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I cant believe I am asking this.. and

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
not sure if this is the right forum (please move if its not..)

but I have posted here several times about my Bella, who has IBD and is developing some kidney problems as well (still minor). She has been off/on prednisolone and is currently on a raw food diet which she was doing great on until a couple days ago. Now she is vomiting again and the doctor isnt sure why -- she is stable and looks/acts fairly normal but still the vomiting for no apparant reason (and she is vomiting water for 2 days and has been receiving an IV under the skin, so no worries).. She has the best care at my natural vets office..
but here is my problem --- I have just hit a wall -- I have only had her for 1.5yrs and have spent thousands of $$ on her medical care --some of it b/c I am so over protective --and have probably taken 3 yrs off of my own life w/ worry and managing her health. I am a single woman who doesnt make much money and have become depressed by the never ending cycle of every 1-2 months we are back at the vets for fluids/new diet, etc. She has had bloodwork on average about every 2-3wks.
This is my first cat and I am sad to say that as much as I love her (and I am just addicted to my little baby girl), I think its ruining my own emotional health. I am seeing a counselor and from where the discussion is leading -- it may be my only solution is to find a good home for my girl. I cant think of life without her, but if it comes down to her or me -- I dont have anything left to give and maybe someone with a stronger constitution can manage her long term health. Every day that goes by, I become more depressed and full of anxiety about her and about the medical bills.. and because I am single, its only me to do it all. My folks dont want her and are worrried for me, and think I should find her a good home.
BUT -- how do I find a home for a special needs kitty? She is only 8 and has lots of life left to live, esp. with someone that can really help -- I wonder sometimes if her up/down physical health isnt related to my emotional problems..
I live in Oregon -- does anyone have suggestions? I wont even THINK of giving her to someone who wont treat her well and love her -- she is the sweetest girl ever.

I cant believe I am even asking but I need to know my options.. thanks.. i knew you guys would understand..
post #2 of 21
Unfortunatley I do not live in Orergan! I wish I had some places for you to call, but I dont.
Mostly Iam writing to tell you, I think you would be doing the right thing. And Iam sorry it has come to this. But your kitty NEEDS you to do what is best for her and YOU!!!!!

I wish I had more information for you. You are a great person for investing your time, money, and your own health for your kitty.

Would you please keep me/us posted?

Jayme
post #3 of 21
Jetta:

Get on your Internet browser and go to google.com. Search on
the keywords cat adoption Oregon . I just did this and got
a slew of hits.

One place looks very promising as a resource for you: CAT in Sherwood,
OR, although they have sites across the state. CAT stands for
Cat Adoption Team. The website is: http://www.catadoptionteam.org.

From their website "Who Are We:"

"The Cat Adoption Team (CAT) is the Pacific Northwest’s largest non-profit, no-kill cat shelter with its own on-site veterinary hospital. CAT rescues, rehabilitates and places the community’s abandoned, neglected and injured cats and kittens into loving, lifetime homes. CAT not only partners with the community but with local county shelters, rescue groups and veterinary offices to take in cats that might otherwise be euthanized due to medical problems or space constraints. CAT saves more than 2,500 lives per year and relies heavily on the support of the public and generous volunteers. Thank you for visiting our site and helping us save lives! "

There is a general info email: contactus@catadoptionteam.org

Drop them mail and tell them exactly what you've told us -- Maybe
they can help you find some local sources.

I've been looking for an older (not specal needs) cat for my own
special reasons, and had NO idea how many shelters and refuges
abound around until I started looking. I doubt if Oregon is any worse --
and would be willing to bet it is even better -- than Michigan.

Best of luck to both you and your kitty. I hope you both find the
peace and shelter(s) you need!

Carol
post #4 of 21
You could maybe put her at a no-kill shelter like those above, and then maybe volunteer there so you could spend a little time with her and then be friends with other cats so that you don't have to get another cat to have the joy of it in your life?
I know it'll be hard, but really nobody could ask you to sacrifice your own health, and possibly Bella's since if you're so stressed I'm sure it's affecting her. You are doing the right thing.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
wow.. thank you guys. i think the first step is admitting it.. i will see what my counselor says, but i am so anxious every night that something will go wrong with her and i wont know what to do. its taken the joy out of our relationship.. i will check out the shelter in sherwood and see what its about..
thanks..
post #6 of 21
I'm sad for you to have reached this decision. Please do consider this long and hard. It's not your parents or your counselor who will need to learn to live without their little girl.
post #7 of 21
Aw this is terrible. Sending you some vibes to help you come to a decision that's best for Bella.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawnofsierra
I'm sad for you to have reached this decision. Please do consider this long and hard. It's not your parents or your counselor who will need to learn to live without their little girl.
I have to agree... sending you a big
post #9 of 21
If nothing seems to wrong inside your cat, then look for causes outside (in your home). This could be an allergy, or she could be simply picking up your stress- you seem to be packed full of it by your posting. Look closely at her environment and see if anything could be setting her off. Try simple things, like elevating her food dish, and moving the water so she has to walk over to it after eating, rather than just move her head to drink. Look into the natural holistic way of healing as well.

Try not and subject her to unneccessary vet visits, that opens her up to catching other illnesses and becoming stressed. Stress leads to illness in cats and fairly quickly.


I live in Oregon in the Willamette Valley, but I am full up at the moment. I have 6 up for adoption right now, if I can find homes for them, then I would have room. But right now, the Inn is full
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for your good comments and care. I am dealing with my own stress, and working 2 jobs, so yesterday I reached my stress limit. I am fairly high strung anyway and wonder if we are stressing each other out with our various issues.

And this last episode of vomiting has been difficult. She is under my holistic vet's care but they dont have any hospitalization to get her stable, and it means my caring for her at home -- we are doing Pepcid and baby food but last night she vomited again. I may talk to my vet today about doing prednislone again -- I dont want to, but the quality of life for both her and I is more important to me right now. If I could get her stable to keep vet visits and relapses to not every 1-2 months, then I could probably keep her.

I did check out the CAT adoption place in Sherwood and they cant take any special needs kitties-- that the remainder of her life would be spent in a cage slowly deteriorating. Better for me to keep her as long as I can then send her to the RBridge if/when she gets too bad for me to care for her. Dont want to think about THAT -- but guess that is part of being realistic abougt what I can/cant do.

Thanks Hissy -- I knew you were down the valley-- let me know when your Inn isnt full and maybe we can talk? I live in Portland. CAT adoption suggested I talk to my vet too and be really honest about what kind of care I can give her - not sure what they could do, but they might have ideas.?
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jettafer99
Thanks all for your good comments and care. I am dealing with my own stress, and working 2 jobs, so yesterday I reached my stress limit. I am fairly high strung anyway and wonder if we are stressing each other out with our various issues.

And this last episode of vomiting has been difficult. She is under my holistic vet's care but they dont have any hospitalization to get her stable, and it means my caring for her at home -- we are doing Pepcid and baby food but last night she vomited again. I may talk to my vet today about doing prednislone again -- I dont want to, but the quality of life for both her and I is more important to me right now. If I could get her stable to keep vet visits and relapses to not every 1-2 months, then I could probably keep her.

I did check out the CAT adoption place in Sherwood and they cant take any special needs kitties-- that the remainder of her life would be spent in a cage slowly deteriorating. Better for me to keep her as long as I can then send her to the RBridge if/when she gets too bad for me to care for her. Dont want to think about THAT -- but guess that is part of being realistic abougt what I can/cant do.

Thanks Hissy -- I knew you were down the valley-- let me know when your Inn isnt full and maybe we can talk? I live in Portland. CAT adoption suggested I talk to my vet too and be really honest about what kind of care I can give her - not sure what they could do, but they might have ideas.?
You may have already looked into this, but is there no help you can seek? As far as financially. I personally do not know your finances, but I know when you reach (or don't reach) a certain amount of income per month there are places that will help you with you vet bills? Just a suggestion.

Keep us posted!!!

Jayme and Jackson
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayme&Jackson
You may have already looked into this, but is there no help you can seek? As far as financially. I personally do not know your finances, but I know when you reach (or don't reach) a certain amount of income per month there are places that will help you with you vet bills? Just a suggestion.

Keep us posted!!!

Jayme and Jackson
Yes, I have looked into it and have pet insurance --they pay for part which definitely helps. Pet Ins started paying about 6 mo. ago but before that I racked up alot of bills. I also was at a vet (before my natural one) who I found out was notorious for charging alot of money. Being a new kitty owner, I didnt know. Now I do.. my natural vet is much less expensive and I feel like I am getting better care.

I do have alot of stress from my jobs and my own personal stuff and then the combination of a chronic kitty is just pushing me over the edge. After my counselor visit today, I think my next step is to talk honestly w/ my vet about what her long term health will require as far as care. I also sent a note to a cat behavorist who specializes in special needs kitties to see if we can talk -- I am wondering if some of Bella's relapses arent in response to me.. like Hissy was saying-- I worry/obsess over her health and she responds to that stress, which makes me more worried, and it just keeps going..something to think about.
post #13 of 21
Yes, I understand that insurance only helps so much! I will be praying for you and Bella!

The vet knows best, and as you said u feel she is getting better care from the natural vet, he will speek to you honestly. That's what you need right now.

We are all here for you and will help in the best way we can!

Please keep us posted as to your decisions and what the vet says!

Jayme and Jackson
post #14 of 21
I think you're headed on the right track.

I would have three conversations:

1. With the vet, tell them how stressed you are, and that it's getting to the point where you are thinking of rehoming her.
Ask them about what they think her long term care will entail. Is she going to be special needs her whole life, or is it a matter of finding out what her problem is?
Ask them to tell you about things to be concerned about vs things you can relax about (throwing up once, vs not keeping anything down, etc). See what you can do for her at home, without having to bring her in. For example, you can learn how to give sub q fluids, if thats something she needs. You can take samples of vomit, urine and feces in without taking her in. Ask if they have or know of support groups for special needs kitties.

2. Talk with the cat behaviour person about the topics above.

3. Talk with your counselor about ways to handle the stress from Bella's health issues. What are the options for keeping you healthy, keeping her healthy and keeping the two of you together. It may be that to keep you healthy and to keep her healthy, she needs to be with another family. Obviously you're aware of the difficulty in rehoming a special needs kitty. However, you may be able to find some techniques to help you deal with your stress better. Go jogging when you worry about her, finding local and/or online support groups specific to special needs animals, cats, IBD, etc., journalling, art therapy, asking a close friend to listen to you express your worries. I"m sure your counselor has more ways to cope with stress than I can think of.


In the end, you have to what's best for you (if you can't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anything else) and what's best for Bella. It's not an easy decision. I hope you are able to come to some resolution with it.

And it may not hurt to take all of Bella's records and seek a third opinion. I don't know how far away Hissy is from you, but maybe she can reccomend someone. I think your current vet sounds fine, but you never know what a new person may think of that could help your kitty.

~Julia
post #15 of 21
I know what you're going through. One of my cats started with similar problems when he was about 18 months old and he is now 3. There have been boardings for health care, numerous x-rays and tests, and an evaluation by a feline specialist. The best anyone could come up with was chronic pancreatitis mainly because they couldn't find anything else and that can't be definitively diagnosed. I've been through numerous food changes. Then I started on things around the house. I changed to natural cleaning products and natural litter. I even was taking my other cat with long hair and a dense undercoat for lion cuts. They were still playfighting a lot and I was trying to cut down on the amount of hair that my sensitive cat was swallowing. I reached a really low point and was considering euthanasia for financial reasons and I felt really guilty about it. Just in the last 6 to 8 weeks I have begun to see signs that he is coming out of it. First he started with the usual things not eating than dry heaves. I started giving him pedialyte and within a couple of days he came out of it on his own. Just this morning something didn't agree with him and he vomited. It used to be that would start a downhill slide quickly that would end up at the vets but this time it doesn't seem to have done that. I don't know that your experience will be the same. But it was a long haul for me and Patches and I understand the low point you're at now but maybe there is hope. I know Patches will always be sensitive but maybe we're past the worst and the most expensive of it.
post #16 of 21
Have you considered getting an oppinion from a regular vet, a vet that can actually hospitilize her? I'm not saying holistic pet care is bad, but you'll find "regular" "crappy" whatever vet care is ALOT cheaper. I can PM you a number for the guy I work for, I'm not saying he's the best vet around, but he even recommended a RAW diet for my allergic cat, so he isn't one of the so called "uneducated" vets. We deal with renal and IBD cats all the time. We're a private clinic so we're more expensive than companion, but man when I went to see about holistic care I think it's a complete rip off they want to charge you $50-$90 JUST for an hour, and then they charge you on top of that for extra time. We charge $34 and our appointment time is generally an hour but the doctor will stay with you as long as they need to.

You're making it harder on yourself not having a place to hospitilize her, and I don't know that a second oppinion wouldn't help. I've done both [Holistic Vet in Tigard] and they didn't tell me anything my own boss told me. They took blood tests and did a health exam, which my cat already had had done, and tried to tell me the raw diet I picked out wasn't the right one, which, with an allergic and pruritic cat, there really is no magic fix. They did however give me a tea tree oil ointment for his ears that I'm going to purchase because tea tree oil makes it harder for the ears to harbor bacteria, but that is really the only thing I got out of it, not to mention a gigantic vet bill.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Have you considered getting an opinion from a regular vet?
That would also be my advice. I've never used a holistic vet, but have used herbal/natual remedies on my cats with varying degrees of success. The fact that you don't have the option of hospitalization concerns me. There simply are times when a cat needs to be confined & observed. This appears to be taking quite a toll on both you & Bella, and isn't fair to either of you. I would find a "regular" vet, take all of Bella's records, & try to find a solution to her problems. I'd hate to see you lose Bella without exploring all the options.
post #18 of 21
I just read through this thread and you have been given some good advice all ready, but a few things came to mind that haven't been mentioned...

Were you considering giving Bella up prior to your conversation with this counselor? Also, has your counselor tried to work with you on ways to control your stress other than removing Bella from your home? It sounds to me from reading your post that Bella is definately not the only part of your life that is causing you stress. If you decided to rehome her, I think you would still find other things to stress about. IMO, you need to be taught ways to cope with stress and anxiety and not be told to remove those things completely from your life. For example, if this were a child we were talking about or a job that was your sole source of income, would your counselor still suggest that these things be removed from your life. Not everyone regards the life of a pet as important as we do. A person suffering from severe allergies might be told from one doctor to get rid of their pets, while another doctor might work with them to find a medication that works. It sounds like you do a very good job taking care of Bella. I think the best place for her is with you. I would not say that if it didn't appear that Bella's well being was in jeapordy, but it is not.
If it were me, I would be considering a new counselor.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
thanks everyone.. I wanted to give you all an update about where Bella and I are.
Thanks for all your good comments .. Many great suggestions and I am really working through them all.

Bella has stopped vomiting and is on pepcid and back on pred. and on day 2 of a bland diet. She has some of her pep back and I am praying we are out of the woods once again.
I wanted to clarify that my vet bills were with a conventional vet who offered hospitalization but did lots of tests and talked about her in terms of her 'disease' -- all of this painted a grim picture. In hindsight this contributed to my anxiety about her, I am sure. I followed their advice for the last year and after thousands of dollars she still was relapsing quite regularly. The last 2 mths she has been at a natural vet, on a raw diet and off the meds. She did have this relapse with them too, and without hospitalization care, I was worried about how to care for her.

Yesterday I did have a very frank talk with my new holistic vet. That I was worn out from my ordeal with the last vet and am not able to keep up this type of long term care. 1-2 months ok, 2-3wks of relapsing and getting back on track, over and over.
She assured me that much of Bella's relapsing was most likely in regard to trying to keep her off of the meds as much as possible. And that most likely Bella will need pred. for the rest of her life in some dosage in order to provide the stability. She mentioned too that I need to relax and not believe that every time she vomits is cause for emergency care (which I tend to do). We talked about what is cause for panic and what is not. She also said that Bella's long term prognosis is very good -- many cats have IBD and live long stable lives and there is every reason to believe that with her IBD can be kept very under control w/ the meds and a good diet/herbal support. It was a very good talk and I decided that if we can keep Bella stable, then there will be no reason to think of finding her a new home.

I am mtg again w/ my counselor today and she really is wonderful. She never asked me to give up Bella but wanted me to think through options to make my life peaceful again and to create time for my emotional health. That was why I was looking at re-homeing options and talking to my vet about what I can realistically do long term. Much of my stress comes from working a stressful FT job and demanding PT position in the evenings/wknds. Add in my special needs kitty and being her only caregiver, it can be very difficult.

So, hopefully we will continue to do better after reaching such a low point on Monday. I have to admit I was up from 1-5am at the emergency vet early Monday morning, and back at work at 9am, so I was quite emotional and exhausted when I posted my first message. Thanks for everyone who was so kind.. I am hoping and praying that Bella will enter into a season of long term stability for both of our sakes.
post #20 of 21
We all get emotionally exhausted and have to vent sometimes. Discussing such a difficult issue as this can really help, thank you for talking this out with us! It sounds as if everything is really looking brighter for you and Bella, wonderful!
post #21 of 21
I'm glad things seem to be looking up for you & Bella. I agree with squirtle's post--you sound as if you need to find a way to "destress" (I know, it's easier said than done). It's hard not to panic when you think something is wrong with your kitty; believe me, I've been accused by my husband of over-reacting to something I think isn't quite right. Just remember, IBD isn't a life-threatening illness, it's a life-adjusting illness. It may take some time to figure out the best diet, med, etc. for Bella, but I truly think it will all work out. You just need to take a deep breath & look at each situation &/or symptom objectively, both for your peace of mind & for Bella's.
Hope she continues to improve.
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