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Posts: 17

Question #1 on 'knuckling'

I posted a few days ago about an older cat I have, whose arthritis is getting much worse.  Now has trouble walking..sometimes a bit wobbly...hard time getting on/off couch (so I added some steps for him).

About two days ago he started losing control of his hind legs...couldn't get up... eventually however, he was able to stand and walk a bit, but would sometimes fall again.  Took him to vet, where I learned the term 'knuckling', and indeed, since that vet visit yesterday, I see he's doing it more, and sometimes with any or all of his paws.

Each time, I'll pick him his body weight, and lift him a bit and then lower him again,  trying to get his paws to lay out flat on the floor (not knuckle).  I'll continue to support  his weight...let him get used to the feeling of his paw pads on the floor...then I begin to loosen up ...let him put more weight on his feet...and often that helps get him going again, albeit still wobbly.

This observation makes me therefore feel that much of his knuckling is based in 'fear' or a lack of his ability to stand or withhold his own body weight. I think I read that knuckling is typically due to arthritis pain or a neurological issue.

Either way...does anyone here have experience with this?  While I have another call into my vet, what's not clear to me might I get this knuckling to do we fix the root cause...or can we?

Question #2 - to stay or not stay in the room during euthanasia

With the whole COVID thing, and where my vet is currently only allowing for contactless dropoff/pickup of pets during exams, I'm not even sure if they'd allow me to go inside, should I tell them I want to, to be there during any euthanasia.

I am curious...want to take a poll.... how many of you have stayed in the room, and afterwards were glad that you'd done so?  How many of you stayed in the room, and regretted it...wish you'd not done so?  How many of you witnessed a less-than-perfect euthanasia, where your pet first exhibited fear or anxiety before the final shot was given, and that this added to your own trauma of the experience?

Thanks all!


Posts: 12
Hi I’m so sorry your poor kitty is going through this, I read your original post and I’m glad you’re able to start helping him with his body weight. My dog that passed his hind legs went as one of his starting symptoms, I know how horrible and heart breaking it is to watch them struggle to walk so I do hope you’re ok and I praise you for being so strong for him! I hope someone replies with some helpful tips on knuckling for you as mine was due to pancritis so he recovered the use of his legs after a few days so I can’t offer much suggestion on that. As for euthanasia, I think this is down to you as a person - I wasn’t given the option to be in the room, I only dropped mine off for a scan and they rang me to say they needed to put him to sleep so it was a very big shock. When I asked if I could be there with him they said no, and personally this is my biggest biggest pain to my sorrow not being able to be there for him in his final moments due to COVID. I feel so much guilt even now almost 9 weeks later and a lot of that guilt is me not being able to be there when he took his last breath, I wish so so much that I could have been there but I didn’t know he was going to die that day when I dropped him off so maybe I’m just missing that last goodbye/closure. However I have also read many horror story’s when people are in the room and their dogs and cats panic and stress and it’s not a memory you would like to stay with you forever, so this is completely your own decision to make if it’s possible to make it. Every time I think of mine I wonder how he was in his last moments, the vets said he went very peacefully and they all hugged him but I didn’t see it with my own eyes so I have so many questions about whether he was scared or even growling at them and that’s something I have to live with forever, the not knowing what happened. But I also would not have liked my last memory of him to have been him fighting the injection so maybe it was a blessing in disguise, either way only you can make this decision and what’s best for your mental health as well as your cat. I’m sending you all the love and strength in the world for you and your cat. Xxxx
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