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I put my sweet Rizzo to sleep yesterday, and I can't stop crying becauase I think I did it too soon.
She suffered her entire life with respitory issues. My vet and I tried many different medications and methods, nothing worked. Antibiotics helped temporarily, but she was needing them once a month, until they stopped working. She still was lively, eating, drinking, bright, through out all of this.

Except when she had gasping attacks. At times she would have them daily, other times she would go a month without having one.... but she had the worst one of her life the other night; gasping, screaming, running frantically in a panic, diving and leaping off of me and furniture....it lasted for an hour and a half. Her facial expression was pure terror. I thought she was dying on me twice. That's when I made the decision to put her to sleep, so that she never has to go through that ever again.
But the next morning when I took her, she was her fine, happy self. It was the hardest decision I ever made, and now I have extreme guilt.
I put her to sleep too soon. I miss her so much. I keep seeing her beautiful little face, and I can't grasp that she isn't here anymore.

I guess this isn't really a question, I just needed to vent, and I thought what better people to vent to than you. <3

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My heart hurts for you. I know you miss her and I know the guilt you feel. I've been there with a dog I had to put to sleep due to heart failure. He also seemed fine the day I took him and I questioned my decision for a long time. But I had to remind myself that his quality of life wasn't very good. He couldn't breathe very well and he couldn't run and play without going into a terrible respiratory attack. That's not living.

When we make the decision to end our babies suffering, it's out of love for them and we only do it when they no longer have a good quality of life. You said yourself that Rizzo's attacks were so terrifying for her that she'd leap off furniture and have a look of panic on her face. If you'd have allowed those attacks to continue, it would have been cruel to put her through that. Ultimately something tragic would've happened. Either she would've hurt herself badly during one of her episodes or she would've died a horrible death by suffocation because she just couldn't get her breath. I know you wouldn't have wanted either of those things to happen to her.

So as hard as it is, you did the right thing for her. Mourn her and celebrate her life, but please don't feel guilty. You gave her an incredible gift of love. Be thankful that she was happy on her last day, that's how you will remember her. It sucks that she had this problem and had to go before her time, but she was loved and she loved you for the short time she was here. Maybe once your heart heals, you'll feel up to taking in another sweet soul who needs a mom to love them. Big hugs to you~
 

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i honestly think from the sound of it you did the right thing. imagine if she had had another that was worse. i have had rats put to sleep in similar circumstances, one of the guys i had pmd and his lungs were filled woth cancerous tumours, another had infection killing of a large proportion of his lungs. none were going to get any better. In my mind is kinder on the rat to let them go a little early than too late
 

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Our ratties depend on us to do what is best for them. I believe they trust us in their own way. IMHO, you acted in your rat's best interests. The shitty thing is that this type of situation may well arise again in the future, sad to say.
 

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One of the responsibilities of being a caretaker for an animal is knowing when to euthanize, even though it hurts us. It is a hard decision. I struggled with this when I had to put my old rabbit down. He was sick, but how did I know he wouldn't get better? Even at the refuge, with wild animals that I just meet for the first time that day, it can be a tough call. You will never know 100% what would've happened if you waited. All you can do is look at the animal and ask yourself "what kind of quality of life is this? What kind of death/pain are they facing?" Even if there were good times in between, it sounds like she was getting worse. It also seems like death from one of these attacks, either from suffocating or hurting herself in her panic, would be painful and scary. You did the right thing by allowing her final moments to be peaceful and comfortable. I know it's sad, but that is a really wonderful gift you were able to give her.
 

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i agree with everyone here you thought about your baby first and though you feel guilt i really respect you thought about her when yoy did it
 

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I'm so sorry. It's never an easy decision to make. Take comfort in the fact that your baby was comfortable and calm when in her last moments, and not in the midst of an attack. Having to rush a pet to the vet for emergency euthanasia is so traumatic and not a fitting end for a beloved furry friend. Despite the unfair odds, you gave your baby the best life possible, and then allowed her to leave this world with dignity.
 

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I agree with Kitterpuss... I'm so sorry for your loss:( I posted in the other section too.

Allow yourself to cry, it's needed and healing. The guilt is normal...every time! My heart goes out to you. Rizzo knew you loved her and it's because of that love that you didn't allow her to suffer any more. Take comfort in that. Big hug!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oh goodness...thank you :( Your kind posts are making me cry! It's Thanksgiving in Canada so I have to say I'm thankful for the beautiful moments I had with her, but also for the support of this community :)
 

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I'm so sorry. It's never an easy decision to make. Take comfort in the fact that your baby was comfortable and calm when in her last moments, and not in the midst of an attack. Having to rush a pet to the vet for emergency euthanasia is so traumatic and not a fitting end for a beloved furry friend. Despite the unfair odds, you gave your baby the best life possible, and then allowed her to leave this world with dignity.
^^^This.

I'm sorry for your loss and will light the white candle for your baby--she was adorable.

A wise old horse friend of mine always says "Better a month too early than a day too late."

You did this out of love, and a wish to spare her further terror and pain, as her physical body was failing her.

She would not want you to second guess that and torture yourself.
 
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