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I still don't understand what happened

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  • I still don't understand what happened

    I posted here about my Simon - 13 year old Himmie who I had to PTS in January. He had developed fairly mild kidney disease 3 months before and I was using SubQ lactated ringers - I know how to do this, have done it before for 5 years with my previous Himmie. He did OK for a little while, then lost interest in food. Vet determined it was because his little diggestive system was all backed up, he was impacted. Vet gave him an enema, he returned home, started eating again - only to have the whole cycle repeat two more times. I finally decided I could not keep putting him through basically an enema a week to keep him going.

    My vet who is awesome came to the house and he died very peacefully on my lap. The day we did this, he met me at the back door but would not eat or drink. Just sitting there looking miserably at his water bowl.

    I wish I knew what caused this. I probably should have paid for a necropsy but I just couldn't stand it. We buried him in the back yard. I keep reliving that last day and wondering what exactly went wrong with his digestive system.

    Does anyone have any ideas?
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

  • #2


    • Original Poster

      I don't even know if I want to know. My vet assured me that Simon was not going to get any better and that we were doing the right thing by euthanizing him before he started to suffer a lot. He was clearly unhappy and uncomfortable and had lost a ton of weight.

      I just loved t his cat SO much. Have never felt for any other cat what I felt for him. He was very special. I guess I don't want to hear anything that would make me feel like I did the wrong thing . . . . .
      What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


      • #4
        oliverreed -

        As you know, I very much understand what you are feeling. I'm coming up on 1 month this Friday that I let Maggie go. She's been on my mind so much lately - and thinking the same thing: how could it have gone so bad so quickly? Why??

        But in the end, our pets are at peace. That's the consolation I guess.
        ~* Be kind to one another *~


        • #5
          I don't have any insights for you, OR, but all I can say is you had one loved kitty, who died peacefully with someone who loved him. I second guess myself every frigging time-something else? something easier? but at the end of the day, my cats are adored, live well, get the very best medical care I can provide, and have their own spiritual journeys. I believe your Simon had his own path, which THANKFULLY, AMAZINGLY included you! and you provided the best possible care he could ever ever have had! I am so sorry things ended that way, there is just no easy way (for me anyway) to go through that.

          I hope you get whatever information gives you a sense of peace about his passing! And again, prayers for you both!


          • #6
            i'm sorry for your loss. Sometimes, kidney disease progresses quickly. Constipation is unfortunately a common side effect of renal disease. When I have an older cat presented for constipation, one of the first things I check is their kidney function.


            • #7
              I'll be honest in say that there was probably more that could have been done - but in retrospect your cat was unhappy and prolonging the inevitible is sometimes a selfish act.

              There are special foods developed for cats with megacolon and constipation issues, there are also many different laxatives. An abdominal ultrasound or scoping could have determined whether or not the cat had inflammation in the small/large intestine or polyps, masses, ymphoma, carcinoma, intusuception etc etc...the list can go on. or if it was just related to the renal disease. Unfortunatey without full diagnostics being done, you wouldnt be able to pinpoint exactly WHY it happened. I have known people to go as far as having a sub total colectomy...to me that = angry kitty for life. Dehydration is a big factor, and often kidney disease is poorly manged by regular vets. Unfortunatley subcutaneous fluids are not nearly as effective as IV fluids (some recent studies say they provide no benefit at all), but the quality of life for a cat living on IV fluids is just not anywhere close to ideal.

              I probably would have done exactly what you did. You didnt let him suffer, and in the end thats the most selfless gift you can give to your pet.

              I do understand where you are coming from in wanting to know why. I very recently lossed my healthy 11 year old greyhound very suddenly. Two weeks prior she had a full checkup and all bloodwork was normal. When outside on the deck on a nice Friday morning, she suddenly fell over dead. Nothing like performing CPR on your pet when you just poured a fresh coffee thinking its going to be a great morning. All in all, I dont know what happened. She ate fine, went out and did her business just fine...she was walking around the yard withthe other dogs and bam, gone. No seizure, no agonal breaths....just gone. Im sure it could have been one of many things, and in retrospect I would probably have wanted a post mortem, but at the time I just couldnt bare it. Im thankful every day that I never had to make a decision, and that she never suffered. However, I do miss her every day too.

              Sorry again for your loss, sounds like he was very loved.


              • #8

                I don't think this is fun to manage--- for man or beast.

                I think there is a surgery done that takes out a section of the cat's colon with some nerves (damaged ones) that control peristalsis. I don't remember whether current consensus is that it's great or old-fashioned and too invasive to be worth whatever it does.

                But Megacolon is just a management nightmare. You can devote yourself to trying to do it well. If you do it well, that merely will be because you got lucky. But when you don't (even if the animal pulls through the crisis), it's suffering for him.

                I really wouldn't choose to "keep on keepin' on" with a megacolon cat, and I'd feel fine about euthenizing after the treatments I could do stopped being reliable.
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat


                • #9
                  IME cats who mentally let go just cannot be helped, or at least not helped in any way that's fair to them

                  They are stoic creatures who really try not to show how sick they are, so if/when we see they are in a very bad way, it's usually *very* bad.

                  There may well have been more you could have done at that moment in time, but the end was still the end and it was coming sooner rather than later. Making it a little later may well have made Simon really, really disgusted with life and maybe you too a bit and THAT would have REALLY broken your heart.

                  Enemas were not doing anything for the KD, only the symptom. Feeding him differently was not going to fix the KD, only symptoms. Maybe. It would have only bought you a little extra time. That's all.

                  It SUCKS. Sick kitties are, for me, far worse than sick horses. Maybe because their small size makes them seem that much more fragile, I don't know.

                  BTDT with trying to get sick kitties to eat, maybe just eat a little more and you'll feel better and have another good day. Maybe. And in the end, it's all the same and there's not a thing we can do about it

                  Please, please don't make yourself ill wondering what happened, what you could have done differently, because it will kill you and the end result still won't be any different, wouldn't have been any different
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                  • #10
                    My two inside kitties, sisters, were both PTS due to essentially renal failure.
                    Callie - April 2011 was doing 'ok' on Friday, quiet on Saturday and very quickly downhill on Sunday.
                    Callie would.not.take.oral.medications and didn't care for the KD food.
                    Edwina - March 2012 ate the KD food ok with the oral meds mixed in until the last month. At that point I feed her whatever she would eat. The last day she had a seizure in the wee hours of the morning.
                    Our vet came out to the farm for both kitties.
                    This is just to say so many of us lose kitties to renal failure. While the disease and the end is the same, the progression is different. There comes a point when their bodies can no longer carry their spirits. And it is our last gift to set their spirits free.
                    Now I will go cry, but not for them, they are well and still discussing who is the real Queen
                    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                    Courtesy my cousin Tim


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks a lot, guys. You made me feel better. I did not know that constipation was a side effect of kidney disease. And it does sound like whatever else I could have done for him might just have prolonged his suffering. Stoic boy, all right. He was adored.
                      What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


                      • #12

                        Just sending hugs. I have a 13 yo cat who kidney function numbers are declining and I know I'm going to be facing this as well.

                        I've lost three cats in the last four years and sometimes I wonder if I have any business having one. The first was only 6 1/2. He wasn't eating so I had him checked and his kidney numbers weren't horrible but not ideal either. I couldn't get him to eat and was afraid of dehydration so I took him back to the vet and he was put on fluids. Just as he was starting to eat again and was ok'd to come home, a major ice storm hit. I couldn't get to town and the power was out everywhere, including the vet clinic. He crashed and had to be put down. The second was almost 10 and had fluid in the lungs. He had a heart murmur and we couldn't get him comfortable for even a day. The third I lost suddenly to thrombosis. I'm heartbroken about all three but I gave them the best life I could while they were here. The later two were destined to live on their own in a barn and the first was on deaths bed from starvation when I found him.

                        It sounds like your had a fabulous life with you and you did the best you could. I know that doesn't really help right now but it will. Hugs!
                        Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks, Holly Jeanne, and SO sorry about your little guys. The price of love is grief. We know we will most likely outlive them and we know we have to be strong and do the right thing for them when it is their time.

                          Simon was very lucky, really, to have me. He had not been socialized with humans at ALL as a kitten and was pretty darn sick when I got him from an ignorant jerk of a breeder. I could not leave him behind. He was afraid of everybody but me, but he loved me, grew to love my husband and his cat sitter. He was a real flirt. He would sleep on my chest and there was nothing in the world I loved better than the weight of his sleepy little self on me.

                          He had such digestive issues for the first six months that I hand fed him his wet food to get him to eat it - a habit we never grew out of. Cat sistter and husband would laugh at me because he'd eat out of a bowl just fine for them. I really couldn't mourn at first and I didn't know why - but I think I just could not let the feelings out at first. Thanks for listening to me, guys. You are the best.
                          What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!