end of life

by Norman
(San Diego, CA)

My coton is 16 turning 17 in December. He is now eating less, lethargic and drinking water only and small treats but not too much. Legs are wobbly. He still looks ok but I am not sure if he can survive not eating very much. When do you make a decision on end of life so that he doesn't suffer from malnutrition towards the end. And yes we have taken him to the Vet to check for any issues but found none.

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Apr 13, 2022
End of life NEW
by: Lisa

I am going to show your excellent advice with my daughter who is going through this now with her 16 yr old Bichon. I am hopeful she will heed your very humane advice. It is such a difficult decision to make so I told her I will respect her decision. It’s time, in my opinion since like you said we don’t know how much they’re suffering when her kidneys starting to decline a year ago. I agree with your analogy that if there’s any question about when whether one is no longer extending their life but simply delaying their death, then why take a chance they probably are suffering.

Jul 26, 2021
I totally feel for you NEW
by: Jeff

I am so sorry for the pain you are going through. Three years ago we had to make the decision for our 1st Coton after 17 years of joy. And then yesterday we had to make the same decision for our 2nd Coton, who came to use at 9 months, to ease his pain at 19 years old. This time we were able to make the decision although hard but easier. We kept our 1st Coton around longer than he wanted. This time we were able, as hard as it was/is, to let him go in peace. That leaves us with our baby girl (8 years old) Coton and we are going to get her a little one. It is so painful to lose a part of your family. But there was still some happiness a week ago and then the last 3-4 days he went down hill rapidly. It was so hard for my wife to whisper into his ear that it was okay to let go. Yesterday, Sunday, he would fall over several times and my wife called me (out shopping) and said that we were not going to wait until Monday. We sat on a couch in the Vet's office with our baby wrapped up in a blanket with baby girl right next to him. And then spent another 10-15 minutes rubbing and petting him after he passed on. All three of us walked aimlessly around the house last night. God's speed my friend.

Jul 15, 2021
End of life decision
by: Anonymous

As someone who has had to euthanize several pets (cats AND dogs), one vet told me that it is better to euthanize that just let nature take its course. Often, when we allow our pets to just let nature take its course, it is very painful for the animal.

About two weeks ago I had our cat put down. Her liver and kidneys were shutting down. She was 16 years old. At the vet clinic, I had two vets with me during the procedure. One vet said she was the equivalent of 120 years old! So, your sweet Coton is very old.

Our pets are extensions of us. However, the longer we hold on to them, the more they may be suffering more than we can imagine.

Yes, it feels so sad when they complete their journey here with us. And, if we celebrate the joy we had with them, it makes things easier.

No one can tell you the exact time to euthanize your 4-legged friend. However, taking into consideration what the vets from days gone by have said (which was all pretty much the same) the longer a pet with failing internal organs lives, the more suffering (even if it doesn't look that bad to us on the outside.)

I took the cat to the animal hospital because my husband just couldn't do it. Imagine mentally putting yourself in your sweetie-pies shoes. If that were you, suffering and being stoic, would you want to be in unnecessary suffering for longer than you really wanted?

There's no easy answer here. However, if it were my coton, and I know that day will come because ours is already 12 years old, I will put her down before she suffers needlessly. That's just my opinion. You must decide for yourself.

If you are a prayerful person, you might consider putting your and your coton's name on a prayer role. It can help make things easier.

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