Considering euthanasia -- need comfort and advice

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Considering euthanasia -- need comfort and advice

Postby Jaycurb » Mon May 11, 2020 7:51 am

Hi all, I am new to the forum. I'm here to seek comfort and advice about my beardie. Napoleon is almost 10 years old, and he has lived a great life. The past month his appetite started to decrease, but I wasn't worried since I assumed it was him getting old. I feel like an awful mom for not seeing the problem earlier, but I'm an ICU nurse experiencing a pandemic right now and have been working nonstop. Anyway, last week he drastically dropped weight to the point I can see his bones. We went to the vet, and his full work up results were inconclusive, but the vet believes he has cancer. He has deteriorated so much in a few days. He can barely walk, he almost slithers, and it's so painful to watch. He doesn't have the same spark in his eyes but his personality is still there. He is home on antibiotics for secondary stomatitis and syringe feeds, and I can't get nearly enough of the feeds into him. He's just too tired.

The vet said if there's going to be a difference, it'll be about a week since the antibiotics were started which would be this Friday. I lucked into a bunch of days off and I've spent all day with him. I've had my fair share of pets go in my life, but I've never been the one to make the decision... I don't want my baby to suffer. I've had him since I was 14, but I don't even know how they do euthanasia, and it pains me knowing with the pandemic I won't be able to be with him. I go back to work tomorrow and I'm so scared he won't have me there to love on him.

I also feel so responsible. His temps, habitat, and diet are ideal and my vet confirmed that, but I still feel like I did something wrong. I just hope he knows I'm trying to help him, but I hate having to give him shots and the critical care. He looks miserable when I try and feed him, which makes me think it's time, but then he perks up and gives me the "Nappy look" and I can finally see *him* again. This is so much harder for me since I lost my mom to cancer last year and Nappy got so bad during mother's day weekend.

I know everyone says you'll know when it's time, but I don't know when enough is enough. I just want my Nappy boy to be happy and healthy, and not in pain.
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Re: Considering euthanasia -- need comfort and advice

Postby AHBD » Mon May 11, 2020 8:00 am

Aw, that's such a difficult decision to make and I know what it feels like. Such a sad situation, knots in your stomach and feeling of dread. My heart goes out to you. :( Does Nappy have a black beard ? Does he fight the feedings every time ? Sometimes if they're not visibly in lots of pain you can make the decision to let them die at home. If he's black bearding, gaping , etc. then he's probably in pain. You might use those things to weigh in on the decision . Can you post a few pics of him ? If it's too sad and you'd rather not, I understand. If you do, here's how to post them:

https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ Then use the XIMG to upload them

And BTW, thanks for helping the people in your community right now, that in itself is a stressful but very admirable job.
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Re: Considering euthanasia -- need comfort and advice

Postby Jaycurb » Mon May 11, 2020 8:05 am

AHBD wrote:Aw, that's such a difficult decision to make and I know what it feels like. Such a sad situation, knots in your stomach and feeling of dread. My heart goes out to you. :( Does Nappy have a black beard ? Does he fight the feedings every time ? Sometimes if they're not visibly in lots of pain you can make the decision to let them die at home. If he's black bearding, gaping , etc. then he's probably in pain. You might use those things to weigh in on the decision . Can you post a few pics of him ? If it's too sad and you'd rather not, I understand. If you do, here's how to post them:

https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ Then use the XIMG to upload them

And BTW, thanks for helping the people in your community right now, that in itself is a stressful but very admirable job.


I'm gonna get on my computer in a few and try it. No, his beard isn't black, and he doesn't really fight the feedings but it takes a lot of encouragement to get him to swallow. This morning it took me about 1.5 hrs just to get 4 ml of critical care in and then decided he needed a break and I soaked him for a bit. Although I've had him a while, he's my first dragon so I don't know what to look for as far as pain. I imagine it's miserable that he can barely walk but he seems to be comfortable wherever he's hanging in his tank.

Thank you for that. I feel more powerless with Napoleon than I do at work lol

Edit: I forgot to mention, I think I've noticed some seizure activity. Sometimes he'll be sitting there and his head will shake almost like it's vibrating.
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Re: Considering euthanasia -- need comfort and advice

Postby Jaycurb » Mon May 11, 2020 8:17 am

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Re: Considering euthanasia -- need comfort and advice

Postby AHBD » Mon May 11, 2020 8:31 am

Is he a big dragon ? He''s a handsome boy despite the weight loss. He does look uncomfortable but not in a lot of pain. I know it's a really hard time for you and the decision is a difficult one. He may pass away soon since he's older and won't be able to sustain through much more . Whatever you decide will be the right decision really.
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Re: Considering euthanasia -- need comfort and advice

Postby Jaycurb » Mon May 11, 2020 8:38 am

AHBD wrote:Is he a big dragon ? He''s a handsome boy despite the weight loss. He does look uncomfortable but not in a lot of pain. I know it's a really hard time for you and the decision is a difficult one. He may pass away soon since he's older and won't be able to sustain through much more . Whatever you decide will be the right decision really.


He is a very big boy, about 18 inches. I truly hope he can pass at home if he's going to pass. I just am not familiar with how they euthanize dragons. But I'll look for those signs of pain, and if he becomes less of the baby I know, I guess I'll know.
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Re: Considering euthanasia -- need comfort and advice

Postby AHBD » Wed May 13, 2020 5:58 am

Hi there, just thought I'd check to see how Napoleon is doing ?
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Re: Considering euthanasia -- need comfort and advice

Postby Jaycurb » Fri May 22, 2020 10:44 am

AHBD wrote:Hi there, just thought I'd check to see how Napoleon is doing ?


I'm sorry, I just saw this reply. Thank you for caring. Nappy passed away Wednesday night cuddled up with me. 💔 I was watching him on my security camera all day at work, he had a solid lizard day. Soaked himself and everything, but when I came home he was definitely going. I picked him up and he passed peacefully a few minutes later. Just in time. I like to think he waited for me.
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Re: Considering euthanasia -- need comfort and advice

Postby CooperDragon » Fri May 22, 2020 11:36 am

It's too bad that he didn't make it, but I'm glad you were able to get home and comfort him in the end. I'm sure that meant a lot for both of you.
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Re: Considering euthanasia -- need comfort and advice

Postby AHBD » Fri May 22, 2020 12:14 pm

Aw, I'm sorry that he's gone but I'm glad that it did seem that he peacefully just slipped away and that you were there. He had a good life with you ! In the future , if you decide to get another you'll be a good beardie parent.
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Re: Considering euthanasia -- need comfort and advice

Postby Jaycurb » Mon May 25, 2020 2:25 pm

Thank you guys for your comfort. Yesterday I cleaned out his tank, and it hurt. I never realized what dragon lights do to your home. It's freezing in here and the lighting is so off. I know he is happy in whatever lizard heaven looks like. 🖤
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