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How he died question

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  • Debra Yarrington
    I know this is morbid and I shouldn t dwell on it, but I just really need to know. When Putney died, he was confused. He tried to get off my bed by going over
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 5, 2003
      I know this is morbid and I shouldn't dwell on it, but I just really
      need to know.
      When Putney died, he was confused. He tried to get off my bed by going
      over the headboard. He crashed into my nightstand and fell to the floor,
      where he gave out 3 loud and long uncomfortable meows. He kind of
      staggered for a few steps. Then he arched his back and stretched out his
      paws as far as he could. And he was dead. There were a few unevenly
      spaced and lengthily spaced sucking in of air, but I think they were just
      body spasms.

      Does it sound like he had a heart attack? A stroke? A blood clot that went
      somewhere it shouldn't? A seizure? What killed him? If it was a seizure,
      why did it kill him? Why did he die?

      I'd appreciate any answers. It's just one of those things - I just feel
      like I
      need to know.
      Thank you.
      -Debra
    • peteycat9
      Hi Debra. I don t know if I can answer your question on what happened to Putney, but I understand the quest to figure it all out. My Checkers died in much the
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 5, 2003
        Hi Debra. I don't know if I can answer your question on what
        happened to Putney, but I understand the quest to figure it all out.
        My Checkers died in much the same manner except my guy survived
        another day before falling into a coma. Like Putney, he awoken us
        with a horrible sounding yowl. I had never heard that kind of noise
        come out of a cat and it's a sound I will never forget. I didn't
        know it at the time, but Checkers had just had a seizure (we would
        find the evidence later on because he had lost complete bladder and
        bowel control at that spot). He was panting wildly with his eyes
        completely dialated. We rushed him to a vet hospital where his
        breathing was stabilized. It was the first time we were to learn our
        cat had this terrible heart disase and was only a year and a half
        old! After spending a day in the hospital, he would go on to have 2
        more seizures that would put him into a coma. We were then faced
        with the awful decision to release him from his suffering. I too
        wondered exactly why my cat had these seizures and why he lapsed into
        coma. He showed no real symptoms of HCM until that last fateful day
        of
        his life and it was only during the necropsy that his diseased heart
        was discovered. The vets just speculated that it was a shower of
        clots that went to his brain causing all the neurological symptoms,
        but this finding was never proven. I'm so sorry that you are
        struggling with all the "whys", just like I did. It's a horrible
        feeling and I wonder if we do this because we have some notion we
        could have prevented their untimely death. I know what it's like to
        try and comprehend losing a cat this way. I just wanted to assure
        you that you are not alone with your feelings. I too used to post
        questions to this forum after Checkers died, trying in vane to
        understand "why". I do believe the more knowledge you gain, the more
        you will understand that Putney just had a disease that just doesn't
        play fair. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers during
        this difficult time. Take care.
        Love,
        Petey

        --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, Debra Yarrington <yarringt@a...>
        wrote:
        > I know this is morbid and I shouldn't dwell on it, but I just
        really
        > need to know.
        > When Putney died, he was confused. He tried to get off my bed by
        going
        > over the headboard. He crashed into my nightstand and fell to the
        floor,
        > where he gave out 3 loud and long uncomfortable meows. He kind of
        > staggered for a few steps. Then he arched his back and stretched
        out his
        > paws as far as he could. And he was dead. There were a few
        unevenly
        > spaced and lengthily spaced sucking in of air, but I think they
        were just
        > body spasms.
        >
        > Does it sound like he had a heart attack? A stroke? A blood clot
        that went
        > somewhere it shouldn't? A seizure? What killed him? If it was a
        seizure,
        > why did it kill him? Why did he die?
        >
        > I'd appreciate any answers. It's just one of those things - I just
        feel
        > like I
        > need to know.
        > Thank you.
        > -Debra
      • Sally J.Smith
        Dear Debra, I know acutely how difficult this is for you...I obsessed for nearly a year on the last few moments of my Muffin s passing...he too passed over at
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 5, 2003
          Dear Debra,


          I know acutely how difficult this is for you...I obsessed for
          nearly a year on the last few moments of my Muffin's passing...he too
          passed over at home and in a manner similar to your Putney...but
          whether it was the same exact thing or not, we will never know.

          My vet said that she suspected that Muffin's event was a massive
          arrythmia (not sure of the spelling) which sent him into confusion,
          agitation and spasm and finally expiring. It all happened very quickly
          (though it seemed like ages at the time) and it was terribly shocking
          and traumatic for me for it looked like he was struggling and possibly
          in pain...my vet tried to reassure me that he was most likely already
          slipping away moments after the initial symptoms, but the memory did
          have a searing effect and it took me a long, long time to get free of
          the guilty feelings I couldn't even admit I had!

          What helped me were these things:

          -talking to my vet about the event and asking all my questions...yes,
          most vets will still talk to you after your cat has died...after all,
          they too have lost a friend.

          -talking with an animal communicator...this is a very personal
          decision and some people don't believe in what they do but it helped
          me a lot

          -a chunk of rose quartz held to my heart whenever I would feel that
          dread and terror of those moments in my memory

          -every time the terrible movie would play in my head I'd ask for help
          in a prayer...I'd ask to be released from my fear, anguish and
          guilt...I'd remind myself that he went quickly and at home....what we
          all wanted.

          -finally, but most importantly, I eventually just HAD to forgive
          myself...I had to let go and pray to somehow forgive myself...and
          somehow, the Grace came to relieve me...but as I said it took me
          nearly a year (I always was extra stubborn!)

          When I read your story about Putney I cried too and knew how
          terrible it must have been for you...and I know you know this, but I
          think that Putney really wanted to be at home and with you when his
          time came...
          he could have lingered far longer or gone much sooner at the vets but
          in fact he made his escape rather quickly it seems and at home...and
          that you got to be with him for several hours beforehand...well, that
          was a precious gift that frequently we don't get to have....thank
          goodness you had that!

          I don't mean to offend anyone here but my beliefs are that by some
          mystery that we cannot know from this perspective, every aspect of our
          relationship and life with our companion animals has the deepest
          spiritual aspects to it and that everything that happens does so for a
          reason...even though we may not always know that reason. I also
          believe that some animals need to leave here while in the company of
          their human friends and that some need to slip out of this earthly
          life on their own, away from their humans. Some need a fast exit and
          some need a slow and lingering/gentle farewell. The thing is for us to
          learn to accept that we must do all we can but in the end, our
          creatures DO have their own course to chart and their own way of doing
          things and we must accept that...and we must trust that whatever does
          happen happens for the best. I also know that passage out of these
          bodies and this physical realm is not "the end"...that there often is
          some "disorientation" at the time of passing is not so unreasonable if
          you think about it...the Spirit is moving from one realm to another so
          I beleive it is natural that we can sometimes sense some confusion at
          the moment of passing...but it's only momentary.

          For those of us still here, the work of letting go and loving
          still but in a different way, is hard. The grieving is hard and the
          getting over the shock and loss takes time...but it DOES get better
          eventually...I promise. Don't worry about being "obsessive"...it's a
          natural part of the grieving...I know that you will get all that you
          need to help you thru this difficult process...to just keep asking
          for that help is the most important thing.

          Take care....

          Sally
        • jenanddeagan
          Hello Debra, I have been keeping you and Putney in my mind for the last few days, I hope this may help a little bit. What generally happens in cardiac arrest
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 6, 2003
            Hello Debra,

            I have been keeping you and Putney in my mind for the last few
            days, I hope this may help a little bit.

            What generally happens in cardiac arrest or sudden death, is the
            heart stops beating properly, and cannot continue to push out the
            blood. Usually in CHF or renal failure, this sudden change in the
            heart's rhythm is a result of hypoxia (no oxygen) or acidosis (when
            the blood becomes acid because of ongoing problems). The heart's
            arrhythmmia is usually PEA or pulseless electrical activity. When
            this happens, the heart's electrical system continues to work but the
            mechanical pumping action stops. The first result of this is the
            oxygen supply to the brain stops. The vocalizing or yowling is a
            hypoxic response in the brain stem, it is not a sign of pain or fear,
            just a reflex reaction to the lack of oxygen. The seizure activity
            is a result of the lack of oxygen in the brain, we call it a hypoxic
            seizure. Again, it is the brain's reaction to the lack of oxygen,
            not a painful or distressing event for Putney, he would not have been
            aware of what was going on. The seizure is a result of his heart
            stopping and not the cause of his death. The gasping respirations are
            called agonal breathing and occurs because the breathing reflex is
            very low down in the brain stem which is the last part of the brain
            to die. It occurs in every cardiac arrest that I have witnessed, and
            as you said is basically just body spasms. In HCM, the cardiac
            failure is almost always due to the failure of the pumping action of
            the heart because of the tremendous size of the left ventricle. A
            stroke is a possiblity, but Putney's reactions would be very unusual
            stroke symptoms in my experience with people.
            I hope this can ease your mind slightly. All of the reactions
            that Putney had were reflexes of his brain, not conscious actions.
            In humans it take less than 10 seconds between the heart stopping,
            and their complete loss of awareness. Sudden cardiac arrest due to
            heart failure is not painful and is very quick. (I have been told
            this by people whose hearts have stopped that we have managed to get
            started again).

            My thoughts are with you and we will all be there as you move
            through the grieving process.

            jen


            --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, Debra Yarrington <yarringt@a...>
            wrote:
            > I know this is morbid and I shouldn't dwell on it, but I just
            really
            > need to know.
            > When Putney died, he was confused. He tried to get off my bed by
            going
            > over the headboard. He crashed into my nightstand and fell to the
            floor,
            > where he gave out 3 loud and long uncomfortable meows. He kind of
            > staggered for a few steps. Then he arched his back and stretched
            out his
            > paws as far as he could. And he was dead. There were a few
            unevenly
            > spaced and lengthily spaced sucking in of air, but I think they
            were just
            > body spasms.
            >
            > Does it sound like he had a heart attack? A stroke? A blood clot
            that went
            > somewhere it shouldn't? A seizure? What killed him? If it was a
            seizure,
            > why did it kill him? Why did he die?
            >
            > I'd appreciate any answers. It's just one of those things - I just
            feel
            > like I
            > need to know.
            > Thank you.
            > -Debra
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