I am glad to have found this forum, but fear reading too many messages, especially those whose cats are doing well after this type of diagnosis (I am however, very happy for them!).
My cat Rose (age 11 yrs, 10 mos) was diagnosed with congestive heart failure on Memorial Day weekend. She passed away exactly three weeks later. She was doing so well on four types of drugs, but quickly deteriorated in the span of 24 hours. I had an angel of a vet come to my home (on Sunday) to help her transition from her failing body.
I am left with demons struggling to get into my mind: what did I do wrong? could I have done more? why didn't I see a cardiologist? how did I not see this?
Why do some cats do well on drugs and others, like mine, do not? I know there are no answers, but I am so very, very sad. She was my pet soul mate, my shadow, my companion. I miss her terribly.
- Hi Debby,I am really sorry to hear about your cat Rose. I felt compelled to write to you because I've been through a similar thing and what you're going through is grief.Sometimes regret and guilt is part of the process of grieving. We take care of our pets so well and we feel we have control over their quality of life but when their health deteriorates, we feel helpless. I just want you to understand that this is a normal feeling and it happens to a lot of pet owners.I think even if you have asked for a referral and gone to a cardiologist, it would have taken a few weeks and by the time the cardiologist examined her, there would have been little they could do.Some times, a cat is ready to go and it would seem to me that Rose did. I've had a number of pets now. Some of them put up a fight and some of them accept that their time have come. If your Rose went so quickly I think she must have chosen the latter.You did everything you could for her and she definitely (without a doubt) knew she was loved.My thoughts are with you at this time.
Debby, you obviously really loved Rose otherwise you wouldn’t be beating yourself up over her passing. As a cat rescuer who, over the past 40 years has taken in over 50 cats, 31 of who have crossed over, I have been in those shoes many times. I wish every one of my fur-kids could die in their sleep over 20 YO at home. In reality that doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. I’ve had my share of aged kitties, my oldest was 23+ (I don’t know exactly because he came grown and the best vets can only estimate the age of a grown cat.) The youngest, 2 YO. I have been fortunate in that I’ve never lost a baby yet. Right now I have 2 Maine Coons and a DSH with non medicated murmurs, 5 of an original litter of 9 DSH with a predisposition for HCM (because I’ve already lost 4 to HCM) Quincy lived the longest after diagnosis. So far the rest seem OK. Gizmo, who was a big guy, had been for a checkup a couple months before, showed signs of discomfort, crashed on the way to the ER and passed the next day at the vets after recovering nicely over night. My vet has necropsied Quincy because he was at a loss as to why he died. Quincy was discovered to have adhesions which hadn’t showed up on any of the testing. My vet is 70 and has a PHD from Cornell and teaches at UMass. When he originally did the ultrasound on Quincy he came in and said “In all my years of practice I’ve never seen a heart like this”.
I’ve lost cats to injection site carcinoma (I now only get a few select vaccines initially then only mandated vaccines after that) Changed the way I feed my cats after winning the trust of a feral cat who turned out to be FLv pos. My vet at that time gave Spook less than a year. On a homemade diet, Poland Springs water, no chemicals (including meds) and as little stress as I could arrange, he lived 4 more years. I then beat myself up because a few weeks after his liver failed I read an article about liver detox for cats…if I had just found this a few weeks before Spook may have lived longer. Someone dropped a cat in my yard that died literally from flea treatment overdose. One cat developed what is called Pyothorax, where an infection causes puss to build up in the chest cavity.
Unfortunately, partly because we can’t speak to our cats, (or yet any of our animal companions) those of us who love and care for them will be faced with the problem of guilt. Sometimes there just is no explanation. Sometimes life just is so very unfair. Sometimes, the time is just way to short.
The day I had to have Spook pts to keep him from suffering I vowed I would NEVER take in another street cat. As I sat on my front stairs crying a little black cat peeked out from under the hedge on my property line. As I called to him I knew Spook had sent another needy little soul to me and I would never be able to turn away no matter how many tears I cried or how many guilt trips I sent myself on.
You did the best you could with the tools available to you at this time and Rose loved you for it.
Sorry this is so long
- hi Debby,First off, I am so very sorry for your loss. I am very quiet on the group for exactly that reason, one of my cats who was diagnosed is doing well and I don't want to jinx things. But I'm probably in a good position to reassure you that you did everything you could. Basically, this is what happened..In April 07, my then 11 year old pedigree Birman, Lianna, was diagnosed with a heart murmur, but no sign of HCM and put on Fortekor, In the November I took my 10 year old dsh Sam and his sister Cera for their usual check up, and Sam was also diagnosed with a heart murmur. In the January, Sam was diagnosed with HCM and also put on Fortekor. 3 weeks later, my lovely Sam was gone, and Lianna had been diagnosed with HCM and grade 3 murmur.Both of them had been given exactly the same chances, but Sam passed away so soon. Lianna, (fingers crossed) is now over 18, her murmur is now a low grade 4, she's a bit arthritic, partially blind and a real diva, and I treasure every moment I spend with her. So it's just the luck of the draw, bad in Sam and Rose's case. One vet said to me, it could be 5 minutes, it could be 5 years. I wonder sometimes if personality has something to do with it, Lianna is very fiesty, Sam was very laid back, I can imagine him going ok, whatever, it's my time. Sam was father figure to my kittens Jordan and Angel when I got them, and Angel is so like him in personality it's like part of him is still here with me.I hope this has reassured you that you did everything you could for your girl.Lianna has outlived 2 of my other cats. Abi moved in from 3 doors away, I lost her same year as Sam from saddle thrombosis, she was about 15. (she probably had HCM too, her previous owners had made a mistake about her age or I would have taken her for a check up). Jordan had just turned 8 when I lost her last year to sudden renal failure.Cera is 17 and amazing apart from having suddenly gone deaf last year. Jordan's brother Angel has just been diagnosed as diabetic, so it's like a vets surgery here as I'm home testing him.I hope this has helped you,love, Cassandra