How do you know when its the right time to put rat to sleep?

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Acrobat31
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How do you know when its the right time to put rat to sleep?

Post by Acrobat31 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:09 pm

Hi, this is my first post so sorry if it is in the wrong section. I didn’t really know where to put it.

This is quite a long post but title says it all really - how do you know when the right time to put your ill rat to sleep is? And do you have any tips for getting through it?

I’m unfortunately in a situation where I’m having to think about this now and I’m finding it really difficult :(

One of my rats has had a lump growing under her arm for a month or two. She’s quite an old girl at over 2 and a half years old (she will be 3 at the end of February), so I made the decision that I wasn’t going to get the lump treated as I didn’t want to put her through an operation which won’t prolong her life by very long anyway. I’m sorry if you disagree with this, I just personally didn’t feel that it was the best thing to do for her considering the circumstances.

One thing that I did promise was that I wouldn’t let her suffer on for too long with it. I knew I would find it hard to make the decision when the time came, so I made some ‘guidelines’ for myself while I was in a clear frame of mind about when would be the right time. I can up with things like ‘when she is showing signs of pain’ ‘when she isn’t living her life to the full any more’ ‘when her mobility start to suffer’ and things like that.

I think I’m getting to this point now unfortunately. The lump is getting very large and she’s not getting around as easily as she used to and is getting quite thin. She’s having trouble getting in and out of the narrow door of her bed. However she is still enjoying her food, cleaning herself well (except for some bits that she can’t get to with the lump being in the way which her sisters help with), still plays with her sisters the same as always and seems to be in otherwise good spirits.

In one respect, I think it’s time to book her in with the vets as it’s getting so big that she’s having trouble getting around as well as she used to, and I know she’s not really showing it but I assume that it must be uncomfortable for her too. The fact that she otherwise has quite a good quality of life is messing with my head a bit - I don’t want to cut her life unnecessarily short. I really don’t know what to do.
I’d really appreciate some opinions of when other people think it’s the right time.

Also, if you’ve got any advice for me really on how to make it sort of ‘emotionally easier’ for myself I’d appreciate that too. I’m obviously upset but I think this is making it play on my mind and making it difficult for me being logical about it.

Thanks

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squeakrat
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Re: How do you know when its the right time to put rat to sl

Post by squeakrat » Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:33 pm

I'm really sorry, this is always a difficult decision :cry:

Ultimately it is your decision and you know your rat best to be able to tell when you think she doesn't have as good quality of life. All I can say is that I have the same point of view as you - I'd use the same reasons to judge when it was "time". Having watched a few rats go downhill quite quickly (with neurological issues rather than tumours), I would also aim to make the decision earlier rather than wait until it was too late.
Jenny x
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RedFraggle
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Re: How do you know when its the right time to put rat to sl

Post by RedFraggle » Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:37 pm

It's really hard. I always try to trust my instincts and figure if I think it's time it probably is. It's rough, I'm sorry. It's a great age, she's clearly been well looked after and had a great life with you.
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ElizabethW
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Re: How do you know when its the right time to put rat to sl

Post by ElizabethW » Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:54 pm

Like has been said, I too always go with my instinct. If I'm having to seriously consider whether it's time, the chances are it is. It's an awful decision to have to make and one I still struggle with, but it helps to know that a much loved animal is now at peace - it's the last loving thing I can do for them.
Your little one is obviously well cared for and loved and has had a happy life, that comes through strongly in your post - try and remember that and let it be a comfort to you x
Perkin, Bramble, Teasel, Oswald :love:
Fizz, Cuddles, Bubbles, Horace, Ollie, Humphrey, Fergus, Max, Monty, Pootle, Roger, Marley - "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle"

Acrobat31
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Re: How do you know when its the right time to put rat to sl

Post by Acrobat31 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:33 am

Thanks everybody, I phoned the vet this morning and she's booked in for Wednesday afternoon. I'm glad that I've got a few days left with her to make the most of but it's horrible waiting for it now and I can't stop thinking about it :(

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ElizabethW
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Re: How do you know when its the right time to put rat to sl

Post by ElizabethW » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:44 am

Just spoil her as much as you can and try to keep yourself busy. Sometimes the fact that you have made that decision and booked the appointment can be a relief, but it's probably the hardest decision you will make as an owner. I'm so sorry - it's something that will resonate with just about everybody here so you're not alone x
Perkin, Bramble, Teasel, Oswald :love:
Fizz, Cuddles, Bubbles, Horace, Ollie, Humphrey, Fergus, Max, Monty, Pootle, Roger, Marley - "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle"

Acrobat31
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:34 am

Re: How do you know when its the right time to put rat to sl

Post by Acrobat31 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:42 pm

Just an update - I ended up taking her to the vet earlier than I planned and she was put to sleep yesterday evening.

Over the weekend the lump seemed to get significantly bigger all of a sudden and turned a sore looking red colour and sort of 'dropped' and was really hindering her movement as she couldn't reach past it to touch the ground any more. She was scratching it and cleaning it all the time which she wasn't doing previously which made me feel like it had started to bother her.

I'm gutted that she's gone and I'm tearful writing this, but in a way I almost feel more at peace now, as needing to bring the appointment forward sooner made me 100% sure that it was the right time. Thanks for all your kind words and advice, I really appreciate it.

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Caza66
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Re: How do you know when its the right time to put rat to sl

Post by Caza66 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:41 am

So sorry for your loss. At least you know it was the right thing to do. It is an instinct thing, once you get to know your pet, you know.
Officially ratless. Groot, Star-lord, Yondu adopted by another rat lover.
:rattyrainbow: To all those who have filled my heart, have fun at the bridge.

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ElizabethW
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Re: How do you know when its the right time to put rat to sl

Post by ElizabethW » Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:14 pm

I'm so very sorry x
Perkin, Bramble, Teasel, Oswald :love:
Fizz, Cuddles, Bubbles, Horace, Ollie, Humphrey, Fergus, Max, Monty, Pootle, Roger, Marley - "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle"

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