End of life confusion

Jeray

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We have a beautiful 20 year old boy who the vet has confirmed is in renal failure and probable cancer. He's not in pain nor making messes. He's still naughty (:-)) but his face is sunken in and he's lost half his body weight. We are administering antibiotics 2x/day indefinitely. When is enough enough? We just lost a Maine Coon baby (9 years old) in November. I feel like I'm going crazy. 😢
 

Jcatbird

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If it was my baby and he was still “being naughty” and not in pain then I would feel he was still enjoying life. If he still wants to be playful and appears content, I would base any decisions on that. I would also look to the vet to let me know if pain was indicated. I know seeing changes that can indicate nearing the end are upsetting but if he is happy, try to focus on the joy in his eyes instead. My heart is with you.
 
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Jeray

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Thank you by the way
Much love. ❤
 

Jcatbird

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I could tell immediately how much you love him. You know, that is the thing that makes the most impact. He feels the love and is responding. If we give them care, comfort and love, nothing can ever be better. Much love back to you all. Please write back anytime. :redheartpump:
 

amandag1

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Antibiotics cure an infection....
Are your kittys kidneys infected?
 

sivyaleah

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First, I'm sorry to hear about your boy. It's so difficult once they reach such an advanced age and with concurrent disease. Trying to balance quality of life with potential illness is always tricky.

Our experience was similar in that our boy Casper, was living with renal disease for quite some time, but managing pretty good. He too, most likely had some form of cancer, although very slow moving at least. And, towards the end of his life developed hyperthyroid and because of his advanced age and health could only be treated with medication (not a big deal, the pill was tiny and easy to hide in food).

Up until a few days before we had to make that final decision, he was active, eating pretty good, enjoying life with us and his sister cat. He had lost a LOT of weight though. When we got him he was already an adult and was about 16 pounds. At that point he was nearly 18 years old and was, if I remember right, under 8 pounds. He still was able to muster up the strength some days to run around the house like a nut, playing with Cocoabean, still grooming, still using the litter box.

However, we began noticing these little "seizures". He's sort of look out of it, didn't last long but clearly something wasn't right. But all else was ok, mentioned it to the vet, so we didn't worry too much about it.

When he stopped eating though on a Friday, THAT was worrisome. Couldn't get him to eat even his favorite treats. And he suddenly looked different, and started acting different - clearly just not himself. I got him to eat some cooked ground Kobe beef finally. And the seizures were longer, he'd stand there clearly not cognizant of where he was. I took a video of that, called the vet and we brought him in the next day.

The vet ran some tests and informed us his kidneys were now in complete failure, hence the seizures picking up. We were crushed and just not able to think clearly and we had her do some support therapy so we could bring him home and think things through. We had already had many conversations about this, but once faced with it full force it really is a different thing.

Throughout the rest of the day and evening it was so obvious where our decision was going. But we didn't voice it yet. For the first time in the 10 years we had him, he refused to sleep with us instead choosing to sleep on the Ripple Rug in the living room by himself. When I woke up the next morning, he was in the same exact position we'd left him in and I got concerned that he may have already passed on but he had not. Tried to feed him and he turned his head away from me. He was listless, limp and barely responsive at first to me, but eventually did make eye contact. My husband woke up, came downstairs and I just looked at him and told him it was time. Called the vet as soon as they opened and thankfully, his doctor was in that day and they were able to get us in quickly. Casper spent his last hour in his comfy window bed, with his sister by his side, watching over him in her window bed. I took a ton of photos, it was bittersweet.

I know we made the right choice since it was so apparent that Casper was ready to go. Any cat that stops eating, is hiding, not responsive etc. in my view, is probably ready if all potential means of support have been exhausted. But, if the cat is still enjoying life and the quality of life is not causing pain? Goodness, there is always more life to live.
 

Jcatbird

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Upper respiratory may mean his appetite is off due to stuffy nose. Smelly foods and warmed foods may help. Ferber 2nd foods all meat baby when warmed is smelly, yummy, hydrating and easy to lick up. A steamy room might help too while eating. Hoping the antibiotics get rid of the URI.
 
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