Monday, July 04, 2011

Euthenasia Dilema and my visit to Al-Rai Vet Hospital

I finally had the stray cat outside my house with the mangled leg put down.   She seemed to be okay for a long time, but recently I noticed that she seemed to be in a lot of pain and had been hanging around my door and windows a lot; not just in a manner that would appear to be a plea for food, but more of for help.  Someone stopped by about a week ago - a friend of a friend - who said he would pick her up and take her to "get fixed", but then never showed up.  That made me wonder what the quality of her life would be post-op. She was pretty messed up and I didn't know the guy well enough to believe that he would nurse her back to health.  As it was, he wasn't reliable to even call me back, so  I decided that having her euthanized would be the only alternative, but it wasn't an easy decision or one that I took lightly.

I got her into a pet carrier via chicken thrown into the back.  It wasn't too difficult, but she was fighting it once she was caught.  When she finally calmed down, she made constant noises that sounded like, "Noooooo..."  It really tore at me. 

I called my mom for reassurance and to make sure that I was doing the right thing.  My mom grew up on a cattle farm with something like 30 barn cats.  We are both really allergic now.  She told me that I really didn't have a choice if it was suffering.

The Romanian goes with me to help me with animal issues because she is a good soul and knows how traumatic it is for me, but it has a big affect on her. When we found the field of dead horses outside of Ahmadi Race Track years ago (2007), her blood pressure soared and she was in bed for a few days.  She's a good friend.

I took her to Al-Dolhama vets next to the Friday market, but  they were closed (around 7pm), so we went around the corner to Al-Rai vet hospital.  I could hear dogs barking at the Friday Market - I wish they would close that place.  I had never been to Al-Rai before, but I was impressed by the environment.  When you walk in, the kennels are to the left (which didn't actually impress me because the dogs seemed to be stressed by people walking by) and groomers are directly in front.  The seating area is really big (large enough to walk a few horses into if they had do) with chairs all the way around the room and an area with plants and televisions in the middle in an air conditioned atrium. It looks more like a cafe than a lobby of a veterinary hospital. They have a refrigerator where they sell cold drinks and snacks for people waiting beside large area with pet products and food.

There weren't many people there.  A few dogs with their owners.  There was a young Kuwaiti girl holding back an enormous Rottweiller and we smiled at each other knowingly whenever the dog scared the bejezus out of whatever large, tough-looking Kuwaiti man who jumped to avoid it. Tee hee.  You go, girlfriend!

The vet rooms are slightly cleaner than Al-Dolhama's.  One interesting item was the observation camera in the corner in the ceiling.  (I always love it when employers feel the need to spy on their employees.  Great motivational factor.)

The doctor's bedside manner left something to be desired (that is usually a management issue:  a happy employee is a productive/friendly employee).  Not real friendly, but informative.  He asked me a few questions about the cat, "Is it still eating?  Can it walk?"  I said yes to both and then he told me that he couldn't euthanize it.  What?  (This was before he opened the cage to look at the cat.)  While he was opening the cage he said, "... unless it has been in an accident..." (and then...) ooooooh...."  I think that's when the smell hit him and he caught a look at her leg.  Bad, bad, bad.   He decided to put her down.

I found out later from my Source-of-All-Things-Animal-Related-in-Kuwait that the owner of the hospital mandates their policy on euthenasia:  if it can walk and eat, they normally won't put it down.  As everyone knows, however, eating is a survival instinct of any animal, so if it can eat, it will - even if it doesn't stay down.  Sometimes putting an animal to sleep to end its suffering should be the vet's call - not an administrators.  However, everyone has their own perspective I suppose.

Anyways, I felt better that the cat is no longer in pain - especially in the sweltering heat and dust.  Poor little thing.

She is the third cat in Kuwait I have had to put down.  The other 2 were also found strays in distress.  I would rather take them to be put to sleep than allow them to suffer unnecessarily.  Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.


Anonymous said...

Thank god for people like you desert girl. I am sure it was a hard decision to make , and I am glad there are people with balls (and a big heart) who look out for those poor little animals.

Anonymous said...

i once sheltered a pigeon whose flight feathers cut by someone,he was healthy,but flightless.since i knew about the problem i plucked its half cut flight feathers and sheltered it until his new feathers grew and set him free.hes on my desktop wallpaper now, a look.

there is a cat in the neighborhood,it very friendly and each time i approach her,she Purrs.and i cant stand it,and pat it.although it is stray but it is clean and healthy.she like being patted, twice i bought to my apartment, and let her go since she had kittens waiting for her.

the friday market,have you been to the area behind that animal market.i found many dead animals thrown away just like a useless piece of paper which is useless once scribbled on,they do not even care to bury them.i found chickens,ducks and few more,this is inhuman.

Anonymous said...

I've used Al-Rai since I rescued a wee scrap of feline when I came in 2007. The service has always been excellent, the environment clean, and the care of my "djinn in a catsuit" satisfactory.
The only complaint I might make is that the owner's ideas about service ('if it can eat and walk...") are strange. There are several procedures for which Dr. Roger had to refer me to the hospital behind Al-Rai because the owner said these were 'haram.' "Not allowed, Madame." Wha...?!
Anyway, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who picks up mangled, suffering animals and does the right thing. Even if it is hard.

Anonymous said...

DG, Twas a brave and noble act. Makes one wonder how many people witnessed this animal's distress and wished they could help (but didn't) and how many chose to completely ignore it. Ironically it would seem, animals in some societies may be treated better than many less-fortunate human beings.
~Prisoner of Al Salem

Expat and the City said...

How kind of you DG. You are always helping animals in need. You have such a BIG heart.

Hypsync said...

sssHaving only been in Kuwait for just one year i am feeling the full force of that which is lacking when it comes to beloved pets. My poor beautiful collie labrador cross, Sammie, was beaten by a maid in April at the same time that he sustained an injury by running on Messila beach and falling off a 3 foot drop. His symptoms and discomfort weren't instant and the limp he then developed has now resulted in complete loss of use and muscle wastage in his right forelimb. As a remedial therapist myself i have known that he has a pinched nerve that has given the resulting lameness but there are no MRI or CT facilities for animals in Kuwait and without proper diagnosis it's a useless case. My desire was to get him back to our beloved home in the UK, but we are inhibited by quarantine laws. He is in so much pain and is being so brave for me. Because i love him so much, i am taking him to wonderful Dr Jill at RAH, Friday Market, where she can set him free. My biggest sadness is that i have nowhere to bury my beautiful boy as Islamic law will not allow cremation and there is no place that i can rest his body. Please does anyone know anything i can do?

Desert Girl said...

Hypsync - is the maid dead? Cause mine would be. Dead dead dead.

(If you can afford it) - Why don't you send your dog to the States for treatment? United has a direct flight and I can recommend some animal hospitals near Dulles Airport. I can also recommend hotels like the local Residence Inns in Herndon that allow pets.

If you need to bury your dog here, I have thought about this question many many times myself. I have heard of expats who sneak out to the desert to bury their dogs. I just can't imagine that - God forbid - when Desert Dawg dies that I would just cast her body into the trash.

I heard (and I don't know that it is true) that IVH will cremate pets.

Hey - here is a business for someone. I would pay to have my dog cremated and I would pay for an urn. Or - I would pay for her to be buried on a plot of land somewhere.

Anonymous said...

wow..soo sis is in love wid pigeons & she did the same but unfortunately his new feathers r not thr as yet...but well done 4 being soo nice 2 these lil creatures.

Unknown said...

Can anyone tell me the timings for al rai ?

Desert Girl said...

I'm sorry, but I don't know.

mimidoesitq8 said...

How much is it to euthanize a cat?

Desert Girl said...

mimidoesitq8 - I'm not a vet. How do I know? Call them or go there.