I've never before been this hurt by the passing of a pet, because throughout my entire life (until now) I've managed to not really get attached to any of them. It was easy. They were always my dad's, mom's, sister's...
Gnash was one of my favourites, because she had such a gentle & lovable personality. She was also extremely well behaved. The only times I struggled with her, was when I wanted to have her return to the backyard after her Front Yard Exploration Trips; or when I wanted her to get up from a comfortable nap on one of the bean bags.
About a month ago, her energy levels seemed to have been entirely depleted. Her highs were average & her lows were shockingly low. We couldn't figure out what was going on & over the past few weeks we struggled to get her to eat anything, which meant that she literally started wasting away. It was obvious that she was also struggling when drinking water.
Eventually x-rays determined the source of all of this; an abnormally enlarged heart, so large that it kept pressing on her trachea (which explained the difficulty eating/drinking anything). Initially we opted for meds, but they weren't really helping and the infections & nutritional shortages just kept piling on top of her existing heart condition. Operating was also obviously off the table, because having an enlarged heart meant that there was no way she'd survive something like that.
After our experience this morning I thought it might help other Pet People out there to know what they should expect in the worst of scenarios, when all roads lead to dead ends:
Saying good-bye to Gnash was devastating, but not traumatic. A simple injection (our baby always handled her injections unbelievably well) & then we saw her calmly going to sleep in less than 2 minutes. Also, the high dose of anesthetic they used shielded her from having to feel anything, like how we'd feel being put under before an 'op'.
[Our vet did explain that sometimes the process can take up to 3 minutes & that it is also possible that the last few breaths may be visually similar on her body to what it looked like when she sneezed, though.]
A special 'Thank You' to the vet @ Kempton Park Animal Hospital for trying her best to find an alternative solution first - and for talking us through the whole heartbreaking process this morning; and allowing us as much time as we needed to say good-bye.