How do you decide when to put a pet to sleep?

Found out today my four legged baby which recently got sick & after several medical appointments,prescriptions we had our worse fears confirmed as to why his health is not improving he has cancer that took formed rapidly in his eye.
They said there is no treatment to cure this problem however,i want to believe maybe there is just our area does not have the resources.
However,if not how do you know and prepare to say goodbye to somone that is not just a pet but a part of your family through the years,that loves no matter what.
I do not want him to suffer but how can you figure out when is th right time to decide it's time?
What would bring you peace if he had to pass in your home,at the vet?
I just hope someone has some answers i'm so emotionally torn.
Thanks..

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 10:18 PM on Nov. 25, 2008 in Pets

This question is closed and filed in the CafeMom Encyclopedia.
Answers (18)
  • I went through something similar with my cat. He had a large tumor around his heart which caused congestive heart failure. When he was diagnosed my vet offered to put him down right then if I wanted, or to let me take him home. I decided to take him home. We medicated him and managed to keep him comfortable for a couple of months. I planned on having him put down, but it didn't end up working out that way. He took a sudden turn one day and died on his own at home while we were at work.

    (cont)
    BlueFrogMama

    Answer by BlueFrogMama at 10:27 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

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  • I'm really glad it played out that way. I got some extra time to love on him and to say goodbye, and he got to die peacefully by himself at home, which I think was best. A trip to the vet to be put down would have been upsetting and stressful for him. It opened my eyes to the possibility that euthanasia is not always necessary or best. Sometimes it's best to let death happen on it's own. All you can do is make the best decision you can with the information that you have. It's a hard decision, I know. Whatever you choose to do will be okay.
    BlueFrogMama

    Answer by BlueFrogMama at 10:27 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

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  • I am so sorry for you! I lost my first baby, my rottwiler, to lymphoma nearly 5 years ago now. I cried for 2 weeks non-stop and then it was almost a month before I stopped crying myself to sleep at night. One of the vets told me he thought he could "prolong" her life with chemo but chemo for animals is as hard as it is on people. I couldn't imagine paying $5000 to put her through a year's worth of torture just to loose her anyway. I spent a last night spoiling her, gave her a bath painted her nails, all the things she loved and the next morning I had her put to sleep at the vet's. It is much more humane than letting them suffer it out to their own end. I think it's what she would have wanted anyway, I couldn't stand to see her in pain. I had her cremated and to this day she sits her urn in my living room.
    Slinkee

    Answer by Slinkee at 10:30 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

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  • I know,they tell me my baby is going to die.
    They suggested removing the eye however,there is a risk of death.
    Than she brings out the once they put him to sleep this is the creamation services.
    To me i can't see brining him to a cold,sad place to die,alone.
    (FROM THE OP..CONT.)
    I do not want him to suffer but i want it to be the way he deserves with love & respect.
    I see both sides to the responses which is why it is hard.
    We at this point need some time especially near the holidays.
    I'm already losing my dad to cancer and he is to sick to celebrate the holidays.
    Had a miscarriage awhile back.
    So to lose my pet makes me feel i'm losing all my family.
    Thanks for the responces..
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:37 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

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  • i'm am so sorry! this just brought tears to my eyes. because i see my pets as my kids. and if something was to happen to them i'd die! :( i'm so sorry. i dont think theirs an easy way to deal,, i think you just have to take it day by day. i'm so sorry. i want to hug you! :(
    MommaBear1129

    Answer by MommaBear1129 at 10:38 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

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  • I know it's a terribly horrible decision to have to make and it's one that only you can, take the time you need because it's a decision that's going to linger with you either way. If he's still not in much pain and suffering I would keep him around as long as possible, especially this close to the holidays, Bless you. In my case she was in such horrid pain that I really couldn't let it go on any longer at that point. Only 20% of her heart was working and her entire chest cavity was filled with fluid. My husband and I did stay with her though, and for some time after. She wasn't alone and I never took my hands off of her until we left.
    Slinkee

    Answer by Slinkee at 10:44 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

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  • Oh honey, I can so relate. When my cat died my mom was dying of terminal cancer and I was pregnant with my son, and my husband lost 2 grandparents around the same time. I swear, these things happen in groups. And I've also recently had a miscarriage. I'm sorry. Know that you'll get through this. Big hugs for you. It sounds like you're not ready to put him down right now. Are there meds available to keep him comfortable while you take some time to process all of this? Death doesn't have be painful and full of suffering. It's not always like that. Maybe you can just play it by ear and see how things go, take one day at a time, and trust that you'll know if and when it's time to euthanize. Some vets will make house calls for that, too, so you could call and ask your vet about that possibility.
    BlueFrogMama

    Answer by BlueFrogMama at 10:46 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

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  • I wanted to add one more thing... I came to view my cat's death as a kind of gift. I feel that he died when he did in order to prepare me for the loss of my mother. It was hard to lose them both at once, but it was also really helpful to process my feelings about death with my cat as sort of a test-run before I had to do it with my mother, if that makes any sense. So I guess I'm saying maybe there are some hidden gifts in this experience for you, if you can be open to seeing them. I'm sending you love and peace, mama.
    BlueFrogMama

    Answer by BlueFrogMama at 10:49 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

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  • (FROM OP)
    If it was not for the swelling on the outside of the eye that surfaced which caused us to bring him in you would and still not know he is sick.
    That is why i want to have time.
    I know it must hurt according to the vet however,at this point i feel he(cat) is giving us time to make or do what it best for everyone.
    She said there is no treatment,like a biopsy to remove the condition.
    Just remove the eye & risk death or not have him go through this and end it sooner.
    I just have hope and feel the diagnosis was a bit rushed as she did not even do any eye exam,just look at his eye.
    No blood work or anything.
    So,i feel if i was to say goodbye,it would need be in his best interest and just no easier,for everyone.
    My heart tells me that i can't give in,not because i can't say goodbye but there is other options not looked at.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:53 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

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  • I whole-heartedly agree with Bullfrog, when the time is right you'll know what to do. And she's right about the house calls too, I know of a few vets around here that will make house calls for ill patients.
    It's funny you said you see it as a gift, I think of my time with Helga the same way. I got her right when I moved out of my parents house and she WAS my baby. She was there through all my hard times, and psycho boyfriends. She never let a man near me, she hated them....
    Slinkee

    Answer by Slinkee at 10:55 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

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