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An impossible decision-quality of life?? please help

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I took Oz, 2 yrs old, to the vet's today. He has already had numerous health problems: he had an urethrostomy a year ago after having three blockages in 1 week, one which almost killed him. After the operation, he had infection after infection around the scar- so in April he had another operation to make the scar tissue exposed smaller. Since then he was finally doing better.
But about 3 weeks ago he started getting sick again. I took him to the vet's and after tests, we found out he had a bladder infection- well, that the membrane of the bladder was inflamed. No stones, no cystitis.
I took advantage of the fact that we had drawn blood to get him test for FIV and Feline leukemia.( I had him vaccinated against FLV this july)
Both were negative. He was also tested for diabetes- negative.
I took him to the vets last Friday, and since he had an upset stomach, we had to wait until today to take more blood. His third eyelid is constantly visible, he sleeps all the time- he seems completely exhausted, he has been drinking huge amounts and he has a fever of around 39.5, which is persistent.
The blood test today revealed that his white blood cell count was way too elevated- as was also his Hemaglobin level. All the rest was normal, kidney functions, liver function, level of urine in blood etc.

The vet told me had an inflammation , probably... He says that for the moment it is best to assume it is due to some problem linked to his past urinary problems, though he said that he is basing it on that for the moment because of Ozzy's past. He said it could be a number of other reasons: virus, infection, cancer. Apparently, the elevated hemaglobin level indicates ozzy is losing blood from somewhere- in his urine? ( i haven't seen any traces) and his body is compensating.

I have to give him medication for 4 days, and take his temperature everyday and then in one week I am going back for more blood tests.

I don't know what to do- he is such an adorable cat, never agressive, always quiet eventhough he is poked and proded all the time, and it breaks my heart to see him so sick at the moment, with no energy and looking so sick.
I had promised myself, after his last op. this april, that that was the last time he would have to go through any more pain. It took him 4 days to recover from the operation. His immune system seems to be shot to hell.

I was wondering- could the vaccination against leukemia have had an adverse reaction? could it have caused something? can he still have some kind of cancer? it's just elevated white blood cells worries me...

I spoke to my parents tonight, and she said it is all becoming too much for Ozzy, that he is suffering too much and he is only 2 years old. They also said I am spending all my savings on him and that maybe I should think about putting him down. It is true that I have spent over 3000 dollars on him, and I would spend millions on him. It's not the money, and it hurt that my parents should say that- I mean I know they are being perhaps more realistic than me.But I had thought about it too, about putting him down, but not for the same reason, but because he is suffering so much and it is so unfair on him.

I told my mom that he could get better, the vet said that if he still had a fever, we would have to investigate further- chronic problems, virus, cancer...
But she said "you want to believe he will get better, but everytime he is ok for a little while and then the poor thing is sick again"

I don't know what to do- I keep crying since I came home from the vet's, it hurts so much to see him so sick and I don't know what to do. I do ont want to be the one who has to decide whether he can go on or not and yet I am the only one who can make that decision. Poor baby is only 2 and has suffered so much- For the moment we have no proof that he has a terminal illness, but he has infections, inflammations, chronic fevers, which are making his quality of life - well, not great at all.

Please, if anyone has any advice or has gone through a similar experience, please help me. The vet hasn't mentioned putting him down, they did last year before the op, because a urethrostomy is so expensive- they had assured me he would be fine afterwards, because I told him I would do anything and pay anything as long as he was fine.
But I also know my vet, he won't offer it as an option unless I do.
post #2 of 18
If your vet can't tell what's wrong with him could you see another vet and see what s/he says? You're facing a very difficult and painful decision and the more information you have the better. If I were in your situation I would get a second opinion.
post #3 of 18
I'm so sorry i wish i had words to make it all better but I don't

I had to put down my beautiful Chinese Crested she was only four but had arthrits so bad it had crippled her and she cried in pain when you touched her and could no longer walk her feet became deformed.I was sad but at the same time I felt a calm feeling that I know she will never suffer agian.

You'll know when it's time he will tell you with his eye's. I'm sorry I know it is very hard but is he happy with this life.
post #4 of 18
Oh, that's terrible!! I'm not a vet and thankfully I haven't been through anything like that, at least not with a pet that young, but I would just like to say that I think you should explore every option before making that tough decision. If the vet still doesn't find anything major, and you see that he's in a lot of pain, maybe the loving thing to do is to put him out of that pain. I know it's not an easy decision. Last year I had to get my father to take my dog to the vet to put him down. He was 15 though and had bad cateracts and couldn't get up the stairs. I know he was old, but I still cried for days after that. It's not easy losing something you cherish. I'm sending hugs and good vibes Oz's way and just know that Patch and I will be thinking of you and I'll be praying that it all works out in the end.
post #5 of 18
Is this a "quality of life "question or more of "the right solution hasn't been found yet" question . Wow! negative for diabetes, leukemia, FIV, FeLV. What great news! ( However, having said that vaccine against leukemia can actually give a cat leukemia sometimes. ) An elevated white blood cell count, fever, lethargy, exposing of the third eyelid all signal infection somewhere in the body. His body is trying to take care of the infection, and your vet said he had( and still may have a bladder infection) so that falls right in line. Deal with the infection and all of these symptoms could very possibly go away too. It would appear that they are all linked. Even the elevated hemaglobin level can be a symptom of a bladder infection. This problem doesn't look like it's been dealt with yet because it hasn't been corrected yet. Bladder infections are correctable. Easily correctable. Uncorrected, you see all of these symptoms. (http://www.ahvma.org/referral/index.htm)
post #6 of 18
I think you need to find the source of the infection, and give a good go at eradicating it. If it takes a specialist, then that is what I'd do...if you can get a definitive answer, then you can make a decision.

If despite massive testing and specialists, you still find there is no answer, then I think you revisit the quality of life issue. I once spent 3 years and I don't know how much money until Cornell and my vets said, there were no more tests to be done, no more meds to be used, no more approaches, nothing left to investigate. My girl was suffering and we could not fix it. Then I did pts...but we gave it everything we could, and she had great spells during that time. I just refused to see her suffer further and knew she would have a bad spell again, it was only a question of time.

I think your fellow is a puzzle, but I still think you may be able to put the pieces together to get to the full picture.

If it were me, I'd not stop trying yet. But...I'm not there. You are, you know how your cat's spirit is doing. If you feel he still wants to fight, can fight, then fight with him, keep trying.

I know it is a hard decision..just ask him, and take a look in your heart. You'll know what is best to do.
post #7 of 18
I'm in a similar boat as you, just not nearly as far along the river yet. My Buddy has been in and out of the vets office for several different ailments already, and he's not even a year old. He's tested negative for all the usual things, but these problems seem to come out of nowhere. Last month he had a hematoma in both ears that required surgery, then didn't heal properly, and we were at the vets 5 times that month. There was no cause that we could find for this problem. He's just generally not a well cat, he's got bad hips, bad gums, and his eyes are cloudy, plus all these other illnesses. I'm worried that he'll continue this way and I'll be forced to make a decision far too early in his life.

But I'm going to try my best to keep him happy and healthy right now. I've signed up for pet insurance for him, which will cover anything diagnosed from this point on. That will help me greatly if we find a bigger underlying problem. But like you, money isn't really an issue. I'd take out loans for my cats if I had to.

I hope you find peace soon, and that your poor boy feels better soon!
post #8 of 18
It sounds to me like your cat has been through an awful lot for a two year old baby. If he had a terminal illness, your choice would be much more clear. But if the current diagnosis is a bladder infection, that should be treatable and cureable, and your kitty should be able to make a full recovery.

This means (best case scenario), he will suffer for another week, then live happily ever after. However, (worst case scenario) is he will have another illness next month, or in six months, or next year. And you will go through the expense and anguish again.

It sounds to me like most of your current pain comes from considering euthanasia for Ozzy. If you take that off the table for a week, then consider it again, it may help you look clearly at Ozzy. If another untreatable health condition raises its head, reconsider. If not, allow Ozzy time to recover from his bladder infection, and enjoy your time with your kitty.

$3,000 is a lot to spend on a cat. If I got rid of 3 horses, a dog , 3 housecats and a few ferals, I would have more cash to spend. If I got rid of my 3 kids who still live at home, I would save even more. But I love my kids, and cats, and dog, and horses. I don't chose to spend money on dinner out every night, or a fancy car. I am happy with my crowded family. If you can afford it, and choose to do so, go ahead and provide optimal medical care for your cat. And enjoy every headbutt and purr he gives you in return!
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by lavender
I'm in a similar boat as you, just not nearly as far along the river yet. My Buddy has been in and out of the vets office for several different ailments already, and he's not even a year old. He's tested negative for all the usual things, but these problems seem to come out of nowhere. Last month he had a hematoma in both ears that required surgery, then didn't heal properly, and we were at the vets 5 times that month. There was no cause that we could find for this problem. He's just generally not a well cat, he's got bad hips, bad gums, and his eyes are cloudy, plus all these other illnesses. I'm worried that he'll continue this way and I'll be forced to make a decision far too early in his life.

But I'm going to try my best to keep him happy and healthy right now. I've signed up for pet insurance for him, which will cover anything diagnosed from this point on. That will help me greatly if we find a bigger underlying problem. But like you, money isn't really an issue. I'd take out loans for my cats if I had to.

I hope you find peace soon, and that your poor boy feels better soon!
Yep. Same with my Scaredy, who is on a sickly side and keeps on having varios problems. Scaredy is only a year old, and he had reaction to anti-flea medication (at the time I didn't know what it was, and run all kind of tests costing me a bunch of money), then he had scab wounds on his face from scratching himself, then he had some blood in his poop, and then he had a bout with cystitis where he started peeing all over the apartment (that lasted a month). His tests are always negative for everything, and I always say that based on his tests, he should be healthy as a horse. I think my Scaredy's mother knew her brother a bit to well (if you get my drift), he probably is a bit inbreed, he is Persian. I do hope though that he outgrows his sicknesses, though. It's one thing to put down an elderly animal, but when the animal is so young, it's quite a different thing.
post #10 of 18
Has your Vet mentioned anything about FIP? I would do more testing, or concider a second opinion at a different vet. I had a kitten 9 months old, who went through a simular thing... It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I put her down. Some vets thought it was FIP others thought it was some kind of infection. I had her on IV fluids, and 5 different antibiotics at once. Her fever would go up and down. Thats about all I can say right now, I am crying just thinking about it.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by emb_78
Has your Vet mentioned anything about FIP? I would do more testing, or concider a second opinion at a different vet. I had a kitten 9 months old, who went through a simular thing... It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I put her down. Some vets thought it was FIP others thought it was some kind of infection. I had her on IV fluids, and 5 different antibiotics at once. Her fever would go up and down. Thats about all I can say right now, I am crying just thinking about it.
That's honestly my biggest fear when it comes to Buddy. I know it is something that should be considered in a case like this. My current vet told me it was jumping the gun to consider that, but I'm moving in less than a year and will be getting a second opinion.

I definatley think you should be considering testing for FIP. The test isn't 100% reliable, but you might finally get some answers.
post #12 of 18
I can only give a
post #13 of 18
what an awful time you are both going through but how wonderful it is that Oz has you to look after him - bless you for doing everything in your power to help him beat this illness that he is fighting.

I unfortunatly can not offer any more advise than what has been given. If it was me, and no terminal illness has been discovered as of yet, I would do everything I could. It is a lot of money to spend, yes, but I would spend it.

Pat said it well
Quote:
You are, you know how your cat's spirit is doing. If you feel he still wants to fight, can fight, then fight with him, keep trying.
if he wants to fight, fight with him... we will all fight with you and send lots of encouragement your way....

please keep us updated, we are always here for you if you need to talk.
post #14 of 18
If you are really at a loss, you might view this thread

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...ght=Jake-+sick

I'm certain Tammie wouldn't mind if you messaged her about it . Your case is totally different from her kitty's but it certainly worked miracles for Jake. Maybe Tammie could give you more information on it and you could check with your vet. I cannot give you any information on it because I am unfamiliar with it .

I hope and pray that your kitty will get better.
post #15 of 18
oh dear, this is never easy. I had to make a devastating decision almost two years ago now, but it was a terminal illness so I could see the "finite" in the situation. I have never regretted it, ever, and quite frankly, Freddie told us it was time for him to go. Your kitty is fighting an onslaught of something infectious, that's for sure, everything points to it. His "shields are up" as evidenced in the very high whiteblood cell count - that's the first inclination the body is fighting something off and trying to barricade itself against whatever the onslaught is to the blood system. Try to pinpoint that, and I'd ask for a specialist in your area. Where are you, by the way? Have you talked about Baytril? Baytril is the strongest antibiotic available to cats and it's very, very powerful. No more than 22 mg or the risks are high. But before pills, try to see a genuine specialist referred by a reputable party. If you are in the U.S., your state's Veterinary Association will have a phone listing and they can refer you. PM me if you need help with this. Love,
Elizabeth
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ozzy slept well last night- and I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for all your advice and kind words.
I suppose yesterday I got stcuk in the worst case scenario, running over and over in my head- and everytime I looked at my baby I would just start crying because he was just lying there looking miserable.
But at around 2 am, he was lying next to me and I did as many of you said, what I have been doing for a while, I looked into his eyes- and I knew that he would let me know when he had had enough.

I agree with you June, of course if it is only a bladder infection I am not going to put him down( I hate evening writing that- otouching wood here big time)- that would be, well, completely cruel.
But the problem is that it is not a bladder infection- yes he had one 2 weeks ago, but from the results now, it appears he no longer has one, but he is fighting off some other infection- viral or other.

I did think about PIF- will have him tested next week for that when I bring him back.

Oz is my baby, he is the sunshine in my life- I don't mind it when people around me make fun of me because I love him so much, he is even on my answering machine
We are a team andhave been for 2 years. I live by myself, I am a student , age 26 and he comes first in my life and has been doing so for the past 2 years. I would do anything for him, I would quit university and get a job to pay for his medical fees.
It's really that the poor baby suffers so much, he is more or less ok for a few weeks and then something else comes up.

As beckiboo said "If you take that off the table for a week, then consider it again, it may help you look clearly at Ozzy. If another untreatable health condition raises its head, reconsider. If not, allow Ozzy time to recover from his bladder infection, and enjoy your time with your kitty.", I think I will put all these things on the back burner and see how he is feeling- a lot of pampering and TLC will of course be provided.

Maybe it is also the fact that I had 3 cats before- with FIV. One of them, Sean, aka "little man", had to be put down after a long struggle with peridonitis that in the end made it impossible for him to eat. He lost so much weight and was so sick,poor sweetheart, that my ex and I had to put him down. The other two are still absolutely fine, no secondary infection as of yet ( touch wood again!) and they are living a happy life in Ireland.
I, by the way, and im France.

Well I had better go take Oz's temperature- I will keep you updated and I really wanted to thank you all for your support.

Hugs and purrs from Ozzy and Steph
post #17 of 18
Whereabouts in France are you? I am moving there (to Normandy) next year, where I have bought a house, and I know of a really good feline specialist in the area. If you need details, PM me. I do hope you find a solution for poor Oz - I felt so sad reading all this, but I admire you for fighting to the end if you can.
post #18 of 18
It is a very hard decision, and I can understand how you feel that you could get him through this for him to start suffering again in a month or so. I think you should get to the bottom of this, and then discuss things with your vet as to how much of a chance of recurrence there is etc. I have to say that when I have a cat with an untreatable illness I let them go sooner rather than later, but mine are a lot older, I would be reluctant to do it with such a young cat, as they have a better chance of fighting things.
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