Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)
  • Quality of life (pet content)
  • Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    So, our old boy of 18 years wandered down the garden on wobbly back legs on Thursday…

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2nCCuog]3072[/url]

    He’s stumbling around, sometimes his back end just flops on the floor and as a result he just lies where he’s landed for a couple of hours. A visit to the Vet yesterday revealed it could be a myriad of things in cats and is most likely neurological/spinal. With many mentions of “you need to consider his quality of life” we have the option of blood tests leading to Meds – if something is identified – which at his age could actually worsen his health, or pulling the plug before we go on hols mid August.

    The kids are already a bit sad about him now being a “disabled” 100% indoor cat yet of course he seems “better” and less wobbly this morning – I suspect due to the anti-inflammatory he was given yesterday.

    Not easy this, hard to tell whether we should give the old man a bit more time and not make a premature decision, or are we doing him a favour.

    Premier Icon gobuchul
    Free Member

    You know the right thing to do. It’s not easy but you should do it.

    Premier Icon Futureboy77
    Full Member

    I always believe in the “better to do it a week too soon than a day too late” mantra.

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Full Member

    By posting this, you probably know what the answer is, particularly if they lose bladder or bowel control. At this stage, their condition can deteriorate rapidly – are you prepared to curtail your holiday at very short notice?

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Full Member

    Talk to your vet, but I think leaving it too late is worse than going a bit too soon.

    I don’t know about cats, but it’s not much fun being a dog if you can’t run around chasing shadows, or even eat.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    At this stage, their condition can deteriorate rapidly – are you prepared to curtail your holiday at very short notice?

    Indeed. This will sound selfish in written form, but no we wouldn’t fly back if he passes in the Cats home, and of course it’d mean extra fees upon return for their disposal.

    Our main decision is whether to have the blood tests this week TBH, and if comes back with a defined issue then the decision is easier. If it doesn’t, we’re in the same head space we are now.

    Thing is, he’s eating/drinking/pooping as per normal and able to use the litter tray to do so. For the past few months though he’s been drinking like mad – as in a whole bowl of water at a time – which is likely to be a symptom of a kidney/liver issue.

    Premier Icon TheLittlestHobo
    Free Member

    Sounds identical to ours. Our girl lived to 21yrs old and by the end of it she was struggling. We went to the vets and asked their opinion but they were extremely reluctant to give us advice one way or another. Yes we had all the blood test etc but nothing came back as an issue. She was old. She never was very active so we couldnt decide if it was indeed a quality of life decision because she was always laid down anyhow.

    In the end we decided we would go on holiday that year and sort it when we got home. We always used a cat sitter who worked at the vets so we knew she was in good hands and able to make her own decisions.

    Here is the reason for the long story….

    We flew on holiday and on first night we got a call from lady looking after our Lucy (Cat). She said the minute we left it was like she gave up. She was taking her to the vets tomorrow to have her put to sleep. This was about 10am uk time. She said it was sunny outside and Lucy liked to lay on the decking so she had wrapped her up in her old blanket and put her out there to relax. Hour or so later Lucy passed away.

    She was ready to go, went on her terms and in a peaceful manner. We were a bit gutted we werent there but she had a bloody good 21yrs.

    I dont even like cats…..miss her though and getting a bit dusty in here

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    Arse ‘Hobo, your first chapter describes his activity levels and the Vets conversation perfectly. Oh dear.

    Premier Icon TheLittlestHobo
    Free Member

    Yes, no right or wrong answer tbh.

    I suppose it comes down to how it will effect you guys if you are on holiday and your old fella passes away. We looked on it positively that she did it on her terms and happy she did so well. Others may end up getting very sad and it would maybe be better to do it on your terms instead.

    We knew we were pushing it going on holiday and if it wasnt for the lovely lady who had looked after her for years being there we probably would have had her put to sleep before hand. They seem to go into ‘ticking over mode’ when they are near the end.

    Premier Icon irc
    Full Member

    “you need to consider his quality of life”

    Seems like the vet is of the opinion it is time. A vet probably couldn’t go much stronger than that as some clients might complain if he/she was too blunt.

    If it was me I would go with now rather than risk a pet spending it’s last few days in unfamiliar surroundings with strangers.

    Never easy. I’ve had to take two dogs and two cats for the last trip to the vets and it is among the toughest things I’ve ever done. There comes a time though.

    Premier Icon dyna-ti
    Full Member

    I’d avoid trying to put our ideas of human struggles and euthanasia aside and look trhat Mr Moggs will happily potter about for a few years yet. sure he’s a bit wobbly(but aren’t we all) so let him enjoy lazing about doing the 90% of the day lazing in the sun or by the radiator.

    If its a time where he’s in pain, or can’t use the toilet well or organ issues come to the fore, then look to asking the vet to administer euthanasia.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    Same age as my old girl, and very similar symptoms. 18 is a good innings (and 21 is bloody impressive). My heart goes out to you.

    Honestly, if I could afford it then I’d get the tests done at least. Better to know than spend the next couple of decades beating yourself up thinking “well, what if… maybe… ?”

    The conversation I had around the last cat, I asked the vet “if we do this, will he be OK?” and he replied “no, he’ll still be very sick.” At which point it became – well, not an easier decision, but a simpler one. If I’d been told instead that it’d be a lot of work but he’d get better, that would’ve been different.

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    Can’t quite figure out if he’d be staying in a cattery while you are away or with a friend. If a cattery you’d need to check they’d actually take him in the condition he is in.

    Personally I couldn’t even go away knowing my pet of 18 years was seriously ill and possibly near death.

    I always think you can see it in their eyes and you just know it’s time. I’d 100% want to be there when they went though.

    How quick can the tests be done?

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    I’m with Count zero on this – its a tad north of £200 for the full battery of blood / health tests with a 48hr turnaround. I think we should get this done. If he has other issues, well thats it. The Vet has already said he may struggle with the medication.

    If he doesn’t, he can go to the cattery (we’ll phone & discuss it with them first). The place we use is a cat lovers sanctuary so they will look after him carefully.

    He does have other signs – he’s taken to sleeping in random places on the floor in a position like he’s already gone and seems to have sleep apnea – you sometimes have to wait 30-60s seconds for his chest to move to see if he’s still with us. In the recent past we recently joked he was “practising” to go.

    Also, he has stopped caring for himself. His white paws are grey, fur sometimes matted and with dandruff need us to brush him 2-3 times a week. He also has a really bad odour at times – 2 years ago he starting farting randomly but this is detestable “wrong” smell which comes and goes – I understand this to be his organs possibly breaking down.

    Whichever way it goes I don’t think he has long, and he looks sad. As I’m writing this though it kind of feels like I’m making excuses for the decision I have to make!

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Full Member

    I’m another in the “better a little too soon rather than a little too late” camp.

    Premier Icon qwerty
    Free Member

    Better to have a dignified death that a long drawn out one.

    We had our 12.5 year old Mowgli (cat) put down last week. It’s was traumatic for us but the correct decision.

    Premier Icon PJay
    Free Member

    I’m very much in the wait and see camp, cats can be very resilient and adaptable and I think that you instinctively know when their time has come. But of course it’s a decision you have to make for your self and cost and levels of care are also a consideration. I sometimes think we let one of our old girls go too soon (we was nearly 20 and completely deaf. She went blind too which we thought was too much, I don’t know whether She might have adapted).

    Quality of life is pretty hard to decide on really (at least if they’re not crying in pain). Someone local to us had a lovely old girl (Tara) who had terminal cancer. She was ragged and an absolute bag of bones (really sorry looking). But each day she’d settle down under the hedge at the front of the house and come out meowing if anyone passed by, and would trouble them for lots of strokes and fuss if they would be so kind she had quite a following and seemed unreasonably happy. One day there was a note on the gate to say that Tara taken a turn for the worst and had had to be put down. It seems to me that she had several happy years that she might not have had, but it is hard to know what’s right.

    — Edit —

    Sorry, didn’t spot your last post. If he’s not caring for himself that doesn’t sound good. Cats can also suffer from age related dementia (which our Tigger had) which could explain some odd behaviour. I still hold to the wait and see approach if they seem content, but any signs of distress or pain and I would agree that perhaps the time is right.

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot
    Full Member

    Kryton57

    I don’t think Count Zero has been on this thread?

    Anyway I know just how hard it is you don’t want to lose the chap but seeing them just not the cat you have loved & probably cursed a few times is very upsetting for all the family.

    Carolyn & I had to have our Bagpuss, Thomas put down the day before our wedding, poor chap had almost total kidney failure and had gone from being everyone’s mate to hiding behind furniture and making pitiful mewing sounds. 23 years later it still makes me well up, but in the end we felt it was a better end for him than another week of suffering.

    We even had a picture of him we held up in the wedding photographs.

    This week I’m at my sisters in Devon on her farm and she’s got two super cute tabby kittens & I’m tempted to get another cat as now Carolyn has also passed away I sometimes think I need the activity of looking after something and can talk utter shite to and not be judged?

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    Well, an update. He improved markedly over the weekend and seems to have got used to – apart from the odd occasion – the new way in which his back legs are a little uncoordinated. He’s able to walk about the house, he’s eating, drinking, wee-ing and pooping using the litter tray/box. Its clear he doesn’t want to stay outside for long or by himself and he’s making the odd mistake when jumping up onto things.

    In my view, he doesn’t appear to be in any pain and apart from ostensibly having changed to be a slightly wobbly indoor cat that sleeps a lot – which is nothing new – I’m thinking that putting him down now would be a little cruel / early.

    If he starting crying in pain or stops eating and drinking I’d change my view, but until then “Wobbly” Joe remains with us.

    I don’t think Count Zero has been on this thread?

    Cougar, sorry.

    Premier Icon wooksterbo
    Full Member

    Good news then.
    You’ll know when it’s time I’m sure of it. We did with our 2 dogs. Both were getting worse over time but still happily eating/drinking and short walks etc. When their behaviour changed we knew what had to be done, still hurt like hell to see them go.

    Premier Icon suburbanreuben
    Free Member

    “If it was me I would go with now rather than risk a pet spending it’s last few days in unfamiliar surroundings with strangers.”

    +1.
    Even if he’s been there every year since he was a kitten, it’s a poor substitute for his sofa and staff…

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    .

    Premier Icon nicko74
    Full Member

    If he starting crying in pain or stops eating and drinking I’d change my view, but until then “Wobbly” Joe remains with us.

    Good news, glad to hear it. Our pug Abby went blind 5 years ago, started getting wobbly about 18 months ago, and the MIL suggested we should just put her down.
    We ignored the MIL and Abby is still going strong – not walking far, but loving her food, sleeping a lot, and just loving being curled up next to us on the sofa/ next to my desk during the day. She’s happy, I’m happy

    Premier Icon TheLittlestHobo
    Free Member

    Sounds like our Lucy. We got another couple of years out of her. TBH we think the fact she hardly did anything in her younger years meant she didnt really notice when she started struggling. The MAJOR sign was not looking after herself. That only happened right at the end. Keep an eye on that because it is a real sign of them struggling imo.

    Good news and hope you get a bit more time with the old fella

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Full Member

    I sometimes think I need the activity of looking after something and can talk utter shite to and not be judged?

    A cat? Of course you’ll be judged, found wanting and cordially despised! It’s their SOP 😀

    Premier Icon johnnymarone
    Free Member

    Not such a happy outcome for my old boy Roary, who was put to sleep at 9am this morning. Have been watching him deteriorate ove r the last year or so, hobbling painfully on 3 arthritic legs, but the spark of life in him was still strong. Last night, whilst I was working nights, apparently he howled the house down in pain and chewed through two doors . No amount of calming him could work, so a trip to the vet at 9am. A n examination showed terrible arthritis, and a large mass in his abdomen. We knew what had to happen.
    Honestly, it took about 5 seconds once the i njection was administered for his old heart to stop, vet said he was waiting to go. He didnt suffer at all. The only suffering he had was the couple of weeks I selfishly put it off.
    RIP Roary J, little header that you were.

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Full Member

    i loved my boy Douglas – had him 16 years. Near the end he had no quality of life and drifted off – which made it a lot easier.

    I will keep your boy in my thoughts.

    Premier Icon TrailriderJim
    Full Member

    We put our 11 year old border collie to sleep on Sunday. She was suffering from extreme anoemia. Vet said blood transfusion would buy her some time but it would have been a long tough road to sourcing and trying to fix the root cause. Guilt trip was massive thinking what if, and leaving her sister alone, but I’m coming to terms with it being the best thing for her. Still, too young to be an old dog. 11 years is just not enough for a dear, unconditional friend to be in our lives and then gone. Sweet dreams pup.

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