We've had Petey for over ten years, and he's around 11 and a half years old. His favourite thing ever is giving everyone he meets kisses. He is so affectionate and lovely and could probably lick someone to death. He's a tough bunny and he never had any issues at all in the past (except a few minor age related issues, like needing bottom baths as he couldn't clean himself properly), then suddenly everything has gone downhill. We have made the decision to put him to sleep tomorrow.
A few months ago we noticed a large lump on his right elbow going down under his chest, and a vet visit confirmed that it was a tumour but due to his age there was not anything we could do. He was still eating, drinking, peeing and pooping normally and for his age was still relatively active. We were given some anti inflammatory medicine that didn't end up doing anything, and we weren't too worried about him as he seemed fine. Over the past few weeks he started limping slightly, but he was still eating like the chunky boy he is, and drinking plenty of water. He had started pooping all over his hutch instead of in his bathroom corner, but this could also just be chalked up to his age.
Two days ago, we noticed he hadn't eaten any of his food overnight. Normally he will eat kale, grass, fruit&veg, anything that is left for him, but he hadn't touched anything. The tumour was bigger and he had become lethargic. I checked his bottom and his legs and tail were soaked in waste. I took him out to clean him up and give him a cuddle and he was still extremely affectionate, but all I could convince him to eat were dandelion flowers, which we could only find a few of. He also ate a very tiny amount of kale and other flowers.
Yesterday and last night he was laying down with his face in the corner of his cage, he still moved around a bit but wherever he lay, he would put his face against a wall or in a corner and he could barely stand without leaning on anything. I scooped up water in my hand and he drank quite a bit, but he again would only eat a very small amount of kale. This is when we made the decision that he would have to be put to sleep. Today he was the same... but started having random bursts of energy. I held him and he jumped into action and started licking my face. He would go from laying down, breathing slowly, to perking up and moving around. I went and checked him not ten minutes ago and he was happily munching away at kale of his own accord for the first time in the last two days!
This is what makes it so difficult. It feels awful to say, but I almost wish he wouldn't have these moments of liveliness because it makes it so hard to believe that he's reaching the end. When he's looking around, alert, or happily licking away at my face, it feels wrong that he is going to be put down tomorrow. I know that half an hour of energy doesn't make up for the fact that he is constantly urinating and defecating on himself, struggling to move at all, or grinding his teeth in pain. But it just makes it so hard.
One part of me is hoping that he peacefully passes away overnight so I don't have to deal with the pain of tomorrow. I hate that I just want it to be over. His life is not worth living and I hate that I'm arguing over whether he should be put out of his pain or not. We've had one other bunny, Saucy, and she passed away a few years ago while at a pet hotel when we were away (which is a whole other story) and although it was devastating, there was no build up. We didn't have to watch her struggle to survive. It was just that she was fine when we dropped her off, and dead when we got her back. We didn't have to see death or watch her in pain.
I truly know that we are making the right decision but it's just so hard. I love you, Pete. Thank you for ten years of love, cuddles and kisses. You're going to be so happy in bunny heaven.