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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Remus has pneumonia, bacterial. For about two weeks now we've been battling it. We've been to the vet three times already. We go again Saturday and, barring a miracle recovery, the vet tech warned me the vet would advise it is time to pts.

Except it doesn't feel like it is. I've been told that I would know when it's time and I certainly did a month ago for Caius but I don't feel it for Remus.

He's relatively active. He's not refusing to move. He picks where he wants to sleep. He gets excited for treats. He wants to explore my room. He is grooming decently - more than he was.

He isn't eating much. He is drinking moderately. His breathing is silent but is abdominal. He doesn't make any noise unless put under stress in which case he slightly wheezes. He hates his meds and he hates injections and they make his wheeze.

There is one more med combo I can push for which I am highly considering. It's subcutaneous injections of dex and an antibiotic. To push for it will be hard but I believe possible.

Here's my question.

I know I can't be forced to pts but am I making the right decision? Should I put him down sooner than later? Is now sooner? Can I wait five days for injections to be tried, at least?
 

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I know it always sounds ridiculous to say... but you will know when it's time. With all of my animals I've ever had that have been to the stage where enough was enough... there's just this unusual stillness. It may only be a moment, it may be longer, but there is this unusual calm where it's almost like they're telling you they don't want to do it anymore. I fully believe that animals have a will to live - whether it be only self-preservation instincts, or want to live longer, or a love for us or anything else... in my experience animals who are close to you will always "tell" you.

If Remus is trying, he isn't ready yet. Even if the injection only makes him healthier for another day or another week or another month before he decides to give up... he's not ready to give up yet. At least, not from what you've described.
 

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Remus has pneumonia, bacterial. For about two weeks now we've been battling it. We've been to the vet three times already. We go again Saturday and, barring a miracle recovery, the vet tech warned me the vet would advise it is time to pts.

Except it doesn't feel like it is. I've been told that I would know when it's time and I certainly did a month ago for Caius but I don't feel it for Remus.

He's relatively active. He's not refusing to move. He picks where he wants to sleep. He gets excited for treats. He wants to explore my room. He is grooming decently - more than he was.

He isn't eating much. He is drinking moderately. His breathing is silent but is abdominal. He doesn't make any noise unless put under stress in which case he slightly wheezes. He hates his meds and he hates injections and they make his wheeze.

There is one more med combo I can push for which I am highly considering. It's subcutaneous injections of dex and an antibiotic. To push for it will be hard but I believe possible.

Here's my question.

I know I can't be forced to pts but am I making the right decision? Should I put him down sooner than later? Is now sooner? Can I wait five days for injections to be tried, at least?
Is this a vet you generally have a good communicative relationship with?

I would put it all to the vet, just as you did here, and make that your starting point, for the discussion.

If you feel, as an observant owner, that he is still wanting to hang out on Earth a while yet, then I'd say you should strongly advocate for the vet to be your partner in that.

Ask the vet "If I don't euth him today, what might the 'go South' look like for him? What specific guidelines can you give me to watch for?" And make arrangements for a possible emergency euth if he does then go South.

Are you guys doing nebulizers/oxygen or anything like that, or is he just on meds?

One other thing, that has at times been a deciding factor for me personally--when an animal just really particularly hates being handled for meds and treatments, I have at times had the vet help them go a bit sooner--because they have no quality of life without the meds, and with the meds, THEY think they have no quality of life, so it is sort of kindest to let them rest, then. Mind you, that's for animals who stress extremely, not just for a fussy sort of "Oh I hate this, leave me alone."

It sounds to me like your instincts will guide you well.
 

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my rat in the week before he died; whenever i opened the cage would try to get out and onto me and away from his cage, and i was told that when a rat know it's dying it will for the good of the cage mate(s) try to leave and get out of te cage so that the others don't see it die so they don't go through all of that. if remus has cage mates i would look for him to start doing this. In the few days before loki passed he didn't even sleep with thor anymore. thor would sometimes crawl into the other end of the tube loki stayed in but thats it. loki stayed asfar away as he could. if remus is still fighting for life though theni would let him fight a few more days and try the other meds but i'll pass on the best piece of advise i've ever been given about rat's dying from isamurat: "Its so easy to get lost in trying to fix them and loose the chance to give them the love and comfort they want before they go and if he isnt close to passing on then the extra time spent just enjoying each others company could help cheer him up and encourage him to eat a bit more." i was having trouble getting my boy to eat and isamurat told me: "
Probably not what you want to hear but when i've had a rat with a serious issue (like pneumonia) they have become clingier towards the last few days. They also all seem to want to be out of the cage, its natures way of them protecting there cage mates by dieing away from them. It may not be the case and he might just be improving but its one to keep in mind so if it happens its not so much of a shock. If its the case the worrying about it wont do anything, instead enjoy your time together and dont panic about getting more food down him, give him options and if he wont take it then let him have a break then try something else later."
I hope mine and isamurat's advise helps some. overall the decision will always rest with you though. if you look at the way your rat goes about life and you see a happy energetic rat that still wants to live or a rat that you think isn't ready to go then keep fighting with him just keep in mind (bc i thought this about mine to and within two weeks he passed away the night before his vet appointment) so just keep in mind how fast a rat can go from sorta still ok to really really bad. because it can happen really quick. i'll keep you guys in my thoughts!
 

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Nan, you are asking the question most of us wonder about. Is it time yet? Only you and your rat know for sure becsuse your vet does not live with the rat. The vet only sees the rat for a few minutes in an appointment. That's not to say the vet does not know when it is time. My vet says when the quality of life has tipped into negative territory for most of the time. It is then time to pts. From what you have described, your rat is still having a good time doing rat stuff. So, IMHO, it is not yet time.
 

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What the vet tech says is speculationand I would not for a second assume it is correct, and what the vet advises is just advice. If you want to keep treating they will keep treating, or provide palliative care options, that is what they will do. but when ot comes to "knowing"--not always. Like many people I feel I have made totally wrong decisions when it comes to pet end of life. we can only do our best.
 

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I think we all question ourselves when it comes down to it. We all have different times when we feel it's time. Personally, I let them go till I believe they are in pain, or it feels like torture more than good or at least a comfortable life. I am always thankful when they go at home peacefully. Which, thankfully is probably most of the time. However I have also felt terrible when I've had to make emergency in the middle of the night trips to the vet to pts because I probably should of let them go and we ended up with a very bad time at a bad time of night.

You're vet is giving you the advice they feel is right. But this is a grey area, so every owner and every vet are not going to be exactly the same. You just have to make you're own choices clear to your vet so they can help you and Remus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone. The vet and I normally get along swimmingly but on this issue i don't want to defer to her greater knowledge. Remus is doing better than he was though long from cured. He loves visiting his cage mates and is so different with them than alone. It breaks my heart that she thinks he's over. She always tells me consider quality of life because I know best and I think it's still there. We go tomorrow so well see but thanks again everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The vet tech was such an ass.

We took Remus back and thank the gods he sounded better. I sort of barraged the vet with how he was doing better etc the minute she came in the room. She said he has to stay on meds til his quality of life falls.
 
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