I think it's time...

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by colonikki1978, Feb 14, 2020 at 4:38 PM.

  1. colonikki1978

    colonikki1978 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Hey all,
    It's been a while since I've posted on here. The last year or so we've had some issues with Shelby. She's had two episodes of UTIs including urinating in places she shouldn't. Including on our bed right above our heads as we were sleeping and ruining an entire room of carpet. This has resulted in our basically sequestering her in our bedroom with litterbox, food, and water. Plus, we are currently living with my in-laws as we build our new house. They help with Shelby's insulin shots as needed, as does my 14 year old.

    I took Shelby to the vet on Tuesday where doc said she's got colitis and kidney failure. He sent me home with an IV of saline to do infusion once a day, including pushing pills down her for the colitis.

    She is 16, and has been a diabetic since 2016.
    She's lost weight in the last 2 weeks, and isn't really eating much.
    Is really a good quality of life that we're keeping her going and she hates the poking and prodding?
    Is she telling us she's just "done" with all of this?
    We've put our lives on hold the last nearly 5 years, and the "one more thing" is the IV. I can't ask my in-laws or my daughter to do this "one more thing."

    Her chart isn't updated because I've been keeping a log in a notebook ever since 2016. Her numbers have been pretty steady, with a few jumps this week due to the meds, I figure.

    She's my hubs' cat and I know ultimately it's HIS decision, but it still sucks to be the adult in all this.
     
  2. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
  3. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    It is never easy to make that decision. Unfortunately I have had to make that decision too many times.

    You have to consider her quality of life. Is she in pain, does she have a chance to get better, does she act like she is ready to go? Even though your hearts will be broken when it is time to say goodbye, please find comfort in knowing that she is no longer suffering and that you gave her that gift.
     
  4. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    It is a very hard decision to make.
    It sounds as if you are going to give subQ fluids. They only take about 10 mins to do from start to finish and could help a lot.
    I would also look at ‘the decision’ that Deb posted to help your.
     
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  5. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Have your husband run through that Quality of Life Assessment. Have him be totally honest with himself as he reviews the steps. http://lapoflove.com/Pet_Quality_of_Life_Scale_DrMcVety.pdf

    Or the HHHHHMM scale developed by Dr. Alice Villalobos, vet oncologist for assessing quality of life for feline cancer patients. One example is below.
    https://deepwoodveterinaryclinic.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Quality-of-Life_Feline.pdf

    If he has not been the one committed to his cats daily care, he may not realize the cost. Here I mean the emotional cost and heart wrenching decisions you and the rest of your family members are making every day to take care of his cat. Not simply the financial costs. But as you said "
    The emotional toil on caregivers for seriously ill pets and/or humans can be more than anyone wants to or should or is able to take on their shoulders. Sounds like this is an "emotional train wreck" for you.

    Please make your husband aware of how much the daily care of his cat Shelby is impacting your life and all the others around you that are taking care of her. Your in-laws, your daughter, yourself. Your husband may have been "turning a blind eye" to the situation and not realizing how much others have been doing to take care of Shelby. He may have been hoping things would improve and get better and has not been able to objectively come to grips with the current state of Shelby's health.

    Bottom line. Do what is right for you and your entire family.
    Bless you in whatever decision you end up making.
     
  6. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    This is hard for me to talk about but not because it's a painful memory, I really don't want to make any of this about me. Here goes.
    In the time we've lived in this house and the year prior we've had 17 cats and two dogs. Some just got old, a dog with dementia, a few had cancer and then there was that stupid cardiomyopathy. I've been fortunate that Cynthia and myself have never once disagreed about when it was time to go and only once did a cat pass on when we weren't there. We have some real anger about incompetent diagnoses but no guilt or regrets.
    What you said about Shelby's urinating in the wrong places. That's what Alvin did and despite how well people know us I never include that part of the story because if one idiot thinks that's we "got rid of" Alvin they are dead wrong. Please don't let that one small part of her life cause you any guilt if you do let her go, we understand but some people may think otherwise. Cat's and dogs pee on things, end of story. If they can't help it it's no ones fault.
    Now the hard part. If Shelby could talk what would she say? I imagine our cats saying "This is ridiculous, I'm in a lot of pain and you're not doing me or yourself any favors by keeping me going. I know you love me and always will, I love you too."
    I'll share something with you that might seem a bit morbid, I don't make a habit of taking photos of dying animals but there's more to the story. This was my GA Nigel's last night here at home. We quadrupled his BUPE dose and he still knew who we were and where he was. Next to him is Lewis who would not leave his side for 48 hours.
    It triggered my PTSD diagnosis and I'm crying now but I've never regretted ending Nigel's suffering, he was my Angel and if he could have talked he would have told me it was okay. I hope you find peace and I'm really sorry for going on for so long. There's no easy way to do this.

    nigel_sick_lewis_002.JPG
     
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  7. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Nikki I'm so sorry you are dealing with all of this, that poor baby, my heart is breaking for you, Shelby's quality of life is what's important and maybe if your husband does read Quality of life Assessment he will realize what's best for that sweet kitty. I know it's very hard but I would not want to have to watch Shelby continue the way she is, I hope your husband will make a decision and see what's best for Shelby. My heart goes out to you.Shelby is a beautiful girl
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020 at 8:45 AM
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  8. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Hi Dickson, I couldn't have explained it better, you are so good with words and I'm looking at the pic of Nigel and Lewis right now and crying my eyes out. You have such a good heart
     
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  9. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Nikki, if it helps at all I've taken cats home for a few days before their last trip to the vet. When pain control became a serious issue I decided, along with my vet, that increasing a BUPE dose in end stage life has no serious drawbacks. Obviously don't go crazy, boy I hate stating the obvious.
    Both Noah, Marco and Andy absolutely hated oral BUPE so a compounding pharmacy makes transdermal BUPE for my vet. You get your ears tickled instead of being force fed something disgusting. I've never seen a cat stumble, lose their appetite and it never affected Noah's numbers. That's it, try and get some sleep.
    We're all here for you. :bighug:
     
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  10. colonikki1978

    colonikki1978 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Thanks all for the advice and info.
    Kevin (hubs) did the quality of life assessment and the funny thing is, she came up as needing extra support but still normal. We've done the "peeing in weird places" with her before when she gets her nose in a snit. We talked it over a lot last night and decided to stop her IV for the weekend and see how she reacts and if the random peeing attitude changes. We know her discomforts and "triggers," and I think adding the IV plus new pills just sent her into royal b**ch mode!

    For the moment, we're going to see how that goes and then measure her quality of life as she continues through this added adjustment on her health.
     
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  11. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Maybe it was just bad timing and you finally caught a break. I cannot ask my in-laws for anything either except could we please have our dog back?
    We're all in the same leaky boat, for once the internet is a helpful thing.
     
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  12. sandscout

    sandscout Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2018
    @colonikki1978, hi, how did Shelby do over this weekend? Is she eating any more?
    And,
    Have you given any more thought to giving fluids and the (colitis?) medication?
     
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  13. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    Peeing outside the litter box can be caused by quite a few reasons. I have yet to have a cat do it because they are "mad." Does your cat have any signs of neuropathy or arthritis? A litter pan with very low sides, or cutting down one side can help. UTIs are a cause, as you know. Litter box being dirty or smelling bad can do it. Litter box being too far away if a cat is urinating frequently, like diabetic cats often do. Multiple litter boxes can help. Type of litter can also make a difference, as some cats have a preference and may not use the box if the litter feels strange on their feet. Stress can also do it, as cats find the smell of their own urine comforting. Unfortunately, when cats pee outside the litter box because of stress, this stresses out their humans, and cats pick up on that and get more stressed. Cat owners also can try to confront the issue by chastising or punishing the cat for accidents, which leads to more stress for the cat, which leads to more peeing outside the litter box.

    You've moved into a room in a new house, your cat has some health issues, and it sounds like everyone is stressed. Maybe talk to the vet about ways to ease your cat's anxiety.
     

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