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Discussion Starter #1
As many of you know, I had to euthanize my first rat, my "heart rat," Gregor Samsa. It was the first time I ever had to make that decision, and it really ripped me apart. I dealt with extreme guilt for several months over it, and even, when Gregor "came home," I shed some tears, and explained to "him" that I really, really didn't want to "kill" him, I just didn't want him to be in any more pain.

Anyway, my point is...

In some of the posts, I've been reading the abbreviation, "pts." (Put to sleep.) It makes me wonder, if we have an abbreviation for it, is it something that happens a lot? Do most rats become ill and have to be pts? Do rats ever have a peaceful death in their sleep from old age?

I don't want to "pts" anyone else, but I know that I will always have a rat, and if my baby needs me to make that decision to get him out of pain, then I will. I just hope that I don't have to.
 

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I think with most pets the ones who die peacefully in their sleep are the rare ones, excepting perhaps the non-mammalian ones where it's hard to tell anything's wrong at all...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmmm. Aside from fish, the only pet I ever lost before Gregor was my first dog, Lucky. She was a dacshund, and she lived to be almost 18 years old. At the end, she slept most of the time, and, when she passed on, it was in her sleep. That was the limit of my experience.

Do you mean that with ~all~ mammal pets, it's unlikely for them to pass on like Lucky?

It's not pleasant to think about, but if this is how things are, then it's better to be prepared.
 

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I would say the majority of my rats have been pts. Some have died suddenly and without warning at home, and some passed with me dozing on the bed with them...these last ones were PT rats and most don't suffer unlike tumours and respiratory issues, etc.

Its a very hard decision to make but rats have this horrible tendency to linger and suffer for long times and we sometimes have to make that decision to help them pass. Its very important that the vet does it right and as humanely as possible. My vet gases first (with a small animal mask over their face and on a towel on a table) then once they are completely out, she injects the heart injection or IP injection. She also pats them as they are falling asleep and talks to them...I truly do love my vet!

IEuthanization is the not so good part of being owned by rats. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What are PT rats?

That is what happened with Gregor. They gave him gas. and then a heart injection. I was allowed to stroke Gregor and talk to him the whole time, so that the last thing he heard was, "Mommy Loves Gregor." I held it together at the time, because I felt it was very important for HIM to feel that things were as normal as possible.

Sigh. I was hoping for better news on this, but I know that I will always have to have a "rat best friend," and if that means that I have to help them out of their pain, sometimes, after a happy and loving life, then I guess that's just the way it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Still Worried.

I hate to belabor it, but I'm still worried.

I almost had a breakdown when I had to euthanize Gregor...non-rat-people and non-animal-people will never understand, but to me, Gregor is my SON. He is as important as a human being.

I want to love my rats, and only ever make them happy. I want to give them everything.

It's the same with my other pets. Vela, my eldest dog, is 14, and we've been through it all together. It is devastating enough, knowing that she's an old dog, but to think that I may have to euthanize her - which is the impression I got, as someone referred to "most mammal pets" - well, it's an unthinkable thought. She's my daughter.

My animals ARE my life.

Whether it's a rat, cat, or dog, this is a really tough thing. Heck, I still cry over my first Betta fish, Alpha, who died a natural death.

I know that there's nothing to be done about the reality of the situation, but I hope that, when the hard times come, my friends here will understand, because people in my real life just don't get it.
 

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i dont know how you feel but i can imagine it.i have lots of animals in my home that i love and the thought of them going away some day.....
 

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I mourn all my pets, even the little fishies. :(

But at least when they are PTS you know they don't suffer anymore. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Forensic said:
I mourn all my pets, even the little fishies. (

But at least when they are PTS you know they don't suffer anymore. (
That much is true. It's hard on ME to say "goodbye," but that's selfish of me. I love my animals enough that I would never want them to be in pain.

That is the thing that I remember when Gregor passed...the word that came to my mind was "peaceful." He seemed very peaceful.

So...if the animals are out of pain, and their spirits go...well, to wherever we ALL go, then that can't be all bad.
 

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That poem The Rainbow Bridge always makes me somewhat happier... That I'll get to see them all again. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, for what it's worth, that famous Psychic, Sylvia Browne, says that when we die, all of our pets, and all of the animals that weren't our pets but were our "friends" anyway, will come running up to greet us. Her exact words were, "It wouldn't be heaven if they weren't there. Heck! I wouldn't want to go!"
 

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i haven't had to put a pet to sleep yet but i can imagine what it feels like, just a little bit...it is something i worry about and a reason i have not had pets in a long time. however as others have said, you are doing what is best by them and they are still with you when they pass, i am sure of it. i am sure gregor is still there in spirit, he probably even keeps gus company. you are doing a final caring act for them to out them to sleep.

we had to put my dog snoopy to sleep when she was 16 (i was 5 years old). i loved her for the short time i knew her and still think of her. She became paralysed in her back legs and it was unfair to keep her alive when her quality of life had gone as she was a huge dog thtat loved to be active. given my choice i would have got her a wheelchair, i have seen them on tv, but in those days (20 years ago) it was unheard of!

gregor and gus know you love them and would never blame you for putting them to sleep...you are showing love xxx
 

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its the hardest choice ever. 3 years ago i had my dog euthenized and i was such a wreck cryign i couldnt even go. and for years and probally forever, i will always regret not goin. so its good you went and made gregors moments fond.
 

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dunno, i was thinking about this at work the other day when a couple ladies came in to put their geriatric obese shepherd down. she wagged her tail at us and willingly let us put a catheter in her. she had bright eyes and no trouble walking. i don't know why they put her to sleep, but to them, they thought they were easing her suffering, whatever it may have been.

a family put two dogs to sleep together once. one dog was dying of cancer, the other was fine. the family decided that it would hurt the healthy dog too much to put her friend to sleep, so both were put down together.

i'm just trying to make a point here that i think that the majority of animals will die naturally, of old age or peacefully succomb to cancer or heart disease, etc. the decision to PTS is only made by humans trying to "ease their suffering", when most animals are simply growing older and experiencing that which accompanies that: weight loss, lack of interest, etc. people take that as a sign that your animal is giving up and should be put down, but look at their eyes, and you'll know. you don't put grandma down just because she's got arthritis and a little palsey, do you? it's part of the aging process, and i think that the majority of people understand that and let their animals die in the comfort of home, and i will do so for my animals, unless it's clear that they are suffering - you'll know by looking into their eyes. :(
 

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yeah i agree with you. my gran (who snoopy belonged to) didn't want to put her down but she believed the vet when they said it was the best thing to do. i think it's a classic case of white coat syndrome...so sad. my gran lost snoops 15 years ago and at that point decided on never having pets again even though she lives alone cos she just found it too hard to deal with them dying : /
 
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