How do you know its the right time

Posted by: Rio Posts: 6 - Joined: Thu Dec 13th, 2012 02:48 pm

#384 - by Rio >> Thu Dec 13th, 2012 03:18 pm

Our sixteen year old cat Duchess was put to sleep on 16th October, she went deaf and blind in the past year and suffered from renal failure. We ignored the vets advice as she seemed happy enough and it wasnt until we came downstairs one morning and found blood on the floor that we realized we had waited a little too long. We have a fifteen year old dog Sheba who we have had since she was a puppy, she has a tumour on her mouth which was removed in August but it has grown back, the vet said when she is unable to eat because of it then we will know its time to let go. She also has arthritis and finds it difficult to move around though she still enjoys her daily walks. For the past few days she has seemed more listless than usual and even though she is still eating we are worried that she is in pain and we think it may be time to have her put to sleep. I cant bear to think about this as she is such a big part of my life I cannot imagine a day when she is not here. I would appreciate any advice please
Posted by: Shailen Posts: 100 - Joined:

#385 - by Shailen >> Thu Dec 13th, 2012 07:51 pm

Hi Rio,

Unfortunately this question is one that has troubled pet carers for a long time and will continue to do so for a long time. There is some advice on this site here but the bottom line is that there isn't really a way of knowing that the time is right. Most people still feel that it is better to put their friends to sleep a bit sooner than maybe was necessary rather than risk letting them suffer but it is a difficult balance to achieve. I think that it is important to keep communicating with your vet practice. I am not sure what treatment if any Sheba is on for her arthritis but it may be that there are further options to try. We sometimes do what we call 'trial therapy' - where we add in another pain-killer and see if it makes any difference or not.

It is obviously important to think about this carefully so that hopefully there are no regrets later on and although it seems unthinkable you have to consider the options because Sheba is relying on you to make the right decisions for her and to make sure she does not suffer. I understand your fear of the grief of losing her but this pain is the price we pay for the wonder of getting to share our lives with our animal friends who unfortunately pass sooner than we do.

Also consider getting in touch with the Pet Bereavement Support Service where trained volunteers will be very happy to speak to you and discuss things. Info here

Take care.
Shailen (The Ralph Site founder)
Posted by: Betty Hackett Posts: 1 - Joined: Thu Dec 13th, 2012 07:58 pm

#386 - by Betty Hackett >> Thu Dec 13th, 2012 08:04 pm

it is never easy really you are the one who makes the decisions, and sometimes that is so hard to do.They trust you they love you and your the one who has to make that hard decision. Our old girl is twenty now she is not too bad but we boith know that time may come sooner than we expected. No one only you and your vet can decide upon that but which ever decision you make it has to be for the animals feelings and not yours, as if we all had our way they would live forecver if that was possible.rermember all the great times and love they have given you .
Posted by: Claire Gallagher Posts: 1 - Joined: Thu Dec 13th, 2012 08:05 pm

#387 - by Claire Gallagher >> Thu Dec 13th, 2012 08:23 pm

Hi Rio,
I dealed with cancer with 2 of my cats (one 16yo and one 13) and I'm still grateful that my Vets haven't had the "rush" to put them asleep. I remember the day before the older died, Robin, she waited for me after dinner close to my computer as every night, she crawled on my legs and she purred all time long. The same morning she enjoyed laying on the sun as she always did. The day after, she went into a coma and she passed by, at her home, in a familiar enviroment instead of having a cold scaring lab as last image at her eyes. Pretty the same happened with the other one, Vasco, and the both of them fought their illness and deseases that it caused, with strenght and a huge will of living. Even if they never gave up, and WE lost the battle, I'm glad I gave them the chance to live and enjoy every day till the last one.
But we're talking about 2 cats that were still able to walk, move, go to their litter box and still lead a dignified life.
So, in my experience, till Sheba is able to enjoy her walk, wag tail and look at you with the same light in her eyes, it's not the right time.
Posted by: Serinne Curtis Posts: 5 - Joined: Thu Dec 13th, 2012 08:38 pm

#390 - by Serinne Curtis >> Thu Dec 13th, 2012 08:44 pm

when your heart is truly breaking at their pain, distress, discomfort then the time is right, Rio making the decision to end a pets life is the hardest you will ever ever take on, and you will feel guilty to begin with did you do enough, did you give in too easily, then a few months later you will look at a photo and know that you made the right decision, that you ended their suffering, that you put their needs above yours, finding the strength to let go and say goodbye is the hardest thing you will ever do and I send you love and strength at this very very very sad time. I have sadly done this with too many pets and the imense guilt after broke my heart until one day I looked at a photo and was horrified that I had actually let it go on as long as I di, but what I still draw comfort from is that I was holding them in my arms at home when the vet came and they were happy when they took their last breath, they weren't on their own and they didn't die while I was out slowly or alone. I know I did the right thing, they were struggling I don't want to sound cold and hard as each one has broken my heart but the first time is the hardest...... I have a 20 year old now, shes a scragbag as I call her but she is still mobile, although have built an extended porch outside for her litter tray in the winter as she won't go outside when its freezing cold, I know her days are numbered and I treasure each one, she is still happy and purrs and dribbles when that stops I know it will be near the time
Posted by: Rio Posts: 6 - Joined: Thu Dec 13th, 2012 02:48 pm

#400 - by Rio >> Fri Dec 14th, 2012 05:24 pm

Thank you to everyone who replied to me. Sheba seems a little better today and is moving around more. I will continue to keep a close eye on her for any signs of pain
Posted by: Rio Posts: 6 - Joined: Thu Dec 13th, 2012 02:48 pm

#442 - by Rio >> Sun Jan 6th, 2013 03:01 pm

Hi everyone, Sheba has gone from bad to worse, the vet said it's time to let her go and we have an appointment for wednesday 9th. I havent been able to think of anything else for the last few days. I am totally heartbroken and still watching to see if she is showing any signs of improving. We now have to hand feed her boiled chicken as she is no longer able to eat from her bowl. She stays in her bed most of the day but doesnt seem to be sleeping much possibly because she is too uncomfortable. I am absolutely dreading wednesday and the thought of taking her to the vet for the last time, she still goes or her daily walk and I am torn between wondering if I am doing the right thing even though I know in my heart there is nothing else I can do

You need to log in or register to use this part of the website.