My cat is potentially very sick

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_VictorVikkiTielVictoria, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. D_VictorVikkiTielVictoria

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    I just got a phone call this morning from the animal hospital that my cat of 13 years may have a liver problem plus a slightly high hyperthyroid that needs to be looked at.
    As it is, we've spent thousands of dollars on trips to the hospital over these years.
    Now the money situation has been really poor, and has been for a very long time now.
    The other problems besides the cat is the hardcore reality that we need a new roof on the house so we can sell it in 2 years when my wife retires and we move to out of Mass because it's just too expensive here.
    Plus, my recording studio business which I've worked for most of my adult life, is on the verge of collapse due to the rapidly advancing technology and it's all I know how to do .
    Not to mention the enormous credit card debt we're in.
    We've just recently come into some money that would finally allow us to fix the roof and for the studio, I could catch up with the technology and hopefully salvage the business which has been floundering for the last 3 years and has made little to no income from it and as a result, I've fallen into a very deep deep depression.
    Now my wife is saying I'm being selfish because I expressed my frustration
    over having to spend even more money on our 13 year old companion.
    Don't get me wrong, I love my Sweepea dearly and she has brought us both many years of happiness.
    We don't really know if she is all that sick because her spirits are very very high, but the doctor says we should bring her in again this week for an ultrasound. This, after bringing her in for tests last week.
    Does this mean we keep spending money on Pea till she's gone?
    So now we have a huge decision to make. Do we take care of the cat, or tend to these other problems that will affect our lives in the future?
    Is my wife right by telling me I'm being selfish?
    This really sucks.
     
  2. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    Normally I would say to try and save the cat, but it seems like it's out of your means to do so. You're putting your own life at risk for that of an animal whom has lived a long life. Don't be sad about putting down your cat, it's for your own good.
     
  3. cockoloco

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    Wow, being in that situation sucks.

    I understand both your view and your wife's. I don't believe that you are being selfish. I believe that you are viewing the situation very objectively. You seem to care about your cat and it is normal to think of all the possibilities and to analyse the situation coolly.


    Personally, I wouldn't doubt it. Pets are too important for me and they are as any brother or sister. I would give my cat all the care she would need. But that's just me.

    I hope that whatever decision you make will be the best for you and everybody else.
     
  4. RedScrotum

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    i love my pets dearly, but i let mother nature take her course, and enjoy them while i can.
     
  5. FuzzyKen

    FuzzyKen New Member

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    Very sadly, I have been in your position and more than once as a cat fan. The first thing I would do to be very honest is to seek the opinion and consultation of a second and different vet. I had one in California that was great and did everything possible to preserve the animal while at the same time saving my family money. Here in New Mexico, one of the two vets in the town we live keeps you coming back again and again and does everything possible to generate a large bill.

    We have our "senior citizen" Jenny. She was attacked and mauled as a stray by our very large dog over 18-years-ago. I got there moments from her being killed. After the recovery she had partial paralysis for several years, but slowly healed. The total bill to save that cat was nearly $3,000.00. That was a long time ago and I do not know how many more years she has.

    I have had cats on I.V.'s for kidney failure in my own home and have done some heroic things letting the cat decide when it is time. When that time comes the cat will start to lie around and will tend to want to refuse the treatment. If things can be done for the animal on your part and you yourself can be taught to do the treatment by competent vet techs, then that is what you need to do because that life is important to the cat.

    If the cat is something you really love, the main thing to consider is the life, the comfort, and the pleasure or enjoyment the animal is deriving from life. If there is no enjoyment and the cat is suffering and unable to interact or derive pleasure from life, then having the cat put down is not an unkind thing, in essence it is the kindest and most giving final act you can give your feline loved one. You have to care enough to put the cats needs above your own.

    I have in my 55 years of life had to do this more than once and it is always painful.

    Best Wishes
     
  6. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    I really feel for you. But I've often said that we're kinder to our pets than we are to our terminally ill in some ways...I'm not sure that artificially prolonguing your pet's life is the most humane thing to do and a painless death might be. I had to put my 11 year old cat down a couple of years ago after he developed leukemia and had gone blind; it was difficult but it was the right decision.
     
    #6 B_Nick8, Sep 4, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
  7. b.c.

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    No one can advise you on what course of action is best for you. When we were in these situations with our pets (and they have been numerous) we always elected to try to do whatever we could (WITHIN REASON) to preserve the life of the animal.

    That "within reason" part probably being the operative word. Some vets want "the works" and are quick to order up all kinds of (optional and perhaps not absolutely necessary) procedures and tests.

    You might want to seek the advice of another vet, and maybe seek out the services of public and/or county veterinarian services if available in your area (lesser or no charge).
     
  8. B_Morning_Glory

    B_Morning_Glory New Member

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    i know what u mean. over the course of three month's we have lost three dogs. my son's basset hound died last week. didnt even known she was sick. the other two was poisoned within a week apart. it is hard to decide what is best for them. u always want them around. 5 yrs ago i had a dog he had parvo took him to the vet. brought him home and was petting him and talking to him. i told him i would be ok that he could die. he looked at me like he understood me. he died in my arms. oh the pain i with through. im truly sorry about ur pet. i have cats myself. i wish u all the best. keep us posted.
     
  9. Captain Elephant

    Captain Elephant Active Member

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    I cannot tell you what to do, of course, but I have been in your position with a dog with cancer. He was 16 and still very agile, so it was difficult to say that I wasn't going to do anything I could to keep him healthy.

    The vet spoke with me quite frankly and said my dog is anything but healthy. And at 16, I should seriously consider what quality of life he should expect to enjoy.

    It was heartbreaking, but we decided that no drastic measures would be taken. Sam died peacefully six months later.

    I am glad that I quit being selfish about holding on to Sam for as along as I could. It would not have been the best decision for him.
     
  10. D_VictorVikkiTielVictoria

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    I want to thank you all your heartfelt comments and well wishes.
    I just had to put it out there to see what other people who had gone though similar circumstances thought and felt.
    I don't want it to look like all I care about is the money, but my wife and I are in a bad spot right now.
    I guess we'll take another trip to the vet and see whats going on with Sweepea and hope for the best. But I'm telling you,by the way she's so active, spirited, and interactive, it's hard to believe she could be that sick at all.
    But with cats, they're just such mysterious beasts, you just never know

    Thank you once again.
    Robert Paulson
     
    #10 D_VictorVikkiTielVictoria, Sep 4, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
  11. vindicator

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    Sorry to hear about your cat. No one wants to be put in the situation where they have to make this kind of decision.

    I think you need to also take her age into consideration. This is true for pets and people. When you have a anyone who is aged and sick, you have to ask about quality of life. Will your cat be okay after and return to full health? Or is she going to continue to have health problems?
     
  12. JustAsking

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    Robert,
    I really feel for you in your situation, Robert. I sensed something in your two postings about it, that lead me to believe that part of your concern is that others might think you were heartless and only cared about money. I don't mean bring it up in a mean way, though, because I think plenty of people could identify with that. You could imagine one voice in your head saying, "All you care about is the money. You are a really bad person." and the other voice saying, "Don't be an idiot, its just a cat. You have your family to think of."

    My point in bringing it up is that of all the trouble in your life right now, you don't need the added burden of feeling judged by others for your decision. You have epic financial problems and a very sick family pet. Figuring that out alone is hard enough without worrying about what others might think about whatever you decide. So try to send all of those kinds of thoughts packing.

    I have had pets that were very sick, too. I spent a lot of time on them, some bit of money on them, and I spent a lot of time with them. One thing I learned is that spending huge amounts of money to prolong the life of a family pet for just a few more months, is actually a very selfish thing. We think we are doing it for our pet's sake, but what we are really doing is assuaging our guilt, staving off our own pain from its death, and possibly prolonging the pets pain while it is losing ground fast.

    One vet said to me to do what I think is right, but once you feel that the quality of life of your pet is gone, then put your pet to sleep. So that is what I do, and I do it knowing that it is an act of love.

    You seem like a caring and sensitive guy. I can't imagine that you would do something extremely selfish on purpose. So remember that this is your decision and your family's decision and you don't have to answer to anyone about else about it no matter what you do.

    Good luck with this Robert.
     
  13. Hippie Hollow Girl

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    I know what I would do if I were in your shoes......but I will have to admit that I am really more of a dog person.

    I would talk to the vet and ask him what happens if you don't do the treatments that he recommends...... for the liver problem and the slightly elevated thyroid problem. How long does your pet have? Does he know of any cheaper alternatives? Any low cost clinics? I would get on the Internet and research whatever diagnosis he gives you. Call around and see if you can find a vet that charges less for whatever service you need.

    I have done that before. In Texas where I live.....vets are not regulated. They basically can charge you whatever they want too. So, I have always shopped around and when I found a good honest vet......I am a faithful patron. I have always lucked out. I look for vets that don't charge me an arm and a leg. (I call around and check prices). The vet I have now just charges me for the shots and tests. And he gives my pets a thorough checkup.....and answers my questions. Some vets charge you a well check price just for them sticking their head in the door.



    Anyways this is what I would do. And if the treatment price is unreasonable.....I would just find out what I could do to make her comfortable for as long as I could. And as long as she isn't in any obvious pain......just let her live out her life and let nature take it's course.

    Probably all cats develop the same problem your cat has......Back in the olden days they didn't have all these new fangled tests to run on cats. People didn't spend as much money on their pets as we do today.


    Hope this helps.
     
  14. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    13 years. 13 years. I've dropped thousands of dollars on a cat half that age. Time to go. Good life, good times, but time to go.
     
  15. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    I spent $13,000 on my dog. I don't regret a penny of it. He had lymphoma, went to the best canine oncologists in the world. They gave him one good extra year. The expense included driving into the city for chemo, surgery, MRIs, everything. In the end, he didn't make it.

    I say that now because I just got two dogs two years ago. Part of the reason I wanted two dogs is because, very selfishly, I couldn't go through the heartbreak of losing another dog without the companionship of another. That's how profoundly this effected me.

    IF I were in the same position as you are now I would:

    Go get a second opinion from a feline expert who can tell you the exact health of the cat and what the prognosis is.

    If complete cure is possible within a short period of time with little treatment stress for the cat, then I would consider devoting the resources to prolonging her life and curing her condition.

    If a complete cure is impossible or very improbable, and the treatment will cause stress for the cat, then I would carefully consider focusing resources on palliative care to keep her as pain-free, comfortable, and happy as possible until she passes on her own.

    Animals do not foresee in the way that we do. They're very much, "in the moment." Given her age and condition, think about how many more happy and comfortable moments she will have if she doesn't get treatment versus if she does and then decide from there.
     
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