Registered: 1216060333 Posts: 2
My TJ is a 17 year old sweetheart of a cat. She has had a heart murmur and some kidney problems, but none that were unmanageable.
About 2 months ago, she stopped eating and had a pretty serious weight loss. I took her to the vet, and it turned out that she had a bad tooth and abscess in the back. We treated with antibiotics for 10 days, and slowly but surely she started eating again. We took her back for her follow up, and although she had been eating, her weight remained the same. Also, her blood work showed decreased kidney function. The vet gave us various suggestions about her future, euthanasia included, but said if it was his cat, he would take her home, switch her food and see what happened. She did not appear to be in any discomfort then. We did as he suggested. She has had several accidents outside of her box. This was NEVER an issue. From the day I brought her home, she ALWAYS used the litter box. We thought possibly the food change was messing with her digestive system a bit. Over the past week and a half or so, I have seen a DRASTIC change. She is still eating, however, is still losing weight. Right now she is nothing more than bones and skin and fur. She has stopped grooming and it almost appears as though she is hanging her head like she is sad. She is drinking a LOT, and only urinating every 2 days or so. She doesn't even like to be around us anymore. She stays by herself on her perch in the front window. This is a cat, who, the minute you sat down, was in your lap. Sometimes she would FOLLOW you around meowing until you sat down. Now sometimes it appears as though she doesn't know who we are. Other times, like yesterday, her beautiful personality come back for a few moments. My mom also thinks she may have had a small stroke, as she seems to have little control over her hind end and seems to almost walk sideways. I know what the inevitable is. I look at her face and her eyes look so hollow. I prayed so hard last night that God would take her and stop her misery. I don't know what to do. I don't think I can make that decision. My head tells me it's the right thing to do to take her and let the vet humanely end her suffering. The problem is, I am doubting myself as to the extent of her suffering. Those fleeting moments when she almost seems like her old self are causing me to question the situation. I also can't bear the thought of her trusting me as I take her to the vet, and then ending her life. Even though in my head I know euthanasia is quick and painless, to me it seems the same is if I was to kill her myself. I can't bear the thought of it. I don't know what to do! Am I being selfish in wanting her to go to heaven on her own? Is it right that I wait for God to take her was intended? Please, someone, give me some insight. I know many of you have had similar situations and emotional dilemmas. What did you ultimately decide? How did you come to the decision? What was the thing that made you decide one way or the other? TJ's Mommy
Registered: 1214966224 Posts: 1
I went through something similar with my Nisa. She was 17 when she passed. I knew that I needed to put her down when I asked my vet and they said maybe it would be a good idea. She was usually 11pounds. She was only 4.8 pounds when I put her down. She had kidney failure,hyperthyroid for 4 years,and a GI tract problem, and asthma off and on. I knew that she was ready to go because she didn't want to eat and it was hard for her to walk. She also didn't really want to be touched too much.(Not like her)She was slobbering constantly only just laying there looking at me. I called a vet to come over to our home to let her go because she would be more comfortable. It was so peaceful with hardly any pain for her! Think about what you would want if you were in her situation. I'm so sorry for what you are going through. It's a tough decision. I heard that kidney failure makes you feel like you have the flu. Not very much pain. Just uncomfortable. Try switching the food. Do everthing you can so when the time comes, you know that you did what you could. Either way..what ever decision you make is right. I promise that is true.
Registered: 1195844749 Posts: 418
TJ's mommy: I will give you some help in your decision making as I did with an earlier post. I hope it helps. We had to make that decision 8 months ago, and although it really tore us up emotionally, and still does, this poem from my vet helped to ease the pain somewhat. I still feel guilt, but I know I did the best I could for our beloved Rugrat. I know he is healed and waiting for us at the bridge. My prayers are with you in this difficult time.
If it should be that I grow frail and weak And pain should keep me from my sleep, Then will you do what must be done, For this -- the last battle -- can't be won. You will be sad I understand, But don't let grief then stay your hand, For on this day, more than the rest, Your love and friendship must stand the test. We have had so many happy years, You wouldn't want me to suffer so. When the time comes, please, let me go. Take me to where to my needs they'll tend, Only, stay with me till the end And hold me firm and speak to me Until my eyes no longer see. I know in time you will agree It is a kindness you do to me. Although my tail its last has waved, From pain and suffering I have been saved. Don't grieve that it must be you Who has to decide this thing to do; We've been so close -- we two -- these years, Don't let your heart hold any tears.
Registered: 1216063275 Posts: 2
All I can offer, is my own two stories. The second so recent as Saturday morning. In 2005 - Mother's Day, of all the bad jokes - my Rottweiler Ty had x-rays to check on her arthritis. They found a massive, inoperable tumor. Because she was a sweet dog to me, but not very nice to everyone else, she had been heavily sedated for the x-rays. With tears flowing freely, I made the decision to have her put to sleep, as there was nothing that could be done. Sure, I could have brought her back home with me, but I just felt that was selfish. She'd been in pain for a number of years already, from her hips and lower spine. Adding the pain of rapidly advancing cancer to the mix because I wanted more time with her, didn't seem fair. I was consumed with guilt for about a week afterward, until I found THIS website and forum. I became one of the Candle People...and Ty's candle still sits in my room. I don't blame myself any longer for not realizing she had cancer, and know that my decision was the right one to have made.
More recently, I just had my elderly Pitbull 'Stinky' put to sleep. Saturday morning. He was somewhere over 15 years old, and in the past 8 months had begun going senile in addition to his degenerative arthritis. He had begun not recognizing my other dogs, and was getting aggressive with visitors and the dogs - very, very much unlike his normal personality. Stink will always be my baby boy. I was right there with him, lying on the floor curled around him. We shared our space, our breaths, his last moments and though it hurts so bad, I am yet happy because I know he no longer hurts. He no longer must suffer the indignities of losing his mind and control, and he had his Mama with him right to the first steps of Rainbow Bridge. He waits for me there, with Ty. Losing a beloved companion and family member is NEVER easy. Really, the only thing that needs answering, is "am I doing this because it's best for them, or because I just don't want to say goodbye?" Believe me - I prayed that I would get up one morning and Stinky would simply be gone, having passed in his sleep. But, every passing day was another day he could barely get around, another day he hurt, another day he was confused or scared. My vet said something perhaps quite apropos that Saturday morning: "If the medication and treatment is there simply to mask the symptoms and pain, and what is wrong is not curable, it's likely time to set them free." Stinky and Ty liked kitties. They would be happy to watch over TJ on the other side of the Bridge.
Registered: 1215483437 Posts: 219
I would like to reach out and hug you because the truth is, you already know the answer to your question. It's the hardest thing in the world to do. She has kidney failure. You could smell it when Layla's BUN/creatinine went up very high--a strange odor that seemed to be on her breath. She finally stopped eating, and she seemed to hurt when I picked her up if I touched her in the wrong spot. It can't be fixed. We gave her Ringers sub-q for awhile until she wouldn't eat even with the extra fluids, and I just knew. I cried and cried and prayed for her to die in my arms instead of me having to take that step I didn't want to make. I didn't get my prayer answered, but she did have a very very gentle passing, with slowly administered anesthetic so that she was basically in the same state you are during surgery before the final injection. It still tore my heart apart, but I knew I had no choice. Make sure the vet understands you will want to be loving her when she passes and that you want her OUT, completely asleep, before she gets that final injection. I wish I could tell you something different--and you have to make your own decision--but I have no real doubt that your baby is in kidney failure now.
Registered: 1216060333 Posts: 2
Thank you to all who responded. I think I must have known deep down what needs to be done, I just needed some affirmation I guess.
I attended the Candle Ceremony last night, and something that was said really hit home, and I think it was the sign I have been waiting for. It was something to the effect of, "I helped you cross the bridge, not because I don't love you, but because I love you too much to force you to stay." I think it was that moment that I KNEW what I had to do. I think I will still feel guilt over having made the final decision, but I know it is what is best for my TJ baby. TJ's Mommy
Registered: 1195844749 Posts: 418
You are so right. It is a decision made out of love, and not one to feel guilty about. I went through the grief, anger, missing him, etc., but this board made me feel a lot better. I still have my moments, but if we didn't love them unconditionally we wouldn't feel this way. They are loved, and they know that. I am praying for you.