My old girl and kidney disease/failure(29 Posts)
My best black and white cat (I know the rules on the litter tray, see photo attached) is now 15 1/2 years old. She was ill over the weekend and I had to take her to an emergency appointment at the vets. Where I spent the whole time making a tit of myself by crying non-stop. Mcat had sat out in the rain before I'd realised, lost her balance, dribbled really viscous spit, was having trouble pooing and could eat. She seemed OK but her balance was really gone. The vets ran a blood test and it came back showing high levels of urea and 2 other things the names of which I can't remember. The diagnosis was kidneys "getting tired" because of her age.
So Mcat was admitted and has been at the vets since Sunday at 10am. They've got her on a drip and say she's comfortable, able to see and has eaten some fresh chicken but not a lot else. I spoke to one of the vets last night and he said she might be OK to come off the drip and come home today but that it would be a "trial by fire". From what I can work out from here and on the net generally is that I'll have to see if she can cope without having her kidneys supported but that she might crash over the next couple of days. If she can cope then it'll be special diet and medication for the rest of her life. Which is fine I pay a bloody fortune for petplan cat insurance so that should cover that.
Does anyone have any experience of this and how it might be? What sort of signs I should look out for? I'm very scared that she'll die at home and I won't be able to get her to a vet in time to make sure her dying is easy/pain free. I'm a bit of a mess because I've had two very close family bereavements in the last few years and Mcat has been with me since she was 10 weeks old and is the most chatty, affectionate, loyal mog in the world. I think I've had my fill of death and I know MCat is old but I'd really like to hang on to her for a bit longer.
My own Darling Twoago died of severe kidney failure at about 13 - it's a horrible thing and I really feel for you.
I think you have to listen very carefully to what the vet says from here on in. It's all about her now.
(I always regret that I didn't take action to help Twoago at the right stage for him - the decision was taken out of my hands eventually - because, personally, I didn't have the resolve or the clear-sightedness. It's a bad situation.)
Thanks cozie. I'm sorry about Twoago. Can I ask what you would have done differently?
They've just discharged her and she's home now. She seems bright but essentially the vet's asked me to bring her back on Friday afternoon to check how her kidneys deals without the IV fluids. They've been quite blunt if her kidneys can't deal with that then best option for her will be to put her to sleep. I'm just scared for her really. I do not want her to be in pain at all.
It's a difficult time (that I went through back in July) and I really feel for you. I got a lot of great advise here to help make the tough decisions. The best I can give is to say never allow yourself to feel guilty about decisions you are making out of love for your cat. If having her pts is the kindest option then it's an act of selfless love to do this for her.
And someone wrote that it is better for the cat to take this decision 'too early' that leave it until it's too late.
hope it's goes well for you x
I would have let him go earlier, Merry - I just couldn't bear to. (And that was for me and not for him.) It's a very hard situation.
Thanks both. I'm sorry for you and the difficult decisions you've had to make. I know the chances are I'll have to make a choice about the end of my girl's life and sooner rather than later. I'll have to squash that feeling of but I'm not ready yet. She's purring on my lap now and I think if I can just have til Friday afternoon when I've got to take her back then that's better than nothing.
She's a very contented looking lady merry. I hope you get a bit more time with her.
You've obviously taken excellent care of her to get to that age.
Ah thanks, Fluffy. No one can be nice to me this evening though otherwise I'll start crying snotty sobs again. I have looked after my girl as well as I could. She sleeps in my bed, loves tuna, strokes and puts up with me singing to her about how she's beautiful. She's seen me through some rough old times. It's amazing to me when people aren't cat people. I'm suspicious of them!!
Genuinely a mystery to me. I also, privately, think of it as a failing in a person. I'm too nice to say 'wtf is wrong with you' to people I know who don't like cats but I think it.
My cat and I mostly dislike the same people. I'm always secretly pleased he agrees with me.
Cats are truly brilliant at coming to a quick and accurate decision on a person. And then ignoring them/stalking off to evidence their disdain. Mcat likes everyone though. Even our horrible neighbour who shouted at her and threatened her a couple of weekends ago for going too near her (the neighbour's) fence (not even in her sodding garden). I do not like her. Especially when she told me she did not like cats and did not want them in her garden. Turns out I don't like her and don't want her in my neighbourhood butbut, you know, we all have to compromise.
Mcat's still here and apparently likes Sheba food (she's always been a strictly Hills Science Diet kind of a cat before now). She slept on my feet all night (save for getting up for a drink which she doesn't normally do) and has been ok but maybe not steady on her feet. She only has to breathe slightly oddly and I'm checking on her. And not that surprisingly I'm not getting a huge amount of work done. This waiting is horrendous.
It is really hard. I would also say ask the vet to remain very honest with you and "better a week too early tban a day too late". My old girl cat had kidney impairment diagnosed about 6 months before she died. She was 18. She was probably doing more or less OK until about a month before she died. With hindsight the warning signs were there for the last couple of weeks but I tried to keep her going for a bit too long, I dithered over whether to take her to the vet and the last weekend in particular was not good. It became clear on a Sunday evening that she was dying (didn't want to eat or drink & wanted to hide away from us) and I waited until my own vet opened on the Monday morning & rushed her straight there to be put to sleep. It was peaceful in the end but quite panicky from my side & I still feel upset that I didn't read the signs better and make the decision earlier. I think we were 2 days too late with the decision, really.
With my other old cat, who died the following year, we had much more of a plan in place for him & made a huge fuss of him before taking him to be put to sleep before things got too desperate. It was much calmer and although still upsetting I have no regrets, unlike with the way my old girl left us.
Make the most of your time with her & make a big fuss of her - we gave my old boy all sorts of things to eat, most of them not ideal for cats (he loved licking up leftover baked beans sauce, for example)
Thank you Shipwrecked and Timtam. I'm sorry to hear about your cats Timtam. It is extremely hard and making the decision is really, really difficult. Mcat is worse today, not terrible but worse. She's sleeping a lot, wobbly and just not herself so I think I'll have to have a really clear conversation with the vet tomorrow afternoon. I think they might say she could go on but I think it's probably best not to. I really don't want her to have anything other than a calm, peaceful ending and I don't want her to go downhill slowly and painfully. She is still eating - she likes slightly warmed fresh chicken too it turns out.
Merry. You are so right. We had to have our old girl pts in July. It's the last kindest thing you can do for them.
So sorry you are going through this.
I lost my girl a week before Xmas. She had kidney failure, had been going downhill for a few weeks, had lost a lot of weight, was weeing everywhere and we knew it was coming. She went downhill very quickly, within 48 hrs, lost control of her legs, wouldnt eat or drink, just sat, crouched in a ball in the same spot. Its heartbreaking, but it is true that you just know when its time. We would have been holding off doing it for us, not her. When I picked her up to be put into her basket to take to the vets, she just put her head under my arm, as if to say 'I've had enough, Mum'.
Sorry you are going through this, I have another cat now, but I still think of her everyday.
You will just know when its time
My best Maisy was put to sleep this afternoon. She was getting worse and was losing balance again. The vets said is was fighting a loosing battle but offered to put her on a drip for four days and then try her on renal food. He said he couldn't promise that we wouldn't be back to where we where today though. I couldn't bear seeing her falling over and a couple of times looking dull and just not purring when she was stroked. I asked them to put her to sleep as I just wanted her to have a calm and happy end. She'd sort of perked up at the vets although she was wobbling all over the floor. I felt as though I was having to persuade them which is now making me worry it was too soon. The vet said that if we didn't intervene now she would go down hill very quickly unless we put her back on a drip. I didn't want her to be somewhere she didn't know, stressed out and alone. She'd had a couple of days at home sleeping on me and eating good food. But oh my word I'm going to miss my Maisy daisy. I feel absolutely wretched - got tell the kids in a bit when they get home. DH has gone to get them.
No, being on a drip for four days in a vets is no way to spend your last days. Being at home with mum and a tray of sheba was much better.
I'm so sorry though.
Thanks Fluffy. I really appreciate that. I am a mess as are the kids.
I'm so sorry. It's heart breaking. And I completely agree with fluffy. this is the best and most kind decision for your beautiful cat. You have given her the gift of a dignified and loving last few days.
Big hugs, I know it's really tough xx
"She would go downhill very quickly"
You have let her have a peaceful and dignified end. You have saved her from suffering. You have done what is best for her. No owner could do more.
If you want to, return here and tell us nice memories when you feel able.
I wish I'd had your clear-sightedness with Twoago. You did the right thing, Merry.
It's tough though. I'm so sorry.
Cozie it was with all of your help and experiences that I could decide that was the right thing. I am so grateful to you all for your stories and support. I don't know what I would do without Mumsnet.
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