My poor poor cat....

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by SilentPanda, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    The Bamboo Forest
    #1
    So I just got a new cat around the 20th of December. I dropped her off to be frontal declawed yesterday... anyhow they call me this morning and she's okay with the surgery but she apparently is having some issues breathing. They are thinking either allergies, asthma, heartworm, or cancer. They're doing blood tests today and I should know more tomorrow. He asked me about doing chemotherapy on the cat if it comes down to that and I guess I'm torn. Argghhh... I have no idea how much it would cost and I could probably afford it but... it's a cat and... I haven't had her that long. Is that mean of me? I'm thinking worst case I'd probably not go with chemo and let her live as long as she could, putting her "under" when she starts getting bad. But then I feel like a horrible person. *sigh*
     
  2. Qoxiivi macrumors regular

    Qoxiivi

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    Nov 28, 2005
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    London, UK
    #2
    You have my sympathies :(

    Although I have to admit, it's taken all my strength not to lob in a pun about CAT scans.
     
  3. joepunk macrumors 68030

    joepunk

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    #3
    Very sorry to hear of this. I hope it is not cancer. Had to go through a somewhat similar situation with my cat. She had cancer around her liver IIRC. It was to far advanced to operate so we were given pills to do something but I can't remember what for by now. Anyway, my late mothers cats also had the exact same problem only a few months before my cat was diagnosed. All have passed on now.

    It was really quite painful when my cat was put under in January 01 as my late mother had died in December 00 of lung cancer.

    I hope for the best for you and your new cat.
     
  4. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    visiting from downstream
    #4
    I think the fact that you feel bad about making a tough decision already says a lot about you.

    But if you've not had the cat long, I don't see that it's really necessary to engage heroic measures that are going to cost tens of thousands of dollars. Pets are not people, despite the fact that we may love them; the day we had to put my dog to sleep was possibly the worst day of my life, because even though he wasn't an actual relative (not a grandparent, for example), it was a decision WE had to make.

    I'd say, do what will make your cat comfortable, and when the time comes, have her put to sleep.

    But that's just me. I'm sure you'll figure out what is the right thing for YOU to do.
     
  5. JW8725 macrumors 6502a

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  6. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    Aug 2, 2004
    #6
    Sounds like a quick diagnosis - cancer? Asthma? Allergies? The fact that it was apparently okay before the surgery would make me think it may simply have been a reaction to the anesthetic - which isn't all that unusual. Hopefully, that's all it is and your cat will be back to normal soon.

    If it is more, you have my sympathies - our dog died of cancer several years back and it was not fun. Unfortunately, they kept misdiagnosing it as a canine version of Crone's disease, so we were never able to do much to help her :(

    In any case, as clayj says - it's a cat. Yes, we get attached. No, we don't want them to suffer. But it's a cat. I'd suggest doing what you can to make sure she's comfortable, but don't go to heroic measures.
     
  7. SilentPanda thread starter Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #7
    Well I've only had the cat about 2 weeks. It's acting a bit "different" than my other cat but I just figured hey, different cat. It does tend to try to cough up something but never coughs anything up. That and it hides under my bed a lot so I haven't seen her too much since I got her. When the vet got her I had dropped her off around 8am and the surgery was done by 10am. So I'm pretty sure they didn't see her "mobile" too much until this morning. They called me because the cat was having trouble breathing. So I okayed some x-rays and then they found some masses in her lungs. They said it might just be allergies (or a reaction to the medicine) but it could be worse. Anyhow I okayed blood work for cancer tests etc and will know tomorrow.

    Most likely if it comes to cancer I'll probably just make her comfortable for however long she stays around. But I'm probably just over worrying and she has a cold.
     
  8. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    totally cool
    #8
    your cat may have a mutation of the avian flu, called the feline flu virus,
    or vt-209a. Its common among some household cats who are new to their environment. The survivability rate is about 75%. Amoxil is a common
    treatment for this administered once every 12 hours for ten days.
     
  9. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #9
    Thanks for the details - sounds like it is more than what I had originally thought, but hopefully nothing too serious or difficult to treat. I know it can be heart-wrenching to have to make these decisions at times. :(
     
  10. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #10
    having seen what chemotherapy does to humans, i would hesitate to go that route with an animal. not only is it pretty torturous, it is costly and not guaranteed. plus sometimes i think vets are scamming big hearted people. (it's unlikely but it has been known to happen) if they think the cat is going to die, i think measures to keep her/him comfortable are a good step.

    the other side of the coin:
    personally i am not against euthanasia either because it isn't some cruel thing, contrary to many a belief. it's not as though the animal knows you are having them put down - they are given a high dose of general anesthetic and they "go to sleep" and it's done. i have had to have a cat and a dog put down (both for very serious reasons) and i knew it was the right thing to do, as hard as it is. it is better to end suffering than to procrastinate the inevitable, in my opinion.
    not that you have to do this but just in case i wanted to just mention it.

    that said, i worry about a vet who would discuss chemotherapy before an actual cancer diagnosis. if they come back with that as a Dx please gather all records and then seek a second opinion.
    occasionally anesthesia itself can cause odd breathing problems for about a day after surgery too, so this could be nothing to worry about.

    {{{{hugs}}}} and good luck. please give an update when you hear more.
     
  11. SilentPanda thread starter Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
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    #11
    I have little intention of getting chemo for my cat. I know basically what happens when it gets done to a person that comprehends what is going on, but I think it would just tire a cat out to no end. I guess I'll know tomorrow or the next day. I got the tests scheduled so we can find out what it is at least. Hopefully it's just a "day after" affect. Otherwise we'll shoot for medicine and if that doesn't work then we'll make her comfortable until it seems like the problem is overbearing.
     
  12. SilentPanda thread starter Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #12
    Her name is Ico. Named after the PS2 game. ;)
     
  13. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Portland, OR
  14. SilentPanda thread starter Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #14
    I know... I read up on it a lot before I got my first cat and put up with it for as long as I could... I feel really bad about it and don't want to get it done but... :(
     
  15. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #15
    Thanks. I was hoping somebody else would feel/say that.
     
  16. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    Mar 17, 2004
    #16
    Man, that sucks :( I feel for you, really. Hope it's not cancer. It's really hard to see a cat die- mine got hit by a car back in March, best cat I ever had. My dog died of lung cancer this year, she had trouble breathing and it got worse and worse until she couldn't even stand up without assistance and we had to put her down before she died of asphyxiation. It was really hard :( I hope you don't have to.
     
  17. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #17
    I had a cat declawed once. After seeing many of the "little" consequences on the cat's life beyond the obvious "no more claws", I tend to agree that it is inhumane. I will never declaw a cat again. Clipping their nails once every two weeks is much better.
     
  18. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    #18
    The woman is a veterinarian (not a scammer, I swear) and says:

    "Animals are a lot more resillient to the side effects of chemo than people are for a couple of reasons. First, they just are -- they can tolerate the drugs a lot better. And two, we don't give them the high doses that we give people. In people we give really high doses because we're trying to kill every last cancer cell. That's why the misery and severity of adverse effects. In animals we give a lower dose than we would give people with the goal of helping them live as many cancer free years as possible and maintain quality of life. Pets don't live as long as people do, so a relatively short extension of life is something more significant than it is in people. But the bottom line is that you're not going to see the terrible side effects of chemo in most pets (some are more sensitive) that you would see in most humans."

    She's all up in arms about the scammers comment. I'm going to edit down to "We're not scammers. If we wanted to scam you, we wouldn't have become veterinarians. We got into this field because of our love for animals, not because of our desire to scam you."
     
  19. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #19
    As an asside on the topic..

    Our neighbors have a cat that they banished to be an outdoor cat (apparently because he ate a plant he shouldn't have) and he is declawed. I do not know if they did it or inherited him that way, but it's wrong. We live out in the country and poor Tuxedo Steve (as we have named him) has virtually no defense.

    So my wife and I have pretty much usurped Steve's care. I feed and water him every night and he lives on our front porch, and comes by the back porch to taunt our 3 (indoor) cats. It gets cold and I worry that our neighbors don't have adequate weather protection for him, so I bought a cheap ($100) nightstand from Target ( of a similar ilk to this one: )

    [​IMG]

    I bought a sheet of foam insulation and cut it down and created a box inside the nightstand and cut a hold in the back for Steve to get in and out of, add to that a really warm cat bed and that's where Steve lives now. In a nightstand on our front porch. Every morning he greets me on my way to work and every night he runs out to greet me when I get home.

    Screw our neighbors. They have 2 rotties that I've only seen out of their dog pens 2 x in the 5 months we've lived in this house.
     
  20. SilentPanda thread starter Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #20
    My cats are purely indoor cats. On occassion I will let them go onto the back porch supervised but that's about it. During the summer I try to keep the sliding glass door open with the screen only so they can get the fresh outdoor air and the smells.
     
  21. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #21
    Is this a cat or a houseplant?

    When I was a kid, the people that lived behind us did the same thing - the dogs was either penned up in his 4x8 cage, or chained to the deck. Why have a dog if you have no desire to be around it or to play with it?
     
  22. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #22
    Actually, he's a pugilist!
     
  23. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000

    FoxyKaye

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    Jan 23, 2004
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    #23
    So sorry to hear about your cat - We just dropped over $1800 on medical expenses on ours in 2005, and the outcome of a year of treatments is that he's now blind in one eye, which leads me to another couple suggestions re: your cat.

    First, vets are really split on administering steroids to cats. Some believe they're tolerated well, some believe cats are especially vulnerable to them. If the vets mention steroid treatment, please do a little research on this and arrive a a decision you're comfortable with.

    Second, a lot of cats (mine included) carry a form of feline Herpes that usually remains dormant for most of their lives. Generally, when it does become active, it interferes with their vision - HOWEVER, feline Herpes can also have consequences in the respiratory system. Specifically, it causes lung congestion, nasal congestion and sometimes excessive sneezing and trouble breathing. If the vets can't nail down what's causing your cat's troubles, ask them about this. IF your cat has this type of Herpes, the vets may want to treat it with steroids (see above), however, Lysine is also an effective long term treatment - you can even buy the capsules over the counter and sprinkle it on their food.

    Anyhow, whatever the outcome, you have my sympathies and I hope your kitty gets better.
     
  24. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

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    Nov 7, 2003
    #24
    nod, I know vets that refuse to do the procedure because of that fact.
     
  25. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #25
    i hope for the best with your cat, SilentPanda.
    hope shes okay in the end and its nothing major.
    best of wishes.



    i'm sad too about my kitten. well my sister's. my sister is moving out and taking the cat with her. i'm going to be lonely without that cute guy around. yeah nothing major, but makes me sad though.
     

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