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Mystery Illness

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am so confused because I had to put my sweet cat to sleep and I never even got a diagnosis from the vet. I will start at the beginning. I have 2 cats (Thelma and Louise) from the same litter and they are now 11 years old. Took them for the annual checkup and shots and they got a clean bill of health. Three days later Louise threw a clot to her front paw. Vet said she must have cardiomyopathy and suggested xray and ultrasound. Ultrasound revealed only mild heart disease but they were concerned about the fluid around her lungs and suggested she might have cancer brewing somewhere. They treated her with an anti inflamatory and prescribed lasix and baby asprin to reduce the fluid and prevent clotting. A few days later she was vomiting blood. They said it was probably from the asprin and prescribed carafate and pepcid since she was no longer eating or drinking. She was also dehydrated so they gave her subq fluids. She was hiding all of the time because we were either trying to give her pills or forcing her to eat. We had her at the vet every other day for fluids and they tried antibiotics, appetite stimulants, and some days she would eat a little and other days nothing at all. Then her breathing became labored and they needed to tap her chest to remove the fluids. Two days later we had to tap her chest again. Vet suggested we ultrasound her abdomen to see what else was going on and they found nothing. All her organs were fine. They checked her heart again and still only very mild enlargement nothing to cause the amount of fluid and yet her chest kept filling with fluid faster than they could remove it. Finally, so much fluid caused her lung to collapse, it was with enormous pain and confusion that we decided Louise had enough. Everyday I wonder whether we made the right choice. Maybe if I had given her a little more time for the meds to work. I never asked the vet, but I wondered if the immunization could have caused all of this. All of this occurred over 3 weeks and then she was gone and my heart is broken and I miss her terribly.
post #2 of 13
I couldn't hazard a guess as to what caused her illness, but I am certain you made the right decision. You tried to do everything you could and she was getting worse not better, and it was right and loving of you not to prolong her suffering.

I know that doesn't make it any easier at this time, it is common and somewhat normal to feel an awful lot of guilt, grief, confusion, and doubt - especially after a sudden illness.

The only way you could know for sure what caused your beloved cat to become so ill would be to have a vet do an autopsy - but that can be a very painful choice to make and a very personal one, I cannot tell you whether it would be right for you or whether it would help you to come to terms with your loss.

post #3 of 13
I'm so very sorry for your loss. Many Prayers for you at this difficult time.
post #4 of 13
Yeah I don't see how you should feel like you didn't do the right thing. It sounds to me like not only did you make the effort, you went far beyond what a lot of people would do.

I'm very sorry for the loss, and my heart goes out to you. It'll get better for sure.
post #5 of 13
So sorry about your Cat. I m sure you made the right choice.
I still wonder if I did with my Cats. You can pm if you want and need to talk.
post #6 of 13
Five months ago, I had to make the decision to let my girl go to the Rainbow Bridge, and I know how difficult this decision was for you, but I want to assure you that you did the right thing.

Although my girl was almost 20, there was never any terminal diagnosis that I could rely on. She was clearly failing, but I made the decision basically from observing how miserable she was--difficulty eating, vomiting often, lethargic, etc. I would not seek a more definitive diagnosis because I refused to put her through any more invasive procedures. And even though my vet agreed with my decision, I worried that I was not giving her enough time.

However, when I searched the internet, I found that people who had had to make this decision for their cats NEVER said that they felt they had done it too soon. Instead, most people who had regrets felt that they had waiting too long and caused their pet too much suffering.

In the situation you describe, it seems to me that you did absolutely the right thing. I've often wished to be able to "explain" things to my cat as you can do with children because I imagine that multiple medical procedures must be terrifying for the animal. Be consoled that you gave her a good life, and a good death was your final gift to her.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. You are right she was getting worse despite all our efforts and she no longer had good quality of life. I needed to be reminded just why I made the decision and it was reassuring to hear that I did the right thing. I guess sometimes we have to accept the fact that they just shut down and we have to be their voice. I was having a really bad day and you have helped me more than you know. THANKS!
post #8 of 13
mytwokitties - I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I went through a very similar situation with my cat a few months ago. She was 8 years old and seemingly very healthy. One day we noticed that she seemed to be breathing a little harder than normal and took her to the vet. After 2 weeks of trying different meds, ultrasounds, blood work, several times of getting the fluid drained, she was at home and had 2 seizures and passed after the 2nd one.

We never got a diagnosis and the dr.'s were stumped. It has been very hard to lose our baby so unexpectedly and quickly and I know what you are going through right now. Time does help with the pain of the loss, but our babies are never forgotten.
post #9 of 13
Whn Stormy was Pts I though she was fine until the day before she was pts. She would throw up sometimes and drool. In fact I was blaming Coco her mom for most of the throw up because when her Asthma gets real bad she coughs so much that she throws up. Last Dec I was getting ready to take a shower and went to feed the cats in the other room. When I went in there I found Stormy very sick and she was falling over and drooling. We called the vet and got there within 25 minutes. They took tests and called and said her Kidneys were gone she had Arf and they didnt think she would live the night. I said give her a chance. We did but nothing helped so the next day she was pts at age 5. Her mom is now 16.5. Then a month later I had to have Yoshi pts because he had kidney stones that could not be removed and they think fip. The worse part with Yoshi is he was still alert when he was pts. The thing is he would not have lived another two weeks and was down to 5.2 pounds from 7.5 three weeks before. Stripe was my first cat we had pts but she was in a coma at the end and we did everything with her. It was the Crf that caused her coma. Yoshi had been a 15 pound cat before he got sick. I am telling you their stories to help you.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm so glad I found this site because you have helped me so much. I'm sorry for your loss as well. You are right, our babies will never be forgotten.
post #11 of 13
Would you like me to send you a site where you post the nmes of pets that died in memory?
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yes, please let me know the site.
post #13 of 13
I am so sorry for your recent loss. Like you and many others here, I have had to make that difficult decision also. It is perfectly normal to question yourself, even weeks and months afterward. But you can rest in the fact that you loved her very much and gave her the best life that she could have had. I had heard that cats often mask their illness and by the time medical help is received, things have already gotten worse. Just take the time that you need to grieve and enjoy your Thelma. I will be thinking of you and praying for you.
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