Re:Looking for answers
- Hi Cynthia
YOu have nothing whatsoever to blame yourself for. Someone on this list
once told me early on that a prolonged life should never be a prolonged death.
I would have done exactly the same and kidney failure is a painful and
terminal illness at that stage. His low dose medications would not have caused
kidney failure like that, but more likely the heart disease.
You can't treat both and you gave Caleb a couple of years of life that were
precious and wonderful. RCM is not easy to treat and does not carry a good
prognosis and if he had several wonderful years I would say you did all
you could and more.
We all have to face that choice. My 19yr old Arnie went to vet for
'spitting out food and weight loss'. He had thyroid and various other problems..
the vet showed me a tumor in the roof of his mouth. I could have made the
choice to use painkillers and assisted feeding but for Arnie that was no life.
It was a terminal illness and we gave him the last act of kindness we
could. I still question that decision, but know in my heart it was the right
Guilt is a natural part of grieving. You're a special person, Cynthia and
my thoughts and prayers are with you as Caleb passes to the bridge.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Still so confused about what happened with Houdini. The vet couldn't
find any obvious cause of death and is looking to see if she can get
some biopsies done.
This is what I remember from the conversation with the vet Friday
night (she woke me up): She had an enlarged heart, gall bladder
stones and her liver was mottled. I don't think she found anything in
her throat to cause the little gagging issue she had. I'll have to
double check on the possible embolism to her lungs, the vet had been
concerned about it but I think what she said last night was that she
didn't see any evidence.
I talked to the vet who did the cleaning yesterday. He'd been beating
himself up since our talks on Friday before I brought her in,
thinking maybe he should have done the hyper-t treatment first for a
couple of months. But he felt her numbers were not that bad and her
teeth and gums were horrible. She lost a number of teeth when he
touched them, to the point where he didn't consider them an
extraction. He's been doing dentals (and other surgeries for over 30
years) and he's done this before. He said other than her jumping
around a bit when they took her out of the cage before the cleaning,
everything went well and it was actually a very quick cleaning. She's
feral so the jumping is to be expected, hell I warned him about claws
as her brother shredded his arms a couple of years ago! Her heart
rate was a little fast when he examined her Sunday but again, to be
expected as it was the first time she had been out of the house in 17
years! Car ride, dogs barking in the background, strange people - oh
my! It was NOT irregular on Sunday but was when I brought her in
She was given a reversible anesthesia (sorry, I don't know more than
that but I've seen it mentioned.) She had gotten a long-lasting
antibiotic shot on Sunday when we were in the office. She got
Buprenex (sp) Thursday for pain, but nothing came home with us.
Sunday she also got a shot for inflammation for her gums.
They called Thursday at 3:45 to say she was waking up and I could
pick her up around 5. We didn't get there till about 7:30 so she was
under their observation till then. She was on her feet when they
brought her to us in the carrier. When we got her home, she paced the
entire house multiple times, seemed a bit groggy and weak and didn't
want to settle down for long, but she was walking and managing the
stairs, up and down. She did seem to drink (she drinks using her paw
so she can make quite the mess, I wiped the hall twice). I gave her
wet food mixed with water which she didn't touch. They told me she'd
likely be groggy and disoriented. I cleaned her litter box and found
a little poop in it not long after.
We have a carpeted board hanging off the basement landing and she was
on that for a bit, then upstairs, then down. All over really.
In hindsight maybe I should've closed the basement door, but again
with her being feral, the basement was her safe place. Any time I
closed that door with her upstairs, it would send her into a panic
and I didn't want that. I could however lock her down there and she'd
be fine. We have another adopted cat that was abused in her past life
and she's the same, any change like that just freaks them out. I
didn't want to stress her any more.
My bf got up at 4:30 Friday morning and found her in the basement
behind the washer. She actually meowed to him as he was calling her
name. She was still there when I got up. I put food and water near
her and left the house for two hours, and when I came back she was
still back there. I then placed her on a folded fleece when she
refused to stay in front of it on a towel. She had drunk but I doubt
she ate. I think this was when I went up to send you guys my first
message and in that 15 mins she came out from behind the washer,
threw up (only time) and then went back. I went to my other job and
came back around 1 and decided to bring her upstairs and stay home
for the day after seeing her try to jump on the couch and miss as she
had no strength. She was moving around better earlier in the morning
although she didn't want to - if I put her in front of the washer,
she'd scurry in the back again.
In the couple of hours before I brought her in, she went from having
a gasp/gag/couch every couple of minutes which I (and the vet)
thought was the cough they told me she may have from the tube. She
didn't have it the night before. I brought her in when it became
every breath and turned into open mouthed breathing. After being in
the oxygen cage for over an hour, that turned back into once every
couple of minutes and she was not open mouth breathing anymore. Even
once seeing it, the vet felt that something had happened to her
throat. She had put an numbing agent on it in hopes of helping that
ease but it never fully went away.
Could this be a delayed reaction to the anesthesia? I'd have thought
it would have happened sooner. I just don't know what to think. I am
heartbroken to think that I hurt her by trying to clean her teeth,
which I have done to other cats that needed it, even old ones! She's
just been my smallest. And she was probably just 17, as I found them
summer of 1996 and they were a few months old then.
It stuns me to realize that just a week ago, we were joking about her
first trip outside. She was a relatively healthy cat, skinny and
vocal, but still full of piss and vinegar and jumping on the
counters, bed, cabinets. My bf had to hold her from jumping on a
hanging wall unit at the vet. And 5 days later I watched her go
downhill, and I caused it.
Any comments would be so much appreciated. I'm trying to learn from
this. I had promised myself no heroic efforts for her or her brothers
but my options last week seemed to be clean her teeth & rub a gel in
her ears when she graced me with her presence, put her to sleep as
she wasn't eating much, or bring her home and watch her waste away to
nothing. Option 1 seemed like the best one at the time and she seemed
to be so much better with letting us handle her. It all seemed to
fall into place, we caught her Sunday, I caught her Thursday etc. The
vet gave me an open appointment - whenever I could catch her again
I'd bring her in on a Thursday, so I didn't need to bring her in the
other day, it just all worked. But now she's gone and I feel I did
her so wrong. She sure didn't deserve this for her last day. :(