jerigraehl
I just lost my cat Khaomanee Sun morning to euthanasia. I am now wondering if I should have done more. He was so sick and to be honest I am wishing right now I had given him another 24 hours to see if there could be improvement. He just turned 15. He had asthma the last 8 years requiring a mask twice a day.  He was indoor only. I did not want to board him due to his not having shots due to my last cat suffering horrible with a fibrosarcoma from a rabies shot and I lost him at 13. So I have not gone on any vacations for 8 years. I did not think I could ever be in such pain again but right now I can't eat or sleep and all I do is cry and question if I let him go too soon. 

He got diagnosed with diabetes June 07. I blame myself for not taking him off the dry food (he had wet and dry) sooner due to the weight he had gained. When I gave him the insulin he went into hypoglycimia and fell over requiring honey to revive him. This happend three times. I gave him only glucose/weight control prescription diet and he lost 2 lb and was almost at his perfect weight. He acted like a young cat again and seemed so happy and was very affectionate.  He seemed to feel better than he had in a long time. Instead of checking his glucose I foolishly assumed that due to his reaction to insulin that he didn not need it and that it was responding to the dietary change and weight loss. I blame myself and I feel such undescribable guilt and pain over it there are not words.  

He got sick very fast. I took him to emergency. His tests showed he was still diabetic. This seems to have set off a cascade of events and he got pancreatitis.  I took him home with iv fluids to give him. They recommended he stay but I had been in there from dawn until 3pm and they told me it would take one hour to give him fluids pending his pancreatitis test. I did not want to leave him since it had taken them 5 hours to get around to giving him the fluids they said was so critical. This took me all of 10 minutes. I figured if that was how they operated in an emergency clinic he was better off having me do it. This allowed me to watch him all night. He wanted his belly rubbed and was clearly in pain. Why they did not give him pain meds I just don't know.  He would not eat or drink and I spent the night with my hand on him just laying on the bed. I would dose off and find him crouched on the floor. When he was on my bed he did not sleep tho he seemed to try. His breathing was shallow.

He also had a very high calcium level which can indicate cancer - but maybe not. They told me neither euthenasia or treatment were not wrong choices.  He also had serious peradontal issues. I chose to let him go but now I am wishing I tried more treatment. He was just suffering so much. I am regreting it now. Had he not been 15 I would without a doubt have done more. Has anyone been through something like this and chosen to let them go vs prolong suffering in hopes of a rivival in the face of multiple issues? 




jerigraehl
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Memories_of_Marmalade


Hi Jeri,

"I just lost my cat Khaomanee Sun morning to euthanasia."

I am very sorry and saddened to read of your recent loss. : *** (  That certainly is a beautiful name for a cat! 

There are many compassionate, empathetic, loving, caring, kind and & wise people here on this forum, who have truly helped me survive the past 2 months + and guided me through my seemingly never ending grief, sorrow, sadness, guilt, remorse & regret. I believe they will be able to help you too. Surprisingly, I have relied more on the folks here, than any family member, friend, neighbor or colleague. They just simply did not understand the level of my grief or were not interesting in speaking about it. 

"I am now wondering if I should have done more. He was so sick

That statement, in my opinion, is key for you to remember at all times. Your cat "WAS SO SICK." This is what contributed to your decision in the end. 

"and to be honest I am wishing right now I had given him another 24 hours to see if there could be improvement. "

Most of us here feel the exact same way. We keep 2nd guessing that final, fatal decision. What if we had just given them another 24 hours? But we made the choice that we did, to end our beloved's pain & suffering when we realized just how much they were in pain & suffering. And by our choosing mercy, we agreed to then take on their burden of pain & suffering onto ourselves. We transferred what they were feeling onto ourselves. Now we are trying to process that grief. To transform that negative energy. This is the pain & suffering that we now feel. The transference of negative energy from our beloved pet's to ourselves.

"He just turned 15."

Please keep in mind that a cat's average / normal lifespan is just 2 to 5 years in the wild (or out on the street.) By our adopting them the way that we humans do, we often double, triple, and even quadruple our cat's lifespans. Just by providing them with shelter (from natural predators and the weather / elements), regular food and fresh water, occasional trips to the Vet's (and medication(s) and our love and affection (which is good for their overall well-being.) So your cat's lifespan was tripled through your care, devotion and love. Yes I know that "forever" would not have been long enough to have our beloved's with us. : )

"He had asthma the last 8 years requiring a mask twice a day."

That alone is extraordinary. I have never even heard of helping a cat in this way! The way that you did! You should give yourself credit for helping your cat with this issue alone! Kudo's!

"He was indoor only. I did not want to board him due to his not having shots due to my last cat suffering horrible with a fibrosarcoma from a rabies shot and I lost him at 13. "

That is a shame, and I am so, so sorry for your other loss too.

I recently had to put down my beloved cat "Marmalade" 10 weeks ago this coming Thursday. It was believed he was around 13 years old. This, after 5 Vet's had failed to diagnosis him or misdiagnosed him. Including 2 supposed "Animal Hospitals."

"So I have not gone on any vacations for 8 years."

Very admirable of you as well.

At one point about 1 or 2 years ago, Marmalade was on my lap and I thought "Well, I am just not going to travel", although that was a long time dream of mine. But Marmalade had taught me that "paradise is a state of mind" and is "often right in front of you." Who needs to travel when you can have "paradise" with your best friend right where you are at any time? Marmalade was my best friend and being with him WAS my paradise. : )

"I did not think I could ever be in such pain again but right now I can't eat or sleep and all I do is cry and question if I let him go too soon."

Please know that you are not alone. Same here. I have to remind myself to eat each day (only 1 meal a day for many weeks now) and I have cried more from the loss of my cat, than from the loss of any human being I have ever known. Including close relatives and friends. Analyzing if you let your beloved go "too soon" is normal. It is just another, very unfortunate part, of the grueling, grieving process. 

As I wrote above, by our ending our pet's pain & suffering, we agree to absorb their pain & suffering. That is the bargain that we made. That is what you are feeling that is what you must endure, like all of us. But we are all going to make it through this. Each of our bodies has a built-in, healing mechanism, which uses "time" to process and then eliminate the negative energy that was transferred into us. But time is the key to all of this. Moment by moment, minute by minute, day by day, night by night, month by month and yes, at times even year by year, we must all somehow endure and allow healing to occur. For each of us it is and will be different. As is evidenced on this grief support forum. 

"He got diagnosed with diabetes June 07. I blame myself for not taking him off the dry food (he had wet and dry) sooner due to the weight he had gained. When I gave him the insulin he went into hypoglycemia and fell over requiring honey to revive him. This happened three times. I gave him only glucose/weight control prescription diet and he lost 2 lb and was almost at his perfect weight. He acted like a young cat again and seemed so happy and was very affectionate.  He seemed to feel better than he had in a long time. Instead of checking his glucose I foolishly assumed that due to his reaction to insulin that he didn't need it and that it was responding to the dietary change and weight loss. I blame myself and I feel such indescribable guilt and pain over it there are not words. "

You went by assumed logic, deductive reasoning and gut instincts. By what you witnessed with your own eyes. You went by your boy appearing to feel better. Please remember - you don't have a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. The truth is most of the time Vet's are just winging it too when it comes to treatment.

There is another saying (I know of 3 Vet's that said this) when it comes to our pet's health - "You treat one thing, it triggers another." Again, it goes back to if your pet has already exceeded it's natural lifespan? Their bodies are going to be wearing out or are already worn out. It is the sad truth of things. We all must keep this in mind during our grief process.

"He got sick very fast. I took him to emergency. His tests showed he was still diabetic. This seems to have set off a cascade of events and he got pancreatitis.  I took him home with iv fluids to give him. They recommended he stay but I had been in there from dawn until 3pm and they told me it would take one hour to give him fluids pending his pancreatitis test. I did not want to leave him since it had taken them 5 hours to get around to giving him the fluids they said was so critical. This took me all of 10 minutes. I figured if that was how they operated in an emergency clinic he was better off having me do it. This allowed me to watch him all night."

This is a call that others wish that they had made. As for many they regret allowing their beloved to stay in an Animal Hospital overnight or for an extended period of time in order to try and save them. It seems like you made this call from not just your heart, but from your head. Own that. You tried to save him and you took him home to try and do so. 

In my case, had I left Marmalade at an overnight stay at a Vet's or Animal Hospital? The next morning it would have looked like Rambo had freed him!

"He wanted his belly rubbed and was clearly in pain. Why they did not give him pain meds I just don't know."

As far as the pain meds go, at times it is because the Vet's know that the pet is near it's end, but are not always truthful about that with the pet parents. As for one reason, Vet's tend to cash-out in the final days, weeks or months of a pet's life it seems. Maybe not to be solely unscrupulous, but it does appear that this is the case. At times they turn the other cheek. Vet's already know full-well that the pet is not designed to live as long as it already has. It is a biological fact. So at time Vet's appear to administer a ton of medication and then pull-back as they are concerned they are administering too much medication. And there may be side effects and negative reactions, including even death. I am sorry your boy was in pain.

"He would not eat or drink and I spent the night with my hand on him just laying on the bed. I would dose off and find him crouched on the floor. When he was on my bed he did not sleep tho he seemed to try. His breathing was shallow."

If we was not eating or drinking? This is what a cat would do in the wild in order to shut itself down, from what I have read and researched. Again, we intervene with the process of nature taking them. And shallow breathing is yet another sign. Same with not being able to sleep. All of the signs were there for you to see. He was trying to tell you that he was not well. Our pet's should have a say in whether they continue to receive treatment or not. In my opinion and the opinions of others.

"He also had a very high calcium level which can indicate cancer - but maybe not."

If he had cancer (which was what? A 50% chance?) what kind of pain had he been in? could he be in? and what did the future hold for him pain and suffering-wise? Was a 50% chance of excruciating pain for your beloved, just for you to hold onto him a little longer? worth the risk to him? And would it have been for him? Or for you?

These are the questions you already had asked yourself at the time that you made your final decision. You chose to end his pain & suffering over your own self-needs. Which is an act of mercy and love. It is a sacrifice. We are the ones who have been left behind to be in pain & suffer. We owned our loved ones a peaceful passing. We should all be so blessed at the time of our individual ends.

"They told me neither euthanasia or treatment were not wrong choices."

Yes, because if you chose "treatment", that would have most likely cost your thousands of dollars in the end and made the Vet $$$. This has been my personal experience. 

"He also had serious periodontal issues."

Which in itself can be a horrific scenario. As cat's who are senior can not tolerate mouth operations well, as my boy did not. He was in even worse shape 15 days after his dental surgery. He wasn't going to make it in the end. 

"I chose to let him go but now I am wishing I tried more treatment. He was just suffering so much."

Focus on the last words that you wrote above. "He was just suffering so much. " You chose to END that suffering.

What was he feeling that he could not communicate to you? What was he feeling inside? What kind of pain was he in? How was he suffering? What if he could talk? What would he have said to you?

"I am regretting it now. Had he not been 15 I would without a doubt have done more." 

Of course you would have! Look at how much you did to try and help him over all of those years you took care of him? How devoted you were to helping him with his health issues? You loved, cherished and adored him. His senior age WAS a factor in your ultimate decision. You had to take his age into consideration. It was crucial.

"Has anyone been through something like this and chosen to let them go vs prolong suffering in hopes of a revival in the face of multiple issues? "

Yes, me for one. And hundreds and hundreds of others here, who have posted and shared there stories. Again. YOU ARE NOT ALONE sweetheart. Please travel through time and continue to heal and most of all...be gentle and understanding of yourself.

Kind regards & my sincerest condolences,
James
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pannklaus
I am sorry about the loss of your precious cat Khaomanee Sun.  I have made the decision several times to let my fur babies go rather than put them through more treatment which would be likely to only increase their suffering.  Once a cat  is 15 he has lived a normal life span.  At that stage of life, illnesses typical have occurred or are starting to occur. Often one illness becomes two or three and the suffering the cat experiences increases. 

I think it is an unselfish gift to let the cat go even if there are more treatments that could be tried.  It is possible to do endless treatments, none of which are successful.  I think that you made the right decision.  Many people feel guilt after they carry out the decision and start thinking that they should have done more.  Some of this may be part of the grieving process.

You are with many people here who have made the same decision as you did and understand the grief and pain which  you are now experiencing as well as the guilt.  There is no way to avoid the grief which we are all going through but you can perhaps come to see your decision in a more positive way and no longer feel guilty about it.
Patsy
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3_cats_mom
It's always terrible to lose a fur baby. As an owner, no matter what your decision is, you'll ALWAYS feel guilty. You'd always think that you could have done more. I lost my beloved Rouquinou a month ago due to fibrosarcoma, just like your old cat. I knew that he was suffering and wanted to euthanise him, but my husband was against it. He died naturally, but I feel extremely guilty for letting him suffer for so long. You see, it is a lose lose situation no matter what you choose. This is the burden of being a fur baby owner :( 

Luckily there is this forum which helps us through the tough time. I find it comforting when I come here reading other posts. At least I know that I am not alone and people here are kind and understanding. 

Take care


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redgirlraven
I am not sure I can go through my story with Roary again but suffice it to say I spent over 10,000 dollars more than I had (took out a huge loan) and sadly he spent his last two nights on a cold and terrifying ICU at the hospital without his two littermates who he slept with every day and night of his nine years and so scared he wouldn’t cuddle with me while he was on his oxygen gage. He died on the OR table (without me) where they had opened his chest to see if they could remove the “cyst” (so said the radiologist) that was in fact a huge tumor - anyway. The first night he couldn’t breathe the vet said she thought I should “let him go”. He was only 9 and had never been sick a day in his life and after she drained his chest of the fluid that just suddenly appeared he was totally himself again for 48 hours before he follows up again. My point is, he could have died with me and his brothers at home with a home euthanasia and instead he died tortured scared alone and afraid. I feel sick about it. It’s been 1 month and 5 days. I cry daily. Mourn daily. And feel I failed him. I should have let him go.
AR
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Ceceliadempsey3
Dear jerigraehl,
It was not an easy 
decision.  And this is the first dog, or any animal I ever owned. My Thatcher was 12 and he suffered from seizures.  He was on 13 pills a day.  We tried so many different medications for over a year.  The final medication was Phenobarbital.  It was awful  He could not walk with out his back legs giving out.  It pains me too much too talk about it.  But I just want you to know that it seems you did all you could for your precious Khaomanee Sun. I have to live with the decision I made and I do keep second guessing myself.  But then I go back to the last day (May 29) we went down to the lake, which he loved so much and he went in and his legs gave out and just laid on the sand.  It was not him anymore.  He was winning and thats all I can here now and wish I could still cuddle my big 94pound lab/Newfoundland Thatcher.   I am so sorry for your loss.  I wish I could take your pain away and everyone on this sites pain.  Try not to feel guilty or second guess yourself you did all you could for your beautiful cat.  Sending you hugs and good vibes to help ease your pain.
Cecelia
Thatcher's mom
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Memories_of_Marmalade

Dear Anne (aka RedGirlRaven),

I am so sorry you are still feeling the way that you are. But the truth is you went the full distance trying to save your Roary. You went all the way in proceeding with his last surgery. If you had not proceeded? You would have always wondered what might have been the outcome, if you had proceeded with the surgery. It is like so many have pointed out here, there really is no right or wrong decision, that you won't endlessly 2nd guess, if your beloved does not survive in the end. Sadly it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario. 

I research and studied essays on whether pets should have a say in their end of life planning and treatment. And whether they should have the right, or not, to have a say in what medical treatment they receive. One Doctor believes that animals DO in fact communicate with us, by their actions and reactions. And it is up to us to interpret what they are communicating. 

I DO believe that our pets DO understand what Vet's do, and that we are trying to help them through treatment. Our beloved's are very, very smart. Much smarter than they are often given credit for. When my cat "Marmalade" first visited the final Animal Hospital he went to, he was fighting them tooth and nail. So much so that they almost refused to treat him. But after his ear canal surgery, which stopped his bleeding, and I worked with him each day, cleaning around his stitched up surgical cut, he would turn, stick his face out to me and hold it in position to be cleaned. It was remarkable. He understood fully.

When I brought him into the Vet's the nurses marveled at how Marmalade could stay in his cat carrier with the gate open, sit still, turn his face and stick the surgical wound area out to them to be cleaned by the nurse with no complaints. They simply could not believe their eyes.

BUT weeks later after his dental extractions? when his mouth was really, really troubling him again? he wanted to kill the entire Animal Hospital staff. He was saying "I don't trust you. Do not touch me. Leave me alone. And no more medicines." They could not even get near him they were so afraid of being attacked. But there was a clear behavioral difference from his 1st surgery to his 2nd surgery.

So most likely, yes your Roarey was afraid, but he also knew you were trying to help him. He knew he did not feel well, and the hospital was where you took him when he wasn't feeling well. He may not have liked it, but he did not hold that against you. He still loved and trusted you in the end. Please know this.

Kind regards,
James
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redgirlraven
Oh James, I cannot thank you enough for your kind words and thoughts. It is so hard to know what the right thing was or wasn’t. Your right, if I hadn’t done anything more I would have forever questioned that choice too. I just wish I had been with him in the end and I wish his litter mates had been there to comfort him.
AR
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Memories_of_Marmalade


Hi AR (Aka RedGirlRaven),

You WERE with Roary in 3 ways at the end. In his memory, in his thoughts, and with him in spirit. I am certain he was thinking of you and his litter mates, his family, in the end. Let me tell you why I think that.

When the nursing staff would bring Marmalade back out to the lobby of the Animal Hospital after a re-check, tests or examination to see me, he acted as if nothing had happened in the back of the Hospital. In the main examination area and operating room. But after Marmalade had been seen, the Nursing staff's (which included males) hair would be disheveled, their faces were white as sheets, their upper lips would be trembling, and Marmalade would have blood on the tops of his paws. But again, Marmalade acted totally innocent and as if nothing had happened. The nurses could not believe that I could freely reach in to his cat carrier to pet him, after a procedure, with my having no fear of him what-so-ever. 

What does this mean? It means Marmalade could clearly differentiate between the Animal Hospital staff and me, his family. That Marmalade knew that what happened in the back of the Hospital was not something that I was a part of. It was between he and them. That is just the way that it was. He did not over analyze the situation. It just was what it was. 

How does this apply to your situation with your Roary? It means Roary knew that you, and his litter mates, were also not part of the Hospital staff, but that you could not be with him in the end. That was not the way things were done for some reason. But he was thinking of you never-the-less. As you WERE his family. And that no doubt did comfort him at the end of his life. I am sure he was wanting to be home, but he also realized that you were trying desperately to help him. And that is the obvious truth of things. 

Kind regards,
James
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