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Very Sick Kitty - where to draw the line

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lorilook posted 5/25/2014 17:58 PM

I am so very sad today. My 5 year old kitty (who I got right after wxh left) is very sick. He is in the emergency clinic and not doing well. He had a blocked uretha that they drained with a cath, but his blood levels are not good. He has to have a surgery to remove stones in his bladder or the problem will repeat. He is at risk for kidney failure and cardiac arrest. I just don't know when to call it quits. I am charging all of his care and it is costing a LOT. It is money I don't really have. How do you know when enough is enough? He is so young and should have so much more life to live. My son (visitation with his dad this weekend) will be devastated. He sleeps with him every night. He has helped us through so much. I can't stop crying.

nowiknow23 posted 5/25/2014 18:10 PM

(((((lorilook))))) I'm so sorry, honey. I've never had to make this kind of a call, but I know you will make the right choice no matter what you decide. Hugs to you, kitty, and DS.

Too_Trusting posted 5/25/2014 18:19 PM

Oh Lori, I feel your pain. I've spent more money than I can count on my pets. It is sooooo hard to know what to do.

I guess the gauge that I try to use is:

1. Can they recover with this medical care?
2. Can they have a good quality of life after this medical care?
3. Are they suffering more with this medical care with only a very small chance of survival?
4. Is age a consideration?
5. Will this likely recur again?

I know that ER vet care is REALLY expensive. I have a JRT that has bouts of HGE (hemorraghic gastro-enteritis) and the ONLY treatment is hospitalization. Each of those visits cost me $1,000 - $1,400, depending on how long she has to stay. I ask myself the above questions, and I guess the deciding factor for me is that I know she WILL recover with proper medical treatment. She's not a young dog (13 y/o), but a small dog has a longer life span. Realistically, she CAN live another 3-5 years.

OTOH, I have a friend that had a 15 y/o diabetic cat. Her cat went into a keto-acidosis crisis, and while the prognosis was that with extreme emergency care, he could recover, she elected to put him to sleep. He was old and had lost a LOT of weight. The care he needed was going to cost $3,000+, and while the $$ wasn't the deciding factor, it was something she had to consider. He had a similar episode about a year earlier, and since it recurred, she felt like the extraordinary measures needed to save him were likely to recur again.

In your shoes, I would probably see how the kitty progresses before making a final decision. You have already got him in the hospital, and it is very likely that he will respond well to treatment. He's young, and that can make a big difference in his ability to fight and get well. There are always risks when a pet gets very, very sick, and I think the vets tell you this so you can make an informed decision when considering the medical care needed. IMHO, just see how he responds and I think you will know, in your heart of hearts, if or when it might be time to say "enough".

I have had pets pull through extraordinary illnesses, so you just never know.

Huge hugsssssssss to you, DS and kitty.

jo2love posted 5/25/2014 18:56 PM

(((lori, DS, and kitty)))

Skan posted 5/25/2014 19:25 PM

I feel for you. I really do. I have a "set" amount of money that I keep on hand for animal emergencies. And once I get 1/2 way through that, I start asking myself hard questions.

What are the chances of the pet's full recovery?
How long will they be in pain until recovery?
What is the likelihood of relapse?
What is the final total likely to be, money-wise?

I truly think that the only gift that you can give an animal, is to make their life as pleasant as possible, and if they are going to be in pain, pain that they cannot understand, without a really good prognosis, then it's not worth watching them suffer. In your case, I wouldn't even consider surgery if you're not financially able. Because you don't know if that surgery will cure him, given his kidney risk and cardiac risk. And if either of these risks show up, that's more money that you don't have. It's hard, to make these decisions for a young animal. Lord knows, I've had to make them and it can tear your heart out. But you also have an obligation to your family to NOT go into financial distress over, and this sounds cold, a pet.

No matter what you do, you have my support. (((hugs)))

lorilook posted 5/25/2014 19:49 PM

Thank you all so much. I am going to reassess after I get the report tomorrow. I will be using your guidelines to help with my decision. They do help to put things into perspective. I also want to make sure DS gets the opportunity to see him. This is so hard. I just want to do my best for him. He has been an amazing cat and an amazing friend.

authenticnow posted 5/26/2014 06:23 AM


We went through the exact same thing with our cat. He went in for the surgery as an emergency and the vet called us right after and said he wasn't doing well. Every time they called it sounded more dire, after the third time asking if they should take drastic measures to save him if he went into cardiac arrest, we just said no. We were devastated but we knew we did not want to drag it out and have him continue to go through what sounded just terrible for him. Besides the fact that each time they said things like, 'This will be $400 more dollars, or this will cost $$$ more dollars'. It was a terrible decision to have to keep making, not knowing if he was going to even come out of it.

This was DD's cat and she was away at college and it was the day before her birthday. I know what you're going through. I'm so, so sorry.

I'll be sending good thoughts.

NaiveAgain posted 5/26/2014 07:20 AM


lorilook posted 5/26/2014 07:56 AM

He is gone. He got worse overnight. Very low BP, difficulty breathing. I raced up the get DS son this am so he could say goodbye. We both decided together that we didn't want him to suffer any more. We both held him as he went. We are both devastated. It is a very sad day. He was an amazing, loving cat. Truly special.

sadcat posted 5/26/2014 07:58 AM

I am so sorry! (((lori)))

authenticnow posted 5/26/2014 08:04 AM

I am sorry for the outcome, lorilook. It's terrible when this happens, especially when they're so young. You and your DS are in my thoughts.

Too_Trusting posted 5/26/2014 08:12 AM

Oh Lori, I am soooooo sorry. It's always so difficult to make that decision, but alleviating suffering is always the right decision for our wonderful fur friends.

Hugs to you and DS

gonnabe2016 posted 5/26/2014 08:20 AM


sadone29 posted 5/26/2014 08:29 AM

I've had to make that call too. There are no words to describe how difficult and painful it was.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

notmeanymore posted 5/26/2014 09:28 AM

I've never had to make that decision on such a young cat, it must've been very difficult. But know that you did the loving thing by letting him go.

Glad your DS got to say goodbye

ThoughtIKnewYa posted 5/26/2014 10:06 AM

(((lori and son)))

nowiknow23 posted 5/26/2014 15:14 PM

(((((lorilook & DS))))) RIP kitty.

lorilook posted 5/26/2014 17:41 PM

Thank you all so much. We are so sad. DS & I just keep remembering and crying. I am looking forward to going back to work (at a job I HATE) to take my mind off of this loss. I just keep thinking that we should have had so much more time with him. He was so sweet and lovey. He helped me adjust to the weekends when the kids went to their dads and I was alone. He loved us so much too. He would run to the door whenever we came home to welcome us back. It will take us a long time to recover from this.

StillLivin posted 5/26/2014 18:03 PM

My heart hurts for you. I can't even imagine how you must feel. I too lost my furbaby less than a year ago, but I had been blessed with 14 years with her first.
(((lorilook and DS)))

jo2love posted 5/26/2014 19:02 PM

(((Lori & DS)))

I am so sorry for your loss.

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