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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, Last Friday I had my wether put to sleep. He was a sweet innocent 16 year old goat.
He's been healthy most of his life except for one time when he couldn't urinate. I gave him ammonium chloride and that did the trick. This time he wasn't so lucky. The vet said she thinks that's what he had this time too. I started the ammonium chloride and I thought he was doing better because I saw him pee after the first dose but then he just got worse. When the vet checked him out he was severely dehydrated. He may have had something else going on too. She said his kidneys may be failing and and possibly his bladder may have started to rupture. She indicated it was a very poor prognosis. The only option was to take him home and give him more ammonium chloride and prednisone. I certainly didn't want him to die but I couldn't see taking him home again and having him suffer more. He was panting and so dehydrated and hadn't been eating. The vet said it's a slow death and i just couldn't take that chance that some miraculous medication would work. He looked too far gone. I had to take his age into consideration and I didn't want to put him through any heroics. So my husband and I made the decision. Now I am just racked with guilt and I miss him so. Does anyone know how old goats live to be? I am just devastated. I hope I did the right thing for him.
He was so sweet and trusting. I have another 16 year old wether who is blind and has no teeth. It's so hard to know when the right time is. It's so hard to know.
Thank you for reading this
Spice14
 

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Aw, please don't feel guilty. You did everything you could for the old fella and he was loved right up to the end. You did the right thing by not letting him suffer. Sixteen is a very respectable age for a goat. I always say the average lifespan is 12-15 years, and while I've heard of a few that made it to 18 or even 21, you can't expect most to reach those advanced ages. We put our first wether down last year at 15 because arthritis had caught up to him and he told us when it was "time". Our goat had not yet begun to suffer and we didn't want him to reach that point. You couldn't watch your boy suffer either. You did the right thing even though it was difficult. I'm sure your other boy will tell you when it is time too, and I know you'll make the right decision.

Sometimes it helps to make a charitable donation in your animal's name to a shelter or research organization. I like to write down my favorite memories in a celebration of their life. You are very lucky to have had your boy for sixteen years. A long life well-lived is something to be treasured.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for your replies. I'm still not doing well. It is so hard to not second guess yourself.
You can be so sure it's the right thing one minute and then start thinking and questioning things the next. It is so painful. How do you all get through it? Do you have any strategies you could share?
Thanks so much,
Spice14
 

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I wish I could offer some words of encouragement, every time I lose one of my animals I'm a wreck..you should've seen the vets face when my 5 year old cat died lol. She was like do you need a minute big guy? Yup I did. I don't know if you are religious but trust in the fact St. Francis will Sheppard him until you meet again.
 

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Try to think of the good times you shared and that time you had together. It was very special. Good memories in your head, not the bad.

It is good to let it out and cry for a while.
Don't hold it in.

When you are ready,
maybe think about getting a Doe, so urinary stones won't be an issue.
Get 2 Does, so the other won't be lonely, when you are not able to go out with them. And in the winter, can stay warmer snuggling up to a buddy.
They are a herd animal.

I am sorry for the loss. :(
 

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We can't spend time second-guessing. We do the best we can with the knowledge and options we have, and that's all we can expect of ourselves. We all face this crossroads when we have animals in our care. They simply don't live as long as we do and at some point we have to make the difficult decision to ease them out of this world with as little suffering as possible, remembering that they aren't ours to cling to. They simply pass through our lives and we have the privilege to love and care for them for a while, but we do not own them. They belong, as do we all, to the One who created them. We cannot be bitter over the time we've lost--it was never owed us. Instead we treasure the time we shared as a precious gift. As Tennyson said, "Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."

And I would not discourage you from getting more wethers. So many of them end up on the butcher block because they have no breeding or milking potential, and they need good people to look after them if they are to avoid that fate. Stones are a risk for wethers, but does have other risks. And honestly, at sixteen years old I wouldn't say your wether had a problem with stones. He had a problem with old age. Many things stop functioning well once our goats get into their teens, and things that were a small risk when they were young can become a big risk as they grow old. You did the right thing to let him go, but it's ok to mourn the loss of your old friend. Do something kind or fun or generous in his honor.
 

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The only thing that really helps me is time. And though the pain never goes away completely it does get easier to handle.
(I just read the post I wrote when I lost my beloved dachshund in 2011. I cried for half an hour.)
 

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The ultimate act of kindness, you ended his suffering even though it is causing you pain. Try not to dwell on the deed but rather the intention - the end of pain.
Remember the good times, the funny, perhaps annoying, things he did that made you love him so. Remember how he looked happily grazing or romping playfully.
Maybe post some happy memories and share them with us. Tell us all his favorite treats and games. I want good memories to overshadow the sadness for you.
Take care of yourself, you did a noble, but heartbreaking thing. It was the right thing to do.
 
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