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Thread: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

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    Cavy Slave Tobias2189's Avatar
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    I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    Honestly I don't agree with euthanizing a pet. This might sound a little hypocritical of me but unless an animal has been so physically damaged that they are unsaveable and suffering greatly, I don't believe we have the right to choose to kill them.

    Every life form on this planet with the exception of some very few, would choose to continue on with life no matter how painful or how damaged they are. I would not have my parents euthanized or my brother or even myself, why would I do that to an animal I love?

    There are people unable to move from the neck down that choose life and they have the ability to actually understand that choice an animal can't even consider to live or die, how can anyone honestly say they have the right or responsibility to choose this for any pet for any reason?

    I honestly want opinions on this matter, I've struggled with this subject my entire life, I've had pets euthanized as a child and if I had been given a choice by the parties involved, I would have chosen life for my pets.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    If an animal has a terminal condition and the quality of life has diminished to the point where it's really suffering, I'd rather euthanize it than allow it to suffer. I've had to have some of my pets euthanized but I never took it lightly. I've actually had a couple of situations where I felt I waited longer than I should have and felt really bad that I didn't put an end to their misery sooner. There's a difference with people because you have hospitals and hospices that care for the terminally ill. I don't know how you could provide that type of care for an animal. As far as being paralyzed, I had a guinea pig with osteodystrophy. What happens is, the bones fuse so they loose control of their limbs. It gets to the point where the only thing they can move is their head. I hand fed her and moved her around to try and keep her clean but she really suffered even though she was on pain meds. She finally refused to eat and I felt like she was telling me that was enough. I think you have to be faced with a situation like that to see the agony they're in.

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    Pigaholic Extraordinaire Paula's Avatar
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    I suspect you might change your mind if you ever are in the unfortunate situation to watch an animal suffer with an incurable and/or untreatable condition for which you can't relieve suffering or pain.

    Watching an animal slowly wither away in pain and otherwise suffering because you don't think it's your right to end it is a choice you're making on his/her behalf too. We make choices for our pets every day for all of their lives and we are never more obliged to speak up and speak for them than at the end of those lives.

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    Cavy Slave piggielife's Avatar
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    Making the decision to have a pet euthanized I don't believe is ever an easy one. We had a cat that was developing tumors on his throat. The last night we had him, he could no longer purr and breathe at the same time. This scared him and he wanted to lay in my lap. He couldn't help but purr. I had to push him off of me so he could breathe. The decision was made. Our 11 year old dog who loved me more than any other animal I've ever been loved by, developed an acute cardiac arrhythmia. We were told by the specialist that for her to live, she would need a $12,000 surgery for a special pacemaker and would need to be on heart medicine and kept very calm, no excitement, for the rest of her life. Our decision was to rush her 4 hours away to a speciality hospital, euthanize her, or take her home where she would continue to experience rapid changes in her heartbeat from 30 to 320 until she died of a massive heart attack, possibly while we were at work. I looked in to her eyes and the decision was made. I will never be the same person... there are always "what if" questions. But I know that in both of those situations, the result of my decision ended their suffering.

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    Cavy Slave CavieGuy's Avatar
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    I had a dog that was 16 1/2 years old that we had to euthanize. We prolong her life by seeking treatment, but we were selfish because we thinking of ourselves and not wanting to let her go, but her organs were failing, she was in pain an suffering. We could of waited days/weeks for her to die in pain but we chose to euthanize her and end her pain and suffering. It was the hardest decision that we had to make. My father, sister, and myself all took off work to be with her during her last moments and I was in my late 20s at that time.

    Once you are in the situation you will understand.

    I do disagree in euthanizing pets if there is nothing wrong but being old. My Vet will not euthanize pets if the case is that the "owner no longer wants them because they are old", she has the owner sign over their rights over so her office can find them a new home.

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    A couple of years ago my family had to make the decision to euthanize our 16 year old cat. He developed a rapidly growing tumour underneath, at the base of his tongue. We had a biopsy done of it and it came back cancerous as squamous cell carcinoma. The tumour was extremely fast growing, in the week it took for the biopsy results to come back, it had tripled in size and was disrupting his eating. We looked at all of our options but surgery and chemo would have been nearly impossible for him because of the location of the tumour. In order for chemo to have any real effect they would need to remove the tumour but they would have been unable to remove it without amputating his tongue. A cat without a tongue is unable to eat, drink, or groom themselves.

    He would have had a horrid life, with us constantly brushing him (he was long haired) and all of his meals would have had to be force fed. We decided that was no life him at all and decided on palliative care. We brought him home with medication and pain management and decided we would euthanize when the time was right. He perked up for a week or so because the medications made him feel better but over a couple of days he absolutely crashed. He lost all interest in moving, eating or interacting. After 2 days of trying to force feed him and giving him fluids we decided it was time to euthanize. Yes, we could have kept forcing food into him and keep giving him IV fluids, but for what? He could barely swallow, he became incontinent so required frequent cleaning and he stopped purring and enjoying our company. If we would have let "nature take it's course" he would have sat there in his own filth and dehydrated to death. It was in his best interests to euthanize him and relieve him of his pain.

    I am extremely supportive of euthanasia and I feel it is the most humane option we can provide as loving pet owners when our animals are suffering from a terminal illness. Obviously I don't agree with someone choosing to euthanize their pet for trivial reasons and most vets would never agree to euthanize a perfectly healthy animal.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    If you had a pet with a painful illness/condition and the pain couldn't be controlled, you'd rather let it suffer than put it to sleep?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    Sometimes watching them suffer until they die at home is comparable to torture. You really have to look at treatment and how much more quality/quantity of life it brings about. I had a brother inlaw find out he had cancer, he was given 6 months to live, with treatment, a year maybe more. He decided to forgo any treatment and died in 3 weeks at home with my sister. We just had surgery on my 12 1/2 year old dog with money being very tight, his outcome was good, he is healthy but for masses growing on him. As the vet feels they are getting to be ready to burst, we will remove them, they cause no pain.

    I had a piggy euthanized at 5 1/2 years old from malocclusion 3 months after the first $700.00 surgery and he needed it again. I was never able to really get his weight back up from the first time and he lost over 25% of his weight. Another 2 1/2 year old had a bladder stone stuck and was in major pain, I was given the option to give iv fluids to flood his system, pain meds and to see if we could get it moving, I chose to have him euthanized to stop his suffering.

    The only elderly animal I have ever had die at home was just recently, he was a 6 1/2 year old piggy, he died over night. All of our old cats(15-17 years) have been put down once they stopped eating for 2-3 days and only if confirmed by Dr. Molesworth at Main Street Veterinary Hospital in Reisterstown, Md. He is one of the best vets I know of for cats. My dog goes to Advanced Veterinary Complex to see dr. Benson, in Reisterstown. The piggies go to Feathers,Tails & Scales in Westminster, Md to see Dr. Ryan. I trust all of them to give me the best advice for my pets.

    I live my life in a lot of major chronic pain, so much so that I see a therapist every two weeks and a psychiatrist monthly and I do not wish it on any animal or person. Also your statement *Every life form on this planet with the exception of some very few, would choose to continue on with life no matter how painful or how damaged they are.* is so very wrong on many levels. Hurt animals in the wild have quit eating and drink, a form of suicide, to die. Until the past few hundred years, suicide for its various reasons was considered noble. Join a few chronic illness/pain groups on facebook or any forum like that and spy around and come back and tell me how many want to live no matter what. Daily we have people along with myself that are just so tired of the pain that we pray to not wake up. The ones that are suicidal we talk to, beg them to fight and get help, to find a reason to go on, so that one day, so that maybe next week will be the cure for them or a new medication will truly help their pain. You can have your opinion, everyone is entitled to one but you have no right to speak for most of the planet.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias2189 View Post
    There are people unable to move from the neck down that choose life
    They did not chose to live, they weren't given the choice to end it.

    To give you some perspective, find this movie and watch it.
    Whose Life Is It Anyway


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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    We used to have a cat that we rescued (named Mr. Kitty, it was the only thing he would respond to), he was an indoor/outdoor cat, we had to have him put to sleep. Mom came home from work today and he was laying under a chair on the back porch, shaking. He was having seizures, he wouldn't walk or eat or drink. We put him in a small dark place with a bowl of water and food. After a day, he hadn't eaten or drunken anything. We decided to put him to sleep because he was obviously in pain and wasn't doing anything. That day, mom and I sat with him, petting him. We gave him a small bowl of milk and some treats. Then we took him to the vet. It was a very very hard thing to do, but if we hadn't, he would have either died from whatever was causing him seizures or of starvation/dehydration. Looking back, I still think it was the right thing to do, even though it was hard at the time, and is still hard and upsetting to think about.

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    Cavy Slave CritterSlave's Avatar
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    I had to put my 16 year old dog to sleep two days ago. He had inoperable, fatal brain tumor that had suddenly caused hind end paralysis, lack of bowel/bladder control. Do I wish he was still here? Of course but not if it meant suffering for a moment longer.

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    Moderator CavyMama's Avatar
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    There is a difference between euthanizing healthy pets because you simply don't want to take care of them anymore and euthanizing a pet that is suffering and whose quality of life is near zero.

    To keep a pet alive that is in chronic pain and may be having seizures or having trouble breathing, is not only irresponsible, it's cruel. As a pet owner it is our responsibility to provide a quality existence for our pets. We make sure they are fed and safe. We provide medical care when it is necessary. If a pet is suffering and we prolong that suffering because we don't want to say goodbye, that is selfish on our part. We are allowing our pet, the animal we decided to take care of, to suffer because WE aren't willing to feel sad.

    We all know that guinea pigs can go downhill very quickly. I had one pig who was fine in the evening for dinner. The next morning, was laying on its side, shallow breathing, couldn't support its weight on one side, was having full body seizures. I immediately brought him to the vet who determined that he had suffered a stroke. We talked about medical options and she said we could try some things but she told me that any treatment we tried might only have a 10% chance of working. I knew between the seizures and the lack of use of one side of his body, his quality of life was very low. I sobbed at the prospect of saying goodbye but I also could not stomach allowing him to suffer in this condition. It's never easy to make that decision but it is sometimes necessary.

    When we agree to take on the care of an animal, we agree to have their best welfare in mind. That includes making the tough decision if it comes down to it. We cannot allow our emotions to get in the way of doing what is best for a suffering animal.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    (Sorry if this seems long; I'm trying to explain what lead up to this point. You can totally ignore this post if you so choose. After all, this topic is all about choice...)

    My dream has been to be a veterinarian (at least since I was 9 years old). My mom has never been the conservative type; when I told her what I wanted to be, she told me about euthanasia. At first, I thought the same; who are we to make that kind of choice?

    It wasn't long before I started volunteering. One clinic I volunteered in did charity work; a TNR program for feral cats. Lemme tell you, I've seen some pretty bad things in there (one cat had another cat's tooth stuck in it's face!). Still, the vets did everything they could to save lives (they performed a long surgery to remove the foreign tooth; the cat proved too feral to be placed in a home, but at least it got help).

    One day, a cat came in with some sort of bite wound on its back. She was mewling painfully, and couldn't seem to move. I have been at the clinic for a year and a half to two years by the time this happened, so the vets knew/trusted me well enough to let me watch as they examined her.

    She was old for a feral cat (6 or 7 years), and was covered in scars. She had some sort of tumor in the back of her mouth/throat, which meant she couldn't eat or drink, and she couldn't breathe well. The worst part was the bite wound on her back; it went all the way to the spine, paralyzing her. On top of that, it was horribly infected.

    The vets made the decision to euthanize; even if she survived the infection, and they removed the tumor (assuming it wasn't cancerous), she would never walk again, and would likely never feel comfortable around humans.

    They would have asked me to leave the room, but I wanted to stay. I needed to see it.

    (Don't worry about legality; my mom had signed a consent form saying I could watch examinations and procedures, including euthanasia. Most kids just chose not to.)

    There was something oddly peaceful about it. It was like falling asleep. Just before she passed on, the cat looked in my eyes, and I could swear she looked... happy.

    I have witnessed two euthanizations since. Each was completely justified, and done in order to prevent the animal from suffering any more than they already had.

    Death is not a pleasant topic. However, it is a reality of life, which we must confront.

    One day,my piggies will grow old and die. I would like to think thzt they would die happily in their sleep, as if nothing had changed. But it is possible that their deaths could be much more painful.

    I would rather remember Teddy and Rose popcorning happily when I bring them food (especially apples), than remember them weak, tired, and unable to move. I would rather remember who they were, rather than what they suffered through. I would say the same for any family member, animal or human.

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    Cavy Slave Tobias2189's Avatar
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    It was hard to put myself out here for the "world" to see when I know my opinion was so different from so many people so I'd like to thank everyone for not turning this into a flame war or taking it so personally that they felt the need to attack me. It is not my aim to start a fight, hurt anyone's feelings or cause any trouble. I have an opinion and I feel strongly about it, just as strongly as you feel about yours. I've never attempted to openly talk about it until now though.

    Although I probably should have said much more than I did, I left myself open to attack and probably could have used better wording. I will watch Whose Life Is It Anyway.

    When I say the vast majority of the planet would choose life, this really is not debatable in my opinion as it is a biological fact so any comments directed towards that statement will be ignored. I will say that any living creature suffering enough pain will stop eating but that is not suicide as animals as far as we can tell don't have the ability to connect not eating and dying and thus can't be a choice of suicide.

    When I was a child we had a dog named Buddy. He was diagnosed with some type of skin problem that would probably lead to him having his legs amputated some time in his life. Thus he was euthanized. This is probably the exact reason as to why I developed this opinion in the first place. This dog did not need to die but as a child I had no choice, no recourse and neither did Buddy. He was taken away from me because of something that might happen someday, not something that was happening but might happen. I don't want to ever see what happened to Buddy happen again.

    A few years ago my wife had a rat named Oreo and we both loved her so dearly. She had a tumor that was growing so fast that by the time the vets stopped screwing around changing appointments, putting things off and generally not doing anything, it was too late to save her. We kept her alive for as long as possible but one day things turned for the worse. What finally turned me to going forward with Euthanizing Oreo was that her eyes suddenly started to bulge out of her head, probably because of blood pressure or maybe stress. I don't know for sure and never will. My point is that I have experienced this situation and have had no choice but to go forward and face it head on.

    But I constantly hear stories of "I had to euthanize" and many of those stories are situations where the decision was rushed, options were not seriously considered and an animal may have lost a life that may have been saveable. That is my issue.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    I completely agree not to euthanize as soon as a problem arises. I believe you should seriously consider all the other options. but when it turns to a sickness that treatment would help (slow down the progression or fix the issue) and it gets to the point where your animal isn't able to do any basic functions (walk, eat, drink, etc) then I think that's when euthanization is okay. It should always be the last option considered.

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    Pigaholic Extraordinaire Paula's Avatar
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    There's a difference between being pressured into putting an animal down by a vet, family, or some other outside influence either against one's own choice or without being fully informed (like in the case of your childhood dog) and seeing and knowing it is the only humane choice to end an animal's pain.

    I had to put my dog down a few years ago. I got her knowing that it would come to that - in the best circumstance, we outlive our pets, so that often means we have to make a decision to end their lives when the time comes. She was in what the vet called catastrophic liver failure and was so miserable that last night that while I wished there was another choice to be made, both my husband and I knew it was the last kindness we could show her. She wouldn't have lived much longer in her condition and if I'd kept her alive in that misery, I'd have known it was wrong because in the end it would have been for me, not her.

    As to your comment about animals not committing suicide - no, sure, they don't have that capability of insight.

    But I think it can be said that something that struggles to live must surely understand death on some level, and I also think it can be said that on some fundamental and evolutionary level, anything that lives knows it must eat to live, so the point at which it stops eating on its own is definitely a clear indication that it is no longer struggling to live. If that involves suffering, and that is an animal you love, and you have the means to end that suffering before it takes its natural and painful course, how can you choose not to?

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    Yes there are many people who take euthanizing a pet way too lightly in my opinion, but I doubt you will find many of them here on these forums. I too have had to have animals euthanized, but none of those choices came lightly. I am terribly sorry that your family chose to put down Buddy, but that shouldn't reflect on the practise of euthanasia but rather on how animals are valued by people (not meaning to say your family didn't value Buddy in their own way but I don't agree with their choice to euthanize him as quickly as you say they did).

    I could never imagine putting down an animal unless it was a situation where the animal is suffering and the condition they have means their death is imminent or treatment is immediately necessary but would leave them with a low quality of life for the rest of their lives. Similarly I could never imagine getting rid of an animal when I had to move anywhere within my own country (unless it was into emergency housing or a nursing home) or getting rid of them when I had a child or wanted a new animal. Nor could I imagine giving an animal to a child with the expectation that the child will be the sole caregiver. I could never imagine dumping an animal onto the streets when I couldn't rehome it and didn't want to take it to a shelter/if the shelters won't take it, yet these are things other people do every single day.

    I do believe the intelligence of animals is greatly underestimated, there are many animals who I feel are more than capable of understanding what starving themselves is going to achieve (horses for example) after all the very practise of self starvation goes against every instinct in their body. It is also important to remember us humans are only animals as well, if we are capable of it it should be reasonable to assume other high intelligence animals are capable of it. Perhaps animals may not understand death the same way we do (though some animals do seem to grieve the loss of their friends or partners), but every instinct in their bodies are wired against death.

    Some animals have the strength and the will to continue on in spite of what injury or illness they are suffering from, others can lose the will to live quite quickly. Sometimes you can just tell when an animal has "given up", the spark is gone from their eye, no matter how dehydrated or hungry they get they just will not swallow food or water even if you put it in their mouths (despite in most cases there being nothing physically stopping them from swallowing), all they want is for you to leave them alone and let them sleep (yes sleep, they will just lay down and sleep until they die if you let them). Others will fight until their last breaths doing everything they can to try and live just a little bit longer.

    Sometimes we must weigh up the quality of life vs quantity of life and the risks associated with the possible treatments, for example if my 18 year old dog were to develop cancer I just don't think I could put him through the treatment at his age (a possibility I had to consider when one of his blood tests came back slightly abnormal, fortunately that was a false alarm as his next one and every one since have come back with the abnormal level from the last test back to well within normal range). In the situation were he were to develop cancer I would forgo treatment and instead opt for symptom management (ie. pain medication for pain, similar things they do for human hospice care), I would then take him back home and make him as comfortable as possible for as long as possible until he passes naturally or his quality of life takes a drastic turn for the worse (ie. his pain can no longer be managed with medication, his organs start to fail, or he can no longer swallow at all) under which circumstances I would euthanize.
    Last edited by Soecara; 12-12-15 at 11:54 pm.

  24. #18
    Cavy Slave LittleSqueakers's Avatar
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    Everyone has a different point at which they may feel that it's time to end the unavoidable suffering of their pet. For some people it's when the animal is no longer able to or no longer wants to do the things they love best, (ie. eat, chase a ball, go for a walk, etc). Other people are of the opinion that it's never right to dictate when another living being should die. I certainly agree that euthanasia should never be considered lightly and that all options should be carefully considered before choosing this, but I do feel that are absolutely situations in which it's the most humane -- and sometimes the only humane -- thing to do.

    I have worked in and around animal hospitals for eleven years, and during that time I've seen lots of animals whom the staff agreed were put to sleep too soon, or for the wrong reasons. And I've taken care of just as many whom we all felt were being kept alive for too long or for the wrong reasons. It's a very individualistic line to draw, affected by the animal's history and temperament, the owner's personal history and experiences, the owner's understanding of the medical condition and prognosis, the owner's finances, and then also affected by things that the staff can't possibly know about, like the animal's home life and day-to-day care. Some animals come in and they seem "not unsavable" by our standards, but then the owner starts crying and tries to describe to us the grueling, joyless drudgery that life has become for the animal and for themselves: a massive effort that far outweighs the reward.

    If the animal is on a pharmacy-worth of medications, hates being medicated, can't eat on it's own, can't sleep through the night, can't move about freely, is constantly filthy from messing on itself, is chronically anxious because of it's own lack of independence and freedom to move about, then you really start to ask yourself: what is there here worth saving? To what end are we forcibly keeping this animal alive?

    For me personally, I consider it my highest responsibility as a pet owner to protect my animals from suffering as much as possible. This is the key principle that guides my personal decisions of when to euthanize; everyone has their own.

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  26. #19
    Cavy Slave Nazgul's Avatar
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    I agree for the most part, but I think saying "I don't agree to euthanize" is rather problematic. Now, saying "I don't agree with the way some people do it willy-nilly" is completely understandable.

    I've seen people hold off on euthanizing their animals, making excuses like "they didn't feel it was their decision to make" or "they wanted their animal to be around longer", etc. which to me is nothing but selfish and frankly, negligent. Quality of life is very important, and while there are definitely people who choose to euthanize too early, there are also those who would rather let their animal suffer for their own selfish reasons, than end their suffering. These people put their own needs/views above that of their pet.

    As owners, it is up to us to figure out when enough is enough. It's important to seek proper help and care from vets, of course, but at the end of the day it is a pet owners job to take all of the information at hand and make an informed decision. Do some people mess it up? Sadly, yes. But I still wholeheartedly support those who choose to do it. It's a decision no one should ever have to make but alas, we do. And it's never an easy one for most of us.

  27. #20
    Cavy Star Fay's Avatar
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    Re: I don't agree with euthanizing pets, opinions?

    There are bad reasons to euthanize but there are also good reasons. While most people and animals choose life, many do not. When suffering is so great that living is a continual torture people often choose to end it and not all of these people suffer from a mental illness. I actually feel that the way we treat pets in that regard is more humane than how we treat humans. We leave them to wither and die in horrible circumstances even despite their will because we somehow consider ANY kind of life better than letting them die humanely. Some of these people manage to get to places like Dignitas but many cannot and are denied that choice or end up ending it in a more brutal fashion because we are selfish as a society and species and care more about ANY kind of life than QUALITY of life.

    I think we treat pets much better by giving them a comfortable and dignified end when their quality of life is really bad. Of course, euthanizing an animal for no good reason or if their issues are manageable is bad but if the pet is in such a bad way we have the responsibility as their carers to make that choice for them and sometimes they actually do so themselves (by stopping eating etc.) - Just like some doctors will assist their patients in dying when technically it's against the law in most places.

    Animal suicide does exist but you do have to keep in mind that animals are more instinctual in general and how conscious they are varies greatly. So, many animals would not have the awareness to make that choice but plenty do and those that do have been observed to commit suicide but very few are officially recorded. I think overall animals commit suicide less often because animals tend to not suffer for as long and some animals are more resilient than others.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_suicide

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