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Thread: Opinion: Euthanasia or "making her comfortable"

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    Unhappy Opinion: Euthanasia or "making her comfortable"

    My previous post discussed the possibility of Tulip being affected by her new bedding. After getting her to the vet last week, it was concluded that she had some calcium buildup in her bladder, though not stones. She was prescribed metacam to see if that might alleviate some pain and get her moving while the buildup passed with extra fluids and veg. I thought she was getting better, as they always seem to put on, but her weight begin declining again yesterday, accompanied by a new gagging/heaving symptom. I called for another appointment today, and after the vet re-examined the x-ray from last week's visit, she gave me the news that there's a mass in or around her liver. She says it's likely a tumor, though a needle test would need to be done to figure out if it was cancerous. In which case, surgery is $700 to remove the mass, and she expressed her doubt. She's only 2.5 years old, which gives the possibility of her developing more tumors, as spotting them at such a young age is likely due to genetics. She said the surgery itself, given the position, is also risky.

    Anyway. I am trying to decide whether I should let her live out her days or put her to sleep. Getting past my emotions and tears is hard, and unfortunately I have to make this decision quickly. With the terrible timing of the world, I am also moving 40 minutes away tomorrow afternoon, which will undoubtedly be stressful for Tulip, while also distancing us from the vet. She's still making an effort to eat and move around, though minimally, but the heaving obviously impacts her. I want to be cognizant of her cage-mate, Opal, because I know it's advisable for them to recognize the other's death, so that makes me lean towards "making her comfortable". But I don't want to be unfair to Tulip and let her to continue to suffer. Any thoughts?

    Here's a picture of my little love from a couple months ago, just because.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Re: Opinion: Euthanasia or "making her comfortable"

    I recommend taking a look at the JOURNEYS Euthanasia Scale for Pets. Most vets consider a score of 35 or below euthanasia territory.
    Keep in mind that guinea pigs also tend to hide their pain.

    Good luck, and I'm sorry for what's happening to your little one.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Re: Opinion: Euthanasia or "making her comfortable"

    I'm so sorry you're faced with this. It's always a hard decision.

    Having been through it many times in my life, I come down on the side of euthanasia BEFORE they're very obviously in pain. They don't have any concept of time, so that doesn't figure into the decision. And making them suffer and struggle just so I can have them for another week or month when they're already obviously suffering just seems selfish of me.

    That doesn't make it any easier to decide, but it does give me some comfort that I haven't prolonged their agony for any longer than necessary.

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    Re: Opinion: Euthanasia or "making her comfortable"

    Though I don't want to in any way, I can say goodbye to her. I'm almost more worried about Opal since she'll be alone; even when Tulip leaves the cage to hang with me for a 15-20 minutes Opal will start getting scared and wheeking for her. I'm especially worried since I'm moving tomorrow and I know that's stressful in general. So really, do you think I should make the move with or without Tulip?

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    Re: Opinion: Euthanasia or "making her comfortable"

    I'd maybe make the move with her, and then immediately look at rescues and shelters for a buddy for your remaining pig.

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    Re: Opinion: Euthanasia or "making her comfortable"

    What an awful thing to have to go through, I really feel for you and little Tulip. Whatever you decide, know that you did the very best you could for your pretty girl. Good luck with your move, I hope it's relatively stress free an you are able to settle in your new home quickly <3.

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    Re: Opinion: Euthanasia or "making her comfortable"

    Sooooo sorry you have to make such a tough call. Your piggy was so lucky to have you taking such good care of her.

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    Re: Opinion: Euthanasia or "making her comfortable"

    I've had a piggy (Murphy) with a liver mass too several year ago now. He passed away at the vet after going downhill very rapidly. It was not a good death.

    As @bpatters has already expressed sometimes it seems really mean to leave the little ones alive until they obviously want to die/are in so much pain they clearly have given up. Moving will be pretty stressful on a sick piggy too, and she could crash because of the stress, etc... I would, if it was me, honestly lean towards euthanasia before you move depending on how Tulip is coping (just based on what you've described online, though obviously you know your piggies and situation best). The loss of a cagemate for your remaining piggy will be sad for Opal, but sometimes the change in environment (such as moving) whilst stressful is actually a good distraction, and sometimes it's easier to lump all the changes at once.

    Best of luck with your decision. Sometimes there really is no clear, "right" answer.

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    Re: Opinion: Euthanasia or "making her comfortable"

    We're all settled in the new place after moving this afternoon. Tulip is still showing initiative to eat and drink and is devouring any and all veg. Last night after I got home from work she had stopped the heaving/gagging that I had observed that morning and the day before. That is the symptom the vet seemed to be worried about the most, so I am at least happy she is not suffering as much as she could be. That being said, there are moments when I can tell she is uncomfortable, which is heartbreaking.

    I decided to make the move with her, but after reading your words @stray hares, I almost regret doing it as it makes a lot of sense for the move to be a big distraction for Opal. Either way, what's done is done and I'm taking Tulip in Monday morning. I have metacam until then to help a little. I do plan on taking Tulip after she's euthanized to lay with Opal for a while, no matter how difficult that will be for me, in hopes Opal won't take it so hard. I just know it will be terrible if I hear her calling for Tulip and I have no answer for her. Tough time losing my princess, but your guys's words make it a little easier, so thank you all for your input and kind words.

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    Re: Opinion: Euthanasia or "making her comfortable"

    You really do have to judge everything on a day by day basis with sick piggies, and work out what is best given what you know/feel at the time (crystal balls in bulk would help!). Please don't maybe-regret anything because of what I've said, I'm just a person on the internet and you're with your piggies and can work out things much better. :)

    Good luck with the next few days, and beyond, for you and your piggies. Stuff like this is never easy.

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    Re: Opinion: Euthanasia or "making her comfortable"

    My thoughts and my heart are with you in this unbelievably hard decision. Sly, Scooter and Punkin send you their wheeks and grumbles in the hopes that you find some comfort in them.

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    Re: Opinion: Euthanasia or "making her comfortable"

    Batman and I send our condolences. I wish you and your piggies good luck.

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    Re: Opinion: Euthanasia or "making her comfortable"

    Quote Originally Posted by cratereyes View Post
    I do plan on taking Tulip after she's euthanized to lay with Opal for a while, no matter how difficult that will be for me
    There is no need for you to make it more difficult for yourself. After all, Tulip's "hooman" is suffering too. May I suggest that you take Opal to the Vet as well, plan to spend a little extra time there, and let her lie with Tulip there rather than taking her home.

    My Chester was my "miracle boy" who had survived the death of two cagemates, and six or more anesthesia sessions. I felt that he would let me know when it was time. He literally died peacefully in my arms just after we returned from the last dental planing. I was able to hold him, stroke him, tell him how much he meant to me and how much I loved him. But, that didn't make it any easier.

    I know that you are trying to "do the right thing", but consider yourself in this whole equation. Opal will miss her, but will rapidly adjust to a new cagemate. Cavies don't mourn like we do. They just know that their friend is gone. I suggest getting her a new buddy as soon as you can. Sparky & Chip send wheeks of encouragement for Tulip's journey over the Rainbow Bridge. My Chester will be there to greet her and show her where to find the most delicious dandelion greens.

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    Re: Opinion: Euthanasia or "making her comfortable"

    I took her to an emergency vet this afternoon. She was whimpering throughout the night and I couldn't let her suffer anymore. @spy9doc I read your post a little too late. I took Tulip alone for the procedure, and taking her out of the box to be with Opal was pretty painful. Besides that Opal was really too scared to check her out. But I just buried her in the woods where she can be recycled, and maybe she'll turn into a little spring flower. <3 Thank you all for your words. Tough stuff, but death is a part of life and Tulip and I had an amazing time together. She will be missed dearly, and I will love her forever.

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