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I Feel Like I'm Close To Having To Make "that" Call, But I'm So Unsure

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by cuthawolf, Aug 11, 2019.

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  1. cuthawolf

    cuthawolf Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    I wish I could be certain. Winter is almost 16. She has diagnosed Hyperthyroid and has lost a lot of weight over the last year. She was on a topical that I would rub into her ears, and everything was okay. She would purr and I would give treats after.

    But she kept dropping weight. Took her to the vet and the topical isn't working. We make the decision to switch to an Iodine free diet to battle the thyroid issues and it seems to be okay. She eats the foot, puts a little weight back on.

    Then she starts limping, back bent, having trouble with the litter box. Over the last week or so she's been vomiting after each trip to the litter box, and barely pooping. Some research shows Constipation is common with Hyperthyroid. And this particular diet makes it worse.

    At this point she seems to have stopped eating entirely, thought I've seen her drink water. Morning cleans of the litter box are distressingly light. I switch back to regular food, make sure there's three different bowls of water throughout the apartment.

    Still not eating. Not getting up to poop, though she gets up to pee. Lethargic, no energy. Lies under the living room table, almost like she's hiding

    Am I just cruelly prolonging suffering?

    Is she in misery and pain? Should I make the decision to let her go?

    The thought of that hurts me so much I feel like I'm dying. I've been in and out of sobbing fits for days just trying to figure out what to do.

    I don't want to lose her...but I'm afraid I'm keeping her alive now for me, not for her.

    I wish I could know for sure.
     
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  2. MissClouseau

    MissClouseau TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    I'm very sorry you are in this difficult position. I have seen vets share this scale with the human of their patients
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. catsknowme

    catsknowme TCS Member Top Cat

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    :alright: I know how lonely this stage of the journey is for you. The hiding, the not eating, the lethargy, are all signs of suffering. However, without another professinional visit, you might be left wondering. If you have the means, then perhaps an ultrasound might reveal a treatable condition. My daughter's 18yo cat went to a second vet and got a lengthy series of enemas and that added months to her life. But if that option is not on the table, then it is time to allow her spirit to leave its earthly shell. Death comes as a friend to those who pain - it is the inevitable and a good euthanasia is a gift, remarkably peaceful, quick and easy.
    If she is not eating, disastrous changes happen to her body. You could rub her gums with honey or white karo corn syrup to bring up her blood sugar and see how she responds. You might see if she can drink goats milk and keep it down.
    But please love your cat enough to let go when it is time. I do not say those words lightly - I have had to make that final decision thrice this year. I wish that I could say that it was easier each time. Just know that sometimes true love is letting go. And that we here at the TCS community are here to support you in your grief. Prayers and vibes for courage and strength :vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::grouphug2:
     
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  4. cuthawolf

    cuthawolf Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Thank you guys, I really appreciate the kind words and advice. This forum has been a wonderful place for me while I learn about having an older cat.
     

  5. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    :vibes::alright: :grouphug:
     
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  6. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  7. neely

    neely May the purr be with you Staff Member Forum Helper

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    I'm so sorry Winter is having a difficult time as her health declines. Having walked in your shoes too many times my heart goes out to you. :hugs: The Quality of Life scale @MissClouseau posted was recommended to me by one of our vets when we were having a difficult time making the ultimate decision. It helped immensely. Here is an Article that discusses When is it Time which may also be helpful for you:
    When Is It Time? - Making The Difficult Decision

    Sending special thoughts to Winter and you. The members on TCS are all here for support. :grouphug:
     
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  8. Cara80

    Cara80 TCS Member Young Cat

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    Can your vet offer other forms of thyroid medication? Maybe the topical wasn't absorbing very well, some compounding pet pharmacies offer treats with the meds in them, or compounded liquids that you just shoot a little into their mouth. Of course there's pills too, but I've always found it really hard to pill cats.
     
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  9. cuthawolf

    cuthawolf Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    There were two more options for Thyroid treatment, and I badly wish I'd tried the first one: A flavoured liquid I'd have to shoot into her mouth once or twice daily. Not very nice for her, but way better than the pill option and lets her keep having treats and the wet foods she likes

    Option two was never really on the table: She'd have to go for a clinic for a week and have her Thyroid "zapped" with radiation until it ceased to function. I assume she;d then need other medications for life. I didn't want to do this because at almost 16, and so, so frail, I was extremely afraid she'd die during treatment. And since she'd have to be sent away she would die thinking I'd abandoned her. -I'd- rather die than that.

    In the end I made the hardest choice I've ever made and today a vet came to help her Pass On in the safety of her home and in my arms. I doubt. I have massive guilt. I've sobbed out loud and wondered how I am supposed to keep living with such a huge part of my life gone forever. I will always have her memories, but I wish I had all of her.

    In the end I can only hope I made the right decision, and that she forgives me and knows that I love her with my whole heart. Rest in Peace, my beautiful baby kitty.
     
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  10. silkenpaw

    silkenpaw TCS Member Super Cat

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    I am so sorry about your kitty. I’ve made this choice many times and it never gets easier. You feel like your heart has been ripped out of your chest each time.

    Please don’t double-guess yourself. You know your cat best. You did the kind thing for her, even though your own heart was breaking. What was her name? I’ll light a candle for her tonight.
     
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  11. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    :redheartpump:. :hugs:. :redheartpump:
     
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  12. cuthawolf

    cuthawolf Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Winter. She was almost 16, a New Years baby. Thank you so much, that's so kind.
     
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  13. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    RIP Winter, baby sweetheart, you were and are loved to the utmost degree.
     
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  14. Cara80

    Cara80 TCS Member Young Cat

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    May 4, 2018
    :( I'm sorry, I know it's really really hard to lose a friend. Don't doubt yourself though, you know your cat best and assessed her quality of life and saw her struggling. What you did was very kind, even though it's so hard. I just went through losing my cat about 2 months ago, so I understand and doubting your decision is completely normal.

    I'm not good at this and don't know what else to say, but I can tell you were a very loving caregiver for your Senior kitty and she loved you.
     
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  15. catsknowme

    catsknowme TCS Member Top Cat

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    Condolences on losing Winter. Tomorrow, I am taking my boy Lance in to a more expensive clinic for a 2nd opinion on his stomatitis; holistic treatment has helped because he likes to roam the yard and to get cuddled and groomed but he still has mouth pain when he eats. My regular vet doesn't do tooth extractions & says the stomatitis is in his throat. ....
    Anyway, you gave your sweet princess the gift of an easy passing. Just as it is with our elders, age severely limits our options. What can be a viable protocol for an 11 or 12 year old can be too stressful for a little cat body over 15 years. With the liquid, if your girl objected too much, there might have been the risk of aspiration - as the others here have said, you knew your soul-kitty best.
    Thank you for giving us the update and letting us know the conclusion....I know how extremely hard it is to write the words. We are all here for you, both in the forums and via Private Message. :grouphug2::bawling::grouphug:
     
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  16. KarenKat

    KarenKat Kitty on the half shell, tortie power! Top Cat

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    I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of Winter. We had a similar problem last year with our boy Trin, and having the vet come to our home was the best way to help him transition. We also cried, and doubted, and wondered if it was really time. Unfortunately they can’t tell us if it was the right decision, but it was made with love in the end. My heart goes out to you :heartshape:
     
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  17. cuthawolf

    cuthawolf Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jun 11, 2013
    Today is self-recrimination day it seems. So many moments replayed over and over, telling myself if I'd acted earlier, if I'd spent more money (I'm disabled so on a fixed income), if I'd done better then maybe it might be different.

    Thank you everybody for the support and the kind words, they mean the world to me. @Cara80 I'm so sorry to hear about your friends passing, it really is the worst. @catsknowme I wish you all the luck in the world with Lance, I hope things get sorted quickly and completely. And just thank you everyone. Thank you so much.
     
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  18. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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  19. Leomc123

    Leomc123 TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    i am sorry that winter has passed, but you did a kind thing for her. Its the most difficult decision in life to make so you did this out of love for her, you were not selfish to let her strugle or suffer more pain. The worst part of this is the feeling of guilt for making the decision to end a life , its the feeling that we dont have a right to play god with a living being as it is gods right to do this. I too made this decision for my 2 cats this year and it tore me to peices , even though i knew it is the right thing to to stop them from suffering, but i feel like i dont have a right to end their life and i still pray for their forgiveness. This decision is a bitter sweet one, to stop their suffering because there is no other option and then its the guilt knowing we ended their life. it will take time to get through this and you are not alone. God bless winter RIP.
     
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  20. neely

    neely May the purr be with you Staff Member Forum Helper

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    My sincere and heartfelt sympathies go out to you. :hugs: Every member here shares in your sorrow and understands what you're going through. It's one of the hardest, if not the hardest, decisions we ever have to make. If it helps I've been told - better a day too soon than to suffer in pain. RIP sweet angel. :angel:
    When you are ready and if you would like to write a tribute to Winter please feel free to do so here: Crossing the Bridge
     
    catsknowme purraised this.

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