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Thread: If your pet had a terminal illness...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Tabbyville, PA

    If your pet had a terminal illness...

    what would you do?

    Would you wait til it was "time" and put them down at the last minute? Would you let them die peacefully on their own? Would you Put them to sleep befoe the disease could progress to the really painful part?

    Nicki's been losing weight the past few weeks, despite eating normally and today I found a rather large mass on her stomach, hiding right behind her largest fatty tumor. The thought of cancer jumped into my mind and before I can even get her to the vet, I wonder how I would handle it if I were told it IS cancer, and she'd only have a limited life left.

    Part of me never wants to put her down. I cried myself to sleep a few weeks ago thinking of that day. Another part HATES the idea that she could ever be in any type of pain, and that part says if its terminal to just make her end come sooner rather than later... sooner so she could die in peace now - before the pain set in and makes her last days with us a blur of pain.

    Of course, hubby tells me I'm over reactig and that Miss Nicki will be with us for a good long time.

  2. #2
    I sure hope you have nothing to worry about.

    I would say as long as they are not in pain let them live out their lives. If they pass away at home in their sleep well that's wonderful, I bet the dog couldn't have been happier. If there is any decline in her quality of life or if she starts experiencing any pain then that would be the time to think about letting her go peacefully.

    Hopefully you won't have to make this decision for a long long time.

    R.I.P my dear Sweet Teddy. You will be missed forever. We love you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Aquidneck Island
    Here's praying she'll be fine... and if she isn't, you'll know when it's time. Had to face that decision last Nov., with my 17 year. old cat. I worried about making that decision too, but he let me know when it was time. Have a talk with her, she'll let you know. Can't explain how, they just do. And enjoy every precious moment you still have together.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Disney lost her mind which was painful enough - for all of us. On top of that she got a severe and painful infection in her mouth that could have been treated with antibiotics but the chances of it returning were great. I knew she had no quality of life and trying to treat the infection was just going to prolong her suffering so the decision to let her go was made.

    I think the main things are quality of life and pain.

    I hope your hubby is right. Hugs to you and Nicki.

    From Decker with Love

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    I hope everything is alright with Nicki.

    I know how hard it is to think about cat Yogi died last year at age 17, and we knew her kidneys were failing. We put her to sleep as she was about to die to save her suffering the last few hours she would have had. She had a good life until then, and spent the last week or so of her life mainly sleeping but also being glad to spend time with us. I get teared up thinking about it, it was so hard to see her die but at least I was there with her. I still miss her so much.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    San Francisco, CA, where life is happy and gay!
    Quote Originally Posted by cyber-sibes
    Here's praying she'll be fine... and if she isn't, you'll know when it's time. Had to face that decision last Nov., with my 17 year. old cat. I worried about making that decision too, but he let me know when it was time. Have a talk with her, she'll let you know. Can't explain how, they just do. And enjoy every precious moment you still have together.
    Ditto - I went through this with Goldie who was with me for almost 15 years. I made her last few months with me as comfortable as possible and when it was time, she told me. I could see the tumor and she could barely move it was so large and painful. The hardest thing I've ever had to do. I still miss her and I remember her last few months with me and the constant TLC she required.

    Little Ms. Mitzi Mitts
    Our Photo Albums are
    Here and Here
    In memory of my beloved fur children, Goldie, Mishi and Mitzi.
    Rest in peace and play hard at the Rainbow Bridge.
    Goldie: 9/5/88 - 4/10/03
    Mishi: with us from 5/5/03 - 7/13/07
    Mitzi: with us from 4/19/03 - 1/23/10

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    We lost our 6 year old APBT 2 years ago due to testicular cancer.

    The last 6 months of his life were hard. He wasn't in *pain* persay but his quality of life had declined. He ate very little, had very little 'play energy', ect. We (mainly DH, it was his dog) made the decision to put him down when his health declined sharply after only a few weeks. The day before we were to take him in to be PTS he passed away on his own. His passing was very peaceful and I swear that dog waited for DH to get home from work to die. He died in his arms 20 min's after he got home

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    At university in Hertfordshire, UK
    I'm so sorry about Nicki, I can't imagine how terrible that thought preying on your mind is. I had a rabbit who had a terminal internal tumour, but we didn't know until it got very bad and it was too late. I hope this is nothing to worry about, and perhaps you will have spotted it quick enough to get it removed if it is serious.

    Zimbabwe 07/13

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Portland, Orygun, USA
    Ask the vet what he would do if Nicki was his.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    My life is God filtered :)
    Max is 13.

    If I were told that he had cancer and it was terminal, then I would not opt for treatment. Assuming that he's eating OK, acting normally and in no pain, he would come with me and I would appreciate all the days he has left. There is no question that Max would let me know when it's time. I would not wait until the last minute.....the very second I suspect he's in pain, then I would help him to the Bridge. It's all about quality of life, not quantity of days.

    Prayers for Nicki.
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand and strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!

    Sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can't see
    --Polar Express

    Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.

  11. #11
    I hope Nicki is ok

    As for me...I would find it so difficult, but I don't think I could live with myself if I let them suffer just because *I* don't want to let them go. It wouldn't be fair. This is lame, but if I had some illness I would suffer, then die from....I would wish to be "put to sleep" if it were allowed for humans....

    My babies: Josie, Zeke, Kiba, Shadow (AKA Butter)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Having been in this situation recently, as well as several times in the past, I know that there would be NO WAY for me to "wait until the last moment". Because, to me, the pet's emotional pain would be as real as any physical pain they might have.
    A dog that can't walk............he doesn't understand why his legs will not do as he commands............emotional pain.
    A cat who can no longer jump up on a favorite perch, no matter how low it is, will continue to try and fail..................emotional pain.
    Any pet who begins to have constant accidents in the house.............they know it is wrong to be dirty.................they don't want you to be mad...................they know it puts a subtle strain on your relationship...........emotional pain.

    Having dealt (in all instances) with cats, I know they hide their physical pain. The signs are subtle. They may eat less. They may stop doing a ritual thing that they have done their whole life. They may simply look "dull".

    You will know in your heart and you will see it in their eyes when it is time.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    St. Louis, Missouri
    So long as they are in no physical pain or at risk for physical pain, I would let them live it out. Because who knows how many years they can have left? If they seem happy and are not in pain, enjoy the time you have left!


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    I don't even begin to know where I'm "from"
    As long as I was assured by the vet that they were still happy, I would not PTS. If I knew they were suffering... that's the point where it becomes too much.
    Doing my part to save BBD's, one dog at a time!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Central NY
    As long as the animal isn't in any physical pain and can live a pretty decent, normal life, I would not put them to sleep. I would keep it as long as it can live happily. I am so sorry about Nikki, catnapper. I know how you feel, because I keep thinking about that horrible and dreaded day, and I don't know if I can bare it. Sassy has bad back legs and they are getting worse and worse and it's seems to be a sign of her old age. It seems so unreal..((HUGS)) I hope Nicki is okay.
    Last edited by Alysser; 08-12-2006 at 09:15 AM.

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