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  1. #1
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    Default How do you know when it’s time to let them go?

    My beautiful 15 year old cat has been diagnosed with kidney failure and has been at the vet for the past few days on fluids. Her blood work hasn’t improved at all and the vet has said that we is juts need to go by how she is behaving her how she looks rather than the bloodwork. She is back home now.
    She has arthritis so has stiff hind legs anyway but since Monday she seems worse and looks very awkward when walking and is very wobbly. She has also had a few episodes where she has lost control of her bowels. She is still eating and drinking and purrs when I pat her but she isn’t her old self. I know with kidney failure there is no coming back and I’m really struggling with knowing when to let her go. I don’t want her suffering to get worse as that is just selfish. It’s breaking my heart and I don’t know how to make this decision....

    When did you know it was the right time to let go?

  2. #2
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    I'm so sorry to hear this ☹️ I love being a pet owner, but this is the part I always struggle with..... letting go.

    Our old girl Cat took a turn for the worse, became very skinny, only wanted to drink, not eat and her fur looked terrible and she was losing control of her bowels. I knew she was getting old, but I think I was in denial. I took her to the Vet thinking it would most certainly be a one way trip.
    The Vet did all the tests/bloods and remarked that although she was presenting sick, she wasn't 'dying'.

    I had the same from the Vet, that they could only go by how she presented to them. It was so hard! I didn't want her suffering unnecessarily, we loved her so much and didn't want to be selfish.

    For me, I just couldn't look at her in good conscience knowing she wasn't coping. I made the heart wrenching decision to know it was 'the right time'. As fate would have it, we booked her in, but sadly she naturally passed before we had a chance.

    (((Hugs))) I hope you are able to make a decision either way, I know it's so terribly heartbreaking.

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    Furmumma  (09-11-2018)

  4. #3
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    When I put my dog down I knew it was time because she couldn’t even sit or lie down comfortably. She had had problems so I knew it was coming but when the day cane, I just knew. When they sedated her before the lethal injection her eyes just looked so relieved. It was as if it was what she was waiting for. I knew it was the right time when I saw her relax.

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  6. #4
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    I'm so sorry you are facing this decision. Personally, I would let her go now. She doesn't sound like she has a good quality of life as it is and I imagine it will only get worse. I know it's an incredibly difficult decision, but why prolong her suffering.

    We had to make the choice to let our 4 year old English staffy girl go over a year ago. She was perfectly healthy in the morning, by lunch she couldn't walk, was having major seizures and had lost all control of her bowel and bladder. She would come out of the seizures and drag herself to the nearest wall and press her head against it. The vets came and got her from my house as we couldn't transport her to them. They ran as many tests as they could and nothing showed up. She was hooked up to multiple antibiotics and pain relief, and survived the night much to everyone's shock. The vet called us the following day and said she had improved dramatically and to come see her. When we got there, she was walking, albeit wobbly, and was otherwise her usual happy self. We thought we were out of the woods. Unfortunately, as soon as we left, she deteriorated drastically and the medications were no longer working. She was having constant seizures and injuring herself in the process. The vet said we had 2 choices, we could continue to medicate her and send her for more invasive testing in Brisbane, with the chance of finding out what was causing her neurological issues or we could say goodbye. She stressed that even of we did the testing, there was no guarantee we would get answers or that it would change anything, she likely had irreversible brain damage. Of course we wanted to do everything we could to save her but the reality was, even if we did, it's likely she wouldn't have had quality of life. So we made the heartbreaking decision to let her go. She perked up when she saw us enter the room and it broke our hearts even more. But she deserved to be at peace and free from pain. We told her we loved her and cuddled her until the vets confirmed she had gone. It didn't take long and her final moments were so peaceful. We knew it was the right decision. It was like her golf moment that morning was her way of saying goodbye, so we could see her as her usual happy self one last time.

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    I am so sorry that you are going through this, this is one of the hardest parts of being a pet owner.

    I recently went through this with our family dog, he didn't seem well on the Friday and by the Monday he was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer and even after chemotherapy steroids the whole lot only managed to hang on until the Sunday and we knew it wasn't fair to keep making him suffer.

    We thought on the Thursday it would be the last day and had organised for him to go to the vet on the Friday we all came to say our goodbyes and I struggled especially as he had been exposed to radiation with his chemo and the vet said to be safe i shouldnt pat him because i was breastfeeding and it takes a few days to be out of their system. On the Friday he perked up was full of life wanted to play and then slowly deteriorated again. It was like in some way he knew and managed to hang on so on the Sunday I could actually hug him and say goodbye properly.

    You kind of just know it's the right time and you can see it in their eyes that they just need to be at peace. It's so hard to come to terms with as you are almost playing god but ultimately you know your cat the best and sometimes you know what the right decision is but it's just hard to accept.

    We had the vet come and do it at home so he was nice and relaxed and it was such a relief to know he was no longer in pain. We made a coffin and did a little funeral for him and it really helped with the healing process.
    I even put in the coffin with him my tree of life necklace that I had worn every day since just before we got him as rescue dog at 18 months old.

    As hard as it is to say goodbye, you have to think of the positives that you gave your cat the best life possible and loved your cat as much as you could. It's hard as animals can't communicate, but you just know when they are no longer themselves and it feels almost unfair and selfish and you are able to give them the peace that they so badly need.

    Sending you lots of loves and hugs xoxox

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  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furmumma View Post
    My beautiful 15 year old cat has been diagnosed with kidney failure and has been at the vet for the past few days on fluids. Her blood work hasn’t improved at all and the vet has said that we is juts need to go by how she is behaving her how she looks rather than the bloodwork. She is back home now.
    She has arthritis so has stiff hind legs anyway but since Monday she seems worse and looks very awkward when walking and is very wobbly. She has also had a few episodes where she has lost control of her bowels. She is still eating and drinking and purrs when I pat her but she isn’t her old self. I know with kidney failure there is no coming back and I’m really struggling with knowing when to let her go. I don’t want her suffering to get worse as that is just selfish. It’s breaking my heart and I don’t know how to make this decision....

    When did you know it was the right time to let go?
    I am so sorry. I lost my beautiful 19 year old cat just a month ago He had kidney failure too but we didn’t know. In the morning he was fine, by 2 in the afternoon something was very wrong. He had been sick a few times over the past few years (& often proved vets wrong when he recovered) but I just knew this time was different. I chose to take him home on pain medication. While it was incredibly tough to have him pass naturally in my arms I still feel I made the right decision. I think there’s no right or wrong decision when it comes to this & there may be some guilt either way. I think you know your cat best so it comes down to whether you can see she’s still experiencing some happiness or not xx

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    Furmumma  (09-11-2018)

  12. #7
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    I am so sorry to read this .
    We have a 15 yr old lab x golden retriever who suffers from arthritis. We don’t think he will make it to Christmas this year . For now he is ok and doesn’t seem to be in pain but he is certainly sleeping more during the day and not as active as he was 4 weeks ago. I’ve got an appt on Monday at the vet for a check up but I don’t think he will be with us much longer .. he has changed so much in just 4 weeks. It’s breaking my heart.

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  14. #8
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    I'm so sorry your fur baby is ill

    I think you will know when the time is right. For me, my fur babies are as important as my belly babies, and I will fight U.N. full there is no further help/testing, and there's absolutely nothing sense we can do for them.

    we had a border collie. She stored eating and refused to drink. I took her to the vets at 3pm, they felt her stomach and said bladder infection, gave us some antibotics and sent us home. At 5pm I noticed a small leak of urine stained with blood, she still hadn't drank, she wouldn't even lap water off my hand... so at 6pm I called the After Hours vets. They couldn't get out till 8pm, but when I met them there it was the local head vet that owned the practice. She said it didn't look good, she'd make her comfortable and call me back. At midnight she says she didn't think she'd last the night. She'd withdrawn fluid from her bladder and found "foreign matter" in it. She could put her to sleep then, or we could do an exploratory surgery if she's survived the night, if they found something bad - they would just not bring her out of the anesthetic. Long story short, they found 50, yes FIFTY bladder stones! Some were bad big as 2-3cm round!!! 1 had completely blocked the urethra, and they had to "blast" it through and our her girly bits.
    She came good after that! She did have some incontinence which gradually improved. We put her on a special diet for urinary issues, and she lived a normal healthy life for the next 2.5yrs. Most people would have put her down without the surgery but I couldn't make a decision until I had answers.
    Then she got sick again....our local vet tried everything, they couldn't diagnose her so we travelled 4hrs to a vet hospital, they tested her for everything and all but one test was clear, the final test was going to take overnight but they felt she was a healthy dog.... and sent us home. The next morning they rang to say that the biopsy results showed she had liver cancer. They suggested again that we could put her to sleep, or we could just do palliative care. We chose palliative care. Our local vet was great, I just had to see reception and get the medication without needing an appointment each time.... This was early Feb. Mid April, I was at work and when I went home she wouldn't move, mum tried but she wouldn't. Mum sat with her and we just knew, she couldn't walk, get back end had "gone". So we knew we couldn't do anything more for her and it was time. We called the vets, and that night after i finished work we took her up, and they put her to sleep.

    Then last June, our dog seemed off... he'd had breathing issues for years, and no one took us seriously about his cough. They all just blamed his being overweight. We managed to hey him to lose 12% of his weight and mouthing improved, eventually a new local vet put him on a doggy form of asthma type medication with cortisone. Anyway, his "cough" got worse, he started not eating, and he LOVED his food.... our local vet did another xray and noticed there were changes, he stopped waking and they thought he maybe had a spinal injury... we kept him in a portacot, carrying him in/out, holding him up and he started to improve and could walk short distances again... then suddenly he changed again. The local vet couldn't do further testing so we packed him up, and 4hrs later mum and my brother had him at the vet hospital. Within 5 mins they had rushed to get him, and he was in ICU. He was struggling to breathe so he was in a tent with oxygen to help. What they discovered was that by our vets essentially ignoring us, he he was scarring his lungs by coughing... and they just got so scarred in the end that they just couldn't hold the oygen he needed to simply breathe...so he was put to sleep the next morning.

    Our cat- he was old and cranky but still relatively healthy. One morning I woke up and he couldn't stand, and when he wakes he went in a circle to the left until he collapsed. I carried him to his food/ water and he gave planted in it. I suspected a stroke, the vets confirmed it... given he wouldn't eat or drink and they said he likely wouldn't improve based on how he was and his age, we put him to sleep.
    Last edited by shadowangel0205; 09-11-2018 at 16:15.

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    Furmumma  (09-11-2018)

  16. #9
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    I’m a vet and I tend to tell people that it’s not just about having happy moments during the day, it’s about the ability to do what they want, when they want and also to be content.

    I’ve also never had anyone regret doing it too soon, but lots that feel they left it too long.

    It’s a horrible decision to have to make but I know you’ll make the one that is right for you and your family.

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  18. #10
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    @amyd. What signs should you look out for ? Our 15 yr old lab x retriever has arthritis in his back legs . He’s still eating and drinking but sleeps a lot and is slow to get up and move. He doesn’t make any sounds to let us know he’s in pain but what would you say to look out for? We have a check up on Monday at the vet but I’d love your opinion on what to look out for .. we certainly don’t want him suffering in any shape or form and I guess I’m concerned that he’s in pain but not letting us know

    I hope that makes sense


 

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