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connectthedots

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Posts: 12
 #1 

Its been 2 ½ weeks since my 17 1/2 year old cat Mia died and its just been so hard adjusting to life without her.  I miss her terribly.  I just keep going over everything I did in days and weeks before her death and keep questioning everything I did.  I’m sorry about the really long post but I just wanted to see if any of you might have any insight on what happened to my kitty.  From reading all your posts I know that many of you on petloss have a wealth of experience in caring for sick animals. 

 

My Mia was diagnosed with renal failure, hyper tyroid and a slight heart murmur 5 yrs ago.  We were able to control everything fairly well w diet and tapazole until she had a episode of very high liver values and pancreatitis 3 years ago.  We had her IV fluids for a few days and she was able to bounce back from it and was a good as ever.  But then in the beginning of March 2008 she started to vomit several times and became very lethargic.  Her bloodwork came back with a BUN of 130+ and a Hematocrit of 15.  She had a blood transfusion and was on IV fluids for 5 days and we were able to get her BUN down to 70 and her Hematocrit up to 22 and were able to take her back home.  This is what we had her on medication wise:

-         50 cc subq fluid 3 times a day

-         .10cc epigen every 2 days (hematocrit)

-         1 mg cyproheptadine 2 times a day (appetite stimulant)

-         Quarter Tab of 5mg Methimazole/tapazole 2 times a day (thyroid)

-         2.5mg of benazepril once a day (kidney function)

-         1 capsule azodyl once a day (kidney function)

After we took her home, she didnt seem to feel well and her BUN started to creep up again to 90.  Then a few weeks later her appetite seemed to get a little better and her BUN went down to 70.  She started to get some more energy back and began playing with her balls and using her scratcher again.  But then one morning about 5 minutes after I gave her fluids, tapazole and cyproheptadine at 11:30am she suddenly started to vomit non-stop.  She started stumbling and then she couldn’t even stand up right.  She looked so scared and confused.  Then the horrible seizures started, she was in so much pain and started crying for me to help her.  She got so bad so quickly I was so scared for her.  I wrapped her up in her favorite blanet and drove to the vet with her in my lap, her body twisted so bad from the seizures.  My normal vet wasnt in until 4pm that day so I went to closest one that would take us even tho I knew they werent the best.  They put her on fluids, valuim and oxygen.  Her temp was only 96, 4 degrees below normal.  This vet couldn’t even have the bloodwork done the same day so I took her back  to my normal vet as soon as he came in at 4pm.  When we finally got her bloodwork she had an elevated amalyse but with her BUN at 70 and hematocrit at 30, there was nothing that explained the seizures.  But then the doctor asked me if I might have accidentally given her too much fluid and sure enough that morning I wasn’t being careful and accidentally gave her 25 cc too much fluid that morning.  He said that there was a chance that too much fluid had accumulated in her brain and that might be causing the seizure.  The doctor said that because nothing in her her bloodwork showed why she was having seizures he said there might be a chance we could get her back by drawing the excess fluid out of her brain with medication.  If there was a chance to fix her I had to try.  So I kissed her and told her that I loved her and that she had to get better and come home and left her overnight at the vet.  My phone rang a little after 11pm.  I knew it was bad before I even picked up the phone.  My Mia was gone.  Now looking back at everything I feel like I did so many things wrong.  My vet said that if it really was excess subq fluids she should have been able to pull out of it, and that it was most likely something else.  I feel like he’s just saying that to make me feel better.  Please tell me if there was anything I did or didn’t do that made my cat so sick.  I just need to know the truth.  

 

- Could it be that she just couldn’t tolerate the extra 25 cc of fluids and that was what caused the seizures?  Maybe because of her heart murmur and how much her system had already been though it was too much for her to handle?  I know excess IV fluids can be very very bad, I have no excuses, I just wasn’t being careful.  It couldn't have been coincidence that she got sick right after I have her her meds and fluids?

- Did fluctuating the time between her fluids between 7 to 9 hours instead of a strict 8 hour schedule add too much stress to her system?  She had been perfectly fine before the vomiting, waking me up with her little meows and keeping me company the whole morning.

- I should have reserached all her medication and treatment more throughly, could one of the medications have caused the seizures?

- She started to fight a lot during her fluids the last couple weeks (I thought it was a good sign of her getting stronger) and I had to pin her down sometimes, could I have hurt her bc I wasnt being gentle enough?

- Could I have accidentally poked her w the IV needle somewhere bad and that lead to seizures?

- She was due for a vet appointment and I had made an appointment for the next day.  If I had taken her a couple days sooner, could they would have caught something before it lead to the seizures?

- If I had taken her right after she started vomiting, before the seizures started, would that have made a difference?

- Maybe if I had taken her to another doctor they would have known how to fix her instead of waiting till the afternoon to transfer her to my normal vet?

- Is there anything I could have done to prevent her from getting so sick?

 

I really appreicate any insights or opinions on what happened to my kitty.  I can't help but feel like she shouldve had more time (the doc said she had until the end of summer) but I did something to rob her of her last few months.  Thank you so much for listening.

 

 

Estelle

Registered:
Posts: 32
 #2 
I don't know much about the medical side....

But I'm looking at the big picture. You have a cat of 17.5 years that you had to "pin down" in order to administer IV medication on a regular basis.

I know the end wasn't how you'd have liked, the same with my dog. The last few hours were bad. I think sometimes this can't be helped.

Our pets are now feeling well and strong again. They are released and restored.

Our pets' suffering has now ended ended. Surely that's whats in the animal's best interests?

Hope this helps.

JasminesMom

Registered:
Posts: 440
 #3 
Dear connectthedots:

Oh my, I can feel your pain.  I am so sorry for your loss of such a beloved family member.

I could relate to much of your story, as my Jasmine had to deal with alot, in her short 10 years with me.

I always spared no expense or effort to help her get well, no matter what we were facing.  Jasmine battled pancreatitis with multiple complications, (2) orthopedic surgeries, hypothyroidism and continual bouts of vomiting of unknown origin.

Her last day on this earth though will forever stay with me.  Like your kitty, she started vomitting non-stop and collapsed and succumbed to violent tremors.  The vomiting was the only thing I'd witnessed before.  The other stuff was horrifying and completely new.  Like you, I rushed her to the vet's office, again wanting to do everything in my power to get her well.  She was given i.v.'s, fluids and valium and other seizure medication and still there was no response and she was visibly suffering.  Nothing obvious was found in the intial exam and according to our trusted vet, Jasmine was showing signs of something neurological in nature, on many levels.  Brain cancer and a few other things were mentioned, but I was told that even running tests, might never yield clues.  I was faced with the gut wrenching decision to keep her at the vet's to run tests, a facility not staffed overnight, where she might die in my opinion with no one there, or I could decide on my terms and have her PTS.  I couldn't even begin to understand how we'd come to this or worse how I'd live without her.  She was PTS with me by her side and to be honest the guilt, loss and pain almost killed me.  So many questions with no real answers, so much guilt I had been the one to put an end to her suffering.  Adding insult to injury, the pet food scandal broke a few months after she passed and I now believe it factored into her sudden event, but again, no one knew about any of this, until after the fact.

But it's been over a year now and the pain and loss are a part of me.  I've learned to live with it and deal with it, as best I can.  But having been where you are and where I am now, I can say try not to visit the last day too often.  You did more than most and it's so obvious you loved your kitty so much, as I did my Jasmine.  We are human and in the end when we love someone, we do what's best for them.  You definitely did everything possible to hold on to your kitty and loved her to the end.  She knew that. 

Expect the pain and loss to be raw for awhile.  But try not to prolong that pain with nagging doubt and guilt.  It will only compound the hurt.  I know again, I've been there.

Take good care and know you are among friends here and we are here for you.

                                       Hugs to you, JasminesMom


I love you so my Jasmine and miss you everyday.

VAG048

Registered:
Posts: 29
 #4 
Dear Connectthedots,

I am so very, very sorry about your loss. You tried so very hard (really & truly! that was some medicine regimen), and she knew you were trying to help her. They always know how much we love them.

Unfortunately, I am not one of the people who knows alot about medical
procedures or medications. I really just wanted to tell you something you know already, hopefully, deep down inside - it may have simply been Her Time. It happens with Humans also -we try, and try - but we cannot put off passing forever. We just cannot. Maybe I am naive, but it seems like such a small variable that you gave her, it doesn't make sense that that would take her - but I am not a Dr. I too have been reliving for months now, what I did or did not do....it is terrible how we torture ourselves, when so many others do not even take care of their friends -or consider their needs, based on their personalities.

I hope someone who knows more can give you a better answer, or maybe you can try post-mortem consultations as I did (more money, but money never mattered when it came to my girl), with my kitty's testing paperwork.
(And ps I only got some 'very likey cancer' answers, nothing 100%...)
Good Luck, take good care of yourself /Vickie
MissB

Registered:
Posts: 10
 #5 
I'm so sorry to hear what happened to your sweet kitty.  It doesn't sound like what happened was your fault at all.  You were obviously taking great care of her, so I think it was just her time. 

There are a lot of things that can cause seizures and fluid retention in the brain, including the diseases she was being treated for.  And even if the medicine contributed to it--which is still a big "if," since the medcine treats the conditions but can't cure them--if she hadn't been on the medicine regimen, she would likely have passed even earlier from disease, so it doesn't sound like there was anything you could have done about it.  Even taking her to the vets a day early probably wouldn't have helped, as she might not have shown any symptoms and would likely not be diagnosed, even on the unlikely chance that the vet could have done something about it.  I don't think it was your fault.  I'm pretty sure there's no way you could poke her with the needle that would cause seizures or fluid retention in the brain, and I doubt her struggling to get away from the needle had anything to do with it either.

It's so hard to deal with a hospice situation, since it causes so much guilt and doubt, but it really sounds like you did everything you could to help Mia.  She was an old, well-cared-for cat and it sounds like it was just her time--it wasn't your fault that she died, and it sounds like you were a great caretaker.  Mia is lucky to have had such love and comfort from you in her final days.
sweetpepe

Registered:
Posts: 143
 #6 
((((((connectthedots))))))))))))

Please be kind to yourself.  As others have said your dear Mia is now at rest.  
When I find myself "second guessing" myself and wondeing if we should have waited longer or tried more meds or, or....  I just have to tell myself "stop".  You did what you could do.  You could no longer bear to see your poor little dog suffer and it was time. 

That is both the joy and the heartache of owning a pet.  We do so much for them and they do so very much for us.  We never experience the same unconditional love from any people as we do from our pet.  When that sad day comes that they are no longer here with us on earth they leave us with a wealth of happy memories.  In time I hope that the memory of those happy times will crowd out the sadness of the final days.  Take good care.
percysmom

Registered:
Posts: 9
 #7 
Wow, I cannot believe you are blaming yourself or feeling guilty.  You went above and beyond for your adorable kitty!

I did the same thing after my Percy died.  What did I miss, what could I have done differently, etc, etc.  The guilt was eating me up.  Then I found this site and a whole network of people that went through what I was going through.

My guy was 15 years old...it never occurred to me he was "old"!  Now I know better and wish I knew he was an "old man cat" sooner.  However, I never treated him any differently, which I am sure he appreciated.

It is so hard to loose a cat that has been around for so long.  They are so independent and often want to keep to themselves a bit.  I do miss the minor day to day interactions the most.  His little sounds, even his snoring (lol!)!

While I know it is hard now, try and remember all the good times and remember none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes with our pets once in awhile.  I don't think anything you or I could have done would have saved our cherished kitties.  It was simply their time to go to heaven and while we mourn they are eating, purring and chasing each other in a much nicer place than earth. 

Also, don't discount your dreams as a place to reconnect.  I know it sounds kinda crazy, but I am having all these amazing dreams about my cat.  We cuddle and he "talks" to me even!  I wake up feeling so much better and believe he IS connecting with me.



Nancee

Registered:
Posts: 1,328
 #8 
  I have a medical background. I really, really don't believe that 25 cc extra would have caused a seizure. There had to be major problems already happening (ie kidneys really failing and worsening).
  Firstly, it really isn't that much extra. My vet told me 100cc/once day for my cat was fine. She saw many cats do fine with that. I was giving her about 75 cc most days.
  My little sweetie was down to 5,then 4.5 pounds and did fine. I never measured exactly--hard with the bags to see exactly.
  When your kidneys are malfunctioning, it plays with the electrolyte balances na/k, chloride, etc.. All of these effect fluids, intracellular/extracellular balances, etc. With kidney failure, you have usually altered minerals, when these get high or low, fluids are pulled into those areas. For ex., high k intracellular, fluid gets pulled there to compensate. It's much more likely that the kidney problem in general created such fluid/elec. imbalances and that your extra minimum fluids did nothing--there were major problems going on with her fluid/electrolyte balance already in her frail little body.
  Cerebral edema (fluid in brain tissues) causing the seizures certainly can result from severe kidney failure (organ is not working-fluids not "handled" by kidneys and fluids accumolate in tissues, ex. brain. Directly from kidney failure).
   7-9 hours instead of 8 just doesn't matter at all. These things don't have to be exact. Your body can adopt within that time frame.
   Poking the needle somewhere else--if it didn't go into the SQ tissue (fatty), I doubt it would have gone elsewhere. In the muscle it hurts and she would have yelled and screamed-- muscles are discreet you can feel them as you go in--feel harder than fatty tissue. Just under the skin(intradermal) would have been absorbed, just longer.
  I think your just blaming yourself. Sounds like you did a really good job with your cat.

connectthedots

Registered:
Posts: 12
 #9 
I just wanted to thank all of you for sharing your stories of your special furbabies.  The kindness and generousity I continue to find on this site is amazing.  I know finding out the exact cause of her seizures is difficult even with extensive testing like MRI's but its just been so hard to face the reality that she really is gone.  I've just been missing my Mia so much.  I keep imagining what she'd be doing, where she be sitting or napping in every room of the house.  I just have this horrible weight on my chest, this feeling like I let her down.  I think I'd do anything to have her back again happy and healthy. 

Much Thanks,
Dee
WooWooWoo

Registered:
Posts: 5,100
 #10 
I work in human medicine, but human physiology is very similiar to feline and canine physiology. 

Your sweet baby, Mia, was clearly in end stage renal failure which was compounded by hyperthyroidism and a heart murmur.   Unfortunately, she was terminally ill.  Nothing you did, or didn't do, would have changed her prognosis to an appreciable degree.  Her body simply began shutting down.  I don't say these things so bluntly to hurt you.  I just want you to know you are blaming yourself when you did NOTHING wrong.  So, the answer to each of your questions is "No".   No, you didn't harm her or cause her seizures or death.   No, there was nothing more you could have done.  No, I doubt another vet could have pulled her through at such an advanced stage of her illness.   And, I know you would not have wanted her to continue suffering.

I am just so very sorry you have lost your dear companion.  My heart just breaks for you.   I hope one day you can remember her with more smiles that tears.   I will be thinking of you.

Hugs,
Melissa
Loudpurring

Registered:
Posts: 774
 #11 
Hi;
Giving your kitty 75cc instead of 50 cc of fluids would not have caused a problem due to the extra 25 cc. The Vet did not know for sure if the seizures were caused by cerebral fluid or not, rite? Although I guess they were confident enough to give what I am assuming was Mannitol to "pull the fluid off of the brain". I cannot believe that they would say it could have been that the extra 25cc caused heart problems. Sure there is fluid overload and yes it can cause congestive heart failure, but I would hope your vet would be able to see that. It is pretty obvious. And if 75cc were to do it so would 50 cc. You mentioned benazapril as a kidney medication, it is for the heart.
 
The erythropoietin is good for increasing the red blood cell mass, but most cats treated with EPO will develope antibodies against it at some point with the result the EPO treatment must be discontinued. It also has to be gradually decreased.
 
I am suprised she was not on pepcid to help with the gastrin accumulation due to the renal failure, it can lead to ulcers.
 
Had she had her thyroid levels retested? The thyroid meds can be hard on the kidneys.
 
It doesn't matter though. Your kitty had alot of bad diseases. You did the best you could. I'm sorry they don't live longer, but they don't. The seizures could have been hypoglycemic, you never know sometimes.
 
Your kitty had a good long life with you, so please stop blaming yourself. You did nothing wrong.
 
By the way we often at work give kitty's with heart murmers 100 ccs of fluids daily.
 
 
 
 

 
connectthedots

Registered:
Posts: 12
 #12 

Loudpurring,


Thank you so much for all the information. Its still so hard with her gone, any information about her condition is appreciated. My Vet didn’t know exactly what was causing the seizures, he was pretty much just guessing from what I had told him happened that day. I was giving her 150cc of fluids a day (50 cc three times a day). Could that, combined w the extra 25 cc I gave her, have been to much for a 5.3 lb cat? When my cat died that night, my Vet has told me that her her heart just stopped but we don’t know the exactly what happened. If the the seizures were not caused by excess cerebral fluid, could the Mannital in addition to the heart murmur have caused her heart to stop or have damaged her system in any other way? Her potassium levels were ok. You are right about the erythropoietin shots, my vet had told me to reduce her dosage from every 2 days to every 3 days but I continued her on every 2 days (stupidly, I thought he was just trying to save me money) because she always seemed more tired on the off days. Could the continued epigen use have lead to her condition? Her thyroid levels were checked a couple weeks before she passed and came back in the middle of the normal range on a dosage of quarter tab tapazole twice a day. My vet doesn’t have an in house lab for thyroid so we weren’t able to get the thyroid results the same day she passed, but he said thyroid levels usually don’t change very quickly. True? Was the rest of her treatment pretty standard for her condition? And about the pepcid, I was told to give her pepcid ac when she was vomiting or had an upset stomach.


I’m trying to be happy for how long I was able to keep her and that she seemed to feel ok until that very last day but I just miss her so much. She was the sweetest cat. Thanks again for all your help.


Dee



MissingMRPAWS

Registered:
Posts: 17
 #13 
Hi Dee -

Your story sounded so familiar it was eery.   I too lost my darling Lil Man to a horrific seizure back in February.   Like your Mia, Lil Man also had CRF and I was also administering IV fluids.   And I also had to hold him down when administering. 

The seizure happened late Sunday night 2/25.   He had never seized before and it was the worst thing I had ever experienced.    Grueling.   We rushed him to the emergency Vet and he kept seizing even after they got them to stop.  Bad sign.   He stayed overnight and then I transferred him to his regular Vet.  All day he would seize, they would treat and stop it, and then it would start again.   I finally had to help him pass.   It was horrible.  I was in a state of shock for a long time.   No one could tell me why he had the horrible seizure that ultimately killed him.   But they speculate that it was a direct result of his CRF. 

I scoured the internet to find info linking seizures to CRF.   Apparently it happens at the end stage. 

You had Mia a lot longer than I had my darling Lil' Man.   He was only 9 years old :(     But I just want you to know that I went through a similar experience and I know how much it hurts.   The questions and lack of answers, etc. 

I am thinking of you!

Jennifer and Angels Mr. Paws and Lil' Man
MusicMagEditor

Registered:
Posts: 76
 #14 

I’m starting to get worried and scared.  My Wizard was diagnosed with Renal Failure at the Vet’s on Wednesday this week.  His numbers were high and the vet said to make a decision fairly quickly as he may only have about a week.  He eats but a teaspoon of food a day, keeps drinking a little water, but not a lot and kept peeing.

 

Today, I took him out for a walk after I put the fluids in under his skin.  He was excited to be outside and walked all over the place.  He even briefly chased a leaf that blew by.  He chewed on a little grass too.  Seemed pretty happy.  Obviously a little weaker and ever so slightly unstable at times.

 

The thing that is scaring me is, I called the vet today to get a little info and I asked will this be a quick process or will have I have him the week before he starts getting really uncomfortable.  She told me it shouldn’t progress super quick, but you’ll know as the kitty will start looking uncomfortable and unstable and stop peeing all together.  He hasn’t been peeing a lot, but he’s been peeing fairly frequently….  Until today.   I cleaned his litter box to try to monitor his usage.  That was at about 10 AM or so…  maybe slightly later.  Since then, it seems he has not used the litter box at all today since the cleaning…  that was about 3 hrs ago.  If I remember correct, up until today, he was going in there for a little pee at least once every hour or two.

 

What should I do?  I don’t want him suffering.  Should I wait a little while longer today to see if he pees?  He’s sitting in my lap and he purrs a bit when I pet him.  He really enjoyed himself out on the leash for a walk about an hour and a half/two hrs ago…  I do have to take into consideration he was outside for a ½ hr, but he didn’t pee out there.

 

Is this the end?  I’m really scared!!

 

Bob

Wizard’s Daddy Forever

 

 

 

WOW!  What a beautiful kitty!  I feel your pain so much!  My Wizard kitty, now 4 months short of his 17th Birthday, was just diagnosed wit Renal Failure, a heart murmur and a thyroid issue.  I may not have caught it in time and/or the vet knew I was out of work on disability and just knew I couldn’t pay for a lot of things….  So, she basically said his numbers were high and they felt keeping him for 3 day pumping heavy amounts of fluids into him may kill him because his heart may not take it.

 

So, they said I should make a decision ASAP and I may have a week.   I asked if I take him home, I’ve been told I can put fluids under his skin daily to help her.  Is that an option.  The vet said yes, but it still won’t change the fact that he may have but a week or less.  This was Wednesday (2 days ago).  I took him out on a leash for a walk yesterday (3rd time in his life) and again today.  He ate a couple tablespoons of food yesterday, but nothing today.  Also, he’s peed only once today since I’ve cleaned his box at about 10 or 11 AM and it’s nearly 2 PM now…  He just peed a few minutes ago for the first times since I cleaned his box.  I hope it isn’t the end…  He really loved it outside today!  Walked all over the yard, chewed some grass, even briefly chased a leaf that blew by.

 

I’m going to miss him so much!

 

Bob – Demon’s Dad




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