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Old 04-04-2021, 04:23 PM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 1
Unhappy How do I know when it is time? Please help.

Hi everyone,

Really need some advice, help... I'm not sure what. My syrian is about 1.8yo. Over the last several months he started losing his fur, around his face, sides and back. I took him to the vet and at first they thought it could be mites, and treated with ivermectin (which I was reluctant to do). No change, and the fur loss continued. His skin went extremely dry for a week or so, and the fur loss accelerated.

Over the last few weeks i would say he has worsened, only appearance-wise, which is why i find myself so conflicted. He stuffs his face every night, spends hours on his wheel, moves about fine, etc. But he has started to grow, what I assume to be, tumours over his body. He appears to have chewed at the one on his side and neck. i went straight to the vet, thinking maybe he was itchy, or to get something to help his skin heal. The vet said she was worried about him and suspected what was thought to be cushing's was maybe cancer. I was given baytril to administer twice daily at 0.05ml in case it was a skin infection. I've noticed two new lumps on his tummy this evening that I think have appeared just over night as neither the vet nor I noticed them the other day.

I've always felt as soon as I noticed his quality of life declining, I would let him go. And this is where i'm conflicted. In himself, he seems fine. But... he can't be comfortable covered in several lumps and severe scabs/wounds. Do I let him go now? Do I wait and see what happens? I don't want to be selfish, but I also don't want to be too hasty. I know that if it is cancer, which seems likely, he won't recover. But is it fair to put him down when he is still eating and playing? Or is it safer to put him down before he has a big decline?

Please help i know it's a decision I have to ultimately make, but I really have noone to bounce this off of.

Thank you in advance, from me and Pea.
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Old 04-06-2021, 07:58 AM   #2
souffle's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Yorkshire, UK but my heart lies in Scotland!
Posts: 27,528
Default Re: How do I know when it is time? Please help.

It's a great gift to give rest when the time comes. I think you know by his behavior that he has had enough.
I think a day early is much better that a day late when he may become uncomfortable and this would not be how you would want him to end his life.
Made from love your decision will always be right.
I hope his path is gentle when his time comes x
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Old 04-06-2021, 09:50 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 21,310
Default Re: How do I know when it is time? Please help.

It is so difficult isn't it. When they are still active and eating and drinking. Can you tell if he is in pain? My vet told me about some recent research where they have a "look" like their face is drawn back so the eyes look squintier - that is a sign of pain. Other signs are - ears down all the time or sitting very hunched. From what you describe though he sounds active and doing normal hamstery things.

I think only you will know but the vet my help. With our robo, he had skin lumps and a large tumour but continued to be active and eat. However he started to look skinny and very ropey and also began chewing at one of his lumps. Vet said eating isn't always a sign that they enjoy food and it can just be feeding the cancer. He was eating ravenously and waiting for his food each night, but still losing weight. She decided he was suffering because he was chewing at the lumps which had developed sores - and when they do this it's because there is pain and they are effectively trying to amputate them.

It took someone else to tell me he was suffering on that occasion. He was so very active we thought he must want to keep going. He was on metacam for pain but that doesn't touch the pain of cancer sometimes.

I would talk to him. I know that sounds strange, but sometimes they give you a sign. It may be the right time or it may be not quite there for you and him. Perhaps see what the vet says again.

Souffle is very experienced on these matters. I have maybe not gone quick enough to have a hamster pts on a couple of occasions, but it is very very difficult when they are still interacting with you. I hope he gives you a sign one way or the other.
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vet, fur, skin, noticed, lumps

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