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I just off the phone with Chip's vet...  

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
He said the Staph infection he has came back with 3 different organisms. 2 are senstative to Amaoxiciln which is what he has been on since Saturday and 1 to Betroyl(sp) so I will pick that up tomorrow.

I talked about his lack or appetite and lethargy and overall health. He agreed when he saw Chip that he is very sick and I told him it's like watching him dying. He said he was not sure how aggresive we wanted to be on treatment since Chip most likely has FIP and is terminal. He said we could try an immune suppressant and also said something about Inferon (which you have to get from the UK and costs a few thousand dollars). He said it's of course our descision, but could understand someone considering costs on a terminally ill cat.

We already discusses giving Chip a good quality of life. I asked him at what point do you get to, where saving him is more for selfish reasons. How do you know when it's time to let go? He said that is something to consider.

He said, nothing will help him if he just won't eat. He suggested baby food and said he will fill a prescription for an appetite stimulant.

He said all we can do is see if he reacts on the short term to anything and consider if he gets better for a few weeks then gets worse again, what that means to his quality of life.

I am torn!!! I don't want cost to be an issues, between our three cats we have spent $4000 this year on vet costs. I am torn, because cost should not be an issue, but Chip is most likley terminal and might not have long. Plus it might not do anything for him.

He said we could do a feeding tube if the appetitie stimulant does not work.

How do you know when you're fighting for their life, when they aren't. How do I know when Chip has had enough?

I don't know what to do...I have never had to make this decision.
post #2 of 34
This is how Yoshi was. When he was Pts he would not eat at all and was down to 5.2 Pounds. They think it was Fip also. You will know when it is time. Yoshi was not even coming to me anymore but was alert. That made it hard for me. I was even going to get Yoshi a Kisney Transplant but he didnt qualify. He had over 10 stones in each Kidney. He did last 8 Months. Its very hard to prove a Cat has Fip. If you ever need to talk just Pm me.
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
Hi Mews,

First, what is Pts?

Chips has stopped coming to us for affection. I feel bad because we keep having to clean his nose, eye, give him med's etc and he is to the point where he gets up and walks away, he never did that before.

I did pick him up from his bed and we cuddled for about 5 min. and he purred, then he cuddled with my husband for baout 5 min. then he went back to his bed. That is pretty much how he has been since Monday.
post #4 of 34
Pts is put to sleep. Yoshi was doing that also.
post #5 of 34
I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this!

Cats have an uncanny way of telling you that they've had enough. Some will go off and hide all day, some will cling to you, and most will stop eating. The best advice that I got from a vet was to ask yourself: are you keeping them alive for them or keeping them alive for you? To answer the question you have to put your emotions aside for a while and really look at your unique situation. It will be the hardest thing in your life to do. Some cats simply cannot tolerate invasive handling and if yours is that type, then you have an answer for things like feeding tubes.

You are asking the right questions. Look to your heart, and look to your head.
post #6 of 34
I am very sorry you and your kitty are having such a hard time. You are facing some tough decissions that only you can make. But know that many of us have been through similar situations and understand.
post #7 of 34
First, fathom, "sorry" won't express how I'm feeling, so let me just say to you, I wish there was no need for this thread. But, we're here and, I've been in very similar circumstances.

Originally Posted by fathom View Post
...Chips has stopped coming to us for affection... he is to the point where he gets up and walks away, he never did that before.
... then he went back to his bed. That is pretty much how he has been since Monday.
In my experience, that's the normal behaviour of a cat who's feeling "yucky".

That, by itself, would not help me in any way to decide whether/not Chip's time on this earth was up. I would say, disregard this in your decision-making.

From what I have read (which may not include all the facts) Chip is not in any pain. I will continue based on that premise.

Now, "yucky" is far different from his being in pain......and, while some people will say "Oh, the poor thing is suffering..." the straight goods are that the cat is not in any pain.

This term "suffering", IMO, is a quality more appropriately applied to humans, in whom perhaps there is an intellectual awareness of loss of quality of life. Not so for our cats. Plainly and simply, they do not have that capacity. Chip's "quality of life" ONLY EXISTS IN YOUR PERCEPTION, not in Chip's. I'm emphasizing that because you'll need to remember it. I can almost guarantee that you'll get this "suffering" argument from many corners.

At some point, you may find yourself on the brink of making a difficult, final decision for Chip. If it were I (and, one day again it will be), I would be making it devoid of that kind of sentiment.

How do you know when you're fighting for their life, when they aren't. How do I know when Chip has had enough?
I personally do not believe there is an objective answer to that. I have heard people say: You will simply know. I have read other accounts where people have simply carried on with treatment despite little "response" from the cat. My sense is that, if one (who has the resources to do so) continues with every treatment and the body is not responding, that will provide the answer.
post #8 of 34

I am very sorry to hear that Chip is so sick. I have looked at your other threads and I see that you have already done a lot for him.

If it were me, I would certainly see what the results of treatment for the staph infection are. If he has been suffering from this for a long time, it could explain his lethargy, lack of appitite, etc. If he was bombarded by several things at one time (like the herpes), the stress on his body would be even greater. He's been on so many incorrect medications that some of those definitely could have impacted his condition. Definitely try to treat the staph...while you are doing so, it will be important to keep him hydrated and nourished, even if you have to syringe the food and water in.

I would consider carefully the FIP diagnosis and hold of on treatment until you know more. I notice that the vet had mentioned high globulin, but what other tests have been done? Have the done a coronavirus titer? Do white blood cell counts (especially neutrophils) indicate FIP? What about anemia? I'm assuming that he "has" the dry form, so have they found any granulomas (knots) in x-rays or ultrasounds? Does he have a fever? Since FIP can't difinitively be diagnosed, you have to look at a variety of symptoms that "collide" to suggest FIP. He could very well have FIP, but if high globulin is the only reason this is being suggested, I would be asking for more tests. Globulin can be increased because of any chronic inflammation or infection.

I will tell you a bit about Zoey - I got her from a shelter when she was 5 months old and had a slight eye infection, which cleared up quickly with drops. She has some bloody diarrhea and a bit of a cold, both of which seemed to get better with antibiotics. She was not a particularly energetic cat and she was very small. At about 8 months, she got very sick. I believe as soon as one vet suggested FIP (based primarily on high globulin), all the future vets followed suit and treated her as a fatal, FIP case. My third vet was the first one to mention that she had a horrible case of ear mites. He also missed a broken tail on her x-rays, because her problems seemed to be a neurological symptom of FIP. Once he found the broken tail, I still think he believed the FIP diagnosis, but was a little more optimistic about her prognosis. With antibiotics and pain killers, Zoey got better quickly. For the first time in 3 months, I couldn't see her third eyelid. She was still cautious, but she would play a little. She started eating more, although I couldn't get her to drink. However, the vet wanted to try her off the antibiotics (despite her most recent blood work indicating an extremely high white blood cell count). 5 days after taking her off the antibiotics, I had to put her to sleep. We tried to put her back on the meds, but she was too far gone by that point.

Zoey may have had FIP, although when I look at her most recent blood work, I don't really think that it would have been on the top of someone's list if that were the first blood work they had seen. Her globulin level was back in the normal range. She was not anemic. Actually, the only abnormal finding was the white blood cell count being off the charts. What does this indicate? Some sort of infection. Based on the ear mites, her lack of balance, and her trouble walking, it could have been an ear infection. It could have been any number of treatable or untreatable infections. The treatment of all of these is some sort of antibiotics. I truly believe that my vet (or vets...I think we saw 5 in total, of varying competence, IMO) stopped treating the symptoms and, instead, wrote Zoey off as an FIP cat. All because of a high globulin level and a high coronavirus titer (which is not uncommon amongst shelter kitties).

As for when you will know to put him to sleep, I wish I could help you. With Zoey, it took me 12 hours (after a month of treatment) to make the decision. I was desperately hoping that the new antibiotics would kick in. I took the fact that Zoey would still eat when I put food in her place as a good sign. However, when she started having seizures again and her eyes looked empty, I knew it was time. She had stopped fighting, I could tell. I guess I knew this because I had watched her fight for a month, and not once did she look so lifeless. Perhaps I waited too long to make the decision, but I will tell you that once I made the call to the vet, I did not doubt my decision. I think you need to know that Chip isn't going to fight anymore and that you've given him every chance you can.

I wish you all the luck in Chip's treatment and any decisions you must make. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.

I hope this helps, even a little.
post #9 of 34
Originally Posted by zoeysmom View Post
He's been on so many incorrect medications that some of those definitely could have impacted his condition. Definitely try to treat the staph...while you are doing so, it will be important to keep him hydrated and nourished, even if you have to syringe the food and water in.
I had not read your other threads so didn't realize this. Take this from a human who can talk about her experiences. I'm battling multiple strains of bacteria in my body right now, including a couple strains of staph. Being on antibiotics for the last few months has made me feel absolutely horrible. Last week when they switched the antiobiotic, I had a serious neurologic reaction that left my arms and legs numb. When they switched me to another, my skin started to split open. My blood pressure has been extremely high and my blood sugar low. I lost 6 pounds. I stopped taking them 2 days ago and already feel much better.

As I went thru this, my Muddy was put on a few meds for his bladder surgery. He was throwing up all week and lost his appetite. He couldn't tell me that the meds were making him ill.

What did I learn? If you are sensitive to medications, they can make you extremely ill. Sometimes the treatment is harder than the disease. I'm not saying to stop medications, but be cautious and don't assume his response is from the disease.
post #10 of 34
I was just re-reading your first post in this thread - you said you're picking up two antibiotic drugs tomorrow, one of which I think may be Baytril.

I ran across this drug mentioned in another thread today and posted there about it, as I recently discovered some info on it that surprised me.

You might want to read that post, then double-check the dosage with your Vet...it's here.

I would want to make sure my cat was taking in some extra water during a course of treatment with it.
post #11 of 34
Other people have talked about their experiences with FIP and the bacterial infections. If you decide you want to pursue treatment, please do consider a feeding tube. When Willow was dying from FIP (diagnosed through necropsy, so we really know now that it was FIP), we were running all kinds of tests to figure out what she had. She wasn't eating--that was her very first symptom, so I tried syringe feeding her. She hated it with a passion, so I eventually decided to have a feeding tube inserted. The surgery is relatively simple, as long as the cat is strong enough for the brief anesthesia. At my vet, the cost was around $250. In Willow's case the feeding tube did not prolong her life, but it did give me peace of mind while we were pursuing treatments and test results. Syringe feeding by mouth was a very stressful experience for Willow and for me--with tube feeding she often fell asleep during the feedings. Each feeding takes about 15 to 45 minutes (make sure you go slowly so as not to overwhelm the cat's stomach), and there should be several feedings per day. If you're trying other treatments, syringe feeding may buy you a little time. Also, make sure that if Chip seems to be in pain that you ask about pain control medications, like Buprenex. Hydration is also essential, as a dehydrated cat can feel awful--subcutaneous fluids can be given if the cat is dehydrated.

It's very hard to make decisions for our pets. I know I waited too long to make the decision. With Willow, she had increased difficulty breathing near the end. Her eyes and expression told me that she was tired of fighting this and that she was ready to go. There was nothing that gave her pleasure in life anymore. You may want to read these articles on determining quality of life:

You may also want to consider whether you want to have a necropsy done if your kitty does not recover. I personally found it helpful to know with greater certainity why my baby died. Being prepared for what to do when you decide it's time to let go (such as burial vs. cremation, having a vet come to you, etc.) can make those choices less stressful than if you're making them in the same moment. While you still have hope that your cat may recover, it helps me to be prepared for the worst.
post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 
Good evening, thank you everyone for your posts. I will try to answer them as thoroughly as possible. In advance, to everyone, thank you for your kindness, sympathy and time in your responses.

I don’t know if Chip has had enough, I can say in the six months we have had him (the whole time being sick with a Staph infection) he has never been so lethargic and distant. I plan on putting my emotions aside and thinking rationally for Chip, I know I will need a few days to do that.

Chip has never liked it when we would clean his nose or eyes, or anything like that, but after we were done he would always follow us around and want attention (of the “loving†type) now he just gets up and tries to walk away from us.


Thank you for your understanding, everyone he has been very kind .


I agree that it does not appear that Chip is in any pain. He is not being vocal or hiding, he just does not want to be bothered, I am like that when I get sick too (and while I might think I am dying at the time, here I am )

So can Chip be happy in his condition? Can he feel sad or devoid of…life?

I don’t want to say we do and do not have the resources to try different options. My vet seemed to think it would be a waste of money because Chip has FIP. But we both agreed which is where I will have some leverage that we want Chip to have a good quality of life. The doctor mentioned some thing’s that could extend his life (immune suppressant) but I have to consider if we extend his life will there be the same or more discomfort and who do I want to extend his life for? I know I sound like I am giving up…

Hi Zoey,

The antibiotics for the Staph infection are prescribed at this time for a month, so that is a long time to see what will happen, but that is what I plan on doing at least as of today, tomorrow could change that decision. He has been treated by so many med’s, but I am hopeful that we have got the right ones now.

Since the vet suggested baby food, I think I will pick up a big syringe and try to give him that (any suggestion on this thought)? I will also try to give him water, but I have seen him drink so that is good.

As for tests, I am not really sure, my husband took him. The tests were called “an overall health†blood tests, so many things and the culture of his mucous. His stomach is not full looking so I think it is the Dry form also. The vet basically told me FIP, I know from on here that that was not good. I asked him how they test for it, he said there is no real test but some of his blood work suggests it, the only two things he mentioned here high protein and globulin. So there is, I am sure, more results that could or could not point to that. Tomorrow when I pick up his meds I will ask to see his chart.

Chip has been off and on med’s but only over the last three weeks started to get really bad that I insisted on taking him in. His third eye is visible as of today and his eyes are squinted. Chip while being on the meds maybe got better for a week since the 6 months we have had him.

I am sorry about Zoey, that is so tough. Since seeing the last vet, I am not quick to agree with them, while they are the professionals, I won’t just accept any answer. Hopefully that will benefit Chip. What was Zoey like before and after, activity level. Chip has never had a really high activity level, but he has always been affectionate, would follow us to bed and cuddle, to the couch, to the kitchen, but now he just…sits.

Hello again Mom,

I am sorry about your healthy, but that’s good that you are feeling better. We have stopped and started Chip on meds, so I am not sure if that will help. I want to continue these meds for a little longer to see. But he has been getting worse since on them!


I will ask the vet about that and if I have a reservation about it I will ask for something else. The doctor did say for his weight the dosage would be really low, which he mentioned on his own with out me asking, so that is good.


How long from the time Willow stopped eating until she passed?

I just had to give Chip his med. He was not happy at all, I tried to hold him but he just wanted to leave. So I cleaned him a little with a Kitty wipe and then he walked over to the water dish, sat there for a bout a minute and drank a little. Then he “sat†next to it like he does in his bed for a few minutes then walked back to his bed and laid down.

So new things I noticed: His third eye is showing in both eyes, his eyes are squinted which makes is pupils looks dilated and his tongue is sticking out slightly past his teeth, his mouth is open so he can breath.

Thanks again everyone and I hope I answered your questions.

post #13 of 34
Originally Posted by fathom View Post
But he has been getting worse since on them!
That is exactly what I wanted you to think about from my post. People and cats can get very ill from taking different medications. Make sure your not seeing the symptoms of the treatment and not of the disease itself.

to get you through this.
post #14 of 34
Just wanted to say I hope things get better
post #15 of 34
For Willow, she first was eating less and then was eating nothing without syringe-feeding prior to the feeding tube being inserted. From the time I intially brought her to the vet to the time of her passing was about five weeks. During those five weeks, we did a few different blood tests to rule out other possible causes of hyperglobulinemia (high globulin level in the blood). You may want to talk with the doctor about whether your cat's symptoms fit the profile for other diseases and parasites, like lymphoplasmotic gingivo stomatitis, heartworm, Ehrlichiosis, Hemobartonellosis, FIV, and multiple myeloma, all of which can have the symptom of high globulin levels. Whether Chip's other symptoms coincide with any of these disease is another story, but it may be worth discussing the possibilities with your vet. There is no single test to determine whether a cat has FIP while they are still alive. All vets can do is rule out other potential causes of symptoms. It may be worth it to rule out treatable causes before deciding how long to keep Chip comfortable while he's still here. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer here--you could run a million tests and have them all still point to FIP, or you could have one that shows it's a parasite that could be treatable. There is no way to know. I wish I had better advice. When I faced these decisions, I decided I needed to pursue as many answers as I could before I came to terms with the diagnosis. My vet was very supportive and talked through the different possibilities with me and explained which ones she felt were worth testing for. While the outcome wasn't changed, I felt more comfortable knowing that I had done what I could. I'm sorry you and Chip are going through this, and I wish you the best possible outcome and peace of mind.
post #16 of 34
Zoey was never a particularly energetic cat. She would place with one or two of her favourite toys and get energy in short bursts. Like Chip, she was very affectionate, cuddled with me a much as I would let her, and followed me around as I got ready in the morning, meowing at me to pick her up. I could see her third eyelid in almost every picture I took of her from day 1 of getting her from the shelter, although I didn't notice (or know what it meant) until she got really sick.

I now know that Zoey was very likely sick the entire time we had her. However, I'm not sure with what, and I don't think the vets really are either (although if you ask them, it is FIP). I truly feel that many vets inadvertantly use dry FIP as a "cop-out" what they are not sure what's wrong. Since it can't be proven/disproven that a cat has it until they are gone, it's an "easy" explanation for miscellaneous symptoms. As I said, Chip could have FIP, but I would let them treat him for staph while they run a few more tests regarding FIP.

There is an excellent Yahoo group for FIP. If you are able to get his bloodwork and chart from the vet and post the information on the group, a couple of the group's very knowledgeable members will talk to you about how likely FIP is, and what other differential diagnoses might exist. http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/FIPCatSupport/

As for syringe feeding, I had one heck of a time getting water syringed into Zoey, so it is great that Chip is still drinking. Check his hydration by pinching the back of his neck. If the skin springs back down right away, then he is doing great. If it stays up, he is likely a bit dehydrated. It never hurts to get a bit more water in, especially if you feel he's not getting enough. What foods have you tried? Zoey was a dry food eater, and turned her nose up at wet food initially. I ended up force feeding her Hills A/D from the vet (it is very soft and very palatable) using a popsicle stick. I tilted her head back, and "scraped" the food behind her top teeth against the roof of her mouth. It made it difficult for her to spit it out, so a good deal of it got into her. Eventually, I think she figured out that the food was getting into her whether she liked it or not, so she would start to lick it up.

I will tell you that there was one point where I was very close to putting Zoey to sleep, about 5 days after starting clavomax and a couple days after getting sub-q fluids. I had been at work all day, and had a couple people checking on Zoey. She wasn't great when I left her and their reports let me know that she had gotten worse. Both suggested that I put her to sleep. I made the long drive home fully expecting to call the vet as soon as I got home. However, when I got there, she was sitting on my boyfriend's lap eating her second dish of food and looking better than I had seen in 2 weeks. She got progressively better until she was taken off the antibiotics. It turned around that quickly. I don't think she was ready to go at that point, so, when my neighbour (a cat lover) told her to get better or else, she did!

All you can do for Chip is love him while you are giving the treatment the chance to work. It may take a few days to kick in, but he should start improving at least a little within a week or so. If he's not wanting to be cuddled, don't force him. When you walk by, give him a little pat on the head or kiss to let him know you're there for him. You're right when you say it's just like you want to be left alone when you're not feeling well.

I also wanted to add that my vet prescribed a liquid vitamin complex for Zoey - Amino B-Plex. It might be a good idea to ask your vet about something like this for Chip. It's not a substitute for food, but a good source of vitamins and extra calories to supplement force feeding.

that the antibiotics kick in soon!
post #17 of 34
Thread Starter 
So we had to put Chip to sleep today. My husband called me at around 9:00am and said that Chip looked very bad. We called and the vet was not in that he had see, but the vet we took him to that also works at Banfield was so we decided to take him there. We saw the vet at about 10:30am and he said that Chip looked like a shadow of his former self compared to when he had last seen him in Janurary. He has went from 7 lbs 1 once a little over a week and a half ago to 6lbs 4 oz.

The vet said that he could only see a 5% chance of him bouncing back to where he was, which was still sick. He said he was definitly sick and it was only a matter of time. I asked him what he would do, because for us the decision wuuld be emotion driven and that I not what I wanted the decision to be about. He suggested we put him down. He said we could wait over the weekend so we could make peace and I asked him if that would only make a difference to us or to him and he said more for us.

So we decided to put him to sleep. I am so sad, I can't stop crying and I can't help but to feel guilty. All I want is for Chip to come back.

After the doctor left and we were holding him, Chip was very cuddly, which is not what he has been like for the past five days or so. He laid in my arms, stretched out his paw and wrapped it around my shoulder then pulled himself close to me and tucked his head under my chin. At this point both my husband and me were sobbing and Chip must have knowen because he was responsive to us, even though his eyes still did not look at us.

He meowed a few times and stayed close. When the nurse came to take him to get the cathiter in he did not want to let go. When she brought him back he was wrapped in a blanket and cuddles up with us. My H and I took turns holding him. Shortly after the doctor came in and both my H and me held Chip, once the needle was put in Chip leaned over against me and I kissed his little head and just like that he ws gone...it was so

We opted for the memorial box so in a few weeks we will get his ashes back. The doctor assured us that we did the right thing, but it does not feel that way. My H made a good point that it will never feel right. But I know that it was the best thing for Chip, I just feel bad, I feel like I gave up on him and vowed to fight.

We came home and went to sleep with the other kitties. I am so sad.

Thank you all for listening and offering advice!
post #18 of 34
I am so very sorry

post #19 of 34
Thread Starter 
Here is a picture of Chip and Scottie. Chippers is the orange and white cat.

post #20 of 34
Sorry for your loss.

You gave Chip all the love you had, Fathom. He knew he was loved, and he must be very happy right now in his new home... knowing he will forever be remembered by you and your husband, just as he will remember you and your husband forever.

post #21 of 34
i am so sorry chip is gone.
i posted vibes and luv for chip in your other post right before i found this one.

these vibes are for you
post #22 of 34
Rest in Peace, Chip!

I am very sorry for your loss.
post #23 of 34
So sorry about your Cat. Thats what Yoshi did before he was Pts. He was 7.5 Pounds on Dec 21 and 5.2 Pounds on Jan 11 when he was Pts.
post #24 of 34
I'm sorry. Keep all the photos you have--they become very precious memories. Take solice in your other cats--they will need reassurance and can be reassuring for you as well.
post #25 of 34
I'm so sorry for your and your husband's loss - Chip was blessed in being so deeply loved.
post #26 of 34
Very sad. Sorry for your loss.
post #27 of 34
I'm so sorry.
post #28 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your kindness! It means a lot right now. Please give your pets an extra hug for us.
post #29 of 34
I haven't posted in this thread, but I've been following it. Fathom, I'm so sorry you lost your sweet boy, but you did the most loving thing in letting him go.
post #30 of 34
I just noticed this thread and i'm sooo sorry for your loss! I was reading it this evening and honestly i had tears throughout the end i'm sorry for your loss again please take comfort in the other cats that love you and miss their brother as well
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