Not a particularly cheerful topic I know, but it cropped up yesterday in conversation with our vet, Mehmet.
It wasn't the only subject we discussed, but we had three hours to kill (excuse the pun) so plenty of time to talk.
We had to take Beki into his clinic early yesterday morning so that she could be put on a drip for three hours. This was because she hadn't eaten anything for 5 days and she had been vomiting due to a gastric bug that she has picked up. She has had so many injections and other medication, I have lost track of what she has in her system. But I trust Mehmet completely, and he is doing his very best to make Beki well again.
He showed us how to gently force-feed her. Actually I hate the expression "force-feed" because it conjures up pictures of prisoners on hunger strike, long tubes being pushed down throats, etc. (I'm afraid I do have a vivid imagination at times). But Beki has to have food, and we have a plastic syringe to give her milk, and wooden spatulas to feed her small amounts of soft pet food. Actually Mehmet had some very small tins of a special cat food, mostly salmon with lots of vitamins and nutrients, and we managed to get this inside her while she was on the drip. He gave us 6 more tins to bring home, to help over the next couple of days, and then I will start to try her on tuna and chicken.
She had a further tin last night and it stayed down. A tin which was consumed this morning was vomited back, so it's a bit hit and miss, but we will persevere.
Now back to the topic of euthanasia. Everyone has different views on this of course, and it's not something I would get into discussion here in terms of whether it should be a legal practise in the case of human beings, other than to say that I always firmly believe in freedom of choice. So I'll leave it there.
However, most of us who consider ourselves to be animal lovers, never want our precious pets to suffer any more than they have to. I have had dogs all my life, most of which have died from natural causes/old age. But I have had to make the difficult choice on two occasions to have my dogs euthanised because they were so sick and in pain, and nothing further could be done for them.
It's very difficult, almost impossible, to find a vet in a predominantly Muslim Turkey who will euthanise. So many dogs and cats suffer long and painful deaths. I was relieved to hear from Mehmet that he would never allow an animal to suffer and that he will euthanise when he feels that he has done everything humanly possible to save them and there is nothing more he can do to relieve their suffering. In fact he told us that he reluctantly had to euthanise a dog last week who had so many tumours all over his body that he could hardly move for the pain and discomfort.
He also said that there are some very unscrupulous vets here who are just in it for the money. They know that an animal has no chance of surviving, but they continue to fool the pet owners into parting with their money for all sorts of unnecessary and ineffective treatment. The animal will die anyway, and the owner will be faced with a hefty bill. Of course we know that Mehmet is not one of these vets. He has charged us an incredibly small amount of money for all the treatment he has provided. We are certain he is out of pocket, but it is very clear to us that he loves animals and he puts their welfare first.
I am feeling optimistic about Beki. This is quite an uphill struggle, it will take some time, but she is a fighter and I'm confident she will pull through. We hope we never have to make the awful decision to have either of our dogs put to sleep, but I am very relieved to know that if I am faced with it, then I won't have to see them suffer.
What are your views on this topic? I'm sure there will be strong opinions for and against, but please don't hold back. I am interested in what you have to say and always respect others' opinions even if I don't necessarily agree with them.