Registered: 1197839779 Posts: 1,328
I have a diabetic cat who is failing. He's 15 to 15 1/2 yrs. and could be even a bit older (he adopted us in 1998). He was dx. 4 yrs. ago with diabetes--developed DKA (very, very serious complication)twice. ER visits and stays. Developed a neurological problem month after, couldn't walk without flopping over. Another week of hospitalization. Multiple tries at different insulins.Finally found the right one and stable for quite a few years. Much research into right foods to keep sugars down, complications, etc., etc... Take his sugars (via ear and my glucometer daily--when this started I would take his sugars 3-4/day, I was so worried that he would develop the DKA again).
4 yrs later, now--he's devoloped uveitis of eye. Middle body of eye inflamed basically. Glaucoma controlled with meds. Also a lens that is becoming detached and would have to have surgery (was never an option) or eye taken out. Now a non-healing ulcer on that eye. Multiple meds. 10 gtts. day for the 1 eye and 3/day, with a wait of 5-10 min. between gtts. He hates the drops and tries to hide, etc.. Vet says vision is only tunnel vision in that eye with all of this we're doing. He's lost weight at same time uveitis developed and this is consistent with the general idea that eye problem is only a symptom of a deeper systemic one (diabetes probably??). Blood work all negative. He's gone from 11.8 to 9.2 since January. Can feel his back vertebrae. Collar lose, not eating great (very unusual for him). His quality of life is slipping. I'm not sure when I should stop all of this and let him go. Am I keeping him going for me or him? He doesn't have the same personality since this started. He's more reclusive, etc.. I don't want to do alot more diagnostics with his situation. If it's a cancer, I wouldn't treat that with all of his other problems--and the blood work all neg. anyway. Unsure what to do next. Do I let him go a while longer with all of these drops and losing weight, etc. or am I only making him more miserable and prolonging the inevitable??
Registered: 1198872932 Posts: 1,205
I am so sorry that you are being forced into making about the worst decision that you will have to make. I think that if your boy is still eating he is still willing himself to go on. When he stops, that is when you have to think long and hard. With all of my babies I have looked into their eyes and asked them. Sometimes it is hard to read, as we just dont want to be without them, it is so hard, we love them so.
Thinking of you, Di xxx
Registered: 1208278231 Posts: 199
I'm going to be brutally honest here so please forgive me. My Piggy had diabetes for the past 5-6 years. She was then diagnosed with the advanced stages of kidney disease.
She was not the same. She was eating her food just fine but I knew she was not the same. She was tired, drained and very skinny. I could tell that she was ready to go. The way she looked at me, it was almost like she was saying it's okay mom to let me go. I scheduled her appt. for 5/2 to put her to sleep. I cried the night I scheduled it and she got on the bed and placed her head below mine and my tears flowed onto her. I know that she was telling me it was okay. Her body failed on 4/13 and I had to rush her to be put to sleep. Had I know how bad she was, I would have had her put to sleep sooner because I did not want her to suffer the way she did the night she died. My cat was 16 so her health wasn't going to get any better. I knew that. Therefore...from my experience...if your cat's health is going downwards and you notice they are different, I think it's only fair to put them to sleep. That's just my opinion though from my personal experience. Do what you feel is fair and right to your baby. We are here if you need us. Hugs, Piggy's Mom
Registered: 1197081544 Posts: 686
I am so sorry that your kitty is not doing well and that you are facing such a terrible decision. This is a decision that only you can make, but I have always felt strongly about quality of life. Four years ago, my 16 yr. old cat, Snuggles, was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor under his tongue. My vet told me I could take Snuggles to a specialist for chemo, but Snuggles would still be an old cat who would develop other problems. I took Snuggles home and loved him for 2 more months before I had to make the decision to have him PTS. He was losing weight and struggled to eat and drink. He looked at me like he was counting on me to help him. I had the vet come to our house to help Snuggles pass to the Rainbow Bridge.. It was so hard and I was devastated, but it was peaceful for Snuggles and he was no longer suffering. Four months ago, my 3 yr. old. kitty, Gus, became very ill with an autoimmune disease.. We tried treatments, but nothing worked. I prayed that God would let Gus pass peacefully because I knew it would hurt so much to make that decision. Gus passed peacefully in his sleep, but if he hadn't, I know I would have made the decision because he was counting on me. He trusted me to love him and do what was best for him. When your kitty is ready, you will be there for him. It will be so terribly painful for you, but he will no longer be sick or hurting. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Kate (Gus's mom)
Registered: 1194654202 Posts: 881
I hate this "place" to have to make this decision..I don't think there's anything harder. This is your baby who gave you so much joy and love. The last thing you want is for him to suffer. I think that sometimes although we don't want to believe it..we already know what we need to do.
It's the greatest act of love possible because then your pain will begin. I like to think of the saying on this site..
"I have sent you on a journey to a land free from pain..not because I didn't love you, but because I loved you too much to force you to stay"
You will know what to do. I will hold you in my prayers.
Registered: 1197839779 Posts: 1,328
Thanks for all of your prayers and experiences--they mean alot to me.
Registered: 1206414832 Posts: 196
I guess we "decide" by making the conscious choice to take away our baby's physical pain, and then transferring it to ourselves in the form of intense emotional pain. We take their burden and carry it for them.
When I think of it that way, I know I would have anything for my Herbie, and that was the only thing left to do. Herbie's Mom
Registered: 1208823666 Posts: 11
You will know. There comes a point when they have this look in their eyes, like they are here with you but they see something else. You will know.
Registered: 1194492978 Posts: 5,100
For me, I knew it was time to let Betsy go when she appeared to be experiencing more muscle spasms and may have been experiencing pain. She was suffering from dementia, but ate like a little horse when I hand fed her. She had also grown very, very weak and frail. Still, it was the most difficult day of my life when I said goodbye to her. You may want to ask your vet is he or she thinks your precious boy is in pain. I think that always makes the timing of the decision a bit more clear for loving furparents. I just never could stand to see my baby suffer, and when I knew she would never get better, I made the only merciful and loving decision I could make for her. Hope this helps. Please keep coming for support. We will be here for you. Hugs, Melissa Betsy's forever mom My Beloved Betsy Noodle, My Angel
Registered: 1176724832 Posts: 70
I am so sorry you have to make such a difficult decision. I truly believe it is one of the most difficult decisions we ever have to make. I had to make this difficult decision for my Allie cat in May 2006. She had end-stage FIV and FeLV. She was constantly spiking temps, wasn't eating well, and was very lethargic. She was not herself at all. She had always been an active outdoor cat and not being able to run around outside was so hard for her. She hated going to the vet, she hated getting the antibiotics she was taking, she hated getting the injections and sq fluids. I did contact a couple vets who specialized in treating her diseases and they assured me that it was her time- to treat her further would only mean more torture for her. So, I decided, based on her quality of life, that it was time for me to help her across the bridge. There is no question that it was the hardest decision I've ever had to make. The night before our appointment her hind leg stopped working and I realized I made the decision one day too late. Though it was hard, I know that it was the right thing to do. Of course, I still miss her tremendously to this day, but I know she is in a better place now and she is whole again. May God give you strength during this time as you make the best decision for you and your furbaby. Jen
Registered: 1208241202 Posts: 6
Nancee, For all that you have done for your baby boy. I commend you for that. And I am another one that is going to be brutally honest with you. 15 or 15 1/2 yrs old is getting old for a kitty. And with all the problems that he is having, it makes it worse. We are lucky to be humans, we have that right to say I want to put my pet to sleep. They are not having any more quality of life. And I want the best for them. Animals aren't that lucky, they can't just go away on there own when they are owned by someone. I believe when the quality is gone out of there eyes/life. And that is alot of weight to lose in such a short time. It is time to say, I have done all that I can do. I am not trying to be cruel, Nancee. But with all that your kitty has gone through. This is not a life for any animal to go through. If it were me. I would let him go, to a place where he will be made whole and happy again. I know your heart will be aching so much, but it is the best gift that you can do. To release him of all of his pain and suffering. I know it won't be easy at first. But in the end I think you will realize that it was the best thing you could do for your baby boy. I am so sorry for being up front and honest with you. But in your heart I think you know you will be doing the best thing in the end. You are in my prayers and thoughts as you make your decision about this. Loquat
Registered: 1200561771 Posts: 251
I am so so sorry for the decision you are facing. My heart is breaking for you. It is the HARDEST decision of you life. I am so sorry, I am crying for you. Only you will know when the time is right. You are the one who looks after your furbaby, so you will know when the time is right. For months everyone was saying it was time for my baby Nugget to go, but for me it wasn't. But on January 1st this year, I looked at him and I knew. It was the most heartbreaking decision of my life and it haunts me to this day. To be honest I regret it and am terrified that my boy will never forgive me. Oh I miss him so much. Nancee, take your time with your decison. We are here to talk to you and comfort you. You are in my thoughts. A big cuddle to you, Nuggetsmum Alana
Registered: 1182281874 Posts: 540
Nancee, I am so sorry for this difficult decision you are faced with making. It is so hard because it is one that none of us wants to make and I think those of us that have had to pray for them to pass peacefully in their sleep, however in most cases this is not to be. I think the main questions to ask yourself is is your kitty eating and drinking normally ar at least normally for his condition, and is he urinating and pooping ok and the poops are normal and not runny? You said he acts differently. Does he sleep all the time? Can you tell by looking in his eyes, does he still have that kitty inside or does he look tired and worn down? Sometimes it is hard to tell with that one because I have heard that oftentimes cats and dogs will mask their pain and suffering from their owners because they don't want to show weakness and all they want is to love their owners. If you don't mind me saying it does sound to me like it is nearing the end for your sweet boy. I would just watch him very carefully and try to determine how much pain he really is in and the answer will come to you. Make sure you spend these last days with him and love him as much as you can, take some photos of him and with him to remember him by and tell him all that you want to say...no regrets. We put down our 17 yr old beagle Peanut to sleep over 10 months ago and I have to say I still have guilt over making that decision. She had several health issues along with old age and had to have been suffering to some degree as she could barely get around on her own but despite all that she never lost the light in her eyes and I feel like we could have waited a few more days. But maybe we always feel like that afterwards. I do know the poor thing was not getting any younger and that we rescued her when she was 4/5 years old and had a wonderful 12 years with her and gave her the best life possible. I miss her every single day still and I will for the rest of my days. I wish you the best in your decision and please know we are all here for you.
Registered: 1206665312 Posts: 32
How I made the decision.... I decided to put my little dog's feelings first before my own. It was still heartbreaking, but I am very, very glad I had him put to sleep when I did. It was absolutely the right time. Someone said you know when it's time.
Registered: 1182464308 Posts: 71
I am so sorry to hear that you are agonising over whether to put your beloved kitty to sleep.I was exactly the same with my darling Becky.I just wanted her to go in her sleep. I didn't want to have to make that decision.Becky was over 18yrs old and was blind and deaf. She was also very unsteady on her legs.Despite this she loved her food and was a good eater. When I saw her bumping into things and getting confused because she didn't know where she was I realised that I had to make that decision to have her put to sleep. Her quality of life was so poor even though she didn't appear to be suffering greatly.She didn't have the life that little dogs should have.No more running happily in the park like other dogs. Having to be carried in and out of the house.The regret I have now is that I let her suffer longer than I should. I was keeping her alive for me.It broke my heart when I had to say goodbye but I now know she is not suffering any more. She is running free again. You will know when you have to make that terrible decision but do it for him, don't keep your kitty alive for yourself.Is he living the life that little cats should have? Our furbabies owe it to us to let them go when they are suffering.Whatever you decide Nancee we will be here for you. You know your kitty better than anyone and you will know when the time is right. Love and (((hugs))) Margaret
Registered: 1197839779 Posts: 1,328
Took him to the Vets yesterday. His regular vet, not the eye vet. She was concerned with the weight loss, too. ALthough, not as much weight as we thought loss--but still enough.
The eye has a corneal ulcer on it--barely healing, shows some signs of healing, but not that great. Had pain in it initially (with eye gtts. he would run away and put his paw to his eye). But, no, I don't think much pain in the eye--never rubs it or squints. Blood work coming back today and tomorrow. I felt I should at least r/o hyperthryoidism, etc.. something easily treatable. I feel like crap today,depressed--He's been my sickest baby (diabetic for 4 yrs.) and like a baby. I can't tell you how I've babied him due to his illness. When healthy, his personality would draw everyone to him--how many vets, vet techs, etc. would comment on how adorable his is (black/white/black moustache). My life will be empty without him. I have a husband and another cat and a dog (15 yr old husky but losing weight and at the end, too). Can you believe how much heartache right now??? I have so much love for my animals. I can't tell you how I've overprotected and doted on them. Just lost Puffy in Jan. (kidney failure). My animal family is dying off--and it's awful.
Registered: 1160118634 Posts: 113
(((((((((Nancee)))))))))))), I know how hard this is on you. I cried at the end when you said that your animal family was dying off. I sure know what that feels like. 5 of my dogs in the past 4 years. Feels really lonely when you thought you would have them for more years. But when there time is up, you can see it in there eyes, how the sparkle is gone, and it seems that they are asking you to let them go. I have been there many times. It is so hard about this decision. Think about your kitty first. Do you think that he wants to go through any more pain. I think that your little fellow would like to be out there with all the other kitties playing around and having the time of there lives. Think about the quality of life your kitty has. I am not telling you what to do. No one can tell you what to do. This is something that you need to work out for yourself. Think about your kitty first. You are in my prayers Nancee and in my thoughts. (¨`·.·´¨) Blessings, `·.¸(¨`·.·´¨) Love & (¨`·.·´¨)¸.·´ Hugs, `·.¸.·´ *KeaElsa* - - Mommy to Kea, Elsa, Casper, Brandy, King, Dusty and Flagg THERE ARE NEVER ANY GOOD BYES, ONLY WELL WISHES, TIL WE SEE EACH OTHER AGAIN.
Registered: 1164162392 Posts: 1,910
Nancee, I am so sorry that you are contemplating the end of *two* of your beloved furred one's lives.
I very strongly favor quality of life over length of life. Six years ago my Bartholomew cat (17 lbs. at his peak) was 17+ years old, arthritic, chronic ear problem, kidney failure, either digestive ulcers or cancer. I was giving him a daily pill to soothe his tummy and subcutaneous fluids for kidney failure every three days. He was down to 8 1/2 pounds... but when I went under the table where he was lying, he purred *nonstop* for 40 minutes as I pet him and told him how much I loved him. So I figured he still had some quality of life, if he could be that happy and purr despite everything. A month later, he'd lost 3/4 lb in only one week and was down to 7 pounds; the vet said I could take him home "to say good-bye" for another few days, but at that point it would only have been for me and done nothing for him. I had him put to sleep that day. I cried, the vet cried, the office staff all did, too. It was the best thing at that point. As long as your angel can still enjoy life, then that is what you prolong. When the quality is gone and has no hope of returning, then we as humans are blessed to be able to end the suffering of a loved one. The ending will hurt no matter what the details are. But we are humans, we know that we will outlive our furred ones. We are going to have a broken heart at the end, but we do have the power to save them an existence of pain without end and no hope of recovery. I hope that some day the same mercy is available for humans that we love. Do whatever you can for your baby to make these final days as good as possible, then be as kind to yourself as you can as you confront the agony of your baby's loss. I am sorry for the pain that lies ahead but know that you will make the very best choice for your baby.
Registered: 1197839779 Posts: 1,328
His blood sugars, according to that one test which measures long-term glucose control, was way off--500, which is extremely high, indicating non-regulation. He's been regulated well for 4 years and a happy cat, but with the eye problem, it's thrown his diabetes into overdrive and he, apparently, become un-regulated.
Vet said to increase insulin. He seems more active and happier. Hoping the eye ulcer will heal--if the blood sugar's can stay lower, it has a better chance. I'm hoping with more time with him. Thanks for all of your replies-it's very heart-warming. I'm not a person who usually reaches out with my problems, but this board helps me alot and I'm grateful for all of you. I'll keep you posted as time goes on.
Registered: 1157268148 Posts: 555
Please just keep coming here and posting and let us know how you and your baby are doing. Having a sick baby is very stressful and we all need support just as much during those times as we do when we have to say goodbye to one. Only your heart can tell you when it is time to let your baby run free to Rainbow Bridge. That is a decision no one has any right to make for you or even suggest you make because it is so final and personal in each case. We are all here to help you in what ever you decide to do and will be here no matter what. I will keep you and your baby in my prayers. Love and Peace, AurichWolf Kathy
Registered: 1197839779 Posts: 1,328
Thanks Kathy and all: This time is the worst for me because I feel in limbo--basically. He seems to be brighter with the increased dose of insulin. I hope the ulcer can heal somewhat. Have to see the eye vet in a few weeks.
It's all nerve-wracking. I worry for him and for me. I say "Mommy loves you and wants what's best for you, no matter what, you don't have to stay here for Mommy, but if you want to continue fighting--mommy wants that too." He's so darn cute, his little black moustache on his white face and 4 white paws. His little personality is so sweet. Everyone that's ever met him says what a beautiful boy he is. I've loved all my animals, but this guy, with all of his medical problems, somehow he's been my "baby" more than the others.
Registered: 1209687496 Posts: 1
My Celie cat has been failing now for a couple weeks. Loss of weight, won't eat, not sleeping in her usual spot. Took her to the vet yesterday and ran blood work-CANCER. She just turned 12 in March. I KNOW what needs to be done, but I am struggling with it. She trust me to take care of her, and now I feel selfish. I am 33 weeks pregnant and I should be happy with the new baby coming and all I do is cry over the idea that I won't have Celie to be with me. To curl up on me and purr. I'm upset she won't meet my new baby. But I don't want her to suffer any longer. She has been a great companion. My hubby said I always put her before him. LOL. It's just sad and hard.