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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > How do I know it's time...
Last Post by tanlover14 at 11/06/2012 12:35 PM (12 Replies)
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User is Offline Margaux L
NJ
9 posts Send Private Message
11/01/2012 5:02 AM
Hi again all:

Milo the elderbuns mom here. Currently freezing in flooded Hoboken.
Milo has had a great week since the chest draining-lots of treats and love. The other night he really seemed to start struggling again with breathing and started tooth grinding.
I have an appt with the vet tonight, ostensibly to put him to sleep. But I am so unsure if now is the right time.
He is eating and drinking and still running over for treats/begging/mugging Mom. He is running around a bit and playing with socks, digging etc.
He is grinding his teeth constantly-not hunched over but loudly and consistently. His bathroom habits have gotten weird-peeing on the rug, in his dish and leaving pills EVERYWHERE.

I am just so conflicted-I know the breathing will only get worse-but I feel terrible putting an active rabbit (at the moment) to sleep. How do I know when it's time and he is ready? It is killing me waiting for him to pass on and worrying that he is suffering. I thought the other night was it for sure and laid on the carpet with him all night and lo and behold its nearly two days later and here he is wandering around the living room.

Any advice or thoughts, as always, appreciated.

Thanks so much.

User is Offline lmais
272 posts Send Private Message
11/01/2012 5:33 AM
I'm sorry that you're going through this

((((((((((((((vibes for Milo)))))))))))))))))

Did your vet tell you that you should put him down? He seems like he's still a happy little one, but I understand not wanting to leave him in pain. Since he's still active, maybe the vet can give him some pain medication just so that you can see if the breathing will get better in the meantime, and then start making the hard decisions if it starts to worsen.

(((more vibes))) and hugs

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
18105 posts Send Private Message
11/01/2012 6:22 AM
I know exactly how you feel as I've been through this numerous times.

I guess I would have a very honest conversation with the vet and tell her exactly what you are telling us. The good thing is that the vet will be more objective rather than subjective as you are. I agree, that you do not want to let him suffer. I sometimes have had a hard times with the decision as well and have always chosen to let my rabbits go sooner rather than later (with the full consent from my vet that it was the right thing to do). Having made the decision I always knew it was the right decision and while I was sad, I also knew my rabbit was not suffering any more. I think I would be very concerned about the breathing as well - trying to get air has to be hard - it may feel like suffocating and that's a terrible feeling.

User is Offline sleepy538
new jersey
247 posts Send Private Message
11/01/2012 8:27 AM
i just went through this several months ago. it's awful and i'm sorry you have to go through it. cosie was perfectly medically healthy but physically impaired and in lots of pain despite pain meds. she could hardly get around at all. it was so hard to decide to put her down because i knew there was no chance of her passing on her own, but my vet and i made the decision to do so because she was suffering too much. best of luck to you.

btw, i live in bergen county by metlife stadium. i hear hoboken is a mess. i hope you get power back soon.

User is Offline tanlover14
3449 posts Send Private Message
11/01/2012 8:43 AM
So sorry for you and your bun, Margaux.

I have no other advice to offer on this subject but what Sarita said. But my heart is with you and Milo. <3
 photo f7a948e4-51c5-4191-9c54-d543ef2be477_zps834141e2.png

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8682 posts Send Private Message
11/01/2012 10:12 PM
I was just going to reply to your other thread when I thought I'd better check for any updated posts. I'm glad I did. I am so sorry I could not reply earlier to your other thread.. It's been a nutty month and I am just finally getting back onto the board after a couple of weeks of being MIA.

My bunny Jack had lung cancer (passed away last year) and fluid would build up, but my vet told me that the cancer itself can be fast growing, and I was given a rather short timeline of expectation a few weeks to maybe a few months. She is a rabbit-savvy vet and though there are some things that could have been tried, her feelings were to just give him the best life you can until it's time. Other methods, radiation, fluid relief, were not recommended.

I know very much what you are going through because though Jack was tired, he still had some "spunk". It was like he wasn't ready to go, but his body just wasn't keeping up with his desire to live. It was extremely heartbreaking. Jack still had an appetite -- less though, and he did enjoy being pet, and so even in the end as I waited for him to stop enjoying, stop eating, he never stopped that aspect. That made it very confusing for me. He'd have good days mixed in with his bad days -- also very confusing!


I just knew that things were getting worse as his breathing became more labored, and he'd rest his head on his Vivian to keep his head up to make it easier to breathe. His nostrils would flare out as he tried to get in more air. The vet suggested making ramps for him so he could rest with his head upward. But he rarely used them. One night when I picked him up to clean off the urine off of his behind, he panicked and his breath could not keep up, as well as the fluid around his lungs could have shifted making it even harder to breath. It was horrible to watch him try to get more air which stressed him out even more. I thought he would pass away right then, but thankfully he finally settled down. Though that was horrible, it actually helped me because it was then that I realized how sick he really was, even though he seemed to enjoy different aspects of living (loved getting groomed by Vivian, enjoyed pets by his humans, would eat, and wander about here and there (though less).  But after that scary incident,  I knew what the very near future held for him and I decided I couldn't let that happen. \


So the next day, I made the decision to have the vet help him cross over. I knew the ride to the vet could also become extremely stressful for him and with his lack of ability to breathe well, I was afraid he would suffer in the car so I asked the vet if there was a way we could get a sedative for him on the way to the vet (one that wouldn't affect is already impaired breathing). She said yes, and so we picked it up, and we gave him the shot at our house and he was a very relaxed, not in a stupor at all, just seemed content and happy. (Which in some ways made it harder to follow through). He wasn't bothered by the ride and it may have made the whole process at the vets easier on him too. It was hard to say goodbye -- I miss Jack VERY much, but I am glad we made the choice to do it this way, as waiting too long for him would have been even more devastating for all of us.

I am just so sorry -- I know how difficult this is, knowing there is no way to prevent it, just trying to figure out when, what's best. I don't know if what I experienced will be helpful to you,but I do know how hard this is -- so hugs to you!!

User is Offline Margaux L
NJ
9 posts Send Private Message
11/04/2012 1:17 PM

Oh thank you all so very much for your kind notes.

While I was second-guessing myself all day on the 1st and stuffing Milo FULL of treats every 5 minutes, it became apparent that while he still had gusto for eating (and continued to mug me for food whenever I offered it), he was not happy and not getting any rest, and not even able to enjoy the love I was giving him as he had a tougher and tougher time to breathe.  He was constantly and loudly grinding his teeth and then would chatter them a bit while sitting there with me. 

It was a really tough day, only because I knew what was coming and kept looking to make sure I wasn't condemning him too soon.  But I know I did the right thing by him.  He was a little panicked at the vets--likely because I was not calm--but he ate lots of hay and snacks even while there.  It was the best thing I could do for him--even if I am heartbroken without him.

Today was the first day I came back to our condo since we left with him on Thursday--and seeing an empty cage and vacuuming up was and is tough.  But, I do know that I am resting easier knowing he is at peace and binkying his little tush off.  

Again, thank you ALL so much for the nice notes and advice--I look forward to contributing to this forum with hopefully happier advice and news and stories.  And I certainly look forward to living vicariously through all of your buns for the time being!

-Margaux


User is Offline lmais
272 posts Send Private Message
11/04/2012 1:20 PM
Binky Free Milo <3

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
18105 posts Send Private Message
11/05/2012 3:20 AM
Hugs Margaux. It's a difficult decision no doubt about it but you definitely did the right thing. For me, losing my seniors is hard, I know Milo is feeling no pain now.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
Forum Leader
10603 posts Send Private Message
11/05/2012 12:07 PM
Hugs to you and condolences to your family. Milo is not suffering any longer. He is sending you love from over the Rainbow Bridge.
 photo CarrotCrop100x500BBSiggy_zps0f2147e4.jpg Have your people call my people. We'll do carrots.

User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10469 posts Send Private Message
11/05/2012 2:55 PM
Binky Free across the Bridge, Milo.

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
14999 posts Send Private Message
11/05/2012 3:39 PM
Binky Free Milo!

I hope time makes it easier for you Margaux.
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline tanlover14
3449 posts Send Private Message
11/06/2012 12:35 PM
Binky Free, Milo! <3 My heart goes out to you, Margaux. I really hope you can find comfort in the fact that he's no longer in pain and that you did what was best for your little boy.
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