Re: [FH] Bastet - Euthanasia questions
- Dear pat
How are things now
Very best wishes
Christina n karma
On Mon, 26 Sep 2011 01:21 BST Patricia Crawford wrote:
>Thank you henna and Judi -- I know these are specific and personal decisions, but I feel so out to sea. I clearly see Bastet's will to live and have seen it all her life (I guess she and Leo are cut from the same cloth). Some of her vets have mentioned that she obviously wants to stay.
>I too am filled with fear about the process and the outcome even though I know at this stage, there is little I can do to change it much. I know intellecturally I can't get too attached to that desire that she dies peacefully in her sleep, because the odds of that happening are remote and I have to be prepared for different endings. What I don't want to do is cause more stress or discomfort for Bastet, and I need to keep reminding myself that I am operating from that principle, but it's not straight forward.
>I have yet to know that 'look'. I thought I saw it yesterday, and then she picked herself up and went to her food bowls and ate dry food and drank water with tongue lapping which I hadn't seen for almost two weeks. But today she's back to just splashing the water around and refusing food and clamping her jaws shut and spitting out pills. She went to the vet today for a re-check and fluids and she has lost a pound since last Thursday. So euphoria last night has turned back to anxiety and despair.
>This is so hard. My stomach and intestines are in knots and I've lost ten pounds in two weeks myself.
>Thanks for your wise and thoughtful responses and to everyone else who has written me on and off the list. I find people's personal experiences and insights very helpful.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Leo Wempu <leowempu@...>
>Date: Sunday, September 25, 2011 4:58 am
>Subject: Re: [FH] Bastet - Euthanasia questions
>To: Judi Levens <casaobelisco@...>
>Cc: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> I agree with trusting your instincts. You're are the one person
>> who knows Bastet best.
>> I think about the possibility of a painful death for my Leo
>> every day. When he was first diagnosed I was actually paralyzed
>> by fear. If it will happen like that, I have no idea how to get
>> through it but I cannot euthanize him because of my own fear. He
>> isn't suffering now and if I had euthanized as a preventative
>> measure, he wouldn't have had the (mostly) wonderful seven
>> months and two weeks past diagnosis.
>> When he first came home from the hospital and before he could be
>> stabilized with medication, he was suffering because of
>> refractory CHF. His condition went up and down. I asked myself
>> difficult questions all the time. Was I keeping him here just
>> for me, because I couldn't handle losing him? Was it selfish of
>> me? But then he'd feel better and I'd ask myself if euthanizing
>> was selfish, if I really considered it because I couldn't bear
>> to look at him suffering. Through all of it what remained was
>> Leo's will to live. I could see it in him and so he stayed. If
>> and when he loses that will, I'll help him pass.
>> This is just our story. Only you know what is right for Bastet
>> and you. Vets can tell you about the medical facts but they
>> cannot tell you if Bastet still wants to stay.
>> This has to be an extremely difficult time for you. My sincerest
>> Henna & Leo
>> From: Judi Levens <casaobelisco@...>
>> To: pwcrawford@...; email@example.com
>> Sent: Sunday, September 25, 2011 5:27 AM
>> Subject: RE: [FH] Bastet - Euthanasia questions
>> Dear Pat; such a difficult question. Someone here wrote
>> something that resonated for me, and it proved to be true also.
>> When your cat is ready to go, she will look you in the eye in a
>> very direct and unmistakable way...she will be saying "I am
>> done, help me." Max did that with me...a long deep look which I
>> instantly knew meant that it was time. In his case, I arranged
>> for the doctor to come at 4:30 the following day...he passed as
>> the doctor entered the house...stayed as long as possible and
>> passed on his own. There is no way to know that you can avoid a
>> painful event other than to be proactive with pts...I couldn't
>> do that, and I don't know how to advise on it. For Max and I,
>> as his disease progressed, our "intuition" or mental
>> communication did also; maybe the amount of time we spent
>> together or maybe the quality of time. For the last year of his
>> life I felt totally in tune with him; for that reason I would
>> say trust your
>> instincts; if you feel your girl is suffering but doesn't
>> want you to know than maybe you should be proactive, but witness
>> Max...whatever suffering he felt (and I truly hope it was not
>> large) he wanted to be there till the final minute...maybe
>> that's what Basted wants also. You will have to rely on your
>> instincts and your communication with her. In any case, there
>> is no way to avoid the pain and the loss...it will come, but the
>> love will be there with it in an amazing way. I am so sorry for
>> you facing this, and I send you love and hugs...Judi and Angel Max
>> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- I would just like to update you on the latest on Bastet and ask if anyone has any advice on a new problem: gagging on dry food and if anyone else has experienced this or has any suggestions on dealing with this development. I have taken the liberty of attaching my previous post for background.
I had pretty much decided to take things day by day, and carefully observe how much quality of life she has vs. deterioration (with my vets' blessing). the majority of the vets at my clinic continue to remind me that if Bastet was their cat, they would euthanize her now or very soon because she cannot eat or drink enough on her own to sustain herself. She is losing an average of .2kg at every visit (which is every other day for a heart check and 30mls of fluids).
What is new, is that as of Tuesday, she had begun to gag occasionally on the treats or dry food she has been eating. However since Friday night, she has been gagging every time she eats. Most of it will stay down, but a piece or two gets hacked back up. (She will not eat any canned food or accept any syringe feeding containing wet food, no matter how diluted. she will only accept water by syringe. She has been unable to drink normally from her water bowls for several weeks, and 'chews at the water', so i don't think she gets much water that way).
Last night, ate about four treats with great enthusiasm, but started to gag, and had so much trouble bringing up the last bite, I could hear wheezing on the inhale and I wondered if she was about to choke. Eventually about three sections of a temptation treat came up in her mouth which she was trying to eject with a lot of tongue flailing and I swept them out with my finger.
I took away all the dry food and put out canned wet food which she did not touch. this morning it occurred to me to soak the dry food kibble in water until it was semi-soft and put that out. She ate some of that this morning (with a minimum of crunching sounds), She turned away from the food bowl, took a few steps in the oppsoite direction,sat down, and I thought, yes!!! But a few seconds later, she started the terrible gagging sounds, and brought up a small piece of kibble -- it was a bit firm around the edges, but I would have still considered it semi-soft and moist. After that I soaked it until it was completely soft and semi-blended it into a mash, but she isn't eating that. It also starts to harden in the air.
I think she may have some reason she cannot use her tongue properly -- if she can't lap water, this is probably why she cannot eat wet food. Though she can eat dry kibble, she won't touch chunky wet food -- perhaps because she has always despised it, or perhaps it is too slippery. I recorded her peculiar drinking behavior on my camera and showed it to her internist and vets, the tongue came out once or twice, so that ruled out a mechanical problem, and it appears to be 'behavioral'. there is nothing they can see on a mouth or throat exam. The drinking problem and occasional gagging has plagued her for years and has always been attributed to nausea and associated with flare-ups of pancreatitis, which is also accompanied by inappetance or anorexia.
I offer water from syringes every hour throughout the day which sometimes she wants and sometimes she doesn't and set the alarm at night every two hours when I go to bed. Sometimes she is so thirsty during the night she wakes me by pawing my face or hands. I am sleeping with water-filled syringes under my pillow. Sometimes I am so tired, I realize I have dozed off with the syringe still between my fingers and wake to find her frantically tapping my face. She may even grab at the syringes pulling them to her mouth. One of the vets suggested a hampster water bottle, but she can't figure out how to use that.
My question is, is there anything I haven't thought of or am missing?
I am beginning to come to the acutely painful sense that in terms of water, the majority of it is coming from me syringing it throughout the night and day. And that in terms of food, she will have to be able to eat on her own, as she will not accept food by syringe. She is going to the vet every other day for sub-q fluids and a heart re-check to ensure giving the fluids is safe (no crackles, etc.). Yesterday the vet heard a new heart irregularity she hadn't heard before (her arythmia has always been intermittent or not present on every exam). She seemed really grave about the gagging. She said it is a very hard decision to make when the cat is still so active/interactive and affectionate. She also said she doubts I am going to see a steady downward decline -- it is going to continue to be up and down or she will suffer a cardiac event such a clot, which is more likely than becoming so weak from lack of food she won't be able to walk. My heart is in such hell.
Original Message -----
From: Patricia Crawford <PWCrawford@...>
Date: Saturday, September 24, 2011 7:11 pm
Subject: Bastet - Euthanasia questions
> I wanted to thank everyone for their support, thoughts and[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> prayers for Bastet and me. Bastet's continues to continue
> without much improvement. Her anorexia continues.
> All she will do is eat about a dozen treats twice a day, and
> that is it. She will not eat anything from her bowls, no matter
> what kind of smorgasboard I put out. She refuses syringed
> food, and will only accept water by syringe. Her abnormal water
> bowl behavior continues (chewing the water, but not lapping).
> She has lost a lot of weight. I have taken her in for 30ccs sub-
> q fluids every other day or every 3 days while she is not eating
> normally and an enema (megacolon), if required. She was last in
> for fluids and an enema on Thursday.
> She can lie around and look like she is dying and I am ready to
> take her to the ER, and then she's up and around, walking and
> talking. She has stopped lying on her side so much and is
> sitting more often in the Sphynx position, awake and looking
> alert, even restless, but I also understand this may be the
> 'sternum position' and it can be related to breathing
> difficulties. Her breath rates remain 6-8 breaths/15 seconds,
> asleep or awake. At times I see breaths that are deeper then
> followed by shallower, almost imperceptible breaths (I have
> taken movies of this breathing on my camera so the vets are
> aware of it).
> And yet, when she's feeling better, she is stroking my face and
> arms, nuzzling my hands for petting, talking and sleeping on my
> lap all night.
> According to her report, her position is �precarious�: She has
> significant progressive cardiac disease as evidenced by
> decreased systolic function (poor fractional shortening) and
> progressive dilation of the left ventricle and left atrium.
> There is no radiographic or ultrasonographic pleural or
> pericardial effusion present currently. Bastet is a high risk
> for congestive heart failure and other major events such as
> arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death or thromboembolic
> events." (her vets had hoped we might see an
> improvement in one to three days with the increase in the vetmedin).
> I am so anxious at night I sleep in my zero gravity chair,
> fully dressed ready to go to the ER if I need to.
> Has anyone been in this situation with their heart kitties? I am
> beginning to lose hope that she ever will return to eating or
> drinking normally.
> I guess I am asking that same old question everyone seems to ask
> -- is it time to let her go? My worst fear is that if I
> don't euthanize, she may have a horrible dying and death, but I
> don't know if I can face euthanizing a cat who is ambulatory,
> still eating, drinking after a fashion, using the litterbox and
> seeks out and gives (in spades) affection and love.