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Can I demand the vet just puts my cat down?

(28 Posts)
MaRyzerection Fri 18-Apr-14 14:52:59

I have an 18 year old cat who developed really bad bloody diarrhoea, and I think is on the way out sad

Just over a week ago, dh took her to the vet and said we just wanted him treated to keep him comfortable and if we couldn't do that we wanted him put down. She gave him antibiotics and suggested a gentle diet, which we've been following for the last ten days (and we took him to see her again on Monday). But he is no better, and has lost a lot of weight (though is still eating). It's got to the stage we can't have him in the house with us because he's leaving bloody diarrhoea all over the place - he won't use the litter tray, he just shits wherever he is - so we've had to shut him in the porch or the utility room.

The cat hates the cage, the car and the vet, so dh rang her to ask what the next step is. I want to have him put down. The vet wants to take blood tests and treat him actively. dh is stuck in the middle.

He's almost 19, ffs. He's an outdoor cat, he doesn't want to be kept in all the time. I also don't want to refuse to have him in the sitting room. I don't want him treated actively, taken in overnight, put on a drip, I don't want to drag it all out for weeks. Nor do I want to go to another vet, as that means more time in the car.

He's had a great life, I think the vet should allow me to decide enough is enough.

KittieCat Fri 18-Apr-14 14:54:55

Does the vet have an idea what the problem might be?

KaFayOLay Fri 18-Apr-14 14:56:37

I agree, it sounds like his time has come.

If your current vet will not do the deed, can you use another practice?

Sorry, you don't need barriers at a sad time like this sad

rembrandtsrockchick Fri 18-Apr-14 15:00:50

Go to another vet. This one seems to be thinking of her profit rather than the welfare of your cat.

MaRyzerection Fri 18-Apr-14 15:01:16

She said he seemed healthy hmm and that it might be an infection (hence the antibiotics) or the food he was on - he was on a dry food mix, we've been feeding him mainly chicken for the last week or so but it's no better. Though he has nicked the other cat's food once or twice (his appetite is reasonable, he's always been a greedyguts).

She can't find out what it is without a battery of tests, and I don't want her to do them - he hates vets, really hates them, gets very upset.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 18-Apr-14 15:02:23

Oh fgs what's up with the vet sad poor thing.

Sounds like it's time sad

I hope you can get it done sad

MaRyzerection Fri 18-Apr-14 15:03:08

x-posted rembrandt.

I don't think it's entirely profit - she didn't charge for Monday's visit and she has been a good vet in the past. I think she just hates to give up. But I think she's wrong this time.

I want dh to deal with it, but he won't argue. And I don't want to go because I'll get stupidly upset.

It sounds to me as if putting the cat to sleep would be the kindest thing to do, and further treatment will just prolong a life that has no quality left - cats hate to be dirty, and the cat will be hating the diarrhoea and the fact that she probably lacks the strength to keep herself as clean as she'd like.

I would have thought that, if you refuse to pay for any further treatment, and tell the vet that the only thing you are willing to pay for is having the cat put to sleep, he will have no choice but to comply. Put like that it sounds cold and heartless, but I don't think it is - on the contrary, I think it is the loving thing to do for the cat - and it will be a hard and painful decision for you, but it is the right thing.

Sorry 'he' not she.

MaRyzerection Fri 18-Apr-14 15:07:34

Thanks, it's nice to know you all agree with me.

I was feeling like a right bitch.

I will rant at dh and get him to do the "we refuse to pay for anything else and we will go to another vet or run over him with the car" speech, and see what happens.

This is the part of having pets I hate. The cat is almost exactly the same age as dd - she'll be gutted.

They wind their paws round your heart, don't they? I've had to make this decision for three of our cats in the past, and it is heartbreaking, even though you know it is the kindest decision, and the right thing to do.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 18-Apr-14 15:13:18

Do not feel like a bitch!!!

I wouldn't put my elderly cat through more tests and over night stays either!! Infact my cat was much younger but very nervous and would not tolerate over night stays for something that would merely prolong her life a few short weeks and not help at all.

Quality of life is what's important here and you know your cat xx

500smiles Fri 18-Apr-14 15:14:28

I agree with you and everyone else so no advice other than to give you a hug pat on the shoulder. This is utterly the worst bit about having furry family.

MaRyzerection Fri 18-Apr-14 15:26:25

Thanks everyone.

I might give him the weekend, give dd a chance to see him before he goes.. He's currently on my knee. He's lost so much weight in the last fortnight so I'm hopeful she will just say ok and do it.

Poor cat sad

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 18-Apr-14 15:30:10

Does your bet do Saturdays?

Just thinking that otherwise it's Tuesday til you can get seen and if he goes rapidly down hill you will be subject to te after hours fees


Not that you should hurry just something to think about x

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 18-Apr-14 16:25:43

If you came to me and said 'we just feel we have reach the end of the road and don't want to put cat through tests etc.' that is exactly what I would do for you.
It's very easy for us as vets to get caught up in the science and forget what it is like to live with an elderly cat with bloody diarrhoea.
Yesterday I had the last afternoon in the sunshine with one of my patients in a not dissimilar situation.

timtam23 Fri 18-Apr-14 22:00:46

Poor old boy, my cat is the same age as yours, still has quality of life but has various health issues which are only going to get worse - fortunately our vet is in total agreement with our plan to have him peacefully PTS when he starts to go downhill - like your cat he hates the vets and having tests done and it would seem so unfair on him.

If he is really getting very weak & thin I would second making a call to the vet tomorrow, if they have a routine Saturday surgery (I had another 18 year old cat until last year and she became obviously terminally ill on a sunday afternoon, the overnight wait until vet opened on Mon was very sad & very hard on us all - we could have phoned out of hours vet but I really wanted to take her to our own vet unless an absolute emergency)

MaRyzerection Fri 18-Apr-14 22:05:39

He sat on my knee and washed himself for an hour today and doesn't actually seem to be in pain. He's also still eating, so I think I will hang on until Tuesday.

I can't leave him in the room when I'm not actually holding him though, because he just squats and poos when he needs to, wherever he is hmm.

I will call (or make dh call) tomorrow and make an appointment for Tuesday and just tell her it's for PTS - hopefully that way she might just do it. If I take him tomorrow I have to sit in the waiting room, and will find it harder to argue in front of other people.

Thanks everyone for your support.

MoonlightandRoses Fri 18-Apr-14 22:12:17

Agree with the others - PTS sounds like absolutely the right thing. Any chance your appointment booking could be emailed? I know our vets have a 'contact us' type thing.

So sorry Maryz. ((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))

hellymelly Fri 18-Apr-14 22:14:03

I know he is an old man, but I have had old cats bounce back from things that really seemed to be the end. I understand completely that you don't want him to suffer, but it is only with hindsight that you can say if something is the last illness or not. It must be horrible taking him to the vet when he hates it so much, but don't jump to the conclusion that he is at death's door just yet, old animals, like old humans, look ghastly when they are ill. Each time my 82 year old mother has a bad patch I think it might be the end, but so far it never has been. Your old cat may have another Summer or two in him still. (My Granny's cat lived to 24, I've known a lot of cats get to well over 20). Your vet might even do house calls to take blood or whatever, under the circs, many vets do. (I had my old cat pts at home, the vet called round, as I didn't want her to be stressed going into the surgery. My vet had rounds, just like a doctor).

bakingtins Fri 18-Apr-14 22:28:41

I think you are being unfair on your vet. You asked that he was treated to keep him comfortable then you asked what is the next step?
Your vet is not a mind reader. You don't need to demand anything, just be honest and say in view of the age and condition of your cat you don't want to pursue a diagnosis, you want to PTS. No vet is going to argue with that in a very elderly patient.

MaRyzerection Fri 18-Apr-14 22:33:11

We've had two visits and a phone call, baking. She has clearly said she doesn't want to put him down. She wants to take him in and run tests.

I don't want to.

MaRyzerection Fri 18-Apr-14 22:35:27

That's why I said I now wanted to specifically demand she puts him to sleep. I don't want a fourth "we could do this, we could do that" conversation.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 18-Apr-14 22:38:19

Is she the only vet at the practice? Could you ask to see someone else?

bakingtins Fri 18-Apr-14 22:41:09

Have you said the words "we want the cat put to sleep" and she has said no?

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