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Will he recover?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello All!

I am faced with the decision of letting my boy go over the rainbow and I do not know what to do. The last time I decided this I questioned my decision for weeks.

My Marty is 18 years old and has had CRF for about 3 years. He receives IV fluids everyday at home and eats K/D Hills dry food. His wet food is whatever he wants.

Yesterday he had a seizure and I rushed him to the Vet. His blood pressure was 240. 240 being an average of 5 readings. He started Vasotec .625 mg every 24 hours. My Marty is no longer the boy that I used to have. He lost some of his eye sight and coordination. Being 18 he was a bit wobbly, but not too bad. After almost 24 hours of caring for him, I wonder if this is it. He can not locate his food, litter box, and water bowl. Or he YELLS until I take him to the water bowl, than food dish and if he has not peed on me yet the litter box.

The Vet also thinks that he may have had a stroke. She think that he may have another seizure due to his high BP and CFR. His kidney function test are not awful, but they are not good, but they are consistant. She does not feel doing an MRI would help any since he is 18 and even if they found out more information about his condition, there is probably nothing else to be done. I decided against the phenobarbitol. I do not want to sedate him. Was this a good decision?

He is a happy boy, I think. It breaks my heart to see him at a wall yelling because he does not know what is going on. I had a dog with diabetes who lost her eye sight, urinated all over, but she was a happy girl and was not in pain. She lived for many years after her diagnosis. I do not know what to do.

Will some of his eye sight return when his BP comes down?

I am providing a safe environment for him with little obstacles.

I work full time and my husband works full time. I am looking into pet sitter while we are at work. But, is this it. Will he never be the Marty that I have had for over half my life? Please anyone who has been through this please help me. I am so tired from staying up with him most of the night afraid that he would walk into something in the bedroom or get hurt trying to jump.
post #2 of 4
I am so sorry that you are going through this with your sweet Marty. It sounds like you have been providing him with exceptional care, and doing the right things to help manage his CRF. I have been caring for 2 CRF girls; Cleo 9 years old, CRF for 8 1/2 years, and Maggie 8 years old, CRF for about 4 years. I also helped care for my parents' cat, Samson, for nearly 4 years, until he passed away from CRF complications at Christmas 2006, at the age of 19.

Here's a couple of great links which discuss hypertension and blindness in cats, as well as treatments:

Often starting a bloodpressure medication can restore some, if not all, of your cats vision. If his vision remains poor, there's lots of things that you can do to help him learn to navigate.

- Put his litter box in an easy to find place, and don't move it.
- Refrain from moving furniture around, leaving objects (like shoes) on the floor, allowing rugs to bunch up (which could trip him.)
- Always feed him in the same place. Use wet food, warmed a bit in the microwave, to help him find it by smell.
- You may need to provide something to help him up onto your bed (like a ramp) if he loves to sleep with you.

There are a few people here with blind kitties. I hope that they will respond.

I know that taking bloodpressure medication will make you tired. It took almost 9 months for me to get used to the beta blocker that I take for my migraines. It may be that way for cats too. From everything I've read, CRF cat with seizures do not need phenobarbital for seizure control, mainly because the seizures are usually caused by hypertension. Once the hypertension is controlled, the seizures should cease.

I would give Marty some time to recover and/or adjust to his decreased vision. Most cats can adapt very well. If this is his only real problem, and the rest of his CRF symptoms are pretty stable, I wouldn't say that this would be "the time."

I will absolutely keep you and your sweet Marty in my prayers.
post #3 of 4
When I first started reading your post, my mind went to a stroke also. I had a 17 year old (Shep) that had a series of strokes before she crossed, and I have a 13 year old (Eightball) right now that had what appeared to be a stroke a few months back. A stroke can cause blindness, either permanent or temporary. There are times when a cat recovers some of what they lost from a stroke, and other times not. Eightball fully recovered.

I can tell you 1 thing about cats and strokes. It scares the heck out of them for a while. While an older cat is more set in their ways and not as resilient as a younger cat, they are still resilient. Until Shep had the massive stroke where she lost her ability to walk and all bodily functions, she always seemed to figure out a way to bounce back. I had to help her as you are helping Marty. I made a confined area with her food, water and litter box and carried her to the litter box if I had to (she sometimes forgot that is where she was supposed to go). I gave her massages to help not only calm her, but to stimulate her muscles. I held her and talked to her when she did her equivalent of "meowling at the wall". And she did adjust with all but the last stroke. Sometimes it took a little while to figure out how to adjust to her needs.

When is it Marty's time? I suspect that Marty will tell you that, but that is a conversation that you also want to have with your vet. It sounds like your vet is very pragmatic (a very good thing in my eyes), and if you trust their opinion, ask for guidance. Cats can adjust to becoming blind, but every cat is different. You know your Marty.

to get you thru this.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for the advice and links. Well...we made it through the weekend and no more seziures. I am not sure who was more terrified me or Marty. I am not ready to let him go but until we get his blood pressure under control I am a wreck.

I hope that this can help:

I thought that Marty was getting a sunburn on his ears, so I would make him move from his window. I read that red ears can be a sign of high blood pressure. If I had only used my brain
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