replied 2 years ago.
Dear Dr Salkin, I'm so very sad to have to let you know that Keme was euthanised on Sunday. He deteriorated to the point that he couldn't walk by Friday. They finally did x-rays and noted several vertebrae showed signs of spondylosis and that two vertebrae appeared to have no disc between them, most likely a ruptured disc she said. My options were stark, continue investigating with MRI and possible surgery, with a potential cost of over $10,000, and no guarantee of any increase in mobility, crate rest for a month, which may or may not lead to improvement, or euthanasia. The surgery was out, not really because I simply can't raise that amount of money, but because I'd not have put him through that without greater odds. The vet had spoken to a specialist who gave him only 50% chance of ANY improvement in mobility with surgery. The crate rest was a problem as I work full time and he's (was) a big lad, 100lbs, but I really wanted to give it a try, and had begun to enlist physical help from many wonderful friends, however I discovered that said specialist only gave that a 10% chance of that having any success. So, I asked them to keep him in over the weekend to look after him whilst I was working (I don't get paid if I don't work), and I'd make the decision after that. He was well enough within himself, eating and drinking and pain under control. I saw him on the Saturday evening after I finished a particularly hellish day at work. He was much the same and not as upset as I expected him to be at being left there. I was to call the next morning. I did so and was told by the nurse that he was much the same, but had a temperature and that he no longer had pain sensation or reflexes in his back legs. The vet would call me after her consultations, which she did and reiterated what I'd been told earlier. I realised his days were starkly numbered, he was having to be catheterised. I told the vet that, if possible, and with her blessing, I'd like to bring him home to be euthanised the following day. I could provide nursing care for him, and I felt it would be better for him, me and Mena if he was in the bosom of his family to die peacefully at home. She thought this was 'lovely', and we made plans to bring him home. All the way through this discussion, I kept seeking reassurance that this was the right thing, a good thing, for Keme and she supported me fully. Imagine, then, my shock when we went to pick him up, only to find him lying flat out, rigid, panting and whining in his cage. I asked how long he'd been like this and was vaguely told since that morning! Naturally I was horrified, and even more so after they asked me if I wanted him moved a bit so I could be close to him. I expected them to gently slide him out a bit on his bed, but they waded into the cage and bodily lifted him out, screaming and snapping, it was horrendous! I begged them to put him down, they did and he bit me. The poor, poor boy was beyond reason. I begged them to put him out of his misery, which thankfully they did. I was too shocked and stunned to follow this up immediately, but the next day I went into another branch of the practice which is nearby (a small branch that just does vaccines and minor consultations) to see if they could tell me from his computer record what had happened. There were no answers there; the last entry before his euthanasia was his morning exam, with no record of him being in that state. I truly believe he'd been left there alone all day and that they had no idea he'd deteriorated so badly. That, or else, they just didn't care that he was obviously suffering. I've written to the practice manager for answers, and await his response, but there's nothing that will erase the memory of his last hours from my heart. If I'd known he'd deteriorated I'd have rushed there immediately to have them put him out of his misery. It's been a nightmare and I've really no idea what caused this sudden deterioration of his back leg weakness or what led to my finding him in such a poor state. I can't understand why they wouldn't have let me know. I only ever wanted him to get better, and since that wasn't going to happen, for him to have a peaceful death, poor boy. Anyway, it's over now and I get his ashes back tomorrow. Mena is now insured:( Sorry to have to deliver such sad and horrific news.Kind regards