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Senior Cat - Kidney Disease/Gum Disease (FIV+)

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Baymax, Sep 12, 2018.


  1. Baymax

    Baymax PetForums Newbie

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    Hi everyone,

    We have a senior FIV+ boy who we adopted 4 years ago from a rescue - he came from a rescue in Romania originally so we are not sure exactly how old he is, but he’s been through the wars a bit! We suspect he’s now around 15yo.

    Within the first year, he started drooling and his breath smelt - the vet said he had bad gum disease and that all teeth should be taken out. We went ahead with the procedure but they left in two teeth as these were not affected at the time. They found a slight issue with his kidneys but said it’s common in older cats and that gum disease could be contributing.

    A few months ago we noticed him dribbling again sometimes in the hot weather, but didn’t think much of it (kicking ourselves now) - until one day there was a lot of blood around the house and he had to be rushed to the vets. The vet said his back tooth was wobbly, sore, and needs removing. He must’ve dislodged it eating dry kibble. This hasn’t happened since we changed him to wet food only...

    We agreed and took him in for the procedure, but got a phone call after they took the bloods to say that putting him under was extremely high risk and the chances of him pulling through were minimal - and even if he did pull through, his body might not cope afterwards. They also told us that his kidneys are in an extremely bad way and his white blood cell count is poor (he is anemic). They gave him a number of weeks to live whether he has the tooth out or not, which was hard to take in.

    Given that he seems himself, is eating and drinking well, and honestly we were not prepared to never see him again if he didn’t pull through, we decided not to go through with the extraction of the one tooth and to have him home where we now need to monitor him and make the decision of when to put him to sleep (assuming the advise of the vet was true and he has a number of weeks before renal failure catches up with him).

    I’m now worried that we should’ve taken the risk and I feel selfish for not putting him through the tooth extraction. He’s showing no signs of pain but the tooth is wobbly and he’s still dribbling a little. I’ve read that cats are good at hiding pain and it’s difficult to know the best thing to do, especially as we now don’t know how long he’s got left and whether he’s in any physical pain.

    Ideally we wanted the extraction to go ahead so he had no discomfort, even if he only had a few weeks to live with the kidney failure anyway, but the idea of not bringing him home all of a sudden was too much and we weren’t prepared for it.

    Should we risk the anaesthetic? Would the one back tooth be causing him pain? Does anyone have any tips on when to make “the decision” with cats with advanced kidney disease? He’s not showing signs at the moment, but we are taking every day as it comes - as soon as he shows signs of deterioration I think we will make the decision then.

    Sorry for the extremely long post. It’s all a bit of a shock and come suddenly. Any advise would be appreciated as we are trying to do the best thing for our boy. :)

    (Photos are from when he was taken in from the streets vs a year after being at home with us ❤️ )
     

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    #1 Baymax, Sep 12, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  2. Charity

    Charity Endangered Species

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    This is a really hard decision to make. He looks a beautiful boy who's last four years must have seemed like heaven in comparison to his old life. I don't really know what to tell you but I think if he seems happy in himself and is still eating and drinking and his quality of life is still reasonably good, then, if it were me, I would let things ride at the moment, I wouldn't risk the anaesthetic. If the vet had given a better prognosis then it might be different. I think if he were in a lot of pain with the tooth he wouldn't be eating happily. I've had an FIV boy and there comes a point when their poor immune system overwhelms them and they become very poorly and you know then its the right time to let them go.
     
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  3. HappyKitty

    HappyKitty PetForums Junior

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    The photos are lovely and you should be proud you've given him a lovely home in his final years.

    Our boy had fast progressing CKD, he'd had a couple of blood tests before it showed up on results and within eight weeks we had to have him pts. During his time with CKD we found out he needed a dental and we chose to let him enjoy whatever time he had without too many traumatic visits to the vet (unless needed) and just to relax in his own home. CKD got him in the end, but if he'd become miserable with his teeth, then we'd have let him go.

    I know it's so hard making the decision. I suppose you have to decide if it's worth the risk to keep him 100% comfy in his mouth, or whether you want him to enjoy his last weeks relaxing and you know you've got time to build up memories and you'll probably have a few days when you'll know the time is coming and can prepare.
     
  4. Baymax

    Baymax PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you all for your words and support, it has helped massively over the last difficult couple of days.

    Just an update, Baymax had another trip to the vets today after experiencing body trembles/shaking last night and today. He also seemed in some discomfort with his mouth and not himself, some more dribble and sleepy. The vet said his mouth is bleeding and inflamed so will be causing him some pain, unfortunately the antibiotics haven’t worked. They advised against the anaesthetic again for dental and said they couldn’t do anything but offer him a 24 hour painkiller.

    I wish we would’ve spotted it earlier and maybe we would’ve had a bit longer with him, but there’s no knowing now. At this rate we think it’s inevitable that he will be pts at some point over the weekend once we are ready (you’re never really ready, are you?!) as we can’t keep pumping him with painkillers every day and the vets are saying no to dental. It is not the CKD that’s caught up with him just yet but we don’t want him in pain with his mouth, either. There doesn’t seem to be another way.

    Thank you all for your kind words again. ❤️
     
  5. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    He's lovely, such a lovely fat face like an old tomcat I had who was FIV+. Is he on steroids? You've given him four lovely years, you should be proud of that. Life in Romania was probably awful.
     
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  6. Charity

    Charity Endangered Species

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    I'm so sorry its come quicker than you expected. He's had precious years with you and now you can do the final kindness when you think its the right time. Thinking of you.
     
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  7. Baymax

    Baymax PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you so much. No, he’s on no steroids, only the 24hr painkiller - the vet wasn’t confident that it would work as they think his kidneys are too weak, but he’s come home purring and playing. It’s a shame his mouth has got so bad that it’s come to this. He’s had a very spoilt life and knows he’s loved, I hope he knows we will be making the decision because we care about him being out of any pain.
     
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  8. HappyKitty

    HappyKitty PetForums Junior

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    Trembling and shaking can be caused by high levels of phosphorus, usually common in late stage CKD. My boy wasn't right with his CKD for three days before he was pts, on day 2 I just looked at him and felt he hadn't enjoyed the day/got anything out of it. He had red raw gums, and as I said before we decided to let him have whatever time he had left being able to relax at home rather than put him through treatment.

    It sounds like the CKD is beating him, so you're right not to put him through an operation. Take whatever time you have to build up memories, let him relax in his loving home and decide how you'd like the end to be, at home, or vets (I took my boy to the vet as that's what he was used to and wanted to keep it as normal as possible, other people prefer at home). Also, whether you want cremated, to bury him. Sounds silly, but he'd been sleeping on our old quilt cover, so I took it and let him pass away on it.
     
  9. Baymax

    Baymax PetForums Newbie

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    Baymax was pts yesterday after the painkillers started to wear off, he chose to be by himself in the garden all day. Was quite playful in the morning but no purring (photo). He vomited about an hour before the vet came to our home, and began licking the soil and acting strangely - no purring and wouldn’t come and sit with us which is very out of character.

    When the vet came, they gave him no sedative to our surprise, so there was a bit of a struggle and a cry for help, but his heart gave up immediately after the injection went in to his paw. He lay in the garden with us for a few moment after he had passed. I feel awful that his last few seconds on earth were not peaceful, but he is pain free now. I’m trying to forget the image of his last moments. We chose to put him to sleep in the sunshine in our garden, where he seemed to have chosen.

    Thank you all for the kind messages and support throughout the difficult week we had. The house seems empty and quiet now and we will always miss our special boy.
     

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  10. HappyKitty

    HappyKitty PetForums Junior

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    So sorry to hear your sad news.

    Try not to think too much about his last few minutes. A sedative might not have helped, our girl went easier without one, our boy had one and the whole thing didn't feel relaxed.

    We'd already made the decision but our boy was sick before as well and started constantly licking his lips.

    It's so hard to make that final decision, but I think it was truly the right time for Baymax. He spent his last day was spent in his garden in the sun and you gave him a good life, try and hold onto that

    rip Baymax
     
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  11. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

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    @Baymax
    Lovely photo of your boy in the garden.
    You gave him happy years with a full belly and love.
     
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  12. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    Sorry to hear this. He looked lovely XXXX.
     
  13. TriTri

    TriTri Standing up for cats

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    Sorry to hear your sad news. He was ultimately a lucky boy in finding you. RIP dear Baymax xx
     
  14. Charity

    Charity Endangered Species

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    I'm so sorry. Sweet dreams Baymax, lovely boy x
     
  15. ebonycat

    ebonycat PetForums VIP

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    I’m so sorry, run free at the bridge sweet boy
    Thinking of you x
     
  16. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    I'm so sorry to hear your sad news about your lovely boy Baymax.

    Bless you for rescuing him from a miserable street life in Romania and giving him so much love and care for his last years of life.

    Thinking of you with sympathy.

    RIP dear Baymax xx
     
  17. Amanda Sturdy

    Amanda Sturdy PetForums Junior

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    So very sad but no more suffering for dear Baymax xx
     
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