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FrodosDad

Registered:
Posts: 8
 #1 
It's been a little over a week now since we lost our little Frodo. He was a 12yr old kitty that seemed to be completely healthy with no signs of any health issues at all. Earlier that day he was playing "tag you're it" with me. I've never met another cat that knew how to play "tag you're it", but somehow Frodo just inherently knew how to play. When he wanted to play he would run up to me and slap me on the leg wth his paw, let out a little squeak and take off running to hide somewhere in the house. I would then go looking for him and when I found him I would quietly sneak up on him, grab him, flip him onto his back and yell out "gotcha". I would then take off running to another room and hide. Now it was his turn to find me and when he did he would run up, slap me on the leg again and take off running to hide somewhere else in the house. That would go on until one of us got worn out and usually it was me.
 
Anyway, later that night while I was brushing my teeth he came into the bathroom to hang out with me, as he usually did. A few minutes later he went over and jumped into his litter box and proceeded to urinate. After he was done he jumped out of the box and headed down the hallway. The next thing I know I hear him meowing very loudly.
 
At first I thought he was wanting to play since he would sometimes start meowing loudly to get my attention to do just that. But as I started walking down the hallway towards him the meows turned into more of a scream. He started rolling around on the floor from his side, to his back screaming at the top of his lungs. Since he had just been in the litter box my first thought was that he was constipated. I went over to try to comfort him and he then started trying to stand up and walk but his back legs were not working, he ended up dragging them behind him a few feet into the adjacent room.
 
He rolled around and screamed a bit more and we decided to get his cat carrier out to take him to the emergency vet since it was already after midnight at this time. The next thing I know he started pooping as he lay on the ground. I thought ok, he must have been constipated then and now he's got the poop out so he will be ok. Well it wasn't 30 seconds later that he started screaming again and this time he started panting heavily and coughing. Then I started hearing a crackling sound every time he took a breath. I knew that sound meant there was some type of fluid in his lungs and this was no mere case of constipation.
 
So, we rushed him to the emergency vet, which is luckily only about a 10 minute drive from where we live. The assistant immediately took him to the back and we waited about 10 minutes until the vet came out to greet us. He took us into a private room and closed the door, and I knew right then that there was something terribly wrong with Frodo. The vet asked us to describe the events that happened tonight with Frodo, and we did. I told him that I initially thought Frodo was constipated, he then said that he wished it was just constipation but that unfortunately what Frodo has is very serious.. He then went on to describe what he thought was wrong with Frodo, which was that he had a saddle thrombus. He said they had him on oxygen at the moment to help calm him down and that they were going to do a few more tests to determine if it was indeed a saddle thrombus.
 
About another 10 minutes go by and the vet comes back into the room and tells us that the tests confirmed that he did have a severe saddle thrombus and that both of his legs were paralyzed with no pulse. He explained what our options were. He went on to say that over the past few years their clinic has seen hundreds of saddle thrombus cases and that cats that present as Frodo did only have about a 15% chance of survival if treatment is elected. He also said that the treatment can be very harsh on the cats. He very strongly recommended euthanasia.
 
At that point everything was just so surreal, I couldn't (and still can't) believe that I was playing "tag you're it" with Frodo earlier in the day and just a few hours later there I was having to decide between a harsh treatment that only had a 15% survival rate and euthanasia. I'd never even heard of Saddle Thrombus before and I've had many cats throughout my life.
 
Well we decided to go with euthanasia. I still don't know if it was the right choice. That night I was in such shock that I don't know if my brain was even processing things correctly. I keep telling myself that I didn't want him to suffer, but then I wonder if I had just told the vet to wait another 24hrs by some miracle would Frodo have somehow pulled through on his own? I just remember the look in his eyes right before the vet administered the euthanasia. It was a look of both fear and pleading, like he was trying to tell me to please not let the vet go through with it. I feel like I let my little guy down. He always looked to me to protect him and that night I didn't.
 
I'm a 40 year old man and I've been through a lot of deaths in my life. My mother died unexpectedly when I was 16 and my father just passed away this past September, both of which I loved dearly. I've had many pets that have passed in my life, but the death of little Frodo has just devastated me beyond any other deaths I've experienced. I feel crazy even saying that the death of this little cat has completely crushed and broken me, but it has.
 
Frodo found us when he was a little tiny kitten. One day we walked outside and there he was in our yard eating tomatoes from our tomato plants. He was very skinny and obviously very hungry to be eating tomatoes. We took him in and bonded with him immediately. I could tell this little cat was different from others I'd had in the past. This little guy was super smart. He taught himself how to open doors, he could actually use his paws to turn the door knobs on some of our doors and open the door. He learned how to open cabinet doors. Almost daily we would come home to find all of our kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open.
 
It's all of these little things that I miss. He had such a presence and brought so much to our lives. The sad thing is I didn't realize how much of a presence he really had until he was gone. Anyway, sorry about the length of this post to anyone that reads it. I just felt like I had to get some of this stuff out. Thanks...



[image] 
McKenzie_1993

Registered:
Posts: 15
 #2 
FrodosDad,

My heart sank when I read the title of your post. A week ago, I had never heard of Saddle Thrombus and now the word makes me ill.

I am so sorry about the loss of Frodo. He was a beautiful cat. Like Frodo, my Bailey (who died of the same thing last Wednesday) was fine just hours before. He was playing with our other cat Birch when I left for work at 11pm. My boyfriend left for work at 7am, and he was fine and by time time I got back from work at 9am he was laying in our crawl space making this awful meow.

Please do not feel guilty for putting Frodo to sleep. Saddle thrombus is incredibly painful, and you gave your Frodo the final gift of love. Like you, I reall second guessed my decision to put Bailey to sleep. The vet had said it was our only option, but Bailey was so mentally with it until the very end. I have done a lot of research on Saddle Thrombus in the last week, talking to other vets, and everyone I've spoken to said that the kindest thing to do is put the cat to sleep. Even if the cat does survive, the median lifespan is only between 77-226 days after treatment. Unfortunately, most cats have another blood clot within the year. If you want more information, visit this site. It has really helped me.

Frodo sounds like a wonderful cat. My Bailey had wonderful personality to, he was such a cuddly cat and loved to sit on my shoulders as I walked around.

If you need to talk, message me.
I find it really helps to talk to people who are experiencing the same emotions/experiences.

McKenzie
McKenzie_1993

Registered:
Posts: 15
 #3 
http://www.vin.com/vetzinsight/d/default.aspx?pid=756&catId=5860&id=5688123

I realized I forgot to post the link to the site - here it is.
FrodosDad

Registered:
Posts: 8
 #4 
McKenzie_1993,

Thanks for your kind words. I'm sorry to hear that your cat Bailey suffered through this too.

I've also done a lot of research on saddle thrombus since Frodo's death and I'm shocked at how common it seems to be. What I find strange though is that almost everyone says that they had never heard of it before their cat came down with it. How is it that nobody has heard of something that is so common?

If I would have known about this I would have gladly spent the money to have a cardiologist check out Frodo just to make sure he had no signs of this terrible disease. I think every cat owner should be educated about this, but it's almost like there is a conspiracy of silence amongst veterinarians surrounding Saddle Thrombus. I just don't understand it.

Anyway, thanks again for your post and I will check out the link you shared...
McKenzie_1993

Registered:
Posts: 15
 #5 
FrodosDad,

I agree 100% about how vets should educate cat owners on Saddle Thrombus. I had never heard of it before my little Bailey developed it. When I found him, I was worried to pick him up because my first thought was a spinal cord injury.

I keep telling myself "if I had known, I could have bought him some more time." Realistically, Bailey was probably always going to die from a complication of heart disease.. but I could have added extra months, or even years to his life. He was only 4-years-old.

Like you, I am shocked by how common it seems to be. My vet immediately knew what it was and told me she had seen HUNDREDS of cats with it. Yet, I was never ever informed or educated about it. I would have also have gladly spent the money to get a cardiologist to check out Bailey.

I really hope you are doing okay. I know how hard it is, Bailey has been gone for 11-days now and I miss him so much.

I am thinking of you and Frodo tonight.
LoveHimForever

Registered:
Posts: 222
 #6 

Hello,

So terribly sorry to hear of your loss.  Saddle thrombus is usually from a heart defect.  My soul kitty Simon had HCM, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  We only found out by chance, at a vet's regular visit.  We knew he had a heart murmur for many years, however, he was fine and happy as can be.  

So when our regular vet told us that he now had a gallup, which is a louder heartbeat from a murmur, she recommended that we take our boy to a cardiologist.  We did, about 10 days later.  She told us the worst news I've ever heard, HCM, and that he had 12-18 months left.

We put him on four meds.  This made me feel as if all was well, that he would be fine. He was happy and healthy, acting the same as always.  He loved and lived in a way that was soulful, funny, and full of joy.

We took him in for a recheck, and he was fine.  The second recheck I waited too long because he showed no signs of being ill.  One night, he became paralyzed.  He didn't howl with pain but knowing him, he didn't want us to worry.  It was a nightmare.

We immediately took him to the ER, where the cardiologist had seen him. It was late, she wasn't there....you can guess the rest.  I cannot even begin to comprehend the decision that i had to make that night.  We had only five months.  He had been fine that evening, playing, interactive, licking up some whip cream that I picked up earlier that day for him. Happy.

It is tragic, and our lives will never be the same.  We are forever grateful to have been loved by him in such a special and pure way, and to have loved him in return.  I miss him, every second of every day.

Peace, to you.

Linda

GaryB

Registered:
Posts: 200
 #7 
FrodosDad,

Sigh..yes it always seems to be instant. We never can have that early warning that would allows us to prepare for the worse. Yet here i am on my second lose losing my cat Nikki just 3 days ago ( your boy looks similar to her as she is a Tuxedo as well ) and i can tell you even if i had warnings i dont think it would help the fact that we have to endure their lose eventually. I once said having our angels is such a double edge sword. On one edge we have the unconditional heart healing love unbreakable bond and friendship they bring to us while on the other edge waits the heart crushing ordeal of losing them. If God him self granted me one power i would give the gift of long life to our fur babies. I know having them as long as we live would be beyond anything measurably good by a massive margin. My best to you my friend and know from mine and other experience you are among friends who understand what you are going through. Take car, and try and remember take it step by step my friend.
Northernlitez

Registered:
Posts: 446
 #8 
FrodosDad

What an absolutely beautiful boy. I won't say I know exactly how you feel, but I do know how it feels to lose a fur family member and I am sending prayers and healing wishes your way. Thinking of you and your beautiful boy
FrodosDad

Registered:
Posts: 8
 #9 
Hi McKenzie_1993,

Thanks for your thoughts. It's now been two weeks since little Frodo passed and I'm still absolutely crushed. Logically I know that it may have been the right thing to do, but then I find posts online from people who had cats with saddle thrombus that did survive, some of them went home after the first 24 hours, but of course that's a minority. 

Like your Bailey, Frodo was really mentally with it that night. With the exception of him not being able to use his back legs he seemed to have been doing ok right before the euthanasia. Of course he was scared and they had him on pain medicine and he had been on Oxygen for a while which helped get his breathing under control. But I just keep wondering what if I had just waited another 24hrs... Maybe Frodo would have improved, maybe he wouldn't have. Things were just so sudden and the vet made it sound so dire. Whatever the case the decision I made can't be undone, and that's the thing that really gets to me the most. It was such a final decision that was made in such a short period of time.

I don't know, I think it's going to be a very hard thing for me to ever completely get over that night. I think that night will haunt me in some way for the rest of my life.

I hope you have been doing ok. I have you and bailey in my thoughts as well.

Thanks...
FrodosDad

Registered:
Posts: 8
 #10 
LoveHimForever,

Thanks for your post, I really appreciate it. I'm sorry for your loss of Simon. I think what makes it so difficult is the suddenness. Like your Simon my Frodo was perfectly fine hours before he developed the clot. He was running, playing and being his crazy little self. Frodo also like his whipped cream. We would give him a dollop every once in a while and he just loved it. 

Take care...
FrodosDad

Registered:
Posts: 8
 #11 

Hi GaryB,

Thanks for your post. I've read through a few of your other posts and find them all comforting. I'm sorry for the loss of your Nikki. I agree that your Nikki looks a lot like my Frodo. They have very similar markings and look like they could be brother and sister.

Thanks again for your comforting words and please take care of yourself through this difficult time...

FrodosDad

Registered:
Posts: 8
 #12 

Hi Northernlitez,

Thanks so much for your kind words and prayers. Frodo was definitely a beautiful kitty, I used to tell him that all time. Here's one more photo of little Frodo doing one of his favorite things, playing on plain old packing paper:

[image] 

waspwarrior

Registered:
Posts: 115
 #13 
So sorry for the loss of your handsome boy Mr. Frodo.  McKenzie 1993 I am also sorry for your loss of Baily.  LoveHimForever sorry for your loss of Simon.
I don't know if what I have to say will help or not but, here goes....
I previously have been the medical coordinator/vet assistant for a cat only (no kill) rescue for several years.  In my time there I have seen  numerous (hundreds) of sick, injured, and ill kitties come through our doors.  None can compare with the agony of the 2  that came in with Saddle Thrombosis.  I will never be able to get their cries of pain out of my head for as long as I live.  I could not get to the vet fast enough to end their suffering...even though the vet was less than 10 minutes away.  I believe wholly in my heart that you did the absolute best thing for your beloved boy.  Sometimes release is the only last gift of love that we can offer to our fur-kids.
I have heard of some cats throwing less severe clots recovering from this condition but, none that I am personally aware of that rebounded after loosing the hind end function.  Even those that "recovered" usually succumbed to another clot within less than a year.  Rehab/treatment isn't always easy or pleasant for the kitty either.
Please do not beat yourself up second guessing your decision.  Frodo knew you would do anything for him including making the most difficult decision of his life.
My own kitty Gypsy (DSH brown tabby with white SF 14 1/2 yrs) has recently been diagnosed with HCM and is in heart failure.  She is on 4 different meds to help her along but, I know it's just a matter of time.  I am fortunate enough now that despite some weight loss (still has excellent appetite) and some very minor breathing abnormalities she has excellent quality of life.  I hope (not really realistic I know) that she passes peacefully in her sleep.  I live in fear of her throwing a clot.  HCM is just a terrible disease.  =(
Again I am sorry for your loss (losses).
Hugs & Healing,
WASPwarrior/JENN
LoveHimForever

Registered:
Posts: 222
 #14 
Hi Everyone,

Thank you for all yr good wishes. HCM is like a time bomb, you never know when it will go off. When our Simon was very young, the vet told us he had a murmur. He said with 50% of cats who have murmurs, it can develop into something more serious. I did not follow up with anything at that point, he was acting so normal and the vet did not recommend a cardiologist at that time. I didn't even know there was such a thing.

Having him on four different medications gave me a false sense of security. They probably did prolong his life, however, we only had a short five months after he was diagnosed. It's been almost one year, and my heart is still broken. He was the heart and soul of our home.

Our regular vet told me that the meds don't actually work that well. They aren't even feline meds. They are either canine or human medications, because there has not been enough research done for cats.

I wish you all healing, even if it's just a little bit each week, to feel a little more like yourselves.

Peace to you,

Linda
FrodosDad

Registered:
Posts: 8
 #15 
Merry Christmas little Frodo... We missed you so much today. You would have been right in the middle of everything, helping us unwrap gifts and playing with the boxes and wrapping paper. There's not a day that goes by that we don't think about you, and still can't believe that you're gone. I hope you know how much we love and miss you baby...
InMemoryOfRascal

Registered:
Posts: 2,437
 #16 
I don't come here as often any more since I lost my Rascal Jan 2012.  But I lost her suddenly to Saddle thrombus.  Rascal was at the vet each year - when she turned 10 they did all of the senior bloodwork, etc.  There was no evidence of heart issue found.

My Rascal was by my side that night before I went up to bed.  I had a major headache so didn't note that she was not already in bed before I finished brushing my teeth.  When my alarm went off the first thing I heard was the most horrific meowing/screaming.  It honestly will haunt me.  I had my girl at the ER within 10 minutes.  They told me the options - similar to what you heard.  Very harsh treatment.  If successful she would be on blood thinners and need perhaps even weekly visits to monitor blood and even with that she could throw the clot again.  My Rascal was petrified (very fear aggressive) with strangers.  I knew I could not subject her to even the potential of being petrified for the rest of her life...so I had to let her go.  I was not prepared.  Rascal was 11 years old; and inside cat; pampered; vet visits...honestly didn't think I had to be prepared for that.  I was back home less than an hour after rushing my girl out - but without her.  It was hard.

First thing I did was ask for all records to be sent to her main vet.  Then I took Rambo (her littermate) in for full tests.  And most important, I asked Dr Kari whether the treatment would have been a good choice.  My main trusted vet said that she never even offers the option to her patients to even TRY to treat.  She said because not only is it very harsh, and very likely that the cat will throw another clot and suffer horrific pain..but because even with that it will only give the cat another 6 months.

I know months have passed since you lost your baby but did want to share what I learned the hard way.  And confirm that you did the right thing for your baby.


InMemoryOfRascal
julieuni

Registered:
Posts: 11
 #17 
Today we lost our gorgeous Burmese boy Oscar, to Saddle Thrombus. I'd never even heard of it until today. Oscar was fine, happily laying in the sun, when all of a sudden he started crying and he couldn't move his back legs. He started panting and the crying got worse. We rushed him to the vet who gave us the bad news.
I can't believe it- it feels like its a dream as it happened in like 30 minutes from him getting ill, to him being gone. 
Oscar was the sort of cat who slept in my bed with me (and anyone else who'd have him) he was so deliciously snuggly and cuddly. Yes, we'd had him 14 years, but I don't know how I'm going to ever get over him having to be put to sleep. He went from perfectly fine then in less than 5 minutes in agony and paralysed. He had no signs of heart failure, he'd been to the vet earlier this year to have a bad tooth removed. Did this contribute to his problem? I guess we'll never know.
Goodbye my darling boy, I shall miss you every day. 

oliverj

Registered:
Posts: 155
 #18 
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved Oscar. Saddle thrombosis is such a horrifying condition/ordeal. we lost our dear boy Ram to it a year and a half ago. Truly horrifying. I have some idea of how you are feeling about this terrible thing that seemingly comes so suddenly leaving us with quick horrible decisions about what to do. There seems to be little they can do for this and even if treated successfully it will surely repeat. How could we put our angels through that. Making the decision to pts is a blessing and a curse but after having gone through it myself and seeing ram so scared and in pain... We released him with much grief and sorrow but much thanks for sharing his beautiful life. I know you feel the same about Oscar. My heart goes out to you in hopes you find some eventual peace in this difficult journey. Minda
julieuni

Registered:
Posts: 11
 #19 
Thank you Minda for your kind words. You are right about it being horrible. I found an article online where it is quoted that Saddle Thrombus is "a cat owners worst nightmare" - they sure got that right. I gather you can mess around with blood thinners, sedation etc but as you say inevitably the cat will suffer and usually for nothing as one clot usually results in another. We still miss him - if I start thinking about him I just start crying again. I think the worst thing is that they don't know what's happening to them and you feel just awful watching them trying to regain some sort of control. I get into bed each night now without my gorgeous boy nestling his head on my pillow and it's so so awful. 
Knowing that other people have gone through the same thing helps - I think it is cathartic to share our thoughts. Thank you.
Julie. 
Sierra18

Registered:
Posts: 11
 #20 
I just lost my baby Gingy last night. It was the most awful thing ever. He was perfectly fine and then...not. I didn't even know this existed. I can't eat or sleep or breathe. It hasn't even been 24 hours since I said goodbye but i can't imagine my life without him. I feel so lost. Your stories have reassured me somewhat at least.
InMemoryOfRascal

Registered:
Posts: 2,437
 #21 
I am so sorry that you had to lose your Gingy last night - and my such a horrible issue.  Like you I had never heard of Saddle Thrombus, my Rascal had no diagnosed health issues - was at the vet every year and had full "senior" blood panels from the time she was 7.  She was fine that night and then I woke up to her screaming.  It has been 5 years since I lost my girl and it is not something I will ever forget.  Those initial hours/days/weeks were the hardest.

I am glad that you found this board because truly I believe that that people here (and Ed who started this place for us) are what helped me make it through.  People told me that it will get easier, that there will come the time that my thoughts of Rascal are more about the love and memories vs the last hour.  Can't say I truly believed them but I needed to believe them, I needed to believe that it would get better.  They were right.  It was not quick or easy, was not an overnight thing.  I still miss my sweet girl every day - but the memories of our 11 years together and her unique quirks, pure trust and love are more in the front.

If you create a post about you and your Gingy I have no doubt you will feel the support available here.

Take care
InMemoryOfRascal (and Rambo) forever
julieuni

Registered:
Posts: 11
 #22 
Oh how very sad about Gingy. Another gorgeous cat lost to the dreaded saddle thrombosis. We lost our beautiful burmese Oscar in July this year to this hideous thing. One minute he was basking in the sun and the next he'd lost the use of his back legs and was crying in agony. The trip to the vets was immediate- us jumping in the car dressed in our gardening gear, grubby and grimy- and the result after just 30 minutes was that our lovely boy had to be put to sleep. It was all over that quick, which I think is why people find it so difficult to cope with. One minute the cat is fine, the next it's so ill.  We are feeling better about our boy now, after 4 months, though I still think of him every day and I still can't bear to put his casket with his ashes away....it's sitting on top of his favourite scratching post. I found this post and read and re read every one about saddle thrombosis, and sat here bawling my eyes out for a good part of each day. You will feel better over time - death comes to us all, it's just so hard to bear sometimes when you lose a beloved pet who you thought you'd have for a good many years to come. Best wishes to you- and it's okay to feel the grief.

Julie.
Sierra18

Registered:
Posts: 11
 #23 
Thank you both for your kind words. I'm so sorry for both of your losses. No one should have to feel this kind of pain. I wish you both peace and happiness.

This forum has already helped me so much and I feel less alone talking about it here. I think tomorrow I'll try to write a post about Gingy with my mom so that we can both share. She's been unable to come on here because of the heartache. We didn't get out of bed today. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Sierra
TheCatMan09

Registered:
Posts: 1
 #24 
We just lost our 10 year old cat , Elvis. Just this Friday passed. (it's now Sunday). He was hanging around as usual. Being silly, jumping around and tormenting our female cat. I went into the bathroom, my wife was out in the house. I saw him rolling around on a mat in our bedroom, earlier. What I didn't see was he had loosed his bowels on the mat. That was not like him, at all. He was a very particular and clean fellow. He was yeowling and crying something terrible when I came out. My wife already went to his side and saw he wasn't moving his back legs. I took him into the room, put him on the bed and he tried to move. He was in so much pain. We rushed him to the vet. They were waiting for us because my wife called ahead. The vet came in, listened to his chest immediately and told us it was Saddle Thrombus. We had never heard of it. He said the best prognosis, with treatment would be a 30% chance of survival. With blood thinners, physio and loss of discomfort. I wanted him to test him and guarantee it was just as he had said it was. They gave him pain meds to keep him comfortable, while they ran tests. They brought him back to us while waiting for the cardiologist to read the ecg and x-rays. He was in congestive heart failure, his heart was enlarged and the clot was sitting right at the saddle junction. There was no pulse in his back legs and he was suffering. We knew we had to let him go and to free him of the misery. I held him to my chest, my wife rubbed his paws. He was sleepy, already from the pain meds. The doctor shaved a little spot on his leg, gave him a nice injection that let him fall into a comfortable, deep sleep. Then he put in a little butterfly clip with the last injection. He told us this was it. He told us, then, to talk to him, tell him how much he was loved, how great he was... Then he checked his chest with the stethoscope and told us he had passed.... They let us sit alone with him for a while. My wife took him then and rocked him. He loved it when she rocked him. We stayed like that for awhile. They came to make arrangements for cremation. They promised he would never be left alone. The folks came to take him. The doctor gently took him in his arms, cooing to him and we kissed him goodbye. Then the vet tech walked us out. I would never, ever wish such an experience on anyone. We miss that sweet boy so much and it's like a ghost is in the house. I feel such a profound sadness deep in my core.
InMemoryOfRascal

Registered:
Posts: 2,437
 #25 
Catman - I am so sorry for your loss of your Elvis.  Sadly I know just how quickly this horrible issue can take our baby away from us.  I am so sorry that your Elvis had to go through this.  I am happy that you were there when it happened and able to rush your boy to the ER immediately.

I will say that my Rascal ended up at the ER but afterward I followed up with her regular vet.  She said that she personally does not even tell patients about the "treatment" because she said it is very harsh on them, has a very low success rate, and even if was "successful" best case scenario is another 6 months; worse case the cat could throw another clot within hours and experience the horrific pain all over.  I share because often - too often - we all start to second guess ourselves, question if we reacted too soon, missed a sign, etc.  

Take care
InMemoryOfRascal...and Rambo.
julieuni

Registered:
Posts: 11
 #26 
Oh how very sad you lost Elvis. Your post made me cry as it brought back memories of our losing our boy Oscar with the same dreaded illness on 1st July last year.  I'd never heard of it either, and like your vet, ours was very lovely throughout the process (it only took an hour from onset to ending) and was most supportive to both Oscar and us. As the fellow says above, our vet didn't give us any options - he simply said it was over, there was virtually nothing to be done except putting our boy to sleep. We still miss him every day and it's something I will never forget. I think the worst thing is that there's NO warning- it just happens so suddenly. My condolences for your loss- you will miss your Elvis, try and remember the good times as best you can. Best wishes, Julie. 
Sierra18

Registered:
Posts: 11
 #27 
I'm so sorry you had to lose Elvis that way, it truly is a horrific thing. I know he's in a better place with Gingy, Rascal, and Oscar. I'm sure all of them are happy and content watching over us.
It definitely doesn't make it any easier though, being left behind. I still see my baby Gingy out of the corner of my eye or I'll think I hear him but look and he's not there. They say life isn't fair, but why does it need to be cruel as well?
Just know that you gave Elvis a good life and he knew how much you guys loved him, I can already tell from your words.
I hope that in the coming days you're able to find some peace.
-Sierra
MissingErnie

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Posts: 3
 #28 
My heart goes out to each and every one of you who have posted here. Its less than 24 hours hours ago that I lost my beloved boy Ernie to this horrific condition, and I am in such obscene pain I don't know what to do with myself, I didn't even realise I could feel such pain. I miss him so much there are no words to describe it - Ernie brought joy beyond measure to my life, I feel so empty without him. Everything in the house reminds me of him, my chest is sore from sobbing. It happened just as everyone here has described - fine one minute, next minute howling with pain and dragging his back legs along the floor. He screamed every minute of the car journey to the emergency vets. I almost collapsed with grief and shock when the vet explained about clots and saddle thrombosis, and said that if it was her cat, without a doubt she would grant him this last kindness and let him go. It was just so sudden, I had to make this horrific decision in a very short space of time and in my state of hysteria and grief - I have been questioning my decision all day long, convinced I made the wrong choice and should have at least given him a chance, no matter how slim, I have been simply wracked with guilt and sorrow. Reading your posts has given me some degree of comfort and assurance, thank you all so much for sharing your experiences and for your kind words of support. I hope that now I too can at least start to heal. I love you so much my lovely Ernie boy, and miss you every second - you are so, so loved and will never, ever be forgotten.
InMemoryOfRascal

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Posts: 2,437
 #29 
Ernie's mom- I am so sorry that you and your Ernie experienced something this horrific.  Like you I questioned myself afterward about whether or not I made the right decision.  I wasn't prepared for such an experience.  My girl was only 10 and I wasn't prepared for any issues as she had always had great health.  To go from sleep to rushing her to the vet and home in under an hour - too much, too fast, too soon.  I absolutely understand how hard it is for you.  I didn't know that it was possible to feel pain as deep as when I lost my Rascal - and yet still be breathing.  

You and your Ernie obviously shared such a bond an amazing love.  That type of love is forever.  Although the pain is deep, you (and me) were so blessed to have experienced such deep and unconditional love.

Take care
InMemoryOfRascal
julieuni

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Posts: 11
 #30 
To Ernie's Mum - every time I read someones new post about this awful Saddle Thrombus, I have another little sob. 
It is such a hideous thing to have happen to a cat - something I'd never heard of until it happened to Oscar.
Let me assure you that you had no choice but to have Ernie put to sleep. We don't like to "give up" on our pets, but from what I've heard and read and from what our Vet told us, there really is no other option. Some vets won't even offer an option because even if they somehow manage to save the cat this time, there is always another incident not far away. The cat is in a lot of pain, and to keep it alive and sedated for what I think is quite a long time, is just cruel.
You did the right thing.
The worst thing about this disease is it's suddenness. I mean, it's all over in an hour. Our vet gave us time with our boy but he was heavily sedated by then and I felt he didn't know anything about what was going on. It is so so sad.
I feel for you....I hope it gets easier as the days go on, but it will take time. 
Best wishes to you.
MissingErnie

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Posts: 3
 #31 
Thank you, JulieUni and InMemoryofRascal, for such kind words of support and compassion - I really do appreciate you taking the time to write to me, your words have been a great comfort. I am so sorry for the losses of your beautiful companions, I hope you are both doing ok. Ernie was indeed my heart's companion and I know it will take a long time for me to heal, but I feel assured by your thoughtful comments. Thank you both.
grievingmom

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Posts: 618
 #32 
Sudden death in cats that seem otherwise healthy is from a condition called cardiomyopathy or sudden death in cats. Feline cardiomyopathy. Saddle thrombosis is a version of this. My Emerald died of saddle thrombosis. She had the screaming like you mentioned. And she was passing out and losing touch with reality.
jodienders

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Posts: 1
 #33 
I lost my sweet princess yesterday to saddle thrombus. She was 13 and acted in great health. She was sitting next to me and fell of the arm of the couch on to me and could not get up. She dragged her legs around for a few minutes and we rushed her to the vet. Within a hour we had to put her down. She had fluid in her lungs and was in full blown heart failure. She is a very anxious cat and hated the vet and I couldn’t let her suffer. I’ve had 9 other cats and none like this one. She was made for me and we were best friends since I was six, 19 now. I brought her with me when I moved for college and she had never been so happy. It feels so good to read everyone’s stories because I swore this had never happened to any other pet owner before. Perfect health and a hour later gone. I hope everyone’s healing is going good and I hope it gets better. I cry every inch I walk because I think of her....
MissingErnie

Registered:
Posts: 3
 #34 
Hello Jodienders, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend and companion, no one should have to ensure the loss of a loved one in such a horrific way, my heart goes out to you. I have been speaking to a grief counsellor to help me through the loss of my beloved Ernie, and I thought I would share with you some of things I was told by the counsellor that I personally found helped me move to work through my crippling grief; first of all grieving is a process and everyone goes through it in their own unique way, so don't ever think 'why does it still hurt' or 'whats wrong with me, I should be feeling better by now' - you'll feel better when you feel better, there's no 'should' about it. Don't pressure yourself and be kind to yourself while you're going through this. She also told me, when and only when I feel ready to do so, it may be helpful to make a little memory box, containing Ernie's things - I have put in his collar, brush, blankie and a toy - and whenever I feel that I need to connect with my Ernie, I take the box and sit down quietly with it, and hold his things close to my heart while I allow myself to remember him. Take care of yourself Jodienders, my warmest wishes to you. Xx
Sunnys_Mom

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Posts: 16
 #35 
Frodo's Dad.  Hello.  First, I am so sorry to hear of the ordeal that happened the night Frodo passed.  As I was reading, I was wondering, what Frodo a tuxie kitty? I wonder if he posted a pic of Frodo.  And sure enough, at the end, you had a photo of Frodo.  And, yes, he was a tuxedo cat.  I can imagine for an owner his cries and screams probably bordered to you on the side of PTSD.  I wanted to share a story of my experience with heart issues - and yes, all the cats I have experienced it with are Tuxedo cats. 

It was 2005, and my Mom had a cat I adopted in WA, his name was Boone.  He was a sweet little tuxedo boy.  I also had an older kitty maybe 7 at the time who was also a tux, Helmet.  One morning, Boone had the exact type of episode you witnessed and experienced.  My Mom was getting ready for work when it happened.  She of course rushed him to the ER - but it wasn't as close as yours.  They had to refer her to another one up North so they administered some pain meds and off they went.  She was a wreck in the car.  I wasn't living there at the time I was out of state.  She called me and kept me posted.  I was getting prepared to drive up when she called again to say that it was very serious and that they vet recommended euthanizing him.  Before we could though, he threw another clot to his brain and passed on his own.  It's a horrible experience just reading about it let alone witnessing it.  This poor kitty, was fine one minute and the very next, in so much pain.  I'm so sorry Frodo went through that (and you).

Now, this was 2005 mind you.  

I immediately wondered if my other cat Helmet had some heart issue as I knew that he too had a murmur.  I had an echo done and it was confirmed he was in early stages of cardiomyopathy (heat wall thickening).  Now, Boone was only 5 when this happened so he must have had two bad genes for the disease.  Helmet had surpassed his age so there had to be some difference.   I had Helmet tested (echo) based on vet recommendations i think twice a year until he got a clean reading - his values were almost within normal limits May 2009.  However, he developed IBD and then lymphoma.  He was now 11.  He had also been on various heart medications which by this time he was hating the pilling.  

They started him on some medication for the lymphoma and then eventually added in Prednisone.  We were just working on the last taper dosing (once weekly) when Helmet died suddenly during an hour of time I was not at home.  I came home to find him gone.  About a week before this, I had a late night shower, and Helmet came into the bathroom crying like I had never heard him do before.  I thought it was strange but when he stopped I just figured it was nothing. Of course, now, I know I should have immediately taken him to the doctor but I didn't.  I wailed so badly when I came home to find him gone that my neighbors called the police to have a welfare check done on my house.  My ex came home around this time and from there it just became weeks of incapacitating guilt and sadness.  I elected a necropsy on Helmet, primarily because his heart values had just been reported as within normal limits not 3-4 months before.  What changed?  Well, I learned that his heart problems were hastened back to poor levels because of the Prednisone steroid they had prescribed him.  Never let a vet prescribe Pred for a heart kitty.  I had been taking Helmet to CSU vet school in Ft. Collins, CO.  I informed them of the necropsy findings as well as a study I found that had been done in the UK on Pred and it's affect on the heart in cats.  As a result, they changed their protocol to not prescribe Pred to cats who also had a heart condition.  

I hated that I had to lose my boy because of a medical error when he had progressed out of the disease.  11 is too young for a kitty.  

Today, there is a lab test called ProBNP that can be run if a cat has a murmur to check for striations and stretching in the heart muscle.  It can help determine if changes are present but not the kind of heart condition specifically.  I wish more people knew about this - saddle thrombosis - as today - immediate dosing of Heparin (blood thinner - Heparin protocol) is usually required with close monitoring and pain control during event like you had with Frodo (considering other health issues, etc).  

I'm so very sorry for your loss - he was very handsome (tuxies are my favorite actually - i have 2).

Hugs

Darlene 
CalicoHaley

Registered:
Posts: 1
 #36 
Hello all,

I am extremely saddened to read how you lost your precious kitties to Saddle Thrombus. My heart, empathy, and condolences go out to each and every single one of you.

My boyfriend and I just had to have our girl Haley put down due to Saddle Thrombus not even twelve hours ago. I'm absolutely devastated and filled with pain, sadness, shock, anger, and so much regret and guilt.

Like many of you, I have been a cat friend and mom for all of my 32 years and I have never heard of Saddle Thrombus before. And I am so incredibly sorry that we all had to find out what it was in the hardest, most painful way imaginable.

I woke up to our girl having just had her episode. I heard hissing and growling in the library, where she was trying to warn off her brother because she was scared, physically vulnerable, and defenseless. At first we thought she had just had another seizure (not to make light of seizures, but she had recovered in minutes each time) and would just need a little time to recover, but as soon as it was apparent she was fully cognizant but had no warmth or responsiveness in her right hind leg, wouldn't stop panting very heavily, and was yowling because she was in pain and not because she was just scared, we knew it might be Goodbye.

Of course in the aftermath I got on the internet and saw other people's stories. Some were able to save their friends; some for days, weeks. Even fewer for years. Many couldn't save them. Many weren't able to find out if saving them was an option, given how much pain their friends were in and the bad prognosis for FATE/Saddle Thrombus. 

In a way I'm comforted that others have felt guilty over if they made the right decision to ease their friend's suffering, without being able to test, with testing. It shows I'm not alone, it shows this is completely natural thinking, a natural and healthy emotion. I keep going, "what if we gave her more time, what if we did testing and imaging, what if we put her on meds, would she still be here, was putting her down the right choice, was it really her time, would she have gotten better, what could we have done sooner to help prevent this," and et cetera. I know that ultimately what happened has happened and what is done is done... but while we can feel guilty and regretful, we should also remember to take solace in the fact that it takes an unbelievable amount of love, empathy, and selflessness to let our friends go when they need to go, when what we want most is to be by their sides forever.

Honestly, that is a gift to them as much as their companionship and love are gifts to us.

I know it may not feel like it now or soon, and I'm even having trouble believing it myself right now, but there is nothing more loving and loyal and kind that we could have done for our furry loved ones under the specific circumstances present at the time we decided to help them over the Rainbow Bridge due to FATE/Saddle Thrombus. They can't vocalize their exact wishes. They can't draft wills or give power of attorney or sign DNR's or designate medical decision proxies in the event of their unresponsiveness or inability to make their wishes known. Fellow humans usually (but not always) have these mercies. Furry loved ones do not. So, it's our duty as parents and friends and companions to show them the mercy they need and deserve from us when they need and deserve it most.

Would I give anything to have our sweet, good girl back with us, next to me on the couch, already purring away like an engine before I start petting her? Absolutely. But would I take back our decision and put her through that level of sheer pain and terror again? With probable heart failure right behind? With the increased odds of throwing another clot or having a heart attack right behind, when her seizures could have been her heart throwing out small clots into her brain (even though the vet was once convinced it was a brain tumor)? Not a chance. I love her too much to ask that of her, to put her through all that.

You can what-if until the cows come home... and then leave, and come home again... and again... but you have to know that you showed them nothing but love, compassion, sacrifice, and mercy in that final choice. You did not do it to be cruel. You did not let go of them because you were selfish. Your love for them, and their love for you, inspired you to make a humane choice despite anything else threatening to outweigh it.

In my last moments with Haley, I hugged and pet her and kissed her head so many times and tearfully told her how much of a good, sweet girl she's been for us and how much I love her. I thanked her choosing us to be her family. I told her the pain would be ending soon and that I was so sorry. And then I told her again she's my beautiful, sweet girl, and that I love her so much.

I hope she knows. I hope she knew while she was alive. 










jaspermom

Registered:
Posts: 6
 #37 

I'm very glad to find this message board. I just lost my Jasper three days ago to saddle thrombus and am so heartbroken and shocked like all of you. Everything was the same with him...he was completely fine, then it happened suddenly, the same screaming of pain, loss of hind legs and he tried dragging himself. 

And I also felt guilt in that I didn't know there was an option to try. My vet just said "there is no cure." That was it. Of course I asked if there was anything she could do but she said we could take him to the specialty vet hospital and try things but that they often don't make it and she shook her head and basically said it as a moot point. She was definitely encouraging euthanasia. I thought he was dying on the table and didn't have any other option. Of course since, I've been researching it and am devastated to find many people have tried the hospital option and if I'd known it was really an option, I'd have tried it. Even if it didn't work, I'd feel better knowing I at least tried and didn't let him down in just 10 minutes of finding out what happened. I felt that wasn't enough time to make a decision and I didn't have the proper sufficient information to know there was a method we could at least try and that some people do. 

So reading your posts helps. But I still wish I had tried, to know I did all I could. He deserved that. Although the vet might think euthanisia is the way to go, I feel they should give us all the proper information and options so we can make an informed decision. Not so quickly (10 minutes) with only really one option. Even if he lived for another 2 months, at least I'd have had that with him. But I do take solace when others say that his quality of life during that time might not be good for him (ie: if he couldn't walk as he LOVED going outside, had to take meds which would have been hard to get him to do, etc).

I just feel I let him down too quickly. Like all of you said, my mind was in such a state of shock and mess and was not thinking fully. 

He was absolutely 100% healthy in every other way. And the vet doesn't think he was that old either. He's at least 9 years old. He was a stray when I moved into my place. But he might not be much older than that. And he was a strong guy for sure, in every way. 

So I do worry. But your postings have helped me to not feel alone in this. Thank you. 


jaspermom

Registered:
Posts: 6
 #38 
One thing I forgot to mention. I have another cat. Is there something I should do now to find out if he has a heart disease? Both of my cats have had regular check ups and they never detected anything wrong. Should he see a cardiologist?
pb313

Registered:
Posts: 104
 #39 
FrodosDad,
I am very sorry for your loss, as well as yours Bailey_1993. It is so hard. We are here for you.

PB aka Raider’s mom
InMemoryOfRascal

Registered:
Posts: 2,437
 #40 
Jasper's Mom - I am sorry that you had to lose your Jasper to such a horrible thing like Saddle Thrombus.  I will tell you that I had questions afterward as well because it all happened so quick.  My Rascal's primary vet said that she doesn't ever offer or discuss the "options/treatment" because she said that she does not believe it is in the cat's best interest.  She said the ST causes horrific pain; the treatment to dissolve the clot is extremely harsh on them.  Only 50% at best would make it through.  Then once they throw one clot they could throw another in hours - never know "when" which causes the horrific pain again.  And even if the cat makes it thru the treatment, is on ongoing blood thinners and weekly visits the "best" case scenario is another 6 months.  

I lost my Rascal to the same thing.  I understand your pain but want you to know that you did everything you could and what was best for your Jasper.  Wanting another outcome is for you/me/us - not Jasper.  Your baby knows he is loved and you loved him enough to do what is right for him.

With regards to your other cat.  I immediately had my Rambo in to the vet for full work up, cardiologist appt etc because I wanted to know if he had any issues (since he and Rascal were littermates).  My Rambo did not have any issues (at that time).  I will say that later on when Rambo did develop heart and kidney issues and was under specialist care the cardiologist said that it is really hard in cats for them to hear heart issues in the early stages.  It doesn't hurt to get your other baby checked out but know that there is nothing you could have done for Jasper.

Take care
InMemoryOfRascal.....and Rambo
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