How do I decide the right thing to do for my sick cat?

Kevincat890

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I could really use some guidance from those who have had similar experiences.
My cat has been ill off and on for over a year now. She’s been vomiting, had diarrhea, skin rashes and has recently stopped eating. Lately she has started to howl/cry in pain. It’s breaking my heart to see her like this. You can tell she’s just not herself anymore. Though I’ve taken her to the vet a dozen times over the last year, they typically will send me home with medications and that’s that. Though the medications help, it’s only a temporary fix and I end up bringing her in a couple weeks later for the same issue. After everything I’ve been reading and her condition, it seems like a more serious disease is the issue. The vet is just now offering to do expensive x-rays and ultrasounds to look further into the issue, that may only diagnose the problem and be recommended surgery or prescription food that may not even help.
I personally think with animals it’s better to have a quality life than quantity. She’s a rescue and may be about only 10 years old which is still young to me. I know the vets job is to diagnose and treat the issue, but I financially and emotionally cannot keep going further. When even mentioning euthanizing, my vet immediately changed the subject.
I’m struggling to know what the right thing to do is. I just don’t want to see her in pain any longer and don’t want the rest of her days to be taking her to the scary vet, forcing her to take medications and have her improve some but never really feel great again.
My cat is clearly been sick for a long time and the illness is only progressing, how do I tell my vet I want to euthanize? I feel as if I’m being judged because I don’t want to put her through another year of pain to figure out the issue l, along with putting me with thousands of dollars in debt, for the vet to merely figure out the issue that can be ‘managed’.
thanks for listening,
KC
 

nurseangel

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I am so sorry for both you and your cat. Since your vet hasn't been receptive to your wishes, I think I would take her to another vet. Bless you for taking such good care of your cat. I admire you for being so selfless. DH and I are the ones who tend to drag things out with our own cats; not our vet. Please keep us posted. :hugs:
 
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Kevincat890

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Thank you, a friend also recommended another vet which may be a good idea. Thank you for the kind message!
 

SlightlyIvy

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Okay. I've had this conversation with myself a lot recently so I can get offer some advice?

Your cat is meant to do cat things. All her instincts tell her she's a wild animal still. When a dog gets old and sick, they tend to hold on for their humans, and that's very sweet. But cats, while they love us, hold on for simple zest of life. A healthy cat does adorable cat things (in smaller doses) up until the end. An unhealthy one? That can't play or jump or climb? I do wonder about that animals quality of life.

You aren't a bad person for not wanting her to suffer. If you do decide to euthenize her, know this; you gave her ten years of warmth, love, and care. (The kind of care only you could give, because you're the only you.) Of good food and healthy teeth, what I'm guessing is a spoiling amount of toys.

Quality vs quantity. Choosing between the two does NOT make you a bad owner. It makes you a responsible one. They are beloved pets, but they aren't people, and they don't understand suffering like we do (for a given value of understand), and so only we can make that choice. I'm sorry you're going through this. I hope you can find peace with whatever decision you choose 🙏.

Let us know!
 

DesperateMistrustful

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I'm struggling with the "euthanasia or not?" question right now myself. We've spent thousands of dollars with no answer, he's even more sick than he was when we started. We're very lucky that we can do that and I only mention it to illustrate your own point--there's absolutely no guarantee you will know what the heck is going on even after all of those tests. Veterinary medicine is complete guesswork for all but the most basic of problems. Even if something is revealed it may not be the cause and just lead you down another road.

You aren't really specific about what's going on with her or what your vet thinks it is, so maybe the following is bad advice. You know your cat best so take this with a grain of salt: if your vet is so determined to run those tests, maybe ask them for a discount? Some vets have a charity fund. You can say you'd like to do it but you just can't afford it. If they won't fire up the machines then you also know where their priorities lay. You could then maybe get a second opinion from a new vet. Lay out all of her history and have them request your current vet's records so you can get a fresh take on her condition.

I completely know how tired and sad you are right now. If that second opinion doesn't give you any hope--or if you don't even want to do it--that's perfectly fine. Maybe look into in-home euthanasia if you can afford it (it would be a few hundred dollars). Most importantly, forgive and be kind to yourself.
 
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Kevincat890

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A similar situation happened with our family dog years ago. She was very ill and after thousands of dollars of tests and surgery, she lived for a few more years but seemed more sick than before and never seemed truly happy. Maybe that’s why I’m so hesitant to invest more money and of course, more time allowing my baby to suffer when it might not help. I am so sorry to hear about your pet.
Ive never been provided an exact diagnoses but as you stated, it’s a bit of guesswork. When her illness began a year ago, a doctor at an animal hospital (a different doctor from my regular vet) stated it was more than likely inflammatory bowel disease. I have expressed to my vet that financially it’s a bit tight, but I don’t believe they would offer a discount (especially with small businesses struggling due to covid19)

thanks for your help, a second opinion sounds necessary at this point. Best of luck with your Pet.
 

molly92

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Regardless if the vet is judgmental about the decision to euthanize or they're just not treating her effectively, you deserve a better vet. Your vet should be compassionate and make you feel like your concerns are being addressed. I went to 4 local vets before I found one I liked.

I'm so sorry you're going through this and I hope you and your kitty get some relief soon, however that happens.
 

DesperateMistrustful

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Has she been getting treatment for IBD for a while? If so then I agree that it's probably time. I also completely agree with the post above me. I'm so sorry, give her lots of love.
 
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