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How do I know when to put her to sleep?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
We tried Phenobarbital on Boo for almost a month and it is know longer working despite being at theraputic levels. So now we are trying her on Cholicalm.

The vet thinks that she has a brain lesion that is getting worse. She was only twitching at the back end now it has moved to the front end. She had an episode where she was laying on her side kicking her back legs. Her episodes seem to be getting longer and we believe she is hallucinating because she is eating off the ground things that are not there.

We asked the vet how far do we go. And she said it is really about quality of life. We asked if we may have missed something and she said no, we cannot find anything in the blood tests and there is nothing we have missed. We asked if this would get worse, and she said if it is a brian lesion it may.

So how do I make a decision?
post #2 of 17
I'm really sorry for what you're going through...

What about getting a second opinion?
post #3 of 17
I am so sorry for you and Boo. This is the hardest thing any of us have to face with our beloved companions, and yet they rely on us to do it for them. Sometimes you just know when it is time, by the way the cat looks at you. But sometimes not, and then you have to decide. If you think the cat is suffering so that there is no enjoyment of life, or when one outweighs the other, then it is time. Or if there is going to be massive medical intervention that would be painful or stressfull, with no sure prognosis, then I would also take that hard step. May you make the right decision at the right time.
post #4 of 17
Your heart will tell you when it's time to say goodbye. I, too, recently had to face this situation and was extremely surprised how the decision came so easily. Once I said to myself that I would rather feel the pain in having to make the decision rather than having my Siamese feel any pain or discomfort at all, the decision to put him down was ever so clear. I hope, when it's time, that you'll be able to see things so clearly. (But, remember, just because the decision comes easy, doesn't mean that you don't love your animal...)
post #5 of 17
I've had to make this decision several times, and it has never been easy for me; my heart says "hold on to them for as long as possible", but my head says
" you know what you have to do". We also had a kitty who was suffering seizures and as they began to come more frequently, it was painfully obvious that Lucy was in misery. Even tho' she was 21 y/o and had lived a long, happy life, making the decision was one of the most awful things I've had to do.
If you feel a second opinion will make the choice easier for you, please get one. Remember, Boo is counting on you to do the right thing. I'm so very sorry you're facing this.
post #6 of 17
dh & i just went through this in january. it was soooo hard. but, as the vet said, it's a quality of life issue. as much as he and i wanted our sweet mabel with us for much longer time, we both knew that we had to do what was best for her. she wasn't herself anymore, and she wasn't going to get better. dh & i just knew it was time. we gave her a good life, and she enriched ours in so many ways. we couldn't see keeping her alive - but not really living - for our sakes. our heads said, "no! not yet!", but in our hearts, we knew that it was time....for her sake.

now she's over the rainbow bridge, waiting for us. she's healthy again, and free of pain. and she knows we still love her.

it's such a hard decision to make, but you'll know, deep down, when it's time. think of boo. when it doesn't seem like "your boo" anymore, you'll know. i'm so sorry you have to go through this.
post #7 of 17
A wise man once told me "If you have to ask this question, then deep in your heart, you know it's time."
post #8 of 17
Originally Posted by hissy
A wise man once told me "If you have to ask this question, then deep in your heart, you know it's time."
I find that is true.

Make a list of the three things she most enjoyed doing when she was healthy.
Playing, looking out the window watching birds, snuggling with you- whatever.
When she can no longer do these things then quality of life is gone.

I have had to do this countless times, and it is never easy.
I try and see it as an easy, humane death being the very last gift I can give a cherished pet.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
We are going to try her on this new drug Cholimicalm( sp?) and see if it helps. Right now she is so sleepy from it that she is not twitching or having fits at all...but once she gets used to it who knows.

My husband is very hopeful that it will work - I am not so much. I think that it may be the same as the Pheno. But I am willing to give it a try.

I'm having a hard time dealing with the idea that I may loss her and it is affecting me. I am not sleeping etc.
post #10 of 17
I've got my fingers crossed that the new med will work.
You didn't say how old Boo is; is she a geriatric kitty? You mentioned you thought she was hallucinating, trying to eat things off the floor that aren't there. I'm pretty sure that's not hallucinations, but part of the seizure; our Lucy also appeared to be chewing at the carpet &, when I would pick her up it would continue until the seizure had passed.
I understand how you're feeling; nursing a very sick kitty is a tremendous emotional strain. Add to that the question of euthenasia, & sleep is hard to come by.
Please know that you're not alone in what you're going thru. All I can say is do what you feel is right for Boo, and love her like crazy.
Sending major cyber-hugs your way.
post #11 of 17
I'm sorry the phenabarbital didn't work. If the Clomicalm doesn't work, did she give you any other options? I guess an MRI would be the only thing to give you some straight answers? What a tough situation.

How fast did Boo progress with these seizures? I wonder if holistic type approaches might work - i.e. - accupuncture etc. Just trying to think of all alternatives for you.

Here's another article that goes into details for the seizures and various drug alternatives. Sorry I can't be of more help and I do know how hard it is since I've been watching Nakita to see if things are progressing or changing.

post #12 of 17
That's up to you - there is no real answer as to when to let them go. I know there are people that do everything before making the decision and others feel time/expenses are a factor.

When my 13 yr old was dying of cancer (a 14 lb cat to a 6/7 lb walking skeleton) I knew it was wrong to keep giving him medicine to help the symptoms. I knew that Mitten would not want to keep going either. So I made the decision not to let him suffer any more.

The vet told me he could give Mitten medicine to help him for maybe a few weeks or months but one day I'd come home to find him dead. It was the right time to let go.
post #13 of 17
HUGE HUGS for you and Boo!!! I will be praying for the both of you! You will make the right decision!!!

Jayme and Jackson
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
We are going to give this drug a chance to work and if it does not...then I will have to do the hardest thing I have ever done and put Boo down so she does not suffer.

I can't watch her get worse and I can't let her suffer.
post #15 of 17
I'm so sorry about Boo. You are so brave to have made the decision to end her pain if the meds do not work.
I will be thinking of you during this tense period of time. Please keep us updated.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
So far the medication they have Boo on has been working ( its been a week) she has very little twitching in the back - not even once a day and absolutly NO phantom eating.

She is on Cholicalm. the only thing is she is really tired on this drug. does anyone know anything about this drug - will that wear off?
post #17 of 17
I work at a veterinary clinic. Clomicalm is usually used for dogs with seperation anxiety and cats with inappropriate urination issues. It is a mild sedative, so I don't think the sleepiness will go away. If it's helping her you might just have to accept the sedation as a side effect. One of my cats was just put on Amitriptyline (which is an anti-depressant drug) a few weeks ago because she constantly licks/pulls the hair out of her lower abdomen, inside of her thighs and the tops of her back feet. Her problem had been going on for almost a year. I had her tested for ringworm, tried a hypoallergenic diet for 8 weeks, tried steriod shots, applied Revolution (flea preventative) every month. Nothing helped, so I finally ended up taking her to a Veterinary teaching hospital for advice. As much as I hated the thought of putting her on prescription meds for her problem I finally did. She's only been on the meds for about 2 weeks so it's a little early to tell, but if it does help her I will continue to use it. Every medication out there (even over the counter ones) has side effects. You just have to decide whether the benefits outweigh the risks.
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