So sad my kitty is dying.....kidney disease at 18yo

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rubydoo67

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Today has been rough. I’m not sure this belongs here but.....

My old man, Bandit, 18 yo, was diagnosed with the beginnings of kidney disease last November. Our vet recommended a course of renal food, B12 and sub-q to get ahead of it. Bandit really wasn’t showing any signs of anything wrong before diagnosis time, but his levels came back from a blood/urine test and we wanted to be proactive.

Since being diagnosed 6 months ago he has slowed down a lot, lost most of his hearing, lost some eye sight and lost weight but still played, ate voraciously and was king of our 5 cat household, even up until this past week. A few days ago I noticed he stopped eating as much and then hardly anything at all. His water intake suddenly increased tremendously. He is so, so thin, his body odor is strong, rough fur, wobbly sometimes, etc.

I already had an appt. to take him to the vet Monday for checkup, fluids, etc. However, because he has barely moved for days, only enough to rotate 3 different sleeping spots, and he has basically stopped eating, I got an appt. this morning and brought his sub-q and B12 to get him replenished there. I assumed he was very dehydrated. The vet (not our normal one) examined and agreed he was doing poorly and if a person, would be in short-term hospice. She recommended (if money is no object) that he have an IV all day at her office and then have me transfer him to an ER to continue the IV. She also told me she wanted to do xrays and bloodwork because she felt a possible abdominal tumor (or could be poop she said), possible mammary gland cancer (hard nipples), possible heart disease (Heart murmur he’s had for his entire time 16 years with us), and possible oral work due to rotted tooth. It makes me angry, he’s dying of kidney disease and none of these things matter at this stage (we already knew about the teeth when he was diagnosed with the kidney disease and our regular vet said to forgo because of his age.) He’s not going to make it through the weekend most likely, let alone the nonsense she is suggesting.

I hope I did the right thing because I decided to just have sub-q, B12 and pain medicine, Bupranex, (just in case) and bring him home. She told me that sometimes we have stronger bonds with differing pets and for some we would do anything, and for others not so much. WTH? Doesn’t that seem way out of line? That’s a whole ‘ other topic.

Anyway, I know he won’t be here long at all, but wanted my 10 yo daughter and husband to say goodbye, and I don’t think any of those other items matter at this point. Even if he has cancer, he will die of kidney disease.

Since we arrived home from the vet and him receiving the fluids, B12 and Bupranex, he hasn’t moved at all. He found a little hide hole and has been there all day. No food, no water (yes he got fluids) and no bathroom. I panicked and called the vet about bringing him back in and thankfully, our regular vet was there and able to get on the phone with me. My regular vet said he thought the pain medicine probably knocked Bandit out (he only weighs 6.5lbs now) and the effects could last 12 hours that‘s the most likely reason he isn’t moving. Seeing Bandit today, my husband wants me to have him put down tomorrow because he seems so bad today. Does anyone have experience with Bupranex and it’s effects, or been in a similar situation? I know he won’t last much longer, and I’m so sad and torn on the “right” time to free him. Thanks.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Sweetie, the right time to free him is when he has no joy left in life...actually, just BEFORE that. If he were my own beloved Hekitty, and if he rallied just a bit with this intervention, I would take him (or my Hek) in before another downward spiral started, or as soon as it did. Jackson Galaxy once said something that stuck with me forever, he said, "Never on their WORST day." Remember...unlike humans, cats do not fear death, or see it as a release from pain. It simply happens. ALL our babies know is what is going on at the moment, so let that last moment not be horrible.

His hiding and isolating may be the medication, but it could also (and more likely, in my opinion) be a cat who knows that his time is coming to an end, and is seeking solitude for that reason. When Hek has been loopy from drugs, she does not isolate. Some do, I suppose. They are as individual as we are.

Now, that is simply my opinion. There are others here who feel the exact opposite. It must be, regardless of what you decide, a decision that you can live with. Either way, you're going to feel horrible grief and horrible guilt. That is natural. And when the time comes, tomorrow or another day, WE WILL BE HERE WITH YOU!

00LitCandle.jpeg
 

sivyaleah

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Hi Ruby.

I've been exactly where you are right now. We lost our old boy in February 2019, at almost 18 from a long battle with kidney disease. He had been doing pretty well for several years, even had diabetes and hyperthyroid inbetween he was dealing with and a couple of other minor ailments here and there. He was a trooper, and we did everything we could for him to the very end.

I don't know why this vet you mention was talking about doing all these other treatments for possible other medical issues at this stage of your cats life. That, makes NO sense to me. Clearly he was not at a point where he would be able to tolerate those kinds of interventions. Our boy most likely had a slow growing intestinal mass of some sort in additional to all else but what was the point of treating that when we knew the kidney disease was a chronic illness that was going to keep getting worse and be the most likely reason he passes sooner, than later?

Anyway unfortunately, things went downhill very quickly at the end over the course of 24 hours and it was very clear to us that something was very wrong with him. The worst was it appeared he was having small seizures. The things you describe are things we saw in our boy too. We brought him to see the vet immediately and were told his kidneys were finally shutting down completely. My husband and I were pretty shocked and couldn't make any kind of decision at the moment so we, like you, let the vet administer fluids, and some other things to support him an we took him home to think over what we were going to do - even though we both kind of already knew the answer.

That night, he got worse and when he didn't come sleep with us for the first time ever that was a huge sign. He wouldn't eat either and just was sitting hunched up on the floor. I did manage to get him to eat when I cooked up a Kobe hamburger for him (I kind of like the idea that something so delicious was his last dinner). We went to bed without him. When I got up the next morning, he had not moved at all, so clearly had not gone up to his litter box either. He was very non-responsive. When my husband awoke, I told him I thought it was time to say goodbye to our boy and he agreed. We were lucky that his vet was in that day, we have a good relationship with her and she adored him so it was fitting that she would be there for him in his final moments with us.

I can't say if the medication is what is knocking Bandit out or, if it's his end of life normal body shutting down. Sadly it sounds so similar to what we experienced. And my feeling was that we were ready to let Casper go. We didn't want him to suffer any longer than necessary. It was awful, yes. But what would have been more awful would be spending one extra day watching him slip away.

I wish you and your family the best in this difficult decision It's one only you can make but we will be here for you regardless of what it is.
 

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:alright: I am so sorry to hear what Bandit is going through (and you,too). For what it is worth, clearly, he is an old kitty and I'll bet you have given him a wonderful life. First off, I wouldn't have put him through all that stuff, either - no way -not given his current circumstances. Secondly, I agree with you that what that vet said came out REALLY bad. I am thinking she didn't mean it the way it came out. Maybe she meant not everyone would have been as conscientious as you have been in tending to him, getting him seen by the vet, etc. Yes, Bupranex is pretty effective, at least in my experience. My boy had it after PU surgery. I have to be honest and tell you that I hope you are in agreement with your husband about putting him over the Rainbow Bridge tomorrow because he is in advanced stage of this awful disease and down to 6.5 pounds. It is time, especially given his old age. I am so very sorry. To witness our furbabies go through any kind of trauma is a trauma for us, too. Please keep us posted on what you decide. I would probably take him to ER tonight and do it (with you by his side, of course), but if not, at least he has the Buprenex to help him be comfortable. My heart goes out to you...;
 

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I don't have any experience with kidney problems to comment on that specifically, but I wanted to say I'm really sorry to read about your situation as I saw where you said you were going through something similar from my thread. It's really tough, but I agree with Mamanyt, if there is no joy left, it is time.

I just let my cat go a couple hours ago so I'm a little numb in typing right now, but my thoughts are definitely with you.
 
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rubydoo67

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Thanks everyone for your responses. Grea thoughts and echoing what I know in my heart, sometimes just need to hear it from others I guess.

The downturn was so, so fast I think I am in shock as I thought, even last week, he might make it thru late summer. He woke from his stupor last night, about 13 hrs after getting the Bupranex, came out of his hole, got some water and went and jumped on his perch. I slept on the couch and he came and slept near me on his heatting pad. He was up this morning drinking water, licked some food, got some pets but is now back in his hole. I am making an appointment to bring him in today. He is not going to rally and I know that. I also feel guilty because my daughter is so upset. This is the 2nd cat we have lost to this disease in a year. Just sucks
 

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I don't have any experience of kidney problems, But wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you and your family at this sad time. You are making the right choice for Bandit, sending hugs.:vibes::alright:
 

sweetblackpaws

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There is no reason whatsoever to feel guilty, but I know it is natural to feel that way when this happens. You must know, in your heart and mind, that you could not have prevented this. Please touch base with us after the appointment, although I realize you may not be up for it. We are here for you and Bandit.
 

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R rubydoo67 I am truly sorry for what both your family and Bandit are going through. I do know exactly how you are feeling. My cat was diagnosed with stage 2 kidney disease and I thought okay we can deal with this. I had never had a cat with CKD before , but had seen other cats with the disease and with proper treatment lived years after diagnosis.
In fact , many cats on this site. The vet and I tried all the medications,
sub -q - fluids , etc. At first , he remained stable. Two months later , vet repeated blood work. He was close to stage 4 then. Tried more medications to see if he could have more time. I tried everything in my power to help my poor kitty and give us both some more time.
I cried , prayed to God. I just couldn't lose my precious sweet kitty.
He was barely 10 years old.
Sadly , he did pass away. He was such a sweet , mellow cat. He took everything so well , even multiple vet visits. The vet said that he never seen such a perfect patient. He did pass naturally at home , but never really suffered. He got very weak towards the end , and just wanted to be near me. He was a happy kitty till the very end.
Letting my kitty pass naturally was the right choice for my cat and I.
The vet was shocked when I called and told him that my cat had passed.
The vet knew he would probably pass soon , but not that quickly.
I am heart broken over his loss , but content with my choice.
Choosing euthanasia or a natural death for a pet is an individual choice.
Also , each cat is different and the disease can progress differently.
I just wanted to let you know of my experience with CKD in my cat.
It truly is devastating to lose a beloved pet , no matter the age , the illness , or how they pass.
My cat passed about 7 months after diagnosis , at about 10 years old.
My heart is with you and Bandit!
 

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I am truly sorry you are dealing with this. I lost my Boo in February this year to chronic renal failure. He would have been 14 this August. One thought about the pain medication and his behavior. Since his kidneys are not functioning normally, the medication is not filtered out of his system quite like it should be so he could be having a stronger than normal reaction to it. Kidney disease is painful so I am glad he has the medicine. I am happy that you stood your ground with that vet. Having lost numerous pets over my lifetime, I have found they usually let me know when they are ready to go - it is just a normal occurrence for them. No fear about it, just heart breaking for us. It is the most difficult decision that a pet owner has to make. Hugs and we are here for you if you need it.
 
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rubydoo67

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Thank you everyone for the kind words and encouragement. Bandit crossed the rainbow bridge yesterday. Our vet was kind enough to let me come in the office and be with him, even during this pandemic. Bandit’s normal tech was there as well. It was very peaceful, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t devasted (And crying in a snot-filled mask sucks!]. Bandit was with me so long, every high and low of my life he was part of and I will always be thankful that we found each other. Kidney disease sucks as did lymphoma (you can read my posts from a few years ago on another cat). I so wish our pets lived longer. Thank you again and peace to all
 

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Oh, rubydoo67, many, many hugs to you! Bandit knew you loved him - please go to bed tonight remembering that. My vet has a hanging sign in her office that says, "if love could have kept you here, you would have lived forever.". Clearly, Bandit is no exception! You did the RIGHT thing! I am so glad you were able to be with him while he crossed. Now he will be over the bridge with so many other kitties and a new life free of sickness and one day you will be together again.:hearthrob:
 

Kitty_the_elder

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Today has been rough. I’m not sure this belongs here but.....

My old man, Bandit, 18 yo, was diagnosed with the beginnings of kidney disease last November. Our vet recommended a course of renal food, B12 and sub-q to get ahead of it. Bandit really wasn’t showing any signs of anything wrong before diagnosis time, but his levels came back from a blood/urine test and we wanted to be proactive.

Since being diagnosed 6 months ago he has slowed down a lot, lost most of his hearing, lost some eye sight and lost weight but still played, ate voraciously and was king of our 5 cat household, even up until this past week. A few days ago I noticed he stopped eating as much and then hardly anything at all. His water intake suddenly increased tremendously. He is so, so thin, his body odor is strong, rough fur, wobbly sometimes, etc.

I already had an appt. to take him to the vet Monday for checkup, fluids, etc. However, because he has barely moved for days, only enough to rotate 3 different sleeping spots, and he has basically stopped eating, I got an appt. this morning and brought his sub-q and B12 to get him replenished there. I assumed he was very dehydrated. The vet (not our normal one) examined and agreed he was doing poorly and if a person, would be in short-term hospice. She recommended (if money is no object) that he have an IV all day at her office and then have me transfer him to an ER to continue the IV. She also told me she wanted to do xrays and bloodwork because she felt a possible abdominal tumor (or could be poop she said), possible mammary gland cancer (hard nipples), possible heart disease (Heart murmur he’s had for his entire time 16 years with us), and possible oral work due to rotted tooth. It makes me angry, he’s dying of kidney disease and none of these things matter at this stage (we already knew about the teeth when he was diagnosed with the kidney disease and our regular vet said to forgo because of his age.) He’s not going to make it through the weekend most likely, let alone the nonsense she is suggesting.

I hope I did the right thing because I decided to just have sub-q, B12 and pain medicine, Bupranex, (just in case) and bring him home. She told me that sometimes we have stronger bonds with differing pets and for some we would do anything, and for others not so much. WTH? Doesn’t that seem way out of line? That’s a whole ‘ other topic.

Anyway, I know he won’t be here long at all, but wanted my 10 yo daughter and husband to say goodbye, and I don’t think any of those other items matter at this point. Even if he has cancer, he will die of kidney disease.

Since we arrived home from the vet and him receiving the fluids, B12 and Bupranex, he hasn’t moved at all. He found a little hide hole and has been there all day. No food, no water (yes he got fluids) and no bathroom. I panicked and called the vet about bringing him back in and thankfully, our regular vet was there and able to get on the phone with me. My regular vet said he thought the pain medicine probably knocked Bandit out (he only weighs 6.5lbs now) and the effects could last 12 hours that‘s the most likely reason he isn’t moving. Seeing Bandit today, my husband wants me to have him put down tomorrow because he seems so bad today. Does anyone have experience with Bupranex and it’s effects, or been in a similar situation? I know he won’t last much longer, and I’m so sad and torn on the “right” time to free him. Thanks.
I can’t address your situation. I have a 22 year old in stage 3 , going into stage 4 , renal failure, I am so scared of loosing my dear boy but know the day is fast approaching. You have to do what you think is in the best interest of your fella. I would hope my boy gets to die at home. I can’t image how traumatic a ride in the car and then injection would be. If anything I would like the vet to come to our house and give the injection. Our vet does it. It’s expensive but I’m saving up for it, just in case we need it. I want him to die at home, but that’s a personal choice, you need to decide what’s best for your family.
 

sweetblackpaws

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Kitty_the_elder, check out Lap of Love to see if they are in your area. They are wonderful and all they do is home visits, mostly euthanasias.

I have had to send a few cats Over the Bridge by bringing them to the ER or vet and most are at peace with it. I think the most important thing is to try to be there with them, and in this case, Rubydoo was. There is nothing wrong with euthanizing at the vet - many don't have access to home vet visits or they need to get in right away. The end result is the same - kitty will no longer be in pain and will be with other loved ones Over the Rainbow Bridge.

Kitty-the_elder, I am very sorry for your pain, as well as Rubydoo. It is so very, very hard. My heart goes out to all of you.
 

Norachan

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R rubydoo67 I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds as if Bandit had a wonderful long life with you.

I'll lock this thread now, as a sign of respect. If you would like to start a thread in Bandit's memory please do so in our Crossing the Bridge forum

Rest in Peace Bandit, you will be missed.
 
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