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How to decide about at home euthanasia
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Member Since:
4 December 2008
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13 December 2009 - 8:08 pm
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We had planned for Tika to be euthanized at home, I had her 'baby' blanket ready, we were going to do it outside where she loved to lay and watch the world.

Then things went fast forward on us.  Although the vet would have come to our house on Sunday morning, it was a matter of what to do with Tika's body afterwards, the doctor out of the office who was available to do it is about 95 lbs soaking wet, and we would have had to deliver Tika to the office anyway afterwards.

So we decided to take her there. Our vet's office is very homey, they have a special room just for this type of thing that has a bed ready, bright light streaming in and is not near the exam rooms.  Since Tika always loved visiting the vets office we figured this would not stress her out.  So we slowly walked her out to the car, twice in the 20 feet she had to stop and catch her breath.  We picked her up and she got situated in her co-pilots position and we drove to the vet.  Although she got a little adrenaline rush from the car ride, it quickly was spent, we got to the vets and she had a small tail wag for Dr. Gibbs and the tech Lori.  She hardly paid attention to the screaming cat. 

By then, you could see the struggle to breath, she didn't even try to say her hellos.  She got comfortable on the bed, and it was very quick and peaceful. We stayed with her for awhile afterwards and went home.

I know I've already posted the story before, and although it wasn't the way we planned, we really don't have any regrets how it played out, especially where we had (for the most part) the vet's office to ourselves.

Our dog before Tika and Caya was diagnosed with primary lung cancer two weeks before she passed away in her sleep, we had gone out to dinner with a friend from out of town and came back to Justice lying in her favorite place gone. That was very traumatic for us.  But no matter what in Justice's case, we would have definitely had her put to sleep at home, she HATED the vets.

We had to make the same contingency plans for Caya also the week Tika died and we thought we were going to lose her, Caya is not keen on the vet, not as bad as previous dogs I've owned, she'll lay down and be good, but it's not on her Top 5 list.  So if we were told, there's no hope, we would have pulled her from the hospital, kept her on fluids for a while at home until things started to look really bad and then have our vet come and let her go.  Thankfully, although Caya has had more than her share of vet time in the last month, it's all been for good she's getting better slowly, she's actually got used to her new schedule of vet time/home time.  Yes, Tika was 401K dog, Caya is the $6million dollar dog.  Oh well, it's just money....

So I guess the morale of my story here is the pet's temperament and the situation will probably play a big part in the end, no matter how well laid out your plans are.  Tika we were okay with the switch in plans, we wouldn't have done the same with Caya in the same situation.

Jeez, am I even making sense?  Blush

Kim and Spirit Tika

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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13 December 2009 - 10:44 pm
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Total sense. Thanks for sharing.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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14 December 2009 - 2:37 pm
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Now I'm all teary-eyed from reading everyone's heartbreak.  So sad.  But at least we have a nice place to talk about it. 

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

New England
Member Since:
17 September 2009
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14 December 2009 - 6:00 pm
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This topic touches on my absolute biggest fear. I am terrified of the time when I am NOT there for a beloved pet at the very end. I have lost several pets over the years, and have always been there for each one's last breath. Daisy's and Jake's departures were sudden. Waldo's was a planned euthanasia, after his cancer became too much. Those were my doggies. I've also had pet rats and mice that were all either eventually euthanized when old age brought on too many health issues, or that died peacefully of old age.

I have ALWAYS been there for EACH one.

I think my fear can sometimes be paralyzing. Especially when dealing with an illness (cancer) that looms over me.

I think the fear really consumed me when I was dealing with Waldo's cancer, almost 5 yrs ago. I found out he had hemangiosarcoma 4 days after I adopted him. Because of the stage of cancer, and previous health issues, there was nothing I could do to treat the cancer. (And believe me, I sought other opinions). I pretty much was given orders by the vet to spoil him rotten until it was his time. Six months later, it was his time (statistically, he was a miracle… nobody thought he'd live past 6 weeks). But for those 6 months, I lived every day wondering if it would be his last, and hoping it wouldn't be his last. I would sometimes poke him awake just so I knew he was ok. I must've made him crazy! But I did spoil him.

From Waldo, I learned that dogs can still live a pretty darn good life with cancer. Waldo never seemed to worry or care like I did. He just wanted to play and eat and sleep and hang out with momma and Peanut. He taught me to focus on his life, not his death. But it wasn't always that simple. I still hold onto that fear; that need to be there.

When Peanut was diagnosed with cancer, I thanked Waldo for all his previous lessons. I think because of what I shared with him, I have been able to remain so strong and positive for Peanut. Thanks, Waldo. Mommy will never forget you.

As far as at home euthanasia is concerned… it's a great idea, if your vet will allow it. Who wouldn't want to choose the perfect, comfortable spot for a beloved pet and family? But whether or not the moment is done at home or in the vet office, euthanasia remains a very difficult, agonizing decision. Having it done at home certainly doesn't change that. But I think it's best to know all options available, so each invidividual can come to the most appropriate decision for her dog and family.

It might seem morbid to some, but I think discussing topics like this can give one a better feeling of control over this crazy cancer.


Some Waldo pics, just to honor his memory:

~*~*~ Peanut is strength, love, and happiness. ~*~*~ 11/30/03 – 12/26/09

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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14 December 2009 - 7:55 pm
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brandnewkey said:

It might seem morbid to some, but I think discussing topics like this can give one a better feeling of control over this crazy cancer.

Not morbid at all, thanks for understanding why I started this topic. i wish we had something similar when facing Jerry's end of life decisions. But then, that's whay I started this topic to help myself and others try to understand when to say when: Question yourself to prepare for loss.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Wesley Chapel, FL
Member Since:
13 September 2009
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15 December 2009 - 5:29 am
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Waldo looks like such a sweetheart! I love the picture of him snuggled next to Peanut... Thanks so much for sharing...

Angel Jake's Mom

Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… ….. CANCER SUCKS!

Member Since:
13 July 2009
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15 December 2009 - 9:05 am
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Waldo looks like a baby Peanut snuggled next to Peanut like that. Cute! So you have had to face dog cancer twice. I don't know if I could be that strong, not that we are given a choice. You certainly maintain a great outlook with Peanut.

New England
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17 September 2009
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16 December 2009 - 2:39 pm
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Thanks! Waldo was a little scrappy doodle.

I was wondering why vets don't more freely offer advice or suggestions to their clients. I think it may be a liability issue. Or maybe they don't want to feel like they're influencing a client's decision-making process.

I remember when I took Peanut in for her consultation with the orthopedic surgeon, he sat with us for a whole hour going over everything. I had already made up my mind about what I wanted to do, and had done SO much research on my own. But I was extremely appreciative that he took the time to discuss everything with me.

I wish regular vets did that more often. Just my 2 cents.

~*~*~ Peanut is strength, love, and happiness. ~*~*~ 11/30/03 – 12/26/09

East Bay, CA
Member Since:
6 August 2009
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17 December 2009 - 2:05 am
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That picture of Peanut and Waldo is too much! That's about the cutest darn thing I've seen all week.

May 2001-Jan 21, 2010.....I'm a dog and I'm AWESOME!..... Always.

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