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Rocky - Hyperthyroidism

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I had Rocky and Rambo since they were 4
weeks old. Fortunately, they never had any medical problems other
than a Urinary tract problem and dental issues. They would both be
15 years old in July.
Rocky was diagnosed as having hyperthyroidism and the doctor said
his heart was probably enlarged. But I'm reading here that in order
to diagnose HCM or an enlarged heart, one would need a EKG or
sonogram. That was never done. Anyway, he had me give Rocky aspirin
for one week (because they said they couldn't even get any blood
from him for a blood test because the blood was so thick), then he
was put on methimazole, a beta blocker and lasix. His stomach was
bloated and his heart would beat quite fast (but it's always been
like that). Anyway, he was doing fine I thought. He would
sometimes cough and also breathe out of his mouth pretty hard but
other than that he was playing and snuggling etc. Then I brought
him to the groomers to have him shaved. They kept him there for 10
hours!!!!!!! Well, 11 days later at 6:00am, he had pulled off the
duct by the furnace and went underneath it, when I called him he
jumped right out and grabbed onto me, he meowed once then laid on
his side and within minutes he was gone. Do you think I caused this
by imposing the stress of being at the groomers for all that time?
He hates traveling in the car and was probably nervous at the
groomers. Also, why did he hide under the furnace? Why was he able
to realize it was me if he was on the verge of death? And finally,
do you think he was hoping I could help him??? I just feel like I
should have done something when I noticed him breathing out of his
mouth a day or two before. Do you think the vet would have been
able to prevent his death??

I'm sorry for rambling, I just miss him so much and Rambo seems lost
without him too. And he looked so cute all shaved I was finally
able to kiss him all over without getting a mouthful of hair.
I just feel like I let him down, or worse that I caused his death.
Thanks for anything you can tell me about your experiences,

post #2 of 15
Honestly, from what you are describing he was going through heart failure. I really don't think the stress is what caused this. In most cases with heart failure, it's a matter of time. Without having the EKG or sonogram there is no real way to tell how advanced the problem was. I am sure you did everything you could have. When cats are ill, or close to death, they will hide...it's nature. If anything, maybe he was waiting to see you one last time rather than hoping for help. Loosing such a wonderful friend is hard, I hope that your heart heals soon.
post #3 of 15
So sorry about your kitty. It sounds to me like heart failure too, my older cat Fluffy died of heart failure and it sounds just like what he went through, he would cough alot and he retained alot of fluid and he would hide also. They gave him lasix and he had to have fluid drawn a couple times too, and the baby aspirin also. I also had a dog die from heart failure and it was the same thing. She was a chihuahua with an enlarged heart. My cat was old, we really didnt know his age, he was a former feral that my brother caught for my Mom. I had him for 10 years, so I think he may have been in the same age range of yours.
post #4 of 15
I'm sorry about your cat. I lost a young dog like this many years ago when I was only 14, so I know what a shock it is. I know we always look for a reason, and usually end up blaming ourselves when something like this happens, but please try not too. I'm sure if he was going to die as a result from being groomed it would have been a lot sooner then 11 days afterwards. He was a good age and died without prolongued suffering. When my Jimmy suffered and died from CRF it was important to me to know that I and the vet had done everything medically possible for him. No one can do any more and it certainly sounds as though you did that.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for taking the time to write back and to help make me feel a little better.... I just hope I didn't ignore signs, especially if there was something that could have been done if I brought him in when I first saw him breathing with his mouth open.

It kinda makes me sadder that he may have wanted to see me one last time, that tells me that he knew he was dying and I don't know if I'd want him to be aware of that. This just sucks! He looked perfectly fine!!
post #6 of 15
I know the feeling all too well I lost my Tinkerbell when she was 2. She was fine one day, they next she wasn't acting right, so I took her to the vet. We did bloodwork, and x-rays, went home and she was gone the next morning. I was devastated, but I had comfort that she was at home rather than in the vets office. What if's are very natural for us.
post #7 of 15
Barbara, my heart goes out to you. Please don't beat yourself up. I too lost my Cleo to heart failure when she was 12. She died at home as well. She had been on subq fluids and antibotics for about 2 months, then took a turn for the worst. We were trying to decided if it was her time, when she made the decision for us. Ironically, her last day she seemed like a normal, healthy cat...lovey, playing. I went to bed thinking all was Ok. She actually waited until my husband got home before going into arrest. Always think that some how she had the power to hold on so that I wouldn't have to go through it alone. You loved your baby and did everything that you thought was right.

Take care,
post #8 of 15
I am so sorry about your cat. Im not great with words but im sending you a hug (HUUUUUUUUUUUG) im sure your kitty had a great home there and was more comfterble at home then at the vet. I dont think you did anything wrong, not at all.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for all the kind words. More importantly in some sick way it's comforting to know that you all went through the same thing.
Just when I think I'm ok, something at home reminds me of him and I lose it. Last night I found some of his fur, just touching it made me have to realize all over again that I will never see him or touch him again. I think I've been in a little bit of denial, and pretending he's at the vets for a couple of days. I find myself purposefully calling his name when I get home along with Rambo's like I always do "Hi Rambo, Hi Rocky, I'm home" just to mess with my head. Is that sick??? I also have a hard time looking at the area that he died. Do you think I'm going overboard? Do I need help?

Also, Rambo's really not eating much since Rocky died. Just the bare minimum, maybe 2 or 3 bites in the morning, and there hasn't been any poop (sorry if you're eating breakfast) Should I be concerned yet?

Thanks again, and sorry for being so needy and a PAIN!

Have a great day!!

Love to all!
post #10 of 15
I'm so sorry for your loss! I agree Heart Failure. My baby Glory did about the same thing when she died. She was in the garadge and ran at full speed into my bedroom across the house. She tried to jump onto a chair but she didn't make it. She basically died very quickly right there. Please don't blame yourself for your cats death. We do what we know best and the rest we just can't help. You provided years of love and care for your cat. I have a special nice box full of Glory's toys plus a photo album that is just for my pets. On the last picture I took of Glory I put some of her fur that had been stuck to her toys and my things. I also did that when Tiger passed. I am so sorry that your baby has gone on now. You did your best and you loved him till his end. He knew that. I think they want to know before they die that you will be ok. You held him and loved on him in his fianl moments. And I bet he made sure he told Rambo to take care of you too.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Oh Man, you just made me cry.... what a sweet note. Thanks for taking the time.... You really got to me, now what do I tell my co-workers??? Oh yeah, there's something in my eye.. (and my heart!)

Thanks so much..... I hope you're right, that would be nice!
post #12 of 15
Calling Rocky's name isn't weird. It's a sort of comforter, because you want to hear his name as though he's still around. I did it when I lost Jimmy, Sophie and Norman. I also went round the house actually looking for bits of fur and hairs in the places Jimmy used to go, behind curtains, etc when he was ill. My 10 year old son found a whisker and said "It's all I have left of the living Jimmy" and he still keeps it in a special box. And when I was in alone, I used to go and lie in the last place he was in the house, by the sofa, before he died. But the sickest thing was I didn't want to remove the poo from the litter tray because he had left it. I really thought my head was screwed up and I needed mental help. But it does get better, and you gradually adjust to the fact that they're gone and start to remember happy things about them instead of the last few terribly painful memories. We've moved on now and have 3 new babies, although we'll never forget or stop loving the three that we've lost over the years. You don't stop loving, you find new love, like when you have a second child you find more without taking it away from the first.

As for his companion cat (brother?) my sister's just going through exactly the same thing right this moment. She lost a beautiful Persian, Fudge, only 5 years old, very suddenly, though a freak incident where he had a piece of straw lodged in his windpipe and he died under anaesthetic at the vet's (Fudge's story is on the Crossing the Bridge forum). She's left with his brother Ben, who saw Fudge after he had died, on the vet's advice. So far Ben seems OK, he's eating normally, but he's a bit more clingy towards my sister than before, and he's had a bit of a scratching session on his face, but we're not sure if that's got anything to do with it or not.

I think my sister intends getting another companion for Ben eventually, as she works long hours, but needs some space to grieve first. Ben's only 5 though, and pretty easy going; I'm not sure how an elderly cat would adjust to a newcomer. You know his personality best.

In the meantime I would give him loads of fuss, love and attention and try and tempt him to eat with fresh chicken, fish, etc, or whatever his favourite treats are.

I'm sorry for your loss, it is hard, but it's the price we pay for years of loving companionship from our pets. You will feel better in time.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thank you too, for your kind words, and for making me feel like I may not need a psychiatrist after all. ha.

You're right about Rambo (yes, he's Rocky's brother - 15 also)becoming clingy now. He was always the one that would come to you when HE felt like it, not that he wasn't lovable, but it was definitely on his terms, he could care less sometimes if I was home or not. But now that he realizes that when I leave he's totally alone, I think he's a little scared, or just has to get used to it. Now he follows me to the door in the morning, he used to just go back to bed after eating in the morning and I would just yell out goodbye to both of them.
There's a few strays that I feed regularly and there's one sweetie that I thought I could bring inside for both Rambo and Rocky. But Rambo wants no part of another cat, so he's going to have to live out the rest of his life alone. It's funny, after each time I got Rocky shaved (he's been shaved 3 times) Rambo would hiss at him for 3 days. He didn't recognize him I guess, and I'm sure Rocky smelled different. But poor Rocky would be looking at him like "what's the matter, it's me Rocky!" That was sad and funny at the same time.
post #14 of 15
Hyperthyroid cats often have heart issues. Sometimes the medication will help, but other times nothing can be done. At least Rocky's passing was brief. Last year, we had a dog diagnosed with bone cancer. We finally had to put him to sleep to end his pain. In between the dog's diagnose and his death, one of our cats died. He had a heart murmur for his entire life, and he death was nearly instantaneous. It sounds like Rocky wasn't suffering but lived a good life with you and his brother. I would be sure to give Rambo lots of extra attention right now as he adjusts to being an only boy.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
I will definitely continue to make Rambo feel special..... It's funny how quickly he turned so needy.... guess he thinks he has to take Rockys place... Rocky would just want attention all the time..

Thanks again for your kind words. Tomorrow morning will be a week already
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