How to decide when it's time to let go...
- What is the deciding factor, for you, for euthanizing a HCM cat?
Merlin was diagnosed in June '06. He did fine until Aug. '07, when
he went into congestive heart failure and spent 48 hours in the vet
hospital. In the past month he's had his chest tapped twice, 2/3rds
of a cup of fluid and over a cup of fluid removed on the two
occasions, two weeks apart. Since he's been home from the second
chest-tapping incident (which absolutely terrifies and terrorizes him)
he hasn't had much appetite. He had a few lethargic days, too. He's
perked up, but he's just not interested in eating. He's on six
different meds every 12 hours. I love this cat dearly, but this is so
intense, expensive, and exhausting, and I definitely do not want him
to suffer. But I don't want to dispatch him for convenience's sake,
either. So for those who have fought this battle in the
past...how/when did you decide to let go?
If Merlin is still being "perky" and still is eating, although right
now he's not eating much, at least he's still wanting to eat, I'd
hang in there. He might be nauseated from some of the medications,
especially if he's not eating much, meds on a not so full tummy can
make one nauseated.
What all is he getting? Are you giving him any supplements? CoQ10,
Taurine, DMG, Nattokinase (for clots) or L-carnitine?
Can you increase his Lasix for a bit to see if that perks him up
some.? Does he have any kidney problems too? You should talk to
your vet about increasing his Lasix first before you do, in case
there's any kidney issues there.
I ask myself this same question everytime one of my babies has been
sick. I especially went through a terrible time with it with my
angel Sweetie in 2003. She was a kidney/heart kitty and balancing
the two diseases was hard and there were times when I thought I
should let her go...then she'd perk up and I figured she was telling
me that she wasn't ready yet.
Try to step back from the situation, not easy I know... and observe
Merlin's behavior, given what he's going through at that time. Like
not wanting to eat from one day to the next, can be something
that'll come and go. Some days Sweetie would eat great, others not
at all. I'd have to try to not panic on those days and remember
that this disease goes up and down so often. Sweetie would have
congestive heart failure "attacks"...she'd open mouth breath and I'd
think she'd be leaving me... then she'd survive them and be okay
again. She had three of those over the course of her last 6 months,
and each time it would happen, I said my goodbyes to her, thinking
she'd be going any moment. But she surprised me and everyone, and
each time decided to stay. In the end it wasn't her heart that gave
out, it was her kidneys.
But anyway, what I'm trying to say is that you know Merlin better
than anyone, and your hearts are connected. You'll know when it's
time. I know that sounds cliche', but it's really true. The morning
that I was going to "let Sweetie go", she decided to go on her own.
I knew and she knew that was the day.
I would talk to the vet and if it's okay, try increasing the Lasix
for a day or two. I'd also ask the vet about Spironolactone. It's
another diuretic, but acts on a different kind of fluid. Our angel
Chris took both Lasix and Spiro and being on both seemed to help him.
We'll keep you and Merlin in our thoughts and prayers.
Carol and Puddy Boo Punkie MeanMama Misty Snowball and Chelsea
(angels Fritzy Sweetie Ducky Bouncer Muffy and Chris)
"I know you're there...a breath away's not far to where you are."