humane cat solution

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by RedneckPete, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    I need some help with our cat. We have a 13-year old Siamese who is in rapidly failing health; her teeth are rotting out (what horrid breath!!), she is very bony and frail, and is starting to vomit and "poop" all over the house. We would like to put her out of her misery, as we think she may also be starting to be in pain from either old age or some other ailment (she is not longer keen to be played with and petted by the kids, whom she used to love and now does not tolerate very well at all). However, she came to us as a stray and has been just a "farm pet" ever since; (indoor/outdoor 50/50 until 2 years ago, when she stopped going outside); we have never put money into her upkeep, and would prefer not to put money into her demise (vets are expensive!!) The problem is that our children (expecially our 5-year old son) are devoted to her, and although they are quite understanding of and accepting of the fact that she is soon going to die, we want to have a tidy body for them to bury. Therefore we are looking for a humane, tidy means to put her down. Are there any bovine pain-killers we could get at the local co-op and give her an overdose of? Something that would just put her to sleep without causing any discomfort? Any other suggestions?

    Chandra (Pete's wife)
     
  2. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

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    It probably wouldn't cost very much to have the vet put her to sleep. Ours charged $10 for my sister's. It would probably cost that much for something at the co-op. Why don't you call around & check?
     

  3. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    That's all??!!! We haven't really looked into it yet, but my MIL just paid $260 to have her German Shepherd put down, so we figured we'd be looking at $100-150 for a cat. Which we would be willing to pay if there really isn't another viable humane alternative, but obviously we'd like to explore all other options first. But if the vet is really that inexpensive...
     
  4. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

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    Well, I thought that was awfully inexpensive, too. The old cat was 23 years old & he had been her vet all her life, so he may have given her a discount. But $260 sounds a bit excessive even for a German Shepherd.
     
  5. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    Its about $60 here, where in Ont. are you? May be more exp. down east. I call around to vets and find out for yourself how much it would be.
     
  6. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    Hamilton area; it really might not be at all as much as we were thinking, just going by what MIL paid for her dog. I guess we just need to phone the vet and ask!
     
  7. Swampfoot

    Swampfoot Active Member

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    We have had two of our cats put to sleep in the last 18 months. One was 14 and the other was 16 years old. They reach a point where the quality of life is just not there anymore and the humane thing to do (in my opinion) is to have them euthanized by a vet. It happens quickly and they don't appear to suffer at all.

    One vet did the 14 year old for free, another charged us about 35 dollars for the sixteen year old. Both vets handled it so well that I think any money spent was well worth it. Both of these cats were like family members and it is a hard thing to have done. A good vet can take a lot of the pain (physical and emotional) out of the process.
     
  8. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I paid $15 to have a pet rabbit put down. I told the kids that it died while they were at school. They were sad but not shocked: they knew Peter was very sick.

    I would have paid more for the job: not for the rabbit but for the kids. I could NOT explain to them at their ages that I put down a helpless pet. They would not understand.
     
  9. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When we had the collie put down, we had a vet who came out to the house and did it on the back porch (she was an outside dog). It seemed gentler to me to have her die at home and not have to be taken somewhere. But I don't know if you could find a vet to do it that way. I think ours charged in the neighborhood of $45. It's been a few years, so I don't remember for sure. You might call around and see what they tell you.
    mary
     
  10. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    OUCH! Just talked to my vet, and they charge $122 +taxes for a cat. So...back to those other options...any suggestions??? :)

    As I said, we are not completely opposed to paying this if there is not a viable alternative; I also would tell the kids she died in her sleep...my son especially would not like knowing that we chose to put her down!
     
  11. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Is there a college that teaches veteranary medicine? I have heard of cases where critters were treated for free because the teachers were needing more sick critters to teach with.
     
  12. Lt. Wombat

    Lt. Wombat Well-Known Member

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    We were told in med school the most humane way to put an ailing animal down is to secure it in something breathable (gunny sack) then place it into a freezer. A cat whill not get sudden cold shock but it's respirations will slow over time and then fall into hypothermia and expire. In gross anatomy we had to freeze our own cats and when done none of the sack we torn or anything to indicate there was any struggle at all. And these were all healthy feral cats, not ailing as yours is.
     
  13. JoyKelley

    JoyKelley Well-Known Member

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    Try calling the local animal shelter or humane society, Around here they do it for a nominal fee
     
  14. puglady

    puglady Well-Known Member

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    I've done the freezer way when I've had pups (we breed pugs, as if you couldn't guess) that were born with obvious problems and couldn't have survived. My breeder mentor said also that they would just go to sleep. I have also put down a half-grown duck that way when he became too sick to stand up or eat.
     
  15. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Wombat, forgive me, but I live where winters get cold and I do NOT believe that freezing is an easy way to go! Not at all!

    I do not know what meds are available from farm supply. However, at least one vet I know of first gives a shot of anesthesia, and after the critter is asleep they OD him. The animal simply does not wake up.
     
  16. second_noah

    second_noah Local Yokel

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    Wow, I can't believe euthanasia costs that much for ya'll! My clinic did it for free and the only charges came if you wanted the animal cremated or if you wanted us to bury and even then the burial charge was never more than 15 bucks! Have you checked with any large animal vets? They may do it cheaper??

    I would check with the animal shelter myself first. If not there then you could do the carbon monoxide thing by some how attatching a hose from your exhaust pipe to a plastic container w/a lid and that should allow the cat to slip away peacefully within a matter of a few minutes. I don't know of any medications that you could give that would not cause further pain and suffering before death.

    Maybe one of the vets on the forum will see this and can help you out.

    I am sorry about your cat and the limited options you're dealing with.
     
  17. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    All right, I'll join in if you insist :) ! Euthanasia here (relatively large city for central Iowa) for a cat costs about $35-$40. There are extra charges for cremation-about $50 if you don't want the cremains, about $150 if you do want the cremains. It's also extra if we do a house call. I'd definately talk to the vets in your area, I imagine that it is not all that expensive in your area, especially if there are large animal vets nearby. The shelters around here will euthanize for very cheap/free, so that's definately another option. I can not recommend the "freezing" method because I've never personally seen it performed. In vet school all the anatomy animals, etc where euthanized by injection. I also wouldn't "just wait for nature to take it's course" either. It could be a very long painful process for the cat and may not be pretty for your children to see. Most likely if you wait the cat will just disappear and then your kids would have to deal with the lack of closure and be worrying about how the cat died (getting eaten, etc, etc).

    How we perform euthanasia at my clinic: If the pet is anxious, I give a shot of butorphanol (a painkiller) that makes them a little sleepy. Then I put in an IV catheter if possible. Then the pet gets an IV injection of Sleepaway (basically it's an overdose of anesthetic). The pet then just goes to sleep, usually before I finish the injection. Occassionally the pet will take a breath afterwards or may twitch a tiny bit, but that's just the final discharges of the nervous system. The shot does not hurt and the animal feels nothing. We allow the owners to be present, even hold the animal, if the want to be there. Some owners do, some don't. I think this very quick, painless method is how I would want to go when the time comes.

    Whatever you choose to do, please keep the kitty's best interest in mind and maybe even think about what YOU would choose if you were sick one without much hope of improvement. Good luck and I hope it goes smoothly for you.
     
  18. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    I did the exhaust pipe deal with a gerbil. Maybe you could give the cat a bendryl to put it to sleep first so it won't be afraid on the car. My car are scraed of cars and would fight being held down near one. Maybe try calling several other vets. They may do it cheaper.
     
  19. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't know what the solution is, but I think it's very sweet that you would go through so much trouble to make sure the cat is put down comfortably and cleanly. there are many people out there that just wouldn't even care. I had to put my cat down when she had FIV (born with it and I picked her up as a stray). She was in so much pain. My vet didn't charge me that much like maybe $10, I wish vets all over would do that.
     
  20. crashy

    crashy chickaholic goddess

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    Try calling the humane society and explain about the kids they may have some alternative....I am not knocking the folk who use the freezer method but man you really put them in your freezer? Seems to me to be a slow death. But I guess you do what you got to do. I am a coward and can not kill nothing so I think I would call all over til I found someone to do the sad deed....I feel really sad for your family :waa: That poor kitty is suffering and needs to go to sleep what ever mothod you use will be the best for it.