How will I know when it's time to let her go?

(47 Posts)
JamForTea Wed 16-Jul-14 22:33:50

My cat is nearly 14. About a month ago she was diagnosed with spinal arthritis but blood tests also showed up abnormal liver results - they were described to me as not hugely out of normal range but definitely not right. Since then she has become very picky with food and lost a lot of weight. She has metacam on and off. Since Sunday she has eaten very little and looks unhappy. I took her back to the vets and they repeated the blood tests which showed similar results. She is on metacam daily since Monday to rule out arthritic pain making her not want to eat. She is eating a little more but still far from what I would call a 'normal' amount. Throughout the day she goes from asking for food, meowing etc and is still affectionate, can jump up on beds. But she doesn't look 'right' - uncomfortable maybe, I don't quite know how to describe it. It seems to come and go a bit and at times she seems ok. I don't know what to do. She's going back to the vets on Monday so she can be weighed again. There has been talk of liver ultrasound but I don't know if I want to put her though stuff like that if the outcome is likely to be bad.

Can anyone offer advice. I lost my other cat almost exactly a year ago. I can't believe I'm here again, I thought I'd have her a bit longer.

cozietoesie Wed 16-Jul-14 22:49:07

It's awful isn't it? I've noticed that Seniorboy doesn't eat much when he's in pain (he also has arthritis) and he's now on both meloxicam and additional pain meds for use when needed. (He's a bit older than your girl, though.) He's a real picky eater as well.

What food is she being offered at the moment?

cozietoesie Wed 16-Jul-14 22:49:41

PS - how is her tray use?

buggerboooo Wed 16-Jul-14 22:53:56

She is your girl, you will know when she has had enough. Im so sorry you are going through this x

JamForTea Wed 16-Jul-14 22:54:01

I am offering her anything and everything. A few weeks ago her main diet was hills dried and some whiskas pouches. We have tried various different pouches, cooked fish, cooked chicken. The most popular thing is tinned tuna which I know isn't ideal. She licks the gravy/jelly off things then eventually takes a few mouthfuls of the meat. She has all but stopped eating the dried altogether. Her weight has gone from 3.8kg a few weeks ago to 3.5kg.

I hate this feeling of not knowing what to do for her sad.

JamForTea Wed 16-Jul-14 22:54:58

Cozie, she goes outside to pee/poo.

buggerboooo Wed 16-Jul-14 22:56:49

Let her have what she wants. If tuna is all she shows enthusiasm for then great, let her eat tuna! Try little strips of raw chicken, very very good for them and my boy loves it.

When my boy was very ill, all I could get him to eat was sausages. So that is all he ate. I figured he was happy and I would have longer with him if he ate, regardless of what it was he was eating! X

SecretWitch Wed 16-Jul-14 22:59:49

I'm so sorry for you. I hope you have a little more time to spend with your girl. It is so awful when are lovely feline friends seem to be failing. Xx

JamForTea Wed 16-Jul-14 23:03:26

Thank you all. Is it really ok to give her raw chicken?

cozietoesie Wed 16-Jul-14 23:08:22

I think I'd be getting her a tray inside to use if she fancies it. If she has arthritis, she may prefer not to go outside.

Have her teeth been checked by the vet ? If so, how are they?

JamForTea Wed 16-Jul-14 23:26:35

Her teeth are great, the legacy of dried food I think. The vet checked her teeth and her mouth in general for any obstructions. She is looking particularly fed up tonight. She is doing a lot of sitting in that position with her feet all tucked in underneath and her back quite rounded. Does your cat sit like that when he's uncomfy Cozie?

buggerboooo Wed 16-Jul-14 23:41:55

Raw chicken is fab! All our dogs and cats are on a raw meat diet, bones included (which fyi are good to eat if raw but not if cooked)

My cat is forever trying to steal uncooked chicken from me when cooking! I give mine a whole wing or drumstick- but to save energy id just cut some slivers up for her. Im sure she will love it and it is very good for her

cozietoesie Wed 16-Jul-14 23:43:18

Not quite - I can usually tell by his demeanour. He sits quite still - gets a sort of far away look in his eyes and seems to go 'inside himself'. I gave him pain meds this afternoon because we went for an afternoon snooze (my time clock is a bit weird) and he just couldn't find a comfortable way to lie even though he went round and round several times. A dose of his pain meds and he settled quite the thing - and ate a good supper/had a big poo and pee when he woke up as well.

JamForTea Thu 17-Jul-14 18:26:32

Ok so the latest thing is the vet thinks there's a chance it could be pancreatitis. Would explain her non eating, lethargy and slightly abnormal liver results. If it is it's treatable. I have booked her in for a full abdominal ultrasound, so her liver too. And blood tests for pancreatitis. This will be the last 'big' thing we do - if it's something more sinister then hopefully steroids will make her more comfy for a while and if it's pancreatitis we can get her through it. Am I doing the right thing? If there was a chance of a treatable thing would you all do the same?

JamForTea Thu 17-Jul-14 18:35:09

I just don't know if I've done the right thing. It doesn't help that dh is now getting arsey about 'why haven't the vets mentioned it could be pancreatitis before' and being cynical about it being about making money sad. I feel like we owe her this last chance as she was so healthy before all this.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 17-Jul-14 18:56:36

I'd treat what I could afford to but pts if I had to. It would break my heart though.

All diagnoses are differential until tests are done anyway.

JamForTea Thu 17-Jul-14 19:01:36

She's insured although we pay quite a large excess and 20% of the whole claim so it could still be fairly substantial. We can probably afford it although spending large amounts of money unexpectedly is never great obviously.

cozietoesie Thu 17-Jul-14 19:01:49

It sounds as if DH is deflecting his anxiety - I would take any arseyness with a pinch of salt at this moment.

Best of luck to her.

JamForTea Thu 17-Jul-14 21:16:33

Thanks Cozie, you might be right. We've had another talk and he's agreed that we're doing the right thing in getting the scan. At least it means any further decisions will be based on an actual diagnosis. We both feel she isn't ready to be pts yet.

JamForTea Fri 18-Jul-14 13:13:07

Well it's bad news. Either lymphoma or FIP. I've brought her home with steroids but she's all but stopped eating. If the steroids don't perk her up and she's not eating more normally in 2-3 days we'll have her pts. I'm heartbroken.

chockbic Fri 18-Jul-14 13:18:34

Sorry to hear this.

Old girl had lymphoma and the steroids did work for a while.

You could try lots of different foods, fresh, raw. Treats, cat milk. We pretty much cleaned out the pet shop smile

flowers

cozietoesie Fri 18-Jul-14 13:22:58

The trouble is that steroids can give an almost miraculous boost to them - it's as if they give the whole system a kick up the ass - and then they wear off, with any subsequent doses probably having less and less effect. I've been there and it's very difficult not to suddenly start having hope again. I'd regard any return to normal eating as a small golden window for her and you - and that only.

It's very hard.

Take care.

chockbic Fri 18-Jul-14 13:28:33

Did they say what grade of lymphoma she has?

With a low level, chemo can be tried. Of course you have to weigh up that against possible outcome and stress to your cat.

You will know if you think she's up to it or not.

JamForTea Fri 18-Jul-14 13:35:08

The lymphoma is not a definite diagnosis, it could be FIP but without opening her up or taking needle biopsies we won't know for sure. Both of them are fatal basically anyway. She's had enough of going to the vet and being prodded and poked. This is a cat who has never really been ill, only a couple of minor things in 14 years. It has to be about her being left in relative peace with the time she has left. I know the steroids would be an artificial and temporary boost if they work. I have a feeling they won't. Nearly all my gut feelings about her and my other cat when he was ill have been right sad. She's been a lovely pet and so attached to me in particular. I can't let her down now.

JamForTea Fri 18-Jul-14 13:36:32

Thanks both of you. It's nice to talk to people who understand. This is the heartbreak of having pets - giving them a 'good' death.

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