Pet Hospice Complication

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all4mom2

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Yes, he's still with me. <3 I tried to syringe feed him again last night, and it didn't go well although he tried to eat (he almost seemed to choke on it). I administer the fluids, and it's almost instantly absorbed; maybe I'm not even giving him enough, and he IS dehydrating despite it? I'll ask the vet today about withholding fluids (they DO sedate humans who do this, usually with morphine, as well as lubricating their mouths to eliminate the discomfort) but won't put him through any more of this. I'll bring him in for euthanasia tomorrow if he hasn't passed on his own by then. It is NOT a good feeling to just watch him deteriorate...

I guess it really is true: better a day too early than a week too late! A lesson hard learned.
 
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mrsgreenjeens

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Although it's awful for you, perhaps your story will help others when the time comes.

Let us know how it all goes. We'll be thinking of you and your little guy, hoping for the best outcome possible (that he flies like an angel tonight).
 
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all4mom2

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Nope; HE'S HERE! I don't know how he's still alive. Feeding went better yesterday (I really don't want him to die of starvation on my watch), so I've decided to keep that up until his fluids run out, which should be Tuesday. Other than feedings, he sleeps the whole time (even through his infusions now that I've procured a smaller, less painful needle from the vet), so maybe I can fatten him up a little in the interim. That will be it.

I know I sound like the poster who kept making and breaking her euth appointments...

But there WON'T be another bag of fluids. He's basically on life support, and it's time.
 

mrsgreenjeens

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Wow! He's like the energizer bunny - takes a lickin and keeps on tickin. Only he doesn't really have any energy. But it's good that he's able to take in some food now without choking or vomiting. Wonder why that is :dunno:?

Keep us posted. Who knows, if he gets enough nutrition in him, he just might wake up and start trying to get around more.Then you'll really have a dilema on your hands. (what to do, what to do )
 
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all4mom2

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I spoke too soon; his food (from yesterday) came up again (today). When I tried to feed him this morning, before he threw up, he wasn't having it. Guess that's the end of that...

He's a tough little nugget! Had to be, or he never would have survived his first year in the shelter.
 

mrsgreenjeens

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I spoke too soon; his food (from yesterday) came up again (today). When I tried to feed him this morning, before he threw up, he wasn't having it. Guess that's the end of that...

He's a tough little nugget! Had to be, or he never would have survived his first year in the shelter.
Oh dear. Sorry to hear that :sigh:. Well, maybe in the long run, it's best :frown:
 

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As I've posted before, I'm attempting to let my nearly 17-year-old kitty with a suspected brain tumor (presumed secondary to nasal/sinus) transition at home. To accommodate his needs in the face of growing neurologic deficits, I began helping him walk by using a sling or just holding him up, put him in diapers for incontinence (which, surprisingly, he didn't seem to mind), and began hand-feeding him. In time, he became too uncoordinated to eat and drink on his own (intention tremor and, the vet thinks, some facial paralysis due to cranial nerve involvement), so I progressed to administering sub-q fluids at home for hydration and hand-feeding using a syringe and catheter tip for nutrition. I'll be the first to admit I probably should have euthanized him at this point, but I didn't, although all of my previous pets have been; I simply couldn't seem to do it with this special pet. At any rate, that went pretty smoothly for a while -- I finally learned to manage the needle, and he happily ate the softened meals I squirted into his mouth, until a day or two ago, when he became bringing it up again. It seems he can't hold down his food anymore or digest it (it came up the next morning in the same "noodle" shape it went down in the night before). Rather than subject him to that anymore, I've just stopped feeding him, but am continuing fluids. He basically sleeps ALL the time now, and I expect him to pass naturally within a day or two. He was always thin (runt of the litter), but as this illness has progressed, he's eaten less and less as he's slept more and more and is by now emaciated. I'm worried that standard euthanasia may not even be possible at this point as a result (if his veins have collapsed) and the vet would have to resort to the "heart stick" method. I also don't know if I should continue the sub-q fluids if he's actually in the dying process; on the one hand, it may plump up his veins so I could now consider euthanasia, but on the other, if his organs are shutting down (including the heart), couldn't it result in pulmonary edema? I'm administering 100 ml's per day. I expected (and vet confirmed) that death from brain tumor wouldn't necessarily be painful - he's never seemed to be in pain - and that he'd just fall asleep and not wake up; possibly a seizure, which also wouldn't be painful for him. If he were to pass from malnutrition now that he's not eating at all, the expected end was a heart arrythmia and a sudden and again painless death. But none of these things have happened. I seem to have painted myself into a corner. I definitely will NOT attempt this again, but now I need to know what to do from this point onward for the best death. It's all been very peaceful so far, but I'm so afraid of something going wrong and causing pain...

Help!
It is so hard to get through losing them. I hope that his transition will be ok when it happens. I always wanted to do it at home etc. but it never worked out that way. My Wizard was the most peaceful. Hugs to you. I hope they can do the euthanasia if it doesn't happen naturally before that.
 
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all4mom2

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To update the few of you (relative to other threads on this site) who were kind enough to respond to my post, I'm sorry to tell you my kitty passed away last night. R.I.P. sweet boy.
 

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I'm deeply and truly sorry.
You were a wonderful mom to him, be proud of this. He will love you forever.
You couldn't do anything better.
Take care of yourself.
 

mrsgreenjeens

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I'm also sorry that you two had to go through this, but glad that he has now left this world. Hoping it was a peaceful passing.

When you feel up to it, we would love to read your tribute to him in our Crossing the Bridge forum. I know you feel like many people don't care since you didn't get many responses to your post here, but that's not true. Everyone here cares deeply about cats and I truly believe most people just didn't know what to say to help you. But you did have close to 600 views on your thread. I look forward to reading all about him before he got sick, and maybe seeing pictures of him too. Many people find closure by posting those tributes.

Gosh, I just realize we don't even know this sweet cat's name :frown:. Well, he'll be welcomed at the Rainbow bridge none the less :rbheart:
 

sunny578

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I'm so sorry for your loss. I also have opted for hospice care with my animals, but ended up euthanizing right before the end. I wanted to share a resource that I've found to be very helpful with end of life care: brighthaven.org. They are totally non-judgmental. Vets/other people in my life pressured me to euthanize way too early (in my opinion) and it was nice to have access to a group that supported my decision to do hospice and try for a natural death.

Hope you are doing ok. Sounds like you two had a special bond.
 
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all4mom2

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Thank you for your message, Sunny578. For any others who are like-minded or may be researching this subject in the future and happen upon this thread, there are some good online articles exploring "natural death versus euthanasia." Bright Haven is a good start.

(Others basically posting, "Thank God he's finally gone!" aren't being kind or helpful.)

Yes, we shared a very special bond, and we did this our way. His passing was as peaceful as if we had done it everyone else's way. To be honest, I don't really feel compelled to share our story, given my experience here. He and I lived it together.

And that's all that matters.
 
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