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#1 mummabear

Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:33 AM

My elderly cat has been very thin for the last couple of years. She was happy and acting normal so I haven't worried too much. But in the last week she has dropped more weight and seems to be very slightly weak. Thin is an understatement. And last night I found a large lump on her jaw. sad.gif  she is still eating drinking and acting normal but just a little bit wobbly.

I'm torn. We live out of town a little and the car trip will be very hard on her. She hates the car.  I want to take her to the vet but I won't be treating cancer or putting her down just yet. If it something else like an abscess will they treat her given her age and state?  I'm very hesitant about treatment when she is happy at the moment. Especially if its incurable. Someone give me advice please. I'm so upset. sad.gif

Edited by mummabear, 03 January 2013 - 04:57 PM.


#2 ubermum

Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:37 AM

If it is an abcess, it will be sore for her and warm to the touch. Could she have been in contact with another cat? Also, an abcess usually starts with some sort of wound. Can you see one? Could the wound be in her mouth and caused by a bone?

Can the vet come to you? Ours does house calls. I had a cat that died of cancer (well technically put to sleep due to it). By the time it was discovered, it was very well advanced, he was sleeping all the time and not eating.

Edited by ubermum, 01 January 2013 - 10:40 AM.


#3 cardamom

Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:39 AM

I have no idea about treatment, but could you see if the vet would come to you OP? I know ours does house calls.

You could also enquire about sedation if that's an option. I had to take our crotchety, elderly cat to the vet last week and asked if sedation was an option as she was very stressed the last time I took her. I gave her the tablet they prescribed half an hour before the appointment, and she was completely relaxed.

#4 mummabear

Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:41 AM

She won't let me touch it ├╝bermum. I will try and get ac loser look. She is a bit old and cranky.  original.gif she hasn't been fighting I don't think she spends most of the day on my bed. And the other times on my car lol.

#5 Holidayromp

Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:45 AM

I will share what happened with my elderly cat before she passed.  With the exception of the lump - she dropped weight and became very slim (she had already been a very slim cat) but she became nothing more than skin and bones despite having regular access to food and eating very regular meals.  She became quite wobbly on her feet and I suspect she had a touch of dementia too.  She ended up having a stroke at the age of 20 (not far from her 21st birthday) which paralysed the side of her - whilst having her faculties about her - she was clearly distressed and it was a no brainer for me - I had the vet come her to put her down with some dignity without having to drag the poor old bugger to the vets.
I certainly recommend that you get the vet out to see your old girl (that is what I used to call Anna) and just generally assess her.  If she is not in any pain and it isn't bothering her chances are due to her advanced age it will be left.
I hope that you have your 'old girl' for awhile yet and by the sounds of it she is entering the final phase of her life but she could bumble along for a few years yet.

#6 mummabear

Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:58 AM

Thank you holidayromp. She is definitely acting the same as your old girl. I will make some calls tomorrow and see what options there are to get someone out here. I don't think they service our area though. In fact I'm certain of it. Perhaps a sedative might be the way to go.

#7 Wild Strawberry

Posted 01 January 2013 - 11:16 AM

We had our girl put down at the start of last year. On NYE she was seemingly fine. Less than 2 week later she was skin and bones, hardly eating or drinking, her fur looked like she was an unkept, feral cat and she had no interest in doing anything other than laying down and she just wasn't herself. Had a distant look in her eyes all the time.

We took her to the vet who said there was nothing that could be done. She was full of cancer so a few days later we had her put down sad.gif It was horrible as it happened so fast and i didn't want her to go but i could see she was miserable and she wasn't herself anymore.

If she was still happy, eating, drinking, moving around i would have been fine to let her keep going.

Can you ring the vet and see what they say? Or like HR said can the vet come to you?

Hope you have your old girl for a bit longer yet. Good luck original.gif

#8 Unatheowl

Posted 01 January 2013 - 11:23 AM

Hi op.  what you describe could really be a whole host of things.  The lump could be cancer, it could also,be an abscess from a tooth or injury for example.  Whatever the reason, if she does have something terminal, it's probably not going to be a nice way to go.  I would do the trip to the vet and prepare yourself to the possibility that she may not come home.  

I am uncomfortable with people "leaving animals to die on their own".  To you it may seem peaceful but you don't know how much pain they may be in as they die.  Human Cancer patients for instance, we don't leave them at home to die without pain relief.

#9 mummabear

Posted 01 January 2013 - 11:49 AM

She has no signs of pain. Other than a bit of a wobbly walk she is jumping up and cruising around like normal. Eating, drinking and pooping in her litterbox. There is nothing to suggest shes's hurting. Not sure how or why you made that assumption. I am not cruel to animals. I am trying to figure out what to do while respecting her age and not causing her undue stress.

She ate breakfast and drank a heap of water. She is now sleeping and purring when I come past hoping for a pat. Doesn't sound too painful does it? And yes ideally it would be nice if she just died now. Peacefully. With her family. But reality is it may not happen.

sad.gif



#10 Unatheowl

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:00 PM

Please get over any knee jerk reactions that you are being criticised.  I am not implying anything.  

With all due respect, you wouldn't know if she was in pain or not.  You are simply making assumptions.  If you had a tooth that was filled with pus would it hurt?  If you had an abscess would it hurt?  If it was an enlarged lymph node no, it probably wouldn't hurt.  

Lambs who have their tails docked run to their mothers and suckle and everyone used to say, "see its not painful".  She can be doing all those things you described and still be in discomfort.  As a vet I have seen many many animals die from these end stage conditions and I would prefer that my animal was given the chance of euthanasia.  Many humans would choose that too if they had the chance.

If she has cancer or diabetes or hyperthyroid which is causing damage to her organs you can bet your bottom dollar her final moments will be uncomfortable.  My point is you really don't know what she has and no one but a vet can determine it.  My personal opinion is that having a cat walk away somewhere and die is the ideal for the owner, not for the pet.

I am simply saying consider the possibility and that you may not know.  Getting angry at my suggestion is really all about you.  It should be about your pet.

Edited by Unatheowl, 01 January 2013 - 12:01 PM.


#11 Holidayromp

Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:49 PM

QUOTE (Unatheowl @ 01/01/2013, 01:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Please get over any knee jerk reactions that you are being criticised.  I am not implying anything.  

With all due respect, you wouldn't know if she was in pain or not.  You are simply making assumptions.  If you had a tooth that was filled with pus would it hurt?  If you had an abscess would it hurt?  If it was an enlarged lymph node no, it probably wouldn't hurt.  

Lambs who have their tails docked run to their mothers and suckle and everyone used to say, "see its not painful".  She can be doing all those things you described and still be in discomfort.  As a vet I have seen many many animals die from these end stage conditions and I would prefer that my animal was given the chance of euthanasia.  Many humans would choose that too if they had the chance.

If she has cancer or diabetes or hyperthyroid which is causing damage to her organs you can bet your bottom dollar her final moments will be uncomfortable.  My point is you really don't know what she has and no one but a vet can determine it.  My personal opinion is that having a cat walk away somewhere and die is the ideal for the owner, not for the pet.

I am simply saying consider the possibility and that you may not know.  Getting angry at my suggestion is really all about you.  It should be about your pet.



Back off.  The OP wouldn't be on here if she didn't care.

As a pet owner you know your pet best.  I knew that my old girl didn't have long to go.  I knew she wasn't in any pain.  I am sure that the OP would not hesitate in getting the help that her old girl needs.  She is at the end of her life and it is a very long time to be with a pet - you don't want to face up to the fact the beloved pet is nearing its end and you are going to have to make hard choices.

I had that fear - that I might go out and see her dead or suffering or anything. Or at her regular check up at the vets he would say something I didn't want to know.   I knew her time was coming and I had already made arrangements about what I would do.  I never knew it was going to be a stroke that took her but when it happened I was ready and made the arrangements.  The OP will do so too.

Berating her is not going to help.  And I am sure that she doesn't want her beloved girl to suffer.  sad.gif

#12 countrymel

Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:58 PM

OP in our family (many vets) the geriatric pets were left to their own devices IF they were still eating and happy.

When they failed in either of those things then it was time for the green needle.


If a long trip in the car would be distressing for her (and I know, my old boy HATED the car, there would be a constant chorus of wails until he then simultaneously vomited and lost bowel control... kind of puts our 'I feel a little queasy' into perspective) then I would leave her alone for a few days longer and continue to monitor the situation.

#13 Unatheowl

Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:38 PM

QUOTE (Holidayromp @ 01/01/2013, 05:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Back off.  The OP wouldn't be on here if she didn't care.

As a pet owner you know your pet best.  I knew that my old girl didn't have long to go.  I knew she wasn't in any pain.  I am sure that the OP would not hesitate in getting the help that her old girl needs.  She is at the end of her life and it is a very long time to be with a pet - you don't want to face up to the fact the beloved pet is nearing its end and you are going to have to make hard choices.

I had that fear - that I might go out and see her dead or suffering or anything. Or at her regular check up at the vets he would say something I didn't want to know.   I knew her time was coming and I had already made arrangements about what I would do.  I never knew it was going to be a stroke that took her but when it happened I was ready and made the arrangements.  The OP will do so too.

Berating her is not going to help.  And I am sure that she doesn't want her beloved girl to suffer.  sad.gif


No you wouldn't know best a pet owner.  You would know best as a vet.  That's why there are vets.  The bane of our lives are people like you..who know best  rolleyes.gif  They also very often don't do the right thing by their animals because they're too busy not listening to professionals.

So anyway, when you had your own older animal, you DID taker her to the vet regularly to check she was alright?  This is all I'm suggesting to the op.

Please point out where I am berating her.

If it makes you feel bad and want to attack me then as I said before, that's about you.  Clearly you perhaps have done what I am suggesting not to do so feel angry at me.  Ok, if it makes you feel better.  Perhaps it was the right thing to do in the situation who knows?  All I can say is what I know from my observation and experience.  



#14 Holidayromp

Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:45 PM

QUOTE (Unatheowl @ 01/01/2013, 06:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No you wouldn't know best a pet owner.  You would know best as a vet.  That's why there are vets.  The bane of our lives are people like you..who know best  rolleyes.gif  They also very often don't do the right thing by their animals because they're too busy not listening to professionals.

So anyway, when you had your own older animal, you DID taker her to the vet regularly to check she was alright?  This is all I'm suggesting to the op.

Please point out where I am berating her.

If it makes you feel bad and want to attack me then as I said before, that's about you.  Clearly you perhaps have done what I am suggesting not to do so feel angry at me.  Ok, if it makes you feel better.  Perhaps it was the right thing to do in the situation who knows?  All I can say is what I know from my observation and experience.


One question - have you been in that very position?

#15 Mousky

Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:07 PM

Trying to bring this thread back on track.

We had a 17 year old addopted cat (late grandfathers) that slowly became very emaciated looking despite eating tons. We took him to the vets, ehich was very traumatic for him and found out he had hyperthyroidism. He did very well on the medication, then about a year later he went down hill again. We took him back for an xray, found a massive tumor around his heart. He was a stubborn old bugger who would have hated to be anywhere but home when he died. The vet put a fentonyl patch on and we took him home. He passed away a few hours later in his sleep.  

We have another cat who has unfirtunately had many medical problems since he was 10 weeks old. He has now been diagnosed with lymphoma, but due to his many admissions and surgeries, he is terrified of the vets. We have made the difficult decision to not treat the cancer, only the pain. When his time comes, we will have our lovely vet come round and put on a fentonyl patch as well.  

So op, if your cat is traumatised by travel, I advise having the vet come round. Its more expensive, but worth it. Hopefully it is something easily treated.

#16 Unatheowl

Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:09 PM

QUOTE (Holidayromp @ 01/01/2013, 06:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
One question - have you been in that very position?


Yes, why?  Please understand I am not implying that you or the op have done anything wrong!  I have suggested a possibility worth being aware of and suggested a course of action based upon my experience.

I have also been in the position where people have brought dogs to me with eyeballs that have burst, anal glands that have exploded, even with broken bones,  and they can't quite put their finger on the problem but the "animal is still eating".  This doesnt happen once in a blue moon it happens on a regular basis.  These aren't stupid people either.  Some are very well educated and experts in their field.  Just not at diagnosing and assessing animals.

If someone has an animal they are concerned about I would advise a vet visit.  Period.  I  wouldnt know whether the op is someone who would notice an exploded eyeball or not and neither would you.

#17 Camizebra

Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:19 PM

So sorry to hear it OP sad.gif

My beautiful cat died of bone marrow cancer in March 2012 at 12 years of age.  He went downhill very rapidly - like, acting his normal energetic and loving self one day then a ragged bag of bones in five days time.  Absolutely no appetite for food or water, lost his voice and slept in strange places.

Very similar symptoms with my MIL's cat - different cancer, but very rapid descent in kitty health.

So my only experience is a fast deterioration, not slow or over time.  HTH?  Good luck...let us know how you go.

#18 TopsyTurvy

Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:37 PM

Op you have to weigh up the distress a trip to the vet may cause her against the possibility of the distress of her being in pain.

The distress from the trip to the vet will soon be forgotten, whereas the distress from being in pain will only continue and in all likelihood get worse.

It's really a no brainer IMO.

I am sure anything causing a lump like that is likely to be causing pain.  Cats can and do often purr, even when injured or in pain.

Please do the right thing and take her to the vet sad.gif

#19 mummabear

Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:47 PM

Thank you everyone who has been supportive and helpful.

Old girl is still battling along. She rubbed her horrible lump all over me purring tonight, urging me to give her a scratch there.  She didn't want me to touch it last time but obviously in cat land you have the right to dictate where and when a pat and scratch happens! So obviously that isn't uncomfortable for her to do.  Unatheowl, I still don't believe she is in pain. And yes, I get it. Sometimes they don't show it. I don't think this is the case here.
She is going to the vet tomorrow. On a side note, it meant I could have a good feel of her neck. Felt just like an enlarged human gland. Moved the same too. A little part of me is hoping that it is something fixable. I feel like such an idiot. Hoping. Our last family cat had cancer in the jaw, and it is nothing like what he had. That was just horrid, and he was pts.

QUOTE
OP in our family (many vets) the geriatric pets were left to their own devices IF they were still eating and happy.

When they failed in either of those things then it was time for the green needle.


This is what our vet told me too. Eating and happy...don't worry.

Will update here when I know what's going on. Unfortunately I have to take my three kids with me tomorrow. sad.gif I don't think I can make a decision to end her life while I have three pairs of eyes on me.

#20 Unatheowl

Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:10 PM

Ok well fair enough.  It was just something it think about.  I hope the vet visit goes well - I take it the vet did ask you to come in.  Please update us. Good luck!

#21 mummabear

Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:37 PM

Old girl is resting at the vets. She had a huge abscess removed from her jaw, as well as a thorough exam while she was out. She also had blood drawn for thyroid tests. Every other test they did came back normal. original.gif  Her very sorry physical size is still a piece of the puzzle we don't have. It is looking like thyroid trouble but I won't know for a couple of days.

But she's still with us. biggrin.gif



#22 mummabear

Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:56 PM

And she has hyperthyroid.

Now to get her back to her old self!



#23 *Spikey*

Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:28 PM

That's not so bad - my girl has that, a lot of cats do. Depending on what other things they have going on, it can be treated, and sometimes its fine to just leave it.




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