, 01:04 AM
On Fri, 1 Aug 2008 14:53:11 -0700 (PDT), honeybunch
> wrote:

>Will a vet come to
>your house? How will you dispose of the body? Taking the beloved cat
>to the vets and leaving him there is very hard.

No, our vets won't do home euthanasia. We have a tranquilizer the vet
gave us that we'll give him before we bring him in. Don't worry...no
way would I just leave him there...we went through this 2 years ago
with my 17 year old cat and were with him the entire time. It's hard
for us, but as far as we're concerned, there's no other option but to
be there.

As far as Phil's suggestion, I will ask him about it...it was never
mentioned to have it analyzed....3 different vets all told us it was
the result of his cancer (some elevated blood levels pointed towards
cancer...not sure what they were...plus multiple xrays and an
ultrasound showing the abnormalities on his lungs and liver). The vet
is supposed to call tonight...I'll ask him about getting the fluid
analyzed. Thanks for the advice.

CatNipped[_2_]
August 4th 08, 05:59 PM
"Richard Evans" > wrote in message
...
> honeybunch > wrote:
>
>>
>>Phil is always wise in his responses. Your vet doesnt seem to have
>>done all the correct things. In addition you might think about how
>>you would go about having the cat put to sleep. Will a vet come to
>>your house? How will you dispose of the body? Taking the beloved cat
>>to the vets and leaving him there is very hard.
>
> Please don't leave him. Years ago I had an elderly German
> Shepherd/Colllie mix named Sebastian. He had the shape of a Shepherd,
> but the long black-and-tan coat of a collie. He was big, 125 pounds
> and six feet tall on his hind legs. In his youth, he was a thing of
> beauty. He loved to chase a ball and could learn new tricks in a
> matter of minutes. He knew the sound of my dad's Chrysler and could
> distinguish it from any other vehicle the minute it turned into my
> 300-foot driveway.
>
> At the age of twelve, old for a dog his size, he weighed less than 60
> pounds. His hair had fallen out and his skin was ravaged with
> intractable infections and open sores. He had lost control of his
> bowels and bladder.
>
> I reluctantly called the vet and made arrangements to have him
> euthanized. I led him to the door of the vet's office, handed his
> leash to the vet, and walked away with tears in my eyes.
>
> I will never forgive myself for that. I owed it to him that he not
> spend his final moments in the hands of strangers, and I failed him.
>
> Since then (three times) when euthanasia was necessary it was done
> with my friend in my arms. Each time has been hard, but I've never
> regretted any of them.

I agree. There are lots of vets that will come to your home to do it. When
my Bandit was ready to cross the Bridge my vet came to my home - it was only
$80 and I would have paid five times that amount to have her lie in her
favorite spot (my bed) with me holding her while she went to sleep for the
last time.

Hugs,

CatNipped

cshenk
August 4th 08, 11:06 PM
"The Other Mike" wrote

> The problem is...I think it's time to put him down....my wife doesn't.
> She wants to keep trying to have him drained and is waiting for that
> definitive sign that it's time. She says that since he's still
> interested in eating and purrs once in a while (it's actually rare
> anymore) that he's not ready. What do you think? And if you agree

This is one of the hardest decisions that a person can face next to death of
a child. In many ways, it is like the death of a child. This is why she
resists it. It's natural for her to resist this phase.

> with me...how would you convince your spouse without causing
> resentment ? She's had the cat since he was a kitten so in my mind,
> it's her that needs to make that final decision...but I don't want the
> cat to suffer waiting for it.

You are on the right track, *she* has to be ready for it or she will
(without meaning to be) 'resentful' if you push it before her time. I've
literally heard of marriages failing over things like this if one takes the
high hand with the other's 'beloved pet/child'. It can certainly drive a
wedge that may be difficult to surmount.

That doesnt mean you cant talk to her about it, just reassure her first that
you will not do anything without her approval. Discuss, don't 'push'.
Don't revisit the 'discussion' every 2-3 hours until she feels forced to
agree.

Possibly the best avenue this time might be to talk to the vet privately to
get a real feel for the cat's comfort level. Purring is *not* a sign that
means what you may think. Cats purr still while in horrible pain. It is
possible the cat is not in pain but very lethargic and will just drift off.
If it's hopeless and the vet knows it and the cat is in pain, have him tell
her that straight up.

Basically say your piece after talking with the vet, then shut up and be
supportive.

Anyways, thats how I'd handle it.