HLD - when to make the call

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Onthewires
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HLD - when to make the call

Post by Onthewires » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:43 am

My old man Arthur has developed severe hind leg problems over the past few months, so far he's been managing, but I'm starting to wonder if it's time to put him to sleep. Saturday night I was ready to call an emergency vet because I didn't want him to suffer, he had diarrhea and was extremely lethargic and disoriented and for the first time was off his food, and I really thought it was time.

However today he's perked up and is very alert and determined. But he's still struggling in the cage a lot, he's essentially got no feeling in his feet (which worries me greatly) and has lost a scary amount of weight and muscle tone despite being get a calorie rich and carby diet. He's also quite unbalanced a lot of the time and gets tired walking quite quickly. But he's still really with it and trying hard.

If he wasn't so alert mentally it would be an easier decision, because physically he's not right. I'd really appreciate some advice/a second opinion. Is it better to let him go now before it gets any worse? Or should I take his alertness and generally being himself as a sign that he's feeling okay? Really stuck on what to do at the moment :(
Leah

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[cub]
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Re: HLD - when to make the call

Post by [cub] » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:50 am

I'm in almost exactly the same situation myself and I've just made the vet appointment. :( My old girl is still with it mentally, and very stubborn, but her body is really letting her down now. She's started to struggle with very basic mobility, even simple things like turning around in bed. She can still manage to get around, eat and drink, but it's tiring her out, and it's only going to get worse. Additionally, the rest of her body systems are slowly failing: her kidneys aren't great now, she's getting infections, and there's almost certainly going to be other things going on internally that aren't immediately obvious. She still has the will to keep going, and I probably could keep her going with increasing quantities of pharmaceutical and practical support, but she's getting tired. And I don't want to wait until something goes completely wrong with her, which at this point is getting increasingly likely.

It's always hard when it's a gradual decline and there's nothing immediately, acutely wrong that needs to be dealt with right this minute, but I think there's a point where the effort to reward ratio for the rat starts to tip in the wrong direction, and that's a perfectly good time to think about euthanasia.
Poo-shoveller to: Lia and Lita.
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Delanynder the big floofy eejit (NLA28), Falere the contrary (NLA36), Mirala the best and finest (NLA36), Zephyr Opold the serene, and Rila the rodentist.
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Onthewires
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Re: HLD - when to make the call

Post by Onthewires » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:01 pm

I took him to the vet today, I wanted a second opinion from someone who hasn't seen him in a while and her point was 'it's better to be a week to early than a week too late'. Knowing that it can only get worse she said that if it were her, she'd opt to let him go peacefully.

Heartbreaking, but now that it's done I'm glad that I made the choice. Thank you for your reply, it's really helped to reassure me that I did the right thing, obviously not knowing how much pain he was in as well, I think it was better letting him go before he suffered more obviously.
Leah

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Re: HLD - when to make the call

Post by [cub] » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:28 pm

I'm so sorry :( but I also think you made absolutely the right decision. I really think it's the one last act of kindness we can give to our pets.
Poo-shoveller to: Lia and Lita.
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Delanynder the big floofy eejit (NLA28), Falere the contrary (NLA36), Mirala the best and finest (NLA36), Zephyr Opold the serene, and Rila the rodentist.
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Anne
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Re: HLD - when to make the call

Post by Anne » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:56 pm

I'm sorry.

I've had a rat with HLD in the past and I too made the decision due to his body failing him and it all being such a struggle even though he was with it in other ways. It's really sad but it's only after that I could see it was the best decision xx
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Onthewires
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Re: HLD - when to make the call

Post by Onthewires » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:29 pm

Anne wrote:I've had a rat with HLD in the past and I too made the decision due to his body failing him and it all being such a struggle even though he was with it in other ways. It's really sad but it's only after that I could see it was the best decision xx
I one hundred percent agree. When I made the appointment I was so unsure, but having the vet reassure me really helped and now I'm certain I did what was best. I think in hindsight had I let it get worse, he might not have been so with it, and so I'm glad I will remember him as he was and not as a really poorly rat.

Thanks everyone again for your kind words and reassurance :hearts:
Leah

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