how do you know when to let them go?

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by nelson6, Apr 24, 2012.


  1. nelson6

    nelson6 PetForums Member

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    i have one poorly cat....i got him to prevent him being put to sleep as a stray after an RTA where he lost an eye. still having problems from that 8 years on as in nerve endings making him scratch. he has cystitis, kidneys are getting worse, bleeding hocks and front joints where he sleeps so much, very dandruffy/dry skin. he is also losing weight. he doesnt seem to have much quality of life and his only pleasures in life are sunbathing and me.
    how do you know when theyve had enough, how do you read the signs they give you?
    all advice greatly appreciated.
     
  2. nicolaa123

    nicolaa123 Riley

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    Oh gosh that's one of the hardest choices to make and very hard to advise, but you will know when its the right time, for me it would be when they are suffering and have no quality of life and only being kept alive by meds etc..such a hard thing to do but always just think would they be better being kindly put to sleep or kept alive
     
  3. Ally-Kats

    Ally-Kats PetForums VIP

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    You just know, I saw it in the eyes, they just look so sad and tired, quality of life is a must, if they don't have this then it is time. Hardest thing to do for them but the kindest, I too have a poorly cat so I understand how you feel right now and how hard it is to even think about :)
     
  4. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    Firstly, how old is your cat? What stage is the kidney disease and what are the current treatments and medications? What does your current vet think?

    My own rule of thumb is when no more can be done medically ( and I'm not necessarily referring to invasive, painful testing ) to treat or alleviate symptoms. It's worth knowing that some conditions that are dismissed as being 'due to old age' for instance, are very treatable. It amazes me sometimes to read on here how easily some vets appear to given up on older animals, while thankfully others ( like mine! ) are far more pro-active. So in other words, it is entirely possible to improve quality of life by selecting good veterinary care.
     
  5. nelson6

    nelson6 PetForums Member

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    we think he is about 10. most of his issues come from the RTA, hes had plenty of operations, but doest recover so well after them now. he is a very stressy cat, so finds everything except my homecoming at the end of the day a trial. he sleeps 22 hrs out of 24, but thats been tricky recently as he has to wear a collar because of the scabs on his hocks - heave him foe a nanno second and hes at them and theres blood everywhere - then he really gets distressed.
    he looks like he has a hangover a lot of the time.
    hes my baby and id do anything for him to be well, but not at the cost of his own distress. he is more important than that.
     
  6. MontyMaude

    MontyMaude PetForums VIP

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    I think deep down you know when it's the right time, I am a great believer in the phrase that better a day too early than a day too late.

    Sorry you are having to face this choice, it is one of the hardest things we have to do as a pet owner but ultimately it can be the kindest thing too.
     
  7. SiobhanG

    SiobhanG PetForums Member

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    It's always a heart breaking decision but I've been fortunate to have a wonderful vet that I trust entirely. When he tells me there is little left that can be done, I take his advice. He's always told me in advance so that I have a while to prepare myself to make the decision and come to terms with it.

    Unfortunately, with my last dog it was a much quicker deterioration and the decision had to be made asap. it was as though he had just given up and had nothing left at all. His character was completely different and it broke my heart to see him so flat.

    You will absolutely know when the time is right. I would have felt guilty if I hadn't made the call when I did and made him continue suffering.
     
  8. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    So what operations has he had so far? Sounds to me there's something else going on here as well, as yet undiagnosed-the lethargy and sleeping are a concern. When was the last time he saw the vet? Had a bloodtest? How is his appetite etc?

    I do wonder if he's actually older than you believe he is.
     
  9. yeahuloveme

    yeahuloveme PetForums Member

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    from what you are saying, I would think if they were mine, that time has come, I put off having my kitten put down, as I could not bare to think that he was really suffering and that they would be able to fix him, in the end I put him down before his final results ever came back! it was horrible as his viens has collapsed and they kept trying to get a vien and he was crying, and I know I added to his suffering.

    only you can decide as only you can see him, but if you think he is suffering then be kind and book them in
     
  10. JordanRose

    JordanRose Master of the Whingey Cat.

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    I know it's naff advice really but you will just know.

    With Molly, she had cancer and had been living perfectly happily with it for a while, then the steroids seemed to stop working and she was holding herself very carefully. She was struggling to jump onto the sofa as the tumour had clearly become very uncomfortable. She was irritable and couldn't get comfy. Plus, she was hiding a lot and wasn't sure about whether to go out or come in.

    It's quite easy to think for example: 'well, they're purring, so must be okay', but there comes a time when you feel you're being selfish by keeping them alive. Molly purred right up to the moment she finally slipped away, and although it broke my heart (I'm blubbing writing this! :( ), it made me feel as though she was thanking me for making that decision.

    She was unhappy and wasn't going to get better, and I couldn't bear to watch her deteriorate any more. She was my world, and to see her in pain was just awful.

    It's one of the hardest decisions to have to make, but trust me. You'll know when the time is right. Sending you lots of love at this terrible time xXx
     
  11. yeahuloveme

    yeahuloveme PetForums Member

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    I agree, and I was crying my eyes out when I wrote mine, and yes I am welling up again now, charlie was purring to, but was sleeping so much, and could not jump just knew we could not make him continue
     
  12. JordanRose

    JordanRose Master of the Whingey Cat.

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    I will never ever forget that day. The way she looked into my eyes through the whole procedure- I know it sounds silly but it was as if she was smiling again, like she was thanking me for helping her cross the bridge. She purred right up to the end and then the spark went from her eyes :(

    It's just so difficult isn't it? I felt like I'd lost a limb afterwards but have never regretted it, as she was so poorly. It sounds like the same was true of your boy ((hugs)) x
     
  13. nelson6

    nelson6 PetForums Member

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    Saw vet a week ago for his booster and cartrophen injection. He has always been a sleepy boy, got him when he was 3 (we think) and he had been a stray for quite a while. Bloods done January showing kidney counts high, so on renal food, which he dislikes but eats eventually. Ive been told no tit bits, just stick to renal. So he isn't eating a great deal. Only likes the dried food, only pees twice a day and poos every couple now.
    I've always thought he's a bit older, looks a bit tatty, but top coat is growing back a bit.
     
  14. nelson6

    nelson6 PetForums Member

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    Saw vet a week ago for his booster and cartrophen injection. He has always been a sleepy boy, got him when he was 3 (we think) and he had been a stray for quite a while. Bloods done January showing kidney counts high, so on renal food, which he dislikes but eats eventually. Ive been told no tit bits, just stick to renal. So he isn't eating a great deal. Only likes the dried food, only pees twice a day and poos every couple now.
    I've always thought he's a bit older, looks a bit tatty, but top coat is growing back a bit.He had some teeth work done end of last year and the recovery from the anaesthetic was awful, took ages.
     
  15. nelson6

    nelson6 PetForums Member

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    Saw vet a week ago for his booster and cartrophen injection. He has always been a sleepy boy, got him when he was 3 (we think) and he had been a stray for quite a while. Bloods done January showing kidney counts higher so on renal food, which he dislikes but eats eventually. Ive been told no tit bits, just stick to renal. So he isn't eating a great deal. Only likes the dried food, only pees twice a day and poos every couple now.
    I've always thought he's a bit older, looks a bit tatty, but top coat is growing back a bit.He had some teeth work done end of last year and the recovery from the anaesthetic was awful, took ages.
     
  16. JordanRose

    JordanRose Master of the Whingey Cat.

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    Bless him- he sounds like he's lucky to have found you, after being a stray for so long :)

    There's loads of strays around here and I always feel so bad for them- we took one in that had got trapped in a boarded up house but he/she was very aggressive towards the two cats we already had so off they went to the RSPCA. I often wonder about that cat...

    I'm sure you'll do what's best for your little dude. He does sound like he's got lots of problems, poor boy :( x
     
  17. ella

    ella PetForums VIP

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    With my lad, I always said I would fight for as long as he did - he battled on for 8 months and the vet tried everything to get a diagnosis. (It turned out to be a cancer.)

    Henry had been ill before and fought back, but the last time he looked like he had run out of 'puff' - lost that spark, and didnt want to fight any more. That's when I knew...

    If a cat is still trying to fight, and still has a quality of life, I would keep going
     
  18. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    Firstly, vaccinations should only be carried out on healthy cats and frankly I'm surprised your vet actually gave him the booster. Older cats have build up an immunity over the years anyway. I no longer have any vacs for my oldies. However, if he's only urinating about twice a day it sounds to me that his levels aren't that elevated. Do you know the exact values? I'm also more than a bit concerned about the long recovery (what exactly do you mean by this?) following the dental.....fir they run bloodwork before the op and were his kidneys OK before this by any chance?

    It is extremely important he eats. If he's refusing the renal food, supplement it with his usual wet diet. While it's important to limit phosphorous high foods it's more important he eats well.

    My advice consists of two things

    1) I would join the following excellent forum for people with CRF cats. These people are managing this condition on a daily basis and can advise you more.

    tanyas-crf-support : Tanya's Feline CRF Support Group

    2) Change vets! I've a strong feeling your current ones are missing something here.
     
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