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I think it may be time to say goodbye...Update 8/6: Goodbye, sweet kitty

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  • I think it may be time to say goodbye...Update 8/6: Goodbye, sweet kitty

    My mare, who we lost last fall, taught me many lessons in the near-decade I owned her. When she ruptured her suspensory and hyper-extended the other (in hindsight, we realized she had DSLD), we had to put her down as nothing but suffering awaited her. She was happy, she was kind, but she was done for, and we knew it before she did. One of her final lessons to us as pet owners was to end suffering before it became misery.

    My cat, Inigo, is in bad shape. He's been on medication for hyperthyroidism for at least 2 years, but then inexplicably the weight loss spiked despite the medication. Blood and urine tests were inconclusive; his thyroid was actually good and none of the other numbers were out of range. But my 15lb cat is barely 11lbs now, and his coat is dull and loose. He is constantly, constantly hungry and thirsty, but he would be as he is apparently not digesting his food. His stools almost look like vomit--barely processed cat food. There is a bit of blood in them as well. He's started pooping outside the litterbox, we think because he's in pain and he associates the pain with the box. He begs for food most of the day and will brazenly walk onto the table with us at dinnertime to eat anything we have (and yowl if we lock him in another room), then begs to be let in my sons' bathroom so he can drink the water they have in a toy tub. That, to me, is suffering. To be hungry like that? All the time?

    But that's not all. He has an ugly abscess above a broken canine tooth. It really should be pulled, but the vet doesn't want to put him through surgery. The tooth looks painful, but isn't causing him obvious pain. I had a cat with an identical issue before, and she was miserable and swollen. Still, that should be taken care of--but we can't.

    Similarly, the vet did not want to give him his shots this summer until we could get him stabilized. We haven't been able to.

    Then in the last few weeks, I've noticed him limping. There's nothing obviously injured, but there is no mistaking his lameness.

    It seems so obvious, you know? Writing it down, it seems apparent. But when he follows me in here and curls up next to me, purring, it seems too soon.

    Yet, I remember the lessons Ana taught me. Inigo is suffering, and he's not getting better. He is in obvious discomfort nearly every moment of every day. He isn't miserable, but is it fair to him to wait until he is?

    Aw, crap.
    Last edited by Lauruffian; Aug. 8, 2012, 09:37 AM.
    SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
    CP Trilogy 2002-2015
    My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie

  • #2
    No advice, because I don't think you need any. You have demonstrated without question that you know when it's time to say when. Which may be now. Or not.

    Just echoing the "oh crap" and sending hugs for you and Indigo and the rest of your family.
    The Evil Chem Prof

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh, hugs to you! This is the worst part of loving and having pets, isn't it? The, "is it or isn't it time?" question! I just went through this with my Aussie earlier this spring...it just plain sucks.

      I know it is kind of an old saw, but, better a moment to soon, than a moment too late.

      Cats are so tricky, because by the time they are obviously sick to us, they've been sick for a while, too.
      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

      Comment


      • #4
        Our hyperthyroid cat sounds exactly like your...for a year he had diarrhea, weight loss, missing the box and HUNGRY and ANNOYING. No tooth issues though.

        He is on a relatively high dose of thyroid meds. We found recently the bland GI diet has realy helped him out. He obviously has some form of IBD with the hyperthyroidism. Now, his stools are solid and he is using the box. He has gained weight, but still annoying.

        I dont think its wrong to call it quits. I know for our guy he is still happy, but the moment he doesnt want food or starts hiding is the second he leaves this world. For now, he still follows you around licking your legs and playing with the other cats. Always on the watch, and there has been close calls, but he just wasnt ready to go yet.

        IF you want to get him better, can you have a consult with an internist? Not for diagnositcs, just fora convorsation regarding med/food management? However, I understand some people just want to let things play out and end it when they arent looking good. I think either route you choose wont be a bad decision. If it was JUST hyperthyroidism, there are lots of nifty tricks internists can assist you with to completely change their life around - however with his tooth issue, this will complicate things as you need to think if he's in pain or not. Wishing you the best.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Your words are very kind, Peggy. Thank you.

          I appreciate your ideas, SquishTheBunny, thank you. But, Inigo's problem is not just his thyroid. When he dropped another pound and change, I brought him in to the vet for bloodwork, expecting his thyroid was going to be high and he was going to need a higher dose. What surprised both me and the vet was his thyroid levels were normal, indicating the medication was keeping it well controlled. Yet, it was obvious something else was magnifying the same symptoms.

          The vet suspected possible diabetes, but his sugar levels were only slightly elevated, not diagnositically high, and that could be just the stress of being at the vet. Additionally, if he were diabetic, he'd require insulin shots twice a day, and we're not comfortable with that. We have very small children in the house, and I'm not comfortable having needles everywhere...additionally, having small children (and working full time) means our time and attention is tight. Hubby had a dog in his childhood that was diabetic and required shots, and he told me he has no interest in doing that again. Of course, all my reasons are likely moot as it's not likely diabetes. (Incidentally, he was tested for it before, when his thyroid issue was diagnosed. His numbers were normal then.)

          Before we lost Ana, we had a 13yro sheltie named Angel who was our first experience with euthanasia. Angel was a delightful, loving thing, but in the end, she was very sick as she sunk deep into kidney failure. I'd always said I'd never keep an animal alive for my own sake, marinating them in medication, but we discovered it was a slippery slope. First this, then that, until Angel was on four medications, with a fifth prescribed but never filled, when we finally decided it was time. In hindsight, we realized we should have ended her suffering long, long before it had become the misery she was living in. It was just so hard when she still would follow me into the kitchen, hoping for a dropped morsel, and still would wag her tail when I said her name.

          Angel and Ana were our lessons Calvincrowe quote--better a minute too soon than a minute too late.

          This has been my challenge with Igo--he's in between Ana and Angel. I just don't want him to slip much further down the spectrum.
          SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
          CP Trilogy 2002-2015
          My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie

          Comment


          • #6
            I've been in your shoes with aged and infirm pets who's systems are compromised in spite of the treatment and yet they still purr and interact. I swear cats hide pain more than dogs do.

            This past June I just PTS a 16.5 year old kitty with kidney disease. She still had her purr and daily routine but her body had become a shadow of it's former self. It was a tough call but my vet completely supported letting her go before sweet kitty totally crashed and burned. The "day of" was a tough day but I don't regret my decision to let her go.

            ((hugs)) as you work through your decision.

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't post much but thought I'd log in and post on this.

              I think it's time. The poor cat doesn't seem to be getting enough/any nutrition, he's in pain. I think the fact you've lost the other animals rather recently is keeping you from making the final decision.

              I just spoke with a friend of mine who put her 24 year old mare (that she'd bred) down on Friday. the horse was having a lot of health problems and suddenly a tumor was putting so much pressure on her eye that it was bulging out of the socket. My friend called me because I've been breeding for the past 10 years, have had all kinds of dogs and cats and I've put quite a few down (none were easy decisions). She just wanted to know how I got thru it and how I determined to make the decision. Anyway, you just have to do it. I was going to be there when she put her mare down, but when she called to make the appointment, the vet was close by and came right over. the mare was still eating, but losing weight, it's really hard. She and I cried together when we were talking about it, and we cried together when she called to tell me it was done.

              I had a german shepard that started having kidney failure. I brought her to my vet, he'd do something and she'd be fine. Until the weekend when I ended up bringing her to the emergency clinic where they'd do something and she'd be OK and I'd bring her back to my vet during his normal office hours. He said we could do the stuff to keep her hydrated (sorry can't remember exactly) but before it got to that point, on a Saturday night I was sleeping and she was on the bed panting and panting over my head and drooling my head got soaking wet. She started walking around and was walking into things, it was pretty bad. So I loaded her up into the car and took her to the emergency clinic. The vet told me it was pretty bad so I had her put to sleep. It was hard, but the right thing to do.

              Sometimes I wonder if perhaps we've gone a little too far with the advances made in veterinary medicine.

              I know you are having a very hard time with this, but I know you'll make the right decision. You have my deepest sympathies.
              www.theneigh-borhood.com

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm so sorry. I lost my kitty last January.

                There are so many thing vet care can do, but they cannot fix everything and multiple problems are a real challenge.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My Grizz was in that "in between" area when I put him down. He was diagnosed with lymphosarcoma September of 2010 and I was told he had less than a month to live. I changed his diet and a few other things, and he did wonderful for a little over a year. He gained weight back and was happy and active. In November of last year, he started losing weight again, and his activity scaled down. He was always a VERY active dog, and when he didn't want to go out for a walk with me, I made the decision. The day I had him scheduled to be down, I grabbed my keys and called him, and he came BOUNDING out of the house to go for a ride. It about killed me, but we indeed went to the vet and he was euthanized.

                  I'd rather have him put down before he was really miserable. I subscribe to the "one hour too early than one minute too late".

                  It always sucks, and it is never easy. I am so sorry that you have to deal with this.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thank you, each of you. SLW, yes, cats are so stoic by nature that it makes it much harder to determine their pain (whereas dogs seem to wear their every emotion in their eyes). When I spoke with the vet yesterday, she asked about his demeanor, and I said, "Well, he's such a stoic cat--which is redundant, I know."

                    swmorse, I have been dragging my feet a bit, but notsomuch because I don't want to put down another animal--it's because my 6yro son was devastated when we lost Ana last fall. At the time, he was too young to really understand (we just told him she had a bad leg disease and that she died that day), and he still cries about her every now and then. I wanted to give him some time to heal and mature before going through it yet again.

                    But, I think my elder son is able to understand now. (Younger son is too young to notice, understand, or remember.) I explained to him yesterday that Inigo is very sick and is suffering every day, and that the time is coming where we will need to help him end it. I explained matter-of-factly that we'd take him to the vet, who would give Inigo a shot that would make him sleep. Then he'd be given a shot that only animals can get that will help him die peacefully and quietly, without pain. Son listened intently and asked good questions ("Why is the shot only for aninmals? Why can't they do that for people?"), but then said it was too sad and he didn't want to talk about it anymore.

                    I told elder son it wouldn't be today or tomorrow, but it would be soon.

                    We will be going on a mini-vacation to San Diego this week, so another quandary was: do we put him down before we go, and leave his 13yro companion kitty suddenly completely alone (except for her mortal enemy, the dog) for a few days? Or, does he spend part of his last few days alone while we're away?

                    I called and spoke with the vet regarding this as well as a medication question, and she suggested we either put Inigo down a few days before we go, or a few days after we're back just to avoid overstressing the other cat. Mija kitty is a nutty, cranky old bitty (Inigo has always been the affectionate one), but she does like to curl up with him. The vet did say even the most aloof ones feel loss. Heh, I guess that circles back to feline stoicism.

                    Arrows Endure, that would have been excruciating having the dog come bounding to you to go on that car ride to the vet! Ugh, the guilt and the emotional struggle we go through for our animals. Someone from COTH told me when I lost Ana that when we choose euthanasia, we choose to suffer so that they don't have to anymore. Oof.

                    I've had this cat since before everything. I got him when I got my first apartment, before marriage, before our first house, before horse(s), before child(ren)... Eventually this is going to hit me, hard, and it is going to SUCK.

                    But he's such a wonderful cat; he deserves a peaceful, good death.
                    SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
                    CP Trilogy 2002-2015
                    My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Put him down when it's his time. I kept my last dog alive too long, and I'll regret that until the day I die. It wasn't fair to him, and I should have done it when he started to just exist and not enjoy his life. I kept him alive for me, and that was so selfish and unfair.
                      You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It's never easy, never.

                        But when the outcome will be the same, I always prefer to let them go a bit sooner and save them more misery in their "now."
                        <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
                          It's never easy, never.

                          But when the outcome will be the same, I always prefer to let them go a bit sooner and save them more misery in their "now."
                          This. I'd put him down now. It sounds like he is suffering. I had to put my beloved heart kitty down in January, at age 13. Renal failure that came on suddenly, and strong. I'd had experience with this disease, unfortunately, and we did everything we could. He stopped eating and drinking but would still greet me at the door when I came home. It just killed me to do it but I know it was the right thing for him.
                          What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You literally can not make a wrong decision in a case like this so take the pressure off yourself and wait and listen. Godspeed.
                            McDowell Racing Stables

                            Home Away From Home

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What Choco said. I think you'll have more regrets if you feel that you waited too long. I know I did, and I've never waited that long again. But only you can make this decision. Sending you and your boy many {{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                I just got off the phone with the vet to make that appointment. 5:30pm, we will say our goodbyes.

                                Clincher moments: last week, Inigo came to cuddle with me on the sofa. Aw, I was thinking, he still likes to just come and cuddle. Then, not a minute after that thought, he jumped down to vomit on the carpet. When we came back from vacation, he was happy to see me--but more interested (obsessed) with having his food bowl refilled as he could see the bottom of it. Not empty, just the bottom visible. Then this morning, hubby got up before me and Inigo jumped in bed with me. Aw, he still likes to come cuddle with me! Then again, he was begging me to open the bathroom door so he could go drink the water in the boys' toilet.

                                That isn't living.

                                My eldest son understands and is prepared. He has been saying that God, Grandpa (my father passed in 2009), and Ferrana would take good care of him. He wants to be with us when we say goodbye, but I think the way it'll work is the boys will say goodbye, then hubby will whisk them away to the waiting room while I stay with him for the final injection.

                                Afterward, I think we'll all go to the barn. I will seek comfort with my new boy, and my eldest I'm sure will want to go spend time with our (really, his) mini.


                                3 1/2 hours to go.
                                SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
                                CP Trilogy 2002-2015
                                My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Hugs from Loki, Dice, Star and me. Will be thinking of you guys later.
                                  The Evil Chem Prof

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Jingles for you both! Godspeed.
                                    McDowell Racing Stables

                                    Home Away From Home

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      {{hugs}} I went through this with a 16yo cat earlier this year. She was so arthritic, and and couldn't keep down any of the meds. When she tried jumping on the couch and couldn't make it, and then went and hid in the corner with that *look*, I called it a day...
                                      "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        UGH this is brutal. I have been trying to spend extra cuddle time with him, and he just wants food and water.

                                        My son just gave Inigo a handful of treats, which was eagerly consumed. He then went to the water bowl to drink, and drink, and drink...then when I looked back a few minutes later, he was drinking again.

                                        I guess it's just helping confirm how bad off he is.
                                        SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
                                        CP Trilogy 2002-2015
                                        My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie

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