When is the right time to say Goodbye?

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by uhohxitsnami, Nov 16, 2019.

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  1. Nov 16, 2019 #1

    uhohxitsnami

    uhohxitsnami

    uhohxitsnami

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    Hi guys. I am struggling with whether or not to take my bun to get put to sleep or not. She’s been in her litter box for about a day and a half and grinds her teeth a decent amount. She was diagnosed with a mass in her belly that has spread to her lungs as cancer a few days ago. Her eyes mostly stay shut and she had a hard time moving around. She struggles but I do still see her use the bathroom and she eats vegetables occasionally (she won’t eat hay or pellets anymore).

    I’m so sad because 2 days ago she seemed pretty okay, and now it’s like she just wants to lay there. Her breathing seems pretty okay, but I am so unsure what to do. I feel like her quality of life is gone, I don’t want to force her out of the litter box knowing she’s probably tired or uncomfortable from the cancer, but I don’t want to wait until she’s in agony to take her to the vet. I also hate that her last memory will be at the vet, a stressful environment. I wish she would pass here, but I don’t know how long that would take or if she would be miserable before that happened.

    Any advice or stories on how you knew when it was time would be very appreciated.
     
  2. Nov 16, 2019 #2

    Preitler

    Preitler

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  3. Nov 16, 2019 #3

    majorv

    majorv

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    Teeth grinding is an indicator she’s in pain. Did the vet not give you something for that? I’ve had to have rabbits put down, and it’s not an easy decision. If the condition is terminal and they’re in pain that isn’t being managed then it’s best to have it done. I regret waiting too long with one of mine.
     
  4. Nov 16, 2019 #4

    uhohxitsnami

    uhohxitsnami

    uhohxitsnami

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    I forgot to mention, yes, I have been giving her meloxicam for the past few days. I think it makes her comfortable enough to try to eat and drink, but I don’t know how good her life is if that’s the best it’s going to get. Plus she has no interest in hay and pellet food.

    I think I am going to take her soon, because I am so scared of waiting too long and letting her die miserably.
     
  5. Nov 16, 2019 #5

    JBun

    JBun

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    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    If she is sitting in her litter box grinding her teeth in pain even with meloxicam to help with the pain, then I would say yes, that her quality of life is compromised. She either needs to be on stronger pain relief to get the pain under control(tramadol, buprenorphine), or if that doesn't work then I would say that the difficult decision does have to be made as it sounds like she is suffering. I'm really sorry you are faced with this as it is such a difficult decision to have to make.
     
  6. Nov 18, 2019 #6

    rabbit_friend

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    I don't know why you took her to the vet (what symptoms she was having) or how the vet diagnosed the cancer, so I don't know how definite the diagnosis is, or how definite it is that her current condition is caused by the cancer (and not just some temporary gas and stasis caused by the stress of the vet visit). I'd be certain about those things before having her put to sleep, especially if she is younger and otherwise strong. Have you tried the typical stasis treatments (pain meds, fluids, simethicone, belly massages)? I always want to make sure I know all the facts for certain and have explored all options.

    Did the vet say what kind of cancer -- uterine, thymoma, bladder? -- and is the vet very rabbit savvy? I've had a vet tell me before that xrays showed my rabbit had bladder stones when it was just a weird angle and some superficial lumps that were superimposed on the bladder! A second opinion saved him from unnecessary surgery.

    I also have had 2 rabbits that could barely breathe due to a thymoma (chest tumor), that I thought were at the end, but I did intense research and drove 2 hours away to specialists for treatments that gave them an extra 8 and 24 months of decent quality life.

    But if it is definitely cancer and it has spread that far, and you don't want to consider chemotherapy or other treatments (or if it's inadvisable), I'd put her to sleep as soon as you can say your goodbyes to avoid her suffering. You really don't want to wait until she dies on her own in such a case. If it is very stressful for her to travel to the vet, there are mobile vets who will come to the house and do a ceremony there in the comfort of her familiar surroundings (but be sure to find a mobile vet who has experience with rabbits).

    Despite having some very sick bunnies over the years, I have only had 2 put to sleep in the 25 years I've had house rabbits, the latest a few months ago. I could have called the mobile vet, but opted to take him to his regular vet because he didn't mind going to the vet, and she had treated him his whole 11 years. It is definitely a hard decision, but watching them suffer and die at home is even harder. If there is no hope of recovery, it is the kindest thing to do. My heart goes out to you.
     
  7. Nov 18, 2019 #7

    rabbit_friend

    rabbit_friend

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    I just reread your posts and you mentioned that a few days ago she seemed okay, and you started giving her meloxicam a few days ago. I have had rabbits (females especially) who after a few days on meloxicam would quit eating, lie in their litter boxes and seem in pain. If she wasn't doing this before the meloxicam, I'd discontinue it. It can cause stomach pain and ulcers. Definitely always give it with or after food.
     
  8. Nov 18, 2019 #8

    ChloeBunny

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    Thank you for posting, uhohxitsnami. I'm sorry you and your bun are going through this. I'm also waiting/wondering about the 'right time' with Chloe having a growing tumor behind her eye - not eating hay, half the pellets and little water. I'm giving Meloxicam, as well, and have wondered the same about taking her to the vet or calling a mobile vet for less stress on her. Sometimes, the vet you've been taking your bun to will make a special house call in such situations. My thoughts are with you.
     

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