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Posts: 2
Six weeks ago my 6 year old cat, Sadie, started not eating well.  Her having eating issues wasn't that out of the ordinary, so I didn't go to the vet at first.  We seemed to get her eating somewhat back on track, but then last week she took a turn for the worse. 

We put her down once we found out she had stage 4 renal failure and there was nothing we could do.  I don't know what happened, but the vet theorizes she ate something toxic.  Of course, I'm racking my brain trying to think of what it was and when it happened.

We had an amaryllis that we threw out close to the time we noticed her not eating.  We have this plant every year and I didn't know they were toxic.  But then again the symptoms don't mention kidney failure.

Some cleaners are toxic to cats.  I recently cleaned out one water bowl with CLR Bath and Kitchen as it had water stains.  Did I not rinse it well enough?  I also remember recently using carpet cleaner with her nearby.  I just can't remember quite when I did these things.

I gave her hemp oil a couple times for stress / pain.  It was recommended and sold to us by the pet store last summer.  But the smallest dosage is for an animal bigger than her, so I just gave the ever slightest amount.  But google says hemp is toxic to pets.

I'm feeling guilty for being so careless.  I'm feeling guilty for not even realizing my cat had been poisoned.  I'm feeling guilty for not going to the vet sooner.  If it is my fault, I can accept that, and learn from that.  But the not knowing and wondering and questioning is exhausting.  Can anyone offer any thoughts or opinions?

Posts: 28
I'm so sorry for your loss and what you are going through.

I can only share in the experience of the questioning being exhausting...over and over and over. We go over every possibility and there are no answers, that is the hard part. 

I found myself trying to 'pin' myself with a mistake, a careless act, but I usually came up with 'I did the best I could with the knowledge I had'. 

This is the really tough part of having cats, they don't communicate a lot. Especially renal failure - we often don't see it  until it's so far gone.

In reality if we took our cats in every time they threw up it would be excessive, I would say, the vet would be like 'calm down'. 

Like you I will keep in mind the things I learned through this awful experience and hope I catch something quicker but the fact is things may happen that we don't or can't control. That isn't very comforting, but it is realistic.

My cat also took a sudden turn for the worse and ended up being kidney disease ( in addition to other issues) - And I had even taken him in to the vet.  But it didn't get better and I had to let him go. It was only a few weeks that he seemed off.

Posts: 2
Sorry for your loss Candice. I agree. It’s hard to balance being overreactive and reactive enough.

I don’t know if you’ve had this problem, but I have taken my cats to the vet for various issues and it takes multiple visits before they get the diagnosis right or they don’t get it right at all. Maybe this is the norm or maybe we just have a bad vet, but it makes me think twice before bringing my cats in.

Posts: 28
Well my experience in the last three weeks.

My cat Tiger was very different when I got back from my vacation in Mid March

I thought it was a stress induced illness and thought it would settle down and he could get back to normal

But when after 5 days or so passed I wanted to to take him to the vet - I was not supposed to leave my house for 14 days, and it did not seem 'acute' so I did it he next week. My cat was 17 yr old inappetite, wandering looking  confused and going downstairs to hang out. Has had insulin for diabetes for many years and some intermittent IBD.

I went to my vet April 3rd - he said he had lost weight and muscle mass I should take blood sugar everyday. Told me ha wasn't going to do any testing and said to give him 'supportive care' - he gave ma all the meds I asked for for inappetite and a painkiller I had used to get his settled when he seemed agitated the week I got back.

I wanted more clarity about what might be going on - I wondered 'are you telling me to just not do anymore'- I talked to the vet office and they spoke to my vet at home - he said if I wanted more investigation to start with blood tests which I did  - Apr 9 took him in for bloodwork - showed stage 3 kidney disease (his last bloodwork 6 mnths ago showed no kidney issues) This other vet gave me three choices hospitalization with IV fluids, at home sub Q fluids, or euthanasia - I opted for Sub Q at home - when I asked she said it would probably be weeks to months left

He did okay for a couple of days - but Sunday April 12th there was nothing I could do to make him feel better tried to give him meds, he was trembling and breathing fast. I thought I gave him too much medication and took him to the emerg vet to get something to help (I thought a serotonin agonist) - This vet told me it wasn't the meds - he had labored breathing - sounds like some maybe fluid in the lungs - enlarged kidneys they would need to do xrays and then maybe treatment/hospitalization. At this point I did not want my cat to go through any more especially not hospitalization interventions - I asked about whether they were letting people in for euthanasia she said yes. I asked her what she would do if he were her cat - she said she would let  him go. So that's what I did.

All the vets were right with what they saw - my first vet a geriatric cat with not much chance of recovery, second vet identified the problem that was so different now and something I could try, the third saw the last manifestation of the breakdown of his organ functioning and gave me options for more testing. But her telling me she would let him go gave me the last answer I needed - I was thankful.

I believe the result would have been the same had I stopped at the first visit.

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