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Euthanize your own cat? Yes or No? WARNING- GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS - Page 5

post #121 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwideus View Post
I hope that I do too. But until then, I cannot make any judgements.
I wish there were more people like you.
post #122 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
I dare say that sometimes it is. Animals can have an incredible will to survive. But I think it varies quite a bit from one to another. A couple examples: sometimes I find Rocket trying to dispatch a mouse which gives him a tremendous battle, never giving up until the end. You should see that tiny creature, standing up on its hind legs, facing an enormous (from its viewpoint) carnivore with huge, sharp teeth, and yet daring to attack!! I really have to admire the spunk and determination to survive of a creature like that. In some cases, if it's uninjured and likely to survive, I've taken such away from Rocket and turned them loose.

Then on the other hand, some animals just give up and lay down and allow the predator to kill them. Just last week Rocket brought in a baby rabbit, and he was just laying on the floor, gasping, with his eyes rolled up. I figured he was a goner. But an examination showed he was uninjured, and so I took him, brought him outside the garage, set him on the ground, gave him a couple little pats on the butt to encourage him to go, and he came out of his trance and took off. I think he was rather surprised he wasn't cat food.

But, as interesting as those observations were to me, I don't think that's what we're talking about in this thread. We're talking about an animal that's obviously going to die and suffering terribly. With respect to your comment about slitting the throat, CarolPetunia, you're not considering that was probably the best choice available at the time. When you're in that circumstance, you just want to act, and you want to act NOW. You don't have time to decide: well, what will it be, a knife or a gun? Oh, a gun is more humane, let me see, I'll have to drive back to the house, get it out of the gun locker, load the ammo... and so forth. I think you see the point. A better choice isn't always available. You folks who are saying how horrible it would be to euthanize your pet yourself and the only way to do it is bring the pet to the vet just aren't considering that may not be a choice available at the time.

Hi, Tim -- three points to make:

First: I may not have been clear -- I would never doubt the survival instinct of any animal! Of course they want to live... even those, like that rabbit, who are too terrified to do anything about it. The question I'm raising is whether animals have the degree of self-awareness required to be willing (if they could choose for themselves) to endure X-amount of pain for X-amount of time in order to live.

I believe that many animals do have that much sense of self -- certainly cats and dogs do. But how much pain would they choose to bear, and for how long, in order to receive life-saving treatment?

That's a very difficult choice that we humans have to make for the animals we love. But it's not the choice that led to this thread, because there was no life-saving treatment to be had in that case. Euthanasia was the only humane choice in that situation.

Second: I can hardly stand to type the words "slitting an animal's throat," so this is hard for me to discuss... but the reference suggested that the wound was not sufficient to cause immediate death, but only to make the poor creature "bleed out" over time. If that is the case, I consider it insupportable. I know it would be more painful for the human to inflict an instantly fatal wound, but it would be infinitely easier on the animal... and that's what matters.

Third: For the record, I am not among those who said that it's universally wrong to euthanize a pet yourself. What I said is that it must be an absolute last resort, and it must be done as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Let me tell you what happened back in January: outside my old apartment, I saw a little brown mouse being menaced by a cat. The mouse had already been injured so that he was paralyzed, and could only drag himself along by his front legs. He was dying, inevitably... either from his injuries, or from being paralyzed and vulnerable to the cat's next attack.

The only thing I could do for the mouse was end it quickly, so he wouldn't suffer any more. It broke my heart, but I got into my car and ran him over... and I just pray I did it fast enough that he didn't realize it was happening.

So... no, I'm not saying it's always wrong to euthanize an animal yourself, because god help me, I've done it too. And no matter how right I think it was, that little mouse haunts me.
post #123 of 145
Thanks for the clarifications.

Slitting the throat can be a very quick and humane death, if done correctly. I'm sure you've heard of "kosher" -- a meat animal that has been slaughtered according to Jewish dietary laws. For those who don't know, this is from Wikipedia:

Quote:
Mammals and fowl must be slaughtered in a specific fashion: slaughter is done by a trained individual (a shochet) using a special method of slaughter, shechita (Deuteronomy 12:21). Among other features, shechita slaughter severs the jugular vein, carotid artery, esophagus and trachea in a single continuous cutting movement with an unserrated, sharp knife, avoiding unnecessary pain to the animal
When the carotid artery is severed, blood pressure to the brain is immediately lost, resulting in rapid unconsciousness. It's a very fast way to die.
post #124 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Thanks for the clarifications.

Slitting the throat can be a very quick and humane death, if done correctly. I'm sure you've heard of "kosher" -- a meat animal that has been slaughtered according to Jewish dietary laws. For those who don't know, this is from Wikipedia:



When the carotid artery is severed, blood pressure to the brain is immediately lost, resulting in rapid unconsciousness. It's a very fast way to die.
I'm fairly sure the guy who slit the throat of the suffering cat, mentioned in an earlier post had neither the skill nor the correct knife.
post #125 of 145
I held a cat dying in my arms; it was midnight, I'd taken her to the vets that day after SOMETHING happened to her, she'd stabilized, but she wasn't stable any more. She obviously wouldn't last to get to get to the emergency vets, so I just held her. She was dead in 10 minutes.

If I had a gun, would I have shot her? No, she was already going to be dead really, really soon, and I don't know if being shot should have reduced her pain. If I'd had a syringe of the correct does of a euthanazia drug, I would have euthanized her.

I've never actually touched a gun, so I'm unlikely to ever shoot an animal as euthasia. I probably wouldn't slit a throat, because if an animal was really THAT terminal, a slit throat probably wouldn't speed things up that much. I would absolutely euthanize an animal by injection, and don't see it as different from holding my cat after the vet gives it an injection (which I've done). I mean, the vet usually just gives the "owner" information and you make the decision yourself; how is it different to make the decision without the vet? I dug this cat's grave as she watched, we drove her to the vet's, she was killed there, in our arms, and we drove her back home and put her in the hole. At this point, the decision had already been made, in consultation with the vet. Wouldn't it have been easier to get the drugs from the vet instead of moving the cat? When I'm in this situation again, I'll ask the vet about that option, but they'd probably not give me the drugs; most of them are controlled drugs.

For me, the difference is the amount of information I have; beyond the practical problem of not having the drugs, the reason I'd usually have a vet do the euthansia is to get information about the cat's condition.
post #126 of 145
What I've seen in this thread, in the descriptions of people who have lost pets and have had to have them euthanized, or euthanized their own pet themselves, is that every case is different and thus requires a different decision, based on different circumstances. Therefore, one cannot make a generalization about what's the right thing to do and what's not.

As far as I'm concerned, the only right thing to do that can be generalized is:

act humanely and prevent unnecessary suffering.
post #127 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
I find this subject very unpleasant, truth be told.
It's bad enough that we have to endure pictures of cruelty to cats posted by trolls let alone graphic descriptions
post #128 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
What I've seen in this thread, in the descriptions of people who have lost pets and have had to have them euthanized, or euthanized their own pet themselves, is that every case is different and thus requires a different decision, based on different circumstances. Therefore, one cannot make a generalization about what's the right thing to do and what's not.

As far as I'm concerned, the only right thing to do that can be generalized is:

act humanely and prevent unnecessary suffering.
What you're saying has merit and I agree for the most part, but the problem I have is that the general pet owner population, the majority, do not have the skill set needed to determine when the right time to euthanize is, nor how to do it humanely.
post #129 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Bengals View Post
I'm fairly sure the guy who slit the throat of the suffering cat, mentioned in an earlier post had neither the skill nor the correct knife.
No he didn't, he did it with a dollar store xacto type knife, it was horrible and he is still fighting the charges against him saying it was the most humane thing to do.
post #130 of 145
I think it's a good thing to have an excellent relationship with a good vet. If your vet knows how your take care of your animals, if you ever have to take action that's necessary but less than desirable, and get called to task for it, the vet's testimony will be a huge factor in your favor.

Xacto knife......that's pretty disgusting, I'll admit. And not very defensible, I don't think. The circumstances would have had to have been pretty extraordinary, IMO.
post #131 of 145
They were not, my vet was the one who offered to help and cried that night thinking of him doing it on the side of the road because he decided he couldn't afford the vet care his cat may have needed.

Not to mention that we have city bylaws that state your cat can not be off your property line so it shouldn't have been in the road to be hit.
post #132 of 145
I am not at all worried by firearms, and I frequently worry about having a critically wounded pet in my apartment. Yes, there are emergency vets within a 15 minute drive, but in the case of a catastrophic injury, I would be pretty upset at having to drag my pet out to the car and take it to the emergency vet to be euthanized. Unfortunately, it would be illegal for me to "do the deed" here.

I've euthanized a few animals with firearms, and I've assisted with many chemical euthanasias (working for a vet). I'll take a firearm over the pink juice any day. I don't know how many animals I've seen whose owners let them go on far too long before making the decision to euthanize. To me, that's far more sad than ending it all a little early.
post #133 of 145
Sadly, I have been in this kind of position too many times, and am in the same position at the moment - all bar one have gone at the vets though, as I would rather let them go sooner than later, and the one who didn't go at the vets was unexpected. I am odd though, i would rather take them to the vets, however hard it is on both of us, than to do get the vet to do a home visit. I do know people however who have euthanasia issues, and I have had to watch animals suffer because they couldnt bring themselves to do it, and with one of them, I wish that I could have done something - she went 'naturally' from multiple organ failure, and she was in a coma for at least 2 hours, it was so awful to watch, but I didn't know how to speed things up for her - if I had, it would have been done.
post #134 of 145
Yes we've done it. Or more accurately my husband was the one who pulled the trigger. It's not something I'm eager to post because many people have much easier access to emergency vet care and have a hard time putting themselves in the shoes of those of us who live out in the sticks and have to rely on ourselves for so many things.
We are a good 45 minutes from the nearest vet and we thought hard about whether putting her through the additional agony of a car ride and wait in a vet's office was worth a "humane" injection. My opinion was that even though it may have seemed more humane to do it that way, it really wasn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
What I've seen in this thread, in the descriptions of people who have lost pets and have had to have them euthanized, or euthanized their own pet themselves, is that every case is different and thus requires a different decision, based on different circumstances. Therefore, one cannot make a generalization about what's the right thing to do and what's not.

As far as I'm concerned, the only right thing to do that can be generalized is:

act humanely and prevent unnecessary suffering.
I think that says it right - it's easy to judge if you don't have all the details. And not everyone is going to describe everything especially in situations like that. It's not easy to talk abuot.
post #135 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
What I've seen in this thread, in the descriptions of people who have lost pets and have had to have them euthanized, or euthanized their own pet themselves, is that every case is different and thus requires a different decision, based on different circumstances. Therefore, one cannot make a generalization about what's the right thing to do and what's not.

As far as I'm concerned, the only right thing to do that can be generalized is:

act humanely and prevent unnecessary suffering.
Good for you. I think it is easy to judge others, when we really shouldn't My gut knots up when I hear that someone shot an animal but that is because I don't even have the guts to hold a gun. I know deep down inside that a quick end is better than endless suffering. It is easy for me to say I would never, but I've never been in that situation. After watching Smokey suffer I do know it's harder to watch an animal you love in pain than to say good bye. Watching Jordan's struggles over the last year have reminded me of this. He's doing super well, but he has had times I knew he was misserable. Luckily they were short lived. It's different when you know a cat is terminal.

I think that maybe my shelter experience gives me a differnt opinon. I have seen far too many animals suffer short and long term to say that no one should have the right to end thier own animals suffering. It is hard though because there are a lot of people who do not know the difference between terminal and treatable. I would never end a cats life if it had not been to a vet and I was told there was no hope. As I said earlier I have no idea what I will do the next time I'm faced with this horrible decision, I just know I'll make whatever is the best choice at the moment.
post #136 of 145
I don't own a gun, and more than likely never will, so I personally don't think I will deal with the situation, meaning I would have to take my pet to the Vet, even if it meant they'd have to suffer the ride to the vet. I also don't think I could take a life, except maybe a cockroach's life. However, I guess if someone know's what they're doing, and KNOWS that the animal is suffering so badly that they'd rather it didn't suffer any longer, and has no way to get Vet treatment, then I guess I would consider it the compassionate thing to do. And of course I believe the person would HAVE to KNOW that the animal is on the verge of death.

My Brother In Law angered me though, because their dog was getting old and feeble, but wasn't dying, and so one day, he decided it was his day to die, so he took him out somewhere and shot him with a rifle, while my sister was asleep. My sister was a wreck. She didn't even get a chance to say Good Bye to her beloved dog. Had I been her, I would have divorced him right then and there.
post #137 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeHacker View Post
...My Brother In Law angered me though, because their dog was getting old and feeble, but wasn't dying, and so one day, he decided it was his day to die, so he took him out somewhere and shot him with a rifle, while my sister was asleep. My sister was a wreck. She didn't even get a chance to say Good Bye to her beloved dog. Had I been her, I would have divorced him right then and there.
Divorce would have been the least of what I would have done to such a person. I'm so sorry that happened, Hope.
post #138 of 145
Four years ago I had to make that decision for Tommy my stray who after refusing to eat I took to vet and a test for FeLV came back positive. I asked for another test, again positive, he was too weak for a blood transfusion which may have helped so I had to make the decision to have him PTS.
I am now in that position again with OX. He his under 6 pounds, lost about 20% of the hair on his body, still eats but has constant loose stools. I really don't know what is keeping him alive. He lives in the garage for now but I don't know what I can do for him come winter.
We are a good 20 minutes from vet and over 35 from e-vet. Neil keeps on asking me what are am I going to do and I don't know yet.
We have guns-could I shoot him myself; no, could Neil I don't know that either I hope that isn't decision that has to be made.
post #139 of 145
I was faced with such a dilemma once. It was a feral, not my own cat. I was walking to buy groceries and saw a cat flipping on the road with its mouth wide open, claws all out, bleeding, but not a sound coming from its throat. The poor thing was just FLAILING around violently, unable to right itself. My guess is that it was run over by a car and had broken its back.

I decided to pick him up and quickly twist his head to break its neck and end its suffering then and there since this little guy was totally beyond help. Unfortunately, before I could even step into the road to get that poor cat, another car came and rolled quite slowly right over his head right in front of my eyes. My god, I cannot describe how horrible it felt to not be able to get there on time and have that poor cat slowly squashed under that car's wheel. It probably would have been better if the car had been going really fast, but no... poor poor kitty.

To this day I remember this poor guy's eyes bulging in their sockets and the look of pain on his face... I wish I'd been a step faster, a quick twist and a prayer and the little guy would have been on his way...
post #140 of 145
I don't know ... have you ever tried to break a cat's neck? I imagine it might be rather difficult. They're so extremely flexible. It's not something I'd care to learn by doing.
post #141 of 145
Tim is right on that one. There is a learning curve with cervical dislocation in animals much less "sturdy" than cats. I shudder to think of how much more horrified you might have been if you had actually attempted it. That's not to say it can't be done, but you (BabyWukong) and the cat are probably better off, as awful as the situation was for you.

Can I just say that I'm very pleasantly shocked at how civil this thread has managed to remain over a dozen or so pages?
post #142 of 145
What an awful situation to have been in, but I think you would have been a lot worse if the car hadn't come, injured cats who know you can do a lot of damage, i wouldnt touch an unknown cat without very thick gloves.
post #143 of 145
Now I know that a cat's neck is so springy it can't even be broken! Since Singapore outlaws firearms, I couldn't think of any other way to kill it.

Yea I did think that I was gonna be scratched up pretty darn bad, but it was HORRIBLE seeing that poor fella flipping on the road like a dying fish, all I wanted to do was put it out of its misery quickly.

On hindsight, it was for the best that the car came along and squashed the little guy...
post #144 of 145
I think we do what we have to do in the best interests of our kits . That means different things to different people.

If I had no other choice yes I would put one of mine down.
post #145 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by clixpix View Post
I have to say, IMO this isn't the type of situation where I would condone euthanizing at all. You may abhor the spraying, but Rocket is not suffering. Adoption contract or not, maybe Rocket would be happier as a barn cat somewhere rather than to have you hope he runs away or waiting for him to get hit by a car.

Sorry for the thread hijack...
I agree...

If the adoption agency did ask, and you had found him a new home at a farm somewhere, you could just say you haven't seen him since he escaped out your door one day

If the agency wouldn't take him back because of his spraying issus, or were going to put him down anyway, I would think you finding him a home elsewhere would be a much better end for him, than euthanasia.


My hijacking done...if I were in a position where no vet was available, I probably could put one of my fur kids down...It would only come if the animal was in severe distress, and was sure not to recover; and considering I have done alot of vet shadowing\\apprenticing over the years, I could probably make that decision...it was still be very difficult, and I would prefer to have my vet do the deed.
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