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Fluid in the lungs? I'm a little confused.

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phoebephan

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Thanks, everyone............I'm a guy and don't have perfume, or any of those other things.............Unfortunately, I don't think it's anything environmental. Nothing has changed in her environment at all...............And, I've heard this type of wheezing before - when my mother had congestive heart failure and other issues like that. Never heard it with a cat before, though..............Then again, my mother lived quite a while after the wheezing, so maybe she's not suffering too much. She actually just walked by licking her lips from eating something from my 5 plates of food in the kitchen for her.................The thing she didn't do was meow, grunt, etc. She was the most vocal cat ever - until a few days ago. Announcing everything she ever did.
 

FeralHearts

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I'm so sorry for that news :-( I was really hoping something different for you and Maggie.

I can't tell you want to do. If it were me, I'd wait, keep a close eye and see how she does. My Charlie wheezes all the time when his Asthma kicks in. I know it's not at all, in any way the same as Cancer but...

Spend as much time as you can with her.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOX
 

amandag1

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Maybe the lasix can help keep off the fluid... and when she stops eating and really feels lousy you can consider letting her go
My kitty is on lasix too and they told me I could put him down in April... he is doing okay so far! (HCM and cardiac issues though, not cancer)
 

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I'm so sorry P phoebephan . I know the wheezing you mean, and its horrible. In particular with my old girl (who had lesions in her lungs from leprosy, and only 50% lung function by the time we found out). If wheezing like that is constant, that obviously changes things. As you say, fighting for breath is NOT fun. It does depend on why. If the primary problem is lesions or tumors, then that obviously paints a very different picture than wheezing purely from fluid (which can be treated with meds).

It's great that you trust your vet and his instincts. You and he are the only ones who have seen Maggie, and are the only people who can truly assess her quality of life. Its significant that (if I understood you correctly) this is a secondary cancer too. Above all, trust your own instincts. You know Maggie best.


Personally, I tend towards saying goodbye a little sooner than risk waiting too long. I have held on too long in the past, and always regretted it afterwards. Do, though, consider speaking to your vet and seeing if he can make a home visit. I always do this when it's time to say goodbye, so that the last moments are as happy, relaxed and stress free for kitty as possible. It is a very personal choice though, and isn't right for everyone.

Know that we're all here for you and support you. This is the hardest time of any kitty's life, and you don't have to go through it alone :hugs:
 
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tarasgirl06

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Thanks. I probably am going to have to let her go tommorrow. She definitely has a few of those. The head hanging lower is heartbreaking.
Just FYI, my Tarifa sits sternal recumbent with her paws tucked in at times. When she's doing this, she sometimes falls asleep and so her head is touching the floor/carpet/bed. It doesn't look comfortable to us, but if she wasn't comfortable she wouldn't be lying this way. She is healthy, happy and in very good condition for 16. So don't despair because of a position, please! :winkcat: :vibes::vibes::vibes: My mom had COPD and congestive heart failure. She was on oxygen for this. She had a tremendous will to live and was a person to whom quality of life mattered very much. So I empathize about your mom, very much.
 

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My cat had been dry heaving (or so I thought) for a few weeks. Since she throws up or dry heaves pretty frequently, I didn't really think much of it.............I was going to make an appt on Thursday for whatever day they had available, but then Thursday I woke up to her wheezing, so I called and got her in right away............I kept thinking she's got some kind of hairballs stuck and she's trying to get them out.

Turns out she was trying to fluid out of the lungs. I was pretty blindsided by this and wasn't totally comprehending what the vet was trying to tell me. He basically was saying it could be that the mammary cancer they thought they caught in time a year ago had mestasicized (esp. because he could see what appeared to possibly to a lump in there) - or other unpronoucable to me options. And, they were all really bad.

I opted to pay for sending the X ray to the radiologist for further analysis, and came home with a bottle of Lasix and told they'll call when they hear back.................I was also told to bring her back in if she really has trouble breathing or to the ER - if it's off hours for them.

I'm a little overwhelmed but now in doing my reading, I'm wondering why he wouldn't have drained the lungs? I don't remember this being discussed. I'm thinking maybe because he seems to really think the outcome in grim - and maybe this prolongs suffering? He did say he really doesn't believe in chemotherapy if it turns out to be the cancer - because the cat goes through hell and at the most gets 6 more months of life. He said it's not like humans who have a chance at remission.

Anyone have any ideas? Of course, now they're closed till Monday and this is the first day my cat is not eating much (she was 100% normal until Thursday morning)
So sorry about your kitty. The dvm should be able to tell by an x ray if it is heart disease or something else. Lasix is the standard treatment. Draining fluid is dangerous and would usually only be done if there is a huge amount and other severe issues causing fluid build up like advanced congestive heart failure and meds such as lasix aren't enough. Iv Lasix and inj lasix work faster for emergencies than pills. * Ok so I just read your dvm says it is lung cancer, how does he know with only an xray I have to wonder. One er dvm thought Syb had lung cancer when she first went into chf, but is was hcm and congestive heart failure confirmed by her response to oxygen and lasix etc. and by the internist and cardiologist the next day who knew what they were looking at. My own dvm had already thought it was hcm and chf as well as I recall. Any way 🙏🏻 ❤ you and your kitty.
 
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phoebephan

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10 days later and I'm still confused!.................Yesterday (Sunday), Maggie was hanging in there really good. She kept following me everywhere I went, she was eating quite a bit, not wheezing too often, etc..............Then, I got up today and she was wheezing and definitely struggling to breathe, she was hiding, and hadn't eaten all night and well into the day - probably 20 hours or more...........So, I called to take her in to be put down, and they said come in in 45 minutes............I got ready and was sitting in my chair, when she jumped on me, with her breathing soundless and smooth and then jumped off a little while later to go drink water and eat some.......So, I said I can't put her down right now and canceled.

I don't know if I'm being selfish and making her suffer. When I had made the appt, I had just read things like "it's better to be a week early than a minute late" and that breathing difficulty is considered the most painful thing for humans (not sure why they said humans when they were talking about cats - maybe because we're the only ones who can really give a rating scale)..........So, I'm like that's it.

But, then her sitting on me, purring, and breathing OK changed it...........Now tonight, she was wheezing again, and I'm thinking I'm not doing the right thing..........When I hear it, I say that's it. Then it goes away, and I'm like Well, she might be OK for now.

Any thoughts?
 

Meowmee

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10 days later and I'm still confused!.................Yesterday (Sunday), Maggie was hanging in there really good. She kept following me everywhere I went, she was eating quite a bit, not wheezing too often, etc..............Then, I got up today and she was wheezing and definitely struggling to breathe, she was hiding, and hadn't eaten all night and well into the day - probably 20 hours or more...........So, I called to take her in to be put down, and they said come in in 45 minutes............I got ready and was sitting in my chair, when she jumped on me, with her breathing soundless and smooth and then jumped off a little while later to go drink water and eat some.......So, I said I can't put her down right now and canceled.

I don't know if I'm being selfish and making her suffer. When I had made the appt, I had just read things like "it's better to be a week early than a minute late" and that breathing difficulty is considered the most painful thing for humans (not sure why they said humans when they were talking about cats - maybe because we're the only ones who can really give a rating scale)..........So, I'm like that's it.

But, then her sitting on me, purring, and breathing OK changed it...........Now tonight, she was wheezing again, and I'm thinking I'm not doing the right thing..........When I hear it, I say that's it. Then it goes away, and I'm like Well, she might be OK for now.

Any thoughts?
I have cared for two of my girls who had hcm and it is maybe the most difficult disease to manage for many reasons. Each cat and each case is different. Tess had hcm diagnosed when she was only 8. I noticed she was having trouble breathing, took her in to then dvm and was actually mocked to my face essentially and behind my back, overheard dvm tell a tech I was crazy. She basically told me nothing was wrong, it was my imagination. 3-4 days later Tess went into complete congestive heart failure. I brought her back and xray showed she was in chf most likely. I brought her to a true animal hospital where she stayed for 3 days under the care of a great doc. They saved her life. She was on lasix and a ccb and she lived for 3.5 years with a pretty good quality of life until crf hit was well. There was a recuperation period from chf for her to stabilize and the doses of meds were adjusted. Lasix eventually caused crf, at which point she became anemic and she had to have fluids and more meds including epogen. She went into kidney failure and was hospitalized again for that. It took a lot longer to stabilize her but she eventually did very very well with the fluids needed for her kidneys. Eventually the anemia took her and it was very difficult to manage all of it. Her heart disease was not as advanced as Syb’s. I miss my Tess so much still, she was the sweetest, most gentle cat, she came every where with me.

Sybil who passed last May, was not diagnosed until she was about 17 years old. Her hcm was very advanced and the damage to her heart was severe. She was already being treated for crf with fluids and the fluids were too aggressive which made her go into chf. She also had had asthma as a young cat and it was a bit confusing because her symptoms sometimes seemed like hcm to me but none of her dvm ever diagnosed it until then. She had a terrible time with the fluids and the cardiologist said to stop all fluids eventually after reducing them. In the middle of all of this she went into liver failure and no one could figure out why but I saved her with denamarin, bringing her out of jaundice.

Like you are saying she and Tess had good days and moments and bad days and we were always monitoring, you become so anxious at every breath they take. They seem in distress one moment and fine the next. It is very stressful but if your cat stabilizes you may be lucky and she may be like Tess and live quite a while. It would help if you can take her to a cardiologist/ internist who knows more and who can see where her disease is in stages etc. with Syb we knew it would end her life, the cardiologist said this right away. Syb did not want to die and she fought for every moment with us. My family wanted her to die at home but it was not possible and would have caused terrible suffering. In the end she had a saddle thrombus and she could not survive it they said. Even then she did not want to go yet. At one point her doc did drain some fluids with a syringe when the meds were not acting fast enough to do it. She was on plavix and aspirin for a while too, but they do not stop clots the way blood thinners like warfarin do, there is a trial now in cats for Apixaban.

One thing I considered for Syb was an oxygen tent for at home which can be very helpful for hcm cats, but the dvm c etc discouraged me from it. She alos had some steroid shots to help breathing and then she was back on her aerocat for a while with the hcm diagnosis as well which can help the breathing but the cardiologist said to stop them due to her heart. Syb lived for 5 months with her hcm and everything else. I worked very hard to keep her comfy and with us as long as possible. It was so very hard. When you care for a very ill cat the love and bond becomes even stronger. There is a good fb group for maine coones and other cats with hcm where you can get help. I am not sure if your kitty has lung cancer or hcm now although you said dvm says lung cancer. Syb was part NFC part Siberian.

No one can tell you what to do, you have to decide at what point she is having more bad moments than good ones and then decide when the time is right to let her run free. I understand completely how you feel. Usually they say when she can no longer eat, poop/ pee etc, groom, and enjoy life it is time or if there is constant severe breathing trouble, pain etc.

Hugs to you, I know how painful this is to see your girl like this and try to navigate your way through caring for her. I miss my girls and boy furbabies soooo much and would give anything to have them all still here.
 
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phoebephan

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Usually they say when she can no longer eat, poop/ pee etc, groom, and enjoy life it is time or if there is constant severe breathing trouble, pain etc.
Thanks for all the info...........Yeah, the pooping/peeing are good, and the grooming she's doing a little (for her - she was a ridiculous overgroomer until last week - very OCDish) and she's eating some and drinking a lot..........Don't know about pain, but like you're saying it's on and off with the breathing trouble. Right now, she's sitting next to me at my desk and not making any noise with her breath and seems content..........Earlier, she was wheezing.

Is she enjoying life? Not like she was less then two weeks ago...........But, she looks relaxed right now. She seems to want to be near me even more than ever - for comfort............When she was hiding today instead of coming near me, I thought that was another sign that I should take her in immediately..........But, then she went back to being on me or near me.
 

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Thanks for all the info...........Yeah, the pooping/peeing are good, and the grooming she's doing a little (for her - she was a ridiculous overgroomer until last week - very OCDish) and she's eating some and drinking a lot..........Don't know about pain, but like you're saying it's on and off with the breathing trouble. Right now, she's sitting next to me at my desk and not making any noise with her breath and seems content..........Earlier, she was wheezing.

Is she enjoying life? Not like she was less then two weeks ago...........But, she looks relaxed right now. She seems to want to be near me even more than ever - for comfort............When she was hiding today instead of coming near me, I thought that was another sign that I should take her in immediately..........But, then she went back to being on me or near me.
You’re welcome🙂
Sounds like she is ok so far. I think you will know when it is time and maybe more info from a more knowledgeable dvm can help too. These things can come on so suddenly, with Syb it was the fluids that brought on chf etc. she was doing very well too before that and had I known about the heart disease I would not have given any fluids.
 
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Columbine

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It is so hard to know when to make that call sometimes, especially with fluctuating symptoms like this. I don't think anyone can tell you when the right time is.

If I were going to keep going with her, I'd want to look into at least having some emergency lasix at home for when she had difficult days. Or (possibly my preferred option) have her on lasix as a prophylactic, to make sure she stays comfortable.

For me, one factor would be how far the cancer has spread in her lungs. If she still has most of her lung capacity available I'd keep going longer than if, say, she had only 50% capacity or less available. Does that make sense? Lasix can help keep the fluid at bay (or at least keep it managable), but it can't help any loss of capacity due to tumors.

My leprosy girl had lesions in her lungs to the extent that she had less than 50% lung capacity available. That was a big factor in my making her final decision.

The other thing to look at is how much of the time she's hiding or wheezing compared to how much time she's acting like herself. If she has more good days/moments than bad, she maybe isn't ready. When the balance tips the other way, that is an indication that you maybe need to reassess her situation.

I'm sorry I'm not able to be more help. You know your girl best and, ultimately, you'll know when it's time. My heart goes out to you. Trust yourself. You'll know when the time comes.
 

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I agree with columbines post, if your cat is having more good days than bad ones then keep her going, just as long as her lung capacity is enough for her to breath on. She likes to be near you for comfort and she knows you can asisst her with her breathing difficulties, as well as that she loves you.
 

Meowmee

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Thanks for all the info...........Yeah, the pooping/peeing are good, and the grooming she's doing a little (for her - she was a ridiculous overgroomer until last week - very OCDish) and she's eating some and drinking a lot..........Don't know about pain, but like you're saying it's on and off with the breathing trouble. Right now, she's sitting next to me at my desk and not making any noise with her breath and seems content..........Earlier, she was wheezing.

Is she enjoying life? Not like she was less then two weeks ago...........But, she looks relaxed right now. She seems to want to be near me even more than ever - for comfort............When she was hiding today instead of coming near me, I thought that was another sign that I should take her in immediately..........But, then she went back to being on me or near me.
I forgot to mention because I assume this waa done- your cat needs to be on lasix at home for the breathing whatever is causing the fluid build up. I assume your dvm has done that but maybe not since dvm was pushing immediate euthanasia. Also a cat with fluid build up will be given either iv lasix and oxygen or injectable lasix first to stabilize them as well.
 
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phoebephan

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Thanks, all. Yes, she is on lasix. It's been a fight the last few days trying to get her to swallow the pill!

Fluctuating symptoms is a great way to put it.........................It's at a point now where its's good hours vs. bad hours instead of good days vs. bad days.
 

Meowmee

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Thanks, all. Yes, she is on lasix. It's been a fight the last few days trying to get her to swallow the pill!

Fluctuating symptoms is a great way to put it.........................It's at a point now where its's good hours vs. bad hours instead of good days vs. bad days.
:alright::vibes:She can also get an injection at dvm to help stabilize her, it works much better than the pills.
 

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It is so, so hard to know when to call it. Don't fight her about the lasix. If it doesn't go right walk away, and try again when she's more settled. The best way to give a pill stress free is to wait till they're settled and sleepy. Then walk up with pill in hand, pop it in, give them a quick stroke and you're done. It really can be that easy, if you're both relaxed and you move confidently. The biggest problems usually come if you keep trying after an initial fail, with both of you getting increasingly stressed. The last thing you want right now is to be fighting her on anything. Better the pill be a little late than you both get worked up over it ;)

I hate to say it, but good hours vs bad hours does sound like the time is drawing near. Use the time you have left together to spoil her rotten, make as many good new memories as you can, and take lots of photos if you want them. Only you can make that final call, and we're all here to support you however and whenever you need us to. No judgement, ever. Whatever decision you make, we're here :heartshape:
 

Meowmee

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Thanks, all. Yes, she is on lasix. It's been a fight the last few days trying to get her to swallow the pill!

Fluctuating symptoms is a great way to put it.........................It's at a point now where its's good hours vs. bad hours instead of good days vs. bad days.
Forgot to mention you can get lasix compounded in a liquid which may be easier. I did that for Syb. And the dose is normally adjusted by your dvm until your cat responds well.
 

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