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5/28/08

Euthanasia solution and My Job Sucks

It's one of those days, one of those weeks. . . . "my job totally sucks" things.

I am stuck with the dilema again for trying to find a home for a patient or euthanizing them. As sad as it is to euthanize older patients who are suffering with physical disabilities, old age related problems, medical issues, terminal illnesses, it is even sadder to euthanize a patient who isn't sick, but just inconvenient.

TarBaby was a stray 10 years ago- 1998. She was adopted by an elderly client who is now in her mid 90's. And she, the client, was doing well until just a few weeks ago. Now TarBaby's owner, can't live on her own anymore, and will have to either go a nursing home or an assisted care facility. She boarded Tar Baby about 3 weeks ago while she moved to a new rental house that was closer to relatives. But even that isn't working out.

So, the client called on Saturday morning,(we are normally closed on the weekend, and it's a holiday weekend too) a little frantic, and first, she wanted her boarded, then wanted me to take her, and then wanted her euthanized. So I took her not knowing exactly what to do with her. And I still have her.

It's an ethical question too- do I always do what the client requests? Or does sometimes the patient's needs comes before the client?

How many hospital cats are too many? Leon has been here for 14 years, Maybelline for 10, and I am still trying to find a home for Sunshine too. I wish there was some type of foster program around here, that takes older pets in these situations. This vet can't take all of them in.

Sometimes having access to euthanasia solution can be a blessing. Other times, it is a curse.

7 comments:

Alorinna said...

Oh Andy, that just sucks. I'm one of the "pets are for life" type people. I still remember my neighbor wanted a cute little designer bichon and was bored with her 10 year old (a little slow but fine) yellow lab. She called a mobile vet to come euthanize him. I ran out to the truck to say goodbye - just sick to my stomach because I was renting and couldn't have a dog at the time - and the poor vet was just ill at the thougt of putting down a healthy dog. I could never look at her again.

If I didn't have two very cat aggressive GSDs I'd take the kitty.

**hugs**

Sharon said...

Oh, that is so very sad! It is bad enough that the lady must part with her home and longtime friend, but she has to worry about what will happen to the cat and feel responsible for her ending.

It would be so great if you can find a kind soul to take in the cat if only so the lady can have the peace of knowing it is cared for, and maybe the new owners would be so kind as to visit or send updates. Elders have so much to deal with as it is.

Perhaps a sad note to the local paper with a photo might be a good idea.

motorpurrr said...

Hi! Andy
When I worked at the vet office, the guy at the shop next to us had a 4 year old shelty. One day he decided that he just didn't want the dog anymore and brought it over to be put down.
So of course we acted like it was done and someone there snuck the dog out.
I feel for you. I just had to have my 19 year old lady put down. She was nearly gone by the time I got there. I can see how hard it is for the vet. He was glad I was with her. Apperently some people don't even stay with thier animal, sad.
Keep you hopes up and throw another video on youtube. I'll pass the word around to my people. The shelter near here puts up a big sign at the grocery store.
I think many of us believe Sunshine belongs with you though.
Take care, Ro

Tinker said...

Andy, I just sent out a plea for cross posting on molly's huge e-mail base. Hang tough a little longer?

Tinker

whimsicalpam said...

Andy, I commend you for dealing with this on a daily basis. I've taken in two farm cats in the past year. There are so many at the farm where our horses are that they're uncountable. Last weekend I found a kitten, 3 weeks old and the runt- I bottle fed her and found a great organization with a beautiful facility to take her to. No euthanasia and they had a foster mother cat to put her with. I paid for her feline HIV and leukemia and left her in good hands. http://centrecountypaws.org
Even with all that, it broke my heart, I'd take in a hundred if I could. My respect for those of you who deal with this all the time is immense. Know that what you do is very special and rare, even if it sometimes requires a difficult decision.

decor8 said...

Oh Andy I am so sorry you have to be caught in this. Do you have photos of little TarBaby? Maybe if you post some of your cute kitty faces on your blog someone will want to adopt?? Your blog reaches a lot of people!

Andy Mathis said...

Thanks everyone for your good thoughts. Several people are asking around for a home. My camera is at home and I'll try to remember to bring it to the office tomorrow- where it usually stays.

I do have some old photos of TarBaby 10 years ago as a kitten when she was climbing all over the top of Sparky's (the cockatiel) birdcage.

She's just a little solid black, Halloween kitty.

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