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julieuni

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Posts: 11
 #41 
Jaspers Mum,

You are not alone in thinking you/they could have done more to extend your kitty's life. I think everyone this happens to thinks the same. 
My vet more or less said there was one other option but it was extremely painful and unpleasant for the cat and the chances of him having another clot were almost certain. (The expense would also be out of this world) You don't have long to decide as even though our Oscar was heavily sedated in 10 minutes, you can't prolong the agony for yourself or the puss. 
We miss our boy every day even after a whole year. It was such a sudden shock when he was perfectly fine in every other way. 
You did the right thing! As much as we want to keep them with us, you have to know that we are just being selfish as we have to do what's best for puss and being in pain, being poked and prodded, being on medication, having tests etc is no way for a gorgeous happy kitty to live. We afford our animals this privilege, it's a pity we can't allow the same for our fellow human beings. 

All the best,
Julie. 

jaspermom

Registered:
Posts: 6
 #42 
Thank you for your reply. It means a lot. I really appreciate it. And am sorry for your loss :(
jaspermom

Registered:
Posts: 6
 #43 
Thank you so much for your reply. It means a lot. I appreciate everyone's support on this. And I'm sorry for your loss as well.
Sierra18

Registered:
Posts: 11
 #44 
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Every time I get an email from this thread it breaks my heart just a little more. I can't help but think of all the people and kitties that have suffered because of this disease.
Take some peace in knowing that you did the right thing. There are "options" but they aren't good ones. It's just more poking and prodding and pain for our babies. If there would have been ANY viable option to save Gingy, I would have paid any price.

Just know you made the right choice. I wish you all the peace and healing and love.
jaspermom

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Posts: 6
 #45 
Thank you so much for your message. It helps. 
Cindy70

Registered:
Posts: 2
 #46 
We lost our cat last night. He had a second episode of saddle thrombosis. Despite blood thinners and lasix it happened twice in less than a week so we decided to end his suffering. He was truly loved and will be very missed 😓
jaspermom

Registered:
Posts: 6
 #47 
Cindy, I'm so sorry to hear about your baby. That's so sad. I can't believe how often this affects cats and how suddenly it takes them from us. :( I'm sorry for your loss. 
pb313

Registered:
Posts: 104
 #48 
Cindy,
I am so very sorry for your loss. May you find peace and comfort.

Paula - Raider and Rocky’s mom
Sierra18

Registered:
Posts: 11
 #49 
Cindy, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your kitty. I'm sure he knew how loved he was and that you did everything you could for him. I hope you're able to find some peace and heal from this terrible loss.
-Sierra, Gingy's mom
Cindy70

Registered:
Posts: 2
 #50 
Thank you everyone for your replies. We will miss Rambo everyday! He was truly loved ❤
Raychel

Registered:
Posts: 25
 #51 
I am devastated. Yesterday we lost our 11 year old Bengal boy Matrix to this. Matrix hadn’t been home for two days, this isn’t unusual as we live in the country surrounded by native bush and he loves an adventure. My husband Bryan came home from work and had to brake suddenly to avoid running Matrix over. He came down the driveway to get me and said that hed nearly run Matrix over but he seemed to be dragging his legs. Matrix was under a bush but came to me when I went to it. I couldn’t really see how he was moving, but I picked him up carefully. He was meowing but not screaming and I took him inside and put him down to see what was wrong. I then realised he couldn’t move his legs. My first thought was he’d been hit by a car or a dog had got him but I couldn’t see any trauma to indicate this. Anyway, we knew we had to get him to the vet quickly,

As we live rurally the emergency vet was a good 25 minute drive. Longest drive of my life. The vet then gave us this devastating news. Matrix had heart failure and had a clot. I was shocked, I had never heard of this. He had a gallop and his back feet were freezing. He didn’t seem to be in a lot of pain at this time. The vet gave us our options; they would keep him for 48 hour and give him fluids and pain relief. If his feet didn’t “die” from lack of circulation then there was a small chance he may regain some movement in his legs over time. He would need intensive nursing and then ongoing medication. Or, we could euthanise. Bryan rejected this idea as he said that Matrix had dragged himself home and was fighting and so would we. He then walked out he was so upset. I stayed to talk to the vet to understand more. We decided we would let them treat him for the 48 hours and then make a call as Matrix seemed to be relatively comfortable, although exhausted.

When we got home I researched this. The realisation of what we were dealing with then became very clear. I didn’t sleep that night. I felt it was the wrong thing to put Matrix through this, he was an active, outdoor cat that did as he pleased and he hated being contained as is a common thing with bengals. I didn’t know how to explain this to Bryan so I emailed him a link. He then told me he’d already been researching too. We rang the vet at 8:30am to get an update. This vet was different to the one last night and was very straightforward with us. She gave us the facts and told us that Matrix wasn’t happy despite the pain medication and his legs were hurting him. We knew what we had to do. We drove back to the vets to be with Matrix. He was happy to see us, purred and head butted us, despite being heavily medicated. Even the slightest touch to his legs made him stiffen. We bought his favourite treats to eat and he ate those. We didn’t want to hold him as moving him would’ve caused more pain so we patted and stroked him. And then he was gone with some help.

I haven’t been able to eat since this happened and my chest feels like someone is sitting on me. My grief is coming in waves as are my tears. This horrible event keeps replaying in my head and I can’t sleep. This is not my first pet loss and some of the others have also been very traumatic. I know I will be ok and this will take time to work through. But boy does it hurt bad. I know we did the right thing for him but you still get doubts and guilt. Today I walked up our driveway and saw some tufts of Matrix’s fur. About an hour or two before we found Matrix, a black cat came down the driveway. I suspect that they had had a fight and this could be when the clot dislodged. We’d had visions that he may had dragged himself a long way to get home but the cat fight site was only about 25m away from where we found him. It doesn’t change anything of course.

My broken heart goes out to all of you that have been through this awful, awful experience.

RIP Matrix my beautiful boy.



julieuni

Registered:
Posts: 11
 #52 
Hi Raychel,

Boy you've been through it! It's a devastating disease that no cat owner ever thinks about. When we lost our Burmese boy last July we were devastated. It happened so suddenly- you can see my post from then on these pages so I won't go through it again.

You made the right decision. As much as you doubt yourself, trust me you did. Our boy was in agony when this happened to him, and if you'd continued to treat Matrix he would have just got worse and worse and likely had another stroke or clot anyway. What makes it so hard is the suddenness of it all I think. One minute they're fine and the next howling in pain. I know of one friend who came home from work and her cat was just curled up dead - autopsy said saddle thrombus. It's such a heartbreaking thing. 

I couldn't stop crying for a month and even after that whenever I relived it all I'd start up again. Wondering if Oscar knew what was happening to him, not getting to say a proper goodbye as it all happened so fast. Think of your tragedy this way - you got to go in and feed him his favourite treats, and say goodbye. What better way to say goodbye to a loving pet member of the family. 

We had our boy cremated and I have his ashes in a lovely wooden box along with his collar and photo. The vets were lovely and they sent cards and even took a footprint of his paw in blue sparkly ink. 

I hope you are feeling better soon - it will take time. Keep in touch on this page - it helps to know you're not alone. 😉

Julie. 

Angn1221

Registered:
Posts: 7
 #53 
Im so sorry for your loss. Even tho my baby was sick from something else I keep thinking the what ifs? My baby was just 10 months old and felv positive and almost completly anemic. we chose to eauthanize her friday night to cause her from suffering. The what if my cat was a miracle cat and if I had just given her a few more days would she have pulled thru. Or if I had pushed for the blood transfusion even if I knew it wouldnt have worked would she have been here today by some miracle.

Im in such grief and guilt with myself that I cant even cope with day to day tasks. Its normal to question yourself and the choice you make. And I hope the what ifs start to let up on us a bit in the future.
Angn1221

Registered:
Posts: 7
 #54 
I just had my baby Bella put down friday. Different medical condition but my grief and guilt are making it difficult for me to even function. My 2 girls are taking it hard and I heard then tell my mom that "all mommy does is cry".

This isnt my first pet loss either but I as you replay the events in my head as our Bella got sick very fast. If I had only given her the vitamins sooner and longer would they have made any difference? If I had noticed the signs sooner would it have made a difference? If I had pushed for a blood transfusion would she have been a miracle cat and kicked felvs butt?

My baby was 10 months old and my heart is ripped out. Her passing was peaceful and full of love and even knowing she only had days left of pain and suffering I still question my choice.
Raychel

Registered:
Posts: 25
 #55 
Thank you for your responses.

Julie, Yes, I agree it’s the suddenness of having a seemingly healthy, active cat to the opposite. It’s witnessing their pain and distress and feeling helpless. And then there is the shock of the diagnosis and the decisions you make from this, all while reeling from it all without feeling you have had enough time to process it all. And that’s what causes the guilt and doubts. You feel like you were not clearheaded when you made the decision to release your beautiful baby from the pain.

I know we made the right decision for Matrix, as I believe all of us have in this thread. But even though I know this deep down, I think many of us have those doubts creep in to our thoughts, the what if’s. Unlike some, the vet did give us options, although they did make clear how poor the prognosis was. And initially we were going to try to do anything to save him as we couldn’t bear to lose him. But after researching this awful disease overnight and knowing how active and free Matrix liked to be we decided it was the wrong thing for him to try and treat this in the face of incredibly dismal odds. I can totally understand anyone’s decision who has tried tried to continue to treat too though.

I think the hardest thing for me at present, is I feel like no one understands this pain of what I am going through......but I think I’ve found people here that do, with losing our loved ones in this awful way. Our stories are all so very similar. I am an emotionally strong person, but my Achilles heel is animals. I struggle badly with the loss of my fur babies, I think even more than I do with the loss of people.



julieuni

Registered:
Posts: 11
 #56 
Hi again Raychel,

I totally agree with you. I've always found the loss and death of animals far worse than human death - that probably sound weird to some people. I think the difference for me, is that generally with human death the person knows what's going on, they know they are ill, they know everything is being done to save them....but with animal death, they don't understand what's happening to them and that makes it all the more awful! 

From the trip to the vet right through to the end- do they have any conception of what is happening? You can't speak to them and reassure them, well you can but they really don't know. The whole thing is horrible.

In this world we live in now, my family and I are much more attuned to animals than humans- we believe the animals should rule the world, as humans have done and are doing a pretty good job of screwing up the planet.

Stay strong Raychel, best wishes.....and a hug. 
x
Julie.
Sierra18

Registered:
Posts: 11
 #57 
Raychel,

I'm the same way. Losing fur babies is so much more painful. Especially when it's so sudden. I would have done anything, no matter the cost if it could have saved my baby.
Even though a year has passed, I still feel immense guilt and grief that I'm not sure will ever pass. People really don't understand. They say "Just get another one." You can never replace them. Sure, one day you can open your heart to another but it still never replaces the one who's lost.
I hope you and everyone else who's lost their babies can find peace and happiness.
-Sierra
Raychel

Registered:
Posts: 25
 #58 
Julie, Sierra and Angn1221,

Thank you so much for your support.

I had to go to a funeral today (I didn’t know the person who died). I had a number of big cry episodes this morning and no amount of make up could cover my puffy, haggard eyes. I was so worried that I’d crack up at the funeral, but I didnt. I am a walking zombie at the moment and so is my husband.

Tonight I thought I heard Matrix meowing at the door to come in for a moment. I keep thinking I see him out of the corner of my eye. I know this is all part of it but each time it punches you in the stomach.

I can still only eat soup.

Thank you all again. Xx
Auniewasloved

Registered:
Posts: 2
 #59 
This past summer I had a big, beautiful, long haired orange tabby who loved his life and family with all of his heart. Although his loving, goofy heart was way too big for him. He went to the vet for crystals in his urine and were told by the vet that he had HCM and never heard such a galloping heartbeat as his. I could not believe my seemingly very healthy 3 year old boy had heart problems. I could not wait to leave the vet so I could cry in my vehicle.

Approximately one month later, before I could even get him in to the Cardiologist, my boy was very restless and leaving the room if I got up and coming back within 2 minutes meowing to get in. He would stay with me if I was laying down but up as soon as I did. The last time I let him out the door he came back in two minutes but just stared at me when I opened the door and did not come in. The next morning my husband and I did not take any notice that Aunie wasn’t hanging around and getting his wet food. If we did notice we just thought he was in one of the kid’s room. My husband called me at work later that day and said I need to get home now because Aunie was sick and could not walk, thinking he was hurt. I knew then that this had something to do with his heart. When I googled the symptoms, yes while I was driving home, Saddle Thrombosis was the first thing that popped up. Once at the vet I could not go in the room because I knew what she would say. My husband came out to tell me what I knew already and that she recommended euthanizing but told us other options. I screamed and refused to let him go. For three days we took him back to the vet so she could check him and administer pain injections and other medicines to try to break the clots up.

My Aunie died the fourth day on his third birthday in my daughter’s arms. He passed what appeared to be in a peaceful manner. I lost it even though I knew he did not have much time left and I was most likely going to let him go that week. Losing him was absolutely horrible and after 7 months his death still feels fresh.

Many people question if they did the right thing by euthanizing without giving their cat a chance. I feel the exact opposite. I feel guilty for making him suffer for almost four days. He was paralyzed in his back legs and had to lay there watching the other two cats run wild when he was the wild one instigating a cat chase. It haunts me when I think about the look in his eyes as he watched the two cats bolt and chase eachother down the stairs and around him. I cannot ever get that image out of my head. All because I was selfish and wanted to have him for my own reasons.

I loved that boy more than I can explain. Him and I had a deep connection and I still cannot imagine getting another cat. No pet death ever hit me so hard and I have had pets my entire life. I get angry when I go on other sites and see some post about how someone cured their cat with ST by using herbal medicine and just rubbing the cats legs and talking the cat through. This gives false hope for hurting owners. When I research how legit these claims are it always turns out to be ads for a non legit doctor trying to sell his medicine. Cruel!

I love and miss you so much Aunie😿. I am so sorry for allowing you to suffer. You deserved better than that. Rest in peace my big boy.

Raychel

Registered:
Posts: 25
 #60 
Hello

I was so very sorry to read your post about the loss of Aunie.

You tried for him, yes, and for you. I think we hope that ours will be the miracle cat, the one that makes the full recovery. In the end Aunie’s body made the decision.

It’s such an awful thing this saddle thrombus. We have to make decisions and which ever one we make is hard. Of course we want to hold on to them because we love them so much and they might, just might be ok in the end. But from what I know of this thing, they generally aren’t. I’m sorry your Aunie wasn’t the miracle cat. Don’t feel guilty. We don’t always know how these things turn out. You gave him the chance to recover, he just didn’t.

Sending you love and hope you can focus on the beautiful memories you will always have of Aunie.

Matrix’s Mom. Xx
Auniewasloved

Registered:
Posts: 2
 #61 
Thank you so much for your kind, compassionate and knowledgeable reply. It brought me tears. I am so sorry for the loss all of us have with ST because we know how they suffer. I appreciate the sincerity your reply held. I wish you well.
Karmacat

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Posts: 160
 #62 
I thank everyone for sharing the painful details of their losses. I lost my cat to cancer on Dec 2017 and I have yet to get over the loss. I thought that was one of the most horrible ways to lose a pet, but after reading about this Saddle Thrombus, I am thinking this is possibly an even more horrible thing that could happen to a cat. It makes me afraid for my remaining cat, but at the same time, I realise there is no 'nice' way for an animal to die, at least not for us daddies and mommies that love them so much. My thoughts are with all of you who have lost their pets so traumatically and suddenly. Thanks again for sharing.
Felix_Mama

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Posts: 1
 #63 
My sweet 9 year old kitty, Felix, was also a victim of saddle thrombus. He was perfectly fine Friday night but when I woke up Saturday morning I found him in the living room laying behind the recliner, which was odd because he usually was immediately at the door meowing to go outside. Then i saw him drag himself, his back legs were limp. It was evident that he was in pain although he only cried out a few times. I think he has always been good at masking his pain. I rushed him to the emergency animal clinic. They took him back immediately and it didnt take long for the vet to come bring me the bad news. He had a condition that I had never before heard of, saddle thrombus. They got me a quote for treatment ($1800) but recommended euthanasia as he was hurting, treatment rarely works and, even when it does work, it's very likely to recur in the near future. It was such a hard decision to make but i had to have him put down. I didnt want him to continue to suffer. In less than 2 hours my baby was gone. It was such a shock. There was no warning. Its been 2 days now. Im dealing with a lot of sadness and guilt. His life was cut too short. I thought i had many more years to enjoy with him. It's comforting for me to think that I will see him again one day in heaven. The Bible isnt very clear on the subject but i believe he will be there with me. I like to think that my memaw is up there petting him now and telling him the same stories over and over again like she did with me when she was alive. Felix was such a sweet kitty. He never knew a stranger and wanted nothing more than to make people happy. He always knew if one of our family members were sad or hurt and he would come to them and force comfort on them. My husband says Felix wouldn't want me to be sad and he is right but i am very sad. RIP Felix :( Until we meet again
Cassie_p

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Posts: 2
 #64 
We lossed our baby, Moo, 2 days ago to the horrific events of a saddle thrombus echoed by so many in this forum. She was 1.5 years old and was so beautiful- black & white with the cutest little face I’ve ever seen. It was love at first sight at the shelter when we found her. What started as a completely normal morning with her running up and down the hall and jumping around, quickly turned into a nightmare when she lost the function of her hind legs. It almost looked like a spinal cord injury so we rushed her to the emergency vet panicking that she had jumped from somewhere and hurt herself. I, like many others here, had never heard of a saddle thrombus and Moo had no known pre-existing heart conditions found in her annual check up in November. While in the car she began having trouble breathing and was panting with her tongue sticking out. We expected the vet to tell us she needed expensive surgery, expensive medication, or that she would be away from us for a couple of days - but never did it cross our minds that we would be leaving without her forever. Our hearts are broken. Like others, I second guess our decision to euthanize which was made in only a few minutes and in a complete state of shock. However, it brings me reassurance to read what others have written and it gives me comfort knowing I am not the only one devastated by this horrible condition. It is hard to believe I will ever feel normal again in my own home without her beside me.

Cassie
julieuni

Registered:
Posts: 11
 #65 
Hi there Cassie P- 

So sorry for your loss. Saddle Thrombus is a horrible horrible thing. I'd never heard of it and I've had cats all my life! The suddenness of it all makes it worse I think. 
It'll be two years in July coming that we lost our Burmese, Oscar to this dreaded thing.
It was all over in an hour - from perfectly healthy cat (he was 13) to paralysed and meowing in pain. No option but to put him to sleep - I trust my vet and I'm sure now if there were any other choice he'd have given it to me. You do second guess yourself though - I think as it happens so fast, you don't get a chance to absorb what's happening - it's like you're in a dream (or nightmare).
I hope you can move on in the days ahead - I was crying for ages, just couldn't get over it. Our Oscar was so snuggly and cuddly, he'd get under the blankets in Winter and he was like a self contained hot water bottle.
Best wishes.
x

Karmacat

Registered:
Posts: 160
 #66 
There are all kinds of horrible ways for our cats to go, but saddle thrombus sounds like a particularly terrible one. I harbor a paranoid fear that my black kitty may one day be hit by it, but I'm supplementing her with taurine and various other stuff to do my best that it doesn't happen to her. From what I read, saddle thrombus is basically a death sentence and I've yet to read of a successful cure.. Very sorry for your losses, it must be really traumatic and painful to see your kitties succumb that way..
InMemoryOfRascal

Registered:
Posts: 2,437
 #67 
Cassie, I am so sorry that you lost your Moo to such a horrible thing.  Any loss hurts.  From first hand experience though this issue is extremely hard to process.  It is so hard to process our baby going from being perfectly healthy to rushing them to a vet and coming home without them in under an hour.  I lost my Rascal January 9, 2012 to saddle thrombus.  I remember too clearly that suddenness, the inability to process what happened..so quickly.  The questioning did I make the right decision - hard to accept that a decision made so suddenly IS the right thing.  But I had a long follow up with Rascal's primary after I lost her - she was emphatic that there is no treatment for this issue - not one that she would ever believe is in the right interest for the cat. She told me that she would never even mention the "options" since none of them are going to help our baby.  Going thru the treatment to bust up the clot - only a 50% chance of survival and VERY hard on the cat.  IF successful, blood thinners and weekly checks for life.  BUT once they throw one clot it will happen again.  Best case scenario is another 6 months.  I would have given ANYTHING for 6 more months with my girl - but that is me being selfish.  At what cost to HER?  She suffers during the treatment....then what if she throws another clot immediately and goes through the extreme pain again?  What if I wasn't home and she suffered alone?  None of that would be for her...my Rascal...your Moo.  It would have been for us.  You did the right thing for your Moo.  You put your baby first.  Don't ever doubt that.  Your love for Moo is too strong - your heart would never allow you to make  wrong decision.  Your brain afterwards struggles to find an answer, someone/something to blame, to make sense of it.  Don't let your brain make you suffer more than you already are dealing with life without your Moo.

Take care
InMemoryOfRascal
Cassie_p

Registered:
Posts: 2
 #68 
Julieuni and InMemoryofRascal,

Thank you for your replies, they have truly helped me find some comfort as I begin to process and accept the events of the past couple of days. We miss our Moo more than we can even begin to explain and are struggling with trying to control the brain’s tendency to second guess and go through all of the “what if’s”.

InMemoryofRascal, you are so right. The best thing we can take away from this horrible situation is that we were both home when the onset of symptoms began, we got her help and pain medication as quickly as possible, and were there with her in her final moments. We did what was best for her and she didn’t ever suffer alone. I will try my best to remember that we made the right decision because of that. Thank you so much for your words.

Cassie
natashaz

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Posts: 5
 #69 
Dear FrodosDad.

I had to sign up just to let you know that i feel like we are the same exact person!

When my cat Meow Meow died Dec 2 2019

I went through the almost exact scenario.

Eveythings fine..he's accompanying me one moment goes away..

I found him on our stairs ..this fighter...he was actually pulling him self up it with all of his upper strength when i found him half way and i started panicking.

Its such a heartbreaking situation .

I was crying all the way to the vet before and after i had to decide to euthanize him.

I know the pain..you lose you closest family member but nothing compares to this pain.

And i too always felt like i let our angel down by choosing euthanasia and you never really feel like it was 100% the right decision.

Thanks for you post!!!!! It makes me feel like someone somewhere in this world knows my exact story.

Thank you thank you thank you

Your angel and my angel are resting in eternal peace with the rest of the other angels victimized by the heinous illness and like myself , we were thinking of their best interest of our babies and we must not ever forget that.

Sierra18

Registered:
Posts: 11
 #70 
Natashaz,
I'm so so sorry for your loss. Nothing makes it any easier to lose them, but I'm glad you're comforted by knowing you're not alone. I know it really helped me too when it all first happened.
-Sierra
natashaz

Registered:
Posts: 5
 #71 
♡♡@Sierra im sorry youve experienced this as well...thank you for your kind words and may peace and love be with you and everyone ♡♡
pansy

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Posts: 599
 #72 
My cat who I recently put to sleep (due to IBD) had a saddle thrombosis that was a partial block only on one side.  He recovered quickly and never had another one for his remainder three years. He was put on plavix and a heart med.  His echocardiogram showed an enlarged heart and a mild gallup.  Unless they are showing symptoms of heart disease vets don't usually recommend an echo as they are pretty expensive although I now feel it's a good thing to have done as a precaution.  
natashaz

Registered:
Posts: 5
 #73 
Hey Pansy !
First off, very sorry for your loss! Bless your kitty!! You were very lucky to discover it at a point where something could be done. I really wish we could of had some sign before the end. My kitty even when they were admistering the drug during euthanasia...didnt even work cause they administered it in his leg ( not sure why since i thought they understood what condition he was in ) and it wasnt circulating because of the clotting; i guess every thing happens for a reason...i guess it happened for me to see first hand the severity of the clotting. They had to put the drug directly to his heart instead.

Someone way above said something about the fact that if vets see this commonly in cats why don't they educate us...they are completely right!

Every year i brought him in for annual shots and i really really regret not doing a thorough check up.

I also learned for my dogs sake of the importance of putting money into a thorough check up at least once a year.









pansy

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Posts: 599
 #74 
Vets really should educate more about heart disease and IBD more often than they do.   I was lucky in that I knew the symptoms of a saddle thrombus and had my cat to the ER in about an hours time.  When I felt his back paw and it was ice cold I knew it was critical.  
natashaz

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Posts: 5
 #75 
If you dont mind Pansy, can you share your experience with IBD ...i dont actually know much about it and I'm very curious

Ya, that coldness..scary sensation
pansy

Registered:
Posts: 599
 #76 
I've had two cats now with IBD.  One that morphed into intestinal lymphoma and the recent one was a possibility.  Frequent vomiting and diarrhea and or constipation is not normal no matter what the vet tells you.  It's a roller coaster as the symptoms can change frequently and so can their response to foods and meds.  The first one ended up on pred and chlorambucil which is a chemo med.  It gave her another 11 months of time.  The most recent one could not be put on pred due to his heart condition so I treated him with meds for nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. But with not being able to get the inflammation down the meds finally stopped helping him.  Diet works for a while along with probiotics etc. but eventually they can stop working.  It's a dreadful disease not only for the caretaker but for the animal too.  Ultrasounds and endoscopy diagnosed the condition.  It eventually can effect the liver and pancreas. My pet specialist says she sees about 2-3 a week now with this condition and it seems to be getting more prevalent especially in cats.  I'm not sure if I could go through it again.  It's too sad to lose them.      
Sierra18

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Posts: 11
 #77 
I agree, vets really need to educate more at least.

Going through this was probably the worst thing I've dealt with my entire life. It just past 2 years and I still can't talk about it at all without falling to pieces and crying. I'm pretty sure I have a mild case of PTSD, but I've mostly learned to live with it. It's such a sudden traumatic way for them to go. He was such a special kitty, I don't think I'll meet another like him.

A couple months ago I adopted a kitten. He's 8 months now and he's my heart. And I live in fear every day that it'll happen to him too one day. I don't think I could take it if it did.

I still don't know how to help prevent it. All I was really told is that there's really nothing you can do besides the expensive tests, and even then it might not help. I feel like there has to be more out there. Better technology, better education, or something.

I just wish no one else would have to go through all this...i wish I could spare them the pain. The kitties and their humans.
pansy

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Posts: 599
 #78 
An echocardiogram can be done to check for heart problems and clots and a chest xray can also be done, especially if there is a heart murmur.  It's expensive yes and not always definitive as my cat had the echo done in the beginning but nothing showed as a heart problem.  When he had the saddle thrombus is when he was put on a blood thinner as they don't like to start treatment if nothing specific shows on the echocardiogram.  It's a very sneaky disease.  His cardiologist also mention a clot can arise from the liver too.
Spacecat

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Posts: 5
 #79 
I'm here because I don't have an email for my vet and I'm too emotional to talk on the phone. I really need data and facts more than condolences right now.

I euthanized my 11 year old cat on Sunday due to saddle thrombus. Both her legs were paralyzed and she had congestive heart failure. Her arrhythmia wasn't caught in a relatively recent visit/unrelated surgery which confuses me to no end (I'm going to buy a stethoscope). The vet kindly but firmly explained that euthanasia would be the best choice and she had never seen a cat with hospital treatment live longer than a week. At first I chose the hospital; I feel we often jump to euthanasia too quickly and I wanted a second opinion. But while the vet was out of the room I looked it up online. What I could read in that short time frame confirmed everything she'd said. My baby was on oxygen and in massive pain despite medication. I couldn't let her suffer and stress her out only to potentially give me a few more hours or months with her. I once had a cat die all alone in the hospital and I never want to make that same mistake again. Within an hour of her screaming in agony she was gone.

But now I'm torturing myself reading these medical publications and questioning my choice. The pamphlet they hand out from VeterinaryPartner had no sources at all but I've since cobbled them together. They cite median survival time from a paper from 2001. That greatly disturbed me, as did all of the minuscule sample sizes that included a majority of euthanized cats. How do we increase the survival curve if we just put them all down?

The most recent paper I could find is from 2018: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5980443/

I have reached out to the submitter about more information on the post-event survival group whose median survival was a little over a year, more than the mere months I was told, and apparently an outlying case survived an entire eight years. I don't know what these poor cats' situations were or what they went through to reach those years, maybe it's even in here and my eyes are too clouded with tears to read it properly. If their quality of life wasn't worth living I still stand by my decision but at the moment I just don't know.

I'm not looking for someone to blame besides myself, I begged my vet for that .01% chance but she kept repeating that she's never seen a recovery, no one she knows has ever seen it. Yet here it is. So I wonder if she's read this paper, I wonder if most vets are operating on statistics that are almost two decades old, I wonder if the combination of all of my cat's issues compounded into a 0% chance unlike others who might have only had CHF or ATE. I don't know what number would have made me change my decision but I have a strong feeling more than a year would have done it. One more year with her, so I could take her home and give her the treats I promised her. I would have paid and done anything for just one more year...instead I killed my baby girl...

[edit] The submitter of the paper replied and I'm very grateful for his response but all he said was most ATE cats never make it out of the hospital and euthanasia in general is a reasonable consideration. This does not really help me. I guess only massive amounts of therapy will.
InMemoryOfRascal

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Posts: 2,437
 #80 
Spacecat - you can go back and read my first posts when I lost my Rascal to saddle thrombus.  Like you, my girl did not have any diagnosed issues and from the time I woke up to hearing her scream to driving home without her was under 2 hrs.  To this day, I struggle with that.  It is so hard - there is no preparation and nothing in my mind could comprehend that.  But it is true.

When the emergency vet came in with a heavy sign and told me about the ST I still couldn't comprehend the severity.  A blood clot...just break it up.  They explained that it was an extremely harsh treatment and only 50% survival rate.  O'k...50/50 sounded like a plan (remember I was in shock...just wanted to keep my girl with me).  But then they told me that IF she survived she would be on blood thinners an require weekly checkups to monitor.  That was the "dealbreaker" - for me it was fine; but for Rascal....how could I put her through being petrified for the rest of her life.  I let her go and to this day - I cry.  It was the hardest thing.

BUT within hours, I had requested copies of her final medical reports to be sent to her regular vet.  I had an urgent appointment with the vet to get Rambo (her brother/littermate) in for immediate review to make sure he didn't have a heart issue.  Cardiologist, EKG etc.  Nothing for him.

Her primary vet though was actually surprised that the ER and told me about the treatment - because I was asking her if I should have tried it.  She said (and remember I have full trust in her and she took care of them for 11 years) that she NEVER offers the option.  She said that she doesn't offer it because it is so harsh on them, the 50/50 chance to survive that portion is not enough to outweigh the extreme treatment, best case scenario is another 6-9 months...but she had personally had too many instances earlier in her career that the cat through another clot within weeks. 

Can you imagine your baby be subjected to that pain all over again?  What if you were not home when it happened and you found your baby all alone screaming?  I guarantee that would hurt your heart in ways that could never be forgotten.  You would absolutely be questioning why you made that choice to try.

I agree that too often the vets/er seem to err more on the "do the right thing and let them go side".  But I absolutely do not believe that this is in that bucket.  I believe the doctor gave you the best recommendation - perhaps not for you/your love - but certainly for your baby.  

Take care
InMemoryOfRascal...and Rambo
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