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when to euthanize my cat... immediate responses please!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Sneakers has gotten worse, today we went to the hospital to pick him up and he can no longer stand or walk around. He tries to get up, but then he falls over. The doctor told us that he has not eaten at all since we visited yesterday, and right now that he is home he is not eating. He is thirsty and drinking water, but he won't touch his food.

I would like your advice, the doctor did not even bring up putting Sneakers to sleep, but he also did not sound very hopeful. I don't want to put him to sleep, but then I think that I am just being selfish and I think the best thing to do is to put him to sleep.

Since he can't move around anymore, and his condition only looks like it is getting worse, should we take him back to be euthanized or should we wait for him to die at home?
post #2 of 15
I've read your post, over & over trying to put myself in your shoes & wondering what I would do. This is a situation that everyone hopes they never have. If Sneakers is unable to stand up or move & will not eat, he is not going to get better at home. It sounds like it must be hard for him to breath, which is not a nice thing to go through for Sneakers. Personally, I think Sneakers needs to go back to the vets & be cared for or put to sleep. Don't allow him to suffer, if he cannot move or get up to use the litter box, his dignity is compromised. Putting any animal to sleep is THE hardest thing I have ever done, but we need to think of the animal & not ourselves at these times.Talk to your vet & see what exactly he thinks. You & Sneakers will be in my prayers.
post #3 of 15
I am very surprised that that vet would allow him to come home. They usually will keep a cat like that to make sure they are getting the proper fluids. Without fluids and care, they wont make a good recovery. Did the vet give you a definate answer on the problem he is having? If not, you may want to give it another shot with a better vet. One that is willing to give you the answer you need. If this is curable, then yes you should do what you can for him. If it is not, I would make the humane decision and let him go without suffering. I hope that you are going to be okay. All of us here at the catsite are here whenever you need to talk.
post #4 of 15
I don't have any special knowledge about this subject, I just have my own experience in dealing with it.

A little over three weeks ago, I had to make the same decision about one of my own cats. And it was a very, very difficult thing to do. I read your post, and Sneakers does seem to be suffering quite a bit. If you let Sneakers die naturally, there is a chance he could have a very slow painful death. If Sneakers is put to sleep, death is very fast and painless and it takes only about one minute. Some vets will make a housecall and put the animal to sleep in its own home where it feels the most comfortable and secure. Ask your vet to help you with this decision.

I know how hard this is for you.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
My mom took Sneakers back to the hospital shortly after I posted about when to put him down. After really thinking about it I agreed that it would not be the right thing to do to keep him suffering. I couldn't bring myself to go with them, but i said my goodbyes before they took him. My sister told me that on the way there he had started having a hard time breathing again.

The reason the vet let us take him back home was because they finally said that there was nothing more they could do. Every single test they ran on him came back negative, and the doctor said he was positive it was asthma or that Sneakers had a tumor in his lung which would have to be checked by a specialist. I think the doctor also might have thought it was good for us to take him home so we could have our last hours with him. I'm not really sure why he let him come home but that is what I think was why they did.

Does anyone know why Sneakers would stop walking and eating? He didn't really want to stop walking, because when we got him home he had a few times that he wanted to just sprint off like he always did but then he would topple over, his legs completely giving way and not wanting to work. They were also very stiff. My aunt also came over to see him and she said it looked like Sneakers might have had a stroke. But the doctor didn't say that was what happened, so I am left not knowing why this happened to him.
If it was asthma, does this happen to most asthmatic cats? Do they ever get better? I am just worrying myself to death now because I think we might have been able to do more for him.

Sneakers was my first cat, even though he isn't the first pet I've lost (I had a hampster when I was younger who died after 4 long years of life), it is very difficult for me to come to terms with this. There are so many things that are taking over my mind and I think I need some help? Is there a site online that helps people cope with the loss of their cat? My family has been trying to help, but to me everything they do that I know is to try to comfort me only makes me feel worse.
post #6 of 15
Its very natural to have second thoughts about what you had decided, we all go through this, thinking we should have done more, tried harder.

I still go through with some of my animals I had put to sleep. You did the right thing, Sneakers was suffering & did not have a good quality life.

Sneakers is not suffering anymore, part of the responsibility of owning a beloved pet is knowing when to let go.

I understand your grief, just let the grief pour out & remember the good times you had together.

Sneakers was one of the fortunate cats to belong to a loving family for the time he was allowed here on this earth.

Your in my prayers also, I know the days ahead will be very hard for you. But time does make the pain lesssen & there will be times when you will actually think back & laugh over things he has done.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for your support, I made a little website for Sneakers, which has kind of helped me. Looking at him when he was so happy makes me happy. I also put in some pictures of him when he was showing his "attitude" because that was part of his personality that I loved so much, and a picture after a bath where he looked like "Why did you have to do that?" He was a wonderful creature, I still can't believe that he isn't with me anymore.
Sneaker's Memorial
post #8 of 15
I just went to Sneakers web page, What a beautiful memorial for such a beautiful cat.

I had tears in my eyes as the photos were showing him in various stages of his life.

your will miss him very much, you will look for him in places that he normally was, you will expect him at feeding time, when you wake up, throughout the day, many times you will look for him.

This is so normal, its part of the grieving process, just let the tears come, don't hold back, you need to allow yourself time for this.

And please do not think the grief will be gone in a week or a month, or maybe even a year or longer.

We are here on the forum for you, also if you search the internet under pet loss forums, or similar headings , You will find people who can help you in this time of need. Hugs to you, Brandy
post #9 of 15
Your mom did the right thing when she took Sneakers back to the vet, and I agree with all the things that My3boys has told you in her last two posts.

I went to Sneakers web page too. Sneakers was such a beautiful cat, he must have been very special to you, and a special member of your family. You do need to grieve for your loss, but it does get less painful with time.
post #10 of 15

Here is a poem about pet loss that I would like to share with you.

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.

There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.

There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor, those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing, they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together...

Author unknown...
post #11 of 15
I grieve for you. I grieve for Sneakers.

But Sneakers is not suffering any more. He is happy. You gave him a VERY good life, and he loves you for that.

I am in tears as I write this, I send you peace and prayers.
post #12 of 15
Sneakers was a beautiful kittty - I see what you mean about his personality from looking at his pics. I know you will miss him deeply - he will be waiting for you at the Bridge
post #13 of 15
I just found this on grieving, very good article.

Grief is a wound that needs attention in order to heal. To work through and complete grief means to face our feelings openly and honestly, to express or release our feelings fully, and to tolerate and accept our feelings for however long it takes for the wound to heal. For most of us, that is a big order. Therefore, it takes courage to grieve. It takes courage to feel our pain and to face the unfamiliar. It also takes courage to grieve in a society that mistakenly values restraint, where we risk the rejection of others by being open or different. Open mourners are a select group, willing to journey into pain and sorrow and anger in order to heal and recover.

Unfortunately, our misconceptions about grief keep us from developing the courage we need to face grief. Many of us fear that, if allowed in, grief will bowl us over indefinitely. The truth is that grief experienced does dissolve. The only grief that does not end is grief that has not been fully faced
post #14 of 15
I am so sorry for you...

Think that you loved him since 1993 and that you loved and cared for him until the last minute. I think allowing him to die with dignity requires a lot of courage...

I am thinking of you...

post #15 of 15
You did the best you could. Sounds like Sneakers was real sick. Its hard to make the decision to put them down. I personally can not stand to see them suffer. One of my daughters had to put her 20 year old cat down 2 weeks before I had to have one of my kitties put down. He could not walk anymore. She said I look at his face & he looks fine. It doesn't sound like you could do much more for Sneakers. You were a good Mother to him. My thoughts are with you. Prayers
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