How to know when it's time?

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CattusLove
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How to know when it's time?

Post by CattusLove » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:10 pm

My 12-year-old cat has been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, stage 4, three days ago. They've offered us either euthanasia or fluids treatment, because of her high numbers, and we decided to go with fluids, hoping she'd get better. Her numbers did get better, but she looks about the same.
She's been spending nights at home and she is rejecting any kind of food for five days now, she just drinks a bit of water, she tries to go to pee out of where she sleeps, but doesn't make it usually, so I just change the bedding. She also gets these attacks where she breathes very heavily and fast with mouth wide open and drooling and has a bad breath. Otherwise she's napping all the time and likes when I pet her, but she doesn't really pur anymore.

Me and the rest of the family are in complete stress. I feel like I don't have the right to decide about her life, but it pains me so much seeing her like this. I've had her since I was 13, I grew up with her and can't believe this is happening, she was always a healthy cat.

Does anyone have any experience with this, could she get better, or should I let her go?

Any kind of feedback is greatly appreciated.

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catslave16
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Re: How to know when it's time?

Post by catslave16 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:08 am

Cattuslove, I'm so sorry to hear about your poor cat. The symptoms sound very familiar as I had a cat who had chronic kidney disease too. He was 18 years old. He was eating right up till the end, and in his last 24 hours he did 8 circuits of the garden (me following with a torch, terrified that he'd find a shrub to crawl under to die by himself, as cats often do) but he was very dehydrated, even though I administered hydration (is it called subcutaneous? It involved slipping a needle under his skin and injecting water). It was when he started breathing heavily that I made the decision it was time to let him go peacefully. The vet said afterwards that it was very likely he had a tumour in his chest. It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make. The vet came to my house, and my beloved Blake died in my arms. He went very quickly - before all of the drug had been injected. His head dropped on to my arm, and that was it. That was more than two years ago but I have tears in my eyes as I'm typing this.
As your cat has stopped eating, is sometimes struggling to breathe, and isn't purring any more, it's obvious that her quality of life is now very poor. It sounds to me that it is probably time to let her go. This is absolutely heartbreaking, but remember that it is the kindest thing you can do for her now. You'll be ending her suffering and misery. You'll get lots of support on this forum.
I wish you strength.

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Crewella
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Re: How to know when it's time?

Post by Crewella » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:21 am

I absolutely agree, as hard as it is the most loving, kindest thing you can do is put an end to a beloved cat's suffering. My thoughts are with you. xx

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Re: How to know when it's time?

Post by Grace56 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:25 am

I am so sorry, Cattuslove. It is a heartbreaking decision to make, but I always think of it as the last act of love you do for your little one.

As Catslave said you will get lots of support on here. Many of us have had to make that decision to end the suffering of a beloved pet and let them go.

My thoughts are with you and your little one.

Grace xx

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Re: How to know when it's time?

Post by OHWS » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:53 am

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Last edited by OHWS on Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Ruth B
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Re: How to know when it's time?

Post by Ruth B » Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:25 am

I am so sorry to hear about this, and like the rest can only say that I also believe the kindest thing you can do is stop her suffering. Think of it as having the right to make sure she had a good life and a peaceful end without suffering.

I remember when one of my cats was diagnosed with a very aggressive tumour. We took her on the Monday as she had deteriorated badly over the weekend and it was diagnosed then (there had be no sign 6 week earlier when she had hear dental done). The vet gave her a steroid injection to see if it would help, I now think that this was more for us to come to terms with the sudden diagnosis than for her. Next day I tore myself apart with stress of the decision, but realised that it was time and was the best for her. Since then I have realised that the only mistake I made was not being able to make the decision that Monday evening.

It is an incredibly hard time and my thoughts are with you and your family, but I think it would be best all round to let her sleep her final sleep.

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Re: How to know when it's time?

Post by bobbys girl » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:30 am

Sorry to hear about your cat. I have to agree with the others. We lost our darling Tommy to CKD last year. He went exactly the same way. But he took the decision to PTS out of our hands and died in the road outside our house. He never usually went out of the gate. I think he was going off on his own like catslave said. I do so miss that cat, he was very special, but I know he is at peace and no longer suffering from that terrible disease.

Thinking about you. x

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Re: How to know when it's time?

Post by Lilith » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:40 am

Hi, Cattuslove, and I''m so very sorry to hear about your girl.

This was my Jacinth's story. Out of the blue, at 14, she was diagnosed with kidney disease and the vet advised euthanasia. The shock must have shown on my face because she added that they could take her in for dialysis (this was nearly 20 years ago) but the benefits would only last a few days. I shook my head. 'She'd hate that. Having to stay away from home.' So the decision was made for me really.

I still agonise over what more I ought to have done but rationally I know I couldn't; we always beat ourselves up about this; it's part of the dreadful process of grief. Those kidneys couldn't be magically regenerated.

I too agree it would be best to let your girl go and that it is a heartrending decision to make. Again I'm so very very sorry to hear that she and you are going through this. I'm glad you've posted on the forum though because you've come to the right place; we can't take your pain away but we can support you.

Thinking of you and your girl, love and hugs, Lil x

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Re: How to know when it's time?

Post by meriad » Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:46 pm

I lost my boy Jasper to kidney problems when he was only about 7 years old. He had a congenital issue and I knew I wouldn't have much time with him. When the time came, he spent the night at the emergency vet on fluids and I then transferred him to my usual vet the next morning. The vet there said they could keep him on fluids for another 12 hours or so which would be of help but that given the rapid deterioration the two days prior that the fluids would only buy me a few weeks - if that much - which would give me the time to say good bye to Jasper. But it never was going to be a permanent solution and Jasper was in pain so it wasn't fair on him to put him through that again for my sake and I made the hard decision to say goodbye that day.

You will know when the time comes and my only advise is rather a day too early than a day too late and they suffer.

Thinking of you and sending tons of love

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Re: How to know when it's time?

Post by issiandarchie+68 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:05 pm

Sadly Cattuslove, I agree with the others.. My 8yr old Cody suffered CRF in April. It seemed sudden but looking back, it had been taking hold for sometime. After her diagnosis, we took her in for subcutaneous fluids, but, on speaking to our lovely Vet, I knew from his demeanour she was not going to make it. He was normally upbeat and boyishly smiley but not that day. She was in for 3 days, looked a lot better when we went to bring her home but rapidly went downhill. Would not eat the renal food, and, as she always had done, would struggle, make herself drool and vomit before she would swallow a tablet. I felt like a monster, she was so small and trusting. Her breath didn't smell but her body did, her huge beautiful eyes dimmed and clouded over. She would eat a little ham and drink cat milk but then be sick. I tell you this because end stage CKD is not a pretty sight. The cat's body cannot retain fluid no matter how much water they drink. They become very constipated, begin to starve to death, poisons swamp the body. Left too long, there is a risk of blindness, muscle collapse. I am desperately sorry to be so brutal, but after seeing these symptoms in an ex friends cat after she left it too long, we couldn't let beloved Cody go down that route. A shadow of her former self,we had her PTS a week after diagnosis. She was never afraid of the Vet, often would explore his office then jump up on the table when he asked her to. She greeted him, he petted her, she put on a final show. Vet had said he could rehydrate and we could take her home but on asking, told us we would just start the horrid painful cycle all over again and we would be back within the week. Although devastated, we felt relief that her suffering had ended. I'm so very desperately sorry that you and your wee pet have reached this point, but yes, it's time.

Issi

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Re: How to know when it's time?

Post by LittlePenBigHeart » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:41 pm

I am so, so sorry for what you're going through.

The general rule of thumb, I think, in situations like this, is to wait until a point where the cat has little to no quality of life. If they are barely eating, barely drinking, have no interest in play and sleep all the time, it's probably time to let them go.

If it's any help at all, I do understand how you feel. When our last cat, Bubbles, was dying of heart failure, we faced the same decision. He was sleeping almost all the time, he'd lost weight and he wasn't going to get any better but he seemed generally okay in himself, aside from the faster breathing from the strain on his heart. In the end, we didn't have to make the decision, as he passed away on the floor in front of me one morning. But we would have had to put him to sleep soon after had he not passed away.

I'm so very sorry for having to say this, but I really think you need to let your cat go. There's no harder decision to make in pet ownership and it's truly heartbreaking, but given how your cat is right now, it's the right thing to do. :(

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Re: How to know when it's time?

Post by Mayday21 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:55 pm

I concur with everyone's posts. Some of you know my Elsa succumbed to ckf. Before I had to make the decision to pts she slept a lot, food was always a problem as well as RC Renal she'd have wet food - like it for a night or two then no. Xmas she decided she liked prawns - that was for 3 days. It's hard but when I found her collapsed in the back legs I knew the time had come. I was so worried I wouldn't make it to the vet but I was with her & she went peacefully while I kissed her goodbye. And honestly I found making the decision easier than when Mayday passed at home... I felt & still feel, I let my darling girl down. My thoughts are with you & your family. Always remember you gave your fur baby a love filled life. (((hugs))) Vivian

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Re: How to know when it's time?

Post by JulieJulie » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:18 pm

So sorry you are facing this terrible decision my thoughts are with you. I went through it last month. In my experience if you're at the stage of asking if it's time, then it usually is )-:

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Re: How to know when it's time?

Post by Trixie13 » Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:55 am

Hi. I am new to this site and felt compelled to reply. My heart was broken last Saturday as I had to made the hardest decision of my life as I let my loveable Trixie go to sleep. She hid her symptoms extremely well the only sign was lack of appetite, I took her to the vets and they gave her a steroid and antibiotic injection as the couldn't really find anything wrong. Her appetite came back but for only a couple of days so we took her back to the vets expecting a deficiency of some sort but to our distress and a lump was found. An ultrasound discovered an inoperable tumour around her intestines. We came home to digest the news and had 2 days to decide what to do. I wanted to try everything and chemo was an option. But during the two days my baby didn't eat, drink and just wanted solitude (which was totally out of character as she craved attention) she went downhill so unbelievably quickly not even a purr. But my point of writing is just to say you will know when the time is right they and though it's soul destroying it's for the best. Wishing you and your cat all the best and hope you get comfort from knowing there are others riding the storm... our pussy cats are so brave xx

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Re: How to know when it's time?

Post by bobbys girl » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:16 am

So sorry to hear about Trixie. It's very brave and kind thing to do, to post words of comfort and support, when you have so recently lost a friend.

RIP Trixie and ((hugs)) to you.

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Jan
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Re: How to know when it's time?

Post by Jan » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:19 pm

I'm in bits reading the first post because everything written about Trixie brought back memories of the cat I grew up with. I never knew the house without Willie and to see him in his last weeks can still bring tears to my eyes 40+ years later. He too was diagnosed with CKD end stage but my mother wouldn't, couldn't, let him go, even when the Blue Cross vet said there was nothing to be done and the kindest thing was to let the cat go. She refused - she couldn't face it was the end of his 14 year life, and to see that poor cat literally crawling across the floor because he was too weak to stand, seeing my mother crying while cooking some fish in an effort to get him to eat ... me in tears knowing the cat I loved and had just always been there was soon to leave us was the hardest thing I'd had to face as a child. Watching him suffer dreadfully was just as bad.

In the end, Dad and I forced the issue - he took Willie to the Blue Cross where the vet laid the cat on an X-ray table to show (and perhaps prove) how full up the cat's lungs were with fluid. It was some comfort to Mum when Dad told her that Willie took one last gasp, stretched out his legs and died on the x-ray table. He should never have got to the stage and I urge anyone (including myself when the time comes for Blackie - though it will break my heart) to think of a cat's suffering and quality of life.

I am so very sorry catuslove .... it will break you heart but you will be doing the right thing by your beloved cat. It always puzzles me that humans with terminal diseases and who suffer terribly in the last stages are not given the same consideration.

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Re: How to know when it's time?

Post by Crewella » Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:17 am

Sad post, Jan, I'm so sorry. But a point very well made. xx

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Re: How to know when it's time?

Post by Trixie13 » Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:36 pm

Thank you .... it helps to know we are not alone xx

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Re: How to know when it's time?

Post by Mayday21 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:12 pm

Hi Jan & catsuluv thinking of you & Crewella always has wise words. Take care. Vivian

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