Charlie has diagnosed with lung cancer and possible cancer in other vital organs. Although it can still eat, drink and walk, he is much less active than he used to be. I have been wanting to put it to sleep in SPCA to end his suffering, but Pat object to the idea and thinks Charlie should die peacefully at home. I can imagine it is a tough decision to take your pet to SPCA, especially it grew up with you and has been accompanying you for many years.
Pat has a good friend who is a vet. She gave us some good advice on when should we put Charlie to sleep. Sometimes it is more cruel to the animal prolonging its needless suffering on the world. Here are the signs we should watch out for Charile:
- signs of coughing – lung cancer / cancer spread to lungs might cause them to cough a lot
- coughing up blood – i’m guessing if the tumour is around the throat you might notice that
- general appetite / demeanour
- check his gum colour – should be nice and pink, if it is pale (white) – if there is a tumour in the liver like a blood blister, if it pops and bleeds into the abdomen – the animal might go pale. If the colour is bluish / purplish – probably not oxygenating ok, short of breath / can’t breath properly.
- Any difficulty in breathing – take him to the vet if he does appear breathing up / colour not great / gasping for air – this is critical.
- size of belly – if they are really bleeding into the abdomen due to the popped blood blister in liver, you might notice the belly getting fatter and when you poke on it, there is a wave pattern that you can see.
Charlie has none of the above symptoms yet, so it should be able to live on for a while and and kicking around in the house. It is easier to make the touch decision if we some objective guideline on when should we say goodbye to Charlie. For the mean time, let’s feed Charlie well and let it enjoy the remaining days of its life.