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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > RAINBOW BRIDGE > Making a difficult decision
Last Post by Phil at 3/16/2019 5:11 PM (10 Replies)
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User is Offline kalecrunch
2 posts Send Private Message
3/10/2019 12:02 AM

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.

User is Offline Kiki
127 posts Send Private Message
3/10/2019 7:18 AM
I just went through something similar with my elderly cat. It is important to remember that even with sick humans, they often rally a bit towards the end. I know it feels wrong, and you wonder if you are doing the right thing, but it is the kind thing you are doing with all the issues you've described have recently developed.
I hope that whatever path you choose you can find peace with it. Take comfort in knowing you are a compassionate pet parent and a successful bunny guardian for many, many good years.

User is Offline bam
Forum Leader
13884 posts Send Private Message
3/10/2019 1:24 PM
That final decision is very hard to make, I went through it with my dog Nala who had incurable cancer. I remember her bursts of energy and how I wished shed pass quietly in the night, at home, just so I wouldn't have to make the decision.

t's horrible and it requires a lot of courage. Its the deal we have with our pets. They give us their whole lives and their love nd we promise to tend to their needs and keep them from pain and suffering.

Pete sounds like a wonderful rabbit. Hes obviously had a very happy life with you. Thank you for being amazing bun parents ❤

User is Offline JLH
89 posts Send Private Message
3/10/2019 4:00 PM
I myself would rather put my bun to sleep while I'm able too hold her and say goodby. I feel so sad right now for you and wish you peace and happiness. always remember too do what's best for our little bunnies as they give so much too us that I have never seen from any other animal. I hope I'm making sense.

User is Offline kalecrunch
2 posts Send Private Message
3/11/2019 3:16 AM
Thank you all very much. We put him to sleep this morning after our vet confirmed that it was our best option. He offered to let us take him home and come back another day but we decided to do it then so we weren't prolonging his or our suffering. We patted him right until he fell asleep and I found a lot of peace in how comfortable he was as the pain relief kicked in. He gave us a few last licks before he lay his head down. I think he was telling us we did the right thing.
I lay with his body for an hour once we got home. We let the whole family see him and grieve as much as we needed to, and then we buried him right next to where Saucy was buried, with lots of kale and some dandelions for the afterlife <3 He looked so calm and peaceful.
I miss him more than I could have ever imagined but I know it was the right decision and it was one he needed us to make for him.
Again, thank you all for your kind words. It's so nice to have a community of people who understand.

User is Offline Three Little Bunnies
32 posts Send Private Message
3/11/2019 6:49 AM
I am so sorry about your bunny. He sounded so wonderful.

User is Offline Flakie
145 posts Send Private Message
3/11/2019 7:36 AM
I’m so sorry for your loss of Petey. I’m in floods of tears reading about him. My Flakie bunny was the same had bouts of energy and looked fine then would be back into stasis on and off for a year. I wish our vet had advised us to have him put to sleep sooner. He was quite ill in the end and not our usual person saw him at the vets that day gave him an injection and sent us home. His whole system shut down and was rushed in and was put to sleep it was rushed and horrible.

I still miss him and it’s over a year . I think you made the right decision hard though it was and you have many fond memories of him he sounds a truly wonderful bunny.

Binky free little Petey ❤️

User is Offline Phil
238 posts Send Private Message
3/15/2019 4:18 AM
What a beautiful bunny he was you must be proud of how old he was, I'd hate to have to decide on putting him to sleep, if he was in a lot of pain you had no choice, bunnies hide pain so well, very sad sounds like h was a wonderful bunny. And you gave him a fantastic life. X

User is Offline chessiesdad
14 posts Send Private Message
3/15/2019 1:19 PM
I am so sorry for your loss. You've had a long happy time together and that makes it harder to let go. I think it takes a lot of courage to give him that final gift. I hope that you find some comfort in knowing that you gave your friend everything you could and took such good care of him to the end. You gave him a great life.

Rest peacefully little man.

User is Offline kalecrunch
2 posts Send Private Message
3/16/2019 4:03 AM
Thank you friends. I really appreciate everyone's kind words. I know Petey would have given you all lots of kisses.

He really was the best little guy and I miss him every single day. I couldn't be more grateful for the decade of unconditional love he shared with us. And I'm grateful we got to spend his last moments with him, reminding him how much he meant to us. I know if we hadn't made the decision to let him go, he would have kept fighting as he always did and would have suffered for much longer. The choice feels right, but it doesn't make this less sad. I'm crying in the gym while typing this lol

I'm currently planning a tattoo of him and I'll be sure to share it in another forum once it's done. I'm just trying to find an artist who can truly capture his personality and spirit. I think I'll get him surrounded by dandelion flowers because they were his favourite.
Again, I appreciate every single person who has responded. You have all genuinely made this process so much easier and made me feel a lot better.

User is Offline Phil
238 posts Send Private Message
3/16/2019 5:11 PM
We all know just how you feel, our bunnies are very special animals, wonderful little creatures xx
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > RAINBOW BRIDGE > Making a difficult decision

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