Euthanasia and other Tough Decisions Concerning Death.
It seems a bit paradoxical that one of my exotic pet ferrets is dying while I am writing and publishing the ferret series. All I know is Missy has been my friend, my companion, a friend who has shown me nothing but unconditional love from the day we brought her home. Euthanasia a hard decision. Now Missy is gone and my heart is heavy.
She was suffering greatly; no matter what we did we couldnít give her a life that didnít include pain and suffering. Most of this article was written before she died. On our wedding anniversary we had to make a very tough decision, euthanasia. A picture of Missy is at the bottom of the page.
Let me tell you about our dear beloved Missy. It took several days to get her home, we were in Minnesota when we bought her, and we lived about 1800 miles away. Every night we stayed in a hotel, made sure there was no place for her to escape, and let her get some exercise and then we would play. In fact, once we did get home, she couldnít quite understand why we didnít get packed up and head for the car. She made a great traveling ferret!
We bought her several toys and other necessities the same day we purchased her. Two became her favorites, one was froggie; froggie had a pull string and it would jiggle the toy forward when pulled. Missy couldnít care less if it moved or not. She loved that frog. The second toy was a plushy skunk that made somewhat of a skunk noise when the voice box was squeezed.
Missy is very possessive of her toys. She kept her stuff in one area of our bedroom. Occasionally, we would move all her toys to the top of our bed. She would take every single toy, one by one, and move them back to her hidey spot. The second time we did it, she selected a new hidey spot. We quickly realized we had no right to disturb her stuff, except for getting one or two toys out so that we could play, we left the rest where she wanted them. To be fair though, we found plenty of stuff in her stash that belonged to US!
Over the last weeks we noticed she was slowing down. She didnít have the pep she once did or the strength. We werenít quite sure of her age, so we dug through the file cabinet to find her paperwork. She is between seven and eight years old. There were many trips to the veterinarian and constant nursing. The last week of her life she went downhill quickly.
This morning we straighten out our bedroom as we always do. Made sure the cat condo is not next to the DVD, recorder, and flat screen TV. The ferrets climb the carpeted cat condo and get on top of anything they can jump to. Since one of my three ferret kids decided to eat my laptop cord a few days ago, I now put the laptop up. After so long, what made them decide to lunch on my computer? It was a quick, but not a cheap fix. We would make sure the room was ferret proofed; meaning all medications are put away, any hard candies, or other dangerous items are not within reach. Move all novels so that they donít push a book over the edge and squish another ferret.
We also open all the shades; it is the one side of the house that will get the morning sun. Our house is a historical huge old house that gets little sunshine. This way, the ferrets can get their daily dose of vitamin D.
Then we go get the three kids, and let them play in the bedroom. This morning my husband asks me to come here. He had two ferrets in his hands and told me to look at Missy. She was seizing. She has never had a seizure before. She looked so frightened. I had my husband grab a diazepam and mix it with water. I took a tiny amount of moisture from the mixture on my finger and put it to her lips. I didnít want to pick her up; when I tried she acted as if she was in pain. So I petted her in-between the eyes to the forehead until she quit seizing. I am not recommending medicating any animal ever with any medication not prescribed specifically for them. I did what my training and my gut instinct told me to do.
I gently lifted her up, wrapped her in her blankie, and put her on my lap. I put a little water on my fingertip to wet her lips. I offered her water from her bottle and a bowl. We got the Ferretone oil; this she loves. Sure enough, she licked every bit of it off my finger. When she was able to walk again; we took her to the other ferrets. I figured it would be the last time or nearly the last time she could be with her friends. She enjoyed it. I stayed with her. Then we gave her more water and Ferretone, wrapped her in a blanket and I petted her until she fell asleep. Now she is in her cage which is next to me. She looks up every once in a while to make sure I am near her.
The other ferrets, when returned to the cage, went to lie on both sides of Missy.
I love her dearly, I will miss her greatly, but I told her when it was time, to let go. I would be with her again someday. Without a doubt I know animals have a soul, including exotic pets and ferrets!
I am glad I no longer have little children. This is one of the hardest things to deal with. When a beloved pet dies, telling the children, explaining death, and watching them grieve. This is all a natural part of life, another part of life. I also believe in the long run, a healthy part of life.
Missy still lives, she is growing weaker, she will not die alone. I will be there until her tiny body releases that tremendous soul. I owe this to her, she has showed me what few people have shown me, a love that is unconditional.
This morning, she is suffering; nothing I do relieves the pain. She can barely walk. She is seizing. Her eyes are unresponsive in fact I am sure she can no longer see. I hold her, I pet her, and she licks my face. My husband and I discuss our options. We both know we have done all that we can do. It isnít right to prolong her suffering.
We decided on euthanasia. We called the veterinarian. I wrapped her up to keep her warm. We warmed up the van and took her to the vetís office. We cry, we tell her we love her, now she is gone. We will miss her greatly. Deciding to euthanize an animal is a tough decision. The hardest part of having any pet is dealing with their death.
A series about pet ferrets from proper nutritional needs, playing, toys, equipment, ferret supplies, personalities, training ferrets, baby kits, ferret care, breeding, death and euthanasia and much more!
Ferrets and California
Euthanasia Our Little Ferret has Died
Ferrets Adrenal Disease or Shedding
Ferret Helps Disabled Man
Our dear ferret Missy passed away on February 28, 2011
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