Palliative care for 9 year old boy

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:46 pm

My own belief comes from watch my only sister dying of ovarian cancer, pleading with someone to put her out of her misery. Once you've watched someone you love suffering like that, you'll never look at death in the same way again.

Just my own $.02, but God's already decided we're all going to die. I don't see what possible purpose there is to extending a life that's degenerated into misery. He decided on death, but if I'm faced with that kind of end-of-life suffering, I'm going to choose the time.


Post   » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:09 pm

I'm sorry about your sister, bpatters. It must have been horrific for her to exist like that and awful for you to have witnessed it. My line of thinking is along yours.

My uncle died of cancer. He was terminal and opted out of chemo because he wanted to simply die and not buy himself time filled with vomiting and pain. My family was very angry about his decision, but I fully supported it. He was a massive free spirit (or a rebel, depending on the view) and lived on his own terms. He became trapped in a failing body, death being the only peace. My heart broke for who he was. His did, too.

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Post   » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:08 pm

Count me as one of those who would rather euthanize a pig who may have a few non-terrible days left than to wait until he or she is experiencing non-stop suffering. It's been a blessing (although a shock) to have a few pass quickly from strokes or heart attacks without prolonged discomfort.

We took a terminal pig with us on a road trip to spend Thanksgiving with family. We certainly could not leave her to die at home while we were away and upset the friend who was looking after our other pigs. I wanted to euthanize her before we went, but my partner did not. He spent a lot of the long weekend ducking into the spare bedroom to force-feed her. She died minutes after we got home. I'm glad we didn't need to interrupt Thanksgiving to put her body in my sister's freezer or something...that would not have gone over well.

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Post   » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:13 pm

Regarding laser therapy (cold light laser), we had also opted to have this for our 8yo (at the time, displaying some late onset arthritis), and as I was reading your thoughts on how it seemed Santiago's condition may have diminished post-laser, thought to share I had noticed similar with our boy and had questioned if the changes could have been causal. I also had heard that use of the laser could only benefit, though the timing of our boy's lessened movement just seemed odd. So we ended up with only three sessions as a result. I guess it only took three for me to notice, and saving him the stress of a road trip seemed more beneficial. Cannot be certain it was related, and was originally considering acupuncture, if only someone had offered this for pigs around here.

We had our boy for 8.5 years. When he was 8, as things started to change with his joints, he got around when he felt up for it, often taking turns mingling with each of our other boys to different sides of his cage (we kept them separate because they were very young and too overpowering when living in the same cage together with him). I thought this was good as it may have slowed the progression of atrophy. The regular massage therapy may have as well. He slept more and more, and would watch us and look up knowing it was time for another feeding (he was completely syringe fed as time went on due to malocclusion). We gave him low dose metacam, not all the time, but a good portion of the time to keep him comfortable, the times he seemed to need it. We also used heating pad on occasion (during colder months moreso). His bloodwork was perfect. He was a healthy boy. Not an easy thing having regular tooth filings and arthritis, but he was interested and involved. I would come home from work and go right to him. He would be resting on his pillow and before I could even put my arms to either side of him he was running right up with all his might to my heart (right where he belonged, I will add). He generally wouldn't walk much, but would use that extra bit of energy now and then. He really loved outdoors time and had always fallen asleep almost as soon as the fresh air reached him, it was so cute. He was able to have this again a couple of times shortly before he passed as the weather had just warmed up enough. Like you, I had also bunched up blankets (in the shape of a donut at one point) to allow legs to hang a bit so there was not so much pressure on the bones/joints. This is where he was when he passed. It happened quicker than I had expected, though I knew it was coming time. I was thankful that the time was decided by Someone Greater, though life completely changed. I used to watch him breathing asleep on his feeding pillow and just cherish each breath knowing our time was limited. When that breath stopped it took my breath away, I didn't want to breathe, and I still just look forward to the day we will be together again.

So I guess what I am saying is I hope and wish for Santiago to have peace and be protected from anything too hard, and to be able to take into himself his reason for being here until that day that is meant for his transition. And for you to be guided for what he needs in each moment, and to enjoy his presence, just take in these moments with him and cherish them. Relay warmth and love to your perfect boy.


Post   » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:37 am

Santino died this morning a bit after 7. I woke up at 6 and noticed he had somehow managed to move himself out from under his blanket and off of his pillows during the night. I petted him, but he didn't really respond, only blinked. I wrapped him up in his blanket and sat with him on the sofa until he passed. It was uneventful and very calm. Every few seconds he would take a breath and once in a while his legs would stretch. Far less traumatic than my other boy who died last year. In his eyes he slowly went away and then they were blank, but his body kept going.

I called the vet's office at 730 while he was dying and described what he was doing and they said they didn't think he was suffering, so just hold him and be with him.

Over the weekend he perked up like crazy. Was super attentive, eating lots of food, trying to walk, moving around a lot, and seemed to be feeling great. That's when I knew he was going to die. People in my family made huge turn-arounds a couple of days before they passed. I knew what was going to happen, but was grateful to have had that experience with him over the weekend. I felt like he gave me a gift.

I took a Lyft to the vet's office even though he already passed so we could get his cremation set up.

Mmeadow, I'm glad your piggy died at home. Convenient, but I'm sure it was also more comfortable for her to be home. I would have done the same thing and taken her wherever I went. I had planned on going away for a couple days and planned to bring Santino with me.

Daveandtiff that's interesting that you had a similar experience with laser. Around the second or third treatment is when I noticed the decline, too. They told me he would be sore afterwards, but only for the first two treatments. I kept going because they said he enjoyed the warmth of the laser on his hips and it did help with his edema and bumblefoot. If I had to do it over again, I would choose acupuncture.

Thank you so much, everyone, for your support and advice. I appreciate all of it.

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:44 am

I'm so sorry for your loss. Sounds like it was a fairly easy exit for him and he was at home with you.

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Post   » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:02 pm

I am so happy he passed at home being cradled in your arms. What a peaceful and comforting passing it was for him feeling your presence. RIP dear sweet Santino ! Run free in paradise and eat the fresh green grass. Reunited with your furry friend. Till you meet again. Sending big hugs. 9 years is a great age for a piggy and shows you took great care of him. In time his memories will bring a smile instead of tears. He is smiling down at you whilst telling all the furries and feathery critters what wonderful slaves he had in you and your partner.

You can quote me

Post   » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:21 pm

Blessings, Godspeed and safe passage, Santino. You are very much loved, and will never be forgotten. Be whole now. Comfort and joy to you.

Hugs to you, Darling. You did everything absolutely right. He gave you a great gift, yes, but you gave him a great gift, too, with your care for him, love for him, and a wonderful life. I am so glad he was able to leave peacefully, at home. You made all the right decisions.

Thinking of you both this day.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:01 pm

I'm so sorry he's gone, but glad he went peacefully and with you.

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Post   » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:44 pm

My old boys last year involved a daily bowel routine, anal sac clean out. But he was so happy. His last 6 months he began to slowly loose weight but he ate his Critical off a spoon and enjoyed it. He loved his veggies and treats and this little old guy pranced up until his last week when it was veggie time. We had so much together with him outliving a younger cage brother and some life changes. He died peacefully in my arms and was cremated. We have a local funeral home that does pet cremations and his ashes reside on a small shelf next to a St Francis statue in the box he came home in with an engraved plaque on it. I added his favorite toy to the box. He came to me as a year old rescue that nipped and didn't know about veggies and hay. We shared much together. It is the good memories that make caring for them more than worthwhile. All the memories make me smile despite the huge holes they leave in the heart.

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Post   » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:10 pm

I am so sorry he's gone. I know he will be missed.

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Post   » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:50 am

I'm so very sorry for your loss. Rest in peace, little one, you are loved and missed.

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