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Author Topic: The Depressing Pet Death Thread  (Read 66377 times)
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on: April 04, 2011, 01:05:56 PM

On a similar note, I've always been intrigued that cats tend to live longer than dogs in captivity.  

Few reasons I would speculate for this:

- Domestic dogs are on average more inbred than cats as the 'breed' thing is much more popular/common in dogs, so they tend to have more genetic health problems. There are cat 'breeds' too but most people just have random mutt cats. I'm pretty sure I've read that mutt dogs tend to live longer than ones from specific breeds of the same size (see next point.)

- There's a pretty strong correlation between lifespan and size of the animal in dogs. Cat-sized dogs pretty much live just as long as cats do (I have known several ancient cranky Yorkies and such). The big dogs have more health problems on average, like hip dysplasia, gastric torsion, etc., that are introduced by their size and weight. (This is the one that makes me sad, as I'd love to have a Newfie or an Irish wolfhound, but newfs only live 10-11ish years typically and wolfhounds like 7.) If we could have, say, golden retriever-sized domestic cats, it is possible they would have shorter lifespans too. I would guess you don't see the "big size = short life" thing nearly as much with wild animals, since they actually evolved properly to carry all their weight around rather than being bred for largeness like big dog breeds. Natural selection > us doing it.

- You can keep a cat inside for its entire life pretty easily, most dogs have to go outside to poop at least, which adds a bit more danger of getting hit by a car, eating something poisonous, getting shot in a gunfight over where they're pooping, etc. Cats that go outside die off much faster than ones that don't.

- Cats are solo animals for the most part, so in the wild they don't have the protection of a pack to help them find food, take on predators, etc., so they probably stand to gain more by being protected by captivity - a wild dog probably lives closer to its natural lifespan just by virtue of this.

I'm kind of making this up as I go but it sounds plausible right?  why so serious?

EDIT: I forgot:

- Cats have tiger blood.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 11:11:48 PM by rattran »

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Reply #1 on: April 04, 2011, 01:19:34 PM

I've heard the size things before.

Personally, I think it's just Death is too nervous to take a cat until it's been sufficiently neutralized by old age or injury. Cussed mean suckers.

I suppose the hardest part of putting my dog down was he had that...old man attitude I associate with my grandfather. That "fuck you, I'm managing" hard-assed stubborn side that refuses to admit pain, refuses to admit he can't do something, and somehow through sheer bloodyminded willpower manages to do whatever the hell it was you said he couldn't do.

My dog was like that. I think it would have been easier if he'd been the sort of dog that whined or cried when he hurt. He wasn't. He screwed up his front foot over the weekend, and even though he wouldn't put weight on it and limped -- he didn't make a sound, not even when I was manipulating it. (I originally throught he'd stepped on a piece of glass I'd missed after breaking something).

So intellectually -- I could tell he was in pain. But he was so stubborn and tough, it wasn't really something that registered. Once it finally did, and medicines weren't working -- well, stubborn or not, there's no reason he should be suffering. Especially when all the bloodyminded stoicism in the world wasn't enough to keep him mobile.

*shrug*. I probably could have had his dosages increased, and he'd have gone another few months. But for what?

Sucked fucking balls to be there holding him when they did it, though. I can see why most people don't. But he always hated -- HATED -- shots. I could give him that much, you know? Couldn't fix anything else, but if he was going to have to go out in the vet's office with a needle in him, I could at least be there.

Still, beats a cat hands down. Arrogant, stabby little bastards.
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Reply #2 on: April 04, 2011, 01:22:05 PM

Yeah as awful as it is to be in the room I don't think I'd feel right not doing it. Been there for both of 'em so far, anyway.

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Reply #3 on: April 04, 2011, 01:47:20 PM

Next college student who complains in my presence about how he has to fight the evils of class privilege and then turns right around and screams at white-collar administrators about how to do properly jobs that those administrators have trained for years to do, jobs about which said student knows nothing more than what he learned in one class and from Wikipedia...is gonna get a serious chewing out about what "class privilege" really is.
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Reply #4 on: April 04, 2011, 02:07:39 PM

So, you know, I had to put one of my two dogs to sleep today.

Being an adult fucking sucks sometimes. Also, scientists need to go ahead and invent a dog immortality serum ASAP.

Oh my, I am so sorry for your loss Morat, and offer my deepest condolences.  cry
As a proud pet parent you have my empathy.

Glad you were able to spend so many years of happiness with them.

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« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 02:18:54 PM by Sand »
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Reply #5 on: April 04, 2011, 03:24:36 PM

I'm sorry for your loss as well, Morat.  Losing a pet is a difficult thing. 

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Reply #6 on: April 04, 2011, 03:34:08 PM

Aw, sorry to hear about your pet, Morat.  Heartbreak

Being an adult really does suck when dealing with pets at the end of their lives.  It's just not fair that we get to have them for such a short amount of time.  And now I'm tearing up because I keep thinking of our first Golden when we had to put him to sleep.  That really was one of the toughest things I've ever done.

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Reply #7 on: April 04, 2011, 03:48:40 PM

Sorry for your loss, Morat, it always sucks to lose a pet. Stupid lovable things!

Being there in the room sucks, but you'd never convince me not to be there for it. Everyone is different, and I respect the choice of people who can't bring themselves to be there (because it suuuuucks), but I need to be there for them at the end for whatever reason.

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Reply #8 on: April 04, 2011, 04:21:40 PM

Damn it, now Im here at my desk with tears running down my cheeks.

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Reply #9 on: April 04, 2011, 06:13:22 PM

I'm sorry, Morat.

You're a brave person.  I've never been able to do it, it hurt too much.

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Reply #10 on: April 04, 2011, 06:20:38 PM

Lost mom's cat a couple weeks ago. Mom thought the cat was just ill, anti-biotic shot or something. She was decently aged for a cat, like 15 years or so. Doc said maybe a year with daily IVs, and pain all year. So I rushed out from work to be there, and my fiancee came as well. I told my mother how my dad had just lost his cat this year, and he decided to be there for it. That gave mom the courage to be there and hold kitty as she fell asleep for the last time. First time I'd been there, too.

Like everyone is saying, it's totally awful but something you should really do. Maybe it's just ego, but I think sharing that moment, comforting your loved one as they fade out of consciousness, is the last gift you can give to an animal you've given a happy existence to.

That said, I'm going to be a total wreck when Bart's time comes. But I'll be there for him. Hey, this thread is getting as shiny as the Cat thread!

edit: One other thing, it's important to have someone with you. My mom took a moment with the cat after she died and started to lose it, second guess the decision. I was able to transition her quickly out of that moment, pull her away and comfort her while the doc came in and removed the body. The blanket didn't really cover the cat well, I'm so glad I had mom turned away for that moment so she didn't see it and could just cry it out on my shoulder.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 06:23:18 PM by Sky »

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Reply #11 on: April 04, 2011, 06:55:30 PM

Sorry, Morat. Cried like hell when the childhood Rottweiler got put down due to cancer, and when the later Shih Tzu had his kidney's fail (we think he got into a neighbor's antifreeze or something).

For reasons similar to Nebu's, I don't see myself getting a dog anytime soon either. Certainly don't like the prospect of having to possibly abandon the dog at times, such as when a buddy got evac'ed from Libya and he had to leave the dog with a tub full of water and a lot of food left out. Luckily, it turns out he was able to get the dog out after all.

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Reply #12 on: April 04, 2011, 08:01:02 PM

Damn it, now Im here at my desk with tears running down my cheeks.

Wrong forum/thread, dude.  Thin ice.

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Reply #13 on: April 05, 2011, 12:23:24 AM

Sorry about your poochie. It's a tough deal, but you will be glad you were there once you have some distance from it. At least I am glad looking back that ours wasn't with strangers  (did it at our house which allowed me to pound bourbon during the whole thing which is all that got me through it). 

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Reply #14 on: April 05, 2011, 08:06:45 AM

Sorry about that Morat, toughest thing about having a pet. I've never been there myself at the end, as I was either a kid, or with my last two dogs, they were at my parents - a four hour drive/ferry away. In both cases my mom didn't tell me until afterwords, probably because she knew I would have skipped work and drove over.

I still keep photos of my last two dogs on my cubicle wall.

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Reply #15 on: April 05, 2011, 09:09:17 AM

I'm already guiltily planning on getting another dog. I still have one (she's 10) and my limited experience has been that dogs at least tend to be happier with another dog around.

Assuming they get along. Some pack thing, I have no doubt. My remaining dog has been acting confused, constantly trying to figure out what happened. It's rather sad.
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Reply #16 on: April 05, 2011, 09:50:32 AM

I'm never going to keep just 1 cat, especially since I keep them indoors 24/7 (I live on the 5th floor). I lost one of the two I had to something I don't understand (I think she just choked on some object, but the vet said it was a virus; I don't believe him, she started choking right after he tried to intubate her). While that was the worst thing I've ever had to endure (watching her try desperately to take just one more breath), the thought of having just one cat just doesn't compute. As long as they get along, they'll be happier with someone to play with when I'm not around. I expect it's even more so for dogs, as they're more social than cats are.

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Reply #17 on: April 05, 2011, 10:18:43 AM

Cat or dog it's always good to have two or three animals.  Though we don't tend to think of cats as social, they usually are, they just try and pretend they're not.

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Reply #18 on: April 05, 2011, 10:37:53 AM

We have a running debate on getting a second cat. I grew up in the country, we had a pretty open door for strays. For most of my teens, we had six cats, two dogs, some rabbits, a guinea pig (which created my rule against prison animals, no caged pets) and a budgie (which created my abiding hatred for bird pets).

I'm also on the same page about the dog, I just don't have time to do it justice now. I've had dogs and they're a lot of work to properly care for (but so worth it if you have the time/lifestyle). But multiple cats is just awesome.

However, Bart is 2 feet long, 20 pounds and muscular (I trained him to wrestle since he had no siblings as a kitten), and master of his domain of 950 sq ft. The current thinking is he would just destroy any smaller cat we brought in.

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Reply #19 on: April 05, 2011, 10:43:22 AM

I've thought about getting a second cat as well but there's just no way in the world Stuart would put up with it.  And I really don't have the energy to go through a long process of getting him used to having another cat around.
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Reply #20 on: April 05, 2011, 04:27:31 PM

Damn it, now Im here at my desk with tears running down my cheeks.

Wrong forum/thread, dude.  Thin ice.

Excuse me?
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Reply #21 on: April 05, 2011, 06:54:51 PM

I'm sorry for your loss Morat.

Our dog, Oscar, is coming up to 6 months old now, and he's part of the family in a way that I never felt with my childhood family dogs. I guess once you've been responsible for them through all their trials and tribulations - staying up with them when they're ill, watching them experience their first snowfall, working through teething and growing pains, you form an incredibly close bond.

Oscar is a newf, so I know he'll probably only have around 10 years. When his time comes, saying goodbye is going to be hard.
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Reply #22 on: April 05, 2011, 07:33:16 PM

This has got to be the worst thread/thread title of all-time. Heartbreak

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Reply #23 on: April 05, 2011, 10:18:21 PM

joy oh joy of threads.

my cat Topaz lived to be 21-22 years old.   She was half abyssinian and half street prowler  why so serious?
Was a great cat, very much an outdoor cat who had the streetsmarts to not be hit by a car while living near some very busy streets.   Watching her die over a period of about two weeks hit me harder than any human death I have experienced.  Perhaps it was because I was with her every day watching her go from being unable to eat, to being unable to drink water, to being unable to move.

to the OP fuck you for making a thread like this.

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Reply #24 on: April 06, 2011, 09:49:37 AM

It was split off.  Blame the mods.  (But also thank them, for isolating it.)

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Reply #25 on: April 06, 2011, 09:53:03 AM

It was split off.  Blame the mods.  (But also thank them, for isolating it.)

I thank them personally. While I do feel bad when people lose pets, the depressing talk was bleeding over into places it didn't need to.

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Reply #26 on: April 06, 2011, 10:42:56 AM

Sorry for harshing everyone's buzz. :)

If it makes you feel better, my OTHER dog got a fairly clean bill of health today. I have a teeth cleaning scheduled for next month (she badly needs it) and having two...thingies...removed from her eyelids. I'm already paying to have her anesthatized for the teeth, and those eyelid things are just going to get worse.

They look a bit like stys or skin tags, but one extends back UNDER the eyelid. It's got to be irritating her eye. Vet says they're almost certainly benign, but if they're not removed she'll eventually start rubbing at them and routinely scratching her eyeball.

I might get bored and post a before/after photo of her -- she's due at the groomer's tomorrow. Right now she looks like a giant, 50 pound fuzzball. (Take a german shepard and a black lab, with an extra dose of collie hair). I normally keep her practically shaved, except for her tail, which just waves back there like a flag.
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Reply #27 on: April 07, 2011, 08:30:13 AM

Lost my wolfdog Minerva about a year ago. Still hurts. She made it 11 years; a long time for a shepherd/wolf cross. She was beautiful and brilliant, irreplaceable.

Pretty much decided no more pets for me, at least at this point. If my daughter were to end up living with me I'd probably reconsider.

My condolences on your loss.

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Reply #28 on: April 07, 2011, 01:57:10 PM

Ending a pet's life at the right time is the last thing a responsible owner does for them and the hardest.   I grew up on a farm and thought I was pretty used to the idea of having an animal put down.  That happy delusion lasted until my wife and I had to decide whether to try chemo on our 10 year old rat terrier or just end it.  We both cried like babies at the end, but after watching our friends deal with chemo for their dog we realized we'd definitely done the right thing.  It turns out that it doesn't get any easier, having to put down our 13 year old Jack Russel last year was just as hard.  We now have a four year old rat terrier (adopted from a rescue) and a two year old cattle dog mix of some kind that was rescued from an animal hoarder (96 dogs in a 900 sq ft house) living with us.  I suppose that in 10 or so years we'll be looking at the same decision, but I figure it would be silly to miss out on the joy of having dogs just because the end is hard.
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Reply #29 on: April 07, 2011, 02:43:38 PM

Dogs are strange animals. To be so gentle while at the same time being the toughest bastages around is pretty odd. Sorry for your loss as i just had to go through a similar thing myself,except mine was a 2 year old lab mix. She ran out the front door, into the street and got clipped before i could get a hold of her. She walked around pretty well(must have been adrenalin) , but i took her immediately to the vet since she had just been clipped by a car. Turns out she broken the verterbrae in several places right above the tail. Talk about a reversal of the mood in about 30 seconds. I went from thinking she was bruised and a little beat up to being told by the vet staff that no one they know will operate on it and that it is pretty much a done deal. Anyway, bad times and i sympathize totally.
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Reply #30 on: April 09, 2011, 08:52:39 AM

Condolences guys, I know your pain. Being there for them is hard, but it's important to do if you can manage it.

On a related note, I went with my wife to the local vets to pick up some dry super-kitten food for Leonard just this morning. I was in there for about 45 seconds before I started tearing up and had to wait outside, since the last time I was in there was when we took Little Girl in January...

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Reply #31 on: April 10, 2011, 08:44:15 AM

I guess this should be the Theme picture for this thread

Sometimes irony is pretty ironic.
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Reply #32 on: April 12, 2011, 10:56:33 AM

I love the Death of Rats.
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Reply #33 on: April 12, 2011, 10:57:06 AM


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Reply #34 on: April 12, 2011, 11:01:25 AM

Isn't Depressing Pet Death Thread redundant? 
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