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How do I cope with a sick/dying pet and my children?
We have five hamsters which my children (ages 9 and 6) love dearly. One of our hamsters, Zoe, has apparently had a stroke. Her hind legs are totally paralyzed and she can barely open her eyes. She has been in this condition for three days now. When we first found her she was barely moving and I expected her to not live through the night. Here we are three days later and she's still alive. She drags herself around with her front paws, and is still eating/drinking. She can't get off the bottom level of her four story cage so we moved her food and water down to that level.
My question is - should I let her continue to live and suffer or is that cruel? I don't think my kids would ever forgive me if I had her put to sleep,and I am not sure I have the heart to do it, but my husband says its cruel to let her suffer. Any suggestions?
No matter what you decide, this seems like a great opportunity for your kids to learn about the seasons of life and about grief in general. Poor little hamster :( That breaks my heart. It's probably tough on your kids now, but its undoubtedly a valuable experience as well.
I know slightly older children who went through the same thing and their mom put the options out there,"We can keep trying to keep him alive, but know that he is suffering very much and will die eventually" or "we can put him to sleep so he's no long suffering." They chose the latter, and while it was hard, it did teach them about death, pain etc.
Your kids are younger, so they may not understand as well, but I would still try to talk about it with them.