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Sick cat *sensitive*


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#1 Wolf87

Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:20 PM

Hi everyone.

So our big cat was a off his food and vomiting, and it quickly deteriorated to him not drinking any water so we took him to an emergency vet. They did IV fluids as he was so dehydrated, gave him IV antibiotics, kept him overnight. Did a general ultrasound and it looks like the lymph nodes in his stomach are swollen. He’s always been a pretty chucky cat, he’ll eat a massive pile of dry food, chuck, eat some more. I didn’t think much of it and thought he just ate to fast.

He also had a temp which is gone after treatment. We decided to take him home tonight as after spending $1500 we just couldn’t afford another night in hospital, plus he is terrified of the vet.

We have sectioned him off in his own room, with all he needs, and he has had a bit more diarrhoea and I don’t think he has eaten yet. We might wake up tomorrow and he’ll be fine, or he’ll be still crook.

If he’s ok obviously we will still seek medical assistance, but we just can’t afford the level of ICU care he needs if this persists. We could do an expensive test to see if he has an obstruction, but even if he does, could we afford to treat it?

I feel absolutely awful so please no judgement. It’s not like we have 20k in the bank and just are choosing not to spend it on him, we just do not have the cash.

We have had him 9years. Some sensitive advice would be appreciated :(

ETA His swollen lymph nodes could be an indicator of cat IBS or cancer

Edited by Wolf87, 21 September 2019 - 11:48 PM.


#2 Ellie bean

Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:48 PM

Oh I’m so sorry. No judgment whatsoever here. I would be asking the vet blunt questions:
-how much is the test
-if something is found, how much will the treatment be
-what are the odds on treatment being successful
-will he suffer in the treatment
-how much is it likely to prolong his life by
Totally different situation in terms of the illness and the age but I had a very blunt discussion with my vet earlier this year along those lines and decided not to have further treatment because he would have suffered and the chances of him improving were small and in any case only for a limited amount of time. I felt like they were just saying to me “you can have this treatment “ amd I had to really start the rest of the conversation and say “let’s be really blunt here”, then they were really open and great and I could make an actual informed decision, and once i decided no treatment they were fantastic in having a medication plan to manage his pain till I was ready to say goodbye.
Thinking of you

#3 lozoodle

Posted 22 September 2019 - 12:02 AM

I don't have much advice, but just wanted to send you hugs. No judgement here. its so awful when your pets get unwell :(

#4 Wolf87

Posted 22 September 2019 - 12:34 AM

View PostEllie bean, on 21 September 2019 - 11:48 PM, said:

Oh I’m so sorry. No judgment whatsoever here. I would be asking the vet blunt questions:
-how much is the test
-if something is found, how much will the treatment be
-what are the odds on treatment being successful
-will he suffer in the treatment
-how much is it likely to prolong his life by
Totally different situation in terms of the illness and the age but I had a very blunt discussion with my vet earlier this year along those lines and decided not to have further treatment because he would have suffered and the chances of him improving were small and in any case only for a limited amount of time. I felt like they were just saying to me “you can have this treatment “ amd I had to really start the rest of the conversation and say “let’s be really blunt here”, then they were really open and great and I could make an actual informed decision, and once i decided no treatment they were fantastic in having a medication plan to manage his pain till I was ready to say goodbye.
Thinking of you

Thank you so much for this. Even as I was talking to the emergency vet she was saying even if she had the means to afford oncology care for a cat, she wouldn’t do it in my cats case as he is so terrified of veterinary clinics. Even when we get the home visit vet out he instantly freaks out. He doesn’t even like being picked up, because I think he associates it with medication, as we only pick him up when having to administer medication. He’s a big cat, not overweight just a huge long cat, probably 8kilos. So he just comes over for cuddles, he’s not the cat you pick up.
The vet was saying it is more expensive at their place as it is emergency care,so if he’s still bad tomorrow we will take him to our local vet. He just doesn’t look himself. I had a quick look at pet insurance for future reference, but we can barely afford health insurance for ourselves and is expensive when you have 3 cats. Tbh if this had happened 3 months prior we were in a pretty bad position and we wouldn’t have had the money for emergency care. It actually made me think about what it’s like living in USA, when every time you have a doctors visit unless you have top cover insurance you’re pretty screwed.

#5 born.a.girl

Posted 22 September 2019 - 06:26 AM

No judgement from me either, and we had our elderly cat to the vet, too, yesterday for the second time in six weeks.

We had one cat we got when he was older and he managed to live to 19 with reasonably straightforward vet care, where each treatment was a solution, not a band aid.  At one point, the vet just kindly said 'don't bring him back for more treatment, will you'.

Roll on ten years and we lost four cats in four years, we were starting to feel jinxed. Ten years later again, our fat cat is no longer fat, and he's struggling to move his back legs.   Six weeks of metacam seemed to help enormously, but suddenly yesterday he was even worse.

Long story short, point I'm getting to is that I had a similar conversation with the vet yesterday.   We've got the funds to pay if anything expensive is a relatively pain and stress free solution. I told the vet we deliberately don't have pet insurance (about $1000 pa for us) partly because I don't want to be tempted to inflict invasive and painful treatment on them for my own benefit.  Like yours, this particular cat is terrified of strangers, adores my husband but the moment he puts on a hat runs off terrified. (We got him at 2 years.)

If the vet had been able to feel a lump, that would have been it, instead it's probably severe arthritis, and he's now on metacam for life, which may or may not be the solution.  If it's not, we'll pay the $600 for an xray under anaesthetic, but that's just for clarification, not so much to work out a treatment route. There is no way we will go beyond that, and it's got everything to do with quality of life for him - which doesn't exist if he's having invasive and painful treatment in an environment which will terrify him.

The long ramble is to show you that plenty of us don't believe in spending vast amounts even if we can afford to keep an animal alive for our benefit.  Most animals in the wild like this spend their last days in misery.  We have the option of allowing them to have a lovely life with us and it not ending in misery.


You've given your kitty a lifetime of love, that's what matters, not the ending.

I hope your vet is as understanding as ours was yesterday.

#6 Ellie bean

Posted 22 September 2019 - 09:20 AM

Thinking of you today OP

#7 littlepickle

Posted 22 September 2019 - 12:39 PM

I was mortified when I took my dog to an orthopaedic surgeon to find out that the clinic specialised in oncology treatment for animals. The number of terrified dogs in the waiting room who were about to have their chemo was just awful. If you have provided your cat with a loving home it is actually okay to get to the point where saying goodbye is the kind thing to do - invasive abdominal surgery is completely different to just having to remove a couple of teeth due to an abscess.
Our dog (only 5) has a significant life long metabolic disorder that affects the pancreas. He requires an intensive feeding and medication regieme. I have already let DH and the kids know that if this progresses into full blown insulin dependent diabetes that the kinder thing to do would be to put him to sleep.
Good luck

#8 Chicken Pie

Posted 23 September 2019 - 10:28 AM

Sorry OP any update?

#9 K.heather

Posted 23 September 2019 - 10:39 AM

Thinking of you xox

#10 chicken_bits

Posted 23 September 2019 - 11:16 AM

Oh gosh OP, that's so hard.

We had an emergency last Friday (13th) with our 11month old who ended up with a bowel obstruction due to eating a pom pom! It was a very stressful and expensive experience.

DH were discussing afterwards what we would have done in different scenarios and what we would do in the future.

The reason we did what we did was that our boy is still very young, and we had a traumatic experience of losing our first cat at 10 months due to FIP. Plus it was a clear diagnosis and a permanent solution.

Given your situation, I think I'd be taking him to your regular vet, getting the test to see whether it's Cancer vs IBS and if it was cancer, letting him go. If it's IBS, that can be fairly well managed with diet can't it? If it's going to be too traumatic for the cat to get the test, it may be worth weighing up whether it's worth it if the likelihood is that it is cancer and saving him the trauma.

Pet ownership is so hard. And I agree with PP in that it just really hit home to us last week how lucky we are in Australia to have subsidised health care for humans. The tests/procedures etc for animals cost the same, but they're just not subsidised. Hence the high pricetag. We looked into pet insurance too and it still didn't seem worthwhile based on what's covered and how much the OOP is still.

I'm so sorry. :(

#11 melbun

Posted 23 September 2019 - 11:29 AM

Absolutely no judgement to be made.

Financial cost is only one factor when deciding to go ahead with medical care for pets.

We have a very dearly loved 16 year old cat, he has a tumor on his liver.  He's been having palliative treatment for the last year.  We would have spent the money on further exploratory tests but we decided not to as, the pain and trauma it would cause him are just not worth it to us.

Prolonging the life of a sick animal is often a selfish decision because we don't want to lose them.

You need to make the decision as to what is best for all of you, and if that means letting a pet go peacefully and without pain and suffering then you will find the strength to do that.

:hugs:

#12 71Cath

Posted 23 September 2019 - 11:41 AM

Thinking of you OP, I hope everything is OK.

#13 EPZ

Posted 23 September 2019 - 11:46 AM

They are part of the family. We just had our cat in for three nights, on a drip. You just do it.

If too much pain and suffering, for little quality of life then you need to re-think, to make sure it’s helping.

Everyone I’ve know who have pets, have spent $$, when required.

#14 Wolf87

Posted 23 September 2019 - 09:59 PM

Thanks for all your advice, sorry I didn’t have notifications turned on.

We took him to our local vet on Sunday morning, as he was still off his food. His temp was a little bit up again, the vet gave him a couple of injections and an appetite inducing tablet (like opposite of a suppressant?) and we took him home and he went straight for the food bowl! He is still not 100% and we will be taking him back to get an ultrasound to find the underlying cause. But he is eating which is awesome! It it only cost like $250 for all that, and the ultrasound will  be a lot cheaper than at the emergency place! If it’s IBS it can be managed with cortazone (sp?) I think they said? And diet? If it’s cancer he will unfortunately be put on palliative care or put down when he gets really unwell.  Apparently the treatment for IBS also is what they do for palliative care with the cancer they suspect? Obviously as soon as he was uncomfortable or it wasn’t working we would PTS ato save him pain.
They weighed him and he’s lost like 2kilos! When they said just over 6kilos my husband was shocked!
Thanks for all your lovely advice.

I tried to upload a photo but it won’t work! :(

#15 Wolf87

Posted 23 September 2019 - 10:01 PM

View PostEPZ, on 23 September 2019 - 11:46 AM, said:

They are part of the family. We just had our cat in for three nights, on a drip. You just do it.

If too much pain and suffering, for little quality of life then you need to re-think, to make sure it’s helping.

Everyone I’ve know who have pets, have spent $$, when required.

But this was the point of my post, unfortunately we just couldn’t have afforded 3 nights on a drip if we required that. The money just isn’t there, we couldn’t ‘just do it’. 3 nights at the hospital would have cost us an extra 1600$ on top of the $1500 we spent, and thats with no additional testing. We just don’t have it.

#16 IamOzgirl

Posted 23 September 2019 - 10:05 PM

View PostWolf87, on 23 September 2019 - 10:01 PM, said:



But this was the point of my post, unfortunately we just couldn’t have afforded 3 nights on a drip if we required that. The money just isn’t there, we couldn’t ‘just do it’. 3 nights at the hospital would have cost us an extra 1600$ on top of the $1500 we spent, and thats with no additional testing. We just don’t have it.

You did the right thing OP.

Money doesn't even come into it I don't think. My parents spent a fortune keeping a pet alive until I came home. I wished they had asked me. I would have said end his feeling. As it was he didn't make it. The vet ended up pitting his foot down and saying it was cruel.

I'm glad things are looking up for you OP.

#17 Wolf87

Posted 23 September 2019 - 10:11 PM

Sorry for all the losses in here :( it is hard saying goodbye to a pet xxx

#18 Ellie bean

Posted 23 September 2019 - 10:16 PM

Fingers crossed for good results

#19 born.a.girl

Posted 30 September 2019 - 10:59 AM

View PostWolf87, on 23 September 2019 - 10:11 PM, said:

Sorry for all the losses in here :( it is hard saying goodbye to a pet xxx


I thought of you this morning and hope yours is turning out to be something with a simple solution.

Our poor ten yo Archie's turned out to be definitely neurological, and he deteriorated fast in the last day or two, so he had his peaceful goodbye this morning.  I doubt we'd even have considered it, but it was good to hear vet's confirmation that they'd absolutely advise against any further investigation because any treatment was almost certainly pointless, and would have involved brain surgery, which I'd never put a cat like him through.

#20 Jamelex

Posted 30 September 2019 - 12:44 PM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 30 September 2019 - 10:59 AM, said:




I thought of you this morning and hope yours is turning out to be something with a simple solution.

Our poor ten yo Archie's turned out to be definitely neurological, and he deteriorated fast in the last day or two, so he had his peaceful goodbye this morning.  I doubt we'd even have considered it, but it was good to hear vet's confirmation that they'd absolutely advise against any further investigation because any treatment was almost certainly pointless, and would have involved brain surgery, which I'd never put a cat like him through.

So sorry for your loss :(

#21 kadoodle

Posted 02 October 2019 - 08:01 PM

I’m so sorry for your loss.




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